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Old 02-02-2013, 10:03 PM   #1
Mflaherty
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is it difficult to get a resort other than your home resort?

How difficult is it to book other vacation club resorts other than your home resort? I know you have to wait until 7 months before. How fast do say Boardwalk, beachclub and bay lake sell out? What options,if any are available say 5 months prior to travel? and what are the cancellation policies for vacations?
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:14 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mflaherty
How difficult is it to book other vacation club resorts other than your home resort? I know you have to wait until 7 months before. How fast do say Boardwalk, beachclub and bay lake sell out? What options,if any are available say 5 months prior to travel? and what are the cancellation policies for vacations?
It depends on when exactly you want to travel. If you are booking around a holiday, any holiday, book early at your home resort. At 7 months out, see if there is anywhere you would like to switch to. If you plan to travel anytime from October (Halloween & F&W) straight through Nov, Dec, on to Marathon weekend in January, plan on staying in your home resort more often than not, as those are busy, busy times for the DVC resorts.

At 5 months out, you can usually find some accommodations if you are flexible. The larger resorts (OKW, SSR & AKV) tend to have rooms the other resorts will be more spotty, but not totally impossible.

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Old 02-02-2013, 10:49 PM   #3
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Buy where you love to stay, you will always get what you want, when you want it.

That's what we did.

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Old 02-03-2013, 06:15 AM   #4
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Buy where you love to stay, you will always get what you want, when you want it.
But only if you can plan 11 months out.
And only if you know that you would be disappointed if you cannot get exactly the resort you want when you want.

Since I wanted to visit all resorts over time, I decided to buy the cheaper resort where I don't mind to stay if it is my only possibility (SSR, convenient for DTD) and try to visit over time all other resorts.
However I don't have children so I'm very flexible with my dates and I can travel seasons off peak for DVC, so I think that booking at 7 months I'll be able to accomplish it.
However as the total number of members increase, competition at 7 months will be bigger and bigger over time. I've often seen resorts with availability at 7 months and nothing more 1 hour later.

For the resorts you asked about:
- BCV: it is small, so it's hard to get it at 7 months, but not impossible in low season
- BWV: it has two booking categories very hard to get, BW view and Standard view (very cheap points). Garden view is often available at 7 months
- BLT: hard to get a standard or theme park view at 7 months, Lake view is easier
- but all three are very hard to impossible to get from late September to mid January (due to Food and wine and holiday season)
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:35 AM   #5
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IMO if you can't plan ahead and book at 11 months the value of owning DVC is reduced. Over the years an ownership interest and other vacation costs can be hundreds of thousands of dollars. Spending that kind of money I don't want to hope that I get the resort/room that we want.

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Old 02-03-2013, 07:40 AM   #6
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I think if you are looking to book at BLT, BWV, or BCV, at 7 to 5 months out on a routine basis, then you may need to be very flexible in terms of split stays and room sizes. We bought where we love because as Bill mentioned, we did not want to hope we'd get what we wanted. Of course. It does help that we book at 11 months.

And, there are going to be times when getting those resorts are going to be difficult to get. Even If you can't book now during home resort times, that may change down the road and If don't own at one of your favorites, then you will always be limited to the 7 month mark and there is nothing that prevents them from changing that to say 4 months prior. Not that I see this happening, but its important to know that it could.

We had the ability when we first bought to save about $5000 to buy SSR over BLT but decided it was better to spend $18,000 on something we knew we'd love vs, something we didn't even know we'd like. DVC and trips to Disney were just too much money for us to not just buy what made us happy.

I do agree that if you buy at a less expensive resort and would be fine staying there if that is all there is, then going that route could make sense.

