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Old 05-22-2014, 02:26 PM   #1
Richard M Nixon
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Any resource to see historical availability for days 7/11 months out

I'd like to find some sort of table that shows room availability for each day (or weekly/monthly) for every resort, both 7 and 11 months out. The idea would be to be able to look at it and see "oh, looks like BLT has tons of spots open in May at the 7 month point, but June is totally booked just after the 11 month window. Better buy BLT contract if I want to stay there in the summer."
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Old 05-22-2014, 04:04 PM   #2
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I'm not sure historical data would help you based on your post. The number of DVC owners and resorts continues to grow and a lot of people are noting that availability is not as accessible as it used to be at 7 months.
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Old 05-24-2014, 02:29 PM   #3
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The following is based on tracking the WDW resorts for abourt 2 1/2 years now. I cannot provide the info on non-WDW resorts yet because i have not tracked them as long. I own at AKV and BWV and thus can provide info relating to 11 months out there and have received some info from others relating to some resort room categories. The measurement of demand for DVC is essentially how fast things may disappear once the 11 month window opens and what is left at 7 months out to reserve. It is difficult to define things as "lots" of availability for different room categories because the reservation system tells you only if a room category is open not how many are open.

Before discussing any particular resort and room categories, there are general patterns to be aware of that currently exist. Patterns could change in the future particularly if Disney makes some siignificant change, e.g., switches food and wine, an event that has significant impact on demand, to the spring instead of fall. The current patterns at WDW DVC resorts are:

1. DVC has two major demand seasons:

(a) Low to moderate demand beginning the Monday after marathon weekend in January and ending near the end of September when food and wine begins; other than certain "usual suspects," discussed below, it is easy to get a reservation at 7 months out at the WDW resorts including near park resorts. That includes the holiday times in that period although those have somewhat more demand than other times during that period. In fact, the highest demand time during that almost nine month period is the Princess Half Marathon weekend near the the end of Feb when the near park resorts have a real risk of being filled before 7 months out. The lowest demand times are first two weeks of Feb, end of Feb after Princess half marathon weekend to mid March, last week of April, mid to end of July, and Sep after Labor day weekend to beginning of Food & Wine. Note that Disney recently added another week in September to Food & Wine for 2014, which was not reflected in 7 month demand this year but could be next year, and thus last 10 to 11 days or so of September, and not just last four or five days, could become high demand times next year.

(b) High to extremely high demand quarter from near end of Sep through marathon weekend in Jan. During this time, it can often be difficult to impossible to get a near park resort at 7 months out and even AKV and OKW have some risk of not being available at 7 months out for some days during extremely high demand times. Those extremely high demand times are first and second week of Dec, Dec 23 to Jan 2, the Tuesday to Saturday of Thanksgiving week, the middle of October from the Thursday before Columbus Day weekend to the Monday two weeks after Columbus day Monday, and the Thursday to Monday of Veterans Day weekend. There are three periods of moderate demand during that quarter when it becomes easier to get near park resorts at 7 months out: the Tuesday after Verterans Day weekend to the Satruday before Thanksgiving, the third week of December, and Jan 3 to the Wednesday before marathon weekend. That period also contains the highest demand single night of the year, New Years Eve, and in 2014 the second highest demand single night is the Friday of Veterans Day weekend (the explanation for that Friday is it begins the last weekend of Food & Wine, usually starts Christmas decorations in the parks, is the night before the the Food & Wine half marathon, is part of Jersey week (when schools in New Jersey are off), and a popular time among other schools to have a couple days off for teacher conferences).

2. Resrvation order.

(a) Usually, studios fill first, then 2BRs, and then 1BRs (GVs and Treehouses are discussed below in the particular resort sections). That is not always true since sometimes BLT standard 1BRs fill before studios and the same has occurred on occassion for values at AKV. Nevertheles, you can often find 1BRs well beyond the time when nothing else is available including for near park resorts during that high to extremely high demand quarter. Also, the longer the desired reservation for a single room, the harder to get it at 7 months out. For example, when looking for a week at near park resort during that high demand quarter, you may find nothing but you are likely to find periods where anywhere from two to possibly four consecutive nights may be open and you might be able to get a week if you split resorts.

(b) Weekdays (Sun to Thurs) often fill before weekends although that is less true now than it was before 2010 and 2011 when DVD lowered points needed for weekends while raising those needed for weekdays. Moreover, that is not true for the extremely high demand times, for many of the high demand times in that last quarter, holiday weekends, or other special weekends such as races or Star Wars weekends.

Now turning to the issues for particular resorts:

A. Usual suspects: There are certain categories of rooms that have low numbers and high demand which can result in those being gone at 7 months out much of the year regardless of whether the overal demand is low, moderate or high: AKV club level and value, BLT standard view, BWV standard and boardwalk view, likely (still developing) VGF studios, both standard and lake view, BWV GVs, and the OKW GVs near Hospitality House (a booking category). If you want to get one of those most of the time you need to own at the resort.

