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Old 11-08-2012, 08:27 PM   #16
Pakey

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I own at BCV and have stayed there many times plus all others except BLT.

You give up most floor space when pulling out the sleeper sofa. For that reason I'd pick OKW because you have more room and 2 beds.

For park convenience, I'd pick BLT. BCV buses are pretty bad in that they are frequently full by the time they make the BC stop. And if you are going during F&W you may have trouble getting 2 studios at the Epcot resort area DVCs.

For resort theming and room decor, my favorite is AKV.

Please realize that Studios are not next to one another; you may be at same resort but spread a long way apart.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:27 AM   #17
stairstepmom
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Thanks so much for the great advice!!

I think we've decided on BCV, and we may change our dates to the third week of October to insure pool-weather (plus 10/26 is our then-4 year old's birthday and he is in LOVE with the mouse )

We realize the MK days will require an earlier start and a little more stress, but we really want a more relaxing trip and BCV's theme is awesome and we like the idea of coming back from a park late afternoon for a swim and then heading to Epcot for a few rides and a great dinner. MK is only 1/3 of our trip so we hate to decide solely on convenience for 1/3 of our trip. MK is magical but something about it brings out the tour plan commando in me - we felt so much more relaxed at Epcot!

BWV will be our #2 in case BCV is booked up and after that we'll think of WL or AKL.

Thanks again!
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Past trips:
Jan 2001: 5 nights @ CBR, Us - Honeymoon
Feb 2012: 6 nights @ POFQ, Us + 6 1/2 (and grandparents)
May 2013: 5 nights @ CBR, Me + DSis
Jan 2014: 1 night @ POR + 9 nights @ VWL, Us + 8 (and grandparents)

Future Trips :
Feb 2015: 6 nights @ ASSp, Me + DS5 and DS4 ~ booked and in planning!
May 2015: 5 nights @ BWV, Graduation trip w/DD8! ~ booked and in planning!
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:21 AM   #18
shaynar
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Just a thought.
There are no studios that adjoin. That is just the way that villa resorts are set up. Therefore you will need an adult in each of the three rooms, meaning that either you and dh, or the grandparents will have to split up to ensure an adult in each of the three rooms.

Also - there is no guarantee that the rooms will be close to one another - you can request, but it's not guaranteed.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:57 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stairstepmom View Post
Thanks so much for the great advice!!

I think we've decided on BCV, and we may change our dates to the third week of October to insure pool-weather (plus 10/26 is our then-4 year old's birthday and he is in LOVE with the mouse )

We realize the MK days will require an earlier start and a little more stress, but we really want a more relaxing trip and BCV's theme is awesome and we like the idea of coming back from a park late afternoon for a swim and then heading to Epcot for a few rides and a great dinner. MK is only 1/3 of our trip so we hate to decide solely on convenience for 1/3 of our trip. MK is magical but something about it brings out the tour plan commando in me - we felt so much more relaxed at Epcot!

BWV will be our #2 in case BCV is booked up and after that we'll think of WL or AKL.

Thanks again!
I'm in total agreement with Pakey's opinion. Love AK for the theming, and I'd do that with a van rental in a heartbeat. Especially if you can't get BCV. Unfortunately, I believe it rents quickly in October for the Food and Wine Festival. (Also, BCV will get dedicated busses when it's busy. Often at park closing times.)
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:56 AM   #20
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Thanks for the reminder on the studios! As I said, Grandma and Grandpa have been separated for 20 years so they will not be sharing a room. Our oldest two boys will be rooming with Grandpa and our daughter and 4 year old boy will be rooming with Grandma. DH and I will have the littlest ones. Not having adjoining rooms is not a big deal, as we just set a time to meet up at one room or a restaurant or bus stop each morning.

I'm trying to convince DH to splurge on a 1 bedroom for us at least - we do not need the kitchen but I love the extra space and would be nice to have a common location to hang out for everyone. The cost difference is enormous at BCV though so it's hard to justify the added expense!
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Christina, wife to Matt, mom to 2 princesses and 7 dwarfs!
(11), (9), (8), (7), (5), (4), (2), (1) & a surprise born 11/4/14!!

Past trips:
Jan 2001: 5 nights @ CBR, Us - Honeymoon
Feb 2012: 6 nights @ POFQ, Us + 6 1/2 (and grandparents)
May 2013: 5 nights @ CBR, Me + DSis
Jan 2014: 1 night @ POR + 9 nights @ VWL, Us + 8 (and grandparents)

Future Trips :
Feb 2015: 6 nights @ ASSp, Me + DS5 and DS4 ~ booked and in planning!
May 2015: 5 nights @ BWV, Graduation trip w/DD8! ~ booked and in planning!
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:06 PM   #21
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[QUOTE=stairstepmom;46665666]Thanks so much for the great advice!!

