Accept what Fantasy World is before you arrive and you can't go wrong. This is a seriously good, reasonably priced accommodation for Orlando with great facilities for kids.
We were a party of three, my partner and 8 year old son visiting from the UK. I've been to Orlando 7 times in the past 10 years so think I've got a decent grasp on the place and what makes a good quality stay especially for fellow Brits of which there are many making Orlando your holiday vacation.
I've stayed at hotels on I drive and on the 192 and rented villas in Davenport and have to say that I really prefer the freedom that a villa / condo has to offer. It gives you more room, the ability to make your holiday your home away from home. The accommodation at FWR doesn't give you your own private pool but does give you the benefits of a Villa with the added bonus of great "resort" and "hotel" type facilities.
I read the reviews of FWR in detail before I booked and there seemed to be a real Marmite vibe about the place. People either seemed to love it or hate it with no middle ground. I didn't let the negative vibes put me off as the positives seemed to outweigh the negatives and it was a decent price and I did what I always do and I set my expectations accordingly. I knew it would not be perfect but if we embraced it for what it was we would be ok. I was proved right!
I do think if some who have posted very negative reviews here had done the same then perhaps they would have enjoyed their stay a little more.
First, location. If Disney is your main destination during your stay then its perfect. Just off the 192 near mile marker 10 it's as close as you can get. 10 mins drive to all the parks, walking (yes, walking!) distance to a couple of restaurants and even the local Publix store though a 3 min drive will take you to a massive Walmart store. The local Olive Garden does a take out menu which we used and really enjoyed. Even if your planning to visit Universal and the likes of Sea World it's still a great location with both 15 to 20 mins drive if that.
Check in was fine. friendly and efficient. Took around five minutes to pay the extra resort fee (which I forgot about!) and get our pool wristbands. We were given property 2012, just 2 mins walk over road from main reception. To us it wasn't the updated properties that some seem to rave about but even so it was just fine! All the mod cons, decent kitchen, sofas, dining table, TVs in each room, two decent sized bedrooms etc etc
Based on previous reviews I expected the Wifi would be practically non existent - I wasn't disappointed, practically the only place you can rely on it is the reception and bar area. We got it every now and then but please don't expect to be surfing and facetiming folks at will.
I expected the washing machine to be loud and the drier to take forever to dry items - I wasn't disappointed. Both are very much the case. We ended up drying our gear on tables and doors and out on the patio when the sun was out.
Other niggles - The back door leading to patio jammed, the showers were not great, the hair dryer poor, the remote on the downstairs TV was hard work....
However, really, these are minor issues, and some are very common gripes on the reviews here so it was no surprise to us and we didn't even bother reporting them, I'd rather just get on with fun stuff than spend my time waiting on reception to get back to me.
We asked for an upgraded unit but were not successful but again I really struggle to agree with the negative reviews on here about the accommodation. Are the older accommodations perfect? No of course not! If you want perfection and have the cash then maybe try a posh Disneyland resort hotel, Gaylord Palms or a Condo in Celebration. The majority of ones at FWR are not brand new, it seems, are not ultra modern but they serve the exact purpose needed. They provide a clean comfortable base for your Orlando break. TVs in every room, shower and toilet downstairs, big fridge, cooker, microwave, toaster, coffee machine Etc. Yes, the kitchen isn't as well stocked as your own home or Gordon Ramsey's kitchen but they have all the essentials you need. We managed many breakfasts, lunches and dinners without problem. If you need something that isn't in the kitchen then phone reception and they will provide!
The pool and activities are excellent with something going on most if the day every day. There are two big slides (the yellow one in on par with some fast theme park one), a lazy river (better than the one at Legoland) and a nice warm pool open 9am-11pm. It was always popular but never had an issue with getting a lounger. There is a pool table, small arcade, activity centre with free Internet access and a small gym. in the evening the bar area was good and a great place to socialise and meet friends. Happy hour is 4-7 and the bar man (Dustin) friendly and helpful.
Our 14 night stay via Expedia came in at around £600 (900 dollars at 1.53 rate) including the 175 dollar resort free added by reception which I forgot about!
in summary our view is that this is excellent value for money and worth every penny. As I say, you do need to set your expectations. If you want to spend your holiday moaning and getting stressed about every fault and detail then FWR I am sure will give you plenty to gripe about. If, however, you accept it for what it is, that its not perfect but that is reflected in the price then you really can not go wrong and will have a great stay. If we are fortunate to be able to come out again I would certainly consider making FWR our base for our Orlando stay even if I could afford somewhere with better reviews.
Finally, a tip for any Brits not flying direct which was what I did for the first time in coming here this year...... Please AVOID transferring in Chicago at all costs! It's terrible, really bad and when I mentioned to Americans we met it is apparently common knowledge in the States that changing in Chicago "sucks" and is most definitely not "awesome"! In fact the border control officers first words to us was "so you folks had the misfortune to change in Chicago!" 2 hour wait! And this was a quiet day!!! So my advice Is either spend extra and go direct or change somewhere (anywhere!) else.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Family friendly townhouse resort offering activities for all ages. Amenities include a zero entry pool, lazy river, two water slides, kiddie splash zone, 18 hole mini golf, daily scheduled activities, tennis, basketball, shuffle board, bocce ball, batting cages (softball & baseball, covered playground and covered playground. Guests enjoy scheduled transportation to the theme parks. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Fantasy World Club Villas Hotel Kissimmee
- Fantasy World Hotel
- Fantasy World Resort
- Fantasy World Florida