DVC

Ask It Results: Best Non-WDW Disney Vacation Club Resort

by on January 17, 2018

It’s Wednesday again, and time for another round of Ask It results. Although it is fairly laughable at this point to say that Disney Vacation Club is Disney’s Best Kept Secret, the non-Walt Disney World DVC resorts may be somewhat of a mystery for even seasoned DVC owners. With only one of the non-WDW DVC resorts being in easy access to a Disney theme park, these resorts tend not to get a lot of attention. They certainly provide a different kind of vacation from a Walt Disney World trip, and for many people, that’s part of their charm. Last week, we asked you:

Which non-Walt Disney World Disney Vacation Club resort is the best?

Here’s your results.

Vero Beach (31 votes, 5%)

©Disney

Located a couple hours away from Walt Disney World on Florida’s Atlantic coast, Vero Beach provides a wonderful beach retreat with lots of natural splendor. From nesting loggerhead sea turtles to a variety of birds to manatees and a wide variety of plant life, there’s plenty for a nature enthusiast to love about this setting. You can enjoy lounging on the beach, taking a dip in the pool, going for a spa treatment, or participating in resort activities at the Community Hall. It’s a much more relaxed pace than a Walt Disney World vacation, which may be why some people do land and land split stays between Walt Disney World and Vero Beach.

Hilton Head (63 votes, 11%)

The pool at Hilton Head Resort

Disney’s Hilton Head Resort has a pool for those who prefer their water chlorinated. Photo ©Disney

Disney’s Hilton Head resort is located, not surprisingly, in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Although it is not located at the beach itself, shuttle service is provided. There’s also easy access to swimming, golf, tennis, and more recreational activities. Different activities, events, and meals, including a low country boil (a seafood-lovers dream) or some good ol’ South Carolina BBQ, are available depending on season. Hilton Head provides a touch of Disney along with South Carolina charm.

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Ask It: Best Non-WDW Disney Vacation Club Resort?

by on January 10, 2018

Staying at a DVC resort at Walt Disney World is a wonderful experience. Whether you’re watching animals from your balcony at Animal Kingdom Lodge, or closing the nights with fireworks from Bay Lake Tower, or walking to Epcot from your room at Beach Club, or staying at the other Walt Disney World DVC resorts, there’s so many different experiences you can have. It can be easy to forget that there are DVC resorts that are not at Walt Disney World that also offer amazing experiences. Which one is the best? This week we’re asking you:

Which non-Walt Disney World Disney Vacation Club resort is the best?

  • Aulani (53%, 81 Votes)
  • Grand Californian (24%, 36 Votes)
  • Hilton Head (16%, 25 Votes)
  • Vero Beach (7%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 152

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Voting is live here and on Twitter. We’ll have your results next week. Got a favorite? Let us know why you chose what you did in the comments.

DVC Monthly Preview – January 2018

by on January 2, 2018

 

Happy New Year to fellow Disney Vacation Club owners (and prospective owners). Welcome to the latest installment of our monthly DVC preview. You can view last month’s preview here. The new year has brought a plethora of news, so let’s get to it.

Booking Windows

This month, here are some booking window dates to keep in mind. For your home resort (11-month booking window), in January, you will be able to book for dates in December 2018. Plenty of DVC members plan their trips around the holidays, particularly during the less point-costly first part of the month. If you’re counting on a December trip, best to lock it in early. For all other DVC resorts (7-month booking window), this month you will be able to book for dates in August 2018.

For last-minute trips, the second half of January has select dates available in Walt Disney World at Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and Old Key West Resort at DVC’s last-minute resort availability page. Aulani and Hilton Head also have limited availability.

Hard to believe, but we’re just a month away from being able to start booking 2019 dates. In preparation, DVC has released its 2019 point charts, accessible here. Some notable changes: Animal Kingdom Villas Jambo House has slightly increased the point cost of club level rooms and decreased the point cost of value rooms. Also, Vero Beach and Aulani resorts have switched the seasons on some of their dates. Be sure to use the correct year’s point chart for planning purposes. In case you were wondering, DVC has a set number of points for each resort, so any increase in point values must be offset by an equal decrease.

