Looking to maybe join Disney Vacation Club

What should we do about Disney Vacation Club?

  • Go Blue or Go Home - Buy 150 Direct at Copper Creek then more resale

    Votes: 40 38.5%
  • White Card Christmas - Buy 150-350 Resale at Copper Creek

    Votes: 21 20.2%
  • Big Save - Buy 150-350 at Saratoga Springs (resale or direct)

    Votes: 23 22.1%
  • Meet me at the Rubik's Cube Stairwell - Keep staying at All Stars and Pop

    Votes: 5 4.8%
  • Do Your Research! - You clearly haven't done enough research

    Votes: 10 9.6%
  • Disney Vacation Club has too Many Acronyms - Enough said

    Votes: 5 4.8%

  • Total voters
    104

Spivey378

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 17, 2021
Hey all,

My family and I are now seriously considering joining Disney Vacation Club. A little background on us, my family loves theme parks and amusement parks. My family consists of me (44M), my wife (46), oldest daughter (13) and youngest daughter (11). We are Cedar Fair platinum pass holders and love visiting our home parks of King's Island and Cedar Point. For spring break we are traveling to Oahu and the Big Island and are making sure we hit some parks, like Knott's and Disneyland. We have consistently traveled to Disney World at least once a year since about 2007, and many years multiple times. My in-laws have a place in Fort Myers so it is an easy drive up to spend a couple of nights at Disney.

Confession time, I have never stayed at a Deluxe Resort. The "best" resort I have stayed at is Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort in around 2014, I think before it was renovated. We almost always stay at Disney's Pop Century Resort, Disney's All Star X Resorts, or the Hampton Inn in Davenport. Quite frankly, the décor at Disney's Pop Century Resort and Disney's All Star X Resorts drives me absolutely bonkers. The rooms are small but clean and decent enough, but I don't understand why Disney thinks that people looking for value also want to feel like they've been dropped into Roger Rabbit. I've never stayed at Disney's Art of Animation Resort and maybe it is better.

My wife and I are at the point where we are ready to upgrade our resort experience. She went to Disney World twice this year and we were looking at yet another weekend this year (we are not doing that). So I decided to revisit Disney Vacation Club. I had looked at it in the past when we were okay with Value resorts and it obviously did not make financial sense. Disney Vacation Club never makes good financial sense but neither does going to Disney World or Disneyland multiple times a year.

I think we are ready to make the plunge. I started my "research" last weekend and my-oh-my what a world you have here. After a week of looking into this it was only last night that I learned what DVD stood for. Also, I don't know what "walking a resort" means because I haven't looked it up yet. I assume it is something like booking a resort a few days earlier than you intend to stay and then canceling the earlier days if you get the later days? Anyway, that is not the point of this post. This is turning into a book so I honestly don't know the point of this post.

Some final details about us, we like to travel to Disney World in January (MLK) and February (President's Day and family birthdays) to escape the winter cold. We also sometimes go the third week in March for Spring Break for longer trips. I'd like to get enough points to be able to comfortably get a 1 bedroom at any of the resorts so I am thinking 350 points would be great.

Another note, we are spontaneous travelers which I understand does not work well with Disney Vacation Club. I hope that larger resorts like Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa would have last-minute availability during times of the year that we like to travel.

Finally, we LOVE Disney's Fort Wilderness. We really enjoy camping there because of the brilliant theming and the large number of trees. Also, the lack of giant plywood decorations that you see at the Value resorts is a plus. We are huge fans of the National Parks and their Arts and Crafts and WPA-style art. Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge seems like a natural fit for us. We have visited it just to check out the lobby and dine at Artist Point. However, I have never stayed there or seen the rooms.

Regarding "Blue Card," I feel that I really want the have this membership even though the perks are not worth it. It is more of an emotional thing. Because I am spending all this money I want to be a full-fledged member. I know it sounds stupid. I can be convinced to just buy resale but I am unfortunately leaning very much toward direct for my first contract.

After my research, I have decided that 150 points direct at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge with a December Use Year (because we typically travel in January-March) is my first choice. People are saying that if I buy direct in November with a December Use Year I will receive banked 2020 points but I don't know if this is true. I haven't had a conversation yet with my guide. I'd probably buy additional resale contracts in the near future to get up to around 350 points.

