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Old 05-29-2011, 04:13 PM   #1
NoraG
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Advice Needed for Family of 7

I apologize in advance for the long post. I just want to be thorough.

My mom (64) and I (23) will be taking our cousins (both 50) and their son (15) and 2 daughters (13 and 9) to Disney in early January (9-13), staying 4 nights. We are torn between getting a 2 bedroom villa or 2 rooms at a moderate. We're thinking if we did the 2 mod rooms we'd have to go with CS for the queen beds. Anyone know if others mods have refurbished with queens now?

However, it would be amazing to have the space of the villa, plus deluxes obviously have better proximity to the parks. We would so appreciate any thoughts on what would be best for a family of 7. None of us are very large, but we're not all super small, so we really don't want to be cramped. I have estimated the difference between 2 rooms at a mod and a 2-bedroom villa at $1000. I'm not sure how often we'd use the kitchen in a villa, but we'd probably eat breakfast in the room most, if not all mornings.

We are planning to just visit Epcot and MK, so we're considering WLV and BCV for proximity. OKW and SS cost less, but in my opinion are rather out of the way. Also not sure it will be warm enough to swim in SB at BCV, but we might want the location, even if we can't swim. Aah, so much to think about...

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:21 PM   #2
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Sleeping arrangements will differ depending on what you choose- in 2 rooms at a mod you will have 4 beds- all the same size, obviously you will have 3 in 1 room and 4 in the other. You will get 2 bathrooms.

A 2 bedroom villa will have 1 king bed (private room for 2), a 2nd bedroom with either 2 queen beds or 1 bed and a 1 sofa (both queen size) for 3 or 4, and then in the living room another sleeper sofa for 1 or 2. If you choose to look into the OKW, BKT, or AKV 2 bedrooms you would also have a sleeper chair in the living room giving 1 more person the option of their own bed. A 2 bedroom at BLT or AKV will give you 3 bathrooms while all the other will give you 2 bathrooms.
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:22 PM   #3
bunkkinsmom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoraG View Post
I apologize in advance for the long post. I just want to be thorough.

My mom (64) and I (23) will be taking our cousins (both 50) and their son (15) and 2 daughters (13 and 9) to Disney in early January (9-13), staying 4 nights. We are torn between getting a 2 bedroom villa or 2 rooms at a moderate. We're thinking if we did the 2 mod rooms we'd have to go with CS for the queen beds. Anyone know if others mods have refurbished with queens now?

However, it would be amazing to have the space of the villa, plus deluxes obviously have better proximity to the parks. We would so appreciate any thoughts on what would be best for a family of 7. None of us are very large, but we're not all super small, so we really don't want to be cramped. I have estimated the difference between 2 rooms at a mod and a 2-bedroom villa at $1000. I'm not sure how often we'd use the kitchen in a villa, but we'd probably eat breakfast in the room most, if not all mornings.

We are planning to just visit Epcot and MK, so we're considering WLV and BCV for proximity. OKW and SS cost less, but in my opinion are rather out of the way. Also not sure it will be warm enough to swim in SB at BCV, but we might want the location, even if we can't swim. Aah, so much to think about...

Thanks in advance.
Try renting points with a dvc owner. According to my calculations, you are about even at a rate of $10 per point comparing a 2 bedroom at OKW to standard rooms at CS. Under the DVC category there is a Rent/Trade board. Read the sticky at the top of the page and take a look at what's out there.

FYI..... I stay OKW in January every year and adore it! Boat ride to DTD and busses to all of the parks, I've never had bad bus service there and the resort is BEAUTIFUL!!
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:27 PM   #4
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Just FYI- Port Orleans French Quarter has been refurbed to include Queen beds in all rooms. I think the villa would be nicer, since you would have the common space of the LV and Kitchenette, and a dining table to gather around. If you were in two separate rooms then you would not be together as much in your down time. Not sure if this is a good or bad thing

Anyway- I would expect some good room discounts to be out for January and the villas could be up to 40% off whereas the mods would likely only be 25% off. Just another thing to think about, although these discounts won't be released for many months. You would need to decide prior to that....

Good luck with your decision and have a great time on your trip!
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Old 05-29-2011, 05:01 PM   #5
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Thanks for your thoughts so far guys. We've never done a villa before, so we're kind of new to the idea. We stayed with one less person at CS (2 rooms) 2 years ago and had an amazing time, but we had one or two issues with bus service, so the idea of being close to the parks appeals to us. Especially the option of taking a break mid-day and returning later. I stayed at POFQ with a friend and the compact nature is nice, but I can't say I liked it better than CS.

I think we might enjoy the living area in the villa, especially at breakfast time, and also having separate rooms to dress/change in.

I've read a little about renting points and did think about this, but I never seem to do the math right. Does anyone know how hard it would be to do a split stay renting points? Can the meal plan be added? What are the chances the resort we want will be available? I'm also a bit concerned we'll change our minds and want to change locations after our initial booking, but before check-in, which I understand would be more difficult to do renting points.

