Disney Vacation Club 101: Accommodations – What Do You Get?

by on May 27, 2014 10 Comments

Filed under: DVC

DVCSignThis is the second in our series of articles on Disney Vacation Club. You can read the introduction to DVC at Disney Vacation Club (DVC) 101: What is DVC?

One of the draws of buying into Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is the wide range of accommodations you can book. Studios are most like the other regular hotel rooms at Walt Disney World. Villas, which range from one- to three-bedroom units, are a whole of other level of vacationing. There are similarities and differences in all these between the resorts. Hopefully having everything in front of you at once will help you compare and choose the best rooms for you and your family.

Before you read this, I’d like to thank Disney.com for making this information transparent and easy to find…but I can’t. So instead, a big shout out goes to the following sites who helped me fill in the blanks:

Elegant and spacious living at the Grand Floridian Villas

Elegant and spacious living at the Grand Floridian Villas

Also, when there was conflicting information online, I went with the majority when possible or my best guess or recollection from a previous stay. Finally, any errors in these charts that can’t be explained any other way are probably the result of the cat trying to help with my typing – call it feline error.

A note about room capacity: all DVC rooms can also have a child in a Pack N Play (you’ll find it in the closet) who doesn’t count against your capacity numbers.

Hey, Laurel, what’s this “sleeper chair” thing I keep seeing? Think of a big, cushy upholstered chair, then imagine folding out the seat like a chaise lounge. That’s a sleeper chair. Would I sleep in one? No. Would I put a kid in one and not think twice about it? Yes.

OK, what about the “trundle bed?” It’s a bed that flips down from the cabinet the TV is on. No, I haven’t slept in one, though I did see that they’re easy to pull out when I stayed in a Grand Floridian one bedroom in April.

For more information about the Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts listed below check out our pages on them:

 

How the DVC Studios Line Up

First let’s look at a studio. All DVC resorts have studios. They are most like a regular hotel room in square footage, but you may be surprised to hear their layouts are different. Studios (except Old Key West) have only one bed. So if you’re traveling with a family of 3 or more, someone is sleeping on the sofa despite the room capacity of 5. The value studios at Jambo house are converted standard rooms, which explains their small size.

ResortCapacitySq FeetSq Feet of Non-DVC roomBathsBedsOther Sleeping Surfaces
Walt Disney World
Bay Lake Tower433939411 queenSleeper sofa – double
Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo (value)431631611 queenSleeper sofa – double
Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo (standard)436631611 queenSleeper sofa – double
Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani4366n/a11 queenSleeper sofa – double
Beach Club Villas436538111 queenSleeper sofa – double
Boardwalk Villas435937111 queenSleeper sofa – double
Grand Floridian Villas537444011 queenSleeper sofa – queen, twin trundle bed
Old Key West4390n/a12 queenn/a
Saratoga Springs4355n/a11 queenSleeper sofa – double
Wilderness Lodge Villas435634411 queenSleeper sofa – double, twin trundle bed
Disneyland
Grand Californian Villas437935311 queenSleeper sofa – queen
Other
Aulani435638211 queenSleeper sofa – queen
Hilton Head Resort4455n/a11 queenSleeper sofa – double
Vero Beach Resort4360n/a12 queenn/a

 

One Bedroom Villas

This is where things start to get interesting, because you’re finally seeing where DVC accommodations shine. Villas have a master bedroom, full kitchen, and living room. They also have washers and dryers. If you hate coming home with lots of dirty clothes to wash, just want to pack lighter, or even if your kids can’t eat a Mickey bar without getting chocolate on their shirts, you’ll love the convenience of having these right in your room. You’ll notice that while the square footage of a one bedroom is more than twice that of a studio, the room capacity is the same or will hold one more person. A one bedroom is really for giving you more room to spread out. You’ll also notice that the newer resorts will have an extra half or full bathroom – which is very handy when people are getting ready in the mornings. The one bedroom is my preferred room type when traveling with my partner. We have room to work and aren’t elbowing each other out of the way. Passive-agressive “sharing” of the one desk/table in a hotel room isn’t a great way to get anything done.