I think we've decided on BCV, and we may change our dates to the third week of October to insure pool-weather (plus 10/26 is our then-4 year old's birthday and he is in LOVE with the mouse )

Just a Warning! If you are going in 2013 you better be ready to book at anytime. You better get the points rented so the owner can book at exactly 11 months. October is F&W and you will be lucky to get 3 studios at an EP resort.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:13 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stairstepmom View Post
Thanks so much for the great advice!!

I think we've decided on BCV, and we may change our dates to the third week of October to insure pool-weather (plus 10/26 is our then-4 year old's birthday and he is in LOVE with the mouse )

We realize the MK days will require an earlier start and a little more stress, but we really want a more relaxing trip and BCV's theme is awesome and we like the idea of coming back from a park late afternoon for a swim and then heading to Epcot for a few rides and a great dinner. MK is only 1/3 of our trip so we hate to decide solely on convenience for 1/3 of our trip. MK is magical but something about it brings out the tour plan commando in me - we felt so much more relaxed at Epcot!

BWV will be our #2 in case BCV is booked up and after that we'll think of WL or AKL.

Thanks again!
If you want 3 studios at BCV or BWV, renting points, you need to book (and pay) November 2012 for October 2013. I can't stress this enough. You could possibly get by with waitlisting for 1 studio but your chances of getting 3 studios at a later date at an Epcot DVC during Food & Wine is going to be very very difficult.

It's the only reason I own at BCV. That 11 month booking window at my home resort for Food & Wine has been priceless.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:00 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stairstepmom View Post

We are having such a hard time deciding which resort to go with though. If money were limitless we'd choose 3 rooms at the Poly or GF, hands down. But, within our budget, we are choosing between studios at:

* BLT
* WL
* BCV
* BWV
* AKL Kidani

Thank you!!
Ok, I have stayed at a lot of the resorts but not the Villas. However, I am looking at this from a purely logistics standpoint, if you don't mind me jumping on board.

As a family (and a couple), we prefer to stay in the EPCOT area, simply because it allows us 3 transport options at any given time. (Well, 4 if you count walking.)

You can take a boat, a bus, and the monorail. MK can be reached by monorail or bus. DHS and EP by boat or walking. AK by bus. Sure, it might take a smidge longer, but you also have the Boardwalk to keep you entertained at night as well. The Swan and Dolphin are close so you can go and visit them and see decorations.

I am unsure the points allowance, but I have seen BWV- they might be a little older but unless you are planning on spending a motherload of time in your rooms, I would think these are a bit cheaper than the BCV.

I hope you work it out in your planning....
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:13 PM   #24
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Yeah we're aware of the 11 month booking window issue. We simply can't swing it before the first week of January though, and DH's company has still not published the vacation time approvals, so we have no idea if he will get the weeks we want. He's expecting to find out in mid-December. He gets 6 weeks per year but it's often hard to actually use it! We did talk to one of the rental site people about BLT and they said if we were open to a Bay view the chances were good we could still book in January.

We're still open to other dates in the fall besides October - week after Veterans Day, week after Thanksgiving, so we'll see what resorts are available and when and decide from there. And if it ends up being that important, we can push the trip into January so we can book the day the 11 month window opens.
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Christina, wife to Matt, mom to 2 princesses and 7 dwarfs!
(11), (9), (8), (7), (5), (4), (2), (1) & a surprise born 11/4/14!!

Past trips:
Jan 2001: 5 nights @ CBR, Us - Honeymoon
Feb 2012: 6 nights @ POFQ, Us + 6 1/2 (and grandparents)
May 2013: 5 nights @ CBR, Me + DSis
Jan 2014: 1 night @ POR + 9 nights @ VWL, Us + 8 (and grandparents)

Future Trips :
Feb 2015: 6 nights @ ASSp, Me + DS5 and DS4 ~ booked and in planning!
May 2015: 5 nights @ BWV, Graduation trip w/DD8! ~ booked and in planning!
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:24 PM   #25
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My vote bolded
Quote:
Originally Posted by stairstepmom View Post
We are having such a hard time deciding which resort to go with though. If money were limitless we'd choose 3 rooms at the Poly or GF, hands down. But, within our budget, we are choosing between studios at:

