Direct purchase for 1BR

ajsanford

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 13, 2021
Hi,

I have been doing lots of research but I wanted to get some advice with someone with experience.

we are looking into DVC, because we want to stay in 1br villas - we have a 9 month old and are wanting to grow our family, but also realize that these contracts are long, so any kids we have won’t young for entire contract! That being said, we cannot afford 1br (or will choose not to) every time we take the family. We are planning to go every other year.
Also, for the moment, we can travel whenever, but I imagine we will be looking to do early June vacations or winter break vacations once we have kids in school.

I want to stay in a variety of hotels- I was originally thinking Grand Floridian for our home resort, as the dues are lower and the savings per point on direct v resale is not as large as some other hotels. That being said the points it takes to book a 1br are high.

Does anyone know what the hardest/easiest to book 1 br rooms are 7 months out or have any advice?
we would prefer standard view rooms to save points and I know the value rooms at AK are off the table!

thanks!
 

CarolMN

DVC Co-Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Aug 18, 1999
To get you started, check out these threads:

drusba's post on 7 month availability

skier_pete's post on predicted availability

The above are older threads, but the general principles are still valid. Keep in mind that the 2020 resort closures have resulted in a "glut" of extra points, so rooms are filling more quickly than they have in the past.

1 bedrooms are almost always easier to book than studios or 2 bedrooms. The less expensive options are rarely available at 7 months, and summers are easier than the other seasons. DVC rooms fill more quickly in the "off" (less crowded) seasons for the parks.

Buy where you want to stay or at least where you won't mind staying if you can't switch at 7 months - and book before the 7 month window opens. Good luck with your research.

And Welcome to the DIS!
 

princesscinderella

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 27, 2011
I would pick a resort that allows you walking access to the parks since you are just starting out and have little ones. It’s nice not to have to fold up strollers and lug on buses to get everywhere. I’m not sure of the stroller protocol on the sky liner. I’d choose either BLT, RIV direct (based on the sky liner), or BWV. Those have good point charts if you get the stand views and BW had great point charts overall. GFV is beautiful but higher in points and smaller so at busy times harder to book. SSR and AKV are the two easiest to book at 7 months typically for one bedrooms. CCV rooms are smaller and only fit 4 for studios and one bedrooms so I’d rule those out depending on who much you think you are going to expand your family.
 

_auroraborealis_

I like marshmallows. And adult beverages.
Joined
Oct 18, 2015
I would not choose BWV with an infant. The contract expires in 2042. Kid won't even be out of college and a sibling may yet be in HS.
 

havoc315

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Hi,

I have been doing lots of research but I wanted to get some advice with someone with experience.

we are looking into DVC, because we want to stay in 1br villas - we have a 9 month old and are wanting to grow our family, but also realize that these contracts are long, so any kids we have won’t young for entire contract! That being said, we cannot afford 1br (or will choose not to) every time we take the family. We are planning to go every other year.
Also, for the moment, we can travel whenever, but I imagine we will be looking to do early June vacations or winter break vacations once we have kids in school.

I want to stay in a variety of hotels- I was originally thinking Grand Floridian for our home resort, as the dues are lower and the savings per point on direct v resale is not as large as some other hotels. That being said the points it takes to book a 1br are high.

Does anyone know what the hardest/easiest to book 1 br rooms are 7 months out or have any advice?
we would prefer standard view rooms to save points and I know the value rooms at AK are off the table!

thanks!
1 BR preferred view rooms are usually available at most resorts most of the year at the 7 month mark. They are the last rooms to book.
Standard views are tougher at all resorts. I wouldn't ever count on snagging standard view rooms at 7 months at any resort, except maybe SSR and OKW.
 

fumanchu2488

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 20, 2020
I was in a similar situation when we bought two years ago (1.5 YO). Now we have another so we are a family of 4. When we bought we weren't sure where we were going to land with kids (4 or 5 person travel party). So here is my thought process and where we landed:

- We are a younger family and did not want any of the 2042 resorts (no OKW, BCV, BWV, BRV)
- Since we were unsure on size of our family, we needed studio and 1 BR with 5 person capacity. (no CCV)
- Wanted a resort with 1 BR and 2 BR alternatives. (no POLY)
- Wanted access to parks without the need for a bus (ugh strollers). (no SSR, AKV, OKW)

That being said, we quickly boiled down our options to BLT, VGF and RIV. Based on cost, length of contract and point chart, we felt more comfortable buying RIV direct than VGF resale, which would have been a similar cost. So we were down to BLT and RIV.

