DVC vs CL

Simba06

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Bigger space vs club level convenience?

As a family with young children, which do you find most beneficial?
 

emmymac17

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 12, 2020
We have a toddler and love the idea of a 1/2bedroom so we can have some 'hangout' space after little ones bedtime. Having a fridge and the ability to get a small grocery run (i don't think we'll be doing a ton of cooking) - but being able to ensure we have the pouches/yogurts/snacks that the little one likes will be nice.

I've stayed club level as well and its excellent - having the lounge for breakfast/snacks/hors d'oeuvres is great and they always have kid friendly stuff, but unless you also then further pay up for a suite you lose the more private common 'space' - the rooms are just hotel rooms. You also may want to think longer term when you have older kids - you may need to get two rooms which would further your expense.

That being said - I've stayed in a 2bedroom club-level suite at a deluxe resort - it was fabulous, but pretty sure the cost of that room for one night was more than my yearly dues on my DVC points
 

Marionnette

Children see magic because they look for it
Joined
Sep 26, 2009
Bigger space vs club level convenience?

As a family with young children, which do you find most beneficial?
Our kids are adults now, so we're actually looking at it from the perspective of indulgent grandparents.

There are a lot of pluses that go beyond the extra space. A 2BR villa guarantees us that the kids and grandkids will be in an adjoining room. There's a full kitchen to accommodate everyone's mealtime preferences. Having a washer and dryer in the villa is priceless.

We create our own CL by ordering alcohol and appetizer platters from DizzyDolphinDelivery.com If you've never heard of them, check out their FB page. Their stuff is amazing and is head and shoulders above your average grocery delivery service.

We used to do CL prior to owning DVC and I have to say that I much prefer having DVC. The only downside is that unlike booking a Disney CL room every once in a while, DVC ownership has pigeonholed us into taking Disney vacation pretty much every year. Up until this past year, it wasn't a huge problem because we could rent our points out pretty easily. This was the first year when we didn't feel like using our banked points where renting them out was more difficult.
 

Simba06

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Our kids are adults now, so we're actually looking at it from the perspective of indulgent grandparents.

There are a lot of pluses that go beyond the extra space. A 2BR villa guarantees us that the kids and grandkids will be in an adjoining room. There's a full kitchen to accommodate everyone's mealtime preferences. Having a washer and dryer in the villa is priceless.

We create our own CL by ordering alcohol and appetizer platters from DizzyDolphinDelivery.com If you've never heard of them, check out their FB page. Their stuff is amazing and is head and shoulders above your average grocery delivery service.

We used to do CL prior to owning DVC and I have to say that I much prefer having DVC. The only downside is that unlike booking a Disney CL room every once in a while, DVC ownership has pigeonholed us into taking Disney vacation pretty much every year. Up until this past year, it wasn't a huge problem because we could rent our points out pretty easily. This was the first year when we didn't feel like using our banked points where renting them out was more difficult.
Creating your own club level is a good idea. Im lazy and dont want to deal with food prep and cleanup on vacation 😂

The washer and dryer is something we did miss in our club level stays.
 

Simba06

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
We have a toddler and love the idea of a 1/2bedroom so we can have some 'hangout' space after little ones bedtime. Having a fridge and the ability to get a small grocery run (i don't think we'll be doing a ton of cooking) - but being able to ensure we have the pouches/yogurts/snacks that the little one likes will be nice.

I've stayed club level as well and its excellent - having the lounge for breakfast/snacks/hors d'oeuvres is great and they always have kid friendly stuff, but unless you also then further pay up for a suite you lose the more private common 'space' - the rooms are just hotel rooms. You also may want to think longer term when you have older kids - you may need to get two rooms which would further your expense.

That being said - I've stayed in a 2bedroom club-level suite at a deluxe resort - it was fabulous, but pretty sure the cost of that room for one night was more than my yearly dues on my DVC points
Those deluxe suites w club level are insanely priced! Otherwise you get the best of both worlds.
 

davidl81

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Club levels are nice, but once you get used to the size of the 1/2 bedrooms going back to a standard studio or hotel room with kids is a nightmare. We can do it for like a three day trip, but anything longer than that is tough. Of course the kicker is when most people buy their initial points they base the purchase on number of nights in a studio since it is the closest to the hotel room they are staying in. So once you go with the 1BD, that's when the add on start.
 

