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-   -   10-year cost of the 7 resorts - are BLT/VWL/BCV worth their much higher cost? (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3021922)

Jasonkat 11-15-2012 04:39 PM

10-year cost of the 7 resorts - are BLT/VWL/BCV worth their much higher cost?
 
I am going to purchase into the DVC early next year. I began looking into the DVC a few months ago and I've learned a ton about it (thanks to all of you and thanks to Youtube for all of the videos about each resort). I'm having one big problem: deciding where to buy. My family has gone to WDW once in 2010 and stayed off site and once in 2011 and stayed at All Star Movies. Naturally any of the 7 resorts would be much better than those two options so we'd be happy pretty much anywhere (we're not picky).

That being said the advice I always see is "Buy where you want to stay". We love Magic Kingdom more than the other parks so it would make sense for us to buy at Bay Lake or at Wilderness Lodge. Also I really like what I've seen of Storm Along Bay so I'm interested in Beach Club, too.

I am an accountant so I do what all of us accountants do, I created a spreadsheet and here is what I found as the cheapest to most expensive resort.

Assumptions: Buy enough points for 3 day weekend in May (Memorial), 1 week in July, 3 day weekend in September (Labor day); one bedroom villa, always stay at home resort

Resort: points needed/cost per point/total cost for points needed/10 year cost with dues included

Animal Kingdom: 334/$70/23,380/41,550
Old Key West: 398/$60/23,880/44,576
Saratoga Springs: 440/$60/26,400/47,212
BoardWalk Villas: 400/$65/26,000/48,480

Wilderness Lodge: 494/$65/32,110/59,823
Beach Club Villas: 491/$75/36,825/63,830
Bay Lake Tower: 488/$90/43,920/64,514

The first four are relatively the same in cost (20% difference in cost isn't that large) vs the last three (50% higher than AKL and OKW, 30% higher than SSR and BWV).

So here is what I'm having trouble with: is it really worth $20,000 to have Beach Club/Wilderness/Bay Lake as the home resort vs Animal/OKW? The main advantage I see with Wilderness and Bay Lake is the shortness of time to get to MK vs Animal/OKW. But is it worth $20,00 to save 30 minutes per trip to MK? Beach club costs $11,000 more than Boardwalk, is SAB really worth $11,000 (since location is the same SAB appears to be the big difference between the two)?

Clearly it is worth $23,000 to some people to be members of BLT vs members of AKL or else the point cost at the resale level would adjust and the 10-year cost would be equivalent for all the resorts (or at least there would be less variation). I'm not one to doubt the Free Market so there are clearly good reasons that the 7 resorts are priced the way they are.

I want to hear from those of you who bought at BCV/BLT/VWL. What convinced you that becoming a member here was worth the additional cost? In hindsight are you happy with your decision or do you wish you'd gone with one of the 4 cheaper alternatives?

CarolMN 11-15-2012 04:53 PM

As long as you do not care where you stay or if you cannot book more than 7 months in advance, it doesn't matter where you buy.

FWIW, more have posted that they wished they bought where thye wanted to stay than have posted they wish they would have bought the least expensive option.

It's really a matter of personal preference. Might be a good idea to rent points for a few trips to see if the resort your family prefers (or if they even have a strong preference) matters enough to pay a the premium.

Good luck!

MEK 11-15-2012 05:20 PM

My first contract was SSR. I bought resale. My second contract ended up being VWL because it was the only 100 point contract I could find in my use year. I bought it resale again. I actually would have been just as happy with SSR as my second contract, but just couldn't find what I wanted through resale. I looked for months before I could find the right add on.

I have stayed at every east coast DVC resort as of June 2012. I purchased in 2008. I book exactly at seven months and I have had no problem trying each resort. Every waitlist I have ever done has also come through.

BCV or BWV may be worth it for F&W. That is a huge advantage.

