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Old 12-20-2012, 11:47 AM   #46
Dean
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If you haven't stayed at a DVC resort, I'd rent points for a trip at one of your preferred resorts for a stay representative of what you're looking at. It seems your trying to think and plan about issues that end up being more personal preference and emotion. I think 5 in a 1 BR long term is unrealistic but you can try it and see how it works, you can always add on later. I would not try to buy multiple contracts in your situation even though it makes sense in some ways if you're trying to hit those resorts and reserve your stays at 11 months out. The added costs (maybe $20 a point) wouldn't be worth it and you'd be taking extra risks and aggravations trying to bank and borrow for each trip.

If I were going to buy now in your situation, I'd likely look at 150 (up to 200 for the right contract) points at SSR or OKW with AKV and BWV as a backup. It is not realistic to look at AKV value rooms or BWV standard view without owning there and booking at 11 months out. I'd rather you underbuy than overbuy in the state circumstance. This also assumes it's a reasonable financial move for you.

1 BR units are the lowest value when considering DVC. In some ways many of the moderates accommodate 5 better than does DVC 1 BR units.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:06 PM   #47
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1 BR units are the lowest value when considering DVC. In some ways many of the moderates accommodate 5 better than does DVC 1 BR units.
Really? Aren't the rooms more than twice as big?
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Old 12-20-2012, 01:11 PM   #48
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Really? Aren't the rooms more than twice as big?
OKW is the only resort that has really large one bedroom villas. Even BLT which I always hear is so big, isn't all that big. BWV has no one bedroom villas with sleeping spaces for five, so one of you will have to sleep in an airbed or sleeping bag or double up in the beds. No rollaways or cots are provided. They currently allow five in the one bedroom villas that officially sleep four (BWV, BCV, SSR, VWL but not AKV value villas) but they will not provide what you need for the fifth person. You still only get four bath towels.

The various designs for DVC one bedrooms have a lot of wasted space. For example, the entry hallways. You can't do anything with that space for living, but it counts towards the space in the room. When the sleeper sofas in the living rooms get opened up, they take up a lot of space.
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Old 12-20-2012, 01:54 PM   #49
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Really? Aren't the rooms more than twice as big?
The rooms are physically larger but there's more to the story than just square footage (off property are generally much larger also). From a dollar standpoint a 1 BR is basically twice as much as a studio and it doesn't really sleep any more other than AKV and BLT at WDW, they do not have to allow more than 4 in the unit even though they current do allow 5. If you'll compared to the moderates that sleep 5, it'll be difficult for you to show a savings and you're giving up the beds in favor of pull outs only. You are picking up the kitchen and for AKV/BLT, an extra bath.
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:41 PM   #50
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The rooms are physically larger but there's more to the story than just square footage (off property are generally much larger also). From a dollar standpoint a 1 BR is basically twice as much as a studio and it doesn't really sleep any more other than AKV and BLT at WDW, they do not have to allow more than 4 in the unit even though they current do allow 5. If you'll compared to the moderates that sleep 5, it'll be difficult for you to show a savings and you're giving up the beds in favor of pull outs only. You are picking up the kitchen and for AKV/BLT, an extra bath.
My wife has an allergy to pine trees and the one time we visited POR (walked around) we saw lots of pine trees. So we would not stay there.

For cost comparison, If we didn't buy into DVC I think we would likely be staying in a suite at one of the values, perhaps at Swan/Dolphin if they run a good rate, or off property.

I've been doing math in my head with rough numbers and I haven't pulled out MS Excel yet, but it seems like the cost per night (assuming $11/point/year, although the real cost of ownership may be less ) of staying in 1BR is similar (maybe less) than the cost of a suite at Art of Animation. Does that sound about right?

To those that are proposing that I buy OKW or SSR, I really don't think I want to stay there. To me those represent the same transportation hurdles seen at Values and Mods but at perhaps a higher cost (what am I missing?).
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:24 PM   #51
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My wife has an allergy to pine trees and the one time we visited POR (walked around) we saw lots of pine trees. So we would not stay there.