Pens Fan

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 27, 2014
We stayed in club level for years until we bought into DVC. We loved the convenience of it and thought it was worth the extra cost. However, as our son got older we began booking two rooms or suites whenever we took non Disney vacations. Booking 2 CL rooms (heck even 2 non CL rooms at Disney) was cost prohibitive, so DVC definitely was the better option for us.

We didn't buy to stay in studios, but to enjoy the 1 and 2 BR villas. We love having the full kitchen and stock it with breakfast items / snacks / drinks, just like the CL lounge except it's stuff we really want. Having the living room to spread out, the washer and dryer in the unit, and just the space to call our own is so worth it for us. There are times I miss CL, but not enough to regret buying into DVC. It's definitely the best choice for us and how we like to travel.
 

crisi

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Bigger space vs club level convenience?

As a family with young children, which do you find most beneficial?
Washer and dryer and kitchen for the win. Traveling with young kids its a life saver. A kitchen means you can feed the kids cereal and toast a bagel while you finish getting ready right there in the room - it doesn't mean you have to cook!

(This assumes that when you say DVC you don't mean "and we will stay in studios."
 

Simba06

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Washer and dryer and kitchen for the win. Traveling with young kids its a life saver. A kitchen means you can feed the kids cereal and toast a bagel while you finish getting ready right there in the room - it doesn't mean you have to cook!

(This assumes that when you say DVC you don't mean "and we will stay in studios."
I am looking for 1-2 bedrooms. Exception would be Poly studios because we love that resort so much. I used to pack a suitcase full of food for our studios stay.
 

crisi

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
I am looking for 1-2 bedrooms. Exception would be Poly studios because we love that resort so much. I used to pack a suitcase full of food for our studios stay.
Yep, DVC has SO MUCH over concierge with little kids when you get into the multi room units. Like actually having sex on vacation.......
 

havoc315

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
1. At Animal Kingdom -- You can get Club level AND DVC.... ideal..
2. DVC isn't necessarily "more room" -- I'd argue that Club level is "more room" than a DVC studio. A DVC studio is about the same size as a regular hotel room, just a different configuration. Club Level gives you "more room" via the lounge.
3. The benefits of each are really from different universes. DVC, particularly 1 bedroom and bigger, gives you the "comforts of home" -- Which is both good and bad. Your own full kitchen -- Great comfort of home, but lots of people don't want to do dishes on vacation. Full laundry -- but again, not everyone wants to do laundry on vacation. Do your own housekeeping mostly.
Club Level is the opposite -- not the comforts of home, but the comforts of vacation -- extra perks, appetizers, breakfasts, cocktails, more helpful concierge.

So that's really the question -- Do you prefer to have a vacation that feels more like you rented a small apartment, or a vacation that feels more like a resort experience, with more being included.
 

KAT4DISNEY

Glad to be a test subject
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
I am looking for 1-2 bedrooms. Exception would be Poly studios because we love that resort so much. I used to pack a suitcase full of food for our studios stay.
Club levels are nice but if you don't hang around the resort all day long you don't take full advantage of the food offerings either! ;) I say more room is a bigger win.
 

RoseGold

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
I have status at a couple chains and love the business lounges that usually have enough to feed me, like you are discussing. But I don't see the use for this at WDW in particular. I mean, who's at their room the whole time? Just go to a real resort, not WDW.

I guess I'm never in my room enough at the relevant times to care about CL, though I will admit I would love to get that Jambo CL room at some point.
 

