AKL vs OKW

RoseMom

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 6, 2013
We have decided to buy into DVC, more than likely resale. I’m have a terrible time deciding between AKL and OKW. We want to start small without going in over our heads so about a 100-120 point contract. We have 2 kids- 11 and 2 years old.

AKL- We have stayed here before but not in a villa. Loved the resort, pool, kids water area, and restaurants. However, didn’t love the rooms. The rooms are dark and the kitchen looks small on the videos I have watched.

OKW- We have never stayed here but I’ve been watching/reading tons of information. Doesn’t seem as kid friendly as AKL. However, I love the look of the villas and the kitchens look huge. We will be a family that utilizes the kitchen. Our daughter has type 1 diabetes and the one thing, in my opinion that Disney does not do well is provide nutrition information on the food served in their restaurants. It will be nice to have a kitchen to cook some meals while on vacation that we know the exact carb count so we can dose her insulin correctly.

Please give your thoughts on AKL and OKW. I know unless we get an extended OKW contract that years of the contract is going to be a big difference. Also, if we buy AKL, how likely are you still able to book OKW at 7 months?
 

RoseGold

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
If you want an actual kitchen to cook things, 100 points won’t get you far. You need a 1BR for a real kitchen. There are lots of cheaper offsite timeshares you can rent that have great kitchens, like bonnet creek.
 

DonMacGregor

Sub Leader
Joined
May 13, 2021
You also might want to consider SSR. While not as kid-friendly as, say AOA, there is subtly more Disney theming, the pools are a bit more fun, and you have direct access to DS. From a theme park access perspective, none of the three are "Monorail or Skyliner" resorts, so you'll be relying on busses or other means to get to the parks, but SSR does have that proximity to DS ( although there IS a boat from OKW to DS).

Price-wise, SSR is on average nestled between OKW and AKV using a 150 point contract for comparison. Points charts for SSR and OKW are almost identical. As is AKV when you compare standard views and not value, savanna, or club rooms.

Lastly, SSR rooms all just underwent a soft goods refurb and look great. Just more food for thought.
 

Sandisw

DVC Forums
Moderator
Joined
Nov 15, 2008
OKW has the best points chart, especially for 1 bedrooms. The only drawback is the most resale end in 2042. You’d wanted to find an extended contract to get the long expiration that AKV will give you.

I have never stayed at OKW, and AKV is not my cup of tea. But, with little ones, I do think AKV might be a good choice.

Both require bus to the parks…although OKW is close to DS which can be nice to have that as an option via boat..i think it’s running now.

Because you want to start small, I’d probably go with OKW, if you can find extended.
 

Adg0428

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 23, 2021
If you want an actual kitchen to cook things, 100 points won’t get you far. You need a 1BR for a real kitchen. There are lots of cheaper offsite timeshares you can rent that have great kitchens, like bonnet creek.
Agree with this.
 

Rush

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 12, 2019
I’ll add, SSR at 2054 and AKV 2057 expirations have vastly more years left vs OKW, unless you can find an extended one, which is very tough and higher priced. OKW is the one resort that has a strong argument for direct over resale for that reason. Of the 3, we own SSR and AKV, we love AKV over nearly all other DVC resorts, but we drive to Disney, so transpiration is not a concern for us like it is for many.

The only noticeable difference in the kitchen from other resorts is that the kitchen is open with no half wall and barstools, but it does have an island table that actually means more counter space than the others. But as someone mentioned, a 1BR on 100-120 points won’t get you many days. I respect not wanting to jump in too deep too early, but I also think it’s safe to say the single most common rookie mistake is underestimating the number of points you need, and later regretting not buying more until later when prices are higher.
 

Ruttangel

UK DVC
Joined
Jun 21, 2013
I own both
I would recommend you stay somewhere before buying.
Downside to OKW is its a vast site with multiple bus stops and doesn’t have a decent quick service. I do love the 1BR here though.
Cant think of a downside to AKV
 

DonMacGregor

Sub Leader
Joined
May 13, 2021
I’ll add, SSR at 2054 and AKV 2057 expirations have vastly more years left vs OKW, unless you can find an extended one, which is very tough and higher priced.
I was just going to add this. The value of the points at AKV (or SSR) goes far beyond the purchase price.

