global resort home logoOn our recent trip to Walt Disney World for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, we had the amazing opportunity to stay at a beautiful Orlando-area vacation rental home from Global Resort Homes. The experience, our first in a vacation home, was quite different (in some really good ways) from staying at a Disney resort hotel.

Orlando Vacation Home Rental

There are obviously many differences between staying at a hotel and a vacation home. First and most obvious is the size difference. Hotel rooms, even at the more luxury hotels at Walt Disney World, are only about 800 square feet – one room, one bathroom. I often feel cramped and claustrophobic as soon as the bags are unloaded. On the other hand, a vacation home has a living room, kitchen, separate bedrooms and bathrooms. In other words, you have plenty of space to relax and put your feet up even after you unpack.

orlando vacation home global resort homeA Comfortable Home

I admit to being a tad apprehensive about staying at a vacation rental home. This was our first experience staying in a rental home as a family and it was our first time to Disney not staying at a resort hotel. One of my fears was that it I would feel uncomfortable and not quite “at home” in someone else’s house. From the moment we walked in the door to the spotless and tastefully decorated home, I was comfortable and my apprehension was gone. Honestly, I kind of imagined it might feel like staying at a relative’s house where everything is nice and comfortable but you feel like you’re walking on eggshells and you can’t really relax. Thankfully, I was wrong. The decor is so neutral and attractive that it’s really comfortable. It looked like what I wish my house looked like and we just made ourselves right at home.

Room to Relax (and Save)

For our family with young kids one of the absolute worst parts about staying at a hotel is trying to get the kids to go to sleep. We’ve swapped war stories with other parents about hiding in the bathroom after putting the kids to bed so they won’t see us and get distracted. And, even if you stay out of sight, a single room is simply not conducive to multiple sleep schedules, bedtime routines and getting a good night’s sleep. At our vacation home, each of our kids was in their own bedroom. Putting them to bed was almost as easy at it is at home, and our toddler really got into the idea that he had his own new bedroom for the week.

I feared we might miss out on some “Disney magic” staying off-site, but I have to tell you we really didn’t miss anything.

Rental Home vs. Disney Hotel

We’ve been to Walt Disney World twice as a family. The first time we stayed on site in a Disney “moderate resort” and on our recent trip we stayed in a vacation home located several miles from Walt Disney World. While Disney does have a lot of free transportation between parks and resorts, we just found it easier to drive our car every day to the different parks while we stayed at the resort. So, the transition to staying off-site and driving to the park every day was not difficult for us. The drive from our rental home to each park was about 10 minutes. It was really convenient, and the roads are well marked to get you where you want to go.

Granted, staying off-site will require a car of some sort, so if you fly into Orlando you would need to rent a car. Another downside is that you have to pay to park at Disney when you are not staying at a Disney resort. The Windsor Hills resort where our home is located does offer a shuttle to Disney parks, Universal and SeaWorld for a fee, but we did not use this service so I can’t speak to its value.

Another major consideration is food. If staying off-site you are not eligible to purchase the Disney Dining Plan. However, you do have a fully equipped kitchen so you can buy, store and prepare your own food. The first night we arrived at the house we stocked up on some basics at the local grocery store. We ate breakfast at our home every night, had fresh baked cookies at night and could have easily cooked every meal there. The stainless steel kitchen appliances were awesome and there was literally every single gadget, pot and pan you would need to prepare meals.

Why Global Resort Homes?

About Global Resort Homes

Since 1993, Global’s mission is to set a new standard of quality in the Orlando Disney vacation home market and maintained a distinctive level of service for homeowners and their guests.

Global has continued to grow and evolve with the changing times and continues to be at the forefront of the vacation home industry in both vacation home rentals and real estate sales. Today, Global’s team of over 50 professionals maintain and manage over 200 resort homes and Global’s Real Estate team consists of over 35 Real Estate professionals. Global’s dedication and commitment to its guests and homeowners remains and will continue to be the very essence of the company.

Our Global Resort Home Experience

orlando vacation home windsor hillsOur experience with Global Resort Homes was nearly flawless. And, in Orlando where location and proximity to the attractions is key, Global Resort Homes has an assortment of properties near Walt Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal. From 2-bedroom condominiums to spacious 7-bedroom homes, Global Resort Home properties are located in resort communities that offer added benefits and amenities to enhance the experience.

Windsor Hills, the resort community where we stayed, has many amenities.

  • 2 bedroom condos, 2 & 3 bedroom townhomes, 3 to 6 bedroom homes
  • Homes have private screened swimming pool and spa
  • Townhomes have small pool
  • Master suite with king or queen size bed and TV
  • Master bathroom with garden tub and separate shower
  • Fully equipped kitchens with breakfast area and formal dining area
  • One or two living areas with TV, VCR or DVD player
  • Washer and dryer
  • Homes available with game rooms that include billiards, table tennis and air hockey
  • Homes available with play stations for kids

Our main issue with the home had to do with our kids “exploring” the home, which wasn’t childproofed. Within 5 minutes of arriving, my daughter pulled a place mat from the beautifully set dining room table and broke a plate and bowl in the process. Global Resort Homes was very gracious about it and said “No worries, things happens.” In fact, when things break (within reason), Global Resort Homes replaces them at no charge to the guest.

