We are seriously considering DVC, so much so that my husband and I are taking a solo trip to stay at the Grand Floridian to “test out” that resort next weekend. Or really just an excuse to get away, so fun. We keep going back with our family, DD7 and DD4 love it, and so do we. We stay in deluxe resorts, and no doubt this will save money. I do worry about ability to book 11 months or 7 months out. Booking through the website is incredibly expensive, but also super flexible. We can certainly try to book early, but I do sometimes have work conflicts that come up that would require us to move a trip. We would have more than 30 days notice, but not 11 months. Then to rebook at a time that does work would be short notice, so we wouldn’t get our first pick. Of course, I suppose just because you have DVC doesn’t mean you can’t book a last minute trip through the website and save the points for a future more certain date.
We are deciding between VGF and Poly. Have stayed at Poly and loved it, but rates are better at VGF. I imagine there will come a time we want to book more 1 BRs, but the 1 BR rates at VGF are so high, I’m not sure that distinction is significant for us. We will likely be traveling at high rate times, holidays and Spring Break.
Love this community. Just looking for a pep talk on DVC, I guess. I’ve read plenty of articles and have done tons of research. Curious to hear about your home resort, any regrets, and how you made the decision to jump in. Thanks to all!
My first question was going to be if you are looking to book studios. Both of those resorts are great for studios. Are you staying in a resort studio and have you stayed in other studios?
I love my DVC. I generally grab something 11 months out and modify later if needed. You do need to watch what date you need to bank current year points and the date points expire (especially those that cannot be banked)
We’ve had 200 points since 2010, and we’ve only ever had 7 points expire. We’ve easily used all of the rest. If you go often, will continue to go for another 7-10 years, and always stay deluxe then it’s really a no-brainer.
Our home resort is BLT, but home resort is really not a huge deal unless you A. always travel at peak times (we don’t), and B. plan your trips 11 months in advance, right on the dot (we usually do not). Otherwise home resort really just determines how much your dues are, and usually your use year and contract expiration (though those aren’t always the same, because they sometimes offer opportunities to extend or buy more points to people with a particular home resort).
If you know for sure you’re going to stay at those two (and I wouldn’t limit myself so much, if I were you… we’ve made the rounds, and often do split stays) then you’re just going to want more points, because a point is a point. My 200 points will buy the same amount of time at VGF and someone whose home resort of VGF.
I would say easy transportation is the most important thing to us, but that might be a “right now” issue that won’t be as big of a deal when (some day…) we are stroller free. I do think we are likely to want to book at peak times because of school calendars, mainly holidays and Spring Break, so I assume 11 month priority will matter more. We were happy in a studio last year, and we just stayed in a standard room at the Yacht Club (so similar to studio), and we were fine. We also stayed in a 1 BR at BLT and at Kidani last year, and the extra room was great. Seems like AKL often has 1 BRs available at the 7 month mark. And I know OKW and SSR usually do. I’ve never stayed there bc transport has always been the priority, but there will likely come a time when that is less important, and more space will be worth it.
I’ve had my waitlist requests come through about 70% of the time. Also, split stays with waitlist requests are your friend if you want to go at a peak time but miss the 11-month booking, or if you don’t want to stay at your home resort. I’ve booked a split stay at Boardwalk and Poly, and then ended up having my waitlist come through for the second half at Boardwalk (to complete the full stay there) and when I checked in they were able to keep me in the same studio the whole time.
Consistently the one regret members share is not buying sooner and not buying more than they thought they’d need
If you’re considering Poly you might want to wait to see what Disney does in terms of declaring the tower a part of the existing resort (like the VGF expansion) or a resort on its own (like Boulder Ridge and Copper Creek)
And the comments the DVC people were making when I complained in September really made it seem like changes were coming to the categories at Poly as well. When I complained about having what would be considered a “value” category at any other DVC resort, they just kept mentioning that big changes were coming (as if that was going to help me in any way during my stay, with the broken toilet).
