View Full Version : Climbing off my high horse... and "squeezing" my whole family into... (long)
07-14-2004, 06:51 PM
:eek: :eek: :earseek: :o
There's 4 of us - 2 adults and 2 little girls (3 & 5).
We've never actually stayed in a studio before. Of course, we've booked it for other people staying with us since they aren't the one paying for the points or the dues.
But we were definitely spoiled by the space and amenities of the one bedrooms - especially the space of the OKW one bedrooms. O'kay, I admit it - I was a one bedroom snob!
I have responded to threads in the past about larger units versus longer trips or multiple trips and have always advocated the "true vacation experience" of the one bedroom.
But I spoke from the vantage point of having enough points to actually do both - larger units and multiple trips. Shame, shame on me for my superior attitude... :o
After having blowing, I mean using 2 years worth of points this January for (annoying) family (obviously DH's - my family is just loud) and having no more points for trips this year and having borrowed some of next year points also, I have to re-evaluate my priorities...
Our next trip to the world won't be until February 2005. 13 months after the last one. Which really isn't that long but it seems like a dry spell to me after 2 to 4 trips per year for the past few years. Very hard for a Disney and vacation addict. Thus, we are rearing to go next year and get as many trips out of an annual pass.
And therein lies my dilemma...
After buying into DVC and going on multiple trips, DH and I have agreed on certain points.
*We both love the space of the one bedroom. Great for our little girls to spread out and the laundry is a must.
*We both HATE moving around on vacation even to save on mega weekend points. We detest packing and unpacking - once is enough. Our girls can manage to hide their stuff in the oddest place within 1 hour of checking in. We always have to do an extreme examination of the unit before checking out to ensure that a favorite toy isn't left behind - you'd be surprised at what we DO find sometimes that other people have left behind!
*I want to go more than once a year - especially next year.
*DH wants to go for longer than the DVC 5 day power trip.
So,... based on our (hopefully) temporary point shortage, we had to prioritize our likes and dislikes in order to plan our trips (notice I used the plural) next year.
We had to do the point juggling to see what we WANTED to do (impossible) and what we could do (so sad).
First, I definitely wanted to go a least twice. Obviously, my wish gets bumped to the top of the list.
We also decided to take advantage of DD5's school calendar to go longer and to get 2 weeks out of one week off.
We initially thought that we HAD to get a one bedroom. But the points just wouldn't add up (or added up too quickly - lol!)
I thought about all the possibilities of moving on the weekends or switching units. But that got axed because DH & I really HATE moving around.
I thought about weekend cash nights (as Dean and others have suggested) but got a headache from the planning uncertainty. Besides, DH reminded me that he bought in DVC to pre-pay for accomodations. He would never spend so much on a unit even if it was huge. We are cheap if we have to pull any more $$ out of our pockets but we are very generous with prepaid "points."
I thought of planning a cash vacation at a WDW resort or even a non-Disney vacation to supplement my one bedroom DVC vacation in other to get my multiple vacation fix without exceeding my DVC point allotment.
But as I was looking at hotels at WDW and hotel packages to the Caribbean, I realized that I still won't get my washer/dryer at these locations and maybe not even a minifridge/microwave.
So, if I was willing to stay in a "regular" hotel room, why was I being such a DVC studio snob?
Yes, they are much, much smaller than the one bedroom and I'll lose my washer/dryer, the full size frig, the dishwasher, the jacuzzi tub... Wait what was I saying? Oh yeah... but than, the studios are certainly compensated by the much, much lower points.
So, after discussing it with DH, we decided to "temporarily" sacrifice size for not having to move at all during the trip and being being able to stay for 12 nights in February AND in October with a possibility of another 5 night DVC power trip.
AND these trips will ALL be in a DVC studio in the world!!
So, it is official... this one bedroom snob is climbing off her high horse!
After this "sacrificial" year, maybe we'll actually like the studios. Or maybe DH will break down and tell me to shop for that resale that we really don't "need since we had enough points until you came up the great :rolleyes: idea of inviting my family (who I don't get along with) and using out all our surplus and then some."
Ah yes,... that is my ultimate goal...a sinister plot for more points... :idea: Ha, Ha, Ha...
