Animal Kingdom or Boulder Ridge?

Minnie2114

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 11, 2016
I am a DVC newbie researching our first ever contact! To say I'm excited is an understatement. The podcast and blog are fantastic resources. I have made a lot of spreadsheets while collecting data, and I am down to two resorts that I am debating between when factoring in price/location.

Animal Kingdom Lodge: I love the resort after going there on two different occasions to eat. I really like the longer contract (we're in our late 30s) and my husband could watch giraffes all day long :). But the location isn't my favorite compared to my other top choice.

Boulder Ridge: I absolutely love Wilderness, especially the food (Geyser Grill is my favorite QS) and the proximity to Magic Kingdom (we have a 2 and 10 year old). The shorter contract worries me though, and I feel like even though I would prefer this resort, it isn't as great of a value.

Any advice/thoughts from you experts?
 

Minnie2114

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 11, 2016
CC is definitely on my watch list if I can get a good price! That would solve my dilemma for sure, just trying to balance price to keep my husband from flipping out too much :)
 

Fauntleroy

Der Donaldist
Joined
Dec 1, 2011
I would recommend BRV. AKL is a truly spectacular resort- but I think it is also a very specific, unique experience. With 2 kids- and assumedly a love of all things Disney/Disney World- I would rather have the more centralized location of BRV (can he huge at the end of the day when you’ve got worn out kids, grandparents, etc. which is why we went BLT), and its own excellent theming.
 

Spinster Travel

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 20, 2020
At one point, I was considering both of these properties for my first contract. Like you, I love AKL, but we do a lot of parks when on property and I ended up eliminating AKL for the location being so far away to most of the parks. The shorter term contract for Boulder Ridge is something to consider, but I eliminated CC because of the lack of good studio availability. (I don't have kids, so while I prefer a 1BR, the studios are a great option for me, so I want to have good availability for them). I still consider a Boulder Ridge contract as an option. It's a good price and you are still talking about 20 years of ownership. You can always buy more than one resort (which I swore I would never do, but ended up buying at OKW two months after my first contract closed). Good luck! There is no right or wrong answer here:)
 

fumanchu2488

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 20, 2020
There probably isn't enough information to help you out, but I can provide our thought process. Things that we considered: cost, contract expiration date, number of points needed for stays, size of family and number of trips we wanted to take yearly.

For us, we are a younger family with two young kids (3 and 1). We didn't want a 2042 expiration date even thought BCV was probably our favorite resort. And we weren't sure on the number of kids we were going to have so we did not want any resorts where studios or 1 BR were restricted to 4 people. Lastly, for us location was a big factor. We wanted a way to get to a park without the need for a bus. After considering all of that, we were down to RIV, VGF and POLY. After a lot of consideration we went with RIV because they had 1 BR and the cost of resale at VGF vs direct at RIV was negligible and the purchase through Disney is super easy. The downside of POLY, VGF and RIV is they are the highest point charts for their stays.

We were strongly debating how much location meant to us and were considering SSR and AKL since at the time they were by far the most economical. We actually like SSR because of its proximity to the Springs and the point chart, but it felt unnecessary to buy their as our home resort since it is by far the most available resort. Our only regret is not buying enough points.

If you are a family of 4 and all you need is room for 4 people, I would seriously consider BLT. The convenience to Magic Kingdom, contract length and lower dues makes it a great option. My only downside on that resort is the theming wasn't our style and the 4 person studio was a no go for us.
 

momtwoboys

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 9, 2007
BRV!!! its close to MK, can sleep 5 in a studio, prices are decent and down the road if needed a longer contract can buy resale elsewhere. For 20 years which is still a decent amount of years I say BRV! The location being close yet so calm is perfect, food options great and the 2 pools are super!
 

I Run Long

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2007
If you love Boulder Ridge then you should definitely consider buying there. I honestly wouldn't let distance from the parks be your determing factor since most resorts are close to one park and far from others but it isn't like it's hours away. Just go with what you know you love. The thread below gives a good idea of travel times from resorts to the parks.


https://www.disboards.com/threads/list-of-travel-times-from-resorts-to-parks.3707781/
 

SleeplessInTO

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
I don’t think of DVC as an investment. It’s a luxury splurge in my mind. So for my first contract I bought where I wanted to stay and what made me happiest, which was BWV that expires in 2042. No point in “saving” a few thousand bucks to buy somewhere that I didn’t really want to stay at and then hope to be able to piece together a stay by stalking, waitlisting, and praying at the 7 month mark.