Then we looked at the points charts and uniqueness of our visits. Like you, we wanted to travel every other year. We had a tough time choosing between BLT and RIV but the tower studio pushed it a bit over the edge. We like 5 or 6 night stays and with young kids we can travel during school times now. We do have my parents come with us some times which would make our travel party 6 when the youngest gets over 3. Also, when the kids get older we do plan on doing longer stays in studios. While we would never stay in the Tower Studios, it was a perfect room for my parents. For less points than a 1 BR we can get a standard studio and a tower studio. Our family can stay in the regular and my parents can stay tower room.

On to the number of points, this is our biggest regret. We only bought 100 points because the banking and borrowing would give us plenty of points for our 1 BR for 5 - 6 nights every other year. I wish we would have bought 150 or 160 points. Also, when I bought a few years ago the price was $188/point. We are probably going to add the extra 50 or 60 points this year after our October trip. If (or when) we go to every year trip, I would probably need 250 points total to be more comfortable.

As far as booking, I have not had issues finding preferred view or standard view 1 BR for RIV yet at the 11 month mark.
 

ajsanford

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 13, 2021
I was in a similar situation when we bought two years ago (1.5 YO). Now we have another so we are a family of 4. When we bought we weren't sure where we were going to land with kids (4 or 5 person travel party). So here is my thought process and where we landed:

- We are a younger family and did not want any of the 2042 resorts (no OKW, BCV, BWV, BRV)
- Since we were unsure on size of our family, we needed studio and 1 BR with 5 person capacity. (no CCV)
- Wanted a resort with 1 BR and 2 BR alternatives. (no POLY)
- Wanted access to parks without the need for a bus (ugh strollers). (no SSR, AKV, OKW)

That being said, we quickly boiled down our options to BLT, VGF and RIV. Based on cost, length of contract and point chart, we felt more comfortable buying RIV direct than VGF resale, which would have been a similar cost. So we were down to BLT and RIV.

Then we looked at the points charts and uniqueness of our visits. Like you, we wanted to travel every other year. We had a tough time choosing between BLT and RIV but the tower studio pushed it a bit over the edge. We like 5 or 6 night stays and with young kids we can travel during school times now. We do have my parents come with us some times which would make our travel party 6 when the youngest gets over 3. Also, when the kids get older we do plan on doing longer stays in studios. While we would never stay in the Tower Studios, it was a perfect room for my parents. For less points than a 1 BR we can get a standard studio and a tower studio. Our family can stay in the regular and my parents can stay tower room.

On to the number of points, this is our biggest regret. We only bought 100 points because the banking and borrowing would give us plenty of points for our 1 BR for 5 - 6 nights every other year. I wish we would have bought 150 or 160 points. Also, when I bought a few years ago the price was $188/point. We are probably going to add the extra 50 or 60 points this year after our October trip. If (or when) we go to every year trip, I would probably need 250 points total to be more comfortable.

As far as booking, I have not had issues finding preferred view or standard view 1 BR for RIV yet at the 11 month mark.
 

ajsanford

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 13, 2021
This is super helpful and sounds very much like our family! So many unknowns, but we know we want to take the grandparents with us here and there as well!
 

ajsanford

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 13, 2021
Thank you so much! I will definitely check out those links!

To get you started, check out these threads:

drusba's post on 7 month availability

skier_pete's post on predicted availability

The above are older threads, but the general principles are still valid. Keep in mind that the 2020 resort closures have resulted in a "glut" of extra points, so rooms are filling more quickly than they have in the past.

1 bedrooms are almost always easier to book than studios or 2 bedrooms. The less expensive options are rarely available at 7 months, and summers are easier than the other seasons. DVC rooms fill more quickly in the "off" (less crowded) seasons for the parks.

Buy where you want to stay or at least where you won't mind staying if you can't switch at 7 months - and book before the 7 month window opens. Good luck with your research.

And Welcome to the DIS!
 

KAT4DISNEY

Glad to be a test subject
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
The point I pick up on is that you want to stay at a variety of places so will be doing quite a bit of 7 month bookings. That should work out decently since you are looking to stay in 1BR's. A point is a point at 7 months so a lot of the time it won't matter where you own. If that really is what you foresee happening then I'd recommend buying at the lowest price location that you are still happy staying with if you can't move at 7 months. And I think in most cases you'll be able to move, especially once you start going in the summers. And if you are able to be flexible with the exact dates you travel you'll have even better options. I wouldn't take anything off the table for what you describe as use other than to at least feel happy to stay there in the scenario you can't change. I wouldn't buy the most expensive to use to stay all over in different resorts.
 

