We (myself, wife, 3 year old daughter) are looking to head to WDW during the summer. We have A LOT of Marriott points from my travels so we can basically stay wherever without a problem.
So we are looking at Sabal Palms, Royal Plans, Harbour Lake, and Cypress Harbour. We are also willing to consider other options if people suggest (not the imperial palms a ton more points than all the others).
The main points are:
1) free parking (think they all have)
2) Easy drive to the parks
3) good activities for my daughter in case we have to spend some time at the hotel to rest
4) Kitchenette (i believe they all have)
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
We, husband and 9-year old son, stayed 7 nights at Cypress Harbour in March. We did 4 days of Disney and 3 days of relaxing poolside. All their units are 2 bedroom villas with 2 baths, living and dining areas, full kitchen, screened in porch/balcony and ensuite laundry. Parking is free and it is a short drive to the parks. The units are very spacious. There is an activity center with lots of fun things to do for children. There is no full service restaurant on site, only poolside grub, a Pizza Hut and a place that serves Starbucks coffee. However, everything you could possible need - grocery stores, drugstore, etc. is a short drive away. There are 3 pools, some smaller toddler pools and numerous hot tubs. And at least one small playground. As much as we enjoyed Disney, at the end of the day it was nice to remove ourselves from the crowds and noise and come back to this beautiful resort. Everyone has different needs and wants for vacation, but for us, having the kitchen was great as we were able to shop for healthier food items for the meals we had ensuite. Also, knowing there was a washer/dryer in the unit, we packed less clothing as we did laundry a few times during our stay. The staff were very friendly - in fact, there wasn't even one person I could say anything negative about. In the past, we've stayed at quite a few Marriott Vacation Clubs, including the Grande Vista in Orlando. That was also very nice, although Cypress Harbour, in my opinion, is a notch up. We are not timeshare owners, nor do we wish to be as it doesn't fit our travel lifestyle. This is just FYI, as I've read reviews about being hassled to attend their 90 minute sales pitch presentation: I was approached once and, when I politely declined, I was never approached again. All in all, we had a great time on our vacation!
Hi - We live near Orlando, and I work in Orlando, and own at the Grande Vista. We purchased at the Grand Vista, but at the time, were staying at Cypress Harbor. Both of them are very nice resorts. I think the Grande Vista has more to offer for kids. There are "ponds" behind some of the units at the Cypress Harbor, but my husband said that there was an alligator in the one just behind our unit when we stayed there. Truthfully, this is something everyone who lives in FL knows - alligators may be present in ANY freshwater pond or lake, as well as some snakes Unlike when we lived in Ohio, you don't swim in ponds or lakes here for that very reason. Anyways, back to the subject at hand.... We've stayed at both Cypress Harbor and Grande Vista, and enjoyed them both. I think the Grande Vista is a newer resort, and has lots of activity and multiple pool areas, and I think it's larger, as well. If you go to the Grande Vista, request a unit that is closer to the main pool area, which has a great area for smaller children. Just across the bridge from the main pool area is another pool area (also has a great kids pool area) with a poolside tiki drink hut/bar.