* BLT 4
* WL 2
* BCV 1
* BWV 3
* AKL Kidani 5
Thank you!!
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:22 PM   #26
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One more convenience of BLT is the ability to walk to MK and grab a bus to any resort for all those deluxe dining reservations, it pretty much cuts the transportation for those in half!
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:15 AM   #27
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I know I am jumping in at the end but, I havent stayed in any villas but have stayed in a couple areas. We are a family of 5 (2,3,& 6) We stayed at BWI Sept 2011 for 8 nights, we did DxDP and many character breakfasts and nice dinners. I cant tell you how much I hated the buses and we were there at a very slow time of year. We spent alot of time with transportation. They made stops at swan and doulphin after picking us up. Then on return trip stopped at Beach & Yacht club. In May 2012 we spent 5 nights at GF/3 nights at BC. It was so much better to hardly be on the buses (only to AK) the monorail was so much easier to use than buses. Plus you can hop on monorail for some resort meals as well. It was easy to switch hotels. My vote is BLT/BC and split your time at parks when you are staying in that area.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:34 AM   #28
stairstepmom
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Wow that bad, huh? LOL!

Well we talked to Grandma and she's more than happy to room with us, so for a bit more we're planning on a 2 bedroom villa plus a studio for Grandpa and 2/7 kids. Looking at the map of BCV, it seems plenty of 2 bedrooms are right next to a studio, so hopefully we'll get that request.

IF we did decide to split stay BCV/BLT, which one would everyone recommend first? On one hand, ending the trip with the resort we like the most would be nice, but on the other hand switching to less convenient travel at the end might make it seem even less convenient?

Thanks all!
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Christina, wife to Matt, mom to 2 princesses and 7 dwarfs!
(11), (9), (8), (7), (5), (4), (2), (1) & a surprise born 11/4/14!!

Past trips:
Jan 2001: 5 nights @ CBR, Us - Honeymoon
Feb 2012: 6 nights @ POFQ, Us + 6 1/2 (and grandparents)
May 2013: 5 nights @ CBR, Me + DSis
Jan 2014: 1 night @ POR + 9 nights @ VWL, Us + 8 (and grandparents)

Future Trips :
Feb 2015: 6 nights @ ASSp, Me + DS5 and DS4 ~ booked and in planning!
May 2015: 5 nights @ BWV, Graduation trip w/DD8! ~ booked and in planning!
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:01 PM   #29
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One problem with the two bedroom villas at BCV. If you cannot book until sometime in January, you will not get one of the 25 dedicated with two queen beds in the second bedroom. You might get a dedicated, but it will have one queen bed and one double sleeper sofa in the second bedroom. There is no assurance that the studio you book will be next door to the two bedroom villa. You might even be on a different floor.

You'd have the same problem at BWV, except all two bedroom villas there are lockoffs. Meaning the second bedroom is a studio (one queen bed and one double sleeper sofa, plus the kitchenette and a door to the hallway). Again, no guarantee the studio will be close to the two bedroom. Also, if you wait until January, you will probably have to book preferred-non-BW view because BW view and standard view will be booked up.

If you go with AKV-Kidani Village or BLT, you will probably get a dedicated two bedroom villa with two queen beds in the second bedroom (plus you get a third bathroom in the two bedroom villa if you book Kidani Village or BLT, but not at Jambo House). All Jambo House two bedrooms villas are lockoffs, like BWV.

Both BLT and AKV will have the sleeper chair in the living room in addition to the queen sized sleeper sofa. So does OKW.

One more thing to consider - Stormalong Bay is not a good place for very small children. There are deep areas (like 8' deep) with very swift currents at SAB. You'll need to watch your younger five children like a hawk. Your two older ones might be okay if they are excellent swimmers.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:30 PM   #30
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A few more things. If you decide to go the week after Thanksgiving. You'll need to book that exactly at 11 months out. Thanksgiving is late next year the the week after is one of the most sought after weeks for DVC members. It books up even more quickly than F&W at the two Epcot Resorts. If you don't book that the first week of January, you probably won't get it. Unless you go with SSR or OKW or AKV.

We just got back from an eight night trip to BLT. Several times when we got on the monorail at the Contemporary, guests were told to remove their kids from the strollers and fold up them up because the monorail was pretty crowded. So you can't expect to leave strollers opened up when you ride the monorail anymore. Just like riding the buses.

Booking DVC from Oct through mid-January can be difficult if you don't book at 11 months out because of F&W Festival, the Halloween and Christmas parties, the holidays, the Christmas parade, the annual DVC member meeting, the Disney marathon and other half marathons, Jersey Week, etc.

Remember, too, that cancellation is pretty much impossible with DVC reservations and refunds are fairly rare. You book it and it is yours, but you cannot sublet it if you can't go. The reservation belongs to the member until the very moment you check in. Plus finding a single member with the points to book both a two bedroom villa and a studio for this fairly busy time may be difficult.
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