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Orlando Resorts: Mystic Dunes
Looking for Orlando resorts? My family and I lucked up on a great one. We just returned home from Orlando and Disney World. This was the first time I’d been to Orlando, Florida in years. Two of my daughters, their husbands, six of my grandchildren, my husband, and I all made the trip. It was the first visit to Disney World for my husband, the six grandchildren, and me, although my daughters had been several times. We had a blast at Walt Disney World! The younger folk spent the entire day at the Magic Kingdom and stayed almost until the park closed. Hubby and I started off there, just so we could see the kids’ reaction to the Disney magic. The old man and I took in a few attractions at the Magic Kingdom, then we headed to Epcot for the rest of the day with our park-hopper tickets. Disney World was amazing, but not all our fun was found there. Part of the reason our trip was so successful was because of the resort where we stayed. Choosing from among so many Orlando resorts can be a daunting task!
When you’re searching for Orlando Resorts, you’re probably going to be overwhelmed with the sheer number of choices you have. When we were first planning a trip to Disney World, we began checking out Orlando rentals. At first, we thought an Orlando vacation house would be our best bet, as all of us could stay in the same big house. Since there were twelve of us, our choices were limited. We didn’t find many vacation houses near Disney World that could sleep a dozen people.
Next, we considered one of the Disney resorts, but again, we didn’t find any units that slept twelve. We thought about renting two separate units at one of the Disney World Resorts, but the ones we liked were not in our budget. We could have rented hotel rooms at Disney World that were in our budget, but they were rather small. We certainly didn’t want to be cooped up in a hotel room with too many people. Besides, we really wanted to have our own kitchen and dining room so that we could prepare some of our own meals. Most of the Orlando resorts we found not only included full kitchens, but they also provided dining rooms or areas, two or three bathrooms, living rooms, and two or three bedrooms.
Walt Disney World
Our travel agency, Orlandovacation.com, chose Orlando condos that were near Walt Disney World, since visiting the theme parks was our main reason for the vacation. We worked with a woman named Rosa Maria, and she helped us narrow down our search for affordable Orlando resorts that were near Disney World. We also purchased our Disney World tickets through her.
The resort Rosa Maria chose for us was Mystic Dunes Resort & Golf Club. Of course, we found the place online to see what it looked like. It seemed a perfect fit for our group, so we booked a reservation. Actually, we reserved two of the condos at Mystic Dunes. We asked for two units on the ground floor that were located close together. Rosa Maria said she’d put in the request, but that she couldn’t guarantee our wishes would be fulfilled. These Orlando condos were supposedly located just a few miles from Walt Disney World. Depending on which part of Disney World you’re talking about, the resort was anywhere from three to nine miles away. Again, that sounded good to us.
After we booked our reservations and ordered our tickets, my youngest daughter and I happened upon some reviews of Mystic Dunes. Most of them were terrible! Comments included things about the condos being dirty, old, and in bad repair. Some commenters even mentioned insects in the condos. We also found numerous reports that said the staff at Mystic Dunes was very rude. We called Rosa Maria to get her to change our reservation to one of the other Orlando resorts. She said she’d be glad to do so, but she added that she’d never had any complaints about Mystic Dunes. We thought it over and decided to stick with our initial choice. How bad could it be?
Mystic Dunes – Orlando Condos
Four of the grandkids rode with hubby and me, and we arrived hours before the rest of our party. Mystic Dunes was easy to find. It’s located just off Highway 192, one of the “main drags” in Kissimmee/Orlando. When we first saw the resort, it looked great. The entry was attractive, and the grounds were well kept and nicely landscaped. The guard at the entry gate let us in when we told him we had reservations. He also told us how to get to the main office. This place is huge!
Check-in was 4:00 pm, and we arrived at the office at 3:55. There was only one person ahead of me in line, so I was checked in quickly, by Penelope. She was extremely friendly and helpful. I’m not very good at holding my tongue sometimes, so I told her about the reviews we’d read about the rude staff. She was genuinely surprised. Our Disney World tickets and information package with coupons were handed to me at the check-in counter. She gave us a map of the resort and told us how to get to our condos. We were happy to find out that our two condos were next to each other, both on the ground floor. We were still sort of holding our breath, though, as we weren’t sure what we’d find once we opened the doors.
I can’t tell you when I’ve been so pleasantly surprised! Both condos were sparkling clean, and they were large, too. We had requested a crib, and it was waiting in one of the condos. Our units each had two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a kitchen, a dining area, and a living area. The master bedroom and second bedroom were carpeted, and the carpeting looked brand new. The rest of the condo had quarry tile floors. At the rear of the unit was a screened-in patio with a table, four chairs, and a ceiling fan. Out the back door of the patio was a strip of lawn and a hedge row that separated the condo building from the golf course.
