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View Full Version : Things to consider when choosing home resort?


amomommy1
04-13-2012, 12:18 PM
I've read a lot about people emphasizing the importance of loving your home resort. We are new to Disney but LOVE it! We haven't been to many resorts and honestly aren't that picky about where we stay. All the DVC resorts are nicer than most places we would normally stay. We would usually choose moderates. But as our kids get older, we will need more space. Plus, we want to eventually be able to share Disney with other family members (and travel with them). So what made you choose your resort? I know the 11 month window is nice, but at the same time, we will be traveling during busier times since I'm a teacher and don't have the choice to travel during the slower times. And from what I've read, the busier times are easier to book DVC. Correct me if I'm wrong. We aren't quite ready to do DVC, but I want to start researching it to see if it would eventually be the way to go. Our friends own DVC and they make it sound like it doesn't really matter where your home resort is. But I want to make sure I know all the detail :) Thanks for your input!

pmaurer74
04-13-2012, 01:12 PM
These boards are really great and helpful. If you truly do not care then SSR has a lower points cost and MFs but if you are going in the summer and on breaks like us and want to stay at Beach Club or WL it seems to be tougher. I have heard there is no busy season for DVC except during the F&W time and Christmas. We are thinking of getting SSR and are thinking of making a quick trip in May, June or July. To give you an idea as of yesterday only SSR was available in may and June and AKL, WL and SSR available in July. I would like to see what others say but if you truly do not care where you stay then go for a lower cost one.

drusba
04-13-2012, 01:13 PM
Teacher's have certain times of year they can go. If you want to go mid-July to mid-August (a low DVC demand time) you will usually find a lot available at other resorts at 7 months out. Earlier in the summer is more difficult and time around July 4 is extremely difficult unless all you are looking for is SSR (but not the treehouse villas) which is usually available at even at 2 months out most of the year. Other teacher times, Thanksgiving, Christmas and spring breaks are very high DVC demand times and finding something at a near-park resort (BLT, BCV, BWV or VWL) 7 months out can often be very difficult (and really impossible at Christmas time).

If you do not care where you stay and would be happy with SSR, and you understand that you may more often than not be unable to get something else 7 months out, then SSR would be an ideal purchase in resale, not only because of low resale price but also because its end date is 2054. BWV, VWL, BCV, and a lot of OKW resales have an end date of 2042. The usual mantra to buy where you want to stay most should no longer be followed if that means one of those three resorts if you are fairly young family. Trust me, when you are in your late 50s and 60s you will actually go more than you do when all the kids are around.

We own at BWV (bought 15 years ago) and believe it is best on site because of its location and boardwalk view rooms. However, I would not recommend any young family to purchase there today because of its end date. We also own at AKV, a unique resort that we consider just about as good as BWV. But many find AKV too "distant' from most things for their liking. Nevertheless, if resale price is good it is also a good choice because it gives you a great resort with animals to view and thus minimizes any concern about being able to reserve elsewhere, and has a 2057 end date.

KAT4DISNEY
04-13-2012, 01:37 PM
However, I would not recommend any young family to purchase there today because of its end date.

Some of us consider that a plus. The dues won't go on until we are 80 or 90! :goodvibes

bwvBound
04-13-2012, 01:37 PM
When we bought in 2004, we purchased SSR for longer contract, low dues and reasonable buy-in costs. We are not "in love" with SSR ... and didn't bother staying there until the Treehouses were introduced in 2009 (?).

Our travel patterns have worked well with booking other DVC properties at the 7-month window: BWV in late January/June; Aulani in Sept; Vero in Aug; etc. (Note our travel patterns are likely very different than yours. Yes, certain times of the year are extremely difficult to book at the 7-month window.)

ToddyLu
04-13-2012, 03:31 PM
:) Yep, I was ready to jump on SSR when we purchased because it was so reasonable---until it got to the wire and then DH sprung the---"What, I want to always stay at Animal Kingdom and see the animals"--and he has been stuck on it ever sense.

Take your time to really look and investigate the vibes you get from each resort. We had never stepped foot on AKV property. I guess deep down inside we were watching those Lodge buses pull up and then away again thinking "Wow that would be nice". Luckily I was already in love with the idea of DVC and there was no twisting my arm. It was the perfect choice for us and the location and decor suits us perfectly.

