Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by stairstepmom, Nov 8, 2012.
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If you want 3 studios at BCV or BWV, renting points, you need to book (and pay) November 2012 for October 2013. I can't stress this enough. You could possibly get by with waitlisting for 1 studio but your chances of getting 3 studios at a later date at an Epcot DVC during Food & Wine is going to be very very difficult.
It's the only reason I own at BCV. That 11 month booking window at my home resort for Food & Wine has been priceless.
Ok, I have stayed at a lot of the resorts but not the Villas. However, I am looking at this from a purely logistics standpoint, if you don't mind me jumping on board.
As a family (and a couple), we prefer to stay in the EPCOT area, simply because it allows us 3 transport options at any given time. (Well, 4 if you count walking.)
You can take a boat, a bus, and the monorail. MK can be reached by monorail or bus. DHS and EP by boat or walking. AK by bus. Sure, it might take a smidge longer, but you also have the Boardwalk to keep you entertained at night as well. The Swan and Dolphin are close so you can go and visit them and see decorations.
I am unsure the points allowance, but I have seen BWV- they might be a little older but unless you are planning on spending a motherload of time in your rooms, I would think these are a bit cheaper than the BCV.
I hope you work it out in your planning....
Yeah we're aware of the 11 month booking window issue. We simply can't swing it before the first week of January though, and DH's company has still not published the vacation time approvals, so we have no idea if he will get the weeks we want. He's expecting to find out in mid-December. He gets 6 weeks per year but it's often hard to actually use it! We did talk to one of the rental site people about BLT and they said if we were open to a Bay view the chances were good we could still book in January.
We're still open to other dates in the fall besides October - week after Veterans Day, week after Thanksgiving, so we'll see what resorts are available and when and decide from there. And if it ends up being that important, we can push the trip into January so we can book the day the 11 month window opens.
My vote bolded
One more convenience of BLT is the ability to walk to MK and grab a bus to any resort for all those deluxe dining reservations, it pretty much cuts the transportation for those in half!
I know I am jumping in at the end but, I havent stayed in any villas but have stayed in a couple areas. We are a family of 5 (2,3,& 6) We stayed at BWI Sept 2011 for 8 nights, we did DxDP and many character breakfasts and nice dinners. I cant tell you how much I hated the buses and we were there at a very slow time of year. We spent alot of time with transportation. They made stops at swan and doulphin after picking us up. Then on return trip stopped at Beach & Yacht club. In May 2012 we spent 5 nights at GF/3 nights at BC. It was so much better to hardly be on the buses (only to AK) the monorail was so much easier to use than buses. Plus you can hop on monorail for some resort meals as well. It was easy to switch hotels. My vote is BLT/BC and split your time at parks when you are staying in that area.
Wow that bad, huh? LOL!
Well we talked to Grandma and she's more than happy to room with us, so for a bit more we're planning on a 2 bedroom villa plus a studio for Grandpa and 2/7 kids. Looking at the map of BCV, it seems plenty of 2 bedrooms are right next to a studio, so hopefully we'll get that request.
IF we did decide to split stay BCV/BLT, which one would everyone recommend first? On one hand, ending the trip with the resort we like the most would be nice, but on the other hand switching to less convenient travel at the end might make it seem even less convenient?
One problem with the two bedroom villas at BCV. If you cannot book until sometime in January, you will not get one of the 25 dedicated with two queen beds in the second bedroom. You might get a dedicated, but it will have one queen bed and one double sleeper sofa in the second bedroom. There is no assurance that the studio you book will be next door to the two bedroom villa. You might even be on a different floor.
You'd have the same problem at BWV, except all two bedroom villas there are lockoffs. Meaning the second bedroom is a studio (one queen bed and one double sleeper sofa, plus the kitchenette and a door to the hallway). Again, no guarantee the studio will be close to the two bedroom. Also, if you wait until January, you will probably have to book preferred-non-BW view because BW view and standard view will be booked up.
If you go with AKV-Kidani Village or BLT, you will probably get a dedicated two bedroom villa with two queen beds in the second bedroom (plus you get a third bathroom in the two bedroom villa if you book Kidani Village or BLT, but not at Jambo House). All Jambo House two bedrooms villas are lockoffs, like BWV.
Both BLT and AKV will have the sleeper chair in the living room in addition to the queen sized sleeper sofa. So does OKW.
One more thing to consider - Stormalong Bay is not a good place for very small children. There are deep areas (like 8' deep) with very swift currents at SAB. You'll need to watch your younger five children like a hawk. Your two older ones might be okay if they are excellent swimmers.
