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Old 01-30-2013, 10:27 AM   #16
k3chantal
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Originally Posted by tjkraz View Post
The problem is there's no way to answer that with any absolutes.

You've left a lot of variables in your query. You have mentioned three different months (May, Oct, Nov) and two different room sizes (Studio, 1B.) I don't recall any specific resort mentioned and if you're looking to book more than 7 months out, that comes into play since you will presumably only have that Home resort advantage at one location.

To address some extremes, getting an AKV Standard View 1B in early May will be a lot easier than a BWV Standard Studio during the Food & Wine Fest (Oct) or Thanksgiving.

I think fixating on the Standard View rooms is a bit of a mistake. To me, it implies that you're looking to buy a very small number of points to fill an expected need. And that could be a recipe for disaster.

Bear in mind that DVC does rebalance the point charts from time to time. That means adjusting daily values to better reflect member usage; some days go up in cost while others go down. If you buy an exact number of points to fill a certain need, you may soon find yourself a few points short if DVC happens to adjust your costs upward.

A BoardWalk SV Studio is currently 104 points for a week in May. Will you still be happy if the SV isn't available when you try to book, and you can only get 5 nights in a Preferred View? Will you still be happy if DVC adjusts the points and it costs 108 points for that May week?

IMO, the safer approach is to at least buy enough points for one of the more plentiful views--Pool/Garden at BWV or Lake View at BLT. And if you happen to snag a Standard View, regard it as a bonus which allows you to extend your trip or bank some points for future use.

And realize that if you CANNOT change your booking pattern and start making reservations more than 5 months out, options will be much more limited.

This may sound like "doom and gloom" to some extent, but I think it's important to have realistic expectations. The last thing you need is a bunch of sycophants saying "DVC is great...buy now and you'll never have problems getting what you want!"

It is certainly POSSIBLE to find a BWV Standard 1B available at 5 months for May. But I would not buy with the expectation that such a room will be available year-after-year.
I agree; and upon reading the OP's questions; it occurred to me that this was the actual problem. I would never buy the minimal amount of points you need; if you think that you would experience frustration over how far out you can book; this would really seal the disappointment.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:17 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by EllieBride View Post
Thank you, everyone, for your input. I'm a little bummed, but also glad that I didn't rush into a purchase. I think I may need to give this a little more thought and see if we can adjust our habits and plan farther in advance.

To dig a little deeper, do you think that most standard views (i.e. low-point options) are snatched up right at the 11-month mark, or would we still have some success at the 8, 9, 10-month mark, so long as we are ahead of the 7-month booking window?
Your lower point options are (lowest first and then in sequence rising higher): AKV value, OKW, BWV standard (it is very close to OKW), AKV standard, SSR. (BLT standard would be next in line but it cannot be considered low cost in comparison to the others I just listed since its standard cost is close to preferred at BWV and thus I am not including it below, but it is often gone quickly once the 11 month window opens).

Which you would want and time of year are key factors. AKV standard is open even at 7 months out all year long except possibly for first week of Dec (DVC's highest demand week of the year). AKV value can be open at 10 to 11 months out much of the time from early Jan through the week before Thanksgiving and they can even be open at 7 months out some times during that period such as late Feb, first half of March, end of April, second week of June, mid-Sep. From Thanskgiving week to Jan 1, except for third week in Dec, you can face real issues of not getting AKV value unless you book exactly 11 months out and in fact first week of Dec and Christmas week may even require you to walk the reservation at 11 months out (look up walking a reservation in the search section or just Google it). OKW is generally open year round at 7 months out (unless you want a room in the Hospitality House area, a booking category which can go earlier). SSR is open all year round at 7 months out. BWV standard usually goes quickly in the 11 month window for time from end of Sep through Marathon weekend except for third week of Nov, third week of Dec, and Jan 4 through Wednesday before marathon weekend when it can still be there at 10, 9, or 8 months out. From Monday after Marathon weekend till just before end of Sep, it can usually be had as late as 9 months out (but could close out sooner than that) and, like AKV value, may even be open at 7 months out once in a while.

If what you want is AKV value or BWV standard out of the above, it is best to own at the particular resort and it is safest to be able to make the reservation 11 months out.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:42 PM   #18
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Here is my question for OP. What do you consider standard? OKW has vurtually the same point totals as BWV standard and is actually less than AKV standard. SSR point totals are high IMO. If you are looking for value in your stays then you shoudll have no problem if you like OKW.

Last Novemeber I booked BLT lake view studio at 2 months out. Friday to Monday before thanksgiving.

Today I booked AKV for Mon, Tue, Wed of President's week. Yes, President's week, 18 days from now. For a brief time today there was Savanna and standard view available for all 3 days.

And today BWV garden/pool was open for 3 days in President's week.

There are 4 real biggies at WDW, Christmas, through New Years. Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Easter week. If you are flexible you will not be shut out. If you only want standards you will have a problem.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:47 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by drusba View Post
Your lower point options are (lowest first and then in sequence rising higher): AKV value, OKW, BWV standard (it is very close to OKW), AKV standard, SSR. (BLT standard would be next in line but it cannot be considered low cost in comparison to the others I just listed since its standard cost is close to preferred at BWV and thus I am not including it below, but it is often gone quickly once the 11 month window opens).

