We're With the Band: When/How Should I Book a 3 Bedroom Villa for 3 Generations?

Little E

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 3, 2016
I have a Disney planning conundrum so, of course, I turn to my Disboard friends for help. Here goes...

Currently, DS #1 is a junior in high school, and DS #2 is an 8th grader. Both are in their schools' marching bands, and they plan to be in marching band together next year when DS #1 is a senior and DS#2 will be a freshman at the same high school. Next year will be the ONLY year both boys are in high school and band together. The band plans a trip every three years to perform at WDW, and yep, you guessed it, next year is that year.

We are WDW vets, and of course, want to go to WDW to see our boys perform at WDW and to enjoy all things Disney for a vacation. Both sets of grandparents want to join us for this once in a lifetime situation too. My parents have been to Disney a few times; the most recent trip was with us in 2014 and we stayed in a two bedroom villa at OKW, which worked incredibly well. DH's parents are not amusement park people, have never shown any interest in Disney, think we're nuts for going many times, BUT they really want to go to be able to see both grandsons play. We want everyone to have an amazing time!

Here's where things become difficult...our school district hasn't finalized our calendar for next year yet. So, the band will go either over spring break or in June when school gets out. The band director doesn't know which time frame yet, and since the calendar hasn't been set, we don't know when spring break or the last day of school will be, although we can make an educated "guess".

We want to stay on property, we'll want the regular dining plan, and we'll want park hopper tickets. Since the two bedroom villa set up worked well when my folks travelled with us before, ideally we'd like to get a three bedroom villa so we can all be together (me, DH, DS#1, DS#2, my folks, and hubby's folks). We definitely all need our own space, so a three bedroom villa is a requirement; we could not make a two bedroom villa work. If a three bedroom villa doesn't work out, we would need to book three separate rooms at the same resort; we are a close, loving family...but there is no way we could bunk in the same hotel rooms.:D Each set of grandparents would need their own space, and DH/DSs/I would need our own space too. We are not DVC (although we'd like to be someday...once we are done paying for two college educations!) and I know three bedroom villas are sort of like unicorns when it comes to making a cash booking.


So, here are my questions:

1. Since packages aren't out yet, should I book three rooms somewhere for the week I *think* will be our spring break next year, with the idea that I can modify the ressie once we know when the band will go? Is it smart to book three rooms only, with the idea I can parlay this into a package/villa booking later?
2. Or, should I sit tight and book later when we have a definite date? If so, when should I book? I'm guessing spring break will be the last week of March in 2020.
3. I know that villas don't become available for cash bookings for a while. When, exactly, do they become available, and how impossible is it to snag a three bedroom villa? Are there any strategies for cash booking a three bedroom villa?
4. I would love to book a three bedroom at one of the monorail resorts, but I recognize that I may not have many choices regarding the resort. Which resort(s) would I be most likely to book a three bedroom villa in?

I apologize if this should be posted in the DVC area. I just wasn't exactly sure which place made the most sense. Please feel free to move this to wherever it makes the most sense.

Thanks so much, Dis friends! Any and all advice is so greatly appreciated!
 

KayaWildfire

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 4, 2016
TBH, I'm not sure if I would book three rooms at whatever resort this early because a) you don't actually know when you're going b) having a room at whatever resort isn't going to help you get a grand villa c) don't book three rooms unless you are going to be happy staying at that resort in those three rooms.
That said, I would watch and see when they put the three beds up on the website and book one at that time(can't help as to when that is) at a resort you want to stay at. I can't help with the rest. Sorry.
 

cvjw

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 22, 2005
Have you looked at the dvc rental prices thru a broker for a week during March next year in a resort area grand villa? Between $14,000 to $20,000+ for the week.

3 rooms at a regular disney resort will be much more budget friendly.
 
  • danikoski

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 1, 2014
    From my looking, three bed villas are hard to get on cash reservations. I've seen OKW pop up, Copper Creek (although that is probably due to it not being completely sold DVC wise), and AKV.

    The resorts with Grand Villas include GFV, BLT, CCV, BWV, AKV, SSR, and OKW. By then, there will also be Riviera. You could rent points, it will most likely be cheaper than booking through Disney. However, be aware, doing a quick check of April 5-11, 2020, using David's Vacation Club Rentals Cost Calculator, OKW GV would run probably around $8,000. GFV would be more in the ball park of $21,000. The others are in between, mostly around $12,000-14,000. You might be able to get points cheaper than David's cost.

    Remember, Disney is probably not going to be cheaper than those numbers. So, $8,000 for six nights for three groups equals $444 per night. For GFV, at $21,000, that equals over $1,000 a night.