ResortCapacitySq FeetBathsBedsOther Sleeping Surfaces
Walt Disney World
Bay Lake Tower580321 kingsleeper sofa – queen, sleeper chair – twin
Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo (value)462911 kingsleeper sofa – queen, sleeper chair – twin
Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo (standard)580211 kingsleeper sofa – queen
Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani580721 kingsleeper sofa – queen, sleeper chair – twin
Beach Club Villas472611 kingsleeper sofa – queen
Boardwalk Villas471211 kingsleeper sofa – queen
Grand Floridian Villas584411 kingSleeper sofa – queen, twin trundle bed
Old Key West594211 kingsleeper sofa – queen, sleeper chair – twin
Saratoga Springs471411 kingsleeper sofa – queen
Wilderness Lodge Villas472711 kingsleeper sofa – queen
Disneyland
Grand Californian Villas58651 full, 1 half 1 kingsleeper sofa – queen, pull down bunk – twin
Other
Aulani575611 kingsleeper sofa – queen, pull down bunk – twin
Hilton Head Resort486511 kingsleeper sofa – queen
Vero Beach Resort588011 kingsleeper sofa – queen, sleeper chair – twin

 

Two Bedroom Villas

The two bedroom villas work great for couples traveling together, or families who don’t want to see their kids’ stuff all over the public areas. You’ll see some of the accommodations below listed as lock offs. Two bedroom units are either “dedicated” or “lock off.” A lock off is a studio with a connecting one bedroom. You’ll have two different entrances to your villa (your Magic Band/Key to the World card will unlock both doors). The size and amenities of a lock off equal those of a studio plus a one bedroom. I prefer a dedicated two bedroom, but take a look at the number and types of beds you get with each – it may sway you one way or the other. Again, newer resorts will have more bathrooms.

ResortCapacitySq FeetBathsBedsOther Sleeping Surfaces
Walt Disney World
Bay Lake Tower (lock off also available)91152 31 king, 2 queensleeper sofa – queen, sleeper chair – twin
Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo – Value (lock off only)
Animal Kingdom Lodge -Jambo – standard (lock off only)
Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani (lock off also available)9115231 king, 2 queensleeper sofa – queen, sleeper chair – twin
Beach Club Villas (lock off also available)8108321 king, 1 queen/1 king, 2 queens2 sleeper sofa – queen, 1 sleeper sofa – queen
Boardwalk Villas (lock off only)
Grand Floridian Villas (lock off also available)9123221 king, 2 queenSleeper sofa – queen, twin trundle bed
Old Key West (lock off also available)9139521 king, 2 queensleeper sofa – queen, sleeper chair – twin
Saratoga Springs (lock off also available)8107521 king, 2 queensleeper sofa – queen
Wilderness Lodge Villas (lock off also available)8108021 king, 2 queensleeper sofa – queen
Disneyland
Grand Californian Villas (lock off also available)9125731 king, 2 queensleeper sofa – queen, trundle bed – twin
Other
Aulani911252 Full, 1 half1 king, 2 queensleeper sofa – queen, sleeper chair – twin
Hilton Head Resort8124521 king, 2 queensleeper sofa – queen
Vero Beach Resort912551 king, 1 queensleeper sofa – queen, sleeper sofa – full, sleeper chair – twin

 

Grand Villas. They're real. and they're spectacular. Bay Lake Tower photo courtesy of Tom Bricker.

Grand Villas. They’re real. And they’re spectacular. Bay Lake Tower photo courtesy of Tom Bricker.

