I am not a current DVC owner (but I hope to be in the next few years), and have never stayed in a DVC resort.
We are planning a trip for October 2013 and am hoping to rent points to "try before we buy". We will be staying in a studio no matter where we choose...it's just 2 adults going and that's all the room we need.
We have narrowed it down to Bay Lake Tower, Boardwalk Villas and Beach Club Villas. I really think that we would be happy at any of these, but I am curious what YOU (DVC owners) like and dislike about each....pros & cons.
Thanks in advance for your input. :thumbsup2
Looking for the good...the bad...and the ugly...all the stuff you can't find in the web just anywhere (like room size, transportation to the parks, points per night, etc.) Share some personal experiences, some special little things you love or silly quirks you hate about each!
Love them all -
We love each of the resorts but to us it depends on where you will spend the majority of your time. We prefer Epcot Area especially during the Food and Wine that is always ongoing during October. You have easy (boat or walking) to Epcot and the Studios plus all the activities in the Boardwalk area. We prefer BWV over BCV because we can get a boardwalk view studio. BCV is nice because of the access to its fantastic pool complex. We tend to spend more time doing other things so the BWV pool is fine for us.
BLT is a fantastic location for access to Magic Kingdom and views of the MK fireworks. The studios themselves are vary modern and probably furnished a cut above the other two.
I am sure you will enjoy any of the three. We will be feeling the magic in three weeks as we spend time every October in WDW.:cool1:
I agree with the above. If you are spending most of your time at the MK, then BLT. Epcot and/or DHS try to get a Boardwalk view studio at BWV.
I agree with the other posters. We own at BLT and BCV.
You have to decide where you would like to stay. BLT 1brs have 2 full bathrooms if you need a real difference. The 2 brs have 3 full baths. It helps with larger groups.
On the practical side...
Blt is the most expensive per point, and requires the highest points per stay, but the location and views are amazing!!!
Bcv is more expensive than BWV, but has a much nicer pool, is more quiet, and often requires the 11 month booking advantage that your home resort provides
BWV is a great location, cheaper per point, and can also offer amazing value with the standard rooms (10 points per night to stay at the boardwalk! What's the rack rate? $350?)
Personally, I love staying on the monorail, but our points don't stretch very far at blt. If we add on, I think it will be at the boardwalk.
I doubt we will spend much (if any) time at the pool so that isn't super important to me. Now, if I was taking my son we would probably stay at BCV just for the pool.
I really think I would like staying on the monorail also, but BWV and BCV are both convenient to EP and HS, so IDK? :confused3
I guess I'm kinda looking for somebody to share personal experiences....you know, the things you can't find on the internet (like price per point, transportation to parks, room size, etc.) Give me the good, the bad, and the ugly! :rotfl2:
We are new owners at BCV but we have stayed there several times by renting points. We absolutely love BCV and really the whole Epcot Resorts area. It has so much to offer. Dining options are endless and you can walk to two parks (or take a boat). The theming and atmosphere are so laid back and welcoming. The pool is amazing. You could make a vacation there without ever entering a park.
I've never stayed at BLT but have stayed at CR. I loved being able to walk to MK but the monorail to Epcot really drove me crazy with the transfer at the TTC especially on the way home when you're tired. I often had to wait outside the MK for traffic to clear. Maybe it was because I stayed at the Poly a few times before CR and was used to walking back to Poly from TTC.
I've stayed at YC, BWI, and BWV several times and really prefer the Epcot resort area.
All three resorts benefit with walking access to at least one park.
We have stayed at all three and we think each has different pros/cons.
A suggestion is to decide if view from the roomies important to you. If not, BWV standard view is a great value. Additionally, BLT standard view is a savings on points.
She cause standard view is a savings, it is popular among owners. In order to rent one of these rooms, you will likely need to rent from an. Owner at the BWV or BLT. Also, try to contact them at least 10 months in advance, preferably 11 or more.
Studios are slightly smaller at BLT. Fine for two people though.
BWV is a bit noisier, but that is to be expected with the theme.
BCV has a pool that many all the best resort pool.
BLT is more of a high rise style resort. It's quite a contrast from the inside of CR where it's much more noisy.
Plenty of restaurant choices at or near all three.
Good luck with your decision.
We haven't stayed at BLT, but we have stayed at BCV and BWV.
BWV has my favorite views of any of the resorts. (I haven't had the MK view at BLT overnight, however I've hung out a little at a fellow DVCers room and seen the view. The amount of parking lot puts it slightly below BWV for me.) I absolutely love the Boardwalk view at BWV. If I'm going at a time I know I'll have to spend a fair amount of time in the room (we have a toddler right now, we're generally in the rooms a lot for nap time), I generally go for BWV (or AKV.) The people watching from the Boardwalk view rooms is great, as is the view towards Epcot. We love watching the Illuminations fireworks on our balcony in the evening. No, you can't see the whole show because of the trees in the way, but you can see a sizable portion of the fireworks.
We also love that you can walk fairly easily to DHS or Epcot. We generally seem to just miss the boats (seriously, I have the worst boat karma), so we almost always walk. It's about 15 minutes to DHS and just under 10 to Epcot at our fairly leisurely pace. We always see assorted wildlife on our walk to DHS, usually a lot of birds, some fish, and bunnies, and there were trips that this excited some of our party.
