I’m in charge of planning a small family reunion at WDW from Friday, November 20 through Thursday, November 26, 2020 (flying home on Thanksgiving Day). There will be 9 of us going and we want to stay at Bay Lake Tower (two bedroom suite + one studio), but we are not DVC members. Our travel party will include three kids (one or two of whom will likely still take naps) so being walking distance from MK is important to us. Should I be worried about availability on these room types? (I’m using Small World Vacations to book our hotel/tickets/etc. if that matters.) We stayed at Bay Lake Tower with a similar room arrangement over Thanksgiving three years ago, but I get the impression it may be more challenging to find availability at DVC properties now. Thoughts?
You are looking for cash rooms? Did you do a search on the Disney site and see if there was availability?
We’re planning our trip for Thanksgiving week 2020 (not this year) so I don’t think these dates have been released yet.
Have you considered David’s Vacation Club? We used them for our upcoming trip and got Wilderness Lodge for 8 nights. It’s a lot cheaper than going direct through Disney or other travel agencies. I used Small World Vacation for our 2016 trip and our room is not too much more than what we got then, which was the Little Mermaid Room at AoA.
Just a thought. I would price it out if I were you.
I went through DVC rental store and got BLT at 11 month mark and got studio for 8 days for october 2019 (I understand studios are harder to get)
ETA - renting points is usually MUCH cheaper than going through travel agent, just keep in mind cancelling will cost you money. I purchased point guard just in case I had to cancel (happened to me in 2018 ) but even with that - you don’t get all your money back if you cancel; but without it, you get NONE, so it was definitely worth it to me
That’s my impression too. Were you happy with the experience with DVC rental store? I’ve never rented DVC points before.
Were you happy with David’s Vacation club? I’ve never rented points before so don’t know how that works.
Yes. Very easy. I was a little scared before I did it, but it worked out fine. I reserved at 12 months out, but they couldn’t honor it until 11 months. Once that 11 month day came, I got the email saying I got it. I had 24 hours to pay. I paid it and then got my confirmation number all in the same day. I put it into MDE and Voila! It was all there. Easy. And much cheaper than going through a travel agency or direct through Disney.
I think either Davids or DVC rental store are good. I just picked DVC rental because …because I don’t know why. But yes VERY happy with DVC rental store
Did same with DVC rental store - put request in at 12 months and at 11 months minus 3 days I had my confirmation and linked in MDE. The owner has to request stuff like DME or dining plan if you choose to do that (I did not) , but other than that - a total piece of cake. I even got a reminder about ADR dates from agent
I think you will need to decide if you want to rent points or use your travel agent.
If you go down the route of renting, be aware that you’re unlikely to get standard rooms, so make sure you price out lake view.
And the other issue will be that you’re needing two rooms. The chances are that will be two different owners, so you take a small risk that one doesn’t come through. You may have an agonising wait to get the second one.
And obviously you need to realise the difference between renting a timeshare, and going direct through Disney. No daily housekeeping unless you pay for it, no cancellations but also no date, resort, room changes either. Make sure you read everything on the broker site first.
Booking through Disney will be expensive, but with that comes the security of any other WDW reservation. You might want to look into rooms at the Contemporary too, to compare.
I have booked Bay Lake Tower directly through Disney for the past 2 years. I realize it is more extensive than renting points, but the more favorable cancellation policy was very important to me. I also felt more comfortable booking directly than through a third party.
I started looking for available on the Disney website at 11 months (plus a few days) out and checked online every day until the available rooms appeared.
We loved Bay Lake Tower. With a 3 y/o and a 1 y/o the big pluses were (a) being able to walk to MK, (b) having in room washer/dryer, and © having in room kitchenette (we at breakfast in the room each morning).
Bay Lake is my home resort, I love the location!
But I totally understand why some people will always be more comfortable booking direct with Disney. That’s a personal decision, based on several factors including your risk-averseness (is that actually a word or have I made that up lol)?
Only since you asked - “aversion to risk” or “risk aversion.”
This was super helpful info; thanks!