Frequently Asked Questions
What and where is Windsor Hills Resort?
Windsor Hills Resort is a 24-hour secure gated resort community located less than 2 miles from Walt Disney World making it the closest resort community to Disney and the theme parks. Over the past 20 years, Windsor Hills has firmly secured its position as the most popular private rental community in the Orlando area.
Windsor Hills is the perfect retreat to escape the frenetic atmosphere of the parks, and is commonly referred to as "one of the best kept secrets for doing Disney". Easy to get to, and only 5-10 minutes drive to Disney by car or Uber, it provides a convenient home-base for a full-on day at the parks then some well-earned rest in the comfort of your own home-away-from-home. Windsor Hills Resort offers peace and tranquility and a luxurious accommodation option as an alternative to staying on-site in an expensive and tiny Disney hotel room. Our guests receive access to all Windsor Hills Resort amenities, including clubhouse, fitness center, resort pools and waterpark!
For a complete list of all Windsor Hills amenities included free with your stay, please see the About page.
Why should we consider staying "off site" and not "on site" at a Disney hotel?
This is by far our #1 question.
Disney hotels are wonderfully themed and have that fun Disney touch--especially the Deluxe and most of the Moderate resorts. But that Disney "touch" costs substantially more money. The average Disney hotel room is approximately a 350 square foot room with not a lot of space -- especially for a family of 4. And now, Disney has phased out most of the major benefits by staying "on site" at one of their hotels, which is why the luxury vacation rental market is booming!
Ohana House is just under 3000 square feet, with 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, multiple living areas, gourmet kitchen, private pool and game room -- and a fraction of the cost of a Disney hotel room.
At the end of long and fun day at the Parks, you get the peace and quiet of a private house and private pool -- not hotel hallways and lobbies full of tired and hungry guests running around everywhere after a long day at the Parks. When you stay on-site, it's hard to hit the "pause" button.
This is even more important now with traveling in the post-Covid world. Having your own dedicated Villa and kitchen, and not crossing paths with other guests in common areas like elevators, hallways and lobbies means you are less likely to catch a germ while on vacation. Our villa undergoes a 5 hour deep clean by a professional cleaning company adhering to all CDC and VRMA guidelines in between all groups.
By staying "off site" won't we lose some other benefits we would get by staying "on site" at a Disney hotel?
Most of the benefits you receive by staying on-site in the "Disney bubble" have been phased out indefinitely. Here are just some examples of benefits that have been removed or reduced:
- Magical Express (bus transport from Orland Intl Airport)
- Dining Plans eliminated
- Extra Magic Hours eliminated
- Fastpasses eliminated
- MagicBands (no longer free)
- Reduced park-to-park and hotel-to-park transportation
- On-site restaurant availability very limited and may be "mobile order only"
- Merchandise delivery to Disney hotel room eliminated or reduced
- Reduced on-site store/shopping availability
- Housekeeping services at hotels is reduced or eliminated
- Less staffing at Disney hotels, meaning rooms may not be ready on time and there are lines for everything
- Reduced / limited resort experiences including shows, attractions, kids clubs and activities
- Crowds and Covid: The question of large indoor crowds/busy hotels/common areas (lobbies, elevators, hallways) versus your own private rental house with no shared common areas. As far as traveling is concerned in the years to come, this is undoubtedly in the back of many traveler's minds.
By contrast, a small, 1 bedroom "family suite" at a resort such as Disney's Art of Animation can easily exceed $6,500 for a week during the Summer -- and that's before even factoring in park tickets! A single balcony room at a Deluxe Resort like Contemporary or Polynesian can quickly approach $10,000! Ohana House is perfect for accommodating up to 13 guests comfortably, which means our rental cost can be split among members of your group -- something you can't do if you try to get 13 people into a little Disney hotel room!
How does transportation work if we stay at Windsor Hills?
