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Old 07-31-2010, 02:31 PM   #1
JWG
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My Turn, Help ME Decide

Ok, after several years of reading everyone else's threads on "where to buy" it's my turn. We recently had my wife and I added to my parents contract for estate planning. Plus, I think my mom is getting tired of doing all the planning.

Anyway, we have 250 points at BWV. My wife and I are looking to do an addon such taht we could do a 1 week studio stay (we have a 4 yr. old DD) every other year. Probably 65-75 points. Help us decide where.

We're looking at either AKV or BLT as the add on location. We've already ruled out:
BWV - Already own there
BCV - Already own in the Epcot resort area
OKW - Frequently stay there without the 11 month window
SSR - Typically available without the 11 month window and we don't need to be close to DTD
WLV - Can't see wanting to stay there enough to make it our home resort and cost per point is similar to AKV with a 2042 expiration vs. 2057.

That leaves, as I said, BLT or AKV. We have a trip planned in December, so having not stayed at either we'll probably try to check them out. Does BLT let potential buyer's in to see TOTW Lounge? I know we can see the layouts at the preview center. Here's our thoughts:

BLT: close to MK with a small child, lots of easy restaurant access with MK resorts, easy access to Epcot and MK park, lots to do at CR. Essentially, location. 11-month booking advantage may be needed here. Wouldn't have to rent a car to easily get to multiple locations (MK bus to any resort).Downside is price per point and points needed to stay. I struggle with choosing BLT and then staying in standard view rooms since some of the appeal is the MK view - but then the points are way more than elsewhere. Studios are smallest in the network (other than AKV value - but the points difference is huge).

AKV: great value if using value or standard view rooms, even savannah view is far better than MK view at BLT. Great restaurants at the resort (Boma's Saana, Jiko, etc.), cost per point is $20 less than BLT (resale) and incentives are better (direct). Downside is pretty secluded - have to bus to everything (including Animal Kingdom) without a car (but does have dedicated bus services due to location).

We're not in a hurry to get points we already have trips planned in Dec. 2010 and Oct. 2011, so not having points until 2012 doesn't bother us - fewer maintenance fees to pay. As such, unless a great incentive comes out from Disney, resale is fine by us.

So - what do you think? AKV or BLT and why? We may, in the future, decide to add on again to move out of a studio every other year and into a 1BR/2BR as we recoupe cash flow since we'd pay cash for the purchase (if that matters).

Help a confused guy out!
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:35 PM   #2
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AKV: Downside is pretty secluded - have to bus to everything (including Animal Kingdom) without a car (but does have dedicated bus services due to location).
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Old 07-31-2010, 05:06 PM   #3
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The BLT studios are and feel small. Unless you are going to buy enough points to enjoy a 1 bedroom, I'd go with AKV.

We were in a SV 1 bedroom at BLT last November. Great location and I liked the decor. Extra bathroom was a plus (but there re two in most of the AKV 1 bedrooms, too). View was OK and there are many places around the resort to get a view (and take pictures). Deck around the TOTWL lounge was a wonderful place to view WISHES.

I would choose BLT over AKV, but still prefer BWV for most trips. (We own there). EPCOT is my favorite park and I prefer TSM at DHS to anything at the MK, LOL.

Have fun deciding.

P.S. AKV is a beautiful resort with 3 fantastic restaurants - Saana, Jiko & Boma. Lots of places around the resort to view the animals and the JAMBO gift shop is worth visiting even if you don't much enjoy shopping. But IMO, you really need a car to truly enjoy a stay there.
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Old 07-31-2010, 05:42 PM   #4
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I would go with AKV too. BLT is not impressing me except for location. I don't think this resort will hold up to long term wear and tear. It is already having problems.
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Old 07-31-2010, 05:51 PM   #5
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You really can't go wrong either way. If you're looking to stretch points and take advantage of something you *need* the 11 month booking window for, AKV value rooms will definitely do that.

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IMO, you really need a car to truly enjoy a stay there.
I don't see why you'd say that. The dedicated buses are excellent: you get to most places, including three of the four parks, faster than from BLT.

We've never had a car for our AKL/V stays.
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Old 07-31-2010, 06:12 PM   #6
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Also, you may want to stay ay AKV concierge down the road. Right now AKV is the only DVC with a concierge level available to members. Which is why we added on there. With a very limited number of rooms, its tough to get even at 11 months. Keep in mind that your small child will only be small for so long. We all know that when you have small kids, its hard to see past that stage. We bought in when our kids were a baby and toddler back in 2006. Not that long ago, but already our needs and wants are changing. We love AKV. (and own more points at SSR but really love our AKV stays) Have fun deciding!
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Old 07-31-2010, 06:48 PM   #7
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The BLT studios are and feel small. Unless you are going to buy enough points to enjoy a 1 bedroom, I'd go with AKV.

