Posts Tagged ‘DVC’

DVC Monthly Preview – February 2018

by on February 6, 2018

Welcome to the February installment of our monthly DVC preview. We’re going to switch things up this month. Instead of a Resort Spotlight, we’ve got a new semi-regular feature, “DVC Explainer,” which will take an in-depth look at a certain aspect of membership. The Resort Spotlight will return in March. You can view last month’s preview here.

Booking windows

This month, here are some booking window dates to keep in mind. For your home resort (11-month booking window), in February, you will be able to book for dates in January 2019. For all other DVC resorts (7-month booking window), this month you will be able to book for dates in September 2018. If you’re looking to snag a reservation at Disney’s Boardwalk Villas or Disney’s Beach Club Villas for the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, don’t wait. Those rooms go fast.

For last-minute trips, we’re starting to see some increased availability, as long as you’re not looking for a studio. Through much of Februrary, you can find 2- and 3-bedroom villas for select dates at Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa (including Treehouse Villas) and Old Key West Resort at DVC’s last-minute resort availability page. Aulani and Hilton Head also have limited availability.

The Treehouse Villas at Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa still have availability on select days in the next month. (©Disney)

DVC News

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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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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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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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Dani’s Best Week Ever October 6, 2016: Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and staying on Disney property

by on October 6, 2016

A few weeks ago during my last Best Week Ever post, I discussed how I am learning a lot about fear. This week I am experiencing a lesson in enjoying the moment. This week provided some best ever moments and yet I don’t feel like I really took the time to savor it all and enjoy. I experienced Disney’s Animal Kingdom during the DVC Member event, stayed the night at Beach Club Villas, woke up and checked into Bay Lake Tower for the night, enjoyed Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, and capped it all off with cocktails and fireworks at Top of the World Lounge.

Even though I feel like I didn’t really soak it up, I get to share it with you, helping it to make one the my Best Weeks Ever! And since many of us in Florida, and at the Atlantic Coast, are getting ready to face Hurricane Matthew, let’s take a break from storm prep and bask in some pixie dust.

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Disney’s Beach Club Villas

DVC Member event at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

img_4294Disney Vacation Club is celebrating its 25th year of existence. This year members have seen a slew of perks and free events roll out to them not only in order to mark the special occasion, but to help boost member satisfaction as well.  During a few nights in September DVC Members enjoyed Animal Kingdom all to themselves from 9:30 PM – 12:30 PM.

While I worked, my parents enjoyed Disney’s Beach Club Resort and then checked us in for the event, at the hotel lobby. This enabled us to have our event wristbands ahead of time and although it may not have saved us a ton of time, we simply had one less thing to worry about. Once inside the park we stopped at one of the many tables being manned by an event Cast Member who handed us each a card to get into the night time Kilimanjaro Safari between 9:00 PM – 9:30 PM and two tickets each to play the midway games in Dino-rama in Dinoland USA.

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We headed straight for Nomad Lounge. I bragged about this place to my parents and wanted them to experience what has become my favorite lounge inside any Walt Disney World theme park. Nomad Lounge now has an updated food menu; you can check out my quick review about it here.

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My parents relished the décor and adventurous spirit of Nomad Lounge. The perfect balance between sophistication and casual approach-ability is struck here. Starting our evening here set the tone for a pleasant and memorable night together.

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The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! August 2016 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on August 31, 2016

MMM positiveWelcome to the latest edition of The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! the longest running monthly look at the Disney Outlet Stores in Orlando.

The Disney Outlets: the true final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Testa, beginning year four of our five-year mission: to explore strange old stores, to seek out weird merchandise and ugly vinylmation, to boldly buy what no MagicBand has bought before.

We actually have a big surprise this month at the end of this fine blog, but we do have to start off with a little theme park news. Universal soft opened an E-Ticket restaurant – the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen (imagine a T-Rex Cafe for adults except the food is actually good) – and was promptly sued by someone claiming the restaurant was their idea. Some are claiming this is the most frivolous lawsuit against Universal since 2013, when the landmark case of Burgan vs. Comcast unjustly ruled that just because I said, “they should build more Harry Potter” after visiting Hogsmeade Village, I wasn’t responsible for the creation of Diagon Alley. I blame my lawyer.