Good luck!
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:47 AM   #7
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We own OKW and HH points and have stayed at BWV twice and BCV just recently. We even booked one trip around 6 months out for 4th of July week and got a split stay at BWV and VWL (we wanted BCV instead of BWV, but they didn't have any 1BR that week...they did have 2BR available). We also got HH during the summer before we had our points there and we got VB also during the summer (but we booked at the 7 month window). I will say that I once tried to book a late January trip just 2 months out and there was nothing available for all the exact 5 days I needed. I also had more trouble booking when we were booking a 1BR...since we began booking a 2BR (12/11) we have had less trouble. And like a PP mentioned Sept-mid-January is tougher due to F&W, Thanksgiving, Xmas and marathon.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:57 AM   #8
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I am always amazed at the actual choice of rooms available when I look after reading these boards. I just checked and I could have just reserved a 1 bedroom for a week at blt for april or july. I could have also reserved a room for a week at boardwalk for july. That is 3 and 5 months out!

Not every room size or view is available and not every day of the month, but if you are flexible you can find a room. Sometimes you can luck out and get a concierge room at akv at less than 7 months for a few days or even the value rooms for a week.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:13 AM   #9
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I also will add that if you are ok with taking any resort, like we pretty much are, than it's best to buy cheapest points and get more for your $$. But, if you know that you will only ever want to stay at those 3 Epcot resorts...than maybe you ought to buy points at one of them (in which case, at least, BWV points will allow you to book the lesser point cost standard view). We have our order of preference for the WDW DVC resorts (BCV, BWV, OKW, SSR, VWL-----have not stayed at BLT (have stayed at CR) or AKV, but due to location BLT would likely be up there with BCV and BWV and due to theme-ing AKV would probably be right before OKW). So when we book we will go down the list and be pretty much happy anywhere (they are all deluxe resorts on WDW property). That list will look something like this:
1- BCV, BWV or BLT (if point cost is not an issue)
2- AKV
3- OKW
4- SSR
5- VWL
Though we are trying them all out and will try AKV next. BLT is difficult for us to book due to the high point cost, but I think we'd like it there (we just LOVED the CR stay and LOVE the monorail). So, if you are cool with staying at OKW/SSR once in a while and cool with maybe trying various resorts out and doing split stays, then buy the cheaper OKW or SSR. We bought OKW in 2006 because it was the cheapest at the time (so we could get more points for our $$$) and we've used those points for many DVC resorts. We added on the HH points because we needed more points and HH was the cheapest (after VB and we knew we'd not get to VB as often as HH since we live in MD). We've since used those HH points for other resorts too (not yet used them for HH...will in 2014). We are in the process of adding on some more points and DH wanted to go with more HH as they are some of the cheapest, but I talked him into AKV for 2 reasons: his sister owns there and we like to go to WDW together and we can book the cheapest point cost 2BR at WDW- the value at AKV.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcchello
I am always amazed at the actual choice of rooms available when I look after reading these boards. I just checked and I could have just reserved a 1 bedroom for a week at blt for april or july. I could have also reserved a room for a week at boardwalk for july. That is 3 and 5 months out!

Not every room size or view is available and not every day of the month, but if you are flexible you can find a room. Sometimes you can luck out and get a concierge room at akv at less than 7 months for a few days or even the value rooms for a week.
That's great that you've found availability closer to your arrival dates. Just know that April (other than Easter week) and July aren't peak times for DVC. PPs were warning OP about DVC's peak season from late September through mid-January.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:14 AM   #11
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Another thing to remember is elbow grease and wait list. We put a december 12 through 16 5 nights in the boardwalk together for 4 rooms at 3 months out. Wait list and checking almost daily as well as room flexibility made it work. In the end only one family had to do a split stay and that was because they came in a day early they stayed in the BCV the first night and were moved to BWV the next day. Actually I find it just part of the fun of the trip. Our May trip booked january 13th wanted 3 nights at BLT and 3 at BWV. Started 2 nights BLT park view, 2 night BWV BW view and 2 nights AKV S view. Wait listed the BWV BW view instead of the AKV it came through last week. Still have a wait list for one more night in the BLT keeping our fingers crossed. Worst case I have 2 nights in BLT and 4 in BWV. I'm sure one of these days I will get burned but already working on another trip in august for extended family as soon as new points are posted.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:29 AM   #12
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Another thing to remember is elbow grease and wait list. We put a december 12 through 16 5 nights in the boardwalk together for 4 rooms at 3 months out. Wait list and checking almost daily as well as room flexibility made it work. In the end only one family had to do a split stay and that was because they came in a day early they stayed in the BCV the first night and were moved to BWV the next day. Actually I find it just part of the fun of the trip. Our May trip booked january 13th wanted 3 nights at BLT and 3 at BWV. Started 2 nights BLT park view, 2 night BWV BW view and 2 nights AKV S view. Wait listed the BWV BW view instead of the AKV it came through last week. Still have a wait list for one more night in the BLT keeping our fingers crossed. Worst case I have 2 nights in BLT and 4 in BWV. I'm sure one of these days I will get burned but already working on another trip in august for extended family as soon as new points are posted.
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That's not how I want to plan my vacations. I want to book a week (or longer) in one resort and stay there. Now, we have booked at seven months out at non-home resorts, but that is getting harder.