Originally I was thinking of buying 150 points at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa direct because of the lower point costs and low maintenance fees. However, I feel like I would regret not buying at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge because it would be hard to book there at 7 months. I've never been to Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa so who knows, maybe I would love it?

Other options are to buy at any resort resale and skip the Blue Card, as well as skip Disney Vacation Club altogether and keep staying at Value resorts or Moderate and Deluxe resorts.

If you have made it this far through my long-winded post, what do you think of my options? I've created a poll for feedback.

One final thing, do you think it would be worthwhile to go down there to check out resorts this month before buying? I'd like to buy in November so I can get the 2020 points (if this is true) and to take advantage of discounts. I feel like it would be a wise decision to actually see the places before making such a large purchase. I could probably get down there November 29th and 30th.

Any feedback is much appreciated!!

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

zavandor

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 22, 2011
Usually, last minute DVC = big NO.
You're looking at 1BR during slower season, so maybe you might be able to get something, but be ready for disappointment. If you cannot plan 7 months before stay, you'll find your options very limited.
Also, if you don't plan on using the 11 months home resort window, there is literally no reason to buy a more expensive resort. After 7 months a point is a point. Buy the cheapest available that you don't mind staying at.
 

MICKIMINI

Love the Mouse!
DVC Premium
Joined
Sep 6, 2003
Quote: After my research, I have decided that 150 points direct at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge with a December Use Year (because we typically travel in January-March). People are saying that if I buy direct in November with a December Use Year I will receive banked 2020 points but I don't know if this is true. I haven't had a conversation yet with my guide. I'd probably buy additional resale contracts in the near future to get up to around 350 points.

Based on your post...IMO this is the way to go! DVC since 1996. Get the darn blue card and get it over with as you will always be thinking about it constantly. Getting 20% off on my D & B 50th anniversary purse was a score. 10% off many meals helps. We bought 4 AP's finally for DH and I and son and DIL.

Your guide will email you the current information with any deals. Keep in mind, you can "buy" at the very end of a deal and have 10 days to back out, or actually have your guide rewrite your contract if the new deal is better. Happens all the time... December UY should (insist on it) get you 2020 points.

Some people are Vegas, Europe, Caribbean, cruise etc, so what, you are Disney...welcome to DVC! :welcome:
 

Spivey378

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 17, 2021
Usually, last minute DVC = big NO.
You're looking at 1BR during slower season, so maybe you might be able to get something, but be ready for disappointment. If you cannot plan 7 months before stay, you'll find your options very limited.
Also, if you don't plan on using the 11 months home resort window, there is literally no reason to buy a more expensive resort. After 7 months a point is a point. Buy the cheapest available that you don't mind staying at.
I've confirmed with my wife that we can change our ways!
 

pianomanzano

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 9, 2021
Sounds like you're more informed compared to the average newcomer. Couple caveats/things I learned along the way (joined via resale a couple months back and added on direct this past week):
-If you're buying in expecting to book a stay for this January, that may be difficult/impossible to get unless you're okay with staying at Saratoga.
-While you can choose a UY when going direct, they're limited to what they can sell you. Back in August we reached out to hoping to buy an Oct UY at Riviera, and the guide said that they didn't have any Oct/Dec UY to sell. After we closed on our Dec UY resale though, they all of a sudden had points to sell (this was before they declared additional units at RIV). So long story short, they may not have the points at CCV since it's "sold out". I'd say be adamant about getting the UY you want though, but be prepared to hear things like "I'll have to speak with my boss".
-Some of the blue card benefits aren't currently available or aren't worth it. Before we got our blue cards, we were able to buy the lower tier APs with just our white card/resale contract. The costs/value of trading points out for other programs like adventures by disney or DCL aren't worth it, almost always better to rent points out and pay cash for those things. Also, moonlight magic events still haven't come back. One reason we added on direct was primarily to stay at RIV because we love the theming of that resort so much and to have the ability to stay at future resorts.
-If going direct, you can do everything over the phone/online. In a span of 4 days, we were able to add-on, get all the documents signed via DocuSign, and DVC also offered an online notary service to get docs notarized.