As others have said, 120 points might be tight, so I'd encourage at least adding to get to 150 points. That will get you a LONG weekend at any of the resorts being discussed. A full week, slow season, in a 1BR will generally require around 170 points, give or take.

I'd definitely take the points charts for all the resorts and spend some time comparing each resort, based on room size and reservation period, to get a real-world idea of what a vacation in a 1BR at each resort will "cost" you.
 

BillPA

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 7, 1999
If you need a real kitchen your choice is easy, OKW. The only DVC with a real kitchen. All others have a small galley style setup with almost no counter space. The con to OKW is no elevators, except 3 buildings. It is spread out but no building is very far from a bus stop.
AK-K is the only resort in your list that has interior halls, so you can get around in bad weather and stay dry. OKW and SSR you must go out side to get anywhere.
 

ddlar

Earning My Ears
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
I own at AKV and have stayed at OKW. I love all of the resorts I've stayed at for different reasons, but I'll cover some of the downsides we experienced.

AKV kinda feels like you are on the edge of Disney property (I think it is). So, bus rides to everywhere but AK seem pretty long. And, yes, the rooms are a bit dark. I think they've been working on that, but I kinda like the calmness. There are good food options here, but if you get tired of the choices, there is nothing nearby unless you drive or bus. There are a bunch of places off property, but then you are back to reality. :/

OKV (I've only stayed once) is really spread out. Great if you like to walk or if you have a car, but taking the bus felt like it took forever. We always had a long stop at the main building there, usually waiting for scooters to load onto the bus. I get antsy in the morning, so driving was a better option for us. Also, no elevators in most buildings, so if you have lots of stuff or have any mobility issues, keep that in mind. Beautiful resort, though, and the 1 and 2 BRs are spacious. Loved the room, thought the resort was beautiful. I'll stay there again sometime, maybe for a resort-only stay.

I kinda like the happy medium of SSR. Separate buildings, elevators, lots of parking, close to DS.

WIth that said, if there is a resort you know you want to stay at, buy there. Otherwise you will be dealing with the 7-month window and what is available. Also, don't buy AKV assuming you can use the Value charts. The Value rooms are hard to get and it means several early mornings and weird strategies to get a multi-day reservation.

None of the resorts are bad. But, like I said, buy where you think you want to stay, and know that, at least for now, OKW and SSR are two of the more "gettable" resorts at the 7-month mark. So if you buy elsewhere, you can probably snag rooms at those resorts. Some other resorts and room types are really hard to get at the 7-month window, so if you know you want a certain room type at a certain resort, buy there. The initial purchase price is just a portion of what DVC costs over the years, so don't fret too much over a small difference in purchase price.
 

RoseMom

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 6, 2013
So are you all saying no one does an initial buy in buying only 100-120 points? My family will not be coming to Disney World every year. We would be banking/borrowing and only coming probably every other year. We like to experience the world, not just Disney, including overseas travel. I just think initially buying a small contract and then possibly adding more points later down the road is what makes more sense for my family. I would think it’s easier to add points than take them away!
 

Adg0428

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 23, 2021
So are you all saying no one does an initial buy in buying only 100-120 points? My family will not be coming to Disney World every year. We would be banking/borrowing and only coming probably every other year. We like to experience the world, not just Disney, including overseas travel. I just think initially buying a small contract and then possibly adding more points later down the road is what makes more sense for my family. I would think it’s easier to add points than take them away!
If you aren’t going every year then that would work. Just do the math to make sure it makes sense for the amount you’re going to go.
 

bakerworld

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 24, 2010
IMO your kids would enjoy SSR more than either place because it's larger, 3 pools with kid water activities plus a quiet pool, walking distance to the Springs with the outside entertainment, along with movies and bowling. Walkable/bike-able to Treehouses and Old Key West. The Speedway is walkable with some effort for WDW on-site more moderately priced basic snacks and beverages.

OKW 1, 2, 3 Br villas are bigger. It would probably be easier to keep the 2y in check/sight.

