First time buyer help please!

Heather07438

WDW Apprentice
Joined
Oct 20, 2015
Thank you. so you would recommend SSR over AKV? I know last minute trips are nearly impossible with DVC and most trips would have to be planned at 11-7 mo. But is a one bedroom likely within 3-4 mo? If so, which resort would it most likely be in? SSR? If that’s the case, I’d rather own somewhere like AKV. I think.... I really don’t know anymore. It’s quite confusing. I do own in other systems and can book SSR with RCI points, when available.
Odds depend on time of year your trip date falls in, and also varies somewhat between resorts. 2020 has shaken things up a bit as far as predicting booking patterns, but this still is a great guide to get an idea:

https://www.disboards.com/threads/predicted-dvc-booking-patterns-studios-1-bd-2-bd-charts-september-2019-2-bd-added.3689931/

Scroll down and check out the different resorts.
 
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Heather07438

WDW Apprentice
Joined
Oct 20, 2015
*If link doesn't work, click skier pete's name just below:

Hey everyone - due to the popularity of my original survery, I have repeated the survey of the resort availability tool, compiling a list of all the studios and 1-bedrooms. The original survey can be that was done May 2014 to June 2015 can be accessed at this link. This new version was started in July of 2017 and finished in June of 2018.

2019 Update - Dedicated 2-bedroom charts for all WDW resorts were added September 22, 2019. Lock-off units are not done seperately as they can be found to use the same availability as studios.


What I would do is check the availability tool roughly every two weeks looking at a variety of two week windows from 1 month out to 11 months out in the future. The first time I did this primarily for my own use, but due to the popularity of the survey, I decided to update it and expand to all the WDW DVC 1-bedroom units. Understand that this takes roughly 2 hours every two weeks, which is why I didn't expand it to ALL units.

Right at the start here I want to give lots of credit to @Bing Showei for his assistance. As I started to take on this task, he volunteered to take on several resorts - Boulder Ridge, Grand Floridian, and Animal Kingdom (Kidani and Jambo). Coming in a few months in, he took on about a third of the work for these tables overall, and cut my efforts significantly, so any thanks you give to me - please extend to him as well.

From my 2015 Post:
A bit of information to understand the tables. The year in each table is broken into ½ month blocks, meaning about 24 different time periods are reviewed for each resort. I considered each segment to be available as part of FOUR possible categories:

1) OPEN – means that all dates in that span were available. Because of that, I used the color GREEN to indicate it should be easy to book at this time of year.

2) MOSTLY – means that of the dates in that span, at least ONE of the days but less than HALF of the days were unavailable. This is indicated by the color YELLOW, and means you are likely to be able to find availability here with a bit of flexibility and maybe a partial wait list.

3) SPOTTY – means that at least HALF the days are unavailable. However, there is at least one 2-3 day block available during that time. This is indicated by the color RED, and with some flexibility you might be able to find a block at this resort that would suit your purposes.

4) NONE – doesn’t actually mean none. It means there are only a few individual days left, and no blocks of days. (If there were more than 5 days left, even as individual days, it would bump up into SPOTTY.) This is indicated by the color RED and it is extremely unlikely you would be able to find the availability you want in that window.

I do NOT look at how available the resorts are at EXACTLY 11-months or at 7-months TO THE DAY. I tried to use my bi-weekly check to observe the 11-month and 7-month window, and look at the reality of booking a room without the special effort of “8 AM the day of”. For instance, if a room shows OPEN at 8-months and MOSTLY at 7-months, there’s probably a good chance you can get into the resort on “7-month DAY OF” If it’s yellow at 8-months, and RED at 7-months, that likelyhood is much less. (VGC is a good example of this, the resort is frequently green or yellow at the 8-month mark, but rooms are snatched up there almost immediately at the 7-month mark, making all the 7-month blocks show RED. BCV & VGF shows this trend as well.)

Likewise when looking at the 11-month window, I tried to look more at how would someone not really stalking the site see it. If you look though – you’ll notice that really only the “special” room categories and VGF show ANY red at the 11-month mark. Generally if you book at 11-months, you can get in whatever resort you own in if it’s not the VGF.