I think ultimately it'll be up to you and your family to make the best decision. We got a 210 pt SSR resale contract because the 11-month booking window isn't as important for us. Like you, we primarily stayed at values prior to joining so we'd be happy to stay at any DVC resort and we recently stayed in a 2BR for our welcome home visit at Saratoga and loved it there, the close proximity to Disney Springs and being away from the craziness and hectic nature of the parks validated our decision. That loaded SSR contract gave us 500+ to spend over 13 months (100+ in 2020, and double points in 2021), and we were able to stretch those points out to cross off many to-dos on our list, including that 2BR stay to bring grandparents to celebrate our daughter's first birthday, a short weekend trip for my birthday at CCV, and a split stay at boardwalk/theme park view at BLT for our anniversary. So I wouldn't completely rule out resale because it's provided so much value and the whole process wasn't too long (took us a little over 2 months from putting the offer to points appearing on our account online). Good luck!
 

Spivey378

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 17, 2021
Sounds like you're more informed compared to the average newcomer. Couple caveats/things I learned along the way (joined via resale a couple months back and added on direct this past week):
-If you're buying in expecting to book a stay for this January, that may be difficult/impossible to get unless you're okay with staying at Saratoga.
-While you can choose a UY when going direct, they're limited to what they can sell you. Back in August we reached out to hoping to buy an Oct UY at Riviera, and the guide said that they didn't have any Oct/Dec UY to sell. After we closed on our Dec UY resale though, they all of a sudden had points to sell (this was before they declared additional units at RIV). So long story short, they may not have the points at CCV since it's "sold out". I'd say be adamant about getting the UY you want though, but be prepared to hear things like "I'll have to speak with my boss".
-Some of the blue card benefits aren't currently available or aren't worth it. Before we got our blue cards, we were able to buy the lower tier APs with just our white card/resale contract. The costs/value of trading points out for other programs like adventures by disney or DCL aren't worth it, almost always better to rent points out and pay cash for those things. Also, moonlight magic events still haven't come back. One reason we added on direct was primarily to stay at RIV because we love the theming of that resort so much and to have the ability to stay at future resorts.
-If going direct, you can do everything over the phone/online. In a span of 4 days, we were able to add-on, get all the documents signed via DocuSign, and DVC also offered an online notary service to get docs notarized.

I think ultimately it'll be up to you and your family to make the best decision. We got a 210 pt SSR resale contract because the 11-month booking window isn't as important for us. Like you, we primarily stayed at values prior to joining so we'd be happy to stay at any DVC resort and we recently stayed in a 2BR for our welcome home visit at Saratoga and loved it there, the close proximity to Disney Springs and being away from the craziness and hectic nature of the parks validated our decision. That loaded SSR contract gave us 500+ to spend over 13 months (100+ in 2020, and double points in 2021), and we were able to stretch those points out to cross off many to-dos on our list, including that 2BR stay to bring grandparents to celebrate our daughter's first birthday, a short weekend trip for my birthday at CCV, and a split stay at boardwalk/theme park view at BLT for our anniversary. So I wouldn't completely rule out resale because it's provided so much value and the whole process wasn't too long (took us a little over 2 months from putting the offer to points appearing on our account online). Good luck!
Thank you so much for the information. I hadn't contemplated them not having a December Use Year available or being unwilling to sell me one. A December Use Year is why I want to rush to do this now. I will tell them if they won't sell me a December Use Year I will not purchase it now and take my time to decide. I've emailed my guide to set up a call.
 

crisi

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
My advice is to rent some points for a trip and stay at a DVC resort. Make sure that you enjoy DVC style staying - a timeshare is NOT a hotel. Use the time between now and your stay to continue to research - learn about availability and cancellation policies. Check this board regularly. Read peoples opinions and experiences.
When you do your DVC stay (in a one bedroom) take an afternoon to swing by all the DVC resorts - armed with the information you have about availability. MAYBE you discover rental works great for you. Renting has some real advantages - especially for those who want to try a lot of different resorts.

Maybe you decide stepping foot into the resort that you NEED to buy.