RoseGold

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
I’m not clear on your exit strategy. Nothing wrong with good old fashioned SSR sleep around points. I don’t travel peak and have always been able to get AKL or better 1BR. I plan to sell in 5-10 years, and My VGF and SSR have already gone up a little.

I love VGF, I bought VGF over the summer, but it is priced HIGH right now, it has an eye watering chart, and it is overkill for what you are trying to do, which is book 1BRs. The point chart does the heavy lifting for DVC on recent properties, especially RIV.

If your goal is cost efficiency and 1BR, my answer is SSR or OKW extended, no brainer. If you plan to pass this down or something, I’d change to BLT. Much better chart than comparable resorts (VGF/Poly/even RIV) and I think it’s priced low right now on resale. Add in the chart, and it’s an even better value.

With a family of 3, I don’t see why you’d buy direct at all. You need to do the math to see if it’s worth it and if you really want to lock yourself into a decade of annual passes.
 

CastAStone

Math and business nerd. Not an insider.
Joined
Jun 25, 2019
1 bedroom direct purchases are exceptionally hard to pay back over the life of the contract. Only a handful of resorts have a positive ROI when you hold the contract to expiration; I believe the list is SSR and OKW and that’s it. Triple check your math, and show it to someone you know who works in finance or corporate accounting if you don’t have that kind of training yourself. There’s nothing wrong With a resale contract.

The good news with 1BRs is that you’ll be able to trade in to other resorts a lot! Especially in 2-3 years once the Covid point glut has settled down a bit.
 

DVCanadian

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Consider around 200 points at SSR or BLT resale.
Good contract lengths, good dues, and enough points to stay at any resort you want, and probably cheaper than whatever direct approach you were considering.

Good luck!
 

Kickstart

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 13, 2017
Good points from @CastAStone and @DVCanadian... but for a young growing family direct may pay-off when you factor in AP savings (if every other year is timed right).

Direct may give also you more options 20 years from now depending on what "DVC 2" looks like then (i.e. 2042 resorts are re-sold - or new resorts built in to replace them - either way they won't be available to new resale owners).

The less risky move is resale, the better long term play is probably direct RIV (if there's a high level of confidence you'll keep DVC for 20+ years)
 

CastAStone

Math and business nerd. Not an insider.
Joined
Jun 25, 2019
Good points from @CastAStone and @DVCanadian... but for a young growing family direct may pay-off when you factor in AP savings (if every other year is timed right).

Direct may give also you more options 20 years from now depending on what "DVC 2" looks like then (i.e. 2042 resorts are re-sold - or new resorts built in to replace them - either way they won't be available to new resale owners).

The less risky move is resale, the better long term play is probably direct RIV (if there's a high level of confidence you'll keep DVC for 20+ years)
I agree that APs for a family can turn the math very positive very fast if you go every year, but an every other year situation means they’re probably better off buying park hoppers each time. In any case, Disney could do literally anything with the AP benefit - make it smaller, make it larger, make it go away, I mean, just look at all the different AP benefits they’ve had in the last 15 years, it’s been all over the map. So it’s risky. Personally I would wait until we actually find out what the post-Covid AP benefit will be (or if they’ll completely redo the program like they’re doing in CA) before making a 5 figure decision based on something that may not come back.
 

fumanchu2488

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 20, 2020
I agree that APs for a family can turn the math very positive very fast if you go every year, but an every other year situation means they’re probably better off buying park hoppers each time. In any case, Disney could do literally anything with the AP benefit - make it smaller, make it larger, make it go away, I mean, just look at all the different AP benefits they’ve had in the last 15 years, it’s been all over the map. So it’s risky. Personally I would wait until we actually find out what the post-Covid AP benefit will be (or if they’ll completely redo the program like they’re doing in CA) before making a 5 figure decision based on something that may not come back.
I am probably a sucker, but as a young family with no real plans to sell, the fact that I couldn't stay at RIV or any new resort moving forward really bugged me with buying resale. At the time, Reflections was a real thing and the new Disneyland hotel was being built/planned and we wanted the ability to stay anywhere. Now it would be a bit of a tougher decision because the future of new resorts is way up in the air.