I want to point out specific events that factor heavily on the trends. The Disney marathon (early January) the Princess Marathon (late February), Easter (in the case of this survey early April) and 4th of July are really the only events in the first nine months of the year that show significant variations that really cover only a few days, causing these times to often show in the YELLOW category much earlier than 7-months, even though all the dates surrounding them remain available for much longer. Memorial day and Labor day don’t seem to be affected in the same way. Not surprisingly, there is a HUGE shift that occurs in late-September and continues through the end of the year. It even shows up in the trends for SSR. This coincides with Food and Wine, and except for the week before Thanksgiving and maybe the week right before Christmas continues through the holidays until the end of the year.

It should be noted that at pretty much every date on the calendar there was availability at least at SSR at the 7-month mark EXCEPT for two times (1) Wine & Dine Marathon/Veterans day weekend and (2) the first weekend of December. These two periods are clearly the most popular with DVC, so if you are going at this time in the studio, you better book your home resort.


New mention on 2018 vs 2015: I have noticed that in the three years since I surveyed, studios overall have gotten harder to book, and book up much faster at 7 month mark than they did 3 years ago. Though I would say the home resort experience has stayed fairly the same. Likewise, I think 1-bedrooms have gotten slightly easier to book at 7-months.

I will talk about some specific trends I noticed within the posts on the individual resorts in the posts below.

FAQ – If I see repeated questions being asked about these tables – I will try and post answers to them here:


Why didn’t you include the CCV?

Well, with the CCV having just come on line with a few months to go of this, I felt that any trend I tracked would be meaningless as they continue to open rooms and sell units. It's possible I do it in the future...

Why didn’t you include Aulani?

Oh wait I did this time. Just studios though. Aulani has a TON of booking categories and I just didn’t feel like the added effort was worth it to me.

What about HHI and VB?


Hey I can't do it all
. If you want to do it, I'll be happy to post it in a thread.

Where is OKW Hospitality House booking Category?

OK – I got lazy. I figured it was better to do the general resort category at studio and 1-bedroom instead of HH. Suffice it to say HH will book faster than what these tables show.

What about AKV Concierge?

Doing a table for this didn’t make sense. Concierge is basically at “Spotty” to “None” at the 11-month window.

Your chart showed that X resort was open at 7-months, but when I tried to book it, it couldn’t get in. What’s the big idea?

There are no guarantees here. The idea is to make a simple tool showing trends. Those trends will shift from year to year, and more as new resorts come on-line. (For instance, I think the VGF has become harder to get over the last year as I’ve been doing the survey, I suspect if I redid it the next 12 months I would see it booking up even earlier.)

Can you do the same thing for 2-bedrooms?

Nope. You are welcome to take the time - I can even give you the spreadsheet and some helpful hints if interested. What I will tell you is 2-bedrooms will always be MORE available than studios and less available than 1-bedrooms. The exception is resorts that ONLY have lock-offs (BWV is like this.) In this case, 2-bedroom tables are the same as the studio tables. In fact @Bing Showei decided to include 2-bedrooms and GV for the Grand Floridian, and we included them in the table.

How does this help with waitlists?

In short: It doesn’t.

Here's a link to the DVC show where I talk about this thread. Pete Werner invited me on the show to discuss it, and since then has asked me to continue on as a regular on the show. So thanks everyone for making this thread so popular.
 

WalloghbyWay

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
*If link doesn't work, click skier pete's name just below:
This was amazing thank you! I’m leaning toward SSR for the simple fact they have the treehouses. I’d love that feeling of seclusion! In the event I go with AKV or BWV (not sure about the higher price and shorter contract), do you think a treehouse is possible at 7mo? I hear mixed reviews and figure people may not like feeling like they are off a resort. I welcome that feeling. I understand you can park right near your treehouse as well? They should redo those in a Star Wars theme... lol
 

princesscinderella

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 27, 2011
This was amazing thank you! I’m leaning toward SSR for the simple fact they have the treehouses. I’d love that feeling of seclusion! In the event I go with AKV or BWV (not sure about the higher price and shorter contract), do you think a treehouse is possible at 7mo? I hear mixed reviews and figure people may not like feeling like they are off a resort. I welcome that feeling. I understand you can park right near your treehouse as well? They should redo those in a Star Wars theme... lol
We love the treehouses and yes you can park near your treehouse, but we have found that parking can be an issue there as there aren’t very many spots about one per treehouse. With them holding so many people sometimes the occupants have 2 maybe 3 cars so we have had to park behind each other or farther away from our treehouse depending on how the parking is configured near the treehouse you are assigned.
 

