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Old 08-07-2012, 03:58 PM   #46
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On our honeymoon in 2002, DH and I ate meals at both Boma and Jiko. When we first walked into the AKL lobby, the first words out of my mouth were, "If we are ever able to buy DVC and they build one here, we HAVE to own it!". In 2008, we were finally in a financial position to afford it, thanks to an inheritance from my DH's parent's. We bought 100 points via resale. It would have actually been a little CHEAPER to buy direct, but the resale had a full year of banked points which we were able to rent out, thus saving us a little money.

In 2010, I'd been reading a lot about HHI and looking at pictures and trip reports. Even though we'd never been to South Carolina, we decided to buy a 50-point add on at HHI. We took our first trip there in April 2011 and we LOVED it! DH is even trying to talk me into selling our AKV points and buying more at HHI.

I love both my AKV and my HHI home. Are there negatives? Sure...but there are no "perfect" DVC resorts, IMHO. Each one of them has its pros and cons, but everyone sees them differently. Even though it is unlikely, DVC *could* limit your point usage to your home resort. When it comes right down to it, I would ask myself if I would enjoy my vacation if I were forced to stay at ONLY my home resort. If the answer is "yes", then you are making the right choice.

2001 OKW 2002 WL for HONEYMOON!January 2008 POP/OKW October 2008 AKV GIRLS ONLY! June 2009 AKV October 2009 POP with my BFF for my Birthday April 2010 AKV April 2011 HHI Oct 2011 BLT/BWV with DSiL June 2012 GRAND GATHERING at OKW April 2013 HHI November 2013 AKV *1st Half-Marathon*Oct 2014 Surprising the Nieces at AKV May 2015 AKV Expedition Everest Challenge
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:21 PM   #47
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We purchased DVC in 1993, OKW. Site unseen. Have never regretted it. Our first trip to OKW only phase 1 was open the rest was under construction. Our 2 daughters grew up going to WDW and now we are taking our grandchildren. What great memories we have had.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:05 AM   #48
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We rented points for our first trip and stayed at the AKV. We loved the villa and realized that DVC was perfect for our family (we had a 4yo and 1yo then). We didn't bother with the tour, instead I did all kinds of research here and at dvcnews.com looking at all the resorts and learning the ins and outs. About 6 months later we were ready to make an offer.

We were torn between AKV (loved the value for your pts!) and BWV (love the location and value for pts!) We ultimately chose BWV without having stayed there, it was cheaper for the pts and we didn't care about the 2042 exp date. We also realized it was a smaller resort and the 11mo window would give us an advantage for BW or standard rooms.
Our first trip we scheduled less than 6mo out and stayed at OKW. I immediately regretted not doing more research on that resort!!!! OMG, it was PERFECT for us and I had not even considered it! I had thought it was the 'old' resort, and 'far' from everything! And I figured it was so big we could always get a reservation there at 7mo. We found out a few months after that trip that baby #3 was on the way and I convinced DH we needed a small add on at OKW.
Fast fwd another two years. We stayed at our home resort BWV and did enjoy it. Location was great, rooms were nice, BW view was cool. But parking was a PITA (we used the valet all week).
All was good until we took a quick weekend trip to HHI. OMG, once again what was I thinking not investigating this AMAZING place??? It's less than 3hrs from our home and we love love loved it there! Got home and decided we need to SELL BWV and BUY HHI. So that is what I have spent the Summer trying to do so I can guarantee a Summer 2013 reservation at HHI.
We are spending a bit more for the contract than what we sold our BWV for but we will end up with lots more pts We know we have OKW pts for busy times at WDW but we feel confident we will be able to use HHI pts to get into OKW most of the time at the 7mo window.
I don't regret having the BWV pts and selling them just 2yrs later. We had 4 great trips in 2 yrs and discovered how DVC works and what is important to us in a resort (cheap pts big rooms and convenient parking far outweigh location to the parks!)
So yes, do some research and be really sure you know what resort is right for your family!
2014 June SSR
2013 Jan OKW, June HHI, Sept SSR, Dec WLV/VGF
2012 Jan BWV, April HHI, Oct WLV
2011 June AKV-Kidani
2010 Sept OKW
2009 Sept AKV-Jambo
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:27 AM   #49
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We bought our BWV contract (resale) without staying there. We knew we wanted in that area as my brother already owned at Beach club and we vacation together every few years. At the time Beach club resales were pretty rare and we found a really good BWV contract that had banked points in it. We have never regretted it. Yes I love HHI and if we ever can afford it I wouldn't mind having a small contract there but we love our BWV. We stayed at OKW once and really like it too but with our grandchildren it is just so nice to be able to walk to Epcot and DHS. Even we enjoy that on our adult trips. That is the biggest selling point for me and the entertainment on the Boardwalk at night. Everyone is different though.
MAR 2000 CBR, MAR 02 CBR, MAR 06 POP,
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:09 PM   #50
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Thanks so much for the great feedback on this topic.

