(Editors Note: Mystic Dunes Resort and Golf Club was formerly known as the Palms Country Club and Resort and is located at 7900 Palms Parkway in Kissimmee, Florida)
We purchased a three bedroom lock-out by resale – obviously the ONLY way to go! We paid just over $1,000 (other owners here told us they paid more than $25,000 for the same thing!). I've seen negative reviews before, as well as positive (it seems like people either love it here or hate it) so I did not know what to really expect. We had an early flight, but went to the resort anyway to see if we could at least drop off our luggage. We arrived around 1 pm and were told that we could check in immediately. I was asked to wait a few minutes until someone could take us to our room.
The villa was huge! The girl who took us to our room tried to get us to agree to a timeshare presentation, likely to try and sell us a points upgrade. We told her that we bought resale, and she politely gave us her phone number and then left us alone.
Did I already tell you the unit was HUGE! Everything was clean and in great shape. The kitchen was great with everything we needed to cook meals. The microwave was a little small, but not a big deal. The washer and dryer worked great. There was also a huge jacuzzi tub in the master bath which was fantastic. We has a screen balcony which was great. I've seen reviews complaining about noise from other units, but there was no noise or problems with any noise at any time. There were people all around us, so I don't know if that is a problem with other buildings or just a case of people who like to complain. When I asked the front desk, the guy there said that he thought many of the online reviews were actually fake and that companies often posted bad reviews about their competition. He said these same companies would then call you to try and sell you reputation management, where they would then go in and delete the nasty stuff. Not sure if it is true, but it would not suprise me.
We used the swimming pool at building 31. It was not crowded and was very clean. There never seemed to be many towels though. Not sure why unless people came down and took them in the mornings. We brought our bath towels from the room, and just did laundry when needed.
We ate at the clubhouse several times and found it good. My husband played a round of golf and said the course was good. Not great, but good! He also played golf at Orange County National and at the MetroWest Golf Course. He said both were a little better than Mystic Dunes, but not by much.
Because Mystic Dunes is so close to Disney, the resort was very busy. There were many families there and the kids were able to play with others at the pool and playground quite a bit when we weren't at the theme parks. I don't know if there were any activities or child care. I didn't see it advertised and didn't ask.
We went to Disney twice. Spent a day at the Magic Kingdom and then the next day at Epcot. The kids liked Magic Kingdom better, but also had a good time at Epcot trying all the different food and riding the few rides there. My husband drank too much, but we still had a great time. (I think he was trying to drink a beer in each country- never a good idea.). We also went to Universal Studios which was the best day we had at a theme park. The boys are into Harry Potter and that world was just amazing. Had to stand in line for almost two hours to get on the Harry Potter ride, but even just walking though that world was really neat. All the other rides at Universal were reasonable wait times. We really have a great time there and I think the rides are much better than Disney! We at dinner at Bubba Gumps in the CityWalk complex and the food was delicious. Fattening but really good. Kids didn't really understand about Forest Gump, but it was fun for my husband and I.
I have to say that I believe this timeshare will be a great purchase for us! This was the best vacation I can remember. We probably did way too much and spent far too much money on our trip, but it was our first vacation in years and we wanted the kids to really have a great time. I would rate this resort with five stars!