Wednesday, 12 October 2011

More Birthdays! (where's the cake??)

This weekend saw the 20th birthday of WDW's Old Key West Resort

Lighthouses are essential in Central Florida - even more so, if like this one, they contain a sauna
So why do we care?

Because it is one of the 3 hotels in which I will be staying on my upcoming trip - YAY! (for me)

The OKW property was opened 20 years ago as Disney's first Vacation Club (think time share) property. The DVC has proven to be a huge money spinner for Disney as they pull in every sucker provide unique and discount holiday experiences for thousands of guests every year. Imagine getting your guests to pay for building the property!! It's a financial planners dream come true.

I know - but it's late at night, and this was the fastest cartoon I could find. Sometimes I look hard, sometimes not. What do you damn people want from me??!!
The property runs very much like any timeshare holiday apartment - buy points in DVC to get access to a range of DVC properties  - both the half dozen in the World and some of which are not - such as Hawaii and the US east coast.

Like all Disney resorts Old Key West has a theme. This one is based on the Florida Keys islands that are off the tail of Florida. cue Bertie Higgins:

Don't let your kiddies watch this video - several now illegal activities are portrayed.

I really think Eleanor La Gore should have been in that video? She is SOOOO Florida Keys

Back from that little diversion.
Disney has given this an old-southern-Florida-holiday-timeshare-apartment-complex-on a golf course-theme. Pastel shades, timber floors and blinds, palm trees. In fact I am not sure there is even a hidden mickey in the place.

I've just realised .... that's exactly what OKW is  ...  you know what this means ???  

OKW is the only part of WDW that is real! I go to WDW cause everything is FAKE FAKE FAKE - but this resort actually is the very thing it copies!  I don't want real .... I'm so confused!

As a community service I have labelled the real timeshare resorts and the fake Disney timeshare.
 Oh - with that mind twist gone - let's get back to the overview.

Being the very first DVC property, OKW set the standard for what was to come. Self contained apartments, no maid service, no room service, no porters, no elevators and your own washing machine. The joy of OKW is that it has the largest rooms on property, and they were just refurbished in 2010. Look at the shot above and you can see the new floors, blinds, granite benchtops, paint, tiles, couches (or maybe upholstered) - re-painted furniture etc 

Have a look at this walk through video where we open the door, wander around and to get a good view of the whole room. All to the sounds of Disney tunes Caribbean steel style! (see we all have a little bit of Eleanor inside each of us ...take it way boys....)

Let me add that not only does that chair fold out to a single bed, the couch goes out to a queen - so the villa sleeps 5. Also not shown is the laundry room: off the bathroom the laundry room has a full size washer, dryer, safe, vacuum cleaner (yeah right) extra bedding etc.

Anyway - so how come I am staying on DVC property? Surely Mrs Banks hasn't wasted hard earned money invested in her next 37 years of holidays in Disney resorts? Oh don't be silly - no no no no.

You can stay at these resorts as a hotel guest, paying cash. Way too much cash. The cheaper option is rent DVC points off a DVC member (who has discovered that he cannot really afford everything that goes with that bi-annual WDW holiday.) Mrs Banks happened to secure me a discount cash rate last February. 

I'm all ready to sip my pina colada's from my balcony overlooking the golf course, with the sound of fireworks off in the distance. I'm getting used to it already.

photos were sourced from Walt Disney Company,, Mouse Planet,,

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