07-14-2004, 07:29 PM
Yes this is Dr Phil. I read the above post. I have decided to quit my practice. I can't take it anymore!! WAIT... Maybe all DVC members aren't crazy? Nah ! They are !! I have decided to buy a Chicken Ranch in Vermont. Signed, Dr Phil.
07-14-2004, 07:40 PM
:space: :space: :charac2: Beam me up Scotty, we have one that is ready to go with us!!.
07-14-2004, 07:41 PM
Wow, I'd still go less days and get the 1 BR to have the washer/dryer and separate sleeping options for the kids vs. parents...12 days is a LONG time to be in a studio when you are used to a 1 BR.
If it were me I would do five day trips in the one bedroom without the weekend premiums. If I wanted to stay longer I would get a great AP rate for a few days then switch to DVC. But each must set their own priorities.
I do understand the withdrawal problems of extended time between Disney trips ::yes::
07-14-2004, 08:40 PM
The only thing better than 12 days at a WDW DVC studio is 13 or more days (other than a bigger place-which you ruled out).
07-14-2004, 08:46 PM
Given the options we are all afforded with as DVC members isn't it great that you can find what is a "sacrifice" and let it work for you ? We do many of the different options you mentioed, and though the 1 and 2 BR are of course our favorites, we can handle the studio when we have to or to get an extra vacation.
07-14-2004, 08:49 PM
Oooohhh, I hear you loud and clear. DH thought we bought our points so we would have our accomodations 'pre-paid', and of course, that's true. But like you, I appreciate the one-bedroom units, the washer/dryer, the dishwasher, the jacuzzi tub -- all the SPACE! We're going down without any kids in November. Really, it was impossible to justify using the points on a one-bedroom for the two of us. Really. Absolutely. So we're staying in a studio at VWL for seven nites. We have to move to OKW for our last nite there -- and I got a one-bedroom ::yes:: !!!!! Boy, will DH be surprised. Really!!!!
07-14-2004, 09:49 PM
Hang in there --- studios are NOT so bad! We use our points on a variety of room sizes and I can honestly say that I have never come home from a trip in a studio and said "Boy, that just wasn't fun; wish we hadn't gone!" It Disney World, for goodness sake -- you'll have a ball!
Truly, we stay in all sizes. We go at Spring Break with my parents and get a 2-bedroom and it is wonderful. But for all the cooking we (don't) do, the kitchenette is fine. The only thing I miss when we take an extra (studio) trip is the washer and dryer. So one afternoon while the kids swim, I do laundry -- no biggie!
We went at Thanksgiving this past year with my parents and were SO out of points that we had to rent some from another member. We stayed in 2 studios and I can't tell you how I obessed over it... Would it be a let-down, we weren't all in one room, etc. So silly. We had the best trip! We had 2 ground floor studios in the same building at OKW and it was FINE. We had a great time being together.
Every trip has special moments that become special memories. Every room has pluses and minuses. Studios at OKW are such a bargain that I have taken trips I otherwise would never have had. Last summer we had a studio at the Wilderness Lodge and it was HEAVEN... I was so thrilled just to be at that gorgeous resort.
Take a deep breath and keep saying "It'll be fine!" because it WILL be!
07-14-2004, 10:06 PM
Well....if you are staying at an OKW studio, you will be doing just fine. Yes, you have to take a walk for the washer/dryer, but everything is there for you......You can make do by not cooking as much.....(I know that sounds very painful).....and you can definitely hit the outside hot tub (painful as well), but your plight sounds fun..........hope you have a great time!
07-14-2004, 10:12 PM
I am in the same boat as you, I own 270 points but I have less than 100 in my 2004-2005 use year because I took the ungrateful family a few times.
So in order to get my park time I am forced to do the studios.
I just got back from 11 days in a studio at OKW. I used my points for Sunday through Thurs and paid for the weekends, getting an AP rate of $170 per night.
We asked for a studio near the pool and were right across the street. We did our laundry three times and being so close to the pool it was no problem at all.
There were 4 of us, my friend and I shared a bed, his 18 yr old daughter had the other bed and his 12 year old son slept on the twin aero bed we brought. We moved the table and chairs a bit and set his bed up near the door of the lockout we had. It was not in the way at all.
