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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Default Pros and Cons of OKW Resort

    After doing a preview stay at the Sheraton Vistana Villages last month, we're looking to possibly buying a timeshare in Orlando. From what I have learned, it appears that Orlando is oversaturated with timeshares and has low trading power with RCI and II outside of Orlando. As such, I'm an now looking into the DVC as I have read that DVC resorts are not only among the highest rated timeshare resorts but are very good with regard to trading to other resorts.

    In looking at the various DVC resorts, I believe that OKW is the one we are interested in for a number of reasons (larger units, theme, price, etc.). We are a family of 4 (ages 9 and 7) from NJ and have been to WDW once a year since 2003 with two visits the last two years.

    I thought it would be a good idea to ask DVC owners on Intercot what they like and dislike about OKW and how it compares to the other DVC resorts in Orlando.

    Thanks.
    JANNINO

    1991: Offsite
    1992: Offsite
    1995: Offsite
    2003: All Star Movies
    2004: Port Orleans Riverside
    2005: Wilderness Lodge
    June 2006: Pop Century/Polynesian
    Dec 2006: Port Orleans French Quarter
    June 2007: Contemporary
    Nov 2007: Offsite
    DVC Member Since 2008

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Too Far from WDW!
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    Pros:
    • Large accomodations, particularly 1BR & larger
    • Nice theme
    • Clean, manicured grounds
    • Views of golf & water from most rooms
    • Good bus service
    • Water ferry to DTD & SSR
    • Proximity to DTD
    • Proximity to golf
    • Nice main pool w/ slide, numerous quiet pools
    • Olivia's Cafe
    • Great Community Hall
    • Nice "boardwalk" area (small main area near pool)
    • Gurgling suitcase
    • Tennis
    • Basketball
    • Overall - a very, very nicely done resort
    • Awesome kitchens in 1BR & larger
    • Huge baths/whirlpools in 1BR & larger
    • Marina with rentals
    • Lots of freebies to DVC members (like DVD rentals, pool toy rentals, etc.)


    Cons:
    • Bus service to all parks
    • Very spread out (you could be FAR away from main pool) - for some this is a positive
    • Bus service used to be inconsistent (has improved a lot over the years)
    • Only 1 sit-down restaurant
    • No real CS - it's a take out window


    Love the place - not too much bad to say about it. Only downfall is that the length of your DVC contract will be shorter than if you purchased at SSR or VAKL.
    Frank

    DVC Owner
    BWV, BCV, SSR

    Upcoming
    February - Presidentís Week 2018 - Copper Creek VWL
    March 2018 - BWV
    August 2018 - OKW
    September 2018 - BLT

  4. #3
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    What does "gurgling suitcase" mean?
    JANNINO

    1991: Offsite
    1992: Offsite
    1995: Offsite
    2003: All Star Movies
    2004: Port Orleans Riverside
    2005: Wilderness Lodge
    June 2006: Pop Century/Polynesian
    Dec 2006: Port Orleans French Quarter
    June 2007: Contemporary
    Nov 2007: Offsite
    DVC Member Since 2008

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    It is a small bar just off of the main pool.
    CAN'T WAIT TO GET BACK TO WDW AND OKW!!!!

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JANNINO View Post
    What does "gurgling suitcase" mean?
    Yes it is a bar - but it epitomizes the theme of OKW. It's a small "hole in the wall" type of place. Lots of atmosphere, almost no place to even sit... it reminds me of some real Key West watering holes!
    Frank

    DVC Owner
    BWV, BCV, SSR

    Upcoming
    February - Presidentís Week 2018 - Copper Creek VWL
    March 2018 - BWV
    August 2018 - OKW
    September 2018 - BLT

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Location
    Harlingen, Texas, USA
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    Just to add a couple others to the pros and cons:
    Pro:
    If you have a car, you can park very near your own unit
    Likely feel that you are in your "home" rather than a "hotel" (although some people prefer the hotel feel on vacation)

    Cons:
    No room service
    No valet service

    Since DH travels and stays in hotels so much for business, this is one of the reasons he loves OKW-the home rather than hotel feel.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Atlanta
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    I really like OKW. We bought at SSR, but will stay at OKW for the second time in September. The pina colada's at The Gurgling Suitase are second to none. If you enjoy walking, it is not all that bad. We stayed at South Point and would walk to the Main Pool and Hospitality House often. We also walked on the trail to SSR. You can also hop a bus to the HH because all buses stop there last before heading out to the parks. Compared to SSR, the buses were much better. As you have learned, the rooms are much more spacious and you use less points to stay at OKW.
    ~Tripp West
    Dream CMO Top 3!