With that being said, addonitis got me the following year. It also looked like our future trips were going to follow the school calendar (so we would be going during point heavy times instead of fall and early Dec visits). I decided to buy SSR for my second contract and let the RAT take us where it may. But I am happy that I always have an annual stay at BWV, guaranteed. (Until covid hit of course ... still waiting for our government to lift travel advisory.)

Edited to add -I vote for BRV. You can always buy AKV for your second contract ;)
 

RanDIZ

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
I own at both AKV and CCV. One of the biggest differences is length of contract as you mentioned. With younger kids, AKV is a no brainer. I could literally do resort only stays at AKV and not regret missing the parks. It is the furthest away, but that’s another reason I like it due to its seclusion away from all the busyness. Arguably the best restaurants on property! It’s also much easier to secure a room at AKV. Points also go further at AKV.

For a couple thousand more and many more years left on the contract, I’d opt for AKV.
 

DisTime25

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
We had a similar dilemma recently in considering both BRV, SSR and AKL for an add on to our RIV direct contract. We have a strong emotional tie to WL as that is where we first fell in love with Disney World and after 4 stays at the main resort and 1 at BRV we ultimately decided to buy DVC.

Ultimately we recently decided on AKL resale because of the lower price per point, longer deed and the uniqueness of the hotel. We have been to the resort but have never stayed there. SSR was also on our radar but the Studio and 1BR sleeps 4 (can do 5) but that was not ideal. The purpose of this add on is to be able to do more nights in 1 BR’s. Not sure how often we will actually stay at AKL as we like to do split stays and try other resorts, but we were comfortable with AKL as home resort to book out 11 months and then split the stay up if we want. We have never had an issue with a slightly longer bus ride and have taken the bus from WL/BRV to AK Park 8-10 times and never once felt like it was inconvenient at all. On the flip side, it’s definitely nice to break up the bus rides to/from the parks with a boat or skyliner so we may feel differently about location/transportation once we stay there, but don’t see that as a decision making factor for us.

Always hard to give advice on these questions, but wanted to share our thought process since we were in a similar situation recently.
 

ldo

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 13, 2007
We got akv for above reasons. We do not go into parks everyday and spend a lot of time at the resort and pool. We like all of the dvc, but at akv we feel like we’ve been transported to an exotic location.
 

CrystalClear82

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jun 26, 2020
This is very much a current conversation in my household. I feel like AK is an experience and BRV is like a home away from home for us. We go back and forth on which one makes sense. Probably the price will end up swaying us towards BRV.
 

sethschroeder

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
The main question to me is why are you buying such an expensive item for rooms at WDW?

Likely to go to the parks quite a bit.

With that being said I would highly suggest staying at AKV for a trip before buying there.

The resort is great but the location and transportation is not very good imo and had multiple experiences of over an hour wait for a bus.

I would rather have a resort where I get an alternative form of transportation than bus and I would never count on skyliner ever going to AKV.
 

Minnie2114

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 11, 2016
You guys are amazing, there is so much to think about with this!

So basically what I'm hearing here is buy the BRV contract at my very early calculation of 160 points - then when my husband gets a taste for DVC life (vs previously staying at moderates) he'll understand what we could do with more points and it'll be easier to convince him we need to add on - then buy another resort with a longer contract! 😂🤣😂
 

Drew729

Human
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Tough choice among two great resorts. We are an AKL family because we love the resort plus a favorable points chart with a longer expiration as well as a variety of room types.

I think some of the best advice we were given was to not think of the present but what your vacations look like in 10-15 years. Will you still be going to parks every day, will you want or need to have larger accommodations, if you had to sell in 10-15 years what resort would be best for an exit plan?
 

KeithSS

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 15, 2018
I had the same problem I was wrestling with. I really wanted to add on at Wilderness Lodge and BRV is the one I prefer. But I couldn't justify the 15 years less on the contract vs AKL. Even if I wanted out in 2042 the BRV would be worth $0 and the AKL I could sell and still get something back. I was purchasing direct so the price was exactly the same either way, so I ended up buying AKL. Honestly i'm still in my 10 day period and am wrestling with it internally lol. I did not want to do CCV because of the added cost as well as the fighting over studios even at 11mo. Also CCV has the smallest studios so not only are they hard to get, but they are also a bit cramped. I figured with AKL it has a great point chart and good size rooms and I could always try to swap into BRV at 7mo. I also bought at Riviera as well.
 

DVCanadian

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
This is very much a current conversation in my household. I feel like AK is an experience and BRV is like a home away from home for us. We go back and forth on which one makes sense. Probably the price will end up swaying us towards BRV.
Buy at BRV you can stay at AK almost anytime you want.
 

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