I think I feel comfortable going ahead with BWVs. When I really sat down and thought about it, I think that location and theming that I like is really important, and either BC or BW has that. And while I liked SAB, in truth, we spent all of our time at the quiet pool since that was right outside of our room. I found that much more enjoyable and relaxing than trying to keep track of my three kids in SAB, while keeping my eyes constantly peeled for a shady lounge chair. Yes, the sand is cool. Yes, the theme of the pool is very awesome. But I don't think it's *enough* to make or break a decision for me since the pool is not the intent of our trip.

Besides the clown (which we can avoid by going to the quiet pool), the long hallways and one elevator (I don't mind walking nor taking the stairs), and the bad bus rides (eh, we're on vacation--if it takes 30 minutes to get somewhere we could get in 10 minutes, so be it), the cheaper points at BWVs I think make it a good buy for us. Unless we would get lucky and find a cheap BCV contract, it feels good to be settled on a decision and to start making the appropriate financial plans to secure a contract.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:12 PM   #51
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We did. Bought in 2006 at OKW because it was the cheapest DVC resales at WDW at the time...still is, I think. Should have just bought HH as that was cheaper and we like it there and it's tough to get in at 7 months out...well, we added there this year to take care of that...yay!. Also wish we bought at BWV or BCV because we like to be able to walk to Epcot, but we don't have any trouble booking there so I guess it would have been dumb to pay more for those points. We have stayed at our OKW and HH as well as BWV, SSR and VFW. Our fave at WDW is BWV and least fave (will NEVER stay there again) is SSR...OKW is great for size of villas, quiet and conserving points but we found it to be too far out and hated having to use the buses for all 4 parks (at BWV you can walk to HS and Epcot). We will have our 1st visit to VB in just 1 1/2 weeks and I have a feeling we will love that place too, like we love HH. And we are doing our 1st trip to BCV in January and can't wait to compare it to BWV. Next up will be BLT...I think that will be good for us too (can monorail to 2 parks).
DVC since 2006
Next trip(s): Jan 24-26 at HHI
Aug 1-8 at BWV & AKV

Last edited by lovin'fl; 08-08-2012 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:19 PM   #52
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We own at 3 DVC resorts now (BWV, BLT, and AKV) and only stayed at one of them (AKV) before we bought it.
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Old 08-10-2012, 03:28 PM   #53
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We bought SSR without having been to there, or at any DVC resort for that matter. I would not recommend that for the majority of people, but I have the ability to look at a floor plan, photos and the birdseye view on bing or google and know exactly how any of the resorts were like. When we arrived for our first visit, I had the feeling that I had already been there, knew my way around and it was exactly as I remembered.
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:15 PM   #54
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Bought at BLT before staying there (but had seen it). The "veteran" posters on the board will advise against that- and I think they are probably correct in most cases. That said- sometimes a property just speaks to you on some visceral level- and BLT- with its super-modern design and EPCOT monorail access (nice "Miami Condo" counter-balance for us to the very "historic" Civil War-era southern town we live in in South Carolina), its walking distance proximity to MK (great for strollers and grandparents, etc.), Top of the World Lounge access (+Fireworks) and closeness to California Grill was just the "right mix" for us. Frankly, we haven't looked back once- despite the higher "buy-in", reality that some other nearby "premium" DVC properties (GFV and possibly Poly some day) are coming on line in the future, and the fact that we've also had some very enjoyable stays at OKW and AKV where our points obviously went further.

