The weather report was right. We awoke to thunder and rain so we were glad our fist stop was the Wyndham Timeshare at the Magic Kingdom.
When we arrived at the resort we filled out the usual survey and after a brief wait we met Betty who escorted us to the sales room for a continental breakfast.
We’re writing a book about how to get the most out of your timeshare unit – now it’s called Vacation Ownership, so are always looking for more info. This turned out to be a very productive meeting and we learned a couple of things we didn’t know. The Wyndham Company is a very aggressive player in the vacation ownership market and actually owns RCI which, along with Interval International, runs the whole timeshare exchange system.
We also learned how you can run a vacation business by not only renting out your own timeshare unit but also booking people into get-away specials.
We also got a much better understanding of the Points system and how each resort group converts from one system to another. The best analogy would be the regular world monetary system of dollars, euros, pounds, etc. Each of the major resort groups has their own internal points system that you can use to exchange units within that group. So, you have Wyndham Points, Shell Points, Disney Points, Marriot Points, etc. but there is no real direct correlation between them. Outside of each proprietary group point system are RCI Global Points that are used for exchanges between the different groups. RCI Global Points are also used by smaller resort groups that are not big enough to have their own internal system.
It’s all pretty confusing and we’re sure that is deliberate to prevent the consumer from making comparisons. We will go into much more detail in our book.
It was still raining when we left the resort so we headed off to Downtown Disney and Disney Quest.
Unlike the other theme areas, parking for Downtown Disney is free. This is because Downtown Disney is just a huge outdoor mall rather than a Theme park. It was still raining a little so we went to DisneyQuest first. Our “Touch of Magic” pass includes admission to two major them parks and one minor, so we used it for DisneyQuest. DisneyQuest is a five-story building full of video games and electronic rides.
We spend several hours here and had a good time. The line ups for the major rides were not too bad and some of the experiences were, for us at least, unique.
We particularly enjoyed the Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for Buccaneer Gold and the Cyber Space Mountain. The Buccaneer Gold ride is a virtual reality experience where you fire cannons from the deck of your ship. The all-encompassing screens seem to track your actions pretty well.
If you’re a roller coaster fan, you’ll love Cyber Space Mountain. You start by building your own coaster using a computer terminal to assemble section of track. Then you get to ride what you built.
Your custom coaster design is fed to the virtual reality screens of a gimbaled hydraulic two person ride chamber. Every twist, turn and tumble you designed is matched by the car. If you lose your lunch you only have yourself to blame.
By this time the rain had stopped so we decided to check out the rest of Downtown Disney. Nothing remarkable – lots of restaurants and overpriced souvenirs. We briefly contemplated getting tickets to Cirque de Soleil but at over $100 each decided we had better things to do with the money.
So, we ended what turned out to be a pretty good day with a glass of wine in the Jacuzzi.