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Old 06-19-2013, 09:19 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Fort Lauderdale
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Need some different perspectives prior to purchase

First, a thank you to everyone on these boards. I have pulled a ton of information from here as I have put together my spreadsheets to help me decide the best option for our purchase.

Second, while I have no issue paying a premium to buy direct, the premium involved exceeds the value of buying direct from Disney (in my opinion). I could probably stomach a 20 or perhaps even a 25% premium above resale price to buy from Disney but not 60%+.

So having decided on resale this is what I need help with. We are semi-local annual passholders (from Fort Lauderdale). We tend to go up for a week at New Years for my gf's daughter's birthday (she is 6) and then 4-6 times a year for long holiday weekends. Our week is flexible (it just needs to be a non-school week). What I am wrestling with is paying a premium to be at a smaller resort for the 11 month booking advantage vs buying into something more cost effective like OKW or SSR. I would probably only need the 11 month advantage for our week stay as we can be flexible with the weekends.

Since as a non-member I can't see the booking scheduler, I have no way of knowing how easy it will be to book long weekends at assorted resorts 3-6 months out. I am interested in buying into BCV for the pool, but since our week vacation is in early January (usually) it would be more for long weekends throughout the Spring - Fall.

I am budgeted for 200-225 points (depending on what resale cost I find). I am wondering if I might be better served with a block of points at one of the more cost effective resorts and then looking for a smaller block at BCV for booking weekends. Without seeing the online scheduler I am sort of flying blind not knowing what availability is like throughout the year at different resorts.

Any opinions you would like to share would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:24 AM   #2
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Fall will be almost impossible to get BCV 3-6 months out. It may be possible six months out for the Spring, but probably not consistently. If you want that pool, buy that resort and book early - eleven months out in the Fall. At three months out, you face the possibility of there being no rooms available anywhere - that is the case right now for some nights in October.

New Years Eve books up before seven months opens and your best bet is to book home and try and switch, so if you want NYEs somewhere specific, buy there.

If you are planning on using this ad hoc (i.e. you don't normally plan more than seven months out and aren't likely to change that habit) it doesn't matter where you buy, but you may be disappointed in availability.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:49 AM   #3
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Availability will likely be the most disappointing thing. Especially at the smaller resorts. You may have to be happy to stay at OKW and SSR no matter where you own if you don't plan early enough.

If you are ok with planning at 11 months I would get BCV if that's where you want to be but be aware that it is point expensive to stay there. 200-225 points will get you a lot more at OKW and you don't have to own there to stay there.

Some people think that SSR is point expensive too but you have a much better chance of availability. SSR has the best combination of resale cost and MFs so it's widely regarded as the best overall value. But if you don't want to stay there it's not a good value for you.

Good luck with your research and please let us know what you decide to do.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:02 AM   #4
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I am buying Grand Floridian, but my plan is to buy some resale in the future. I agree with you on the premium of direct purchase being too much, but I made an exception for the GF, because it is what i wanted.

I personally will be buying at the resort i want to stay at so I can book at the 11 month mark, even if that resort costs more, because to me that is worth the extra money.

If you do not care where you stay, then go with what's cheapest.

I can not see the availability, as I will not be a member for a few days.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:08 AM   #5

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DVC isn't designed for short notice bookings. The 11 month booking advantage is there for a reason.

Short stays are more possible than longer ones but DVC gives the room inventory to Disney for cash reservations at 60 days before check in. They may give them every room or they may give them only the most popular cash rooms, it's up to them.


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Old 06-19-2013, 10:27 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by disneynutz View Post
DVC isn't designed for short notice bookings. The 11 month booking advantage is there for a reason.

Short stays are more possible than longer ones but DVC gives the room inventory to Disney for cash reservations at 60 days before check in. They may give them every room or they may give them only the most popular cash rooms, it's up to them.

Good info to know. Thanks.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:30 AM   #7
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Booking long weekends at 3-6 months out is not impossible. It just depends when. F&W might be tough (which is why this Oct is booked up already). Christmas to NYs is tough as are the marathon weekends. But, being that you live somewhat close and seem to be able to be flexible...I think you'll be fine. I think weekends are easier to get at the 3-6 months out as well...many DVC folks, myself included, like to book Sun-Fri to use less points (Fri and Sat nights are more points).

I also would buy BCV. We initially bought OKW and can get that most times if we want to, but we have had trouble getting BCV and that is our FAVE resort (right now...have 1st stay at BLT and AKV coming up). I wish our OKW points were BCV or even BWV. The location is wonderful!