Three Bedroom Villas

Finally the creme de la creme of DVC rooms – the Grand Villa. They’re big (huge in the case of the Grand Floridian). They’re well-decorated. They’ll hold 11 of your closest friends (or far more than that if you’re Len Testa). They’re also in limited supply. Not every resort has them. Boardwalk only has seven. Most are two levels. I have stayed in Grand Villas at Saratoga Springs, Bay Lake Tower, and Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani, and at the Treehouses. They. Are. Awesome. And they cost a whole lot of points.  Grand Villas have a separate dining room, and tend to have great views because they’re nearly always on the top floors of their resorts. Treehouses are a different story. Treehouses have 3 bedrooms, but 2 baths. However, what they lack in space (capacity of 9) they make up for in design. A Treehouse at Saratoga is a relative bargain if you only need to sleep 9.

 

ResortCapacitySq FeetBathsBedsOther Sleeping Surfaces
Walt Disney World
Bay Lake Tower12204441 king, 4 queensleeper sofa – 2 queen
Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo1222013 full, 1 half1 king, 4 queensleeper sofa – queen
Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani12234941 king, 4 queensleeper sofa – queen
Boardwalk Villas12214231 king, 4 queensleeper sofa – queen
Grand Floridian Villas12280041 king, 4 queensleeper sofa – queen
Old Key West12237531 king, 2 queen, 2 fullsleeper sofa – queen
Saratoga Springs12211341 king, 4 queensleeper sofa – queen
Treehouses9107422 queen, 1 full bunksleeper sofa – queen, sleeper chair – twin
Disneyland
Grand Californian Villas1224261 king, 4 queensleeper sofa – queen, sleeper sofa – full
Other
Aulani1221743 Full1 king, 4 queensleeper sofa – queen, sleeper chair – twin
Hilton Head Resort1223633 full, 1 half1 king, 4 queensleeper sofa – queen
Vero Beach Resort12212831 king, 4 queensleeper sofa – queen

 

What’s your favorite DVC room type? How do you choose which type you stay in – space or cost? Did you learn anything surprising looking at everything at once? Talk about it in the comments.

Posted on May 27, 2014

10 Responses to “Disney Vacation Club 101: Accommodations – What Do You Get?”

  • by Judy Hornbeck on May 27, 2014, at 8:58 am EST

    Great job!!!! I am a DVC owner and this really helped me make a room decision !!

  • by Bryan Klinck on May 27, 2014, at 9:28 am EST

    Great post! Also, the Wilderness Lodge Villas Studios were recently renovated to include a trundle bed. I have not seen this, but other Liners have reported this.

    • by Laurel Stewart on May 27, 2014, at 9:37 am EST

      Updated the chart. Thanks! I didn’t update the room capacity yet, but will check around. Will also see if the other room sizes got it.

  • You may have a feline error in the 1-bedroom section. In the Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House you show sleeping for five when the capacity is four and vice-versa.

    • by Laurel Stewart on May 27, 2014, at 7:05 pm EST

      I’ve looked at this a couple of times and don’t see an error – AK Jambo 1BR value is 4 and standard is 5. Let me know what I’m missing.

      • The sleeper chair is in the Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo (standard) 1 bedroom. You have it in the Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo (value) 1 bedroom.

  • Great post and a logical organization of lots and lots of stats. However, there is one number missing that I’m curious to know. How many baths in a 2BR at BLT?

  • What a great article!
    I think you have the Beach Club 1 Bedroom numbers reversed with the Boardwalk 1 Bedroom numbers.
    The Boardwalk rooms are bigger. As listed in the Unoffical Guide.
    Maybe it is just my computer, but I can’t see the Boardwalk numbers for the 2 Bedroom.

  • Wonderful comparison!

    Two years ago, Erin Foster did a fabulous job of comparing square footage for ALL resorts, including all the DVC properties.
    Erin says:
    “I added the average square footage available for each room type, as published in the 2012 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World.”

    You can find all the numbers there:

    http://blog.touringplans.com/2012/02/29/deciding-where-to-stay-at-walt-disney-world-number-crunching-part-3-square-footage/

    P.S.Shows Boardwalk 1 Bedroom Villas (814 sq ft)are larger than the Beach Club 1 Bedroom Villas (726 sq ft)…we miss that extra space when we’ve stayed at the Beach Club instead of the Boardwalk!