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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Orlando Vacation - Hotel Review

We recently went to the happiest place on earth - at least for children. My happy place is either IKEA, Target or J.Crew. We went to Orlando for vacation and Orlando = Disney World.  I will do a series of these posts, based on the hotel, parks and shopping.

First up, the hotel.  We decided to stay at the Sheraton Vistana Resort which we booked as a package deal through Southwest Vacations. Including flights, the 5 day/4 night stay was just about $350 pp.  Not bad.
Overall, it was a great experience. Little did I know that this resort also is one of these things known as a "vacation club" - which is a fancy name for a timeshare (more on that later). I think they sell blocks of their unused rooms to places like Southwest in order to maximize occupancy.

Here are some pics of the hotel room, pre-unpacking (I won't show what a mess the Kid made after about 2.8 seconds of being there). 

Guest Bedroom

Main Bedroom

Dining/Living Area

Bathroom #1 (Bathroom #2 not pictured)


The good: Each suite has a washer/dryer, kitchenette and wireless access - very helpful for families.  Awesome pools and indoor entertainment - which we didn't get a chance to really explore because it rained on our "off-park" days - boo!  Also, it centrally located with a quick drive to the parks and shopping.

The sort of bad: They ask you to listen to a "No Pressure" presentation in exchange for discounted tickets + free breakfast.  I should have known it wouldn't end well, but my occasional cheapskate reared its ugly head and I succumbed.  For the low, low price of $30K, I could have a room for 2 weeks out of the year. And an interest rate of 12.5% (I know, Whaaaaat?).  And a monthly maintenance fee. And a change fee if you want to upgrade.

Let's just say that after they brought out the third salesperson to convince us to buy, I started getting a little pissed off irritated. Which is putting it mildly.  Apparently you aren't supposed to tell the exit interview person that you were just there for the discounted tickets. They don't like that.

My bad.

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