B. BLT: standard view can actually be at risk even at 11 months out during those extremely high demand times mentioned in 1(b) above. If you want standard you should reserve 11 months out for any time of year, and preferably at 8 a.m. exactly on-line for those extremely high demand times. For extremely high demand times, you would also be wise to reserve theme park and lake view at exactly 11 months out although those usually last for some time into the 11 month window. During the high demand quarter, all of BLT, including GVs can disappear before 7 months out although usually you will find at least 2 and sometimes up to 4 consecutive nights a week in lake view open except for the extremely high demand times when it is often just a stray night or at most two.

During the mid Jan to late Sep period, BLT lake view is open at 7 months out. BLT theme park view is also open except it can disappear before 7 months out for July 3-5 and theme park view studios can disappear during other holiday periods during that Jan to Sep period and Stars Wars weekends in May and June. GVs are usually open throughout that nine month period at 7 months out except possibly July 3-5. BLT standard view is usually gone but you can sometimes find it open for three or four days during those lowest DVC demand times mentioned in 1(A).

B. BCV: Though it is a smaller resort it usually open during that mid-Jan to late Sep period except that BCV studios and 2BRs can sometimes disappear for some days during holiday times and Stars wars weekends. Also the dedicated 2BRs with two queens can often be gone by 7 months out. During that high demand last quarter, all of BCV, except potentially 1BRs, is usually gone except for two to three nights in a week and usually not even that for the extremely high demand times.

C. BWV: During that mid-Jan to late Sep period, BWV pool/garden view is open at 7 months out, standard view is often gone excpet possibly 1BRs, likewise boardwalk view, but a chance for standard view and more so for boardwalk view during the lowest demand times mentioned above and even two or three nights for boardwalk view during some other times. Except for stray days, BWV GVs are usually gone at 7 months out but with some real chance to get them during those lowest demand times. Standard views other than 1BRs tend to reserve fairly quickly after the 11 month window opens and boardwalk view usually takes somewhat longer.

During the high demand quarter, standard and boardwalk view are seldom open at 7 months out except for a night or two during a week and possibly 1BRs, and pool/garden view is often gone except for two or three consecutive nights in a week, and not even that for those extremely high demand times. If you own at BWV you should reserve standard view at exactly 11 months out during that high demand quarter, particularly during the extremely high demand periods. You usually have a little more time for boardwalk view but should still reserve 11 months out to be safe.

D. VGF: a resort that is still developing patterns which usually are not confirmed until resort is sold out. However, studios (only 47 of them) are showing signd of being gone before 7 months out almost any time of year. Everything else has been available during that mid-Jan to late Sep period. During the high demand quarter, it has been a mixed bag for other rooms with 1BRs often gone (2BR lock-offs are gone vecause they are the studios and 1BRs), but dedicated 2BRs have often been open as have the GVs (both of which are even open for Christmas time at 7 months out if you reserved today, May 24; possibly that is factor of the very high point cost for those units).

E. SSR: open year round at 7 months out except for some chance otherwise NYE and the Friday of Veterans Day weeken, and except that Treehouses can be gone by 7 months out Thanksgiving time, first and second week of Dec, Christmas week and marathon weekend in Jan and GVs may be gone Thanksgiving time, first week of Dec and Christmas week.

F. OKW: Hospitality House GV usually gone before 7 months out and should be reserved exactly 11 months out. Other GVs are usually open at 7 months out except for the extremely high demand times and Marathon weekend in Jan, and first half of June there appears to be some risk for GVs being gone by 7 months out. Otherwise, rooms near Hospitality House can often disappear before 7 months out at least at times during that high demand quarter. Also, a risk of OKW being gone entirely for some days at 7 months out during those extremely high demand times but otherwise OKW studios, 1BRs and 2BRs are usually open at 7 months out.

G. AKV: club level is a special problem. it can actually be gone any time of year before 11 months out. There are only 5 2BR lock-offs, making 10 possible rooms , 5 studios and 5 1BRs. Owners can reserve up to 7 nights at 11 months out from date of arrival. The result is that someone who has, for example, an April 24, 2015 arrival date could find that date unavailable when trying to reserve today on May 24, 2014, because those who reserved just days before May 24 may have already filed April 24 and even some days after. That does not usually happen elsewhere but is actually very common with AKV club level. 1BRs, however, usually last a little longer beyond the 11 month window and are even avaialble some consecutive nights at 7 months out during the lowestr demand times. Studios and 2BRs at club level are rartely avaialble at 7 months except for a stray night here and there.

Value is usually gone at 7 months out, except possibly 1BRs, even during the mid-Jan to late Sep period except chances for three to five nights during the lowest demand periods. Also, value studios and 2BRs can disappear very quickly at 11 months out during those extremely high demand times. If you want value best to reserve exactly 11 months out for any time of year.

AKV standard and savanna view is invariably open during the mid-Jan to late Sep period at 7 months out and usually open during the high demand quarter except that Jambo can sometimes fill before 7 months out and even Kidani has a risk of filling some days before 7 months out during the highest demand times. Kidani GVs are the same in that they are usually open at 7 months except possibly for days in those highest demand times. Jambo GVs can fill even during other times during the high demand quarter and some risk for the same during holiday times the rest of the year.

