by Terry Ward
As long as you know what to expect at this sprawling Diamond Resorts International timeshare resort located a few miles from Orlando’s theme parks, Liki Tiki Village can be ideal for a family vacation in Central Florida.
For starters, the Kissimmee property’s name might be Polynesian and the website waxes on about a Polynesian theme — but don’t come here expecting anything along the lines of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Set on 64 acres, the 638-condo property of one and two-bedroom units that can be connected to sleep up to 10 people doesn’t have much in the way of Polynesian design going on. Sure, there are a few thatched buildings near the pool areas. But it’s really about the location and pretty setting here, as the resort is by lakes and with lots of things for families to enjoy. Among the onsite activities are two pools and a water park, mini-golf, tennis, basketball and a lake with paddleboats to go exploring.
Built in 1987, Liki Tiki Village was bought by timeshare company Diamond Resorts International in 2012. And while many of the guests are spending their timeshare weeks here, plenty non-timeshare guests also book in for an affordable stay close enough to the theme parks to be convenient (Disney World is just 7 miles away) but a bit removed from the fray.
The gated property is lined with sidewalks, giving access to the three main pool and waterpark areas, as well as the harbor area by the lake. South Village Oasis is where you will find the main swimming pool, fitness area and outdoor grills for family barbecues. And regularly scheduled events and activities organized around the property include things like karaoke, beachfront mixers, bingo and more.
After a busy day at the theme parks, however, what you and your gang might be most excited about at this property is getting back to spacious digs where you can cook your own food, watch a movie on the DVD player and rest up for another day back at it at Disney, Universal Orlando or SeaWorld.
Our Editor Loves
- Full kitchens and condo-style units
- Exciting onsite water park
- Onsite lake for paddle boating
- Horse Back Riding
- Theme Park
- Water Parks
- Water Sports
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Game Room
- Kids' Pool
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
With some 638 condo-style accommodations spread between three areas on the property, Liki Tiki Village feels like just that -- a village. Your room will either be in the two-story townhouse style buildings (with no elevator), or in the highrise buildings. And you can request resort views or else views onto a neighboring wooded area. All accommodations have either a patio or a balcony to walk out on and a full kitchen stocked with all cooking equipment including toasters, blenders, coffeemakers and more (stoves, ovens and full refrigerators, too). All units also have full washers and dryers to make it easy to keep everyone in fresh clothes despite a sweaty day at the theme parks. Renovations are ongoing throughout the resort, and while upgraded bedding is standard in all condos, the dÃ©cor is still dated in some. If looks are important to you, be sure to specify that you want an updated room. Cribs and rollaway beds are available upon request, free of charge. First-floor ADA rooms are available and must be reserved in advance.
The smallest rooms here are complete one-bedroom condos that can sleep a maximum of four people. These rooms have a queen size bed in a separate bedroom, a full kitchen and a living room area with a flat-panel TV with a DVD player. The dining room table, just off the kitchen, has four chairs. All of the one-bedroom condos are found in the high-rise building.
Two-bedroom condos (1,000 square feet) sleep up to six people. They have a master bedroom with a king size bed and separate bathroom with a shower and tub, and a second bedroom with two twin beds and a full bathroom in the hall. There is a queen size sleeper sofa in the living room to sleep an additional two people. Two-bedroom condos are found both in the town home configuration or in the high-rise building, so if you have a preference, be sure to make that known when you book. There is also a full kitchen. And there are TVs in both bedrooms and the living room, where there is a DVD player, too. A separate dining area has a large table with six seats and there is additional bar seating in the kitchen.
As many as ten people can be accommodated in Liki Tiki Village's most spacious accommodations, which have three bedrooms and three separate baths and are, in fact, a combination of the one and two-bedroom units (with a connecting door). In this layout, the master bedroom has a king size bed, there is a queen size bed in another bedroom, and two twin beds in the third bedroom. This layout has two living areas, with a queen sleeper sofa in each. You also have access to two kitchens and two washer and dryers between the two units. Another option for connecting rooms is the two-bedroom deluxe layout, which links two one-bedroom condos by a connecting door.
by John M
This place is an apartment/condo on vacation. You have stove, oven, toaster, refrigerator, microwave, tv, etc...like being in a home away from home instead of being in a hotel. So you can cook your own food and get a good deal.
Measuring this in comparison to my home resort there were a few things that bothered us the whole time. The room was nice and large - the set up was great. It was very clean. They provided anything that was needed up front. I was not fond of the pool layout - there was not really a central congregating area for both adults and children where you could have drinks and relax while kids played. Also the pool is manned to prevent people going to the pool area without a bracelet which seems very unfriendly - every day we spent all our time worrying about $30 bracelets which should cost about $1 to replace especially since you are already paying a fee. The bar/restaurant is situated way in the back and the staff there seemed very put out all the time, there are not a lot of food options. Also my father is in a wheel chair and they placed him on the top floor - this should definitely be something stated up front if its an issue - there is an elevator but accessibility was more difficult because of this. The adult pool did not have an open tiki bar and its far away from the children's pool. We had problems with the treatment products they used in this area (hot tub/pool). The biggest complaint we had honestly was that the pool was always closed when we got back from the Disney parks - the kids wait to go back in after and we never could. It would be roped off. The great features of our home resort were not present here - lighted area for the pool so kids could stay in until bed time, drinks next to the pool, mimosa's in the morning, bingo by the pool a couple times of day - just a friendly open atmosphere - this was more private closed off, spread out.