Anyway- it sounds like the OP may have that kind of connection to the EPCOT-area DVC's (i.e. "New England/Atlantic City" feel of BWV and BCV, proximity to EPCOT, etc.)- and could probably get by with making a purchase on that basis alone. Anything less than that though (i.e. more of just the "general" love of DVC and all things Disney that we all probably have)... and the "vets" are probably right- best to actually stay at 2-3 "finalists" and confirm.

"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."

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Old 08-12-2012, 09:21 AM   #55
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We bought BLT site unseen. I had stayed in the Contemporary as a kid and loved it. We also frequent the CR and Poly for dining (more often the CR). Already owners at BWV we were familiar with DVC and just wanted to own at the CR. When construction started in 2007 I knew right away I wanted to buy, didn't pan out until 2010 but glad we did. Finally stayed there in 2011 for the first time.

We immediately fell in-love with it when we arrived (buyer's remorse?). It's my favorite and wife's 2nd favorite resort.

We love owning in two places for the home resort advantage (wasn't sure I would).

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Old 08-13-2012, 11:34 AM   #56
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We bought into VGC. Although we are east-coasters who vacation mainly to WDW, we chose VGC for two reasons:

1. With incentives, it was cheaper per point that BLT, which is the WDW resort we were considering (we weren't considering re-sale contracts).

2. We were comfortable with the idea that we would be able to book somewhere at WDW whenever we wanted to go there. But on the rare occasions when we wanted to go out to California, we wanted the home resort advantage.

I disagree with those who say it's easy to get the reservations you want at the 7-month window. Like I said, you can be pretty sure that there will be somewhere available, but depending on the time of year, your prefered room type/view, and your length of stay, there might be only 1-2 choices. We've been lucky enough to be able to stay at a variety of resorts over our first few of years: SSR, VGC, AKV, BLT, and in Jan it will be BCV. But it took us 3 trips to WDW before we lucked into a BLT reservation at 7 months, and we still haven't gotten into BWV.

That said, we've been very satisfied with each of the places we've stayed, and each has their own advantages and disadvantages. Since we haven't had any particular needs (other than people capacity), we haven't had a bad trip yet.

Editing here to add: We bought this DVC without visiting any DVC resort. We were already experienced WDW-goers and comfortable with the idea that any available WDW DVD resort would serve our needs (a place to stay). We had never been to Disneyland, but knew we wanted to go at least occasionally (maybe every five years), and had a really good feeling about the VGC and its proximity to the parks.
............... Walt Disney World ............ Disney Cruise Line .................... Disneyland Resort .............. Disneyland Paris

1979 .......... Golf Resort
1984 .......... Hotel Royal Plaza
1989 .......... Offsite?
2007 Jun .................................................. .................................................. ................. Newport Bay Club
2008 May-Jun .. Shades of Green ................. Wonder 4-night Bahamas Double-dip
2009 Jul ...... Shades of Green ................. Magic 7-night E. Caribbean Tortola
2010 Jun ........................................ Magic 12-night Northern Europe
2010 Dec ...... Saratoga Springs Resort ......... Magic 11-night S. Caribbean Holiday
2011 Jul ........................................ Wonder 7-night Alaska .................... Villas at Grand Californian
2011 Oct ...... Polynesian - AKV Kidani
2012 Jun ...... Bay Lake Tower .................. Fantasy 7-night W. Caribbean
2013 Mar ...... Beach Club Villas - BLT ......... Dream 4/3-night Bahamas Back-to-Back
2014 Jun ........................................ Magic 12-night Med. Barcelona-Venice

