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Old 10-13-2009, 04:20 PM   #1
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Location: Living in my timeshares for 3 years
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9+ months with the Mouse -1 year on the road update

In just under a year, Sep 2010, I'll be retiring after 33 years in the military. My wife and I agreed on taking a year off to reconnect. We plan on starting our vacation the beginning of Jan 2011 with the WDW marathon weekend. I need to figure the whole year out and start making DVC reservations Feb 2010. I have points spread out over all of the DVC resorts so the 7/11 month window really doesn't matter.

Need advice on how long you can stay in a studio before the walls start coming in on you. I was thinking about staying 12 nights in a 1 - bedroom (Check-in Sunday check-out 12 days later on Friday) then 9 nights in a studio to cover two weekends to reduce the points. I'll have about 6,500 points (another 1,500 if I need them) for the year so I don't think I can do the whole time in a one bedroom

We plan on 5 cruises(cash-no points) (Transatlantic in May 2011) followed by Adventures by Disney to Italy(cash, no points). Plus the Alaska cruise and a couple of 3/4 day cruises around the Bahamas.

Come back for the month of June at Hilton Head then July and August at Club Intrawest in Sandestion, Fl - yes I cheated and bought points at Club Intrawest too.

Labor Day weekend at VGC in California for the Disneyland half marathon, Alaska cruise either before or after and then back to WDW for the fall endurance races

Jan - May at WDW and Sept - Dec back at WDW

Any ideas on how to best save points?

Do you think 9 months in a studio is crazy?

Maybe take 2-3 three day cruises over the weekends

Only two weeks in a two bedroom for the (college aged) kids to come visit.

Which studios do you find are the best?

Has anyone stayed for 2-3 months at WDW? Did you get bored? Was it too much at once?

The year off will be fun but the thought of planning it all out is almost overwhelming with all of the details. I have a headache already.

Since this is a once in a life time trip, plus payback to my wife for all of the separation (military induced), I would appreciate any advice to maximize wife's enjoyment. (yes, besides the spa treatments, long walks in the rain, and being more sensitive)

Last edited by OhioDVC; 04-23-2013 at 08:29 PM. Reason: updating old post with real info versus planning info
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Old 10-13-2009, 04:33 PM   #2
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Can't help with the planning, just wanted to say I'm jealous. Have fun, and congrats and thank you for your service to our country.

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Old 10-13-2009, 04:40 PM   #3
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WOW! All I can say is fabulous. I personally could see myself in a small space for extended periods of time. My DH and I have often talked about purchasing a sail boat when he retires.

Have you thought about how you will handle things that you pick up along the way. The little mementos that may need to be shipped back to someone back home. The one thing I can't stand is clutter so I would have to have a plan in place to keep things in order.
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Old 10-13-2009, 04:50 PM   #4
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that sounds awesome! good for you and congrats on your upcoming retirement.
when we first joined i asked a cm how long a member could stay and i was told no more than 2 months, i'm guessing that's 2 consecutive months in the same room?

no matter...have a great time!
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Old 10-13-2009, 06:01 PM   #5
"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island. " - Walt Disney
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Originally Posted by OhioDVC View Post

Since this is a once in a life time trip, plus payback to my wife for all of the separation (military induced), I would appreciate any advice to maximize wife's enjoyment. (yes, besides the spa treatments, long walks in the rain, and being more sensitive)
First of all - WHAT AN AWESOME IDEA!!

As for logistics - every wife is different, but for most women, I think clutter and organization are the BIGGIES. We're like to "nest". We *need* space for our stuff - shoes, clothes (9 months will be different seasons even in Florida) - for me BOOKS! I'd love an extended getaway - but I don't think I could handle living out of a suitcase for a long period of time.

What I'd recommend is actually a variation of what we are doing this summer - which is renting a house or condo in a nearby area to act as a "home base". We're renting a house in Vero for all of June - including stops on the way there and back, we'll do four 3-4 night DVC trips in that time (all in studios). The house will give me some consistency - a place to do laundry, store "stuff" and stock groceries. The DVC times will be "resort-time".

Due to the economy - there are TONS of furnished homes/condos for extended rentals in Florida - and extended seasonal rentals are affordable.

I'd look into using some of the cash you intend to spend on the multiple cruises/Adventures by Disney to just rent a one-bedroom condo/house for all 9 months. Use points to do NUMEROUS 3-4 night midweek DVC stays all over the place, but have a "home base" where you can return and store living stuff. Use all the saved points to do the cruises/ABD.

  • I wish I could live inside the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.
  • "Why do we have to grow up? I know more adults who have the children's approach to life. They're people who don't give a hang what the Joneses do. You see them at Disneyland every time you go there. They are not afraid to be delighted with simple pleasures, and they have a degree of contentment with what life has brought" - Walt Disney
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Old 10-13-2009, 06:30 PM   #6
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Good Ideas


All good ideas. My wife an I just can back from WDW this past weekend, we ran the Race for the Taste. We went over to Celebration and looked at buying a 3br/3bath condo for the year vacation. The prices and interest rates are great right now. While Celebration had a great feel, it didn't compare to WDW and staying on property at a DVC. I think we would lose too much of the magic staying off property

We enjoy reading but I think we will need stick to using the library as to not accumulate too many books. I hadn't thought of this before...thanks for bringing it up.

