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Last week we had the opportunity to stay at the Encore Resort at Reunion just outside of Walt Disney World in Kissimmee, Florida. If you want the comfort of having a home rental, but the security and amenities of staying in a full-scale resort, this is the place for you. I’ve never had an experience like we did at the Encore Resort and I can honestly say it will be one to remember for a long time. Here’s our full review of the Encore Resort at Reunion.
Encore Resort at Reunion provided us with a complimentary stay. All opinions are our own.
When Encore first reached out to us about staying at the resort, I knew this was going to be the perfect place to explore traveling with multiple families. Since we are local and we wanted to travel during our spring break, I invited two other families from our homeschool group to stay with us.
We had 14 people in all. Our group consisted of six adults and eight children, ages 5, 6, 10, 10, 13, 14, 15 & 15. As you can see we had mostly older kids, but still a range to entertain.
Encore Resort has everything from a 3-bedroom to a 13-bedroom home available to rent. Imagine the possibilities of who you travel with when the house sleeps 20! Each house comes with a private pool and all the resort services and amenities listed below. Check out their rental home sizes and rates here.
We stayed in a nine-bedroom home. Our home included three master bedrooms, one downstairs with sliding glass doors to the pool. The two upstairs bedrooms overlooked the pool and water park. The master bedrooms had full-size bathrooms with showers and garden tubs.
Five more bedrooms were upstairs. One more in addition to the master was on the ground floor. Three of the six remaining bedrooms had private bathrooms. Two at the front of the house shared a bathroom in the hall between the bedrooms. Our teen girls were happy with this arrangement.
Each bedroom had a queen or king sized bed. One room had twin beds, and the teen boys shared this room. Each bedroom also had a smart TV.
The Common Areas
The home itself was simply and tastefully decorated. The kitchen had two refrigerators and two dishwashers. This was key when you’re feeding a tribe of 14 and more than half are kids!
The living room area had a full-size sofa, loveseat, and three chairs. At any given time we weren’t all in the living room and kids often sat on the floor, so this seemed like plenty of room.
Because we were three local families and our husbands still worked during the day, we had six vehicles. This was not a problem as we had a 2-car garage and room for 4 vehicles in the driveway. This was not something I would normally think to look at when evaluating a multi-family home, but it turned out to be a key factor.
Upstairs in the loft, we had a game room. This was a big hit with all the kids and even some of the adults. The area had a television, an arcade game with 60 different classic games, and an air hockey table. These things kept the kids busy while the adults were getting everything ready in the mornings for our outings. We loved it.
Overall Impression of the Home
Everything was immaculate when we arrived. The beds were comfortable. The kitchen was well stocked with serving ware and everything seemed to be in working order.
Encore Resort provides a “starter package” of a garbage bag, laundry and dishwasher detergent, as well as sugar and creamer for coffee. You will need more than that for your stay, and I would recommend a grocery delivery such as Shipt to bring you more cleaning supplies. There’s also a small convenience store in the clubhouse that sells additional paper towels, detergents and grab and go snacks.
I kept the pool section of the home separate because it was such a huge part of the attraction of the house for us. Each vacation rental home at Encore Resort has a private pool and hot tub.
If you are traveling in the colder months, and for us Floridians, March is still a colder month, you’ll want to turn on the heat to the pool. This is an added charge during your stay.
The pool deck was open, though I did see some screened in pools in the neighborhood. We had plenty of seating, both around the pool and in the covered porch area.
The pool, once heated, was lovely with no over over-chlorinated smell. We did see pool maintenance two or three times while we were at the house, so they are constantly checking to make sure your pool is comfortable.
While the resort has a water park, (see below), we used the pool and hot-tub frequently throughout the day and especially in the evening. If you’re traveling with multiple families, and you want to venture out separately during the day, the pool is a great way to connect with everyone in the evening. We noticed that with the family next to us as well.
Here’s where you get the value of staying in a full-scale luxury resort, yet have all the amenities of a home rental. Encore Resort offers the following amenities that you wouldn’t get in a traditional home rental. Some of these you wouldn’t get at a hotel either. Truly, the best of all worlds!
- Gated community
- Free shuttle to the theme parks
- Bike and Surrey Bike rentals
- Volleyball, Basketball, and Tennis courts
- Full-size Soccer Field
- 24-hour security
- 2 Full-Service Restaurants and 2 Full-service bars
- Dining Delivery
- Spa Services in the home
- Fitness Center
- Water Park
- Pool Area
- Free WiFi
- Authorized Disney Ticket Seller
- Equipment Rentals such as grills, cribs, strollers and more
The resort and grounds were immaculate. Everyone we encountered was friendly. I saw no reason why this wouldn’t be considered a luxury resort.
We did get one night of a catering package that was incredible. I’ll share a full review in a separate post.
The Water Park
This was probably the pinnacle of what makes Encore Resort at Reunion the must stay resort for your visit to the Orlando area. What other resort has a water park?
Located just behind the clubhouse, and a short walk from many of the homes, the pool area was truly phenomenal. At 10 acres, it’s big enough to offer something for all ages, yet still small enough to let the teens roam while we kept an eye on the younger kids.
There are three types of water slides. An enclosed tube slide with single and double tubes allowed us to take the 5 & 6-year-olds down the “big kids” slide. My favorite was the wave racer. Here you go face first on mats with a timed challenge pitting you side by side. It’s fast and fun and a great way to challenge your kids! Finally, the Stormchaser was the ultimate thrill ride where you stand on a platform and the bottom drops out. You shoot down the slide feet first. This one was not for me, but most of the older kids tried it at least once.
In addition to the big slide, the Surfing Safari Splash area was so much more than a splash pad. The younger kids could not get enough of this space. It’s a playground with water features such as smaller slides, water cannons, water fountains everywhere, and a giant bucket that tips about every 15 minutes.
I should also note that the water park area was fully staffed with lifeguards at the pool, the top, and bottom of the slides, and at the splash area.
Reviews from the Kids
This is the most important part, right? Why we travel with our kids in order to provide them with an incredible and memorable experience.
Here’s what each of the 8 children thought of our stay.
“My favorite part was walking in the house.” ~ age 5.
“I liked the green slide (the storm chaser)” ~ age 10.
“My birthday.” ~ age 15 (We were staying on the day of her birthday and because we had a full kitchen, we were able to run to the store and have an ice cream cake, presents, and an overall pool party for her special day.)
“Spending time with friends” ~ age 14
“My favorite part was the water park, friends & family.” ~ age 6
“Everything!” ~age 10
“I liked playing games with my friends.” ~ age 15
“My favorite part was hanging out in the pool and having a movie night.” ~age 13
As for the adults, we all agreed we enjoyed having a private pool, plenty for the kids to do, a full kitchen, a catered dinner, plus spending a lot of quality time together as individuals and as families. This experience is one we will treasure for a long time.