At Grand Californian now, going on DVC tour tomorrow...

Discussion in 'Purchasing DVC' started by hurleysweety, May 31, 2013.

  1. hurleysweety

    hurleysweety <font color=deeppink>DISPrincess in Training<br><f

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    DH and I have been talking about DVC since we honeymooned to WDW in 2008. We are now at a place where kids will be in the picture soon and we are obvious Disney lovers, having visited at least one Disney park each year for the past five years, and now once again DLR AP holders. (I should also mention that we LOVE the Grand Californian and try to stay on propety when it works for our budget!).

    We have just scheduled a tour so that we talk to a guide and can become (even more) familiar with DVC and whether or not it would work for us. DH has a lot of questions and wants to ask them in person so he is looking forward to that opportunity. We have no plans to buy now, and were assured that we would not be pressured, since we have little interest in Aulani. We are tossing around the idea of looking for a VGC resale because we only live 5 hours from DLR, but are aware of the limited inventory.

    We would visit DLR more than WDW, I would assume DLR 3-4 times a year (2 or 3 night stays), and WDW once a year. But I'm not asking if DVC is right for us...so please don't answer that question since we are still thinking about it - hence us taking the tour! ;)

    Anyway, besides the obvious things, "is this right for US" and "can you afford it" type things...any advice for us on this tour? Not even sure I am making sense at this point...:lmao: Apologize for that, must be the fact that our anniversary is today and we're celebrating it here. (No worries, no emotional impulses from this couple! ;))
     
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  3. Iceman93

    Iceman93 Mouseketeer

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    Well, I guess my advice would be twofold. First, don't let emotions take over because that's what they count on. The DVC pitch is very well-designed and low-pressure, but that alone will make you intrigued. Be each other's designated driver, so to speak. Go in with a rational plan and agree that you won't be swayed!

    Second, don't dismiss Aulani so quickly. I see that you've never been there. It's AMAZING. And even if you don't stay there every year or two, your points will still be good anywhere else in the system. Some will advise resale as a way to save money; these are likely the same people who would tell you never to buy a new car because the initial depreciation is a killer. I bought direct myself and would only do it that way in the future. It's probably no surprise that the one time I bought a used car it was a lemon and caused all kinds of headaches! So when they pitch DVC, and Aulani in particular, keep an open mind.
     
  4. dmunsil

    dmunsil Disney Uber-Nerd

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    Hmm.. is this right for you? Can you afford it? :)

    Kidding! :)

    In all seriousness, be aware going in that while Disney doesn't typically engage in high pressure sales tactics, they do have good salespeople, and they're going to do a good job of trying to get you to sign on to Aulani or Animal Kingdom. You shouldn't have any trouble getting out of there; they're not going to block the exit or anything. But they're good at making you feel like it would be just the right thing to do. But the worst time to buy anything is when you're sitting in front of a salesperson after a pitch. If it's really right for you, it'll still be right the next day after you've slept on it.

    So take this chance to collect materials, ask a lot of questions, kick the tires, and y'know, collect a free ice cream. You're already way ahead of everyone else simply by knowing about resale and the various pros and cons of different resorts.

    Ultimately if you want to use DVC to stay at DLR, it makes very little sense to buy anything but VGC, and realistically you need to buy that resale. Yes, if you bought some AKV or Aulani or VGF direct you could use it for rooms at the Grand Californian or Disneyland Hotel, but at highly unattractive conversion ratios. It totally stops making financial sense if you are going to use the points for regular Disneyland hotel rooms. Now, if you own at VGC and use your points to book DVC rooms there, it all pencils out nicely.

    Bottom line: Have fun! Don't buy anything! :lmao:
     
  5. Dasha Hermosilla

    Dasha Hermosilla Mouseketeer

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    My advice is to really think about where you will use it and buy there. They were pushing AK when we purchased, but after discussing it among ourselves, we pushed back and asked for BLT. W'd stayed there two times already and loved it and I knew if we would not be able to stay at BLT when we wanted to then I would not be happy with the purchase. The guide agreed and I'm very happy with that decision. So, if you want to stay at VGC and are fairly set on your dates, then you really should book at VGC and nowhere else. To give you an idea there is a thread in another section of the DVC (mouselaneous maybe?) where they discuss getting into VGC at 7 months. Is doable, but by no means a guarantee.
     
  6. Breyean

    Breyean DVC Since '93

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    I agree with the previous posters.

    We needed more points after a move west and seeing we were going to DLR a lot more than WDW. At the time Aulani was new and we bought there.

    Then we really thought about what we were going to use those points for and we sold Aulani back to Disney (long story) and bought two add ons at VGC direct, when the price was significantly cheaper than now.