    1977, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1993, 1996, 2000, 2005, 2006,
    DVC Trips
    12/2006(SSR), 2/2007(OKW),9/2007(OKW),12/07 (ASM-Got a great AP Discount),3/08 (BWV)

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    East Lake Tohopekaliga, FL (Saint Cloud)
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    Although we own shares in SSR and AKL, we still actually prefer staying at OKW. There's just something very restful and "homey" about the resort.

    OKW was the first resort built specifically for DVC, and it pretty much served as the experimental resort to determine what worked and what didn't. One lesson that they apparently learned (unfortunately!) was that future DVC rooms/suites could be smaller than what they built at OKW. The units that we have stayed in at OKW are quite a bit larger than those at most of the other resorts.

    I do have to agree that the fact that there is only one sit-down restaurant - Olivia's - in the resort is a bit of a negative. Olivia's is great, but it's small and it's often difficult to get a table on a walk-up basis.

    Beyond that, I really can't say anything negative about the resort. I suspect it will always rank at or near the top of our list of favorites.
    Ed
    Senior Imagineer Emeritus

    Welcome to the INTERCOT forums !


  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Jersey Shore
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    Another Pro:OKW in the 1 bedroom and larger models have a huge laundry room with full size washer and dryer unlike the newer DVCS which I believe have smaller stackable washer/dryer in a closet. It really allows you to spread your stuff out comfortably.
    Aug 1974 Fort Wilderness
    Aug 1981 Fort Wilderness
    Oct 1986 Polynesian
    Oct 1992 Beach Club
    Aug 1998 All Star Sports & Wilderness Lodge
    Feb 1999 Grosvenor
    Aug 1999 Beach Club
    Aug 2002 Yacht Club
    Feb 2007 Old Key West
    Jan 2009 Old Key West
    Jan 2010 Boardwalk Villas

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Poconos, Pennsylvania
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    Although our home resort is BWV, we most often stay at OKW. As a childless couple in our mid-late 30s, we especially enjoy the theme and the quiet, laid back atmosphere of the resort.

    Some of our pros:
    Really enjoy the home atmosphere vs. a hotel-type experience.
    There's really not a bad view to be had. Lots of wildlife - ducks, squirrels, etc. to enjoy when sitting on the balcony.
    Rooms, although some are in need of some updating, are always clean and comfortable.
    A bus stop, pool and laundry facility are never too far away.
    The ease and convenience of renting a boat and crusing around.
    The OKW style music that's always playing in the common areas - really puts you in a relaxing, vacation mood.

    Some of our cons:
    Wish there were more dining choices.
    For some reason, it's always difficult for us to get our entire stay booked at OKW - probably just a room issue or length of stay issue on our part, but it would be nice to not have to move during our trips.
    Really, really wish there was more comfortable seating in the studio rooms. There's no couch or comfy chairs to sit and watch TV or just relax at the end of a long day. You have your dining chairs and the really chintzy plastic chairs from the balcony and your bed - those are your seating choices in the studio. Even a small love seat would be nice.

    Overall, we totally enjoy every minute of our OKW stays and would highly recommend it for those wanting a relaxing vacation. It's so nice and quiet at the end of a busy day and really is just like coming home I just love the way the security guards say "welcome home" when you drive through the gates
    DVC Member Since 2000
    1998 - Offsite (Our Honeymoon!)
    1999 - Offsite
    2000 - GF & BWV
    2001 - BWV & OKW
    2002 - OKW
    2003 - OKW
    2004 - OKW
    2005 - OKW & Gaylord Palms
    2006 - OKW & Omni Champions Gate
    Most Recent Magic! - November/December 2007 - OKW & AKL

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Poconos, Pennsylvania
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    Quote Originally Posted by JANNINO View Post
    What does "gurgling suitcase" mean?
    I can't remember where I read it - I think it's on the paper handout they give you at check in that lists the activities. But "gurgling suitcase" was the name given back in the time of prohibition when people would smuggle alcohol in their suitcases. All that liquid would make a "gurgling" sound - hence the name.

    During the time of prohibition, Key West was a major connection point for alcohol smuggling - that's the OKW connection and why they chose the name for the pool bar.

    Now if you ever get on Cash Cab, you'll have some more useless trivia to win a prize with - LOL!
    DVC Member Since 2000
    1998 - Offsite (Our Honeymoon!)
    1999 - Offsite
    2000 - GF & BWV
    2001 - BWV & OKW
    2002 - OKW
    2003 - OKW
    2004 - OKW
    2005 - OKW & Gaylord Palms
    2006 - OKW & Omni Champions Gate
    Most Recent Magic! - November/December 2007 - OKW & AKL

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Antioch, Il USA
    Posts
    265
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    Default

    It's quiet there, a nice escape from the lunacy of the parks
    LOVE the music that plays around the lobby area.

    Only con for me. Buildings w/ elevators are scarce.

    Other than that: We LOVE it!
    "Come on Nana!"

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