All of our guests use rental cars, and some will use Uber. We would be more then happy to help you find a great deal on a rental car, and to help plan your transportation to and from the parks and airport! Windsor Hills is the closest house rental community to Walt Disney World Resort. With average traffic conditions, it takes approximately 10 minutes to reach most points in Disney World. Windsor Hills does not have a shuttle, but Uber and Lyft are readily available and cost about $10 each way.
By contrast, Disney hotel buses run every 25-30 minutes and make multiple stops before finally reaching the park -- and that's assuming you get on the first bus that comes. Lines for busses form every morning at Disney hotels! When we stay on-site at a Disney hotel, we usually factor in 45-60 minutes for transportation each way.
Disney themselves recommends 90 minutes to reach your destination when relying on their transportation! The end-of-day lines for jam-packed Disney busses/monorail to return back to a Disney hotel are no joke: they can stretch on for what seems like miles! Having the freedom of a rental car or Uber means you can zip right out, and back to the house quickly. Lastly, be wary of "off site" venues offering a free shuttle -- there is usually a lot of fine print.
Does Windsor Hills have any resort-like ammenties?
Yes! As a guest of our house, you get full and complete access to everything in Windsor Hills Resort: resort pools, hot tubs, the new $2m waterpark and splash pads (photos above!), 3 playgrounds, clubhouse, movie theatre, fitness centre, sports areas and courts, and the on-site store and pool grille! Windsor Hills has a reception desk that is staffed 8am-10pm every day to assist you, and 24/7/365 manned and gated security.
How does check-in work, and what if we have questions or concerns after we arrive?
You will be sent everything you need about one week prior to arrival. This includes a unique front door keycode and registration pass for Windsor Hills. Once you arrive, you go straight to the house and begin your vacation! No lines, no waiting, and no driving to a vacation rental office to check-in. Contactless and easy!
Unlike most vacation rental owners, we employ a full-service property management company that has staff on-site in Windsor Hills Resort all day. You will be provided with their contact information and should you gave any questions or concerns they will be addressed promptly and professionally, 24 hours a day.
Do you book guests from the UK?
Yes! Most of our repeat and extended-stay guests are from the UK. Before you book a huge holiday package deal with Virgin or TUI, we'd love to discuss options with you! The big UK Disney travel companies are notoriously expensive, and we might have some clever ways to help save you some money. Once booked, consider us your personal concierge: we'd be more than happy to assist with everything from rental cars / car hires to Disney tickets, and will be readily available to answer any questions leading up to and during your stay. Travel note: please carefully check all travel restrictions prior to booking.
Can we rent multiple houses?
Yes! Should you decide to book with us, we will assist you in booking DIRECTLY with other reputable Windsor Hills properties, so that you do not have to pay exorbitant booking fees on Airbnb or other "big name" booking sites.
What does "Ohana" mean?
In case you aren’t a fan of Disney's classic Lilo & Stitch, the ancient Hawaiian term "ohana" in its literal sense means family. A person’s ohana can also include their best friends, neighbors, or anyone else who is special in their life. Ohana is also the name of the popular restaurant in Disney's Polynesian Village Resort -- just 10 quick minutes away for all of the delicious Ohana bread pudding you care to enjoy!
What is the booking, refund and cancellation policy?
A booking simply requires a $300.00 deposit to secure your dates. The remaining balance is not due until 60 days prior to your scheduled arrival. After the remaining balance is paid, cancellations are no longer possible. That said, it's not our goal to profit off of cancellations. We have kids, jobs and busy lives of our own -- and we know things happen. We would be more than happy to work with you in the unlikely event of a cancellation to find a solution provided ample notice is given. We're proud to say we either re-scheduled or refunded the dozens of affected bookings due to Covid in 2020. The full terms regarding our policies will be found in the rental agreement, which is signed online prior to booking. Additionally, when you book we offer standard travel insurance as well as "CFAR" (Cancel For Any Reason) travel insurance, provided through a third-party national travel insurance company for a competitive rate.