Predicted DVC booking patterns - Studios & 1-bedrooms (June 2018 Update)

skier_pete

DIsney-holics Anon
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
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.

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.
 
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skier_pete

DIsney-holics Anon
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
Post for Animal Kingdom Villas - Jambo House

Value Studios (and therefore two bedrooms) are almost impossible to get even as an owner. There are 10 lock-offs and 8 standalone studios. One-bedrooms are slightly more available - and even can occasionally be found at 7-months.

AKV used to be known as a resort that was easy to get into all year at 7-months. This is no longer the case, at least in studios. Standard View rooms are a little harder to get than Savannah, but they both are hard to get at 7-months in DVC "busy" season (Oct-Jan). Jambo house is also harder than Kidani (next post).

1-bedrooms surprisingly show that Standard View rooms are available longer than Savannah views. I can't really come up with a good reason for this...both are pretty available until around 6 months.

AKV Jambo Value Studio.jpg AKV Jambo Standard Studio.jpg AKV Jambo Savannah Studio.jpg
AKV Jambo Value 1BD.jpg AKV Jambo Standard 1BD.jpg AKV Jambo Savannah 1BD.jpg
 
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skier_pete

DIsney-holics Anon
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
Post for Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village

Kidani is a bigger DVC resort than Jambo, and while it has plenty of people that like it, I would say Jambo is generally slightly favored, so the availability here tends to be better overall. Still we don't see studios available anymore at 7 months in Oct-Dec. This is a big difference from 3 years ago, when Kidani Savannah view was ALWAYS available at 7 months. The old advice of "No need to own at AKV to stay there is no longer true - though again there is pretty strong availability at 7 months the rest of the year.

AKV Kidani is still the THIRD most available resort.

AKV Kidani Standard Studio.jpg
AKV Kidani Savannah Studio.jpg
AKV Kidani Standard 1BD.jpg
AKV Kidani Savannah 1BD.jpg
 
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  • skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    Post for Aulani - Studios ONLY (Sorry got lazy)

    The below room categories are posted from least to most in terms of points, and it's no surprise that the less points units are the hardest to get. However, you can get more expensive categories pretty much any time of year. The exceptions are June - which is extremely popular, and Christmas / New Years.

    Aulani - Standard Studio.jpg Aulani - Island Garden Studio.jpg Aulani - Poolside Garden Studio.jpg Aulani - Ocean View Studio.jpg
     
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    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    Post for Beach Club Villas

    OK let's face it...Beach Club villas is hard to get and has gotten harder. It used to be fairly easy to grab a studio at 7-months in the Jan-Sept window, but no more, any rooms available are gone. That said, 1-bedrooms are easier to get, and again if you look side-by-side with data from 2015, the 1-bedrooms have become easier.

    BCV Studio.jpg BCV 1BD.jpg
     
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    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    Post for Bay Lake Tower

    So once again there's a low point room category that's hard for non-owners to get. (This is common with DVC units with low-point categories.) Rarer is that a high-point category is also hard to get into, but with only 20% of the studios Theme Park view - it goes pretty quickly at 7 months. Lake view is fairly accessible at 7 months during "slow" season. Again, 1-bedrooms are pretty easy to get, except the standard category.

    BLT Standard Studio.jpgBLT Lake Studio.jpgBLT Theme Park Studio.jpg BLT Standard 1BD.jpg BLT Lake 1BD.jpg BLT Theme Park 1BD.jpg
     
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    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    Post for Boardwalk Villas

    I have taken greater interest in BWV than anywhere else because I'm now an owner here. Like others, Standard View rooms aren't available by 7-months, though I was a bit surprised to see that 1-bedrooms are still quite available much of the year. I suspect this is because BWV is all lock-offs, so there are a LOT of 1-bedrooms available once the studios run out. In fact, if you want to go to Food and Wine at at an Epcot resort, have the points for a 1-bedroom lake view and you might just get in.

    Boardwalk units are pretty much always gone for owners at Boardwalk as well, though I did manage to get 4 nights in a Boardwalk view at 7-months this past February, so it's not impossible, but expect the Boardwalk view rooms to go right at 7-months.

    BWV Standard Studio.jpg BWV Garden-Pool Studio.jpg BWV Boardwalk Studio.jpg BWV Standard 1BD.jpg BWV Garden-Pool 1BD.jpg BWV Boardwalk 1BD.jpg
     
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    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    Post for Old Key West (Sorry - no hospitality house - again laziness.)

    OKW is another case of "used to be available all year at 7 months" other than the first two weeks of December, but now when charted, Most of November and even a lot of October is gone at 7-months. They also used to have good availability much of the year until 4 months, but now by 5-months it's starting to thin.