Also, the AP discount for a family of four, if you are out of state and able to buy gold passes when you normally wouldn't, is a big cost savings depending on how many days you go per year. That is a reason we want to add another 50-60 points onto our contract. Those points would give us the chance to do the 2 trips in 11 months with a 14 month break approach and allow us to spend 10 - 11 nights per year. I dove into the weeds on this one as we are looking at buying our tickets for our October trip. Right now, 2 adults and 1 kid (milking our less than 3 YO), is $1,900 for a 5 day ticket with park hopper. If we were to buy another 5 day ticket for October 2022, it would be another $1,900 (assuming no price increase). So our total for 10 days would be about $3,800. Three gold passes would be $2,300. That is a $1,500 savings just for this year. It gets larger when our youngest is older than 3.
 

davidl81

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Good points from @CastAStone and @DVCanadian... but for a young growing family direct may pay-off when you factor in AP savings (if every other year is timed right).

Direct may give also you more options 20 years from now depending on what "DVC 2" looks like then (i.e. 2042 resorts are re-sold - or new resorts built in to replace them - either way they won't be available to new resale owners).

The less risky move is resale, the better long term play is probably direct RIV (if there's a high level of confidence you'll keep DVC for 20+ years)
These are good points. Resale will by far give you the best bang for your buck (SSR specifically or even BLT) over the next 20ish years, but after that is very up in the air. Disney will build more DVC resorts on site, and they will have resale restrictions in all likelihood. So as a resale buyer you will never be able to stay in the "new" resorts. Lot's of ways to look at this, you can buy resale now and enjoy the heck out of it for 20 years and at after that see what happens. You can buy direct at RIV now but buy maybe 200ish points. Enough for 6 nights in 1BD at most of the DVC1 resorts, but those points will still be good at any new DVC2 resorts. Later on down the line you could always add on points direct. Buy 25 points here and there etc.
 

CastAStone

Math and business nerd. Not an insider.
Joined
Jun 25, 2019
I am probably a sucker, but as a young family with no real plans to sell, the fact that I couldn't stay at RIV or any new resort moving forward really bugged me with buying resale. At the time, Reflections was a real thing and the new Disneyland hotel was being built/planned and we wanted the ability to stay anywhere. Now it would be a bit of a tougher decision because the future of new resorts is way up in the air.

Also, the AP discount for a family of four, if you are out of state and able to buy gold passes when you normally wouldn't, is a big cost savings depending on how many days you go per year. That is a reason we want to add another 50-60 points onto our contract. Those points would give us the chance to do the 2 trips in 11 months with a 14 month break approach and allow us to spend 10 - 11 nights per year. I dove into the weeds on this one as we are looking at buying our tickets for our October trip. Right now, 2 adults and 1 kid (milking our less than 3 YO), is $1,900 for a 5 day ticket with park hopper. If we were to buy another 5 day ticket for October 2022, it would be another $1,900 (assuming no price increase). So our total for 10 days would be about $3,800. Three gold passes would be $2,300. That is a $1,500 savings just for this year. It gets larger when our youngest is older than 3.
Right, the math on the APs works for you, and it works for many, I was responding to the OP, who was saying they would go every 2 years, so they can’t do the squeeze 2 trips into 1 AP thing.

PS we believe the Disneyland Hotel DVC has “broken ground”, in the sense that they are demolishing what’s there now.
 

fumanchu2488

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 20, 2020
Right, the math on the APs works for you, and it works for many, I was responding to the OP, who was saying they would go every 2 years, so they can’t do the squeeze 2 trips into 1 AP thing.

PS we believe the Disneyland Hotel DVC has “broken ground”, in the sense that they are demolishing what’s there now.
Agree. I also agree with your post if you try and compare “break even” on 1 BR the math doesn’t ever work out. And it is something I never realized until recently. The point value for a 1 BR is so much more than a studio but the rack rate on a 1 BR is not nearly as high when compared to a studio. Meaning, it might be a better option to book 1 BR from Disney and also get the packages they offer.
 

