DVC Questions

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JMed's picture
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Joined: 02/16/2014
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DVC Questions

For those of you who are active members, I have a couple of questions....

I am anxiously awaiting the final paperwork with our member number and all that jazz, all the signed docs were sent off yesterday. yay I have been going over and over this in my head for weeks. Was this the right decision, Is AKL the right home resort, can we afford this? Of course all the answers were yes, but it's a big step! Now it's just hurry up and wait...

Our last trip in November was our first with the dining plan and the first time we have really "dived into" the Disney dining experience. Some of the totals I was quite surprised by eek and SO happy we had the dining credits. I know the DDP is not available to DVC members, do you use the Tables In Wonderland card or just pay out of pocket with no discount? I was thinking of looking at what our accommodations 'would" have cost us and budgeting that for food? How do you all plan dining?

Annual passes - do you all have them or just buy tickets for the days you are going each time? Is there a discount to renew the annual passes if you get them? I have also heard there are discounted AP for DVC members, is that an always thing or a special thing they do at certain times?

Pool hopping - What do you have to do to use other resort pools? Just show up? I think Blondie would love to check them all out.....

NO PARKS?!?!?!?!? - Do you ever go down just to stay, eat at resorts and hit DTD? Is it worth it to use your points for that?

What about renting points, say we want ONE MORE trip one year and we are out, can we just borrow what we need, say 50 form the next year or would we better off renting 50 from someone and keeping the next year's allotment full?

There is so much bouncing around in my head right now, if there are some tips you think we should know, please throw that out there too!

And yes, I have thought about hitting a DVC only board, I just like it here way too much... laugh

Thanks so much in advance!!!! I know you all will have some great advice!

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Joined: 10/29/2009
Posts: 1884

I can answer some of your questions. You can add a dining plan even though you are staying using DVC points. You just can not get it free. We have found for the way we like to eat that TIW saves us much more than using a dining plan though. You will have to play around with numbers using the way you eat to decide which is the best bet for you.

We do keep annual passes. They are discounted and then even discounted a little more when you renew them. I believe this may be a perk that could be removed but we have been doing it for years. We spend at least 3 weeks a year in Disney so for us it is well worth the AP price. I believe you only need to spend 2 weeks a year in Disney to make the AP worth buying.

I have no idea how pool hopping works. We have never tried it. We have always just used the pool where we are staying.

Since we have AP, going to a resort without tickets has never been an issue. I do not believe I could go to a resort and not include going to the parks though.

You can borrow points from next year. That would however leave you with no points for next year or end up with you always borrowing points from the following year. We have never rented points. We tend to save up our points and treat family and friends to trips. We do pay out of pocket for our Poly trips. Again, you will have to "play" with the numbers to see what works best for you. Some people stretch their points as far as they can to get the most nights out of them.

Do not worry to much about what you picked as your home resort. I know some say the rule is to buy where you want to stay but our home resort is Saratoga Springs and we hardly ever stay there. So far we have never had a problem booking where we want to stay. Just remembered that actually I have tried twice to get a 3 bedroom villa at the seven month mark but could not either time. We just booked 3 separate rooms both times.

You are going to have so much fun planning how to spend your points.

Magic Mirror's picture
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Joined: 09/18/2012
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As someone who has been contemplating if we will buy DVC, I appreciate you asking these questions .. I'm paying attention to the answers too! wink

The Colonel's picture
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Joined: 11/08/2012
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Pool hopping is very overrated. I did it once in all these years. While staying at the the BC I took some people, to BW to try the clown slide and was immediately asked to leave (they did let us do the clown slide once before we left). We then went to the Swalfin pool which was pretty good. They had a band playing there. You cannot do it at most of the good pools. You can never pool hop to SAB. Security is almost as tight as the parks there. You can't pool hop at BW, AK, etc.

AKL, along with SSR and OKW would be the last resorts I would be interested in purchasing. I am a fan of walking to the parks. BC and BW work for me since I can walk to two parks and Epcot is my favorite park and F&W is my favorite time to go. But people tend to be happy with whatever DVC they buy.

I am always in borrow mode. I can't help it. If I have points, I have a tendency to use them. I'm working on planning my 4th trip for 2015 and I am completely out of points. Fortunately, DL has decent off site options.

I never do the DDP. I am against it in theory and in practice. TIW starts to save you money after about $450 in TS charges. I find just eating what I want, where I want, stresses me out less than budgeting.

I use APs - DVC does get a discount. The break even is less than two weeks. It may be eight days with a DVC discount.

I've spent a day without visiting the parks, but never a whole vacation. Not an issue with APs.

The thing with "buy where you want to stay" is that DVC reserves the right to change any of the rules at their discretion. So although it's pretty easy to get rooms at non home resorts now, that could always change. Disney could change the home resort priority, add black out dates, etc. but I've ignored that rule myself in the past. I bought Hilton Head points for $39pp and used them to stay at the BC and BW.

I don't know if I'm allowed to say this, but Mouseowners is a good forum for all things DVC. Although I am banned from there for using the word "taint". True story.

You can buy up to 24 one time use points per year from DVC if you run short. I think they charge $15. I do that a lot too. But I never rented points and I certainly never rented out mine.

I bought BCV at $73pp and BWV at $60pp. If you check the resales, you'll see that I could sell now at a decent profit. DVC is very unique in that regard among timeshares. It actually holds it's value. I'm never selling though.

You are making a very good investment. You will enjoy your purchase and make millions of memories. Your daughter will be one of the lucky kids who goes to WDW all the time. Someday you may take your grandchildren to stay in your DVC room. How much is that worth?