The resort has two swimming pools -- one at the front of the property and one in the center -- that are open year-round and heated during the cooler months. There are no lifeguards on duty at either, and young children who aren't potty trained are required to wear swimming diapers. At the rear of the property, near the highrise buildings, is the main attraction, the Liki Tiki Lagoon -- a 1.5-acre, 220,000-gallon water park where your kids are guaranteed to want to spend most of their time. Here, there are five waterslides (including a fun twisting one the kids will beg you to go down with them), a waterfall, a wave pool with gently rolling waves, a "volcano" that erupts with water and many other features that spray and squirt. The water in the waterslides isn't heated and can be cold in the winter, but the pool area here is otherwise heated. Lifeguards are on duty at the waterpark from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. in the winter and until 6 p.m. during the summertime.
Your resort fee includes access to tennis and basketball courts and equipment, paddleboats at the onsite lake (a small affair with a dock for access to the boats), a sand volleyball court, corn hole, mini-golf and even fishing rods and bait if you want to try your luck casting in the lake. You can also cruise around the property on surrey bikes, included in your resort fee -- they can be loaned from morning until about 5 or 6 p.m., depending on the time of year.
A small arcade near the front desk area has air hockey and some car racing games and is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.. You can purchase tokens onsite.
On arrival, you'll be given an event calendar to see what's planned in the way of entertainment during your stay. Every night, there's at least one activity that might include a game of bingo in the activities room, a beachfront mixer by the lake beach, karaoke nights, Mario Kart challenges and more.
Most families staying at Liki Tiki either cook meals in their full condo kitchens or head out to dinner at any one of the hundreds of chain and independent restaurants located nearby (you're in theme park central here, after all, and options are abundant). For eating onsite, there's just one option -- a casual poolside restaurant open for lunch and early dinners only.
Shipwreck Sally's Bar & Grill
Located right near the Liki Tiki Lagoon water park area, this casual outdoor-only restaurant makes a good option for lunch or dinner when your kids are splashing around. The seating area is outside only, so on cooler winter days, you'll want to dress accordingly. The menu covers typical bar and grill items such as burgers, salads, chicken sandwiches, pizza and other snack foods. There are highchairs for kids. And the kids' menu, with all items priced at $6.99, has the usual suspects such as burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken fingers and hot dogs. All kids' meals come with fries, but you can request fruit instead. Shipwreck Sally's is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and until 10 p.m. on weekend nights, but note that the kitchen closes 45 minutes prior to closing time (so get your order in before then).
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
There is a $16 per day resort fee (that comes out to about $18 after tax) that covers things like Wi-Fi, paddleboats, tennis and basketball gear and all other sports inclusions and activities.
There is an onsite gym, open from 5 a.m. to midnight, with cardio and weight equipment that includes an elliptical, treadmill and more.
The Art of Smart Timing
All activities -- including tennis, basketball, and the water park and swimming pools -- are available and open all year long. Weather in this part of Florida is very hot for much of the year, from about April through October. The weather is pretty much perfect from December through March, however, this also coincides with high season and higher prices at the resort. If you're here over the holiday season in December or during March, Spring Break, expect the property to be packed. Summer months are also crowded. For the best deals on rates, aim to book during the first two weeks of June and in September.
The nearest airport is Orlando International Airport, about 27 miles (or 35 minutes) away. The property doesn't offer transportation, but recommends booking a taxi with Mears Transportation, which has a desk at the airport. You can also consider flying into Tampa International Airport, about 75 miles (or 1.5 hours) west.
Consider renting a car at the airport if you like your independence and don't want to take taxis everywhere. Parking is free in a secured outdoor lot at Liki Tiki Village. Having your own car can be very useful if you plan to venture much off property.
Liki Tiki Village offers a shuttle service to the theme parks, but it's not a cheap option. One-way to Disney is $12 per person and one-way to Universal's theme parks is $15.
For Mom and Dad
There is no spa or romantic restaurant onsite at Liki Tiki Village. But if your kids are old enough to leave on their own, it's worth venturing off property for a date night. One of the best theme park restaurants is just a short drive away at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. Book in advance for a table at Boma - Flavors of Africa, a beautiful restaurant with an African-marketplace theme and a delicious upscale buffet of seafoods and meats from across the continent. If you're up for a drink afterwards, head over to House of Blues at Disney Springs for live music and cocktails.