We wanted to spend eight or nine nights at F&W festival at BCV last October. At seven months out, we tried to book a one bedroom villa (usually the last to go at BCV) for mid-October. A full week wasn't available. So we did wind up booking BLT, but it used a whole lot more points. This coming October, we've booked OKW, one of our two homes, and we'll stay there.

We did have a WDW marathon trip planned last month at VWL and we also booked that at eleven months out. One year we tried to get BLT for the marathon about five months out and waitlisted it. We never got it. We have waitlisted twice and gotten neither.

I'm not booking three nights here, two nights here, because we like to unpack and settle in. I might as well be on a road trip somewhere if I do two/three nights here and then two/three nights there.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:39 PM   #13
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It can be done fairly consistently if you are flexible, persistent, and plan ahead. As others have said, book your home resort at 8 AM at the 11 month mark (during very busy times, you may need to walk your reservation), then try to switch at 8 AM at the 7 month mark. If nothing is available, add yourself to the wait list. By adding yourself ASAP, your chances are better. Otherwise, if you can be flexible with the time you travel, keep trying. That is what we had to do to book HHI, I kept calling every week for a month. This method may not always work, but we have had pretty good success with it.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb & Bill

That's not how I want to plan my vacations. I want to book a week (or longer) in one resort and stay there. Now, we have booked at seven months out at non-home resorts, but that is getting harder.

We wanted to spend eight or nine nights at F&W festival at BCV last October. At seven months out, we tried to book a one bedroom villa (usually the last to go at BCV) for mid-October. A full week wasn't available. So we did wind up booking BLT, but it used a whole lot more points. This coming October, we've booked OKW, one of our two homes, and we'll stay there.

We did have a WDW marathon trip planned last month at VWL and we also booked that at eleven months out. One year we tried to get BLT for the marathon about five months out and waitlisted it. We never got it. We have waitlisted twice and gotten neither.

I'm not booking three nights here, two nights here, because we like to unpack and settle in. I might as well be on a road trip somewhere if I do two/three nights here and then two/three nights there.
I think you've really made a good point. It's always possible to piece together things and if you want that uncertainty and can live with it as a late booker, then I guess it's an option. But, I am with you, I don't want, on a regular basis, to be wheeling and dealing and hoping and praying that I can get my vacation. And, without a confirmed trip, booking airfare would be tough.

I have no problem with split stays as I book my summer trip like that all the time, but I Iike knowing that what I want, when I want, can be booked from the start. I just think that DVC is too big of a purchase to go in thinking short term booking is the norm and easy and then end up frustrated and disappointed all the time.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:41 PM   #15
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Buy where you love to stay, you will always get what you want, when you want it.

That's what we did.
Bill,

The real question is what do you have against OKW and SS? Or will those be your next purchases?

Only kidding, of course. I just liked your comment, especially considering you own at most of WDW.

Jim
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