If you are a flexible person who likes to try each of the resorts than I don't see a big advantage to buying what you consider to be a more expensive contract. However, for someone who ONLY wants to stay BCV/BWV/BLT or VWL, its a huge advantage.

drusba 11-15-2012 05:48 PM

Some things to consider:

The resorts have different end dates, VWL, BCV, BWV, and many OKW resales are Jan 2042, SSR is 2054, AKV 2057, and BLT 2060. Thus, as to what value you get for the price you also need to factor in length of remaining contract.

A factor that needs consideration is likely kinds of rooms you want and how easy is it to get something at the 7 month window. What I refer to as the usual suspects -- AKV concierge, AKV value, BLT standard view, BWV standard and boardwalk view, BWV Grand Villas and at times BCV in general --are often not available at 7 months out and thus if you are thinking you want one of those many times when you go, you need to buy at the resort that has the one you want. Also if you want to go during what I refer to as the last quarter of the year, which is actually the last couple days of Sep through the Monday night after Marathon weekend in Jan, you also need to consider buying where you want to stay because during that time many things can be gone at 7 months out except AKV savanna and standard, OKW, and SSR and then even AKV standard and savanna, and much of OKW can be gone first, second or last week of December at 7 months out.

But if you don't care that you may not get any of the usual suspects and don't plan to ever go in the last quarter then you can almost buy anywhere and get another resort at 7 months out although you must play the 7 month game correctly by trying to reserve exactly 7 months out because things can disappear quickly once a 7 month window for a date opens. For the times you are currently contemplating, Memorial Day weekend, a week in July, and Labor Day weekend, the pickings at 7 months out are usually very good and even some of the usual suspects -- AKV value, BWV boardwalk and standard view, and BCV -- may be avaialble particularly for Labor Day weekend (mid-Aug to just before end of Sep is the DVC lowest demand time of the year).

kerickson 11-15-2012 05:50 PM

I think you may have answered your own question ;)
I think per your data below, they are perceived favorites, so it's interesting to know if in reality those perceptions are still true after the purchase.

I live out in Cali and own SSR and VGC, so my comments won't help your sample. But I can say I'm very happy I purchased VGC which is one of the higher priced resorts as well. But, if they open another DVC at DLR it will be interesting to see what happens to the VGC resale. It's a small resort so it might keep it's value pretty well.

tjkraz 11-15-2012 06:54 PM

"Buy where you want to stay" has always been the DVC cliche. And for some it's good advice.

Personally I tend to subscribe to "DON'T buy where you DON'T want to stay." I don't see any problem with striking a balance between finances and personal preference.

Our first purchase was at Saratoga Springs. Yes I did like the resort and wouldn't be disappointed staying there. But at that time BoardWalk was probably our favorite of all resorts available. Still we chose SSR because the price was better, contract longer and dues cheaper.

And over the years we've used our Saratoga points to stay at BoardWalk just as much as SSR.

IMO, your Home resort should be a location you like enough that you would never be disappointed to stay there. But there's nothing wrong with trying to get into another location at 7 months--a location which doesn't make as much sense to buy for financial or other reasons.

All of that said, the one aspect of the original post which jumped out at me is the number of points being considered. OP has taken trips in 2010 and 2011, and now is contemplating a DVC purchase which will allow 3 trips per year for the next 30+ years. Seems like a pretty big leap to me. Not knowing anything about your family situation, don't forget to account for kids getting older, tastes changing, favorite parks changing, etc.

DougEMG 11-15-2012 07:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tjkraz (Post 46718094)
"Buy where you want to stay" has always been the DVC cliche. And for some it's good advice.

Personally I tend to subscribe to "DON'T buy where you DON'T want to stay." I don't see any problem with striking a balance between finances and personal preference.

My original purchases were SSR and OKW because of the cheap price and because I'm happy staying anywhere. I later purchased BWV because that is a location I want to stay at and be always able to book standard rooms (cheap points) at 11 months. Once BWV prices feel into my price range, I purchased a contract there.

So I'm pretty much a "balancing finances and personal preference" type person.