The only problem I had was sharing the bathroom with that many people was a little tough, but with your young children it shouldn't be a problem at all
I like the other resorts, but I get more for my points at OKW, I love the small pools that are practically private, and the rooms are bigger. Peggie
07-15-2004, 12:01 AM
I would probably do the same thing you are doing.
We stay in studios quite often but there is just two of us.
I will NEVER move again to save weekend points. We did it once when we were staying 12 days, partly because we wanted to stay at AKL. While we enjoyed AKL, moving was a PAIN. It felt like we lost a whole day.
The only thing I really miss in the studio is the washer/dryer. I can do without the kitchen:p and the jacuzzi.
07-15-2004, 12:20 AM
Your post makes me love DVC even more.... flexablitity.
It's life.... sometime you have more... sometimes you have less.... life( amd points) is what you make it.
For 2005 we opted to shave a day or two off each of our our trips to be able to invite people along for a trip or two.
Give and take.... ying and yang...
Biggest bang for your buck
DVC covers it all...
07-15-2004, 12:40 AM
We just got back from a 12 night stay in a studio at SSR . There were four of us, me, dh, ds5, dd8 and we had a blast. I do have to admit we have not stayed in a 1 bdr yet and were ignorant to what we were missing out on . We are taking my parents along Spring Break and getting a 2 bdr and I'm scared to death I will become a 1-2 bdr snob as well. It makes me hopeful if I do there's always a chance I could fall off my "high horse" when necessary:p
07-15-2004, 02:24 AM
Boy, there seems to be a lot of spoiled :tongue: people out there--I am worried to ever try a 1 or 2 bedroom. I am not in my room that much to care & detest doing laundry on vacation. I'd rather pack more & do more laundry upon our return. I've never stayed in anything other than a studio. We only own 150, although after our cruise I think I've got the DH convinced to buy more points, but now I am afraid to try a bigger room.
07-15-2004, 02:50 AM
We have done all sizes of accommadation. We love the 1 beds and would do them all the time if points allowed us to. However we have done all the studios in all the resorts and they have been great. I love them, they are so cute. We prefer the 1 beds while the kids are young so we can relax in the evening and watch television. In a studio we have to wait until they are a sleep and then wisper! If we moan about being cramped we remind ourselves that when our youngest DD was 3 we did 3 weeks in the ASM! And loved it!
07-15-2004, 08:49 AM
Sounds like you guys made the right decision for you - have a great time - and thanks for admitting you are climbing off your high horse. Its so easy to make decisions for other people - but then you look at your own priorities and resources and discover you can't justify absolutely everything you want. Suddenly sometimes you realize exactly how tight your blinders were on.
I'm trained in something called Kepner Tragoe decision making. Basically, you weight what you want and score your options against it. Its doing what you did, but putting some numbers to it. In something like this - where your big "want" was spending as many days as possible at Disney and your other big "wants" was not spending additional money or moving around - you made the right choice. Someone else may have decided to purchase a resale to cover their wants, rent points, move around, have shorter stays - but they would be someone with a different set of priorities and they'd get a different answer.
Have a great time!
07-15-2004, 10:20 AM
I just recently faced a similar dillema.....and I have a son starting school this year, so alot of the flexibility for me goes out the window. BUT....we save so much $$ by having the kitchen, so our compromise was a Sunday-Thurs. visit in a 1 bedroom (88 points) and getting what we want. Hubby takes a few days off work, but what we saved was worth the effort.
I really considered a studio, but I was spoiled by the Cabins' kitchen and how much $$ we saved...and to have a kitchen, AND a washer/dryer, AND a jacuzzi tub, AND the space? If you cook most of your meals, a 1 bedroom pays for itself. If you don't, then get a studio. It seems to all even out in the end.
By the way...WE ARE GOING THIS SUNDAY!! However, we are going to try to stay away from the parks, and do all of the things we miss every time....Downtown Disney, Quest, Boardwalk, Pools, Hotels, etc. Our sons are 5 and 4, and they really have a hard time making it a day in the parks at their age. We all end up hot, grumpy, and feel rushed. Plus, we have went 3 times this year, so it's Mom and Dad's turn to try to R & R. We are going to Pleasure Island to take advantage of the free admission (don't want to go into the bars anyway-we don't drink.) We always choose one really cheesy thing to do, and this year, it will be two.... Gatorland and the Pirate Dinner Theatre.
