WindsorHills-poolPlanning a trip to Disney World can be daunting. There are a lot of options, and one of the hardest decisions is where to stay. When a friend of mine told me about her stay in a Windsor Hills condo and the low price she paid, I had to look into it. Yes, the web site looks a little cheesy. And the prices seem too good to be true. But my family has stayed there twice and we’ll probably never stay anywhere else ever again.

First, let’s talk location. Some people think staying on property at a Disney resort is the way to go. Let me tell you, it’s not much faster or more convenient. We stayed in Fort Wilderness several years ago and it was a bit of a drag having to walk from our cabin to a bus stop and wait. From Windsor Hills, we jump in the car, drive five minutes, and BAM – we’re there. The location is absolutely perfect. You are at any Disney park within 5 minutes. You have access to restaurants and shopping in one minute. You’re at Universal Studios in 15 minutes.

The second benefit is the free amenities. Windsor Hills has a gorgeous heated pool with a water slide and hot tub. The clubhouse offers a game room, a movie room, tennis courts, basketball courts, ping pong, foosball, and a convenience store that supplies various sundries.

WindsorHills1We stayed in a two bedroom unit that my kids refer to as our “second home,” even though we’ve only stayed there twice. The spacious rooms each have their own TV, bathroom and walk-in closet. There is a washer and dryer in the unit. Free internet is included.

Windsor Hills is a gated community that can only be accessed by tenants – we always felt safe. The condo was clean and well-kept and the kitchen was stocked with all the right tools and touches – right down to the ice trays that made Mickey Mouse-shaped ice cubes!

Finally, there’s the price. Ranging from $199 – $699 per week, depending on the time of year and size of the condo, it’s one of the best deals in Orlando. We visited in November 2011 and 2012 and paid only $299/week.

What’s the trade-off of staying in a condo? You’ll need a car. You won’t be able to go to “extra magic hours.” You have to pay to park at Disney. But for me, that was well worth the savings. And if you plan to do more than Disney during your trip to Orlando, Windsor Hills is the perfect place to call home base.