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Disney Vacation Club’s Moonlight Magic Returns for 2018

by on November 28, 2017

©Disney

Attention Disney Vacation Club owners! The incredibly fun Moonlight Magic event will be returning for 2018! What is Moonlight Magic? They are exclusive parties for DVC members that allow them to have “private” time in the parks, riding attraction and meeting characters, some of which are rare! There are also complimentary treats and beverages, as well as special dance parties.

Moonlight Magic will take place on both coasts. Here’s a look at the 2018 Moonlight Magic schedule:

Magic Kingdom

January 11 and 28, and February 6
(Booking begins for Members with Resort reservations on the event dates December 7. Pending availability, booking opens for all Members on December 21.)

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

March 21, April 17 and May 16
(Booking begins for Members with Resort reservations on the event dates February 8. Pending availability, booking opens for all Members on February 22.)

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DVC Monthly Preview – December 2017

by on November 28, 2017

Welcome to our second installment of the DVC Monthly Preview here on the TouringPlans blog. If you missed last month’s debut, you can read it here. Read on for a quick recap of DVC news and other information about Disney’s best kept secret.

Booking Windows

This month, here are some booking window dates to keep in mind. For your home resort (11-month booking window), in December, you will be able to book for dates in November 2018. It’s a great time to catch the end of Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival, or to attend some of the first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties. For all other DVC resorts (7-month booking window), this month you will be able to book for dates in July 2018. If you are planning a Fourth of July trip, you’ll want to start looking at availability right away.

For last-minute trips, besides Aulani, there is very little availability listed for December at DVC’s last-minute resort availability page. You sometimes can get lucky searching for resort availability in case of last-minute cancellations.

DVC News

On the first two Mondays in December, Disney Vacation Club is hosting Moonlight Magic at Epcot, a free after-hours celebration for members. The event will include a DJ dance party, refreshments, Disney characters, and access to select attractions.  Reservations are currently full for the event, but you can check here for an opening in the event of cancellations. DVC began offering these after-hour parties as part of its 25th anniversary celebration in 2016, then continued them in 2017. News is coming out about a full slate of Moonlight Magic events in 2018, and we’ll have more details in next month’s installment.

Epcot Night View

Moonlight Magic at Epcot is 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Dec. 4 and 11. Guests with reservations can enter the park as early as 7:30 p.m.

As of this writing, availability remained for DVC’s Christmas Eve holiday dinners, the Frozen-themed event at Disney’s Contemporary Resort from 3 to 5 p.m. and the Wild West Winterland at Disney’s Grand Californian Resort from 4-6 p.m. Price is $74.95 for adults and $39.95 for children (ages 3 to 9), plus tax and gratuity. Call Member Services at (800) 800-9800 to book the dinner.

If you’re celebrating the New Year at Walt Disney World, DVC has a Screamin’ Monsters New Year’s Eve Eve Dessert Party from 10 p.m. to midnight on Dec. 30. Along with tasty snacks and desserts, characters from Monsters, Inc. will visit, and there will even be a selfie station with Boo’s door. Price is $82.50 for adults and $42.50 for children, plus tax and gratuity.  Call Member Services at (800) 800-9800 to book the party.

We know a lot of DVC members have been clamoring for this next item. Just in time for holiday shopping, resort-specific merchandise is now being sold at the Shop Disney store. Don’t forget that members get a 20 percent discount on purchases.

If you’re interested in the current Walt Disney World ticket offers for DVC members, purchases must be made by Jan. 3, 2018. Members can get 25 percent off a Platinum Plus Annual Pass–that’s the one that gets you into the water parks. Members can also get a 7-day ticket for the price of a 5-day ticket. The bonus to this offer is that once the ticket is activated, guests get six months to use the other days, perfect for DVC members that take multiple shorter trips.

Annual dues projections were released in early November. The highest increase was at Aulani, which saw its dues go up 7.19 percent. Most other increases were in the 4 to 5 percent range. One property, the brand new Copper Creek Villas, actually saw a slight decrease.

Budgets will be formally ratified at the 2017 Annual Meeting for the Disney Vacation Club Condominium Association. Members can attend the meeting and ask questions afterward at 2 p.m., Dec. 7 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort Convention Center. RSVP here if you’re interested in attending.