So, remember the rule...it all evens out in the end!
07-15-2004, 11:37 AM
Hey I have stayed in a studio, 1 and 2 bedroom - yes you will miss the whirlpool tub, the bigger kitchen, but what I miss most is the balcony that is big enough to eat on.
the views in the studio (especially first floor) aren't that great and the balcony is pretty small....
I love my studio stays - since there is no VCR - you will find more outside things to do - I am leaving next fri - so a short trip with my niece and her friend. (yes Spicey is going - I don't know how - but at his age I can't leave him)....
It will be great - or I am hopping.
My niece doesn't like studios either - but for 3 people - I am not staying in a 1-bedroom too many points....
we will have lots of rooms - 2 teenagers and me - okay maybe I should reconsider - I probably won't get alot of bathroom time......
however this her friend first visit to WDW and I don't think we will spend alot of time in the room.
07-15-2004, 01:28 PM
I usually stay in a one two bedroom myself but DH and I have been flying to carribbean on business alot so we stop in WDW on the way home and stay in a studio. I miss the one bedroom but the studio was very nice and we had a ball. I miss the washer on long trips though.
07-16-2004, 12:57 PM
We always stay in a studio and our DDs are 11 and 15.
We have stayed in a one bedroom and it really was not an issue going to a studio after at all
07-16-2004, 05:08 PM
We love our 150 points, and we find the studios are a GREAT option for us to be able to get in a lot of 5 day visits to WDW. We have tried the 1 and 2 bedrooms also, and of course loved them. But before DVC we always stayed in hotels and the studios are much nicer than the hotels we have stayed in before.
We just stayed in a studio at VWL and the laundry is right in the building, so we just started our laundry (the washers had timers and told you how long it would be) and so we just showed up a couple of minutes before the washer stopped and then put the clothes in the dryer, went back to our room and waited (and checked from time to time) on our clothes. We stayed in an Inn room at Vero Beach also, and did the same thing (the laundry was on the 4th floor in the Inn).
I was surprised how easy it was to get time to use the washer/dryers.
We are looking at getting a studio at SSR next summer, I hope the laundry is easy to access there as well.
07-17-2004, 01:33 AM
Thanks for all the input guys!
I was wavering for a while there... gonna miss my laundry... would you believe that I actually like to do laundry on vacation? :p
Just for the heck of it I called MS to find out how much paying cash for the weekends would be. $394 + 11.5% tax for a BWV one bedroom and $303 + tax for the studios. The price for the one bedroom is actually quite reasonable considering all that space.
I guess the high cost is worth it to some people who value their points at $10/point. Well, I value my points at more than $10 but I probably will never get to rent them out. However, it's not worth it to me to pay over the "actual calculated cost" of my points in order to save from using my points.
We're gonna stick to the plans for a studio for 12 nights in February 2005. Based on the experience, we will decide whether to stay in a studio in October as well. Worst case, I think we may just have enough to stay in a one bedroom in October, if I borrow everything from 12/05.
This whole experience has just made me appreciate the flexibility of DVC even more. Hopefully, I'll get to experience every combination of accommodations at every resort in the next 30+ years.
07-17-2004, 08:08 AM
We are a family of 3 and the first time we stayed in a 1 bedroom our daughter, then 11, asked us to please never book that type of room again because she didn't like the idea that if someone broke into the room in the middle of the night they would "get" her first (What can I say, she is a city kid and unfortunately we are lock obsessed). She is now 14 and every time I am booking our next stay I ask her if she wants a 1 bedroom and she declines. Its fine with me, I don't cook on vacation. Heck, I don't even really cook at home so why would I start on vacation...:):)
We have had NO problem at all in the studio's at BCV or BWV's. We always stayed at the Yacht and Beach Club before buying at both locations and I love that I have a small frig and microwave now just so that every meal we have isn't wasted because neither my daughter or myself can finish it. Now half the time we don't even eat the leftovers we bring back to the room but its nice knowing its available to us if we so desire.