Or maybe you discover that staying in that Value is just fine with you. That you don't spend that much time in the resort anyway.

As to Blue Cards - for ourselves - we've had one for 20 years - we don't get value out of them. Our WDW travel patterns are at most every other year and at most six days - its never been worth it to get an annual pass. We've used discounts a few times here and there. Make sure to understand that Blue Card perks are subject to change (and can be done away with entirely).
 

brazzledazzler

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 22, 2015
Hey all,

My family and I are now seriously considering joining Disney Vacation Club. A little background on us, my family loves theme parks and amusement parks. My family consists of me (44M), my wife (46), oldest daughter (13) and youngest daughter (11). We are Cedar Fair platinum pass holders and love visiting our home parks of King's Island and Cedar Point. For spring break we are traveling to Oahu and the Big Island and are making sure we hit some parks, like Knott's and Disneyland. We have consistently traveled to Disney World at least once a year since about 2007, and many years multiple times. My in-laws have a place in Fort Myers so it is an easy drive up to spend a couple of nights at Disney.

Confession time, I have never stayed at a Deluxe Resort. The "best" resort I have stayed at is Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort in around 2014, I think before it was renovated. We almost always stay at Disney's Pop Century Resort, Disney's All Star X Resorts, or the Hampton Inn in Davenport. Quite frankly, the décor at Disney's Pop Century Resort and Disney's All Star X Resorts drives me absolutely bonkers. The rooms are small but clean and decent enough, but I don't understand why Disney thinks that people looking for value also want to feel like they've been dropped into Roger Rabbit. I've never stayed at Disney's Art of Animation Resort and maybe it is better.

My wife and I are at the point where we are ready to upgrade our resort experience. She went to Disney World twice this year and we were looking at yet another weekend this year (we are not doing that). So I decided to revisit Disney Vacation Club. I had looked at it in the past when we were okay with Value resorts and it obviously did not make financial sense. Disney Vacation Club never makes good financial sense but neither does going to Disney World or Disneyland multiple times a year.

I think we are ready to make the plunge. I started my "research" last weekend and my-oh-my what a world you have here. After a week of looking into this it was only last night that I learned what DVD stood for. Also, I don't know what "walking a resort" means because I haven't looked it up yet. I assume it is something like booking a resort a few days earlier than you intend to stay and then canceling the earlier days if you get the later days? Anyway, that is not the point of this post. This is turning into a book so I honestly don't know the point of this post.

Some final details about us, we like to travel to Disney World in January (MLK) and February (President's Day and family birthdays) to escape the winter cold. We also sometimes go the third week in March for Spring Break for longer trips. I'd like to get enough points to be able to comfortably get a 1 bedroom at any of the resorts so I am thinking 350 points would be great.

Another note, we are spontaneous travelers which I understand does not work well with Disney Vacation Club. I hope that larger resorts like Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa would have last-minute availability during times of the year that we like to travel.

Finally, we LOVE Disney's Fort Wilderness. We really enjoy camping there because of the brilliant theming and the large number of trees. Also, the lack of giant plywood decorations that you see at the Value resorts is a plus. We are huge fans of the National Parks and their Arts and Crafts and WPA-style art. Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge seems like a natural fit for us. We have visited it just to check out the lobby and dine at Artist Point. However, I have never stayed there or seen the rooms.

Regarding "Blue Card," I feel that I really want the have this membership even though the perks are not worth it. It is more of an emotional thing. Because I am spending all this money I want to be a full-fledged member. I know it sounds stupid. I can be convinced to just buy resale but I am unfortunately leaning very much toward direct for my first contract.

After my research, I have decided that 150 points direct at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge with a December Use Year (because we typically travel in January-March) is my first choice. People are saying that if I buy direct in November with a December Use Year I will receive banked 2020 points but I don't know if this is true. I haven't had a conversation yet with my guide. I'd probably buy additional resale contracts in the near future to get up to around 350 points.

Originally I was thinking of buying 150 points at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa direct because of the lower point costs and low maintenance fees. However, I feel like I would regret not buying at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge because it would be hard to book there at 7 months. I've never been to Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa so who knows, maybe I would love it?