I haven't priced BLT, but I'm not too keen on the theming. The contemporary just doesn't scream Disney to me, but I know others love it. I imagine it would be pricier, considering it's on the monorail line. Three bathrooms would be great, but not a necessity. None of us take that long to get ready, so I don't anticipate that being a huge issue. I'd choose AKV in a second, except for the location. We aren't planning on visiting AK this time.

Any more thoughts/suggestions/advice would be appreciated!
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Old 05-29-2011, 05:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoraG View Post
Thanks for your thoughts so far guys. We've never done a villa before, so we're kind of new to the idea. We stayed with one less person at CS (2 rooms) 2 years ago and had an amazing time, but we had one or two issues with bus service, so the idea of being close to the parks appeals to us. Especially the option of taking a break mid-day and returning later. I stayed at POFQ with a friend and the compact nature is nice, but I can't say I liked it better than CS.

I think we might enjoy the living area in the villa, especially at breakfast time, and also having separate rooms to dress/change in.

I've read a little about renting points and did think about this, but I never seem to do the math right. Does anyone know how hard it would be to do a split stay renting points? Can the meal plan be added? What are the chances the resort we want will be available? I'm also a bit concerned we'll change our minds and want to change locations after our initial booking, but before check-in, which I understand would be more difficult to do renting points.

I haven't priced BLT, but I'm not too keen on the theming. The contemporary just doesn't scream Disney to me, but I know others love it. I imagine it would be pricier, considering it's on the monorail line. Three bathrooms would be great, but not a necessity. None of us take that long to get ready, so I don't anticipate that being a huge issue. I'd choose AKV in a second, except for the location. We aren't planning on visiting AK this time.

Any more thoughts/suggestions/advice would be appreciated!
I'll try to answer as much as I can on this. I know that you can do split stays on points, but I have never personally done it. Yes the meal plan can be added. You can book at home resort 11 months out. I have never had an issue with OKW in January. Even got a Grand Villa at 6 months once. I don't know anything about changing the reservation into it, but I'm sure someone here does.

FWIW, the bathrooms at OKW are split, so there is a full bath in the studio as well as a split bath in the 1 br (a 2br is those two combined). The split bath has a HUGE jetted corner garden tub with a pedestal sink on one side, and a vanity, toilet, and walk-in shower on the other side, divided by a door. So you could possibly have 3 different people bathing in privacy at once, and there are 4 different sinks (dual vanity in the studio).

Also, the internal bus system at OKW is fantastic, and the lines to the OKW busses always seem to be WAY lower. I have seen lines for POR and POP where people had to wait for 3 or 4 busses, and we have NEVER had to wait on a bus.
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Old 05-29-2011, 05:58 PM   #7
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Your biggest problem with purchasing a reservation from a DVC member would be when you plan to go. You mention wondering is SAB will be warm enough so that makes me guess during Nov, Dec or Jan. Those are going to be very hard to get from a DVC member this late. Most members make their reservations 7 to 11 months out. You are already into the end of Dec and about into NYE without home resort advantage.

Changing your mind and purchasing a reservation from a DVC member do not compute. Think of it like Priceline. You make a reservation and it's yours. No changing. And the member may not even offer any cancellation or return of your deposit/payment if you can't go or need to change it. Some will say they will work with you, but if you are looking at the months I mentioned, you won't have any opportunities to change that reservation.

You can add the dining plan, but the member has to pay for it when it is added to the reservation. And they won't pay for it unless you pay them for it.

Figure on at least 50% (if not all and include the dining plan fee in there, too) once the reservation is made. Then the rest at least 60 days before the start of your trip (if not sooner than that).
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:44 AM   #8
NoraG
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We've narrowed down our choices!!!

Your thoughts have been so helpful and I can't thank you enough for them.
I think we've narrowed down our options. Proximity is extremely important to us for this particular trip. We're a bit concerned about 7 people all being able to get on the same bus, so being able to have different transportation options is of great value. We also have one Disney-resistant individual coming, as well two people who may want to rest at the resort frequently.

So, for proximity reasons, we've ruled out AKV, SSR, and OKW (though they all look amazing). Remember, we are only visiting Epcot and MK, and possibly HS. After looking at WLV,I felt the decor just looked mismatched. It doesn't seem worth the money if they villa is not as amazing as the main building. If you have experience with this, please please share what you thought of WLV.
So for now, WLV is a back-up.

We'd love to stay BLT for the proximity to MK and the monorail! I looked at photos and the decor is much better than I'd thought. Very glad to know there are 3 bathrooms. Does anyone know if this is all rooms? How important is a Bay View vs. Standard View? MK View is way out of the price range .

Seeing as we will be visiting Epcot, we are thinking of splitting with BCV. I personally love the BC and I think the family will love the feel of the resort and the distance to Epcot (and HS, if we go). We are considering doing BLT all 5 nights however, so I'd like to hear about experiences taking the monorail from Epcot to BLT.
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:47 AM   #9
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I stayed at BLT with a group of friends (9 of us total) in January. We LOVED it! Having the extra bathroom was really helpful and we never felt like we were on top of each other. Taking the monorail to Epcot was a breeze- one stop to TTC and then a switch to the Epcot line. Coming back on the monorail was easy, too (switching to the resort monorail at the TTC and riding it around to CR).

We had a Bay Lake view which was nice for viewing the EWP at night.
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