AKV or Riviera- buying direct

Type1ofaKind

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 21, 2021
Hi! I have been lurking this board forever and have finally decided to buy DVC. We will be buying 150 points direct from Disney. I know these are two very different resorts but I am having a hard time deciding between the two. A little background: we are a family of four, us parents are in our early 40s, kiddos are in middle school and we have a toddler. We have been to Disney many, many times and have decided to take the plunge! We are about a 9 hour drive from Disney but typically fly as long as airfare is decent. Below are my thoughts but please add things I may be forgetting or not thinking about! Yes, I know I can buy resale for less money but have my heart set on initially buying direct and later down the road adding on from resale.

AKV- we love the resort but not necessarily in love with the rooms. We are not park open to close people and even do some resort only stays. Love the restaurants. Of course, bus transportation everywhere unless we happen to drive. Very kid friendly. Love the kids water play area and the pools.

Riviera- honestly had not even considered this resort at first. However, once you factor in the length of the contract then it is less per point over the length of the contract than AKV. At the same time, it's not like I am going to still be around in 2070 and who is to say my kids will continue their love for Disney! We have not stayed here but have visited Riviera and eaten at the restaurants. Skyliner access is a plus and our most recent trips we have spent more time at HS than in the past. We like the subtle theming and clean appearance of this resort. Yes, with us only having 150 points, we will be limited to studios. However, thinking the tower studios will be perfect for adult only trips for me and the husband for booking at 11 months. Standard studio booking at 11 months for when the kids come. If we happen to want a 2 bedroom (banking/borrowing) how hard will it be to get at Saratoga or Old Key West at 7 months?

I do know there are the resale limitations with Riviera but we are not buying to sale. You all are very experienced so I look forward to your advice!
 

JETSDAD

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 7, 2016
I am a huge fan of AKV...that being said, if I were buying direct today I would probably go with Riviera. The length of contract would be the deciding factor there as I would be looking to get the best value I could over the term of the contract. In general a 2BR at SSR or OKW shouldn't be too hard much of the year but there will be times where even that could be tricky and could involve piecing something together.
 

db24

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
I own at AKV and it's my favorite resort. When I was buying what pushed me to AKV over Riviera was better point charts, less resale restrictions and I just like AKV a lot better (theming and restaurants). While not guaranteed to being able to book all the time at 11 months the value rooms at AKV are the best points value at any DVC resort and AKV offers the Kilimanjaro club rooms that no other dvc resort offers. I still think the best advice is to buy where you don't mind staying.

If you are buying 150 points direct something you might want to consider is buying it as 2 75 point contacts. If you ever have to sell or transfer ownership in the future it gives more flexibility and small contracts typically sell faster. You'll just pay a extra closing cost to do that.
 

EYL

Mouseketeer
DVC Platinum
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
If you are buying 150 points direct something you might want to consider is buying it as 2 75 point contacts. If you ever have to sell or transfer ownership in the future it gives more flexibility and small contracts typically sell faster. You'll just pay a extra closing cost to do that.
My experience is that if you're buying into a new membership, then the first contract has to be 150 points, which is the current minimum purchase amount. They will not allow you to split it. If you're buying 200 points, for example, you can only split it 150-50.
 

DVChris

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 10, 2021
My experience is that if you're buying into a new membership, then the first contract has to be 150 points, which is the current minimum purchase amount. They will not allow you to split it. If you're buying 200 points, for example, you can only split it 150-50.
Yes, my CM told me the same.
 

Sandisw

DVC Forums
Moderator
Joined
Nov 15, 2008
Getting AKV will be easier than getting RIV, especially at 7 months. We love RIV so my advice is for anyone who think they will too, go for it.

The Skyliner is a great and while yes, it can go down, you are in no different of a position than at AKV…buses only, I have been several times and so have some of my family and out of 4 trips so far, two in the summer, we have never had an issue. .

In terms of restrictions, RIV is currently getting more than AKV. But, in the long run…RIV will go down…I see it comparable to AKV so in that regard I think it’s a wash, even though you don’t plan on selling.

Another thing we like about RIV is that the Skyliner can be fun even one resort only days. Take it to the other Skyliner resorts for a special treat for the kids!

Good luck.
 

Leight19

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 3, 2020
I think you’ve gotten some good advice so far. To clarify one thing, are you family of four today or five with one under 3 so a Disney 4? Wasn’t quite clear to me as you said you two, kiddos (so assumed at least 2), and toddler. Reason I ask is 150 points to me is a studio every year type contract and one thing to consider would be akv only has 4 person studios. How do you plan to travel? Do you plan to do studios or 1BR? Will this be only contract or this is for direct benefits and down line anticipate another on resale?
 