Sandisw 11-15-2012 09:09 PM

We are ones who payed more to own at BLT because we knew going in that we would want to be there each and every trip and it was well worth the extra money to know we could book there without issues. However, we had stayed at the CR most of the trips and knew the location suited us well. Plus, MK is our favorite park.

We have since added on at BWV because we also love being in the Epcot area and our typical summer trips have us doing a few nights there and the rest at BLT so we can walk to 3 of the 4 parks.

When we were looking in 2009, we could have gotten SSR and saved about $5,000 but we decided that DVC was too expensive to buy something we knew would probably not suit us. Even though getting in to BLT at 7 months, especially LV, has been pretty easy for most times of the year, we simply did not want to have to wait and hope and would have been disappointed if we could not be there.

We have not regretted the extra money we spent. If you are someone who really has no preference and would be okay at other resorts, then I think looking at the cost is a good way to go.

Good luck!

ELMC 11-15-2012 11:07 PM

I will also say that I spent more to get BLT and BWV to insure that I was able to stay at those resorts. I would not be happy staying at a resort where I wasn't able to walk to the parks, and we travel at relatively busy times (BLT during Spring Break and BWV during F&W) and we want the room/view categories that are in higher demand. The peace of mind that comes from knowing that we have the opportunity to get these rooms at 11 months is worth it to me.

That being said, I would like to echo the PP's comments about whether or not you have enough experience going to Disney to know if DVC is right for you. Open yourself up to the possibility that Disney vacations might get old for you very quickly and that you will be stuck with a timeshare at a location you don't love going to every year. It's something to think about. Good luck with your decision! :)

disneynutz 11-16-2012 01:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jasonkat (Post 46716974)
I am going to purchase into the DVC early next year. I began looking into the DVC a few months ago and I've learned a ton about it (thanks to all of you and thanks to Youtube for all of the videos about each resort). I'm having one big problem: deciding where to buy. My family has gone to WDW once in 2010 and stayed off site and once in 2011 and stayed at All Star Movies. Naturally any of the 7 resorts would be much better than those two options so we'd be happy pretty much anywhere (we're not picky).

That being said the advice I always see is "Buy where you want to stay". We love Magic Kingdom more than the other parks so it would make sense for us to buy at Bay Lake or at Wilderness Lodge. Also I really like what I've seen of Storm Along Bay so I'm interested in Beach Club, too.

I am an accountant so I do what all of us accountants do, I created a spreadsheet and here is what I found as the cheapest to most expensive resort.


Assumptions: Buy enough points for 3 day weekend in May (Memorial), 1 week in July, 3 day weekend in September (Labor day); one bedroom villa, always stay at home resort

Resort: points needed/cost per point/total cost for points needed/10 year cost with dues included

Animal Kingdom: 334/$70/23,380/41,550
Old Key West: 398/$60/23,880/44,576
Saratoga Springs: 440/$60/26,400/47,212
BoardWalk Villas: 400/$65/26,000/48,480

Wilderness Lodge: 494/$65/32,110/59,823
Beach Club Villas: 491/$75/36,825/63,830
Bay Lake Tower: 488/$90/43,920/64,514

The first four are relatively the same in cost (20% difference in cost isn't that large) vs the last three (50% higher than AKL and OKW, 30% higher than SSR and BWV).

So here is what I'm having trouble with: is it really worth $20,000 to have Beach Club/Wilderness/Bay Lake as the home resort vs Animal/OKW? The main advantage I see with Wilderness and Bay Lake is the shortness of time to get to MK vs Animal/OKW. But is it worth $20,00 to save 30 minutes per trip to MK? Beach club costs $11,000 more than Boardwalk, is SAB really worth $11,000 (since location is the same SAB appears to be the big difference between the two)?

Clearly it is worth $23,000 to some people to be members of BLT vs members of AKL or else the point cost at the resale level would adjust and the 10-year cost would be equivalent for all the resorts (or at least there would be less variation). I'm not one to doubt the Free Market so there are clearly good reasons that the 7 resorts are priced the way they are.