Future Plans:

2015 Jan ...... Saratoga Springs Resort ......... Fantasy 7-night E. Caribbean San Juan
2015 Jun-Jul .................................... Magic 11-night Norwegian Fjords & Iceland

Last edited by bigAWL; 08-13-2012 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 08-13-2012, 05:06 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by bigAWL View Post

I disagree with those who say it's easy to get the reservations you want at the 7-month window. Like I said, you can be pretty sure that there will be somewhere available, but depending on the time of year, your prefered room type/view, and your length of stay, there might be only 1-2 choices.
I agree. I think that a lot of people who post this are basing it on their personal experience, which is an extremely small sample size when compared to DVC overall. For example, I was able to get a Standard studio at BWV for three nights in May with only 2 weeks notice. But I wouldn't go so far as to tell people that they should have no problem getting a Standard studio at BWV at 7 months because I got one on such short notice. There are a huge number of factors that affect availability and like you said, if you want to guarantee the resort/room/view that you want, you really do need the 11 month advantage.
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:27 PM   #58

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Originally Posted by ELMC View Post
I agree. I think that a lot of people who post this are basing it on their personal experience, which is an extremely small sample size when compared to DVC overall. For example, I was able to get a Standard studio at BWV for three nights in May with only 2 weeks notice. But I wouldn't go so far as to tell people that they should have no problem getting a Standard studio at BWV at 7 months because I got one on such short notice. There are a huge number of factors that affect availability and like you said, if you want to guarantee the resort/room/view that you want, you really do need the 11 month advantage.
The goal here is to post what may happen based on experience and to provide benefit others trying to decide if DVC is right for their families while learning the ins and outs.

We vacation at WDW 2 or 3 times per year usually 2 weeks at a time. We may move to 2 or 3 resorts during a stay so we have experience at all of the WDW DVC resorts and booking at different times. Sometimes we book at 11 months, sometimes at 7, sometimes at 4.

If someone reads that people never have trouble booking at 7 months, IMO that is a dis-service and provides false hope. Yes there are the lucky ones but luck may not be the norm. The reason to spend $20,000 on a DVC ownership is to get a discount on resort stays in a clean, reasonably maintained room when you want, where you want. The only way to be certain that you get the resort you want, when you want is to buy where you live to stay and book at 11 months.

We have also noticed that as more buyers are added, the competition for booking has increased and will continue to do so.


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Old 08-18-2012, 09:44 PM   #59
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We have bought at SSR without ever staying there (although did the sales presentation on site there). We have still never stayed there - of our first two trips, first one was Boardwalk standard view booked at 7 months, second was AKL-Kidani standard view booked at 7 months. We travel in early July, checking in a few days after the 4th.

A lot depends on who you are and what's important to you. Room decor means absolutely nothing to me - as long as it's clean and comfortable, that's good enough for me - at Disney, all we do in the rooms is sleep there. But if you look at pictures of the different resorts and find some you love and some you hate, then you are going to be reacting to decor a lot more strongly than I am.

For us. the biggest thing is saving money, which meant buying the cheapest contract with lower maintenance fees - and SSR resale contracts are generally the cheapest ones out there, and SSR MF's are the second-lowest out there (after BLT). More points means more potential nights at Disney.

Of course, time of travel makes a big difference too. It's been mentioned elsewhere I'm sure, but getting BWV or BCV in October (regardless of view) can be tough at 7 months. Most resorts also seem to be tough throughout December - earlier in the month because of the low points required, late in the month because of Christmas.

So what if we get "stuck" at SSR forever? Quelle horreur! Actually, I'll be just fine with it. So for us, points is points. But maybe not for you.

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Old 08-18-2012, 09:52 PM   #60
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We bought BC when it first was offered without seeing the rooms. We did the dvc tour in 2001 but had stayed at BC ans we loved it. So we told our guide to contact when BC became available for purchase. He contacted us in 2002 and we bought immediately and did everything over the phone and mail.
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