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Planning a family vacation to Orlando, Florida? Want to see and do all that Orlando has to offer, from Disney World and Universal Studios to smaller theme parks, water parks and other family activities? You might want to consider a timeshare rental for your Orlando vacation. Read on to learn why.
Disclosure: The writer was hosted on this trip by Bluegreen Vacations. All opinions, however, are her own.
I recently visited The Fountains, a Bluegreen Vacations timeshare property on International Drive. While my family and I only had a long weekend getaway in Orlando, we felt as though our timeshare rental at The Fountains would be the perfect place for a week-long central Florida family vacation. Their two-bedroom villa boasted all kinds of family-friendly amenities not found in a hotel room. It had the space of a vacation home, but with the services of a hotel.
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Who Should Consider Timeshare Rental in Orlando?
Families wanting to visit Disney World, Universal Studios and More
For an Orlando vacation where the only plans are to visit Walt Disney World, your family may be best served to stay at a Disney property for the Magical Express and fast pass benefits. Or if you are only planning on visiting Universal Studios, you may want to stay at a Universal property for similar park benefits. But if you want to experience Disney World, Universal Orlando, Sea World Orlando and add in some of the many other fun activities that Orlando has to offer, you should consider timeshare vacation rentals.
TravelingMom Tip: Only have a weekend in Orlando? Check out our two-day Orlando itinerary!
Grandparents will always enjoy watching their grandchildren’s eyes light up as they experience the magic of Disney or the excitement of Universal for the first time. Hotel rooms don’t give extended families the opportunity to spend as much one-on-one time together, as timeshare resorts do. Having a full kitchen, dining room and shared living space enables extended families to also spend some down time together.
Here’s Why to Consider a Timeshare Rental in Orlando!
Space to Have Privacy
Timeshare rentals often offer from one-bedroom up to spacious two- and three-bedroom villas. Sometimes you can feel cramped and on top of each other in a hotel room. Not in a spacious timeshare villa! You have your own bathroom and private space to get dressed and ready to go in the mornings.
When a family shares a hotel room, it is likely that they must also share the same hours. It is harder for the adults to stay up late. And it is even harder for individuals to wake up at different times. When we stay in a hotel room, our youngest wakes at the crack of dawn and there is no sleeping in for anyone else. Separate bedrooms solve this problem, and gives your family space to spread out in comfort.
Space for Dining-In and Socializing
A multi-bedroom condo or villa should have a full kitchen with refrigerator, coffee maker, toaster, plates, silverware and so much more. Even if you’re not all staying in the same villa, extended families can come together to share dinner in a relaxed environment. Kids can eat and then go play. No need to make them sit at a table in a restaurant well after they are finished eating. If a member of your family likes to cook, let them have at it. But you also have the option of just getting take out, ordering a pizza or even hiring a private chef to make you dinner.
A private deck allows mom to take a break with a book, while others rest inside. It is also a place to take in the sunrise before the rest of the family awakes. Or it could be where the parents relax after the kids go to bed.
Washer and Dryer
Many timeshare rentals offer washers and dryers. What a lifesaver after a hot, hot day at the parks. It is so easy to throw in a small load of clothes from the day, when you didn’t pack an extra outfit for the evening. It cuts down on suitcase space as well, which comes in handy when you’re flying with checked bags.
Many timeshares will offer a center for activities such as cooking classes, art and kids night out. Parents can even get a night out to themselves! You can likely expect family-friendly entertainment from the moment you check in.
Our family loved the arcade in The Fountains Orlando’s clubhouse!
It would be surprising to find an Orlando resort without a pool. But most timeshare rental pools will be geared towards families, and offer something for every age.
The Wakoola Springs pool at The Fountains Orlando is certainly impressive. One of three pools, it is a 75,000-square-foot tropical oasis featuring a massive zero-entry pool and two twisting water slides.
International Drive seems to be a hub for timeshare rental in Orlando. The location really is central to just about everything. It is right next to SeaWorld Orlando and in between Disney World and Universal Studios. Most guests seemed to have cars to get around. But we found that Uber was an excellent option.
TravelingMom Tip: Going to Sea World Orlando? Make sure to check out our Sea World tips!
Some timeshare renal companies will even offer exclusive member experiences.
For example, Bluegreen Vacations recently announced a partnership with NASCAR, allowing them to host VIP experiences for vacation owners of the Bluegreen Vacation Club. A partnership with Bass Pro Shop offers exclusive guest experiences tailored to outdoor enthusiasts in and around Big Cedar Lodge.
Other Vacation Destinations
If you buy into a vacation timeshare, you will also have access to other vacation destinations around the United States and other areas of the world.
Reasons a Timeshare Rental in Orlando Might Not Be Right for You
If you are visiting Orlando specifically for Disney World, or specifically for Universal Studios, you might be better served to stay at a Universal or Disney hotel property. Both Disney & Universal offer complimentary transportation options in between their specific resorts and parks. Staying at certain properties also earns you perks such as early park entrance hours and early access to Disney’s fast passes or Universal’s express passes for line skipping privileges.
Buying into a timeshare rental is also a long term commitment. You will want to research the company and experience a property before buying in.
How to Book a Timeshare Rental in Orlando
The most obvious way to book a vacation timeshare is to buy into the program. This is probably the best way to get priority booking access. But most timeshares also rent directly on their websites and through Online Travel Agents such as Expedia and Priceline. So you don’t necessarily have to make the commitment of buying in to try out some of these properties.
How Do Timeshares Work?
In a traditional timeshare model, you reserve specific weeks each year. Bluegreen Vacations has a bit of a different model. With Bluegreen, you actually purchase points that can be used anytime. They even roll over year to year. The more points you buy, the more ability you have to reserve the larger and more exclusive units.