The boardwalk itself is really sort of treat in the evening. We love the street performers and the energy of it, and we sometimes sit on our balconies and watch from above. The lake and boardwalk area are peaceful and beautiful in the morning, so we like to sit on the balcony and sip our coffee and take in the atmosphere. These really add to our enjoyment of our trip, but if you're not someone who sits and relaxes on your balcony, obviously, they're none issues.
Now for some BWV negatives. The long corridors at the BWV are a major negative. They are definitely the biggest downside for me. They are too long, and I don't like the new carpet and wall coverings from a few years ago. It seems too generic to me. I also don't like the pool much. The clown slide is the stuff of nightmares visually for me. The elephants are cute enough. I wish it was zero entry for the kids. If they would just do a serious overhaul of the pool area, get rid of the evil clown, make it zero entry, and do some sort of water play area, I would be much much happier. ;)
BCV rooms generally have no view to speak of. This bothers me a bit when I am occasionally stuck in the room. On the other hand, they don't have the crazy long hallways serviced only by a single elevator lobby that BWV does, and it is closer and easier to refill you refillable mugs, if you happen to buy them at BCV. The big draws for me are the pool, of course, and the ease of the walk to Epcot.
More little things... I like the BCV lobby better. It feels both more comfortable and more expansive. I like the smell of the BC lobby better. (Yeah, I know that sounds weird.) I have found BCV to be quieter than BWV at night for sleeping.
I don't love the modern feel of the decor at BLT, which feels a little like any upscale hotel you stay at with modern Disney art. I prefer both BCV and BWV, just because they feel a little less generic to me.
Transportation - haven't stayed at BLT, only visited, but I've stayed at monorail hotels and love the convenience for MK and to a lesser extent for Epcot. The buses at both BCV and BWV can be a bit of a pain, as both (more often BW) sometimes share with Swan and Dolphin. We haven't found the buses to be as crowded heading to the parks as we have at other DVC resorts. That may not be consistently true for everyone, but it has been more often than not for us. (The buses for AKV and SSR always have been mobbed, and seating room seemed to be at a premium in both directions.) BC gets a slight edge, since they seem to share buses with the other resorts a little less often.
We love the Epcot resort area, and we love to go for Food & Wine, so we knew we wanted to own either BCV or BWV. We chose BWV because we wanted to be able to book those boardwalk view rooms, we wanted potential access to the grand villas (which BC does not have), and because we wanted to be able to walk fairly easily to both DHS and Epcot.
I hope some of this is useful.
It's very useful! Thanks! I'm getting married at the Swan next November and I want to rent DVC points - I was torn between Beach Club and Boardwalk. I think I'm going to go with Boardwalk because I've always liked the theming in the lobbies.
The villas there also seem to be closer to the Swan.
I'd love the boardwalk view, but we won't be staying in the room much this trip.
I think I'll request first floor, if they honor those type of requests at DVC properties.
Do external doors at DVC allow reentry with a key? If I luck up and get a studio really close to the swan, I'd love to be able to come in and out easily.
i agree with the others: first decide whether you will spend more time at EPCOT or MK, the decide on a resort in the preferred area.
personally, we own at BWV, BCV, and SSR, and stayed at almost every DVC, mod and deluxe resort since WDW opened.
after all those years, BWV is still our favorite of all :cloud9: (GF and YC are tied for 2nd place, with SSR - all for their gorgeous views, tranquility, elegance).
we don't spend much time at MK since our kids were pre-teen, and they discovered how much fun EPCOT (and even DHS) can be. our trips now consist of either DH and myself, or 28yoDD and me (again:thumbsup2)....and every other year DB nad his family: ALWAYS at the BWV.
we found BCV a beautiful looking resort, and especially wonderful for little ones, but just too loud (as in crying and yelling) and chaotic for us. we always stay BW view, and have not had any noise problems (the lobby and hallways are much quieter). what noise there is at the BWV, is normally just at night, along portions of the BW itself - it is easy to close the balcony doors (and insulated drapes), or one can find multiple places for peacefulness: in the lobby, seating areas on or under the lobby back balcony, seating (with greenery) along the hallways, croquet lawn, the BWI pool (love that one: whispering sounds loud there:lovestruc), along the canal, etc.
we especially enjoy that we don't have to search for quiet or excitement at the BWV: they are both there, available when we decide to take advantage of them.
BW view rooms are on floors 2 thru 5, above the BW stores and eateries. pool/garden and standard views have 1st floor rooms. there are multiple stairwells throughout the resort tho - we only use the elevators if we are staying on the 4-5 floors going UP;), or sometimes if we need to go to/thru the lobby. BW (and standard) views are each just 20% of the resort, and book early.
the outside doors are unlocked until nighttime (i believe 9PM), but you can use your key card to open them after that.
requests may or may not get granted. we found the fewer and less specific requests are easier.
I've also never understood the complaints about the BW hallways. Yes, they're long. But the descriptions you see here can give you the wrong impression.
The lack of a QS dining option at BW may be an issue for some. But the bakery is a great spot for breakfast. It beats institutional eggs any day.
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