Other options are to buy at any resort resale and skip the Blue Card, as well as skip Disney Vacation Club altogether and keep staying at Value resorts or Moderate and Deluxe resorts.

If you have made it this far through my long-winded post, what do you think of my options? I've created a poll for feedback.

One final thing, do you think it would be worthwhile to go down there to check out resorts this month before buying? I'd like to buy in November so I can get the 2020 points (if this is true) and to take advantage of discounts. I feel like it would be a wise decision to actually see the places before making such a large purchase. I could probably get down there November 29th and 30th.

Any feedback is much appreciated!!

Thanks!
We almost bought direct at CCV for all the reasons you said! Love the atmosphere and the decor. However, then we toured the rooms. The rooms are small and the cost per point direct is high. If you are looking for a 1 bedroom you won’t have as much of a challenge booking there the times that you mentioned at the 7 month mark.

I recommend, before you plunge $$$, watch the DVC Fan show on YouTube, read the blogs, and read these boards. I spent over a month researching before we bought. We even decided to tour our top 2 contenders, and it made a world of difference for us. It’s a lot of money to leave to speculation.

Saying all that, DVC has been awesome, and provides great value and amenities! We love being members.
 

Sandisw

DVC Forums
Moderator
Joined
Nov 15, 2008
Thank you so much for the information. I hadn't contemplated them not having a December Use Year available or being unwilling to sell me one. A December Use Year is why I want to rush to do this now. I will tell them if they won't sell me a December Use Year I will not purchase it now and take my time to decide. I've emailed my guide to set up a call.
Just to be aware, that the reason they may not be able to sell you a Dec UY is because they don't have it in stock. People will mention they can change a UY, but right now, the only UY eligible for 2020 points is Dec. That means, if all the CCV points they have are assigned to any other UY, they can't make them Dec, because they are already in their 2021 UY and thus, no 2020 UY points exist.

If the only reason to buy right now is the ability to get 2020 points, then I agree not to rush. You are dealing with a resort that is considered "sold out" which means less points to play with in terms of what they can offer you at the end of the UY.

It does sound like you have done a lot of research and understand how important it will be to book things ahead of time. The good thing about DVC is that you can always book, and then cancel later on. I do this all the time. I don't always know if I will for sure go...we booked rooms right at 11 months for the 50th anniversary on October 1st and ended up deciding in May no one would be going and canceled them out. Some of the times you mention are busy DVC times so securing your home resort just in case is always a good idea!

I think having the blue card for potential discounts on APs makes a lot of sense. With having parents in Ft. Meyers, it maybe nice to be able to pop in for a night or so throughout the year. While people will mention resale buyers currently being allowed to purchase the Sorcerer AP, that may not always happen. With a blue card, whatever benefits are offered, you will be eligible. With a family of 4, it could turn out to be a good thing.

Also, aside from the blue card, those 150 points bought direct will allow you to stay at RIV or any future resorts down the line. That could be important. I know it was for us.
 

FinallyFL

Mouseketeer
DVC Gold
Joined
May 27, 2020
Your daughters are entering the high school and college years so family trips in the future may require more planning. You are talking about traveling during the busiest weekends in Jan/Feb/March and while you may score some last minute reservations, even looking for reservations 6 months out may lead to disappointment. If you have a December UY you could always plan a Jan/Feb/March trip, cancel at least 31 days in advance and then bank the points for the following year. It sounds like becoming a DVC member may require some changes in your vacation planning. I enjoy always having a trip to look forward to but you may not like the DVC constraints.
 

MICKIMINI

Love the Mouse!
DVC Premium
Joined
Sep 6, 2003
Note that the Sorcerer AP's are blue card only. Some white card folks have "bought" them (disclosure: I have 8 white card contracts and 1 blue card) but with new online only access to member cards 1/1/2022 I suspect DVC is putting an end to that.

A note on renting...you are at the mercy of the owner (another disclosure: I occasionally rent) and likely won't have the ability to change your plans. As an owner, you can change your mind and change dates, villa sizes and even resorts (at 7 months), cancel etc within DVC parameters...priceless IMO!
 

Lorana

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
I am admittedly biased - I own at both BRV & CCV - but it really sounds like CCV is the way to go for you.

