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Old 09-19-2012, 10:40 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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I'm like a kid in a candy store....

How the heck do you decide how to use your points??!

We are new members and I keep planning trips for next year and then changing my mind.

We can do this, or this, or this, OR THIS?!!

Maybe I am just overly excited because it will be our first trip staying on our own points, and I just want the first time to be memorable - but really, how do you decide?!?

Or do you just mainly stick with your home resort?
Heather & Bob
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:52 PM   #2
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I know the feeling!! Where is your home resort? Where do you want to stay and is it available? You will enjoy wherever you decide to stay. Have fun!!
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:55 PM   #3
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A lot depends on what we are doing that particular stay:
Resort only stay - AKL; BCV; OKW
Parks - BCV; BWV; VWL
Shopping/Going to other than WDW Parks/Last Minute Trip - AKL; OKW; SSR
Touring/Beach/Doing Something Different - VB; HH
Do whatever makes you and your family happy (From the Haunted Mansion DVD)
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:02 PM   #4
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You sound just like I did when we added on. When we first joined, we bought 100 pts at BLT and then this past November my wonderful DH added another 100 pts at SSR which was also my Christmas gift . We are not ones to stay in just our home resorts. In January we did stay 3 nights at SSR in a one-bedroom and then moved over to BCV (studio) for 3 nights. Then with the remaining points we just spent 9 nights at BLT in a studio (we had a total of 300 points after the add on since we got the previous year's SSR points and banked all the points for 2012). In June 2013 we plan/praying on spending 6 nights in a one-bedroom at VGC (first time going to DLR ) and then in September 2014 we want to spend our points at VWL for 9 nights in a studio. As you can see we like to go to different resorts with our points, of course we will go back to our home resorts from time to time too. Have fun with your points and planning all of your wonderful trips .

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Old 09-19-2012, 11:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rusafee1183 View Post
How the heck do you decide how to use your points??!

We are new members and I keep planning trips for next year and then changing my mind.

We can do this, or this, or this, OR THIS?!!

Maybe I am just overly excited because it will be our first trip staying on our own points, and I just want the first time to be memorable - but really, how do you decide?!?

Or do you just mainly stick with your home resort?
Call or go online and see what you can really do. I mean, it's still wonderful and I love my membership but you need to realize quickly it's not a candy store. In a candy store you pick what you want and purchase it. With DVC you have to cross your fingers and hope that someone has not taken the last specific piece of 'candy' you had your eye on.
You may need to modify your plans (like making a split stay) or staying at a resort that was not your first pick to get the dates you want.

Staying at your home resort and booking 11 months out will help you get what you want AND being flexible and not easily upset will help with all of your other booking choices.

Look below at where I have been so far (in four years of membership). Our very first trip we had a split stay VWL, Vero Beach and VWL. I can't remember what our original desires were because we had a great time and fell in love with those resorts but when we went back to replicate the experience a year later, we couldn't get back to VWL so we chose our home resort, AKV but couldn't finish the trip at AKV and had to go to OKW which, even though it has a following, we don't care for. (Still a great trip though but we are happy at WDW)
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:07 AM   #6
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My decision process is similar to that of com_op_2000 but with different criteria and different outcome.
  • Cheap getaway? Aulani (airfare is easy from the west coast and we don't spend much once we are there)
  • IBM Conference at the Dolphin/Swan? BWV
  • Parks? GCV, if possible. (More likely we'll be offsite using non-DVC timeshare.)
  • Beach? Vero or Aulani
  • Christmas Holiday visit with friends or family? Treehouse Villas!
  • Visit to Orlando area w/ no specific objective? Actual Downtime? hmmm ... now that is a dilemma. Most likely we'd return to AKV to watch the animals from the balcony.
  • Finish off the "someday list"? Hilton Head. (We'll get there someday ... it has fallen to the place of "last resort" for now.)
EDITED TO ADD: Welcome Home! Wishing you many happy adventures!

Last edited by bwvBound; 09-20-2012 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:25 AM   #7
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I know how you feel! (I have 1 trip currently booked, and I'm planning 3 imaginary trips that may never happen.)

Our goal is to stay at all the Disney DVC resorts at least once. We own at OKW. Stayed there for our first DVC trip in 10/09 because we booked that one at 6 mths out, and of the ones available we decided to try our 'home' resort. Got BWV twice by booking OKW at 11 mths and waitlisting BWV at 7 mths. Stayed at SSR once because it was the only one available at just past 7 mths out for Thanksgiving. Stayed at AKV once (booked just past 7 mths and choices were SSR, OKW, or AKV.) We just booked right at 7 mths, online, for our April 2013 trip, and got BCV.