For cost comparison, If we didn't buy into DVC I think we would likely be staying in a suite at one of the values, perhaps at Swan/Dolphin if they run a good rate, or off property.

I've been doing math in my head with rough numbers and I haven't pulled out MS Excel yet, but it seems like the cost per night (assuming $11/point/year, although the real cost of ownership may be less ) of staying in 1BR is similar (maybe less) than the cost of a suite at Art of Animation. Does that sound about right?

To those that are proposing that I buy OKW or SSR, I really don't think I want to stay there. To me those represent the same transportation hurdles seen at Values and Mods but at perhaps a higher cost (what am I missing?).
I haven't run through the numbers for AoA suites but historically a studio is generally modest savings over a moderate hotel room. There are other options besides Riverside and the value and moderate suites. You might also look at the Cabin's at FW and the bunk bed rooms at WL and AK. Also consider 2 value rooms connecting. You may also want to look into off property timeshares, cheaper and many as nice or nicer in many ways.
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:21 PM   #52
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It seems like the discussion has drifted into whether I should buy DVC or not and whether I should stay in 2BR or 1BR. Thanks for that info, but it's not the question I really want to answer.

To redefine the question:

I want to know how hard it is to book the following room types at 7 month window, if staying early to mid Jan, early Dec, or mid Nov.

For each category do you think I can get the room at 7 months (almost always, sometimes, almost never)?

1.) BWV 1 BR (any view, but I budget for preferred)
2.) BCV 1 BR
3.) BLT 1BR standard view
4.) BLT 1 BR lake view
5.) AKV 1 BR savannah view

6.) BWV 2 BR standard
7.) BLT 2 BR standard
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:22 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by BillyBuckner View Post
It seems like the discussion has drifted into whether I should buy DVC or not and whether I should stay in 2BR or 1BR. Thanks for that info, but it's not the question I really want to answer.

To redefine the question:

I want to know how hard it is to book the following room types at 7 month window, if staying early to mid Jan, early Dec, or mid Nov.

For each category do you think I can get the room at 7 months (almost always, sometimes, almost never)?

1.) BWV 1 BR (any view, but I budget for preferred)
2.) BCV 1 BR
3.) BLT 1BR standard view
4.) BLT 1 BR lake view
5.) AKV 1 BR savannah view

6.) BWV 2 BR standard
7.) BLT 2 BR standard
Early Dec is popular, but you can probably get BWV 1 bedroom garden view, BLT 1 bedroom lake view and 1 bedroom AKV savannah view.

The more nights you want in a row the harder it is to get them all. The less rooms the harder it is to get.

AKV savannah views is always going to be the easiest to get from anything on your list.
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:50 PM   #54
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My wife has an allergy to pine trees and the one time we visited POR (walked around) we saw lots of pine trees. So we would not stay there.....
You have pine trees and palm trees all over Florida. I'd bet most of the resorts have some pine trees. Can she take medication for her allergy?

Quote:
1.) BWV 1 BR (any view, but I budget for preferred)
2.) BCV 1 BR
Both of these will only have a king sized bed and a queen sized sleeper sofa. No sleeper chair. No rollaways or cot.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:44 PM   #55
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You have pine trees and palm trees all over Florida. I'd bet most of the resorts have some pine trees. Can she take medication for her allergy?
Benadryl (or similar) will reduce the itching and scratching but who wants to do that for an entire vacation? At one point or another we have done a "family walk around" at every resort except SSR (*), OKW, Fort Wilderness, and some of the values. When we walked around POR (near the food court) the pine was so dense that my wife started itching immediately and went inside instead of walking with us. Sort of had a little itching at WL. A coworker told me there was lots of Pine around Ft Wilderness. We have not had any issues with pine at CR, CSR, CBR, or Pop (or in parks). It may be in those locations but it was not close enough or dense enough to cause an issue.