We've been members since 2006 and here is what we've had trouble booking:
1- BCV (could not get a 1BR at 7 months out for July 4th week 2008, but we did just get it in Jan for 5 nights in a 2BR...booked around 6 months out)
2- HH (trouble getting exactly the week and unit we want during summer and Thanksgiving...so we added on points here)
3- BW or standard view at BWV at 7 months out, but got garden view at 6.5 months out once and at 3 months out once
4- anything but SSR in a studio for this Oct 15-18 at 5.5 months out (we did wait list BLT and BWV and got BLT 2 weeks later)

Happy hunting for your contract!!
DVC since 2006
Next trip(s): Aug 1-8 at BWV
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Last edited by lovin'fl; 06-19-2013 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:51 AM   #8
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The thing to keep in mind is that Disney sells points to keep the resorts at capacity, and we as members can only use the points allocated to members, not the ones Disney has in their for sale pool or maintenance pool. This means that by the time you check in for vacation, the resorts, all the resorts, are usually 100% booked. Maybe someone cancelled last minute due to an emergency, or someone is wasting points....those things happen. Now whether any resort or room type hits that booked solid point at 9am at the eleven month window or 20 days before checking has a wide variety of variables at play, but most members are planning six or more months in advance and most don't waste points, so you'll want to keep that in mind for availability.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:04 AM   #9
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Long weekends around holidays not during the summer is harder than long weekends during summer. Summer is not as popular for DVC. We decided yesterday to go down for July 4th weekend. I was able to book AKV Savannah view studio for Sat & Sun. I would have preferred a 1bd, but it's 2 weeks out. Luckily we have family down there so we're only going to Disney for 2 days.

If you are truly last minute travelers, consider buying DVC just for the 1wk in Jan and then rent last minute points for your long weekends. Or look for deals from Disney. They are always running FL resident room-only specials.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:49 AM   #10

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DVC has the 11 month window during which members can reserve only at a resort they own and then the 7 month window when they can reserve at any DVC resort. SSR, AKV and OKW are the largest three resorts at WDW and thus have the most owners by far. Those owners and ones from off-site resorts, such as Hilton Head and Vero Beach, get their first attempt to reserve a near park resort (BLT, BCV. BWV, and VWL) at 7 months out. The result is often that anything left available at those near park resorts at 7 months out disappears quickly once that 7 month window opens. There are some times of the year when you can still get something at those resorts 6 months out but other than possibly MLK weekend and Labor Day weekend you are not usually going to find those open less than 6 months out for holiday weekends. The reality is that for holiday weekends if you are reserving 6 to 3 months out you are usually going to be limited to SSR, OKW and AKV, and AKV and OKW can sometimes be gone by then, and even SSR can be gone for NYE or Thanksgiving time by then.

If you can at least follow the 7 month window and actually reserve exactly 7 months out, you will find the following for those near park resorts (BLT, BWV, BCV or VWL):

Between the Tuesday after Marathon weekend in Jan and the last few days of September, you will be able to get a near park resort at 7 months out even for the holiday times during that period, except BLT standard view and BWV standard or boardwalk view will often be gone before 7 months out and, once in a while, BLT theme park view, and less so but sometimes BCV, particularly if a holiday weekend and looking for a studio.

Between the end of Sep and the Tuesday after Marathon weekend in January, near park resorts become difficult to get and very difficult if looking for any holiday time during that period. VWL is easier than the other near park resorts through mid-Nov. Also, 1BRs are sometimes open when everything else is gone.
Everything has to have a beginning and an end ... but it is not necessary to have a purpose in between.

Last edited by drusba; 06-19-2013 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:05 AM   #11
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While DVC (or any timeshare) works best for longer-range planning -- and despite the conventional wisdom that it doesn't work for spur of the moment things like long weekends -- our experience has been that the landscape is different for those of us who only live a few hours away.

We don't have to worry about flight costs and availability, rental cars, and all that stuff. We call MS. If a villa is available, we just throw some clothes in a suitcase, jump in the car, and go.

Our family has had pretty good luck getting reservations well inside 7 months. We got BCV in May at a little less than 5 months, and one of my daughters has gotten SSR for New Years Eve at absolute last minute (like after Christmas!). And she got it TWO YEARS IN A ROW.

So if you are flexible, short notice and even last minute is doable sometimes.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:00 AM   #12
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