SSR-too large and didn't really care for the condo style (AKV is also large with hotel type orientation.
BWV-scary clown pool (yes I am being sarcastic), just didn't have the exotic destination feel that we wanted
BCV-Well we live on the MS Gulf Coast, so that had no real appeal
VWL-DH spent his early 20s fighting forrest fires in our National Parks, so that vibe was too much a reminder of being hot, miserable and tired for DH.
BLT-decor did not appeal to us at all, but I do think it is the perfect design to go with CR
OKW-refer to BCV
VB and HHI were not even on the radar. We have lovely beaches 2 miles from home and Gulf Shores is 1.5 hrs away.
VGC-DH has never been to DL and I went in 1978...I love this resort though.

So those were our feelings on the actual resorts---I wore out the DVC website looking at the rooms.

Missyrose
04-13-2012, 05:40 PM
For us, we knew we loved planning trips for Epcot's Food and Wine Festival, so we knew owning at an Epcot resort was a must for us. We just liked the vibe and activity better at Boardwalk than Beach Club. Plus, Epcot has quickly become our favorite park, so staying within walking distance is just heavenly. :cloud9:

We also love our home resort, so even if we can't switch to something else we want, we'll be perfectly happy staying there each time we go to Disney.

You're about to make a big investment so I would take the time to research, and maybe even visit, each of the resorts before you buy.

crisi
04-13-2012, 07:12 PM
Choose a resort you "won't mind staying at" If you want to stay at BCVs, and your heart will be broken if you can't stay there, then that is where you buy - not at SSR hoping that you'll get into BCV. On the other hand, if you don't mind SSR, go ahead.

Some considerations:

Financial:
Purchase price
Dues (Vero Beach is cheap up front, but dues are higher)
Contract Termination Date

Availability (Epcot resorts for F&W, THVs pretty much anytime)

The intangibles:

Do you like interior hallways
How important is the pool
How about themeing (some people LOVE VWL, other people hate it)
Nearby restaurants
What is parking like
How far are you from theme parks
Will you usually have a car or are you Disney transportation dependent.
Do you need to book Grand Villas
Is a bookable View important (DVC has some of the worst views in the World - and some of the best in bookable categories like Boardwalk View at the Boardwalk or MK at BLT - but the views that can be booked tend to go before seven months).

disneynutz
04-14-2012, 09:02 AM
I'm one of the buy where you love to stay people.

My advice is based on experience. Many newbies buy while excited just to be at Disney. After the initial pixie dust settles and they can't always get the room/resort they want, when they want, they soon realize that they have a flaw in their plan. They work around the problem and settle for SSR or another resort with availability.

I don't like to settle, I paid/pay a lot of money for our Disney time and I want to know that I can stay at my favorite resort because the resort is an important part of the experience. The parks are the main reason for coming to WDW when you are new, after a few years of the same rides and attractions, we spend less time in the parks, and more time at the resort.

:earsboy: Bill

chalee94
04-16-2012, 09:27 AM
here is a great thread for more info about choosing a home resort. (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2152512)

LSchrow
04-16-2012, 11:25 AM
you've been given great advice - definately look before you leap ;)

we had stayed at the BWVs before buying there, so we were (and still are) happy that was our first contract.
then, we did 2 more add-ons at different resorts, and (20 20 hindsight) wish we had just bought more BWV points as we are allows borrowing from that contract.

find which resort YOU love before you buy:thumbsup2

DVC Sue
04-16-2012, 11:40 AM
We own at BWV, VWL, and AKV.

We love them all, but BWV is our favorite. I would choose their because (in my opinion) the standard rooms are the best value to be had considering the location.

amomommy1
04-23-2012, 03:52 PM
Thank you everyone! I have spent a lot of time looking at pictures online and trying to determine what would work best for us although we are not quite ready for the actual purchase. Here are some thoughts:

End of contract: In 2042 I will be 62 and DH will be 65. So I'm leaning toward a resort with the contract ending later than that since we will hopefully still be traveling, will have retired recently, hopefully have grandkids and will be able to use DVC more than now.

Resort amenities: BCV is probably my top choice based on the rooms, resort and location. However, it has an earlier end of contract and the upfront price is more. I know a lot of people like staying near Epcot for F&W, but since I'm a teacher, we can never go during this time until we are retired. With my teacher schedule, we will hopefully be able to stay there at some point.

I like AKV, but the distance from the parks is the biggest issue. And with it being a bigger resort, I would like to think I could book a room at 7 months out without a major problem. We will mostly be doing 1 bedrooms (I think). Plus the purchase price is a bit higher.

OKW is appealing mostly because of the price and the lower points needed for rooms. However, I'm not a big fan of the room decor, the contract ends earlier and it seems like there have been a lot of ROFR for OKW recently.