While I can’t know if your preferences are truly similar to my family’s, I’ll say that we love both Fort Wilderness and the Wilderness Lodge (and I wish FW Cabins were part of DVC!). Our family loves National Parks (they’re our go-to domestic vacation when not at Disney or adventuring internationally). Wilderness Lodge isbased off of Old Fairhful Inn at Yellowstone, and is very much like staying at one of the grand old National Park lodges. I think you’ll love it based on what you wrote.
 

Lorana

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
Also, CCV gives you the option of purchasing a Fixed / Guaranteed Week for one of the weeks you enjoy traveling, if guaranteeing a reservation is important to you. And you can always cancel and rebook a different week if you don’t want to travel then. Presidents Day week is also a runDisney week, so you’d get the option of buying one of the runDisney special fixed weeks that allow you to change the check-in / check-out date.
 

defrogger

Earning My Ears
Joined
May 4, 2021
im still new to DVC, but i just did some spot checking and getting a room in january is almost impossible at the moment, for the most part there is only 1 night stays, my guess is you would be going longer then 1 night. But someone already said this, book in advance and you can always cancel.
Sounds like your shooting for 1 bedrooms, but just FYI, studios are hard to get at Copper Creek even at 11 month window, just becuase they dont have that many.
For 1 bedrooms you can stay just about anywhere at the 7 month window, so home resort not as important, but if you think you might want studios here and there, then home resort can matter. At the 7 month window, usually you can get studios at Saratoga, OKW, Animal Kingdom and sometimes Poly. After that its slim pickins.
1 Bedrooms at 7 month window you can get almost any resort, but some you need to bump up to a prefered room.

I also got the Blue card, got the minumum 150 direct and the rest resale, we just wanted the Blue Card, I probably paid an extra $5500 for it though vs resale. For us we plan on getting an Annual Pass every year so this year we were able to get the sorcerors pass since we had the Blue card, so saved me over $1200 for a family of 3, so i beleive ill get my $5500 back at some point. Just FYI, they dont always have the AP discounts for DVC members every year, atleast from what ive been told.
After the AP there is some discounts but not allot that will justify $5500, But i do like the idea that i can stay at Rivera and future resorts. I dont think we would ever take advantage of Moonlight Magic events assuming they come back.

My train of thought when purcasing DVC was similar to yours, we were going to Disney every year, sometimes twice, we mixed it up between Moderate and Economy resorts, Liked the Economy resorts but rooms were to small once we had a kid. Moderate resorts kept going up in price which drove me to DVC. My math works out that we get to stay at Deluxe resorts for prices below Moderate Resorts. The math very rarely works out to be cheaper then going to Economy resorts, but sometimes does, but for Moderate resorts i save anywhere from $250 - $700 per trip on the room.
Granted my Math is based on comparing DVC studios to Moderate resorts, Later in life if we start staying in 1 Bedrooms the Math all changes.

My train of thought was if im going every year anyway, then i will save money over time with DVC.
 

motherof5

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 4, 2014
Hey all,

My family and I are now seriously considering joining Disney Vacation Club. A little background on us, my family loves theme parks and amusement parks. My family consists of me (44M), my wife (46), oldest daughter (13) and youngest daughter (11). We are Cedar Fair platinum pass holders and love visiting our home parks of King's Island and Cedar Point. For spring break we are traveling to Oahu and the Big Island and are making sure we hit some parks, like Knott's and Disneyland. We have consistently traveled to Disney World at least once a year since about 2007, and many years multiple times. My in-laws have a place in Fort Myers so it is an easy drive up to spend a couple of nights at Disney.

Confession time, I have never stayed at a Deluxe Resort. The "best" resort I have stayed at is Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort in around 2014, I think before it was renovated. We almost always stay at Disney's Pop Century Resort, Disney's All Star X Resorts, or the Hampton Inn in Davenport. Quite frankly, the décor at Disney's Pop Century Resort and Disney's All Star X Resorts drives me absolutely bonkers. The rooms are small but clean and decent enough, but I don't understand why Disney thinks that people looking for value also want to feel like they've been dropped into Roger Rabbit. I've never stayed at Disney's Art of Animation Resort and maybe it is better.