    Then we added on again early this year resale, also at VGC, since it is a point hog.

    You CAN get rooms at VGC w/o owning there and we've done it several times. But it makes it easy to plan if you DO own there since you can actually know you have the room.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Missyrose

    Missyrose DIS Veteran

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    Just for the record, you can buy ANY of the resorts, including VGC, from Disney. You just have to be insistent that's what you want.
     
  8. BlazerFan

    BlazerFan Mouseketeer

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    And you have to be patient says the person on the wait list since March :-), I am an owner but trying to get ANOTHER add on :-)
     
  9. BestDadEver

    BestDadEver New DVC Member

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    I have dealt with three guides and 1 tour and I can assure you that they are very far from pushy . A matter of fact I was kind of hoping to get more follow up calls to ask them more questions but I didn't receive a follow up call till almost 6 months after my tour. I though all were very nice and answered all my questions honestly .

    I don't know about how much resale is for VGC but I thought I heard due to the limited availability that its on the higher side depending on how many points your looking for going with a direct purchase may not be that much mire money and you will get all there benefits , if you find value in them it may be worth it.

    IMO since your visiting VGC so much if I were you that would be the option I'd be looking at be resale or direct . I thought I herd VGC DVC is quite small and hard to book , you probably going to want the 11 month booking window . Unless all those 3-4 day trips are spur of the moment and booked last min I'd be looking at only VGC . If they start pushing what they are selling just tell them your only looking for VGC. I my experience it was as simple as , me: I want to buy SSR . them : I can do that .
     
  10. JWG

    JWG DIS Veteran

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    So how was the tour?
     
  11. Minniesgal

    Minniesgal DIS Veteran

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    It doesn't take too long, we went on in January and the points were available at the end of April.
     
  12. dmunsil

    dmunsil Disney Uber-Nerd

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    You can get VGC direct, but the waiting list is reportedly a year or more. In that year, you could surely see a contract that was reasonable on the resale market. There are contracts available right now for VGC, and new ones come up all the time.

    And, of course, the savings are considerable buying resale and the perks you would be losing not really worth anything, depending on how much you value convenience. You can rent your points through a reputable broker like David's, which is about as hassle-free as you can get, and use the cash to book a room at a hotel or a cruise or whatever, and have money left over. In some cases only a little money, but the point remains. If you had points that were bought direct and used them to take a cruise, you'd essentially be paying that extra money for the convenience of being able to make the booking in one operation. That's kind of the opposite of the value proposition of DVC. :)
     
  13. G'sMaman

    G'sMaman Mouseketeer

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    We live in Northern California and so instinctively I bought at the Grand Californian. However, I am starting to have second thoughts about that decision. It is absolutely a beautiful resort and we love staying there, but our trips there tend to be a bit more spontaneous (meaning less than 7 months) :lmao: and so at that point all points are equal. Also, because we're usually there for a long weekend, we find we don't need the benefits of a timeshare such as a kitchen or washer/dryer. On the other hand, we visited Aulani last year and loved it. That was totally unexpected! We typically stay at the Princeville in Kauai and Oahu is not really one of our favorite islands. Not only did we buy a contract there, but just added on more points earlier this year. At Aulani, we find the kitchenette and w/d in the 1 bedroom wonderful for a longer stay (there are 3 of us). The same is true of our trips to WDW. Because those are longer trips that involve more planning, we like having the 7+ month advantage. Lots to think about! Good luck! :thumbsup2
     
  14. disneynutz

    disneynutz DIS Veteran DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    So how many points and where did you buy? :goodvibes

    :earsboy: Bill
     
  15. hurleysweety

    hurleysweety <font color=deeppink>DISPrincess in Training<br><f

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    Oh you guys are all so helpful! This information was wonderful. Unfortunately, due to it being our last full day here and a list a mile long of all we wanted to do, we can to call and cancel because the timing was just awful for what we wanted to do - and knowing we weren't going to buy seemed like 2 hours away from a dip in the pool and collecting some more FPs! So I guess our emotions took over in that.

    It looks like I do have a lot more to learn - as I didn't realize that you could still buy any resort from Disney, pending availability I see. Thanks for that piece of helpful information as we are fans of BCV and VWL (go figure, we love the woodsy, lodgy atmosphere! ;)) And DH is one of those people with a weird love for OKW. :rotfl2:

    Regarding Aulani, I just don't see us visiting Hawaii. I would love to, but for now, DH doesn't have much desire to. I've been twice before and loved it, as a kid, and later as teen. I think when we do go, it would be a one time thing, and probably when we have kids, and they're older. (I really have to laugh reading that as over the past 5 years I've made a lot of, "Oh, we'll never be able to do that..." type statements, only to do and then exceed them...)