🍀TwinsMom

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Both are great resorts, so I don't think you'll regret either choice. We own RIV, so biased, LOL, but the larger room sizes have really spoiled us. We did a 2-bedroom dedicated Saratoga for a night last trip, and I really disliked the layout and smaller rooms. RIV is really well laid out in all categories, IMO (we have done studios, one-bedrooms, and dedicated two-bedroom stays so far.). I think as the kids get older and bigger, the space is going to be a big deal. We plan to do empty nester Tower studio F&W weekends, and if you don't own there, you probably won't be able to book the rooms on points.

I will say, you having a car for some trips and loving the food at AK is a big plus, IMO, for AK. Can't go wrong either way!
 

RoseGold

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
Go check out the RIV chart before you convince yourself it is cheaper. Pulling my math from another thread, for a 1Br standard view for a random week in July, Kidani is 200 points, RIV is 283. Big difference.

If you can buy less points to do what you want to accomplish, that makes the overall cost less. AKL has some excellent 11 month booking priorities as well. If you can get a value room a time or two, the AKL choice will really have saved you some cash.
 

OPDman

Earning My Ears
Joined
May 16, 2019
Owning at both, I think AKL will give you more flexibility and usability on 150 points. Also, in my opinion, AKL is far better for resort only days and stays. The energy of both resorts is VERY different, although I love them both. BTW, when I added on AKL points in September, there were some limited incentives for purchases of 150+. Disney may still have them.

At this point, with either resort, I’d see about a December use year. That way you’d get your 2020 points, which you’d immediately bank. You would also pay prorated dues on this year’s points. It would roughly be about $1.30/point for 2021. Effectively, you’d have 300 points to use from 12/21-12/22. (Paying about $450 dues on them.) The only caveat would be the impracticality of having a December use year if you travel frequently in the fall or at Thanksgiving.

Best wishes and Good Luck.
 

havoc315

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Hi! I have been lurking this board forever and have finally decided to buy DVC. We will be buying 150 points direct from Disney. I know these are two very different resorts but I am having a hard time deciding between the two. A little background: we are a family of four, us parents are in our early 40s, kiddos are in middle school and we have a toddler. We have been to Disney many, many times and have decided to take the plunge! We are about a 9 hour drive from Disney but typically fly as long as airfare is decent. Below are my thoughts but please add things I may be forgetting or not thinking about! Yes, I know I can buy resale for less money but have my heart set on initially buying direct and later down the road adding on from resale.

AKV- we love the resort but not necessarily in love with the rooms. We are not park open to close people and even do some resort only stays. Love the restaurants. Of course, bus transportation everywhere unless we happen to drive. Very kid friendly. Love the kids water play area and the pools.

Riviera- honestly had not even considered this resort at first. However, once you factor in the length of the contract then it is less per point over the length of the contract than AKV. At the same time, it's not like I am going to still be around in 2070 and who is to say my kids will continue their love for Disney! We have not stayed here but have visited Riviera and eaten at the restaurants. Skyliner access is a plus and our most recent trips we have spent more time at HS than in the past. We like the subtle theming and clean appearance of this resort. Yes, with us only having 150 points, we will be limited to studios. However, thinking the tower studios will be perfect for adult only trips for me and the husband for booking at 11 months. Standard studio booking at 11 months for when the kids come. If we happen to want a 2 bedroom (banking/borrowing) how hard will it be to get at Saratoga or Old Key West at 7 months?

I do know there are the resale limitations with Riviera but we are not buying to sale. You all are very experienced so I look forward to your advice!
While contract length is a consideration, it's a much bigger consideration if you're comparing 21 years to 49 years. I wouldn't let 36 years vs 49 years be the deciding factor.

But here are a few considerations:
Riviera standard studios must be booked within the 11 month window, before 7 months. Can be nearly impossible to get at 7 months. Even preferred view studios can be difficult at 7 months sometimes.
AKV -- tends to have pretty good availability at 7 months. So you should be able to use your Riviera points at AKV, but don't be so certain that you can use your AKV points at Riviera.
Riviera -- studios are significantly bigger than AKV, and that may be important with a family of 5.
It's not hard to book at SSR and OKW at 7 months. A 2-bedroom might be hard at 7 months during premium holiday periods, but you should typically be able to get them.

With the longer contract, bigger rooms and skyliner, I personally would pick Riviera over AKV, but that's just me.

I'd ask myself, is there 1 resort where I'd be perfectly content staying 75% of the time. If you really think you'd generally prefer staying at AKV over Riviera most of the time, then I'd go with AKV. But if you could see yourself wanting to do both resorts an equal number of trips, then I'd go with Riviera, since it is easier to use the Riviera points at AKV than vice versa.
 

Type1ofaKind

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 21, 2021
Owning at both, I think AKL will give you more flexibility and usability on 150 points. Also, in my opinion, AKL is far better for resort only days and stays. The energy of both resorts is VERY different, although I love them both. BTW, when I added on AKL points in September, there were some limited incentives for purchases of 150+. Disney may still have them.