H. VWL: open at 7 months out during that mid-Jan to late Sep period. usually open at 7 months out much of the high demand quarter except a risk otherwise for some days in those middle two weeks in Oct and Veteran's Day weekend and usually multiple days in a week gone gone during Thanksgiving time, first two weeks of Dec and Christmas week except decent chance for 1BRs.

During the mid-Jan to late Sep period, AKV standard and savanna view and OKW are usually open well beyond the 7 month window and even at 4 months out, SSR even at two months out. Other resorts tend to disappear closer to the 7 month window although there are many times when they have been open at six or even five months out. During the high demand quarter, near park resorts tend to disappear fairly quickly after the 7 month window opens. Except for those extremely high demand times, AKV standard and savanna view and OKW may last till six or even five months out and possibly longer and SSR can last till five months or even four months out and longer when seeking only three to four consecutive nights. For near park resorts, for that last quarter you better reserve quickly once the 7 month window is open if you find anything open. Sometimes those openings can disappear ater 8 a.m. when the 7 month window opens and before 9 a.m. when the Member services phone lines open.
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:49 PM   #4
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One thing to drusba's excellent post (and thanks again for all the tracking). The system seems to release cancellations straight into the pool without checking against the waitlist - so by checking in on the website or calling people can "luck into" the unlikeliest things. Of course, if you are persistent about haunting the website looking for a cancellation, its more likely to happen than if you just happen to get lucky when you decide to call. So anecdotally, you'll hear a lot of "we had no problem getting a BCV room for Food and Wine five months out" - its fairly likely they lucked into a cancellation. However, as more and more members are added to the system, more and more members will be looking to "luck into" that reservation - and BCV isn't getting any bigger to accommodate them.

Also, be aware of the words "subject to change." Treehouse villas were difficult to get if you didn't own at SSR, but Disney reallocated the points and made them more expensive. The demand dropped. When we bought, we bought for mid October - Food and Wine back then started the week AFTER our normal had been taking it for years vacation. The very next year, Food and Wine was moved back to early October, and our quiet easy to get BWV Standard or Boardwalk View became a first thing in the morning at 11 month phone call. And now, we have teens we can't pull from school - and our trips are the tail end of August - a time of year when availability is much more open. And F&W starts in mid-September, more than a month before it did thirteen years ago when we bought.

Your best bet if you want to buy is to buy a resort you won't mind ending up at. If its important to you to have a certain resort at a certain time of year, buy there and book early. There is a reason some members own at several resorts. If you are looking for resorts to be open when you want them to be open - pay cash.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:31 PM   #5
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Excellent post, drusba!!!!!
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Old 05-27-2014, 02:16 PM   #6
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This is really helpful information, thanks so much for taking the time to research it and summarize it!
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:08 AM   #7
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Thank you for this Hall of Fame post.
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:48 AM   #8
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Excellent Post!!!!

I'm currently waitlisting for BCV over marathon weekend and after. First 4 nights (Wednesday-Saturday) are filled, but the last 5 (Sunday-Thursday) are free. I've got 2 waitlists hoping to get a 2BR there. Otherwise, we're at OKW because if I'm not at BCV, I'd rather just have the extra space.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:56 PM   #9
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drusba -

Awesome post - thank you!!! This is really helpful!

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Old 06-11-2014, 06:50 AM   #10
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drusba----Thank you so much for this info!!!!!
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:05 PM   #11
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Drusba, this post is exactly what I was searching for. Thank you!
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:32 PM   #12
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Drusba, this is so valuable. I'm in awe! Thank you!
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Old 10-17-2014, 10:16 PM   #13
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This is GREAT information. I'd love to know about availability trends on the Aulani and VGC. Being a west coaster these DVC properties are very important to me.
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Old 10-17-2014, 10:45 PM   #14
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Thank you I will be saving this for reference. Reinforces the theory of buying where you want to stay.
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Old 10-18-2014, 06:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jingojango View Post
Thank you I will be saving this for reference. Reinforces the theory of buying where you want to stay.
I was thinking the same thing. I've been busting out numbers ever since I decided to look into buying DVC on resale. It never occurred to me the reservation patterns that are listed here. It all makes sense.

1. Studios sell out first because those who buy direct from Disney will often buy 160 points which will give you a studio every year but not much else.

2. Two bedrooms also make sense when you look at the point costs. Not many more points gets you so much more room.

3. Standards sell out early because DVC members are trying to make their points go farther.

Looking a these three basic truths that were not immediately apparent to me has me completely re-thinking our decisions.

We were planning on OKW (for the cheaper price, after all i'll be 82 by the time it expires what do I care) But my wife wasn't real thrilled about a couple aspects of the rooms. Didn't think it'd matter but it will if I am looking at OKW being always my backup plan. SSR will be a better choice for us.

We were also planning on buying 200-230 points but with this new viewpoint on the two bedrooms, I may actually be looking at 250 points.
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