    Thanks for the tip about the thread where people discuss getting into VGC at 7 months out. I will have to look into that. I do see the allure of knowing that you do in fact have a room, instead of waiting for those 4 months. Also, thanks for the poster who pointed out that they go for long weekends and don't need all the amenities like kitchen/laundry. That is an excellent point as we love to eat in the park. :goodvibes

    We love staying here and we are so sad to leave. We fit into that crowd that swears by staying on property for the true experience (Early entry, entrance into DCA from the hotel, atmosphere, no need to take a tram, bus, shuttle or car anywhere...). And when I look at what we paid for 3 nights, I can't help but think we are making a mistake if we don't consider the option of buying...

    Watch out DVC experts...you might have a considering DVC newbie full of questions posting all kinds of things soon (but don't worry, I'll try to keep the dumb questions to a minimum)! ;)

    Thanks again, everyone!
     
  16. ELMC

    ELMC DIS Veteran

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    It sounds like you're doing all the right things as you go through your decision process. Fast forward to when (and if) you do take the tour, three pieces of advice geared specifically towards that.

    First, your salesperson's answer to the "is DVC right for me?" question is going to be yes. So you really need to answer that question on your own.

    Second, ask as many questions as you can about the 11 and 7 month booking windows and home resort.

    Third, don't let the salesperson steer you into a resort that you don't want, you should choose one based on what you think your needs are.

    Good luck doing your research! I think that you will find that if you are paying rack rates to stay at the Grand Californian then you can truly save money long term with DVC. The trick is getting a contract, as resales are scarce and direct has a huge wait list. But I wouldn't let that deter you, because booking VGC at the 7 month window is at best tricky and at worst impossible. You may come to find that two smaller contracts work best for you, one at VGC and one at the WDW resort of your choice. Take the time to learn as much about resale as you can so that you can make an informed choice about whether or not it will work for you.

    Good luck, and hopefully I didn't answer any of the questions that you didn't want answered. :)
     
  17. ELMC

    ELMC DIS Veteran

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    This is very good advice.

    This is awful advice. With all due respect, suggesting that they consider buying at Aulani having never been there before when their main desire is to visit the parks is terrible advice. Even if it is absolutely beautiful, owning at Aulani gives them NO 11 month booking advantage at either DL or WDW.

    With regards to your obvious resale prejudice, I think making the comparison between resale points and a used car is ridiculous. With a used car you are getting something that has been used and possibly mistreated or damaged. I can assure you that my resale points book me a stay just as easily as your direct points, and for half the price. They are nothing like a used car. In case you were wondering, my last three cars were all purchased new, so I don't mind the depreciation. I can respect the fact that you prefer to buy direct, but to malign resales with insults and faulty comparisons helps nobody.
     
  18. disneynutz

    disneynutz DIS Veteran DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    Now that the urgency is over, you can take your time and read through many of the threads here in the DVC section of the DIS. The most common questions come up several times per week so you won't have to search back very far.

    :earsboy: Bill
     
  19. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    True.

    It's the reverse of us...the Grand is my *least* favorite hotel at Disneyland, so buying there made absolutely no sense to us. Buy where you want to stay, and do NOT buy where you do not want to stay. :)



    Hey, nothing wrong with OKW! And VWL is our new fave.

    Seeing what we were already spending, and knowing what we would be spending, is what made us think "hmm".

    But resale points won't get them into PPH or DLH, should they ever have a more last-minute trip planned and the Grand is booked. If that's important to them, then it's worth thinking about. You can't say resale points are the exact same anymore, because they aren't. And each one of us has to decide if the restrictions are worth it for our own likes, dislikes, and plans.
     
  20. ELMC

    ELMC DIS Veteran

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    When it comes to booking at DVC resorts, resale points are exactly the same, and I believe I stated that clearly in my previous post. With regards to using points for last minute stays at PPH or DLH, there is another option for that...paying cash. If you run the numbers they are very similar in cost, given the high point requirements of those hotels. Seeing as how the OP was looking at this as a potential cost savings measure, using direct points to stay at Disneyland hotels does not qualify as a viable option.
     
  21. Iceman93

    Iceman93 Mouseketeer

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    But it does! If you look at their DVC purchase, dues, and MF as sunk costs that they've already invested in order to save money overall on Disney vacations, then using those points to stay onsite at DLH or PPH is absolutely a cost-saving measure--they'll be staying for free! If they did that with all of their points, every year, I agree that it would not necessarily be the best way to find bargain accommodations at DLR. But to do it once, if they couldn't get into VGC, is perfectly viable and indeed a potentially strong argument for buying direct.
     

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