The master bedroom had a king size bed and a huge bathroom, with two separate sink areas, a closet, a walk-in shower, a private toilet, and a raised two-person jetted tub. The second bedroom had two queen beds. Adjacent to it was a full bath with a tub/shower. There were plenty of towels in both bathrooms, and all the beds were super comfy. Each bedroom also had its own television.
The living room included a very large TV, shelving units, a sofa, a chair, and a coffee table. The sofa made into a queen size bed. The dining area included a large glass-top table and seating for six. There was also a breakfast bar and stools between the dining room and kitchen.
We found the kitchen to be very functional. It had a refrigerator, a stove, an oven, a toaster, a coffee maker, a dishwasher, and a built-in microwave. There were also adequate pots, pans, dishes, glasses, and cooking and eating utensils. Best of all, there were a washer and dryer in the kitchen, along with a small box of detergent. Since we had six kids with us, we knew the washer-dryer would come in very handy!
Mystic Dunes has four pools, and all are heated to 85 degrees. One pool was very near our units, and it had tables and chairs, lounges, restrooms, and a wade-in entry. That was nice for the toddlers we had with us. At the far end of this pool was a baby pool with a mushroom fountain – perfect for our little ones. Clean beach towels were available for guests at all the resort pools.
We wanted to see the big pool, so we consulted our map of the Mystic Dunes Resort. As I’ve already said, this place is sprawling, so we drove to the pool. It was awesome! The pool was large, and the surrounding area was even larger. In the pool was a huge rock formation that included waterfalls and a two story slide tunnel within the rock. Of course, this was a big hit with the kids. Surrounding the pool was a stoned area with lots of tables, chairs, and lounge chairs. There were also private cabanas with televisions. Near the gated entry to the pool area was a tiki bar that served wonderful drinks. At the rear of the pool area was a sandy area where kids can play and build sandcastles.
We spent three nights at Mystic Dunes, and not a one of us had any complaints. We had a wonderful time, and checkout was a breeze. And we didn’t even take advantage of all the resort has to offer! There’s an 18-hole championship golf course, miniature golf, tennis courts, basketball courts, dry cleaning service, bike rentals, a free shuttle service, supervised activities for kids, room service, and a restaurant onsite. Getting to Disney World from the resort was a snap (thanks to Penelope's directions), and along nearby Highway 192 are numerous restaurants and stores. For someone who didn’t know this area at all, everything we needed was easy to find. The resort was far enough away from the hustle and bustle to be quiet, but it was close enough for convenience.
We’re all still scratching our heads over the bad reviews we read about this place. Some commenters even referred to Mystic Dunes Resort as “Mystic Doom.” We just don’t get it. The place is a timeshare, and some reviewers said they had to sit through a long, boring sales pitch. We didn’t. In fact, we weren’t even asked if we were interested in purchasing an Orlando timeshare. Our condos were spacious, attractive, clean, and comfortable. All the staff members that we had interactions with were friendly. The pools and pool areas were clean, with lots of outdoor furniture and lots of clean towels. And I haven’t even told you the best part yet – our condos were less than $100 per night with the deal we got from OrlandoVacation!
Back to the negative reviews. I read that the resort is under new management, so maybe that’s what made the huge difference. Or maybe we just got lucky and ended up with a condo that had been recently refurbished. But the other condo we had was identical to the first, so that wouldn’t really make sense, unless our entire building was one that had been recently updated. That still doesn’t explain the comments about the rude staff – unless the new manager hired new employees. I can honestly say that our stay was perfect, and I have absolutely no reason to mislead you. I don’t “have a dog in this fight,” so to speak. I wasn’t asked to write a review, and I won’t be rewarded in any way for doing so.
If you’re looking for Orlando resorts that are conveniently located, fun, convenient, and affordable, check out Mystic Dunes Resort. Or, if you prefer other Orlando condos, let OrlandoVacation help you find the perfect one for you and your family. I know the agency works with several resorts in the Orlando area. You’ll like Rosa Maria. She’s very easy to talk to, and she’s also professional and efficient. If you have any questions or concerns, just give her a call and she’ll take care of you. Every detail of our Disney World vacation went off without a hitch! We’ll be returning to Disney World soon, but we no longer have to search for accommodations. We know that when it comes to Orlando Resorts, Mystic Dunes is our home away from home.