Simba06

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Club levels are nice but if you don't hang around the resort all day long you don't take full advantage of the food offerings either! ;) I say more room is a bigger win.
We are becoming more and more resort people. With two small kids currently we would utilize breakfast and dinner most nights we are there. And 1-2 resort days or mostly resort days per trip to utilize snacks and drinks during the day. I love the no-thinking aspect of club level. I just walk down to the lounge and grab a bite. Not to mention the staff is fantastic.

the biggest draw for dvc is space. And laundry is nice as well since we typically do laundry once on a week+ trip.

but we really like the “feel” of club level. Its such a tough comparison!
 

crisi

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
We are becoming more and more resort people. With two small kids currently we would utilize breakfast and dinner most nights we are there. And 1-2 resort days or mostly resort days per trip to utilize snacks and drinks during the day. I love the no-thinking aspect of club level. I just walk down to the lounge and grab a bite. Not to mention the staff is fantastic.

the biggest draw for dvc is space. And laundry is nice as well since we typically do laundry once on a week+ trip.

but we really like the “feel” of club level. Its such a tough comparison!

Rent points. Get a meat and cheese tray delivered and some drinks. Stock up on snacks....see what you think.

I will say that if you are becoming more resort people than park people, you may want to think broader than Disney....Disney's resorts are fine, but there are some really great resort experiences out there. Disney's big draw is being attached to the parks. And as your kids get older you might want to expand your resort experience beyond Disney - Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii - heck Tahiti - or cruise....DVC locks you into Disney for the most part. That means WDW, Aulani, Hilton Head, and Vero Beach (Disneyland isn't a practical option with DVC points unless you own VGC)
 

havoc315

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
I have status at a couple chains and love the business lounges that usually have enough to feed me, like you are discussing. But I don't see the use for this at WDW in particular. I mean, who's at their room the whole time? Just go to a real resort, not WDW.

I guess I'm never in my room enough at the relevant times to care about CL, though I will admit I would love to get that Jambo CL room at some point.
Having done club level a couple times at Beach Club... it really is fantastic. Whether it's worth the money is another question. But putting aside the price, it is fantastic.
It's not about spending hours and hours hanging around the lounge.

It's about first thing in the morning:
DVC: Order your groceries in advance, have a stocked kitchen, prepare something for yourself, and then have to do the dishes.
Regular guest: Stand on line at a QS to get something to eat.
Club level: Walk out of your room and down the hall, have an assortment of hot and cold delicious breakfast items to start your day. No grocery shopping, no clean up.

Come back from the sweltering heat to take a break:
DVC: Go relax in your room. Time to wash your dishes from breakfast. Have a snack from the groceries that you pre-ordered. Clean those dishes. Then relax in your nice air conditioned room.
Regular Guest: Can grab a snack from a resort QS. Can rest and relax in the room, but a little cramped.
Club level: Stretch out in the lounge, unfold a newspaper, have a cold beverage there for you, snacks ready for you and your kids. Again, no fuss, no cleanup.

Then later in the evening...
DVC: Cook in the room with your pre-purchased groceries, meaning also clean up. Or of course, go out to dinner. And later at night, feel free to come back to your room.... have additional snacks or beverages that you purchased, that you clean up.
Regular resort: Go out to dinner.
Club level: Selection of hot appetizers in the early evening. For those not looking for a heavy meal, easily a delicious dinner replacement. For those who are very hungry, it's a nice way to be satiated for a couple hours so you can do some evening hours in the park before your dinner reservation. Come back at the end of the night, relax with your family in the lounge. Have a nightcap with a selection of alcoholic beverages. Maybe put the kids to bed, while the adults continue to relax in the lounge. If traveling with other parties, a sit around the lounge, play a board game, watch tv. When ready, stroll to your room for bed. Night time turn down service has the room pristine, fresh towels, fresh sheets, for a peaceful slumber. No clean up, no making the bed, no doing the dishes.

Now, I'm not saying whether any of that is worth the price. But having done it with a family of 4 -- if you really take advantage of the food offerings, and thereby use it to replace breakfasts, snacks, and partial dinners... it actually isn't a terrible value.
 

Simba06

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Having done club level a couple times at Beach Club... it really is fantastic. Whether it's worth the money is another question. But putting aside the price, it is fantastic.
It's not about spending hours and hours hanging around the lounge.