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DVC Monthly Preview — November 2017

by on November 7, 2017

Welcome to another new feature here on the TouringPlans blog: the DVC Monthly Preview. Each month, we’ll provide you with a quick recap of DVC news and other information about Disney’s best kept secret.

Booking Windows

This month, here are some booking window dates to keep in mind. For your home resort (11-month booking window), this month you will be able to book for dates in October 2018. Keep this in mind when scheduling trips to take advantage of Halloween, Food and Wine, and Columbus Day holiday weekend. For all other DVC resorts (7-month booking window), this month you will be able to book for dates in June 2018, so if you are making your summer plans, you might want to start looking at availability.

For last-minute trips, there is very little availability listed at DVC’s last-minute resort availability page (unless you’re thinking about a trip to Aulani), however you sometimes can get lucky logging in and searching for resort availability as people have last-minute cancellations.

Aulani Menehune Bridge cabana view (photo by Sarah Graffam)

DVC News

This month, DVC is offering a holiday beverage tasting seminar at Bay Lake Tower on Tuesdays from 4:30-5:30 PM. The cost is $40 per person (tax and gratuity not included) and reservations are required. You can see the list of seminars and find registration information here.

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Disney Vacation Club: Pros and Cons of Renting Points

by on October 10, 2017

Looking to save money on your next Disney vacation? One suggestion growing in popularity is to consider renting Disney Vacation Club (DVC) points. However, like any ‘easy’ money-saving solution, there are some aspects of the rental process that you should be aware of before you decide whether this approach is right for you. To help with that, we’re taking a look at some of the pros and cons of renting DVC points.

For those that aren’t familiar with Disney Vacation Club or point rentals, Disney Vacation Club is Disney’s version of a timeshare program. Members purchase a long-term contract for a certain number of points each year. They can then exchange those points for stays at the following Disney resorts:

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Walt Disney World to Add 15th Disney Vacation Club Resort – Disney’s Riviera Resort

by on July 16, 2017

This week will see the opening of Walt Disney World’s newest Disney Vacation Club Resort, Copper Creek Villas, but Disney isn’t slowing down yet. At the D23 Expo, Disney announced their 15th Disney Vacation Club Resort called Disney’s Riviera Resort.

Disney's Riviera Resort

©Disney

 

 

This resort will be located near Epcot and Guests will be able to see the nighttime spectaculars at both Disney’s Hollywood Studios and at Epcot courtesy of a rooftop restaurant with sweeping views.

This new resort experience will feature approximately 300 units spread across a variety of accommodation types. In addition, the new skyway transportation system will connect the new resort to other areas on Walt Disney World property.

Disney’s Riviera Resort will open in the fall of 2019, so stay tuned for more details.

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins to Open at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge This Summer

by on March 2, 2017

Exciting news for Disney Vacation Club members (or those looking to become members.) Disney’s newest DVC resort, Copper Creek Villas & Cabins will open on July 17! Sales for the latest resort in the DVC category will begin on March 8 for current Disney Vacation Club Members with general sales following on April 5. Guests looking to book stays in these new rooms at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge will be able to do so beginning March 21.

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins will feature the comforts of home and the wonders of the wilderness. The resort area has been inspired by the legendary mining and railroad history of the Pacific Northwest. Resort rooms will include rustic elegance, cozy touches, and modern designs.

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins will include deluxe studios, one and two bedroom villas, as well as three-bedroom Grand Villas that will sleep up to 12. Each unit will include a well-appointed kitchen, expanded storage space and private patios or balconies.

©Disney

 

Take a peek at what you’ll be able to experience with the Copper Creek Villas & Cabins:

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Bucket List: How Many Days Should I Visit Aulani?

by on March 2, 2017

How many days to visit Aulani

Do you have a Disney Bucket List? Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa (hereafter just called “Aulani”), is a fantastic resort and something one many people’s lists. One of three Disney resorts not attached to a theme park, it is the only one not in the continental U.S. Because there’s no theme park to visit, one question that inevitably  comes up for us is “how many days do I need to visit Aulani?”

Visiting Aulani is like cruising Disney Cruise Line. You need to make time to take everything in. So how long is that? The pithy answer is “as long as you can take.” Why is it pithy? Because there are some considerations  and outside factors that will have a huge influence on how long you can stay.

 

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