Now while all of you were tweeting your thoughts on Disney changing the “obscene hand gesture” in Rock n Roller Coaster (warning, NSFW!) Outlet Intern Julia Mascardo and I were hard at work to bring you the quality Outlet coverage you expect deserve!

Enough jibber jabber! Who is ready to hit the Outlets? Remember that clicking on any picture will open a full size version of it (don’t say we didn’t warn you.)

Prices were SLASHED this month on Tsum Tsums, marking them down to an unheard of $0.99. This of course brought out the merch jerks in droves, filling up their baskets with Tsums to flip.

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The infamous Mother Gothel Tsum Tsum (I think.)

I honestly thought we had seen every single piece of merchandise made for the Disneyland 60th Anniversary and yet more and more just keep coming to Outlets. Here is a Dapper Mickey photo clip Frame. Originally $14.95, now $7.99.

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Thank you Disneyland annual passholders, for not buying a single piece of merchandise and making me go through it all. Yes, I’m looking in your direction Tom Bricker, Guy Selga, and Matt Gottula.

Disneyland 60th iPhone 6 case on left. Originally $39.95, now $14.99. On the right is a Minnie Mouse one where the character is stuck on the case. Has a lot of thickness. Originally $39.95, now just $7.99.

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iPhone cases.

Some houses have “fine china” but we theme park fans know what our favorite dinnerware is. The smaller Disneyland 60th plate was originally $17.95, now $7.99. The larger one was originally $21.95, now $9.99.

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If author extraordinaire Seth Kubersky ever gets married, I volunteer for the Ashkenazi tradition to break these plates (and as many more as they’ll let me.)

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Dani’s Best Week Ever May 26, 2016: Exploring Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and construction update

by on May 26, 2016

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is a wonder to behold. It is one of the few Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts that feels far removed from the theme parks and yet it is just a few moments away from the most attended theme park of them all: the Magic Kingdom. When I set out to enjoy this week’s “fun day”, a visit to Wilderness Lodge was not in the original plans. But the best laid plans sometimes fall apart when real life responsibilities pop up. Faced with less time than I’d hoped, I decided to give into the nagging need to visit Wilderness Lodge that had been pulling at me for quite some time. My visit rekindled my love and appreciation for this resort and allowed me to explore some of the construction taking place at this resort as it prepares to expand its Disney Vacation Club inventory.

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The transition into the world of the wilderness begins the moment you turn right onto Timberline Drive and pass under the archway leading to the Security shack. The tall pines tower above, flanking either side of the drive. Wildflowers add pops of color along the way.

The lodge stands proud and majestic. It is an impressive sight to behold. No matter how many times I’ve visited this resort that first sight of the lobby never fails to make me grow wide eyed and wide grinned. The towering totems, the tee-pee light fixtures, the view all the way to the top floor, it’s all so warm and inviting.

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Check out the hoof prints in the walkway!

Check out the hoof prints in the walkway!

 

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Many guests compare Wilderness Lodge to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and / or Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. I have a hard time accept the comparison to the Grand Californian because the theme and style is actually very different than Wilderness Lodge. Grand Californian represents the Arts and Crafts movement of California with a tinge of Art Nouveau. Some of the rich colors such as deep wood tones and rich evergreen are repeated at both resorts, but if you are attuned to details you can clearly see the difference in the two themes.

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New Details About DVC at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

by on May 20, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

Back in September, it was announced that new Disney Vacation Club units were coming to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Well, according to the DVC website, it was shared that The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge would be seeing a name change overall to go alongside these new DVC accommodations. The newly enhanced name is Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and this new name allows Imagineers to further explore the resort’s rugged roots and brings the community’s story to life in new ways.

In addition, the name of the new DVC units that are currently under construction will be Copper Creek Villas & Cabins.

Finally, the Hidden Springs pool area will see a new name, along with a redesigned area.

There is no timeline that has been given for a completion date of this new Disney Vacation Club addition. I’ll make sure to keep you posted as I learn more about all the upcoming enhancements.