We were in a SV 1 bedroom at BLT last November. Great location and I liked the decor. Extra bathroom was a plus (but there re two in most of the AKV 1 bedrooms, too). View was OK and there are many places around the resort to get a view (and take pictures). Deck around the TOTWL lounge was a wonderful place to view WISHES.

I would choose BLT over AKV, but still prefer BWV for most trips. (We own there). EPCOT is my favorite park and I prefer TSM at DHS to anything at the MK, LOL.

Have fun deciding.

P.S. AKV is a beautiful resort with 3 fantastic restaurants - Saana, Jiko & Boma. Lots of places around the resort to view the animals and the JAMBO gift shop is worth visiting even if you don't much enjoy shopping. But IMO, you really need a car to truly enjoy a stay there.
Our home resort is also BWV, which we do love, too. Epcot is also my favorite park. We don't want to add on in that area since we already have the BWV points. This is likely our first of multipke add ons. While we're happy with a studio now, I think we'll want to move to a 1BR or 2 BR in the future.
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Old 07-31-2010, 07:48 PM   #8
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Personally I love BLT and think the studios are fine but it's just DH and I. Make sure you go on the tour of BLT and then you can decide if a studio would be big enough for the 3 of you. We also debated between BLT and AKV and went with BLT because we have 1 very young (not 1 yet) grandchild and thought being close to MK makes the most sense.
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Old 07-31-2010, 09:12 PM   #9
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BLT is very close to MK and with a four year you could find yourself with less travel time to your DD's favorite park. However, if your family is more attracted to animals on the savanna, then AKV would work best.

We too liked both BLT and SSR. Originally we purchased at BLT and later added on at AKV. We love both resorts. We usually stay in a studio and it's true that the BLT studio is small, but still arranged well for a family of three.
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Old 07-31-2010, 09:57 PM   #10
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I would go with AKV. My DD is 13 now and Magic Kingdom just isn't a big deal anymore. She is way more into the water parks and DTD. So everything changes. Plus, BLT already is showing a lot of wear from what I've heard.
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:19 AM   #11
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DH chose AKV for our points--for him he wanted the animals and location wasn't a must. I didn't really care--love AKV now and think it is the best choice for us. At BLT, which is beautiful, you still need to get on an elevator, walk across the sky bridge, across the lobby, up the escalator to get on the monorail. AKV you walk out of the building. We had terrific bus service there last year. The AKV Kidani pool is wonderful and will be as lush as Jambo's in a few years. It is secluded and a world away from Disney so to speak. The Kidani lobby is very tranquil and quiet. Jambo buzzes with activity, restaurants and shopping. If staying in value or standard at Kidani the parking is mostly underneath, not directly out the window. At BLT even with the MK view so close, I am hard pressed to look beyond the parking lot. THe parking of Jambo is of course a car lot but you are not paying all those points to see it.
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:41 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by JWG View Post
Ok, after several years of reading everyone else's threads on "where to buy" it's my turn. We recently had my wife and I added to my parents contract for estate planning. Plus, I think my mom is getting tired of doing all the planning.

Anyway, we have 250 points at BWV. My wife and I are looking to do an addon such taht we could do a 1 week studio stay (we have a 4 yr. old DD) every other year. Probably 65-75 points. Help us decide where.

We're looking at either AKV or BLT as the add on location. We've already ruled out:
BWV - Already own there
BCV - Already own in the Epcot resort area
OKW - Frequently stay there without the 11 month window
SSR - Typically available without the 11 month window and we don't need to be close to DTD
WLV - Can't see wanting to stay there enough to make it our home resort and cost per point is similar to AKV with a 2042 expiration vs. 2057.

That leaves, as I said, BLT or AKV. We have a trip planned in December, so having not stayed at either we'll probably try to check them out. Does BLT let potential buyer's in to see TOTW Lounge? I know we can see the layouts at the preview center. Here's our thoughts:

BLT: close to MK with a small child, lots of easy restaurant access with MK resorts, easy access to Epcot and MK park, lots to do at CR. Essentially, location. 11-month booking advantage may be needed here. Wouldn't have to rent a car to easily get to multiple locations (MK bus to any resort).Downside is price per point and points needed to stay. I struggle with choosing BLT and then staying in standard view rooms since some of the appeal is the MK view - but then the points are way more than elsewhere. Studios are smallest in the network (other than AKV value - but the points difference is huge).

