Date of Trip: January 2003
This resort is perfect for family. We bought here after going several times. Being nearby the parks was the initial attraction, but now we just go to relax and enjoy the facility. Everything is wonderful at the HGVC. We highly recommend it.
Sea World and Discovery Cove are within walking distance. Easy access to all Disney Theme parks via backroads (if I-4 is packed). Close to everything, yet not in the middle of it. Several outlet malls close by. Pointe Orlando is new shopping/entertainment area just north. Wonderful children’s program with qualified counselors. On site movie theatre shows movies almost every night, with themes for children, teens, families, football fans, etc. Some activities are free. Holidays have special added activities -i.e. An Elf delivered Christmas stockings to our room on Christmas Eve for a small charge.
Units are well stocked with ironing boards, irons, washer and dryer, whirlpool tubs in master bedrooms. Some units have big screen televisions; all have vcrs and possibly cd players. Original units are being refurbished constantly. Grocery shopping and 24 hour Walmart very close by, as well as drug store and video store. Small on-site deli/store for emergency items. Tennis, basketball, water volleyball, croquet, ping pong, pool on premises for small or no charge. Games available for free loan. Fitness room is good for basic workout (treadmill, bikes, some nautilus stype equipment) but can get busy when at 100% occupancy. Best way to get there from South is to take Osceola Parkway to 535N; take 535 N to International Drive and go north to either Westwood or next left after Westwood. Turn left or west to Sea Harbor Drive. Studios do not have Jacuzzis. Studios, one bedroom, two and three bedroom and three bedroom plus (limited number) sized units. Available for rental on limited basis. Go to HGVC.com for special deals.
Best Way to Get Around:
There is a shuttle to Universal and some other theme parks from the resort for a small charge (I think $7.00). Other public transportation is probably also available. Probably best to rent a car or drive. Things are pretty spread out. Get a good map. There are alot of short cuts which are not on the tourist maps (i.e. Turkey Lake Road).
SeaWorld is very beautiful and seems to be more spread out than most theme parks. There is a very diverse number of attractions, and the park is very ecology-minded. Only two of the rides are “roller coasters.” Other exhibits and rides seem to attract and entertain all ages. You can actually touch the animals, such as stingrays and sea lions. Shows are very well organized. Get there early and make reservations for a sit-down lunch at one of the restaurants. Stand-up restaurant lines got a little busy between 10am and 2pm. Some areas are currently under construction as of 12/02, but should be great when reopened. An annual pass is a good deal if you plan to go back. Some packages include Discovery Cove package. They have VIP tours for people who want guides or have special needs. All bags were searched, so don’t take anything you don’t want gone through.