When I get ready to book, I make an order of places to stay at...if #1 is booked, I try #2...and so on. For us--we love Epcot, if BWV or BCV are available, we're taking it! Next on my list is either BLT or VWL (places we've never stayed). Then AKV for the animals and activities.

Happy planning!
(14) (10)
Trips with kids: 2/05 ASMo, 2/07 SSR, 4/08 POP, 2/09 ASMu, 10/09 OKW, 4/10 BWV, 11/10 SSR, 2/11 BWV, 10/11 AKV, 2/12 BWV, 4/13 BCV, 8/13 VWL/AKV, 10/13 BWV, 2/14 VGF, 4/15 BWV
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:02 AM   #8
Join Date: May 2008
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For your first own points dvc stay I would go to your home resort first. It will then give you a comparison for the other resorts. How will you know if you should just stay .

Now its different if you have already stayed there. My wife and I usually just stay at our home resort (kidani) because we picked the one that we dont mind staying in every year.
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:39 PM   #9
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Congratulations! Trip planning for you will never be the same again. We joined in 2008, and still love planning our trips. If you have a small number of points, it makes your options a little less complicated. We own at AKV and truly love stay there. But, since we became members, we have stayed at BLT twice (LV-St, LV-2BR), BWV (1BR), SSR (2BR), and OKW (Studio). We have done 3 split stays (which I don't really like). We have a 12/12 stay and 7/13 stay planned and are thinking about our 2014 trip already (we know who we are taking).

DVC opens a whole new world of trip planning. We have loved every minute of our DVC ownership. We can't wait to try out VWL and BCV! We have no immediate plans to go to HHI or VB, but who knows?

Enjoy your membership and don't sweat it. You have a few decades to try different things at Disney and find out what works best for you!!
POP 2004, POR Oct '08, SSR Jan '09 (first DVC trip!), AKV-K June '09, ASM Oct '09, CBR Jan '10, AKV-K Dec '10, CSR Feb '11, OKW Aug '11, Kidani/BLT Oct '11, BWV/GF Mar '12, Jambo-CL/BLT May/June '12, Kidani Dec '12, BWV Apr '13, BLT/Kidani July '13, Jambo-CL Apr '14, BCV/Kidani July '14, BWV/GF Oct '14, Jambo Dec '14, Yacht Club Feb '15, Jambo-CL July '15

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Old 09-21-2012, 11:13 AM   #10
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Thank you for all of the thoughtful responses everyone! I appreciate the insite and experience from everyone.

I think I am leaning towards Hilton Head in May (if there is availability). It will be a cheap, different trip for us because we can drive and we have never been there before. We have been to the parks every year for the past 4-5 years, so I think a little break would be nice.

We own at AKL, but I would love to add on at BCV at some point in time. We have tried SSR, BLT, BCV and loved our stays at all of them for different reasons. I think I will always be the person who tries different resorts whenever I can. I love all of the WDW resorts that we have stayed at (including non-DVC resorts) for different reasons, and we just love to have a different experience every time.
Heather & Bob
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:17 PM   #11
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Location: Lancaster, CA
Posts: 418

We just became owners last December, and seriously, I planned out a dozen "fake-cations" within the first few weeks. I had some pretty elaborate plans, too, including flying to Washington D.C., taking the train to Richmond to visit friends, renting a car to Durham to visit family, driving down to HHI for a few days, then WDW, then a cruise, then home. Phew! Yeah, DH didn't go for that one.

We finally kept the ones we both agreed on, within reason budget-wise, and within our points constraints. Aulani in November (eek, coming up so soon!) since it's our home resort and we're really looking forward to many years of vacationing there, a few nights at VGC for a family reunion of sorts of DLR, and I'm hoping AKV (SV of course) before our Fantasy cruise in Dec. 2013.

Ben (33) Ayme (29) Ian (1)

DLR Trips - Last: Jan. 2014 Next: Mar. 2015
Honeymoon to WDW (Wilderness Lodge) Sep. 11, 2008
Western Caribbean Cruise (Magic) Dec. 10, 2011
Aulani Nov. 3-12, 2012
Eastern Caribbean Cruise (Fantasy) Dec. 14, 2013
Disneyland Jan. 16-18, 2014 (Neverland 5K)
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