AKV: great value if using value or standard view rooms, even savannah view is far better than MK view at BLT. Great restaurants at the resort (Boma's Saana, Jiko, etc.), cost per point is $20 less than BLT (resale) and incentives are better (direct). Downside is pretty secluded - have to bus to everything (including Animal Kingdom) without a car (but does have dedicated bus services due to location).

We're not in a hurry to get points we already have trips planned in Dec. 2010 and Oct. 2011, so not having points until 2012 doesn't bother us - fewer maintenance fees to pay. As such, unless a great incentive comes out from Disney, resale is fine by us.

So - what do you think? AKV or BLT and why? We may, in the future, decide to add on again to move out of a studio every other year and into a 1BR/2BR as we recoupe cash flow since we'd pay cash for the purchase (if that matters).

Help a confused guy out!
I'd buy at the one your prefer to stay at. AKV will be cheaper and give you potential unit savings as well in addition to the concierge option. BLT will have lower dues, a longer expiration date and likely a better long term resale value albeit at a higher price. I know you've narrowed it down to the 2 but I'm going to suggest you at least reconsider your options. You can buy SSR much cheaper than either and it's likely that you'll pay little or no more in maint fees long term there than at BLT. You may also want to consider whether you'd visit HI and if so, consider the add on there instead. Let us know what you ultimately decide.
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Old 08-01-2010, 11:19 PM   #13
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I'd buy at the one your prefer to stay at. AKV will be cheaper and give you potential unit savings as well in addition to the concierge option. BLT will have lower dues, a longer expiration date and likely a better long term resale value albeit at a higher price. I know you've narrowed it down to the 2 but I'm going to suggest you at least reconsider your options. You can buy SSR much cheaper than either and it's likely that you'll pay little or no more in maint fees long term there than at BLT. You may also want to consider whether you'd visit HI and if so, consider the add on there instead. Let us know what you ultimately decide.
Well, after deciding the # of points we'd buy wouldn't change with AKV or BLT, I think we've decided to go with BLT for the cheaper maintenance fees, likely higher value retention and protecting the 11 month booking window at what we believe will be a more popular location (absent the value rooms and concierge bookings).

We've also determined we likely need to purchase direct from Disney. We are committed to getting an August use year regardless of what we do, and those are nearly non-existant on any resaler's site. That being said the price difference disappears as well. $102 at BLT resale plus closing costs ($360 or so) isn't significant savings over $114 per point with 2010 points available and our needed use year. We're only looking for a 75 pt. add on right now.

I'm going to watch the resales for a couple of weeks, but then likely go direct with Disney to be sure we get our 2010 points. We know we'll want to add on here again in 3-5 years when our daughter gets older and it's time to move into a 1 BR. We can watch the resale boards then as well.

So, if anyone is looking to sell their BLT August use year let me know .
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Old 08-02-2010, 04:52 AM   #14
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Well, after deciding the # of points we'd buy wouldn't change with AKV or BLT, I think we've decided to go with BLT for the cheaper maintenance fees, likely higher value retention and protecting the 11 month booking window at what we believe will be a more popular location (absent the value rooms and concierge bookings).

We've also determined we likely need to purchase direct from Disney. We are committed to getting an August use year regardless of what we do, and those are nearly non-existant on any resaler's site. That being said the price difference disappears as well. $102 at BLT resale plus closing costs ($360 or so) isn't significant savings over $114 per point with 2010 points available and our needed use year. We're only looking for a 75 pt. add on right now.

I'm going to watch the resales for a couple of weeks, but then likely go direct with Disney to be sure we get our 2010 points. We know we'll want to add on here again in 3-5 years when our daughter gets older and it's time to move into a 1 BR. We can watch the resale boards then as well.

So, if anyone is looking to sell their BLT August use year let me know .
For BLT and 75 points, I wouldn't even fool with resale. Your potential savings is minimal for that exact situations.
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:05 AM   #15
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For BLT and 75 points, I wouldn't even fool with resale. Your potential savings is minimal for that exact situations.
True. On the average $102 pt. resale contract we'd save about $500 after closing. What's unfortunate is there are some really nice $92 pt. resales with a February use year because they're stripped (no pts. until 2/2012). That is a great deal as we'd get 100 pts. for about $500 more than 75 through Disney. We have our stays planned through 2011 using our BWV points, so the 2012 thing didn't bother us but a Feb. use year does.

So, if we do Disney direct, would you do 1 75 pt. contract or 1 50 pt. and 1 25 pt.? The incentive is the same either way and no closing costs. It's just the hassle of additional paperwork to review and sign and the added cost of filing with Orange County when we eventually transfer ownership to our daughter (many many years away).
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