it doesn’t get any better

filed under: Miscellaneous on December 26, 2013

Our family just got back from a vacation to Florida.  The focus of our vacation was visiting Walt Disney World.  We are BIG into Disney.  Obsessed even?  Yes,  completely.  It is the most magical place on earth!

One thing we have always done on our trips to Disney is stay ‘on property’. There are certain perks that come with staying in one of their resorts; like extra magic hours or fun pools or proximity to parks.  Less hassle if you will.

Or so we thought.

All Star Vacation Homes


Since we are now a family of seven, staying on property was just too expensive.  We would have to either get a suite or two separate rooms, which meant we were looking at $800-$2500 a night.  A NIGHT.  (and a logistical nightmare)  Even if we did look for the cheapest property that Disney had to offer, what that meant was very small rooms with very few amenities.  Basically a bed in a room with a bathroom four feet away.

Picture it.  Mom trying to sooth baby to sleep as a toddler bounces off the walls from all the sugar he ate in Disney and the rest of the kids are whining and crying all wanting to watch a different show on TV or being upset they have to wait for the bathroom or just generally sick of each others company.  All in a tiny hotel room.  For five days straight.

As anyone with children knows, that seems more like a nightmare than a dream vacation.

So my sister and her husband Kurt came up with this idea.  Lets rent a house near Disney.

Al Star Vacation Homes

 They did extensive research and settled upon the highly rated All Star Vacation Homes.  Then they focused of the rest of the details;  how many bedrooms, bathrooms, pool, kitchen size, etc.

All Star Vacation Homes


All in all it was my family (7), my sisters family (3), and my mom and dad (2).  Twelve people total.

Angie and Kurt ended up finding and reserving a home that exceeded all of our expectations.  I can’t wait to tell you how much this beautiful mansion cost us.  (Read on to find out!)

They found a beautiful home that had two master suites and an addition beautiful bedroom as well as two themed kids rooms.  Each family had their own space!

All Star Vacation Resorts

We had a fully furnished kitchen to meander into in the mornings.  I quite fondly remember being woken up by the familiar hum of the Keurig machine when my husband brewed himself a cup.  We could brew a cup of our favorite flavor, sit out by the pool and watch a glorious sunrise every single morning.

Sunrise from our All Star Vacation Home

And we could do all that while others slept in and enjoyed a few extra minutes of undisturbed sleep.  Try doing that in a cramped hotel room!

All Star Vacation Homes

The house also had an AWESOME kids suite with bunk beds and media center and the best Giant lego set.

All Star Vacation Homes


And a princess suite with a castle bed and the cutest chandelier ever.  The kid in me was just as excited by this room as my little girl was!

All Star Vacation Homes

 As if the adorable kids bedrooms weren’t enough, there was also a playground in our enclosed yard!

Right next to the pool!

All Star Vacation Homes

I mentioned above that we are a Disney family.  We LOVE Disney and every wonderful ride and experience it offers.  The whole reason we got the house was to be able to go to Disney!  But do you know what?  My kids favorite part of the vacation was this pool.

And honestly, I don’t typically relax at a public pool.  I am very concerned that my kids don’t splash others and am usually watching their every move making sure they are safe and courteous at all times.  With this being our very own pool, I actually sat back and let the kids be kids.  They screamed and splashed and jumped in and had SO MUCH FUN!  (It also helped that the pool was completely enclosed within a security gate and that there were pool alarms in every door with a backyard access.  VERY helpful with little kids!)

All Star Vacation Homes


And to top it all off, we were LESS than 10 minutes from Disney World!  It was a shorter drive from our house to the Animal Kingdom than when we actually stayed at Disney Beach Club!

All of these things truly made for a fabulous, fun filled vacation.  You are probably thinking that you could never afford this.  I know I thought that when we first looked at the images online.  But guess what?  This stunning luxury home was LESS than $400 a night.  After we divided that cost between three families, our share was less than $250 a night.  For a family of seven!!

I still can’t get my head around that.

Staying in a luxury home for our vacation is one of the best decisions we could have made.  I highly recommend them for anyone interested in a luxury Disney vacation!

Here is the link to the property we stayed it.  It looks exactly like it does in the pictures!

Be sure to check out this post.  I wrote it while in Florida (in our rental house!) and was completely inspired by the beauty around me.

We planned and booked our vacation all on our own.  (And when I say we I mean Angie and Kurt; they did all the hard work.) All opinions and recommendations are my own and I was not compensated to write this post.

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  • angie says:

    the trip was so much fun!!! cant wait to do it again : )

    • Amanda says:

      Me either!

  • TidyMom says:

    oh wow Amanda that is incredible!! what a fabulous idea and what a deal on that price!! certainly WAY better than a hotel!!

    • Amanda says:

      Isn’t that amazing what a great price it was? Its wasn’t discounted or anything… that is standard! 🙂 Maybe we should get some blogging friends together, rent a mansion, and have a girls weekend?

  • Amy @Very Culinary says:

    That is awesome!! Great idea to rent a house. Now all I need to do is find 8 more people to join us…

    • Amanda says:

      (you’d think I am on their payroll but I am totally not) The neat thing is they have slightly small homes for even cheaper! A family of four could find an even better deal! 🙂 Hope you had a fabulous Christmas sweety!

  • Christy says:

    That sounds awesome! That’d be so much fun to do with either a couple of my friends or my parents and brothers family! Hopefully in the next couple years we can do this!

  • Christy says:

    Oh and seriously after looking at that house, how did you convince yourself to get back on that plane and fly back? I think I’d have just hidden in a closet or something and never left! That kitchen is to die for!

    • Amanda says:

      It was tough!! I kept telling everyone I didn’t want to leave… 🙂

  • Kim @ Homesteader's Heart says:

    I tell you what. You planned a great time to come. We’ve had unseasonably warm weather this Winter. I’ve had my tank top and flip flops on every day but maybe two so far.
    I’m glad you found a great deal. I think sometimes they over price things like that but it’s always great when you can split the price with someone else.
    Oh and I’m pretty sure I would have wanted to sleep in the princess room. *smile*
    Have a lovely day.

    • Amanda says:

      I know!! When we were sitting in FL and it was in the 80’s, it was a -20 degree windchill here. That was a 100 degree difference in temperature! We felt SO fortunate to have had our vacation temps be as beautiful as they were. It was wonderful!!

  • Patty says:

    Wow, what a fabulous idea. We love disney too! We love staying on property the wilderness lodge is our favorite. However this year we would love to invite some extra family along to celebrate a special anniversary and the stay at the Wilderness lodge would be 12,000 dollars. Gulp! The house you stayed in would be perfect for our family and less than half the price.

    What did you do for transpiration? Did you rent a car – or I guess cars? Was parking a nightmare? Did you ever take taxis?

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Patty! We drove to Disney, so we had a car. My sister and mom rented a car! Parking was exactly the same as if we had stayed on property!

  • Patty says:

    Thanks for the reply. I have never parked at Disney before. We always have to fly, then staying at a Disney hotel we just took disney transportation to the parks!

    I think we are going to do the vacation house!

    Thanks again for your great unbiased review – seems they are becoming rarer on the blogs theses days.

    I love your website! Very pretty, great humor and oh so pretty cakes!

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks Patty!! Please do let me know how things turn out. I really truly honestly loved our All Star experience and hope that you enjoy yours too!!

      • Patty says:

        I certainly will! Won’t be til December! It’s our 25th Wedding Anniversary! Oh My! Where did the time go?

        Thanks again.

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