At this point, with either resort, I’d see about a December use year. That way you’d get your 2020 points, which you’d immediately bank. You would also pay prorated dues on this year’s points. It would roughly be about $1.30/point for 2021. Effectively, you’d have 300 points to use from 12/21-12/22. (Paying about $450 dues on them.) The only caveat would be the impracticality of having a December use year if you travel frequently in the fall or at Thanksgiving.

Best wishes and Good Luck.
Can you pick your use year when buying direct? Our guide said that they currently had June use year.
 

stwaldman

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
I'll just echo what has already been said, but we did our first trip with even just 1 kid and decided that 1BRs were going to be a better long term solution than studios, especially if you're of the mindset that you will actual do resort time and not just use it as a place to sleep. The point chart for RIV gets a little tough past studios and has made me squeamish even when the incentives to buy were quite good.

To another poster's point, we ended up with two small-medium contracts at two different resorts, one where our points go a little further (AKV) and one on the MK loop where we might sacrifice some room space for doing more park time and less resort only time.

I think there are pros and cons to both, its probably just a matter of listing it out and weighing them based on how you think you'll travel.
 

stwaldman

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
I'll just echo what has already been said, but we did our first trip with even just 1 kid and decided that 1BRs were going to be a better long term solution than studios, especially if you're of the mindset that you will actual do resort time and not just use it as a place to sleep. The point chart for RIV gets a little tough past studios and has made me squeamish even when the incentives to buy were quite good.

To another poster's point, we ended up with two small-medium contracts at two different resorts, one where our points go a little further (AKV) and one on the MK loop where we might sacrifice some room space for doing more park time and less resort only time.

I think there are pros and cons to both, its probably just a matter of listing it out and weighing them based on how you think you'll travel.
I would also add one other point that has been brought up on other posts, sometimes buying a small buy-in resale contract is worthwhile to "work around" the 150 minimum buy in, as my understanding is that once you are member in any capacity, you are then subject to the member add on rules. That may allow you to mix and match add-ons in a way that fits your needs better than going all in on one resort, if that's a concern.
 

havoc315

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Go check out the RIV chart before you convince yourself it is cheaper. Pulling my math from another thread, for a 1Br standard view for a random week in July, Kidani is 200 points, RIV is 283. Big difference.

If you can buy less points to do what you want to accomplish, that makes the overall cost less. AKL has some excellent 11 month booking priorities as well. If you can get a value room a time or two, the AKL choice will really have saved you some cash.
It is cheaper, has nothing to do with the point charts. Since you can use your points at any DVC resort. You're not stuck using your Riviera points bought direct only at Riviera.

So the points are cheaper at Riviera currently.

The rooms are cheaper at Animal Kingdom than Riviera. Whether purchased with points or cash. Just like the rooms at Animal Kingdom Lodge are cheaper than Grand Floridian.

If you are just after the cheapest rooms, one should skip DVC and book Pop Century.
 

RoseGold

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
It is cheaper, has nothing to do with the point charts. Since you can use your points at any DVC resort. You're not stuck using your Riviera points bought direct only at Riviera.
Sure, which is why my example was an AKL value room, which is tough even with AKL points. Points wise, these resorts couldn't be more opposite, which is why the set number of points was interesting to me. AKL obviously gives a lot more bang for the points, even with savanna bookings, which are much easier to get.
 

havoc315

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Sure, which is why my example was an AKL value room, which is tough even with AKL points. Points wise, these resorts couldn't be more opposite, which is why the set number of points was interesting to me. AKL obviously gives a lot more bang for the points, even with savanna bookings, which are much easier to get.
My issue is with your concept of "bang." You can just as easily say, "you get a lot more bang for your buck at Pop century!" -- If you're simply looking at how many nights you can stay for a certain price.

I'd argue that you get a lot more "bang for the points" at Riviera -- since the points at Riviera get you a bigger room with skyliner access to 2 parks.

And technically.. as you said, savanna rooms are easier to get. So you would maximize your nights at the lower price, if you purchased Riviera points and used them at AKV.

"Bang for points" isn't "the number of nights you can get."

It might be accurate to say, "150 points will buy you more nights at AKV than at Riviera" -- That would be entirely true.
And "150 points at OKW will get you more nights than 150 points at Grand Floridian" -- Though I wouldn't say you're getting more bang for your points at OKW. Just more nights.
 

Type1ofaKind

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 21, 2021
Sure, which is why my example was an AKL value room, which is tough even with AKL points. Points wise, these resorts couldn't be more opposite, which is why the set number of points was interesting to me. AKL obviously gives a lot more bang for the points, even with savanna bookings, which are much easier to get.
People can like completely opposite resorts, regardless of the set number of points! This doesn't have to always make complete mathematical sense!! It's vacation for goodness sake :tongue:
 

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