🍀TwinsMom

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
I was in a similar situation when we bought two years ago (1.5 YO). Now we have another so we are a family of 4. When we bought we weren't sure where we were going to land with kids (4 or 5 person travel party). So here is my thought process and where we landed:

- We are a younger family and did not want any of the 2042 resorts (no OKW, BCV, BWV, BRV)
- Since we were unsure on size of our family, we needed studio and 1 BR with 5 person capacity. (no CCV)
- Wanted a resort with 1 BR and 2 BR alternatives. (no POLY)
- Wanted access to parks without the need for a bus (ugh strollers). (no SSR, AKV, OKW)

That being said, we quickly boiled down our options to BLT, VGF and RIV. Based on cost, length of contract and point chart, we felt more comfortable buying RIV direct than VGF resale, which would have been a similar cost. So we were down to BLT and RIV.

Then we looked at the points charts and uniqueness of our visits. Like you, we wanted to travel every other year. We had a tough time choosing between BLT and RIV but the tower studio pushed it a bit over the edge. We like 5 or 6 night stays and with young kids we can travel during school times now. We do have my parents come with us some times which would make our travel party 6 when the youngest gets over 3. Also, when the kids get older we do plan on doing longer stays in studios. While we would never stay in the Tower Studios, it was a perfect room for my parents. For less points than a 1 BR we can get a standard studio and a tower studio. Our family can stay in the regular and my parents can stay tower room.

On to the number of points, this is our biggest regret. We only bought 100 points because the banking and borrowing would give us plenty of points for our 1 BR for 5 - 6 nights every other year. I wish we would have bought 150 or 160 points. Also, when I bought a few years ago the price was $188/point. We are probably going to add the extra 50 or 60 points this year after our October trip. If (or when) we go to every year trip, I would probably need 250 points total to be more comfortable.

As far as booking, I have not had issues finding preferred view or standard view 1 BR for RIV yet at the 11 month mark.
I totally agree with this reasoning, and I would only add that Skyliner handle strollers just fine. We bought RIV and love it and only do one bedrooms. The studios are beautiful, but we love the king bed, privacy, laundry, and kitchen. Plus, we have very tall b/g and sharing a bed isn’t working anymore.

Something that doesn’t get mentioned is the layout of the resort pool. I think RIV setup is IDEAL for kids, especially littles. There’s great sight lines all around, and the preschool section is fenced off but RIGHT next to the bar, bathrooms, hot tub, slide for older kids, and life vests. There's a veritable SWAT team of lifeguards there due to all the right angles/blind spots inside the pool.

We really love the small/compact footprint of the resort with everything on the interior of the place so you don't have to be outside in FL monsoon rainstorms to grab a bite to eat. Everything is on one level for scooters and strollers or accessible with elevators, and the one-bedrooms have a nice stroller area inside. Buses are horrendous, so Skyliner wins every time in our book, although you are dependent on buses in bad weather and for AK/MK, which we really dislike.

We picked RIV, among other reasons, because Epcot and HS are our favorite parks. Plus, our daughter hates fireworks noise, but when they (fireworks) come back, we can see HS/Epcot fireworks from Topolinos and higher floors in quieter surroundings.

I think the Tower Studios for grandparents or, hopefully, solo adult trips later in life, are great! They're literally the closest rooms to the Skyliner station, which is great for older folks with mobility issues.

We, personally, didn’t care for BLT rooms/layout/size, and with little kids, you DO spend a lot of time in the room, necessitating a good view/higher points for fireworks. I mean, if you’re going to be right there at MK, with littles in jammies and parents exhausted, won’t you want to get the view and avoid the crowds and scary bangs for little ears? BLT point charts are still kind of high.

Which parks do you prefer? AK is the best bang for the buck and can be purchased direct with perks for using that as a home base. I hear wonderful things about it, but its remoteness is a nonstarter for us. I would still like to try staying there for a split stay sometime though:-)

While MK is the quintessential park for littles, our kids at 7 and 8 have kind of graduated to been there, done that. We're good with one, tops two days there per week trip. Slinky Dog Dash and Galaxy's Edge is where it's at for them at this point.

Proximity to favorite parks, pools for littles, great dining options, and luxurious, large accommodations have us very happy at RIV. It IS a high point chart, but I think that's going to be the trend for all future DVCs. I think they're doing a reset on all future resorts to warrant the higher price. I don't necessarily mind if all future DVC properties are as luxurious and well laid out as RIV, just with different theming. Definitely grab more than you think you need NOW, while prices are as low as they're going to be. Resale is up 6+%, and direct prices are going to be crazy for the new DisneyLand DVC. That one IS going forward, and you can bet those will be well over $200pp to start out right away. I would not be surprised if DL DVC hits $250 direct by the end of its sale until it sells out.
 

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