AK-J's value 1 and 2 bedroom do not have galley kitchens. They have a moveable island so if it gets in the way you can move it to the side and still have access to the counter space. AK does have 2 pools with slides and kid activities. Annual Dues are possibly the highest.

The downside of buying any one of these Homes is the 7-month window, which should only impact vacations from October to the start of January, and none are walkable to a park. That said, none of my kids walk any where and if I mention it :rolleyes:
 

bakerworld

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 24, 2010
So are you all saying no one does an initial buy in buying only 100-120 points? My family will not be coming to Disney World every year. We would be banking/borrowing and only coming probably every other year. We like to experience the world, not just Disney, including overseas travel. I just think initially buying a small contract and then possibly adding more points later down the road is what makes more sense for my family. I would think it’s easier to add points than take them away!
I think most people buy the minimum - just remember the borrowing has been reduced to 50%, with no mention of it ending.
 

Rush

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 12, 2019
An ever other year plan can work, just plan to start with an off year so you are initially banking vs borrowing. With the current borrowing limit only 50% of the following year can be used in the current UY. Whereas, you can bank 100% to use 2 full years points in one year. That limit may go away, but there’s no telling how long that will be.

Another option, to avoid banking the first year, is to make sure you buy a contract that is loaded with bankable/banked previous UY points.

Starting with a more stripped contract and the borrowing limit and a plan like you mention will just not work out like you hope.
 

DonMacGregor

Sub Leader
Joined
May 13, 2021
An ever other year plan can work, just plan to start with an off year so you are initially banking vs borrowing
While I feel I'm in the minority, I couldn't agree with this more. I think if you start off borrowing (whether it's 100% or 50%), you're always playing catch-up. Many suggest always borrowing so you're getting value out of next year's points before the zombie apocalypse arrives, but I prefer to have a few points in my pocket every year for the odd unplanned extra trip, gifting to a family member for a graduation/engagement trip, whatever. Our UY's are February, and there's about zero chance I'll need points September through January (DVC's busiest season) and we live in So Cal so there's even less motivation to go to Florida at the Holidays.

The one upside to always borrowing from the next year is the reduced possibility of missing banking deadlines if you're in the habit of rolling points forward (banking).
 

RoseGold

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
So are you all saying no one does an initial buy in buying only 100-120 points? My family will not be coming to Disney World every year. We would be banking/borrowing and only coming probably every other year. We like to experience the world, not just Disney, including overseas travel. I just think initially buying a small contract and then possibly adding more points later down the road is what makes more sense for my family. I would think it’s easier to add points than take them away!
This is a lot of hassle and commitment when you only plan on visit every other year. DVC is a lot of money upfront and it’s not an easy system to use or plan.

There are lots of other options, like renting a week at Bonnet Creek on Redweek, that will be cheaper and get you a kitchen.

Right now, you can only borrow 50%, which makes attenuated planning like this even more difficult. As 2020 showed, they can change the rules under you and you can’t even pull of what you want to do. If I were visiting every other year, I would rent DVC points or another timeshare system.

The boardwalk 1BR is a sweet spot on the point charts, and I would argue renting boardwalk points for a 1Br at 11 months is a better mathematical plan than buying either contract.
 
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I Run Long

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2007
We bought 180 pts resale for AKV villas with the plan that we would go every other year too. So that is doable. We got 1 week in AKV Value 1 bedroom next September. We did a bit of walking and it does require modifying your reservation a lot but we were prepared so if we could only get say 4 days in a 1 bedroom, we would just move to a standard view for the rest of the week - we were still saving points. When the 7 month window opens we plan on doing the 2nd week at SSR (our next favourite) also in a 1 bedroom. It means we'll have to buy 9 OTU pts (at least for now with the 50% borrowing restrictions). It is only my DH and I but were prefer having the full kitchen and washer/dryer. BTW, I couldn't agree more with buy where you want to stay, or at least don't mind staying. We always thought that wouldn't be a big deal for us - we've loved every Disney resort we've stayed at, except . . . . . . (don't hate me) . . . . . PVB. That is the bottom of our list. So, good luck with your decision.
 

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