The Story of VacationCentralFlorida!
Over a Decade of Vacation Rentals!
Once upon a time in a faraway land, a young prince lived in a shining castle.... Oh no, wait a minute, different story...
This is a story that starts with our son, however. We have always loved Walt Disney World and made countless trips to Central Florida over the past many years. Through all those years, we always talked about owning property close to Disney. Living in the midwest in Ohio and Illinois, we had looked at Florida properties but never had the "nerve" to jump in for one reason or the other. Maybe you have been the same way. We always wanted to be real estate investors, our dream was to start a Condo Rental business so we could host families who would bring their kids to Disney World. Boy were we in for a ride!
Our son Daniel was born in 1992, and literally knew no vacation other than the Disney parks from age zero to about age 14. People thought we were crazy going there sometimes 2 or 3 times a year. We'd pour every extra dollar we had into buying gas just to drive to Florida, calculating how much it would cost us to eat every meal. Friends would say stuff like "you know there are other places to go, right?", but we didn't listen! When 1999 changed over to the year 2000, we were standing right there on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, watching the fireworks!
I can say for sure Daniel "grew up at Disney". When he was a baby we would always take him back to the room for his daily nap and then right back to the parks at night. We would take Daniel to Disney as many times a year as we could afford to. Today, because of all those trips, he knows his way around the theme parks almost better than his own neighborhood at home. Today, he loves to take friends to Disney and "show them around".
During the time Daniel was growing up, we looked at ways to start that first rental unit. There were not many condos being built in those early days, most were hotels when we had our original idea. We were too far ahead of the curve. So we stayed both on and off Property in just about every hotel, in the campground, and spent what little we had trying everything out. We stayed just about everywhere! We always looked for the best way to stay in Florida around Disney but not spend a fortune. It's a challenge as you know, it can be very expensive! We considered the Disney Time Share, but we wanted something more. Then we found it.
Everything changed for us one Spring, when we took the leap and bought our first Condo on nearby Cocoa Beach with a view of the NASA Launch Pads right off the balcony. It was our first Condo, and the perfect place. The Closest beach to Disney. Year round beach fun - and Disney was just minutes away too! We opened the Cocoa Beach condo to guests and it was an instant hit. Unit 701 at Sandcastles sold out almost from day one, and STILL gets rave reviews to this day because it's right on the ocean, you can watch and hear the waves right from the balcony. I invite you to look at the unit, by CLICKING HERE.
With 701 at Cocoa Beach a smashing success and in such demand, we knew what we had to do. We wanted to own more properties - but this time we followed our original dream - the closest properties to Disney World. The idea was to open a condo that families could actually AFFORD, and have a much better experience than simply staying in a small hotel room. We love families and kids, and wanted families to be in our Condos. We imagined Daniel back at age four and what we wanted for him back then. That was our guiding principle - With everyone always running around and families split up and under time pressure constantly at home, how can we build something that puts families together for a much needed break from all the craziness of life? How could we help kids have a great and Magical experience with their families?
We located the best Condo units that were the CLOSEST to the Disney Main Gate and started looking at them all. After countless hours of searching and research, and thanks to Florida's greatest realtor Mike Derenthal, we located unit 302 at Windsor Hills. With that as a starting point, we built out unit 302 and added all the special touches. SEE IT HERE!
The day we launched 302, that's really when our lives changed. The beach condo was cool, was bringing in some good income, and was renting out very well, but now we were really doing what we loved - a Disney Condo! This was what we had dreamed about for all those years, and worked so hard to scrape up the money for. I can't tell you how many sleepless nights I stayed up late crunching numbers into the wee hours to make unit 302 become a reality. Owning a vacation Property is a lot of unseen work, but it is certainly something we love to do. So, we jumped into the True Disney Condo business and didn't know what would happen. Wow, we didn't know WHAT to expect!
The funniest thing happened. Soon as we launched it, Unit 302 at Windsor Hills took off like a rocket. It was such a huge and immediate sell out success that it dwarfed the Cocoa Beach property. It was stunning and even surprised both Patti and I. Apparently there were a LOT more out there just like us! We were getting emails from people with email addresses like "dznyfreak" and it was clear that we were not alone! The calls and emails flooded in from Minnesota to New York, Oregon to California, it was incredible. Once 302 was launched, we had to change phone numbers because the phone rang constantly. No, really - AROUND THE CLOCK 24/7. We had to get a second phone line it got so out of hand. 302 was an immediate success, our second "hit" after the beach condo. We looked at each other and said "let's keep going!"
Meanwhile, real estate prices had started to crash in Florida. We just kept acquiring more units as the prices went lower and lower, because we KNEW that families would always come to Central Florida - the greatest spot in the world! We picked up units any way we could, buying foreclosures, bank sales, short sales, distressed properties, you name it, all while prices kept crashing and everyone was leaving the condo business. While everyone was selling, we were buying! Our friend John Cline (who I had discussed this with over and over and over), was first to join us, and purchased a unit alongside ours, then several more as those all took off to great success too, using our same formula that Patti and I used for unit 302.
By this time, we were growing by leaps and bounds, and we met many folks getting in on the buying spree in Florida Real Estate. Other condo owners at Windsor Hills were trying to get out, and now approaching us to buy their units from them (which in many cases, we did)!