My top choice at this point is SSR. The rooms are similar to BCV, there are 2 nice pools and it is close to DTD. We used the bus system on our last Disney trip and we never had a problem with the buses. They came frequently and there was always room for us. There was only 1 time that the bus was standing room only. The travel time didn't seem too long either for any of the parks. The purchase price and maintenance fees are lower too so that is a plus. And the contract ends in 2054 which gives us another 12 years to enjoy DVC.

So I'm leaning toward SSR right now. If there are any other major things I'm missing when considering this, let me know!! Thanks!!

DougEMG
04-23-2012, 04:10 PM
Sounds like you've thought everything through on what your requirements are. On the bright side, SSR is one of the most cost efficent resorts to buy into.

Lucia_27
04-23-2012, 04:10 PM
OKW is appealing mostly because of the price and the lower points needed for rooms. However, I'm not a big fan of the room decor, the contract ends earlier and it seems like there have been a lot of ROFR for OKW recently.


If you are interested in OKW, you can find contracts on the resale market with the extended contract. You will pay a higher price than the 2042 year contracts, but I bet you'd make it past ROFR!

kristenrice
04-23-2012, 04:30 PM
...BCV is probably my top choice based on the rooms, resort and location.

My top choice at this point is SSR. The rooms are similar to BCV, there are 2 nice pools and it is close to DTD. We used the bus system on our last Disney trip and we never had a problem with the buses. They came frequently and there was always room for us. There was only 1 time that the bus was standing room only. The travel time didn't seem too long either for any of the parks. The purchase price and maintenance fees are lower too so that is a plus. And the contract ends in 2054 which gives us another 12 years to enjoy DVC.

So I'm leaning toward SSR right now. If there are any other major things I'm missing when considering this, let me know!! Thanks!!

Here's my $0.02...

BCV is the smallest on-property DVC resort (someone correct me if I am wrong...) and SSR is the largest. Therefore, unless you are planning on booking THV's, you should never need the home resort advantage at SSR. On the flip side, the summer at BCV can be difficult, but not impossible, at 7-months.

When we bought, we liked OKW, but we loved AKV. At the time, AKV was brand new so the resales were still quite a bit higher than OKW. We were looking at buying only 100 points so the value category at AKV was a huge benefit to that resort. Although OKW was substantially cheaper, I knew that we would need the 11-month window to get those value rooms on a regular basis. Even the standard view at Kidani is becoming difficult at times since the inventory is smaller. I knew that since OKW is so big and we are not interested in the GV's, we would not have too much problem getting a 1BR there at 7-months. Thus, we decided to pay more and get the resort that we love instead of the one we like and we bought AKV. If DVC decided that we had to stay at our home resort, I would be 100% happy at AKV.

I don't know how many points you are looking at, but have you considered buying a smaller amount at both resorts? If you bought, say, 100 points at SSR and 100 points at BCV, you could bank 100 SSR points and use 100 current BCV and 100 borrowed BCV points and book a 200 point stay at BCV. The next year, you would have 200 SSR points. This way, you would have 200 BCV points every other year and you could utilize the 11-month window. On the alternate years, you could book 200 points at SSR at 11 months, or anywhere else at 7 months.

That's my take on it...good luck:flower3:.

disneynutz
04-23-2012, 04:38 PM
I don't have any numbers but I wonder how many owners keep their contracts for a lengthly period. We love Disney but the reality is not much changes over the years except the prices.

We spend less time in the parks and as time goes on I see us spending less time at Disney:scared1:

The people who post on the DIS are die hard Disney fans but all of the resale contracts have to come from owners who are selling.

:earsboy: Bill

ELMC
04-23-2012, 08:35 PM
Thank you everyone! I have spent a lot of time looking at pictures online and trying to determine what would work best for us although we are not quite ready for the actual purchase. Here are some thoughts:

End of contract: In 2042 I will be 62 and DH will be 65. So I'm leaning toward a resort with the contract ending later than that since we will hopefully still be traveling, will have retired recently, hopefully have grandkids and will be able to use DVC more than now.

Resort amenities: BCV is probably my top choice based on the rooms, resort and location. However, it has an earlier end of contract and the upfront price is more. I know a lot of people like staying near Epcot for F&W, but since I'm a teacher, we can never go during this time until we are retired. With my teacher schedule, we will hopefully be able to stay there at some point.

I like AKV, but the distance from the parks is the biggest issue. And with it being a bigger resort, I would like to think I could book a room at 7 months out without a major problem. We will mostly be doing 1 bedrooms (I think). Plus the purchase price is a bit higher.

OKW is appealing mostly because of the price and the lower points needed for rooms. However, I'm not a big fan of the room decor, the contract ends earlier and it seems like there have been a lot of ROFR for OKW recently.