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Both of these will only have a king sized bed and a queen sized sleeper sofa. No sleeper chair. No rollaways or cot.
If I can make do at CSR with two queens and a "brought from home" air mattress then I think I can manage with a king bed, queen sleeper, and "brought from home" air mattress. UNLESS you tell me that the sleeper sofas are uncomfortable and in that case I guess we should not stay in ANY DVC??
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:59 PM   #56
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If I can make do at CSR with two queens and a "brought from home" air mattress then I think I can manage with a king bed, queen sleeper, and "brought from home" air mattress. UNLESS you tell me that the sleeper sofas are uncomfortable and in that case I guess we should not stay in ANY DVC??
At least the two queens at CSR were real beds. Responses will vary concerning the comfort of the pull-out sofa.

For us, no matter how large our party, we seriously avoid asking anyone to sleep on the sofa. (Then again, we have no young children in our group. All the "kids" are in their mid- to late-teens and some over 6' tall.)
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:05 PM   #57
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So what you seem to be saying is that a Studio or 1BR will sleep 4 (2 comfortably) and a 2BR will sleep 8 (but really only 4 comfortably)?
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:09 PM   #58
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1.) BWV 1 BR (any view, but I budget for preferred) usually, harder from October through mid-January - standard or BW will be sometimes and rarely from October through mid-January
2.) BCV 1 BR - sometimes, harder from October through mid January
3.) BLT 1BR standard view - seldom
4.) BLT 1 BR lake view - sometimes
5.) AKV 1 BR savannah view - usually

6.) BWV 2 BR standard - seldom
7.) BLT 2 BR standard- seldom
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:19 PM   #59
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So what you seem to be saying is that a Studio or 1BR will sleep 4 (2 comfortably) and a 2BR will sleep 8 (but really only 4 comfortably)?
It depends on what you want from comfort.

My kids are fine on the sofabed - or were - now at 13 and 14 we get a two bedroom so they can each have a queen bed (different genders, like to poke at each other).

When I was a kid, we regularly packed a family of five into hotel rooms that were less nice than a DVC studio. We also slept on couches and hide a racks when staying with relatives - or sometimes even on the floor !

Some people around here need a two bedroom for four people because four people sharing a bathroom is beyond their comfort - I grew up in a house where for two weeks every summer, ten people shared one bathroom.

As your kids get older, you may find that a one bedroom just isn't going to be comfortable for a family of five - your six foot teenager doesn't fit on the sleeper chair and your daughter whines about getting kicked by her sister (or whatever your distribution of kids are) - but it sounds like you have a few years before getting there and by then, they may want to spend their vacations at a beach or skiing (mine do - Disney is so 'done that' with them).
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:46 PM   #60
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Oh, one last thing....

The thing with availability and seven months - there is almost always SOME availability - and people do get lucky - but there is a huge difference between seven months on the dot (and even then, you may find a room unavailable during the middle of your stay - or even booked up before the seven month window opens) and six and a half months. Often, if you don't call promptly, rooms are gone - especially for the smaller/more popular resorts or more popular room types and at high demand DVC times of year.

There is also a lot of variation depending on your flexibility - are you willing to waitlist, or call often? Will you move mid-vacation if you can only get two days here and one day there? Are you looking for one night because your chances of that one night being available are way better than and entire week - or longer - being available? Will you move your vacation a few weeks to get the room you want? When BCV with SAB isn't available, do you book to SSR for the vacation without it really bothering you because after all, its still Disney, or are you - and your kids - heartbroken. Do you stress out about reservations and spend the weeks before the seven month window waking up in the middle of the night with "I hope I can get into BLT!"

We almost always book home at eleven months because I am a member of a few of those "seven months doesn't work well for me" groups - I stress. I'm not flexible - by the time seven months rolls around my plans are set. While I have moved mid vacation, I'd rather not be forced into it. And I HATE SSR and don't want to stay there (its a lovely resort for other people and plenty of people love it - and don't like my home - but SSR is the resort you are most likely to end up at when everything else is booked).
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