Which you would want and time of year are key factors. AKV standard is open even at 7 months out all year long except possibly for first week of Dec (DVC's highest demand week of the year). AKV value can be open at 10 to 11 months out much of the time from early Jan through the week before Thanksgiving and they can even be open at 7 months out some times during that period such as late Feb, first half of March, end of April, second week of June, mid-Sep. From Thanskgiving week to Jan 1, except for third week in Dec, you can face real issues of not getting AKV value unless you book exactly 11 months out and in fact first week of Dec and Christmas week may even require you to walk the reservation at 11 months out (look up walking a reservation in the search section or just Google it). OKW is generally open year round at 7 months out (unless you want a room in the Hospitality House area, a booking category which can go earlier). SSR is open all year round at 7 months out. BWV standard usually goes quickly in the 11 month window for time from end of Sep through Marathon weekend except for third week of Nov, third week of Dec, and Jan 4 through Wednesday before marathon weekend when it can still be there at 10, 9, or 8 months out. From Monday after Marathon weekend till just before end of Sep, it can usually be had as late as 9 months out (but could close out sooner than that) and, like AKV value, may even be open at 7 months out once in a while.

If what you want is AKV value or BWV standard out of the above, it is best to own at the particular resort and it is safest to be able to make the reservation 11 months out.
I did not read your post before posting my own. Very, very thorough and well put. Thanks for that synopsis.

Is it fact that first week of December is DVC busiest week? Is so I am amazed. I actually booked Dec 5-8th at my 11 month window just because I knew what I wanted. I understand the point totals are low but the crowd calendars reflect some of the lowest attendance of the year.

Is eveyone resort hopping? looking at Decorations?
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:59 PM   #20
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Is eveyone resort hopping? looking at Decorations?
Awesome thing to do at the beginning of December.... it's so beautiful at the resorts!
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:10 PM   #21
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I did not read your post before posting my own. Very, very thorough and well put. Thanks for that synopsis.

Is it fact that first week of December is DVC busiest week? Is so I am amazed. I actually booked Dec 5-8th at my 11 month window just because I knew what I wanted. I understand the point totals are low but the crowd calendars reflect some of the lowest attendance of the year.

Is eveyone resort hopping? looking at Decorations?
Points are low. Holiday decorations are up. Annual member meeting is occuring. Lots of members like to go then.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:19 AM   #22
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Additionally, a lot of DVC members are "established" - by which I mean that their kids have left the nest. They aren't at the mercy of school schedules - usually have lots of vacation or might even be retired or semi retired. So to go to WDW in early December, when the Christmas decorations are up, the weather is lovely, and the points are low and airfare is cheap makes a lot of sense.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:14 PM   #23
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Hello again,

Thanks to all who replied to my follow-up question - I truly appreciate the experiences you have shared. The different perspectives will be very helpful to me as I attempt to make a decision. Although I feel like I'm back to the drawing board, hat's all right. Better to figure this out now before commiting to a major prchase.
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:52 PM   #24
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Not meaning to hijack your thread but just a quick question are 2 bedroom units easier or harder to get within the 7 month window? What is the order in which room types book up first.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:02 AM   #25
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Not meaning to hijack your thread but just a quick question are 2 bedroom units easier or harder to get within the 7 month window? What is the order in which room types book up first.
I would think that 2 bedrooms would be available but you need to remember that you need a 1 bedroom and a studio to make a 2 bedroom lock off unless the resort has dedicated 2 bedroom units. All resorts other than OKW have dedicated 2 bedroom units.

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Old 02-02-2013, 12:17 AM   #26
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I would think that 2 bedrooms would be available but you need to remember that you need a 1 bedroom and a studio to make a 2 bedroom lock off unless the resort has dedicated 2 bedroom units. All resorts other than OKW have dedicated 2 bedroom units.

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BWV does not have dedicated 2BRs, only lockoffs. Jambo House at AKV has only lockoffs but Kidani has dedicated 2BRs.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:37 AM   #27
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I would think that 2 bedrooms would be available but you need to remember that you need a 1 bedroom and a studio to make a 2 bedroom lock off unless the resort has dedicated 2 bedroom units. All resorts other than OKW have dedicated 2 bedroom units.

Bill
OKW has dedicated two bedroom villas. BWV and AKV-Jambo House have none.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:00 AM   #28
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So 2 bedroom are more readily available where they are dedicated? We are a family of 5 so 2 bedroom is the only way we travel and make it enjoyable. I was wondering since they are more $$$ are they more likely to be available in 7 month window than others. Or is it that there are so few per resort that they are not as available.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:14 AM   #29
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OKW has dedicated two bedroom villas. BWV and AKV-Jambo House have none.
That's what my brain meant to type but the connection between my head and my fingers got screwed up!

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Old 02-02-2013, 09:14 AM   #30
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So 2 bedroom are more readily available where they are dedicated? We are a family of 5 so 2 bedroom is the only way we travel and make it enjoyable. I was wondering since they are more $$$ are they more likely to be available in 7 month window than others. Or is it that there are so few per resort that they are not as available.
I have no idea if dedicated 2BRs are more or less available than other units, but I once booked a dedicated 2BR for a week (including Christmas Eve and day) at OKW at 8 months out. I don't know what else was available, but OKW is a large resort and demand is not as high as some of the other resorts. I more recently booked a few nights in a 2BR dedicated standard view at AKV Kidani right at seven months during spring break season.

I think it is possible there is less demand for 2BRs due to the points required. Also, with the 2BR lock offs, only one part needs to be book to make it unavailable as a 2BR. I have never tracked availability to have a feel for which units go first.

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