    OKW Studio.jpg OKW 1BD.jpg
     
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    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    Post for Saratoga Springs - Updated for Standard / Preferred

    So three years ago when I did these charts there was only a single booking category at SSR. They split it into two categories and in a very rare case - the lower point category is actually the LARGER category (60% standard and 40% preferred). At the time they did this, I predicted that the standard category would still be the more popular one, and that is in fact the case,

    The other thing to point out is that EVEN SSR has become difficult to get at 7-months during the most peak of seasons - and harder to get overall. 3 years ago, studios were frequently available at 3 months, and now this is no longer the case.

    Even 1-BD have become harder to get, but you can get one any day of the year at 7-months, and a good portion of the year it's still possible to wait until 2 months beforehand - except again for those busy fall times.

    As a side - this data tells me that Disney is running into a real issue with not enough studios. CCV is not going to help the situation with there stock of studios being only 9% of their total points. DVC needs to start building units with more studios.

    SSR Standard Studio.jpg SSR Preferred Studio.jpg SSR Standard 1BD.jpg SSR Preferred 1BD.jpg
     
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    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    Polynesian Villas and Bungalows - Studios Only

    The newest "full" resort was not represented in my last survey. I had predicted that this resort would be fairly easy to get into at 7-months, and I admit that I was wrong in this - or at least partially. During the "Slow" season it is in fact very easy to get int at 7-months, but books up very quickly at that point - a very popular destination to trade into. Once we get into "Busy" season, it is in fact quite difficult to get into.

    One interesting note - that even though the Lake view is a more expensive category it is much smaller, and therefore those two effects seem to cancel each other out and the two categories are roughly the same to book.

    PVB Standard Studio.jpg PVB  Lake View Studio.jpg
     
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    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    Post for Villas at Grand Floridian - Studios and 1-bedrooms

    So here's a good study in what happens to resorts from when they are new to when the owners have been around a bit. If you look at the data from last survey, it was actually even WORSE to get into one of these studios - though still pretty hard it is now in fact POSSIBLE to get one, though still the hardest get at WDW. (Until CCV is sold out - then that one with their limited studios will become the hardest.)

    This returns to the fact that 1-bedrooms are pretty available. If you have the money to stay in 1-bedrooms, you can pretty much stay anywhere much of the year.

    VGF Standard Studio.jpg
    VGF Lake Studio.jpg
    VGF Standard 1BD.jpg
    VGF Lake 1BD.jpg
     
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    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    Post for Villas at Grand Floridian - 2-bedrooms and Grand Villas (Thanks to @Bing Showei ) Note these aren't going to be done for another 3 months, but I figured I'd post the incomplete ones.

    So this is the first time I've looked at data for 2-bedrooms. Interestingly, the 2-bedrooms are easier to get than 1-bedrooms. This is not something that is generally considered to be the case. It makes me curious how other resorts would look. Grand Villas also appear to be more available at VGF, but again I don't think this is universally the case.

    VGF Standard 2BD.jpg
    VGF Lake 2BD.jpg
    VGF Grand Villa.jpg
     
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    skier_pete

    DIsney-holics Anon
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2006
    Post for Wilderness Lodge - Boulder Ridge Villas

    Of course this is sort of a unique time to collect this data, as CCV is rolling out, but I still think the most interesting bit here is that BRV seem to book up studios almost immediately at 7-months time. It hasn't changed that November/December this resort is very popular.

    What's interesting is that there is a HUGE difference between 1-bedroom availability and studio availability here - probably the biggest difference of any of the resorts.

    WL-BRV Studios.jpg
    WL-BRV 1BD.jpg
     
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    cmarsh31

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 5, 2015
    Amazing!!! and it's making me feel like I've got quite the miracle of reservations lined up... 3 nights at VGC studio in 2 weeks, (8am, 7 months exactly, three nights at Poly in Nov (WL), and then 4 nights in a 2bd value at AKV in Feb (11 months - 8am)... think after this round, we'll be in all standard rooms at AKV :D

    Thanks to everyone involved - I LOVE these charts!
     

    mustinjourney

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 8, 2016
    I’m guessing there are a few factors at play here causing increased studio demand.

    1. With point costs going up, people own smaller chunks of points. So you end up with more people in the system and they only have enough points for studios.

    2. With rental brokers being so easy to find, less points are likely going unused than in the past.

    3. Renewed interest in WDW with opening of Pandora and upcoming TSL/STL.

    4. Economy is way up since 2015 (which increases demand for WDW overall)
     
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