Sometimes my husband has to travel for work. And
some of these trips are to fun locations. When he has a trip to
say, Orlando, we put forth every effort to tack a family vacation
onto it. Last month he had to work two and a half days at a
conference in Orlando, so we added an extra five days to vacation
We took another trip like this to Orlando three
years ago. That time we stayed two nights at the All-Star Movies
Resort in a teeny-tiny room with two double beds (there were four
in our family at the time). This is the resort decked out with a
giant Buzz Lightyear and many other larger-than-life Disney
characters. We also stayed five nights at the Contemporary Resort,
the triangle-shaped hotel in which the monorail runs through.
There, we stayed in a larger one-room, two double beds
For our trip last month (our family has grown to
five now - kids aged 9, 7 and 4) we chose a different route after
some friends told us about a timeshare company they use to rent a
condo at Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort.
The condo had two bedrooms (slept six to eight)
with a full kitchen, washer/dryer in the unit, and a Jacuzzi tub.
The property had five swimming pools, one with a pirate ship theme,
two lazy rivers, eight hot tubs, two large water slides, mini-golf,
a playground, ping pong, a pool table, Wii and Xbox for rainy days,
and a plethora of scheduled activities we could join if we desired.
And it was only a five-minute drive to Epcot either by your own car
or the resort's shuttle.
It was a much more economical stay at under $900
for eight nights versus the $1800+ for eight nights we paid three
years ago to stay on the Disney property in crammed spaces. We
attended a non-required two-hour timeshare meeting for a $100
American Express gift card while our kids played in a supervised
We arrived with few plans other than to spend at
least one day at Disney. We considered a second day at a park, but
after spending 12 hours walking all over Epcot punctuated by our
children's whining, complaining and fighting, we decided that what
would be best would be to save the money and lay low and hang out
at the resort for the remainder of the trip.
One of the advantages of staying on Disney property
is that you can spend a day or more traveling around to visit each
of the other resorts in the park via monorail, boat or other means.
This is what we did three years ago. It was "free" entertainment.
We loved it.
But this time our family was content staying within
our non-Disney resort, checking out each of the swimming pools,
playing in the lazy rivers, followed by a round of mini-golf or a
game of Bingo. My husband and I often chose to lie by the pool
enjoying our time on social media and hearing the joyful screams
and laughter of our children swimming only a towel flick beyond our
Kate Hall is a married homeschooling mom to her three kids, all of which were adopted from China, living in the lovely suburbs of Chicago.
See more of Kate's stories here.
Let us plan your weekend with the best family events and activities in Chicagoland.
Start the week right with deals, prizes, parent life hacks and more delivered straight to your inbox.
Need last-minute ideas for a weekend of family fun? No worries. We've got you.
Get the inside scoop on the people, places and things we are loving right now.
Resources, tips, inspiration and more for parents of children with special needs.
Score exclusive offers from our fabulous advertisers.