It's about first thing in the morning:
DVC: Order your groceries in advance, have a stocked kitchen, prepare something for yourself, and then have to do the dishes.
Regular guest: Stand on line at a QS to get something to eat.
Club level: Walk out of your room and down the hall, have an assortment of hot and cold delicious breakfast items to start your day. No grocery shopping, no clean up.

Come back from the sweltering heat to take a break:
DVC: Go relax in your room. Time to wash your dishes from breakfast. Have a snack from the groceries that you pre-ordered. Clean those dishes. Then relax in your nice air conditioned room.
Regular Guest: Can grab a snack from a resort QS. Can rest and relax in the room, but a little cramped.
Club level: Stretch out in the lounge, unfold a newspaper, have a cold beverage there for you, snacks ready for you and your kids. Again, no fuss, no cleanup.

Then later in the evening...
DVC: Cook in the room with your pre-purchased groceries, meaning also clean up. Or of course, go out to dinner. And later at night, feel free to come back to your room.... have additional snacks or beverages that you purchased, that you clean up.
Regular resort: Go out to dinner.
Club level: Selection of hot appetizers in the early evening. For those not looking for a heavy meal, easily a delicious dinner replacement. For those who are very hungry, it's a nice way to be satiated for a couple hours so you can do some evening hours in the park before your dinner reservation. Come back at the end of the night, relax with your family in the lounge. Have a nightcap with a selection of alcoholic beverages. Maybe put the kids to bed, while the adults continue to relax in the lounge. If traveling with other parties, a sit around the lounge, play a board game, watch tv. When ready, stroll to your room for bed. Night time turn down service has the room pristine, fresh towels, fresh sheets, for a peaceful slumber. No clean up, no making the bed, no doing the dishes.

Now, I'm not saying whether any of that is worth the price. But having done it with a family of 4 -- if you really take advantage of the food offerings, and thereby use it to replace breakfasts, snacks, and partial dinners... it actually isn't a terrible value.
This is a perfect summary. Really drives home the intangible part of club level.
 

KAT4DISNEY

Glad to be a test subject
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
We are becoming more and more resort people. With two small kids currently we would utilize breakfast and dinner most nights we are there. And 1-2 resort days or mostly resort days per trip to utilize snacks and drinks during the day. I love the no-thinking aspect of club level. I just walk down to the lounge and grab a bite. Not to mention the staff is fantastic.

the biggest draw for dvc is space. And laundry is nice as well since we typically do laundry once on a week+ trip.

but we really like the “feel” of club level. Its such a tough comparison!
Yes, I agree that is nice but the other thing that I find happens with CL at Disney is that I then am missing many of the other treats or meals that we've look forward to. Room service adds a nice happy medium.
 

AliceIn

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 9, 2012
We only stayed club level prior to joining DVC. One of the reasons I resisted DVC is because I didn't want to have to do any cooking at all on vacation. We used the CL mainly for breakfast, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, and most times for the hors d'oeuvres in the evening. For Poly and Contemporary another big thing was watching fireworks in the lounge. Here's how we compensated:

1. Bought bottles of liquor that we store in our Owner's locker (well cushioned and tightly closed).
2. Buy our own soft drinks and beer
3. Have all the continental breakfast fixings in our room (oatmeal, bagels, cold cuts and cheese, yogurt, granola and fresh fruit.
4. Kept healthier snacks in the room (popcorn, italian ices, raisins).

You don't get all the extra services that you get on club level - no more twice daily housekeeping visits (one to clean, and a second one to clean again and do turn down). Otherwise, the only food related things that we don't do now are the hors d'oeuvres in the evening and the bowls of candy/chips that are always available. I don't miss either of those too much, but my kids do. We watch fireworks where we can (though no fireworks this year). If we are at the Poly we can watch from the beach. We haven't stayed BLT yet.
 

crisi

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
I think you really need to rent points, there are definitely some nice things about DVC - but you like to be pampered, and being pampered isn't on DVCs agenda. I find with young kids the washer dryer and different bedrooms outweighs the concierge lounge and maid service. But I really like hotels. I like maid service. I like being pampered. For us, it was all about not being on top of each other.
 

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