I want to hear from those of you who bought at BCV/BLT/VWL. What convinced you that becoming a member here was worth the additional cost? In hindsight are you happy with your decision or do you wish you'd gone with one of the 4 cheaper alternatives?

IMO you may not know what you want, yet. Many post that they don't care where they stay but I don't see that lasting.

WDW newbies are all excited about being at WDW and they tend to get in as much park time as they can but after a while you have seen and done the parks many times over.

Disney is so much more than the parks. After several visits, you will have stayed in all of the DVC resorts, and your preference may change with experience. That other resort feels more comfortable, more like home. You enjoy being at the resort, the pool, walking around the grounds. Now you have to buy at that resort because you wanted a certain room category and couldn't get it when you wanted it.

In a perfect world you could book anywhere at 7 months but life isn't always perfect. Plans change and Disney changes. As more people buy, booking at 7 months has to become more difficult. I have seen posts where the poster states that they bought at SSR but they don't intend to stay there. I have also seen posts where the member is upset because they can't get the resort/room that they want.

Sometimes what looks good on paper doesn't always work in the real world. I could ride a bicycle everyday and save a ton of money, but I like the feeling that my Bentley gives me.

I really have an old Toyota :goodvibes

:earsboy: Bill


Dean 11-16-2012 06:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jasonkat (Post 46716974)
I am going to purchase into the DVC early next year. I began looking into the DVC a few months ago and I've learned a ton about it (thanks to all of you and thanks to Youtube for all of the videos about each resort). I'm having one big problem: deciding where to buy. My family has gone to WDW once in 2010 and stayed off site and once in 2011 and stayed at All Star Movies. Naturally any of the 7 resorts would be much better than those two options so we'd be happy pretty much anywhere (we're not picky).

That being said the advice I always see is "Buy where you want to stay". We love Magic Kingdom more than the other parks so it would make sense for us to buy at Bay Lake or at Wilderness Lodge. Also I really like what I've seen of Storm Along Bay so I'm interested in Beach Club, too.

I am an accountant so I do what all of us accountants do, I created a spreadsheet and here is what I found as the cheapest to most expensive resort.

Assumptions: Buy enough points for 3 day weekend in May (Memorial), 1 week in July, 3 day weekend in September (Labor day); one bedroom villa, always stay at home resort

Resort: points needed/cost per point/total cost for points needed/10 year cost with dues included

Animal Kingdom: 334/$70/23,380/41,550
Old Key West: 398/$60/23,880/44,576
Saratoga Springs: 440/$60/26,400/47,212
BoardWalk Villas: 400/$65/26,000/48,480

Wilderness Lodge: 494/$65/32,110/59,823
Beach Club Villas: 491/$75/36,825/63,830
Bay Lake Tower: 488/$90/43,920/64,514

The first four are relatively the same in cost (20% difference in cost isn't that large) vs the last three (50% higher than AKL and OKW, 30% higher than SSR and BWV).

So here is what I'm having trouble with: is it really worth $20,000 to have Beach Club/Wilderness/Bay Lake as the home resort vs Animal/OKW? The main advantage I see with Wilderness and Bay Lake is the shortness of time to get to MK vs Animal/OKW. But is it worth $20,00 to save 30 minutes per trip to MK? Beach club costs $11,000 more than Boardwalk, is SAB really worth $11,000 (since location is the same SAB appears to be the big difference between the two)?

Clearly it is worth $23,000 to some people to be members of BLT vs members of AKL or else the point cost at the resale level would adjust and the 10-year cost would be equivalent for all the resorts (or at least there would be less variation). I'm not one to doubt the Free Market so there are clearly good reasons that the 7 resorts are priced the way they are.

I want to hear from those of you who bought at BCV/BLT/VWL. What convinced you that becoming a member here was worth the additional cost? In hindsight are you happy with your decision or do you wish you'd gone with one of the 4 cheaper alternatives?

