Home Away From Home: Travel Edition
Last week, our family took a mini vacation to Orlando. My parents have been wanting to experience Walt Disney World with the kids for quite sometime, so with a few days off from school, I thought it perfect opportunity for a fun trip. I have to be honest, when we experienced Disney World two years ago, I thought it would be one of those places that you went once and didn’t go back again for a while. As it turns out, my children love Disney World so much (big surprise!) that with each trip, we have completely different experiences.
During previous stints in Orlando, we’ve only stayed in hotels, but this go around with my parents, we opted for a house at Encore Resort at Reunion. Located within minutes of Disney World and other local attractions, the location of Encore Resort was the perfect spot for our stay. Each luxury rental house includes a private pool, access to their AquaPark, and concierge service. Homes at Encore Resort offer 4 to 13 bedrooms, perfect for traveling with multiple families. Our house had six bedrooms, with seven baths, along with a jacuzzi and pool in our private backyard. This spread was quite the change from our apartment living in NYC, with all three kids sharing a bedroom. The house was awesome. Too bad we couldn’t transport it back home!
The kids each picked their own bedrooms for the week. Siella and Gemma chose a room with bunk beds, but then switched mid trip to their own room. Ryder choose a bedroom which also had an extra den attached to it. With their own bedroom on the main floor, my parents practically had their own wing of the house, making me realize that this place would easily accommodate more than one family for a week long trip!
Our first day was spent exploring the resort. After a little morning dip in our pool, we decided to explore the AquaPark. The AquaPark has an incredible kids splash area, four water slides, adult pool with VIP cabanas, along with a restaurant and bar and arcade. And all areas had lifeguards on duty! On a daily basis, a staff member comes out to do activities with the kids like a hula hoop contest or slime making, which was my kids’ favorite. And the slides were so much fun! Even I went down them all day long. I loved that the perks of hotel-living were still available at the AquaPark, and on the property, yet when we returned to our house for the evening, we were comfortable and cozy. I always feel like I need another vacation when we come back from a Disney trip, so these chill days at the house were just lovely.
We ate out a few nights, but took advantage of the huge kitchen by cooking a couple of evenings. Prior to arrival, we arranged for groceries to be delivered, so we could make coffee and breakfast before leaving the house for the day each morning.
The resort feels like a community, and offers shuttles to drive you to your home or clubhouse. Most residents rent cars, but since our stay was short, we relied on the shuttle and taxis. The Disney Parks are a short fifteen minute drive from the resort, and Encore Resort offers shuttles to take guests back and forth. Complimentary transportation to Universal Studios is also available.
One of our days was spent at Magic Kingdom for Mickeys Not-So-Scary Halloween party. We haven’t been to Disney this time of year, so it was quite the treat to see all the characters decked out in ghoulish getups. On other days, we visited Universal Studios for the first time, and spent an evening in Disney Springs.
Just like any vacation, we didn’t want it to end but at least we got our fill of fun and a little R&R. When traveling in the future, I am definitely going to looking into renting a house to spread out. It truly made a difference and for anyone traveling as a big family or in groups, specially to Orlando, Encore Resort should be on your list. Our trip was another memorable one, especially with my parents along for the ride.
If you and your family are avid Disney World travelers, Encore Resort is definitely the place to check out for not just a rental property, but also for an investment property! Jason and I are seriously looking into purchasing a house in the Encore Resort community. It’ll be so nice to have a home away from home when traveling, plus we would be able to rent it out too!
Here’s a full video of our house tour….