My wife and I are at the point where we are ready to upgrade our resort experience. She went to Disney World twice this year and we were looking at yet another weekend this year (we are not doing that). So I decided to revisit Disney Vacation Club. I had looked at it in the past when we were okay with Value resorts and it obviously did not make financial sense. Disney Vacation Club never makes good financial sense but neither does going to Disney World or Disneyland multiple times a year.

I think we are ready to make the plunge. I started my "research" last weekend and my-oh-my what a world you have here. After a week of looking into this it was only last night that I learned what DVD stood for. Also, I don't know what "walking a resort" means because I haven't looked it up yet. I assume it is something like booking a resort a few days earlier than you intend to stay and then canceling the earlier days if you get the later days? Anyway, that is not the point of this post. This is turning into a book so I honestly don't know the point of this post.

Some final details about us, we like to travel to Disney World in January (MLK) and February (President's Day and family birthdays) to escape the winter cold. We also sometimes go the third week in March for Spring Break for longer trips. I'd like to get enough points to be able to comfortably get a 1 bedroom at any of the resorts so I am thinking 350 points would be great.

Another note, we are spontaneous travelers which I understand does not work well with Disney Vacation Club. I hope that larger resorts like Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa would have last-minute availability during times of the year that we like to travel.

Finally, we LOVE Disney's Fort Wilderness. We really enjoy camping there because of the brilliant theming and the large number of trees. Also, the lack of giant plywood decorations that you see at the Value resorts is a plus. We are huge fans of the National Parks and their Arts and Crafts and WPA-style art. Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge seems like a natural fit for us. We have visited it just to check out the lobby and dine at Artist Point. However, I have never stayed there or seen the rooms.

Regarding "Blue Card," I feel that I really want the have this membership even though the perks are not worth it. It is more of an emotional thing. Because I am spending all this money I want to be a full-fledged member. I know it sounds stupid. I can be convinced to just buy resale but I am unfortunately leaning very much toward direct for my first contract.

After my research, I have decided that 150 points direct at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge with a December Use Year (because we typically travel in January-March) is my first choice. People are saying that if I buy direct in November with a December Use Year I will receive banked 2020 points but I don't know if this is true. I haven't had a conversation yet with my guide. I'd probably buy additional resale contracts in the near future to get up to around 350 points.

Originally I was thinking of buying 150 points at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa direct because of the lower point costs and low maintenance fees. However, I feel like I would regret not buying at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge because it would be hard to book there at 7 months. I've never been to Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa so who knows, maybe I would love it?

Other options are to buy at any resort resale and skip the Blue Card, as well as skip Disney Vacation Club altogether and keep staying at Value resorts or Moderate and Deluxe resorts.

If you have made it this far through my long-winded post, what do you think of my options? I've created a poll for feedback.

One final thing, do you think it would be worthwhile to go down there to check out resorts this month before buying? I'd like to buy in November so I can get the 2020 points (if this is true) and to take advantage of discounts. I feel like it would be a wise decision to actually see the places before making such a large purchase. I could probably get down there November 29th and 30th.

Any feedback is much appreciated!!

Thanks!
Good luck. You will make lots of great memories. We are a family of 7 and love Disney. We own at OKW and AKL.
 

sndral

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
I think you’ll really appreciate the extra space in the 1 br. villas & may find yourself upgrading to 2 br.s sooner rather than later. I also think your family will enjoy staying in deluxe resorts. I enjoy camping & outdoor/nat’l park based vacations, but also appreciate the occasional upscale experience, thus I personally own at AKV & VGF.
The one thing I don’t see in your very thorough analysis is a point chart comparison - and by that I mean some resorts cost a lot more in points for your planned 1 br. stays than others, to wit for a president’s weekend 6 night stay 2/17 - 2/23 for a few resorts:
SSR 196 (standard view)/236 (preferred view)
AKV 198 (standard view)/234 (preferred view)
CCV 234
RIV 278 (standard view)/338 (preferred view)
VGF 294 (standard view)/352 (preferred view)
So, if you planned to stay at SSR standard view you’d need fewer points than you’d need to stay at CCV, for example.
 