Cocoa Beach and the Space Coast began to take off for us, and we continued to pick up units all along the beach! All this time, Patti and I continued to buy units, picking up Townhouses, Condos, and more. And the real estate prices kept falling as we kept buying.
In 2009, we finally made the decision to pack up and leave the Cold Illinois winters for good. When we drove out of Naperville, Illinois it was 14 degrees, I will never forget it. Got to Florida and it was in the 70's and beautiful. Now it is Central Florida Year Round for us. Yeah, it can get HOT in the summer and now we deal with humidity, but it's great, our blood has thinned out, and now 70 degrees feels COLD to us! For the first year once we moved to Florida, we actually LIVED at Windsor Hills in one of our units, with all of our stuff in storage until we could find a home. So we can tell you everything you would like to know about Windsor Hills - from the standpoint of someone who actually LIVED there for over a year. It took us a year to find our home, but we finally landed in our true Florida home for good in Windermere, Florida.
We now live less than 5 miles from Cinderella's Castle - our beloved Disney World, and Windsor Hills. In fact, we can see and hear the Disney fireworks EVERY NIGHT from our back yard. We see our Illinois and Ohio friends and family more now than ever before it seems, since everyone comes to Florida to visit regularly! Being so close to all of our Windsor Hills properties, we have a great time watching over them very closely and keeping them maintained in top shape so they remain ready for your vacation. We are an hour from Cocoa Beach and go there regularly. Patti sometimes misses the snow from the midwest, but I must admit that I don't. January, February and March are my three favorite months of the year here, it is gorgeous! We have great weather year round, and love being Florida Residents.
We became a Florida company when VacationCentralFlorida LLC was born in 2012. The structure is in place now for an unlimited future of growth, and it is very exciting! Now that we have a solid base of excellent units, we can cherry pick ONLY THE BEST new properties for you. We just recently bought our latest unit, which makes 58 Vacation Homes on our website. This latest one overlooks all of the Disney World Fireworks every night! Wow!! SEE IT HERE
Future plans and growth call for the company to grow by adding additional vacation properties in other places all across Florida. Most recently, we have been expanding further in Cocoa Beach and other Brevard County beaches.
In 2015, Our son Daniel graduated from College and joined the company, so now we have him running the Central Florida / Disney division, while Patti and I focus more on growing our presence at the Beaches.
So, it all started as a hobby and is now a full time job as the company builds. Daniel will one day take over when Patti and I decide to retire many years from now. We now have people working for us both at Disney area as well as at the beach. Our website VacationCentralFlorida.com features all that is great about Windsor Hills, and we now rent to over 3,000 happy guest families just like yourself every year, and units maintain a very high occupancy rate year round. We operate on the premise of "When you do what you love, and love what you do, Success comes to you". And it is true, we LOVE vacation properties and second homes, as well as helping other owners of those kind of properties reach their maximum potential.
Things changed big in 2016 and 2017 when we began signing exclusive agreements with partners like Expedia, VRBO/HOMEAWAY, Priceline, Air BNB, Trivago, Tripadvisor, Booking.com, Kayak, and so many more. We now attract a Worldwide audience and are translated into many languages around the world!
The most important thing is how you feel about your stay. We are committed to your stay being 100% great. You can read RECENT REVIEWS By looking at any property and scrolling down to REVIEWS!
We teamed up with a software company in Southern California to produce ONLINE BOOKING for all of our units because it is so much more efficient. To See our Online Booking Engine, JUST CLICK HERE Our level of re-bookings indicates that we are doing things the way you like, as families are returning to our individual owners each year in big numbers. We also started up our WINDSOR HILLS NEWSLETTER, be sure you get signed up so you can be FIRST to hear all about the special priced weeks when we release them. It is a free-to-join email newsletter that now reaches thousands and thousands of Windsor Hills lovers, as we send out emails of special rates and information regularly:
Thank you so much for helping us make our dream come true. Without you staying at our Condos and Townhouses, none of this would have ever been possible. Your family is the reason we do what we do, we love kids and we love families. And we'd love to have you stay at any of our Condos or Townhouses. I know you'll never stay in a hotel again once you try us, we hear this almost every day. We are committed to you and your family having a FABULOUS vacation!
I'd also love to hear from you. Write me with any questions, we'd love to help you, whether you've NEVER rented a Condo and have no idea what to do, or you have already learned why you will ALWAYS rent a condo instead of a hotel, call or write us an email. We always read and respond to every email.
Maybe you are interested in doing what we did. Ask me, I am happy to share with you some great info, I know you probably have a zillion questions if you are thinking about ownership of something like a unit you can rent out and use yourself too. After all, that's how we got started. Can you do it? Sure you can. We are living proof!
Thank you again and hope to see you soon in Florida! As I said, please bookmark us, and if I can give you any advice at all, it would be to BOOK EARLY at this site because at our rates, we sell out EVERY SINGLE NIGHT OF THE YEAR (or if not, very close to it) at all of our units, and we hate it when folks call us looking for a condo or Townhouse and we can't help. We seem to be selling out earlier each year, so be sure to book early!
-Dave Robinson, The VacationCentralFlorida LLC Brands:
To Book any Condo, or just ask questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org