Our home resort is AKL because that’s where they were selling direct points when we bought. We have stayed at several different resorts. All the resorts have the pros/cons and it’s fun to explore them all.
Having DVC points allowed us to give ourselves permission to do some trips that we may not have done otherwise: Hawaii, Disneyland and Vero Beach and adding family to some of our trips. We’ve also sold points we were not going to use and put the funds towards other vacations.
We ended up hitting a “break even” point after about 8 years (6 Disney related vacations). We could have saved money but not buying DVC and making other accommodation and vacation choices. DVC let us splurge without breaking the bank.
Another thing you need to consider when figuring out how many points you will need is how often you will go. Because you can bank and borrow points, you have the potential of consolidating 3 years of points for a use. We planned to go to Disney every 2-3 years so we bought less annual points than we thought we would need.
Yes, I definitely wish I knew the answer to that question about Poly Tower. I’m considering buying a smaller amount now, and then seeing what happens. Maybe waiting is better. Of course we are in the process of planning a holiday trip, and I’d love to make that our first DVC stay, and I know that if we buy before the end of this month, we can bank to next year, and then start off with two years’ worth of points. If I pay for a holiday trip in cash, and then buy DVC shortly after, that will feel a bit like a waste.
Probably a bit of selection bias. Those who had significant regrets have either sold (and aren’t part of member groups anymore to provide their feedback) or who feel like they are in the minority and not likely to share their true feelings in a pro-Disney pro-DVC venue.
It’s a lot of money to tie up in (basically) one vacation destination. Obviously I’m not a DVC member, I suspect our June trip will be our last theme park vacation for a while. Too many other places to prioritize now that the kids are old enough to enjoy major cities and national parks.
@jdm888 Did someone else mention yet… look at a home resort w/ the lowest annual maintenace fees. I wish we had done that b/c we’ve had no trouble booking 7 months out anywhere. Our home resort is Aulani and it has some of the highest annual fees.
I am planning to buy direct at first if we do it. I know I could save on the purchase price with resale, but that difference shrinks over time, and I want to be able to book at Riviera, Poly tower, and other new resorts in the future.
This was the #1 reason we chose BLT (we had the options of BLT, Kidani, and I think Aulani sales had just started). Our DVC salesperson was very upfront about the fact that we’d really come to appreciate the lower dues, and he was right.
The $1,200 bill is a bummer every year, but if it was $1,762 or $1,828 for the same thing it would be worse. With that in mind, GFV has the lowest dues rate.
You wont regret it. I first bought resale at BLT. Thought i’d never need more. But with 3 young kids, i found myself buying more at VGF, so we could do 1 bedrooms. Even if you cant stay at your home resort last minute, i’m so sure you will love trying out all the other ones- each one has its perks. Excited for you guys!
As someone who travels at Spring break and Christmas, definately buy where you want to stay. Christmas especially can be very hard ro get in anywhere at 7 months.
As someone who owns AKL (which we loved staying in at Christams) I often find myself wanting to stay at BWV, BCV, Poly, VGF or the WL villas - because of transportation.
And this has me considering buying a small contract at Poly (when it goes on sale) or at VGF (right now).
Because VGF has some great incentives right now.
For 200 points it looks like you are getting $2,400 back. That brings the cost per point down to 205.
But then, Disney is also buying back your first years points for $22 a point! So if you get a June use year, tou sell Disney your 2022 points, and then you can book your Christmas stay on your 2023 points.
That means you are now paying $183 per point. Very close to reslae prices. (There may even be an additional $500 referal bonus).
In your situation and scenario, I would absolutely say go ahead and buy 200 direct VGF. You will break even quickly.
Thank you guys all so much. I just love hearing from this group. DH and I go back and forth so much. My job makes it tricky bc sometimes we have to be more flexible, so that’s the only thing that is holding me up. But still thinking on it!