Buying a vacation home in Orlando, Florida – Our Journey as vacation homeowners
How it all began
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base…Oh, no, wait a minute, different story.
Let’s try this again…
Once upon a time in a not so faraway land, there lived a mighty king and queen who spent most of their lives working very hard. They were blessed with two beautiful children. One day, they decided to show their young prince and princess the magical universe of Walt Disney World. As soon as they had bravely ridden all the exhilarating rides, and eaten enough cotton candy to last a lifetime, the young children said, “Daddy, this was the best day ever!” At that moment, the king knew that this would be the perfect home for many little princes and princesses from around the world. To make that dream come true, he bought a fairytale vacation castle where all families could stay.
That was the moment our journey as property owners began. We wanted our own fairytale castle in which to spend many holidays at Walt Disney World with our children. We saw the look of happiness in their eyes and knew that this was what we wanted to share with other families too.
In the beginning, we had no experience in the vacation rental business. We had been real estate investors and property managers for many years in Portland, Oregon, but this was the first time we had fully invested in ourselves. All we had was a dream, just like Cinderella, when she wanted to go to the ball. In May 2017, only two months after a week-long holiday in Orlando, we took a leap of faith and bought our first vacation home in the prestigious Regal Palms Resort.
We chose this property because it was nothing short of magical. There are many family-friendly amenities such as the lazy river, pools for all ages, on-site restaurant, 24-hour gated security, and many more. After we bought the home, we turned into fairy godmothers and started the design and remodeling process. Our goal was to give our guests the “Best Day Ever” experience of a lifetime, and our motto became, “Don’t let the fun end at the parks.” The prince wanted a Star Wars room, and our princess asked for a Frozen theme. We accepted the challenge and rubbed the magic lamp to grant their wishes.
All our guests fall in love with our Star Wars and Frozen Castle at Regal Palms Resort (Click link to take a virtual tour). It was an instant hit that made our dreams grow even more. We realized that we needed a bigger castle. We bought a six-bedroom family home, with a private pool and backyard spa, in Windsor Palm Resort. We redesigned our popular Frozen and Star Wars rooms to be even more amazing. However, this time we had more room, so we also created a Superhero fun room with a large TV and foosball table. The success of both homes gave us that familiar feeling once more. We named our second home, the Luxury Disney Dream Home. (click the link to take a virtual tour).
In November 2018, we bought a smaller townhouse in Windsor Palms as a cozy Mickey Mouse paradise. After all, Mickey belongs in Orlando. Along with our signature Star Wars room, we created two others, including a royal master bedroom for other loving kings and queens. We used “The Incredibles” theme because, “The family that fights together, stays together,” couldn’t be truer. We wanted this to represent strong family bonding, especially if families got into arguments. Our third home is called Mickey’s Retreat. (click the link to take a virtual tour).
The success of managing and thrill of owning three magnificent properties carried us on Aladdin’s magic carpet to our fourth home in Regal Palms Resort. We chose this paradise again because of all the amenities that bring families together for endless fun. This time, the little princess said “LEGO,” and the prince asked for “The Avengers.” We quickly picked up our tools like Snow White’s Dwarves and got to work while singing “Heigh-Ho.” This sensational castle had its grand opening in June 2019. Our fourth home is called The New Avengers Headquarters. (click the link to take a virtual tour).
Finally, we embarked on a whole new world in Emerald Island Resort. This fifth home became our first family one-level palace with a large pool and plenty of space for nine people. The bigger, the better, right? This home was not in the best condition when we found it, but neither was Cinderella’s pumpkin. We worked our fairy dust magic to transform this home with exquisite flooring, modern countertops, and other brand-new furnishings. We also added a superb game room. In July, the Mickey and the Avengers Universe at Emerald Island was born filled with Star Wars, Avengers, The Incredibles, and Mickey Mouse designs.
(click the link above to take a virtual tour and see our panoramic pics of the fantastic game room and living room).
After buying five properties, we did think we were a little crazy. But that is the power Disney has over us. Walt Disney inspired everyone around the world to dream. We did all this so that our family, and yours, can always live in a fairy tale.
Hope you enjoy reading my blog post. My name is Mike Chen and I’m a real estate agent in the Orlando, FL area specializing in vacation, investment, and residential homes. I’m a huge Disney fan and I absolutely love this area. I would love to talk to you about what it would take to get you into a new home in this area. I look forward to speaking with you!