I think trinkets will need to be mailed back to the kids to keep for us until the year is over and we go back to work...oh no...that nasty four letter word.

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Old 10-13-2009, 06:33 PM   #7
Are we there yet?
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Congratulations on your retirement and thank you for your service to our country.

It would be my dream to stay at WDW for months during our harsh winters up north. I would love it, studio or not. Given all there is to do at any DVC resort, I would try to take advantage of it every day, and hopefully that would alleviate the walls closing in. Personally, I would hope to be thankful no matter what! Some day, when my turn comes.

-Which resorts does your wife enjoy? Bonus points just for asking her.
-OKW seems to have the largest rooms, so maybe strategically use that to your advantage...like after a week or so in a smaller studio somewhere else. It also has more of a home feel than some of the other resorts, even if it does have the 2 beds.
-Another way to look at the whole project is to book at the harder to get resorts when it is more of a value time or when you can at 11 months. Leave the peak times for SSR or OKW, knowing you can probably get in there anytime. That way you can plan out the whole year without stressing about difficult to get reservations and the possibility of having to rebook and rearrange.
-Try to stay as long as possible in each place. Moving is work, especially with groceries, plus the packing and unpacking. I know they have bell services, but to me, it would be easier to keep the fridge and pantry suppied for you if I didn't have to plan for a move every week. Will they really keep the eggs cold in transit? Who knows?! That would stress me out.

Maybe you've already thought about those suggestions, but that's what comes to my mind. My goodness, what a trip. Maybe some people would think it is too much, but we would love it.

Enjoy it. Enjoy the planning and enjoy the whole trip! Can't wait to hear how it all plays out for you!
DH: Me: DS18: DD16: DD14: DS12:

1991 OP, 1994 POFQ, 1996 AS, 1998 POR/CBR, 2000 Disney Institute/OKW, 2001 ASMu/ASMo, 2002 WLV/OKW, 2003 POFQ, 2005 DCL, 2005 OP, 2007 BCV, 2010 AKV, 2010 OKW, 2010 SSR, 2011 OKW, 2012 BC, 2012 OKW...
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Old 10-13-2009, 06:34 PM   #8
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No cooking or cleaning

The wife didn't like the home base idea. She likes the idea of no cooking or cleaning for a year

Our DVC guide said we could stay for as long as we had points, but could not establish DVC as our legal residence...maybe a post office box downtown for the year
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:22 PM   #9
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WOW!!! Congrats to you on your retirement and what a way to celebrate and enjoy time with your wife!!!

Is she on board with the studio stays for great lengths of time? If so I think you'll be okay. I personally would need more space for such a length of time plus I'd want full access to a kitchen. Even though she says no cooking - I get tired of eating out on a weeks vacation, I could not imagine eating out only for 9 months???? That won't be a problem for both of you? Even when we go to WDW for a week or 10 days I like a full fridge of drinks and snack type foods even if we're not "cooking" the whole time. But thats me...

Have fun planning it all out, you'll have to keep the boards informed and maybe write a blog while you are there for such an extended timeframe!!!

Oh I like the cruise breaks you'll be taking too, very cool.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:19 PM   #10
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Gosh, I thought DVC Mike was the luckiest guy in the whole world with his points.....you win ....that is just awesome!!
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:29 PM   #11
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Wow -- how amazing ! Congratulations on your well deserved retirement. You are going to have a fabulous time. Have you thought of venturing up to the Hilton Head resort ? You could visit Savannah on the way.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:30 PM   #12
Crazy enough to want to do another Half Marathon!
If it were all about me? - I'd go with the Princesses!!
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Thank you for your service, and dedication - and absolutely a HUGE thank you to the wives and families!

As far as books go - have you thought of the Kindle? I think that would be a great way to store books without having the clutter of books!! ALso Land's End has some great storage ideas - the ones that hang on the towel bars...

The container store also has some awesome ideas for travel

and of course I really enjoy Rick Steeves...
for travel bags
and accessories

and good luck in the marathons!! Dont forget flowers every now and then!!

Last edited by Sandy321; 10-13-2009 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:50 PM   #13
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Holy cow! What a dream to plan.
I am one woman who would NOT want to live in a studio for too long. Maybe a weekend here or there to save points, but really I would rather cut down on the amount of time or adjust cruises or something. Since this is your life for quite a while, I would want my DVC room to seem like an apartment and studios feel like hotel rooms to me.
Enjoy the planning and, of course, the year. You and your wife both deserve it!
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:44 PM   #14
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Congratulations on your retirement. AND thank you for all you have done in your service to our country.

Personally, I could spend at least a week in an OKW studio overlooking the golf course. But I prefer the spread out landscaped grounds of SSR and OKW for an extended stay.
Are you feelin' it?
DLR and WDW AP family

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Old 10-14-2009, 08:00 AM   #15
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Oh, your trip is the stuff dreams are made of. Congratulations - - I'm sure that it's going to be as amazing as you are envisioning it to be.

Me (35); DD (10)
December, 2007 Land/Sea Trip Report
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March, 2009 Trip Report
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Next trips: Aulani in June, 2015 and Thanksgiving, 2015 on the Fantasy (YAY).
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