RoseGold

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
Another note, we are spontaneous travelers which I understand does not work well with Disney Vacation Club.
This is a giant red flag with DVC. This product requires planning ahead, it's not flexible, and it's not good last minute. It's not even good a few months out, which is last minute by DVC standards. Planning to last minute book holiday weekends and spring break is setting yourself up to fail.

I have trouble understanding why you value the Blue Card at several thousand dollars. It's not likely to be worth much to you mathematically.

There are a lot of other options here. Rent points. You have a car. Stay at Bonnet Creek. Stay at Swolphin. Stay at Margaritaville. Stay at a nice Airbnb. Heck, stay at Universal, which is a lot cheaper and gives more perks than Disney. You don't have to stay at All Stars to go to WDW.

Another thing worth considering is the age of your kids. When they are locked into college finals or get three days vacation at their first job, Disney might work for them at all. You have to decide whether Disney will work for your family as your kids get older.
 

Spivey378

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 17, 2021
Thank you so much everyone! You all are fantastic and so helpful! I feel like I will be joining a great community if we join (but let's face it, we will join).

The voting has confirmed my choice of Go Blue or Go Home option. I'm concerned that there won't be any December Use Years at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. My plan is to see what kind of resorts for a December Use Year they do have. Is December a must for January-March travel? I would either select my favorite resort with a December Use Year or see what Use Years they have for Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. I'll know more once I talk to my guide.

Finally, it looks like we will mostly book one bedrooms because my kids are older. I could see us using studios sometimes if we want to stretch points.
 

CarolynFH

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 5, 2000
Is December a must for January-March travel?
No, August, September, or October would work just as well. The main thing is that you want your usual months of travel to be within the first 8 months of your UY so that if you had to cancel a trip (at least 31 days before checkin), you’d have plenty of time left in your UY to reschedule or to bank your points before the banking deadline. Our UY is September, in recent years we most frequently travel January-March, and if we had to cancel a March trip, for example, we’d have time to bank those points before our April 30 banking deadline.
 

🍀TwinsMom

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Well, I think you’re very well informed! I would definitely buy direct at CC, and since you’re thinking of needing 350ish points, just for ha-ha’s, ask what deals they may have for 350-400 points bought direct? I know CC is expensive direct, but a large amount of points could net you a large amount of savings. Plus, buying all direct, you’d get double points for the 2020 and 2021 December use year (🤞 ) and would have 700 points to play with, which would certainly pay for one or two of your planned cash stays.

Also, since you have two kids who are theme park enthusiasts, too, assuming you want to pass the contracts to them if you pass, you could have each get 175 points at time of purchase so each gets blue card legacy perks. Buying four 🧙‍♀️ passes versus four Incredipasses saved us $400pp this year, and if you’re going every year, that does help!

You may want to stay at Riviera, or your kids may want to. Epcot, and more specifically, Hollywood Studios currently have more rides/adult things going on, and resale points won’t work. I know, stylistically, it’s totally opposite CC, but you might enjoy a split stay to minimize transportation time. Riviera is a point hog, and if you don’t own there, you’ll probably be booking preferred rooms, which are very costly. 150+75 (borrowing restriction) could be tight if you did a one-bedroom preferred view there. Just something to keep in mind for future stays and festivals.

Plus, if you ever decided 350 was too much down the road, sell off 175, make a profit/draw even, and still have points to use more sporadically if desired.

We did a 2-bedroom at SS, and just my $0.02, but the layout is wonky! Lots of wasted space in the bathroom, cramped kitchen/living area. I definitely prefer the galley/alley style in CC and RR.

Lastly, I think it’s awesome you are thinking one-bedrooms and larger. We have a b/g and are fine with a one-bedroom for another five years we figure, but around 13-14 they’ll need privacy and bigger beds. If you go CC, their studios and one-bedrooms are a little small, and there’s only room for four, so no friends/grandparents could come unless you bump up to 2-bedrooms or larger.

One thing I think you would LOVE, especially if you get double points, is check out using points for Cascade Cabins! OMG. They’re amazing!

I say go for it, and have a drink at Geyser Point for me!
 

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