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Old 10-19-2014, 03:51 PM   #1
ch1975
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My head hurts

Me and the wife have decided to buy dvc resale, we've just come back from beach club(hotel/package), next year we wanted to go to GF for christmas, 23dec to 2nd jan, after a couple of days in universal
We decided we'd buy dvc as we plan to return every year if poss,
Our plan was to buy bcv as our home for the pool but after researching occupancy of resorts that's now a no no because there's 5 of us.
We've researched, and obviously understand that our home resort should be the resort we would be happy to holiday at the most often.
We will be travelling usually last 2 week august every year
But how important is your home ?
How important is U/Y, if I'm holidaying in August what should my use year be for the best result when booking?
So many questions, I keep talking myself out of one resort and going with an other and then coming back.
Money isn't the deciding factor, but don't want to pay double for GF just for 1 christmas holiday if when it comes to the crunch I'll struggle to get in anyway?
Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-19-2014, 04:06 PM   #2
ch1975
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Also, if we buy ak, (which is what I think we are looking at) I read a post about historic availability which(if i read it right) said ak was sometime a pain to book, especially if you want longer stays than 4/5 days.
Is there any ak owners who can confirm any problems booking?

Also do you book the whole stay in one go, same as ADR's on mde? Or is it one day at a time?
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:10 PM   #3
BEACHCLUBVILLAS
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Answers to some questions

I can answer your questions based on my experience. There are probably others with better insight.

1. I've never been able to book at GF at 7 months. Sometimes you can find a day or two but if you want to stay there over the Christmas holidays, then I think you need to own at GF.

2. You will likely be ok if you book 7 months out at BC for the last two weeks in August but i wouldn't wait one day from the time you are permitted to book at 7 months if BC is your preferred resort. I imagine the pool is a big draw because of how warm it is in August.

3. Your home resort is important if you'll be disappointed if you don't get to stay at a particular resort when you visit. You can usually get a room at SSR but if you really would rather stay someone else and you'll be disappointed if there is no availability then buy where you want to stay. i buy where I want to stay. Who knows if the rules change in years to come.

4. I haven't figured out the benefits one way or the other of use year. I have a June use year and its always been fine. I will say, now that our kids have moved out, we have been visiting in May. At times, we have had to borrow points and I do get nervous something will come up when I book in May on borrowed points. Its a good idea to give yourself some leeway in case you have to cancel.

5. I don't have any experience with booking GF as an owner and can't say if it'll be hard even as an owner booking at 11 months.

6. I've always been able to get in AK for a week as needed as long as I don't wait until a month before I check in.

7. How much you are willing to spend and your perceived value is strictly your decision. I have no opinion on whether DVC is worth the money. It's worked for us very well but with the price so high now, if I were purchasing, I'd give that a long hard look.

8. We book the whole stay at once and not one day at a time.

Good luck and an early Welcome Home!
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:40 PM   #4
ch1975
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So,
To book the whole stay in one go do you have to wait until 7 months from your last night at resort, ie your 7 month window to stay 1st august is 1st jan, but to book 2 weeks in one go I have to wait until 14th jan? Have I got that right,
I understand now the use year thing now if you've to cancel and bank points, before the end of the current use year,????? Kind of!
Finally there is refurb work starting at BCV, is there any talk of a 5th bed as they did at wilderness lodge?

Last edited by ch1975; 10-21-2014 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 10-22-2014, 08:35 AM   #5
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Ok - Christmas will be very difficult at the 7 month window regardless however if it's a one off trip I wouldn't buy based on that one trip.

You are alway best advised buying where you want to stay or at worst don't mind being stuck.

At both the 11 month or 7 months windows you can book up to 7 nights. If you wanted to book the whole stay you need you book 7 months minus 7 days from check out.

For 5 to a studio you can only book VGF or VWL. For 5 in a one bed you can book any resort however in all but OKW, AKV and BLT you have to provide the bed/bedding for the 5th person.

AKV is one of the easier resorts to book due to its size however the conceige rooms and value rooms book fast as there are only a few.
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Old 10-22-2014, 08:38 AM   #6
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Just to add regarding use year - it's best to have a use year just prior to your usual travel time so you have some wiggle room to bank points or rebook if you have cancel.

We have a March use year as when we bought we were traveling May & September/October. Now we have changed due to school holidays and travel July& December which is risky as if we cancel after October we can't bank and would only have a limited time to re-book.
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:48 AM   #7
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Regarding historical availability: DVC is very busy between the end of September to January for the marathon week end. This means that during this period is very difficult to book anything except SSR, OKW and AKV, that are the largest resorts. And some dates may be even more difficult. For example for the marathon week end this year I had to waitlist a studio at OKW, because even at 7 months everything was fully booked.
USA public holidays and Spring break are busy periods as well.

Outside that, some booking categories are very hard to get every time of the year: these includes the most exclusives (AKV concierge, GF, BWV BW view, BLT Theme parks) and those that are very cheap, like AKV values, BWV standard, BLT standard.

Last two weeks of August are a very slow period for DVC, because they cost much more than September and many districts in the USA are already back to school. So it shouldn't be difficult to book almost everything (excluding the usual suspects I've written above.

However everything can change. What if DVC changes the points charts to lower points requirements?
It all comes down to your expectation. I like to change resort every time and I don't have a favorite, so I just bought the cheapest resort (SSR). If you really want to stay at BCV of GF, it's better to buy there. However this is true only if you can book far in advance, ideally 11 months before. If you can book only 3 or 4 months before maybe DVC is not for you, unless you like SSR, that is the only resort often available last minute (3 months is "last minute" for DVC).


Regarding the UY, it's a sort of free travel insurance.
Let's say your UY is August and you book a vacation for August 2015. In June, you find you have to cancel, being more than 30 days before stay points go back to your account without any penalty. You have up to July 2016 to use them OR you can bank them before 31/3/2016.

But if your UY is September, points expire at the end of August, and since you are in the last 4 months of your UY you cannot bank them! So in this case you would have probably lost them.
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Old 10-22-2014, 02:27 PM   #8
ch1975
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So can I book my 2015 stay in september 2014 (11 months) even if my use year for that stays points isn't until say June 2015?
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Old 10-23-2014, 02:32 AM   #9
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Booking windows are separate from use year. You can always book 11/7 months in advance.

The points need to in your account to "pay" for your stay on the date you stay not when you book.
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Old 11-01-2014, 11:51 AM   #10
saintrob
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To throw a spanner in the works - we own at AKL and so far haven't stayed there!! We use our DVC points for our Christmas holiday and so far have managed to get BWV at 7 months for the last three years.

We also go in August and even though we don't use DVC points for this I still check availability. Usually the only resort where we would have had problems in securing a booking would have been VGF.
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