This is an updated campground review reflecting this year’s stay. Our 2017 review is here.
Campground Review Summary
- Name: KOA Orlando SE / Lake Whippoorwill
- Dates of stay: November 22, 2018 – Jan 31, 2019
- Location: 12345 Narcoossee Road, Orlando, Florida 32832
- Type of campground: Private – KOA
- Cost: Avg. $55/night monthly rate including taxes and metered electricity
- Additional fees: none
- Stay limit: none
- Accepts mail / packages: Yes.
- Cell reception: AT&T robust 3 bars
- Website: https://koa.com/campgrounds/orlando-se/
- Pros: Immaculately kept facilities, friendly staff, many amenities / activities
- Cons: a bit pricey
Many of the campers I’ve spoken to don’t like KOAs because of their perceived value (or lack thereof). I’ve found that KOA’s are frequently more expensive than comparable private campground facilities. We chose this KOA simply because it was the closest campground to our Orlando house where our son lives. There’s just nothing else suitable that is anywhere nearby. We had stayed here on our way home from New Orleans when we originally purchased our rig and had a good experience, and then we stayed two weeks last year. So we made arrangements to spend half the winter season – Thanksgiving through the end of January.
Management allowed us to book a big-rig friendly pull-through site with a monthly rate, even though this site is not usually booked as a monthly site. It wasn’t particularly cheap ($50/night, not including taxes and metered electricity), but on par for Orlando. Unless you go out into the boonies, you’re going to pay big. Location, location, location!
Thanks to the numerous friendly and hard-working workcampers here, the landscaping and facilities are immaculate. The amenities include a pool, hot tub, boat / fishing dock, dog park, showers/restroom, recreation hall, KOA store, and large coin laundry facility. You can rent canoes or play ladder golf or horseshoes. Trash is picked up promptly, multiple times per day, right from your site. The campground wi-fi is decent, sufficient for email but not intended for video streaming. However, our AT&T signal was so good here, we could occasionally stream movies.
One small nit to pick is that the sewer hookup is raised a few inches off the ground, making it more difficult to dump. Our 50 amp service went out a couple of days before we left, but maintenance fixed it promptly (replaced the breaker and receptacle). But otherwise, our site worked fine. Our large bus fit on the concrete pad, but we had to park our large truck at the end of the row as it wouldn’t fit into our site. The site included a fire pit and small concrete patio with picnic table. The bath houses are not fancy, but are kept immaculately clean and are never over-booked.
This KOA offers a full calendar of activities. There are two activity director couples who work diligently to provide many choices: aerobics class, yoga, Bingo, pot lucks, Bible Study, doggie “meet & greets”, cards/dominos, game night, ice cream & movie night, line dancing, and the famous Saturday morning “all you can eat” pancake breakfasts. There’s always something happening! With many seasonal guests returning year after year, it made for a wonderfully friendly environment.
It should be noted that this is advertised as a Christian owned and operated facility and alcoholic beverages are not to be in evidence at any time. You can drink, just be discreet.
Being on the south-east edge of Orlando means that everything you need is close by. Shopping and dining options are available literally across the road from the KOA park, including WalMart, Sam’s Club, and Starbucks. The theme parks are only 30-40 minutes away. There is no lack for things to do in the area!
Unfortunately, the campground has been sold. It will operate through the next winter season, closing forever April 1, 2020. The regulars are actively seeking alternative winter homes and many won’t return next year. We already have plans to stay in South Florida next winter, so it’s unlikely we’ll have the chance to visit again. I’m sad, because the KOA staff provided for a wonderful 2.5 month stay.
Bottom line: A little pricey, but not out of line with the area. Lots to do, a wonderful location, and wonderful people. But, come soon or it will be never-more.