Heather07438

WDW Apprentice
Joined
Oct 20, 2015
This was amazing thank you! I’m leaning toward SSR for the simple fact they have the treehouses. I’d love that feeling of seclusion! In the event I go with AKV or BWV (not sure about the higher price and shorter contract), do you think a treehouse is possible at 7mo? I hear mixed reviews and figure people may not like feeling like they are off a resort. I welcome that feeling. I understand you can park right near your treehouse as well? They should redo those in a Star Wars theme... lol
The credit goes to skier pete and bing. Those charts are immensely helpful!

I'm not too sure about SSR treehouses but think the trend is good availability at 7 months outside of the month of April and Thanksgiving Day. An Ewok Village would be awesome, lol!
 

RedFive

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Thank you. so you would recommend SSR over AKV? I know last minute trips are nearly impossible with DVC and most trips would have to be planned at 11-7 mo. But is a one bedroom likely within 3-4 mo? If so, which resort would it most likely be in? SSR? If that’s the case, I’d rather own somewhere like AKV. I think.... I really don’t know anymore. It’s quite confusing. I do own in other systems and can book SSR with RCI points, when available.
There's obviously a lot of factors that go into choosing either SSR or AKV. I think simplifying it to purchasing where you'd be ok with staying every time is the best way to go about it, personally, because, most likely, you're going to want to purchase everywhere after you've been there. We love animals, and don't mind not being next to a park, in fact we prefer that. It's as simple as that for us. Yes, maintenance fees are higher, and it's not a monorail or boat trip anywhere, but both AKV and SSR are great no park trips, as well. I think a big deciding factor is, if I purchase AKV, I have a shot at the value studios, which to us, is essentially making a 2nd trip in a year possible, if we wanted.
 

sethschroeder

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
In the event I go with AKV or BWV (not sure about the higher price and shorter contract
BWV was going to be my suggestion if AKV was $115/point.

Yes its a shorter contract but its a better location and you can still stay at AKV a couple times in the future fairly easily.
 

Lumpy1106

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 2, 2010
Just going to say I really miss skier_pete. I'm not looking for any back story, but the work he did on the availability calendar and his contributions to the Dis videos were both really helpful. There really is no other way to gage what availability certain units will have prior to purchasing your first contract (you can check availability once you are "in" though). It's a bit of a leap-of-faith, and I get any first-time buyer's hesitance.
 

starfrenzy

Podcast listener & DVC Fan
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Agreed! I think it's too bad he's not around anymore. These charts help us first-timers a lot.
 

sethschroeder

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
There are services out there some paid some free that show current or past availability. I know people have used it for renting although they can be a little slow to update.

Maybe DIS pulls something together at some point.

Another one would be possibly Touringplans putting something together.
 

WalloghbyWay

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Maybe this has been covered and I most likely missed it. If there are so many restrictions to buying riviera resale (points can only be used at riviera) why are they extremely expensive per point on the resale market? Do people think the price per point for riviera resale will come down eventually? While I love the resort and wouldn’t mind staying there, I worry that if you can’t make a reservation due to limited availability, points will go to waste.

second, if I can’t use points at riviera one year can I bank them to the following year to make an 11 mo reservation with two years worth of points?
 

Lorana

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
Maybe this has been covered and I most likely missed it. If there are so many restrictions to buying riviera resale (points can only be used at riviera) why are they extremely expensive per point on the resale market? Do people think the price per point for riviera resale will come down eventually? While I love the resort and wouldn’t mind staying there, I worry that if you can’t make a reservation due to limited availability, points will go to waste.

second, if I can’t use points at riviera one year can I bank them to the following year to make an 11 mo reservation with two years worth of points?
My guess is that people are buying Riviera resale explicitly to stay there - there are plenty of folks who buy at a resort with the intention of only using those points at those resorts. Thus, the resale restrictions don’t matter to them.

I suspect Riviera will do well in retaining value in the resale market. It’s a DVC only resort so once sold out, there likely won’t be a lot of availability for cash bookings. I’m betting that Studios will require 11 month priority. The rooms are among the largest in DVC, and it’s got a good location on the Skyliner between Epcot and HS. And once 2042 passes, it will be the only Epcot-area DVC if/till Disney rebrands BWV and BCV.