I think I would think differently about a 1 bedroom if it actually meant my daughter had a BED to sleep on instead of a pull out couch but regardless of which one we book, she is still on the pull out.Your children are young so I wouldn't think twice about it.
I am not a pack and unpack and then repack and unpack person myself. I bring so many toiletries and moving to me is a waste of time and energy so I wouldn't want to move either.:)
We generally stay 2 weeks in the summer and 1 week during Xmas break and even though we aren't park commando's, we don't fell cramped in the studio.
As for no VCR or DVD player in the room, who cares? Little one's can always find something to watch at the end of the day with all the Disney Channels and information channels they have in the room. I find myself watching it obsesively...:) Actually, its the Appliance Direct guy who I am most obsessed with...:)
What ever you decide, don't lament over it and torment yourself with self doubt and second guessing. Just make your decision and forget about it...Its vacation. Its time to relax and not to let the little things in life upset you....JMHO>>:)
07-17-2004, 11:44 AM
I don't like those big weekend points so do the room changing thing a lot. At Christmas we ended up in AKL three nights( 2 people), OKW GV 4 nights (5 people) and 2BR BCV 1 night (5 people). Yes I know someone who uses enough points for a GV at Christmas for 5 people shouldn't be concerned about weekend points - we originally had 9 people when the ressie was made and by the time they backed out it was too late to get a 2BR for Dec 28-31. We now do the changes at the beginning or end and pack luggage so that some of it is opened only after the change is made. It also gave us the chance to stay at AKL - they had a great annual pass rate last year. My son age 17 decided it was his favorite resort even though it was furthest from his favorite place -Disney Quest. We have also stayed off property other years and did the same thing with the luggage so we didn't have it all to pack or unpack. While OKW is my favorite resort for 1BR and above I would prefer one of the others if staying in a studio especially if it is only 2 or 3 people since you have the sofa for just sitting around and relaxing. We have a 2BR for sept OKW and I think we will have to do a little creative work for the 2 YO DGS as the packand play will be too small and he is too small to be so high off the floor in one of those "tall" beds. We have ressies at Cyress Pointe Grand Villas for the 1st three nights to avoid those weekends and do US and other offsite attractions before checking into OKW($297for the 3 nights-less than one night cash at OKW). This way we have the 2BR for 4 nights instead of a1 BR for the whole trip.
All said and done this is what is so great about DVC and what played a big part in my decision to buy in 1997 (OKW) and again in 2001(BCV) and 2003(SSR). Each of us can use our poiints in the way that best fits our wants, needs and point balance at any given time. Hope everyone has great trips and much enjoyment in the planning and anticipation. So many choices - too little vacation time.
07-17-2004, 12:00 PM
Originally posted by AMcaptured
Actually, its the Appliance Direct guy who I am most obsessed with...:)
:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:
My DH has the Appliance Direct Guy on A LOT!!!! He thinks it's too funny. That guy seems to have his own channel.
07-17-2004, 05:16 PM
Castleri, regarding your little grandson, I saw a cool kid-thingy recently. It was a cute set that was a small airbed with an attached sleeping bag cover. You blow it right up for the child; it looked very cute. Can't recall but we were at a JCPenney Home Store last weekend and I suspect I saw it there. :)
Also, they will bring bed rails for the beds if you ask. I always get them even thought my kids are a bit older. The beds at OKW are still quite high and I figure "better safe than sorry."
07-17-2004, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by AMcaptured
Actually, its the Appliance Direct guy who I am most obsessed with...
This is too funny. I love to watch the Appliance Direct channel. The guy is funny to watch. I remember when they only had the woman. I like the funny guy much more.
But I live in CT and we have "Bob" of Bob's Discount furniture. Everyone here complains that he is annoying, but I find him funny too.
SleepyatDVC, did you check to see what the AP rates are for the studio? I paid $170 per night for a Friday and Sat. at OKW in a studio, much less than the quoted $304 per night rack rate. There is also a DVC member discount but I don't think it is as much as the AP rates. I know I will get flack for this, don't flame me, I am just a messenger.
I have read on the budget board that people will buy their child an AP and use that to get the AP rates. I personally don't have any young children so I have an adult AP so I don't partake in this method of saving, but some of us have to do what we have to do. Peggie
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