The answer: it depends on if you bought direct or resale.

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oHIo's picture
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Both Scrappy & Colonel are spot on! We have two home resorts, BLT & Beach Club because we like being able to walk to MK, EPCOT and even HS. BLT was a direct purchase and BC after market. If I was going to buy a third it would be AKL. The restaurants are amazing and the savannah views will blow you away! Coffee on the balcony in the morning is incredible! We have stayed there 1/2 dozen times, usually two or three days at a time.

We are annual pass holders as well as Table in Wonderland members. TIW costs $100 per year for AP or DVC members. Members receive 20% off at most table service restaurants and some quick service. You are automatically charged 18% gratuity but since many people give a tip of at least 15% or more there is still a sizable savings. The 20% discount also applies to alcohol. Another benefit is free valet parking when dining at a resort hotel. DVC members receive a sizable discount when purchasing annual passes and renewing an annual pass also receives a sizable discount.

We use DDP when we take friends or family so that we know what meals will cost before we ever leave home. As DVC members you can add that option as late as three days before your vacation begins. Although alcohol is not part of DDP, TIW can be used at the same time for adult beverages and appetizers.

Pool hopping at the luxury resorts is verboten with the exception at BLT where guests can use both BLT and Contemporary pools. They are very strict about checking bands especially at Stormalong Bay at the Yacht & Beach Club pool.

alicemouse's picture
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We're still fairly new to DVC, but I agree with the Colonel--those point will burn a hole in your pocket so bad...especially if you have an AP. Then it becomes "well, a trip to Disney now only "costs" us flight + food and with TIW, we're only paying for 80% of that food. I understand why people add on more points later.

We did TiW last year, but we are just as happy to eat counter service. Since we had purchased the card, we made it a point to put as many miles on it as possible. I agree with scrappy on DDP. We did it free one time and I know for a fact that I would never pay out of pocket for it. It's far too restrictive for me. We enjoyed having the TiW card, but even without doing the math, I know that we spent more money with TiW than we would have w/o it. Without it, we would have eaten about half as many table service meals. Also, our most expensive table service meals were ineligible. We did a Star Wars character meal and a Candlelight Processional dining package--both were excluded from TiW (don't remember if they were eligible for DDP). If we were doing a year with three or more trips, I would consider TiW again, but DDP is out unless I run out of borrowed points from next year and have to pay cash for a room where they're offering free DDP. biggrin

For our first year of DVC, we were lucky enough to score a $399/person Premium Annual Pass promotion for DVC. We settled on our DVC on about December 29, 2012 and we had until 12/31/12 to purchase the PAP. The PAP had to be activated by 12/31/13. We took or first trip on it starting on 11/30/13. Then we managed to squeeze in one long trip, two short trips, and one insane micro-short trip in 2014. We opted not to buy an AP this year for several reasons. First, we are going to California in March. It's a much more expensive trip than WDW is as a DVC member, so we knew that October 2014 was our last WDW trip for a while. Also, doing 35 park days in one year decimated our banked and current points and ate up most of a year of borrowed points. Finally, when I started selling travel, it became important that I diversify my travels a bit--you know, to DCL, Disneyland, Adventures by Disney, etc. to get more first hand experience in the industry. So having an AP doesn't make sense for us right now, but I assume that we will have one again at some point in the future (if I have my way, the pass will have "Florida Resident" printed on it.)

I can't recall an instance where we've pool hopped at all. Stormalong Bay is the only place that the effort of pool hopping would hold any allure for me, and since that is off the table, we just "make do" with the amazing pools at the other resorts. We don't always take time to swim, but I think OKW is one of my favorite pools. I like the water slide. It's a little fast and scary, but it doesn't make you feel like you're out of control.

So far we haven't done a non-park trip, but we've discussed it--either to go see what all the fuss is about at Universal or just spend time enjoying the amenities of these beautiful resorts.

We haven't tried to rent points because I don't have any extra and if I have to pay for points, I'd probably elect to pay cash if there's a sale going on.

We love DVC. It has been amazing for us so far and I hope that you and your family love it, too!

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Really good answers from everyone, I don't think I have much to add. mickey

JMed's picture
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Joined: 02/16/2014
Posts: 3723

I'm guessing one of the days the site wasn't working took my reply! eek

Thanks for the input everyone! I am still a bit overwhelmed but ready to go!!!!!

I am sure more questions will pop up and I know exactly where to go! biggrin

__________________

"I do not like the cone of shame."

"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell."

"It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell."

Jennifer Huotari | Create Your Badge

The Huotari's Disney Adventures | Promote Your Page Too

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Joined: 10/24/2014
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Everyone has already given such great answers. The only thing I can add is we have enjoyed The DVC Merry Mixer and the Welcome Home Wednesdays (held in the Dance Hall at Boardwalk. My DH is kind of over that whole thing, but I like corny jokes. Don't judge, lol) and having access to The Top of the World Lounge.

There is the DVC discount in the resort shops and on some meals. We got 20% off the price of the fabulous brunch at Fresh Mediterranean Market just by flashing our DVC card. The AP also offers various discounts. The shopping discount works at The Grand Californian shops too.

In December 2013, we were able to get a Grand Villa at BW, and had a multi-generational family vacation. We had an absolute blast. There is no way we could have ever done that without DVC.

Of course, you don't buy something because of the discounts, but if Disney is your vacation of choice, DVC can be a great value.

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RobynPrincess's picture
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Jazztrax, the welcome home Wednesday's has been discountinued now Sad

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