A few more things. If you decide to go the week after Thanksgiving. You'll need to book that exactly at 11 months out. Thanksgiving is late next year the the week after is one of the most sought after weeks for DVC members. It books up even more quickly than F&W at the two Epcot Resorts. If you don't book that the first week of January, you probably won't get it. Unless you go with SSR or OKW or AKV.
We just got back from an eight night trip to BLT. Several times when we got on the monorail at the Contemporary, guests were told to remove their kids from the strollers and fold up them up because the monorail was pretty crowded. So you can't expect to leave strollers opened up when you ride the monorail anymore. Just like riding the buses.
Booking DVC from Oct through mid-January can be difficult if you don't book at 11 months out because of F&W Festival, the Halloween and Christmas parties, the holidays, the Christmas parade, the annual DVC member meeting, the Disney marathon and other half marathons, Jersey Week, etc.
Remember, too, that cancellation is pretty much impossible with DVC reservations and refunds are fairly rare. You book it and it is yours, but you cannot sublet it if you can't go. The reservation belongs to the member until the very moment you check in. Plus finding a single member with the points to book both a two bedroom villa and a studio for this fairly busy time may be difficult.
Hmm, lots to consider.
It's not essential that our rooms are nearby - would be a bonus, but totally doable being on different floors. We spent a long weekend in Hershey with the grandparents, we had a 2 bdrm and they each had a studio and we were all on different floors - we all just met up in the lobby and hung out in our 2 bdrm, so it worked fine.
It's not a big deal if we have a sleeper sofa instead of a 2nd queen - will have 2 small kiddos in it, and we've used a sleeper sofa for that purpose at other hotels on other trips without a problem.
Convenience is important but not a dealbreaker. As I said earlier, whether we're "allowed" to or not, we WILL be folding up any strollers on the monorail - I would never want to inconvenience other people, and trust me we take up enough space as it is!
Our top choice for dates, weather aside, is Thur 11/7 to Sat 11/16. We can book 1/2. That would put us at 10 months out. If everything we want is booked, we'll go from there. We know it's nonrefundable and are considering trip insurance with a cancel-for-any-reason add on, we're booking through the one that charges $7.50/point for deposit, not Dave's which wants the whole amount. But to be honest, the cost of plane tickets for us (also nonrefundable and expensive to change for so many!) locks us in as it is. We would not cancel for anything less than catastrophe. And the risk of some catastrophe is small enough to take the chance
The Stormalong Bay issue is tricky since I've never seen it...are there ANY shallow areas for small kids to play? What would probably happen is me and Grandma would sit in the shallow area with the little ones while DH and grandpa took the three big kids to the bigger areas.....Are you allowed to have life jackets on kids there? When we took the crew to the nearest waterpark we split up as I said and put life jackets on the toddlers - we were on our toes but they had fun!
If there really is no good area for toddlers at all, then that will definitely impact our decision.
Maybe then an AKV-Kidani/BLT split? My biggest concern with AKV is the distance. We are on DxDP and love being close to a lot of restaurants - either monorail ones or the Crescent Lake/Epcot ones. Anytime we want to eat outside a park, staying at AKV really limits our choices, basically no breakfasts at resorts unless we want to make a 45-60 min trek at 7am...did that last time from POFQ to Ohana, were late for the ADR, missed RD and started that day tired and frazzled and wishing we'd stayed somewhere else LOL!
So...should we just deal with our theme woes and do BLT? Or experience AKV for 4 nights and then switch to BLT for the last 5?
Thanks again, love the experienced advice!!
I think the 2BR plus a studio is the way to go. You can give Grandpa a key to the 2BR so he can use it too. We did this for a family reunion (1 2BR and 2 studios) and it worked out great.
Personally, I would not schlep 7 kids and 2 seniors across WDW just to do a split stay. Pick your location and stay there.
We've never done a split stay, but if we did, we would want BLT first. We always are anxious to do the MK first. The Epcot area is great for relaxing.
The buses from BCV aren't bad at all in my opinion because there are only two, and all the resorts have to take a bus to AK. Besides, the BC Villas are close to the bus stop and the bus goes straight from there to MK.
We've always booked the BCV from Disney, not the DVC, so I'm not sure how that works. But we booked it just like we would book any other resort.
There is a wonderful kids pool that is filled with sand. We spent a lovely afternoon with our 8 month old grandson a few years ago.
Here is a map of SAB.
2012 Beach and Yacht FAQ, Part 3- August, September, October and November 2012 ~~~
Me, either. What a mess that could be.
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