And yes, you can bank points and have 11 month priority with those two years of points (2.5 if you also borrow).
 

gisele2

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 13, 2010
This was amazing thank you! I’m leaning toward SSR for the simple fact they have the treehouses. I’d love that feeling of seclusion! In the event I go with AKV or BWV (not sure about the higher price and shorter contract), do you think a treehouse is possible at 7mo? I hear mixed reviews and figure people may not like feeling like they are off a resort. I welcome that feeling. I understand you can park right near your treehouse as well? They should redo those in a Star Wars theme... lol
I think you have a great idea , just saw a Ewok pass near one of the tree house ....
 

WalloghbyWay

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
My guess is that people are buying Riviera resale explicitly to stay there - there are plenty of folks who buy at a resort with the intention of only using those points at those resorts. Thus, the resale restrictions don’t matter to them.

I suspect Riviera will do well in retaining value in the resale market. It’s a DVC only resort so once sold out, there likely won’t be a lot of availability for cash bookings. I’m betting that Studios will require 11 month priority. The rooms are among the largest in DVC, and it’s got a good location on the Skyliner between Epcot and HS. And once 2042 passes, it will be the only Epcot-area DVC if/till Disney rebrands BWV and BCV.

And yes, you can bank points and have 11 month priority with those two years of points (2.5 if you also borrow).
This is helpful, I like the idea of it being a DVC only resort. I would never stay in a studio even when I’m with myself and another or alone. I require...no DEMAND a kitchen haha. I enjoy the room as much as I can.

I’m at AKV now for the first time. The Savannah view is great but I can see myself liking the RIV more. Disney springs is as far of a drive from AKV as it was when I was staying at Sheraton vistana villages last week.

I am leaning SSR for the tree house booking at 11mo or RIV and just staying there and enjoying it. I do have an RCI account where I can get OKW or SSR when things pop up there.
 
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Lorana

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
This is helpful, I like the idea of it being a DVC only resort. I would never stay in a studio even when I’m with myself and another or alone. I require...no DEMAND a kitchen haha. I enjoy the room as much as I can.

I’m a AKV now for the first time. The Savannah view is great but I can see myself liking the RIV more. Disney springs is as far of a drive from AKV as it was when I was staying at Sheraton vistana villages last week.

I am leaning SSR for the tree house booking at 11mo or RIV and just staying there and enjoying it. I do have an RCI account where I can get OKW or SSR when things pop up there.
I love the kitchens, too, and the jetted tubs in the master bedroom. We bought DVC because we wanted the villas, but I confess that the price point of 1BRs vs 2 Studios kills me. ;-). We are hoping to spend 4-6 weeks in the winter in Disney when we retire, so we’ll likely be mixing up studios and 1BRs then to stretch our points, especially as we’re thinking of doing mid-February to end of March (which is the slog of winter in New England), which is more expensive than, say, January to mid-February. Maybe we’ll change our minds when we eventually get there, but we both can usually deal with early winter cold and snow, but by the time we get to early to mid-February, we’re ready for it to be done, and so it seemed like the right time to go to Disney! But it means we’ll likely need to mix up between studios and 1BR to stretch the points

The Treehouses at SSR are wonderful, and it’s part of why we decided to add on some points for SAP (mostly to upgrade to 1BRs), but also to get that 11 month priority around Thanksgiving and other big holidays when we might travel with family (my SIL and family live In FL, too, so we often visit WDW with them).

AKV is one of my favorites. I like the theming and decor and I can admittedly watch animals forever. As my husband and teenage sons don’t get up early in the morning, it makes for nice mornings for me to sit out there with a cup of tea, watch animals, and read while I wait for them to motivate.

We bought RIV after initially resisting - I was not a fan of the resale restrictions, the high point charts or the dues - but DH really liked the resort (though we’ve admittedly never stayed there), and we both realized we’d really want a resort near Epcot and HS, and we love the Skyliner as a means of transportation. The studios are pretty large, so we’d be fine staying in them, and it’s be perfect for Food & Wine. The incentives offered last summer were too good to pass up, and current resale rates made me realize that if we need to sell, we’d likely recoup our cost. I’d have preferred BCV personally, but it costs almost as much resale as we ended up paying for RIV direct, and it expires in 2042. So RIV it was!

What I really want is Reflections, and I’m holding out some desperate hope Disney will continue it some day. It admittedly hits all the buttons for me: wilderness themed, lazy River pool, cabins & treehouses.
 

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