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View Full Version : Want to buy? AKV vs. SSR, booking window?


Tink&PirateMama
02-22-2009, 06:54 AM
Hi!
After sorting out how many points we actually will want to buy/need, DH and I are torn on where to buy.

Ideally, we'd like to stay at different resorts, which is why we want to buy DVC, not just one place all the time like a traditional timeshare. All of the resorts have something special, and I think they look fantastic! I'd like to try them all- and our schedule is quite flexible (we both work from home) to be abel to do it. That being said, any of the ones really close to parks (BLT, BCv, BWV)- I could not imagine wanting to stay at often or long. Maybe a couple of nights once in awhile - the reason being we like the peace and quiet of coming back 'home' after the parks. We are also the types to hang out at the pool for the day, and not rush around at parks every day. I expect if anything that will increase as we become DVC members! I expect the places we're more regularly going to want to stay at will likely be: SSR, AKV, OKW, and VWL. And we love beaches, so I expect VB or HHI will happen as well- and I could see us down the road buying into one of those if we loved it a lot, as an add on... but that isn't something we are looking into right now, and would want to try out a bit first.

First thinking of buying DVC, we thought we'd do 100 at SSR and 100 at AKV. However, after more research (and my husband learning more about kindani) DH really thinks we should have just one location with points for ease of planning (and to keep it simple if we add on a beach one down the road). He is also really liking the food options at AKV better, the childcare options and activities, and the pool/waterpark. He feels it is the best resort (with SSR coming in second) for him. I happen to like the ease of getting groceries at SSR (parking right there!), shopping at DDD, and the spa. But I would be happy at either I believe, as long as I could have some variety over the years. It seems to me that we are less interested in the most popular of resorts. So if we bought all at AKV, do you think it would be fairly easy for us to get a 2bedroom at OKW or SSR for say 5 or 6 nights during a value season from time to time? It seems that it would be easier to do that, then buy SSR and try to get in to AKV for a week? Or else we do the 100/100 swap between the 2 every year? I hear the good thing about 2 contracts is easier resale, and also for inheritence... but honestly, it would seem nothing is great for resale in this economy? So does that even matter?

One other thing, any other comments from those that own at either SSR or AKV (or both!) are welcome- I'd love to get more feedback as we're deciding. The other thing is, SSR resale is really good right now, so we could get more points there... but then that would be more points with MF, so I'm not sure about that either. As I said, DH feels good about 200 at AKV. And resale on that isn't that great, so I'm not sure if that one makes sense or if we'd go with disney on it- would have to crunch all the numbers and sort out the closing costs or incentive options.

Thank you- this board has been SO helpful!!!

CarolMN
02-22-2009, 07:34 AM
Based on your post, I'd suggest AKV. SSR is the largest DVC resort and thus is usually the last to book up. SSR is the resort most likely to have availability at 7 months. In fact, with only a few exceptions (Christmas- New Year's), I've not heard any reports of members being shut out of SSR at 7 months.

If you go with AKV, you will have a shot at the less expensive villas (value & standard booking categories). Since those are more limited in number, the home resort booking advantage is a plus. If you ever see yourselves splurging for concierge, you'll definitely need the 11 month window to have a shot at the very limited concierge category.

OKW is often available at the 7 month mark so you will be able to stay there if you plan ahead and call right at the 7 month window. VWL is more of a challenge since it's so much smaller than OKW, AKV & SSR. As far as Adventure Season at VWL goes, December is very difficult at 7 months, January is somewhat easier and September will be your best chance.

The good news is that both AKV and SSR are great resorts, so you can't really make a bad choice. Good luck.

FWIW, I think your DH is correct to have your first contract all at one place, especially if you plan on booking mostly 2 bedroom villas. It will make point management and reservations easier, and reduce the chance that you will end up with points you can't use before expiration.

Good luck with the decision!

alldiz
02-22-2009, 08:06 AM
Your DH is happy to buy 200pts at AKV....LET HIM:goodvibes

I think having the points all in 1 place is a good idea. It does make planning very easy. I bought at WLV......which you will love after reading your description of what you would like. I think that you would be better off buying at AKV I think it gives you more options. SSR seems the easiest to get a room at last minute....so proper planning will give you an easy time to get a room there.

For that matter I stayed at BWV, BCV, OKW, SSR before I even went to my home of WLV. I wanted to try them all.....But WLV is my favorite by far. With BWV coming in 2nd.
Havent stayed at AKV yet though.
Good luck in your decision....you can't go wrong:goodvibes
Kerri

ldo
02-22-2009, 09:16 AM
IF you think you might want to stay at THV, then I would buy SSR for the 11 month booking advantage. You should take a good look at them--with kids, you get 3 BR instead of 2 and they might appeal to kids. IF I were going to always book 2 BR, I would be very tempted with THV.
On the other hand, if you think you might want to save points and book value category at AKV (or concierge), then you should own at AKV. AKV is a large resort, so I don't think after a year of so you will have much trouble booking there--unless it is NYE.
With either decision--I would try to get my contract split into 2 (100) point contracts--or at the very least 160 and 40----this is much easier to resale in the future, if you needed to.