My top choice at this point is SSR. The rooms are similar to BCV, there are 2 nice pools and it is close to DTD. We used the bus system on our last Disney trip and we never had a problem with the buses. They came frequently and there was always room for us. There was only 1 time that the bus was standing room only. The travel time didn't seem too long either for any of the parks. The purchase price and maintenance fees are lower too so that is a plus. And the contract ends in 2054 which gives us another 12 years to enjoy DVC.

So I'm leaning toward SSR right now. If there are any other major things I'm missing when considering this, let me know!! Thanks!!

It really does sound like you've done your homework. As a previous poster said, however, you need to be comfortable with the fact that due to the 11/7 month windows, you may not ever be able to get what you want at another resort. You might be able to, but you also might not. If you're ok with that, go ahead with SSR. Tons of people have bought there and they've been happy! Good luck.

KSL
04-24-2012, 12:19 PM
Hi OP - good luck with your decision! It sounds like you know how you are leaning, but just a couple of other things to consider (which you asked for in your original post) which I didn't see mentioned (might have missed, but I didn't see these):
Dining options - I think most have counter service options but it is easier at some than others (will you care if you have to go to CR from BLT, for example). If this is a factor, it's good to know ahead
Community hall - again, I think there are a few which do not have one, so if this is a consideration again it's good to know ahead
5th person in a 1-BR - definitely a consideration if you need this or think you might (OKW, BLT & AKV have the sleeper chair; doesn't seem to be much chance of them being added to the other 1-BRs due to space constraints, but I keep hoping!)
2nd bathroom in a 1-BR - I think BLT & AKV are the only ones which have this; a huge benefit IMO
There are so many things to consider. Obviously location, price, MF etc. are more important than the above, but these smaller factors can really make a difference. Let us know what you decide!!
-KSL

Mississippian
05-04-2012, 03:33 PM
We own at BWV (bought 15 years ago) and believe it is best on site because of its location and boardwalk view rooms. However, I would not recommend any young family to purchase there today because of its end date. We also own at AKV, a unique resort that we consider just about as good as BWV. But many find AKV too "distant' from most things for their liking. Nevertheless, if resale price is good it is also a good choice because it gives you a great resort with animals to view and thus minimizes any concern about being able to reserve elsewhere, and has a 2057 end date.

BWV still has 30 years left. So if you buy there that means 30 years of wonderful restaurants and nightlife, and the simple ease of simply walking to two of the theme parks, with the Magic Kingdom available by monorail by simply walking through EPCOT.

On the other hand, if you buy at AKV you are getting some extra years, but it will be extra years of limited dining and misery of having to ride on buses, often crowded and unpleasant, to every single theme park. How dreadful.

Make no mistake, I think AKL is a beautiful place and I'd love to stay at AKV for a few days just to enjoy the resort. But it is a terrible place to stay if you like to eat at a variety of restaurants or have easy access to the theme parks.

Give me 30 years of joy over a few extra years of misery. To each his own, though.

p.s. Take my comments with a grain of salt. Lots of people love AKV. You ought to stay at both resorts and decide for yourself. Some people don't mind the buses. I just hate them. And having a wide variety of restaurants is really important to me. For others it doesn't matter.

dd08
05-05-2012, 11:16 PM
BWV still has 30 years left. So if you buy there that means 30 years of wonderful restaurants and nightlife, and the simple ease of simply walking to two of the theme parks, with the Magic Kingdom available by monorail by simply walking through EPCOT.

On the other hand, if you buy at AKV you are getting some extra years, but it will be extra years of limited dining and misery of having to ride on buses, often crowded and unpleasant, to every single theme park. How dreadful.

Make no mistake, I think AKL is a beautiful place and I'd love to stay at AKV for a few days just to enjoy the resort. But it is a terrible place to stay if you like to eat at a variety of restaurants or have easy access to the theme parks.

Give me 30 years of joy over a few extra years of misery. To each his own, though.

p.s. Take my comments with a grain of salt. Lots of people love AKV. You ought to stay at both resorts and decide for yourself. Some people don't mind the buses. I just hate them. And having a wide variety of restaurants is really important to me. For others it doesn't matter.


:rolleyes:

dd08
05-05-2012, 11:18 PM
I don't have any numbers but I wonder how many owners keep their contracts for a lengthly period. We love Disney but the reality is not much changes over the years except the prices.

We spend less time in the parks and as time goes on I see us spending less time at Disney:scared1:

The people who post on the DIS are die hard Disney fans but all of the resale contracts have to come from owners who are selling.

:earsboy: Bill



I think you should sell all your points.