I'd say buy where you wouldn't mind staying rather than just where you think you want and with just 2 trips, one on property, you really don't have enough info to make long term decisions. Your choices will likely change over the years. I'd suggest you buy resale so you'll save no matter where you buy. I'd also suggest that a 1 BR unit for these trips is likely to yield very little savings, if any. Comparing to the rack rate for the 1 BR is not a reasonable comparison for your savings. You may also want to consider off site before you make a final commitment. Some of the off property options are at least as nice as DVC, come nicer with more activities IMO. Worst case scenario I'd rather you buy SSR and hate it there than BLT and use those points at other places. Don't lock yourself in to just 1 resort.

Jasonkat 11-16-2012 07:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tjkraz (Post 46718094)
All of that said, the one aspect of the original post which jumped out at me is the number of points being considered. OP has taken trips in 2010 and 2011, and now is contemplating a DVC purchase which will allow 3 trips per year for the next 30+ years. Seems like a pretty big leap to me. Not knowing anything about your family situation, don't forget to account for kids getting older, tastes changing, favorite parks changing, etc.

Before we had kids we did "adult" vacations like Vegas. Now we have a 9 month old and an almost-three year old so we need to do family-type vacations. Personally I'd rather stay at work than go to the beach and I refuse to go camping, so that pretty much narrows down our options for vacations. We tried out WDW in 2010 before we had kids and both loved it, then we tried it in 2011 with our 20 month old daughter (we adopted her in 2011 that's why we didn't have her in 2010) and still loved it. So that is the explanation for our few WDW trips in the past.

As for your comment it's a 30+ year commitment I don't agree. I think it's a 10-year commitment. None of us really know what we'll be doing in 30 years so it's silly to try to plan out your vacations that long in advance. All I know for sure is that for the next 10 years I'll have two kids below the age of 13 and Disney seems like a really good idea for our family considering beach/camping type vacations are a no-go.

zavandor 11-16-2012 10:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jasonkat (Post 46721196)
Personally I'd rather stay at work than go to the beach

Thank you, I don't fell alone in the universe anymore. :rotfl2:

Going back to topic, are you sure you'll stay always at the same resort for the next 10 years? Won't you try different resorts from time to time?
Why don't you do a spreadsheet to see how much you would pay staying at a resort while buying points somewhere else.

For example, how is staying in BLT lake view (the easiest to get while not owning there) if owning AKV?
And how is staying at AKV Savannah view while owning BLT?

Owning AKV and booking a value room is the best DVC deal (not considering booking AKV value with SSR points, often not doable). But when you want to use your points somewhere else, you'll start to feel the weight of the MF.

Also, you might consider splitting and buying two contracts.
You might get a contract at BLT for shorter trips, when you'll probably focus on MK, and a contract at SSR for longer trips when you'll probably visit more parks (BLT location will be less an advantage) and maybe you'll want to try different resorts.

undchefreak 11-16-2012 10:42 AM

If you are ready to purchase (or when) I suggest buying half o father points that you need from your analysis. That way, in the first year you can borrow all of the points from the next year and see how the kids and parents like going to the same place every year. If you wish you had more, you can always add on, with the benefit being that now you've stayed in DVC 3-4 time, in you home resort and possibly others. Then you can decide which is more important: cost or location. You can then pursue a resale contrac at your favorite resort or expand your home resort holding. I suggest this because it is my approach currently. :)

Good luck!

stefanospops 11-16-2012 10:49 AM

We first bought BLT direct from Disney before it was built. We then added on at AKL. We just got back from a 10 day trip. 5 days at BLT and 5 days at AKL. I hate doing split stays but had no choice. When I booked the trip at the 11 month window I booked my 5 days at BLT first then 5 at AKL. When the 7 month window opened up I tried to get 5 more days at BLT so we didn't have to move but the room was booked. This is the reason why people say buy where you want to stay.

This said, we always rent a car when we are there and simply drove to the MTCC from AKL. It wasn't that bad, but we still stared longingly at BLT at the end of the night when our feet were tired and we had to take the monorail to the MTCC, then take the tram to our car before getting home. So in the end I think you need to decide how much you are willing to pay for convenience.


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