Tour Our Home

Overall, I highly recommend Global Resort Homes. We had a beautiful home and certainly didn’t feel like anything was missing from our Disney experience. What we lacked in proximity to the parks, we made up for space, comfort and excellent sleep for all of us.

To Rent or Not to Rent

To Rent… We had an amazing experience staying in the Windsor Hills resort. I think the vacation rental home is perfect for families – large and small – the separate bedrooms, kitchen and amenities are invaluable. It’s a great option for traveling with extended family, too, as you can all be together but have your own bedrooms and private space. And, how much fun would it be to rent a large home and split the cost with another family?

Or Not to Rent… You’ll have to rent a car to get around the area and will have to pay for parking at local theme parks and attractions. Vacation homes lack the convenience of hotels (no concierge, maid service, etc), but they do have the comfort of home and that’s worth a lot when traveling as a family.

Rental Rates: Vacation rentals with Global Resort Homes start as low as $79 a night. 2-bedroom condominiums in the Windsor Hills resort are available from $122 per night, and 5 bedroom homes like the one where we stayed are available for $278 a night.

Plan Your Vacation Today! If you have any questions about Orlando Vacation Homes with Global Resort Homes, call 877-582-6967 or visit Global Resort Homes online.

Disclosure: Thank you to Global Resort Homes for providing a resort home for the purposes of this review. Opinions expressed are my own and uninfluenced by receipt of product. Others may have a different experience.


Kate started The Shopping Mama™ in January 2009 when, after graduating law school, she traded in online legal research and writing for locating the best products for children. She shops for three kids ages 8, 6 and 3 from their home in Japan. Her military family is making the most of back-to-back overseas assignments by traveling every chance they get.

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  1. 1.

    I’m absolutely shocked at how amazing that home is. It put the tiny little condo we stayed at in southern FL a few years back for 3 times the price to shame.

  2. 2.

    The house looks fabulous! I think it’s really awesome they didn’t charge you for the broken plate and bowl 🙂

  3. 3.

    I am in awe! I never knew about this and its nice to know about if I want to take the family to Disney. My kids have their own families and it would be a great time together. I love the house and I am so surprised that everything is included. I love it!

    • .

      It really is ideal for families. My mom went with us when we went to Disney in September – so we had to get 2 hotel rooms. This vacation home would have cost the same (or less) than the 2 rooms and we would have had infinitely more space, separate bedrooms and our own pool!

  4. 4.

    Thank You! This is perfect timing. We live in Florida and we like to stay on Disney property but with a family of 6, this is not always possible (unless you want to spend thousands of dollars on your hotel every time).

    I am definitely going to be checking Global Resort Homes for our next trip.

    Have a great week! -Kitty

  5. 5.

    This is an amazing review Kate! I love your virtual tour of the home. We love staying in homes like these when we go on vacation. We find ours through Vacation Rental By Owners (through both companies and individual owners). It definitely has many more benefits than a hotel room!

  6. 6.

    Wow it looks amazing! Thanks for sharing and if you got out with just a few broken dishes, then you did good!

  7. 7.

    Great review and that house looks amazing. We just came back from a trip to Austin and trying to make our son go to sleep was a nightmare. We paid about the same price for our small hotel room as you did for your house in Orlando so I’m feeling like I’m going to rent a house for our next trip (whenever that is).

  8. 8.
    Jennifer H

    Wow, great review! I had no idea prices were that low for a rental and it’s a really nice rental. 🙂 We live near Orlando, so we do not need this, but when family comes in town and things are too crowded, this is a great option for them! Thanx for the info!

  9. 9.

    This is the house i rented for June!! I am so excited to see it. Dont forget that your readers can get 15% off global homes when they call by using the word BLOGRADIO

  10. 10.

    Very nice review – we have visited Florida a lot in the last 16 years and have contemplated staying at a place like this but never have. I think we will consider it next time we vacation there.

  11. 11.

    I loved my stay at the Global Resort Homes Condo. It is still roomy but small enough and affordable!

    And Global Resort Homes DOES offer maid service, I love that! You have to pay a small fee of course, but at least you don’t have to clean the house yourself while on vacation. Plus, their offices are wonderful with customer service, I wouldn’t hesitate to call them with any questions you would give a concierge 🙂

  12. 12.
    Megan H

    We are starting to plan a trip to Disney and these rental homes are beautiful.

  13. 13.

    Looks like a lovely place!

  14. 14.

    Wow! Just wow! That is amazing! What a wonderful place to come back to after being at Walt Disney world all day!!

  15. 15.

    So nice! We are planning on going to orlando soon and will definitely check out this company!

  16. 16.

    This home looks fabulous. We are going to Orlando in July with two other couples plus kids and we always love to stay in vacation homes. They are just fabulous!!

  17. 17.

    Thank you for the wonderful feedback! Global prides ourselves in world class customer service and quality vacation homes in the Orlando/ Kissimmee area. We are happy that you enjoyed your stay and look forward to welcoming you back to Global in the future.

    Best Regards,
    Jason Germaine
    Global Real Estate Services

  18. 18.

    Oh Kate, it looks perfect. I’ll have to think about doing that next time I drive up. It looks MUCH more comfortable than staying at a hotel.

  19. 19.

    One of the problems with staying in the park is that you never “get away” from Disney to relax. This might be a doable alternative…

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