Disney MAINEiac
02-22-2009, 09:54 AM
I'll throw this out for thought. BCV and BWV though they are close to parks are not nearly as load or hustle bustle as you may think. We have stayed at both and this will be our 3rd year in a row at BWV. The close location to DHS and EPCOT are what actually allow us more time to relax by the pool IMO.. its such a short walk back for a couple hours in the pool we find ourselves jumping in and out of the parks constantly (no need for buses for half the parks we visit)

AKV seems a bit too isolated to me. you need to bus to everything and the choices for eating are more limited than SSR (close to DTD). Don't get me wrong its beautiful and I am sure we will stay there, it just doesn't seem as convenient as the other resorts.

don't reject the close to parks resorts if only because you think they won't be as quiet or relaxing. the pace and relaxation at these resorts take a back seat to none.

Tink&PirateMama
02-22-2009, 10:24 AM
THis is all really helpful information- thank you all! I'm having my husband read them all as well!

Another question regarding THV- I can't find any info on the points, or points for 2010 anywhere really- all's I have is 2009. Is that listed somewhere for non-members??

Thank you!!

EDIT: Ok, I just found this information myself with google! And THV is the SAME points at a 2br for the week (in 2010). Now that is going to make this a bit more difficult decision!!!!

NJ Goofy
02-22-2009, 11:23 AM
We love both resorts, but as some of the other posts noted AKL is off by its own. We felt, as our boys got older, they could go over to DTD on their own so it gave us options at night without having to take transportation.

However, as one of the posts noted you can probably get 7 month reservations at SSR easier that any other resort.

We just bought 50 pt. add on at BWV because we enjoy that resort and the location to 2 parks and the Boardwalk.

Good luck

backyardponder
02-22-2009, 11:35 AM
You indicated in your OP that the pool is important. Last year we walked from OKW to SSR and saw where THV's were going. Since I am walker, and nothing to me is "too far", it would be ok for me, but, you might want to consider distance from THV to the pool if distances are important to you. Yes, there will be a bus also.

Good Luck with your decision. I'm sure you'll be happy any way you go. We are.

CheapMom
02-22-2009, 11:58 AM
Based on your description of your travel habits, I would probably go for a resale at SSR. The price is just so sweet right now, and you could get more points. Since the MFs are lower than AKV you could have more points and pay around the same MFs as less points at AKV (depending on number of points of course)
I have found it pretty easy to book at 7 months. I have booked OKW, AKV (twice), BWV, SSR and HHI all after the 7 month mark. I have only been a member since 2006.

I own at SSR and it is a great resort for us because we are not everyday park people, and walking to DTD is a great option for our travel habits. We also love the THV options.

Buckeye Fan
02-22-2009, 12:05 PM
Goodness, you guys sound SO much like us! These types of questions are so hard for me, though, because like DVC Mike and others, I could own at almost every resort. I know Mike doesn't care as much for the condo style resorts, but I even love those! :goodvibes We did what your DH suggested and purchased all of our WDW points at one resort, instead of doing 2 - 200 point contracts at different locations.

With that said, based on what you enjoy doing, I'd personally choose SSR for the following reasons:
1) You'll get more points for your money, with almost the same expiration date.
2) IMHO, there are more things to do. DTD is walking distance (La Nouba, AMC Movies, shopping), there's a great spa, and the workout facility is the BEST!
3) Food choices are better at SSR. You have Turf Club (one of my favorite sit-downs on WDW property) and Artist's Palette (fast service) at SSR. DTD, of course, has tons of options.
4) Transportation - I love being able to catch a bus to any park from SSR, and walk over to DTD and catch a bus to any hotel. So, when we want to go to Pepper Market over at Coronado Springs, we don't have to take a bus to a park, and then catch a bus from the park to CS and back. That's VERY convenient.

My second choice...I would struggle between OKW and VWL. I love both resorts so much. VWL has much of the same appeal that SSR does for many of the same reasons. Things are so close there, but not so close that you feel in the middle of the action. Both are truly beautiful resorts for different reasons.

Best of luck with your decision. :goodvibes I'm really glad I didn't know then what I know now, or I would have NEVER decided on a home resort. If you enjoy hopping like we do, it really won't matter. I've always been able to get a reservation where I wanted (even got a value 1-BR at AKV for Easter week at the 6 month mark). For the couple of times where my first choice wasn't available, I went with another option and was perfectly happy. Peak times (like F&W, VWL at Christmas, and VB/HHI during the summer months and holidays will be the exception. We purchased points last year at VB, as we want to do a beach/WDW combo most summers.