    Online, Disney hasn't released rooms for after December yet. You can call, and I believe if your dates are within 400 days out, they can book it. I did take a look at another busy week at WDW, Thanksgiving week, and rack rate, Deluxes like YC/BC, BWI, AKV, BLT, Poly Studio, and WL are between $525-650/night.

    What I'm getting at is that it'd probably be cheaper to just book three hotel rooms. You can book at a deluxe and still potentially end up cheaper then a grand villa at OKW, and most definitely cheaper than GFV.

    Edit: I just picked a spring break week. I missed when yours is when I read your post. That can change price some too. Also, Villas can be booked through DVC point rental at 11 months for home resort (so the person you rent from has to have points at the resort you want). At 7 months anyone with points can rent, but I'm not sure a grand villa would still be available. Releasing on the Disney website depends on a lot of things because it's DVC. Sometimes you'll see an influx at the 7 month mark.
     
    Last edited:

    danikoski

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 1, 2014
    Last week of March a grand villa through David's would cost $17,700 www.dvcrequest.com. So, $983/night per group. Same week this year, you can get a GF, outer building garden view room for $651/night. A Poly Studio STD view, $631/night.
     

    BLLB

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2004
    If you are looking at a villa because you want a kitchen, then you could do (1) 1-bedroom and 2 studios. Those would be easier than 1 GV. No guarantee they will be right next door to one another, but they should be close if you link the reservations. If you don’t care about the kitchen, which I don’t think you do since you are getting dining plans, I would get 3 regular rooms.

    Treehouse villas are an option. Also cabins at a Fort Wilderness.
     
  • cruisin5

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 21, 2001
    Don't get your heart set on a GV, especially on cash. Maybe with DVC but the cancellation policy is restrictive so that may not work if there is a change of dates. June will be significantly cheaper than Spring Break of course.

    I think a 2-bd for your family (and parents) and a studio for DH parents or a 1-bd and two studios could be the better option. AK or BLT (perhaps others) will give your boys their own bathroom and each their own sleeping space. Plus you'll have a place to hang out.

    Having DH's parents in their own space allows them NOT to buy hoppers and the dining plan if they really aren't interested in the parks.

    Sounds like an exciting trip for your family! Have a great time.
     

    Little E

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2016
    This is exactly why I turn to my Disboard friends. :disrocks:You all have so much good information and advice!

    I knew that renting DVC points would be cheaper, but because our dates are iffy, I really don't think this is a good option for us. I don't like the rigidity of booking DVC points; there are a lot of variables that could make our trip change, which is why I think we need to go with a cash booking. Thankfully, we will be splitting the costs three ways, which helps a little bit. While a GV would be the most favored option, I really like the ideas of a 2 bedroom/studio or two treehouses especially.

    Does anyone have any idea how far in advance cash bookings for villas (studios, 2 bedrooms, 3 bedrooms, or treehouses) might become available? I just want to know when to start having eagle eyes for our options.

    I am definitely open to all ideas and options, so keep them coming! I need all the help I can get in planning this multigenerational/many moving parts WDW trip!

    Plus, does anyone have any experience with kids who have performed in marching bands at WDW? I have NO idea how that works, or where kids in bands perform.

    Thank you so, so much!!
     

    kaytieeldr

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2005
    Rooms alone can be booked up to 499 days in advance, so through June 18, 2020. You will be quoted the current highest price, which will be adjusted when the 2020 rates come out.
     
  • Little E

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2016
    @kaytieeldr Pardon my ignorance...is there an advantage to booking room only ressies now? That's one thing I'm not clear on. If we select a resort to book three rooms in a room only ressie, does that give me an advantage to change my ressie to a villa/villas when/if they become available?
     

    bigbabyblues

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 25, 2004
    @kaytieeldr Pardon my ignorance...is there an advantage to booking room only ressies now? That's one thing I'm not clear on. If we select a resort to book three rooms in a room only ressie, does that give me an advantage to change my ressie to a villa/villas when/if they become available?
    No.
     

    cruisin5

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 21, 2001
    If you are looking at a Treehouse, the bunk beds are small-ish. Not twin size.

    Do your boys have to stay with the band?
     

    SCDizFan

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 29, 2003
    I was getting ready to ask the same thing, I think your boys will have to, or want to stay with the band.

    I can't imagine the school would want to be responsible for herding kids spread out in all kinds of accommodations.
     

    mamapenguin

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 15, 2006
    I was getting ready to ask the same thing, I think your boys will have to, or want to stay with the band.

    I can't imagine the school would want to be responsible for herding kids spread out in all kinds of accommodations.
    Yes. My kid’s band is going to DLR and they all have to stay together in the same hotel and travel to and from activities together.
     

    _auroraborealis_

    I like marshmallows. And adult beverages.
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2015
    DVC units will not be available 499 days out. DVC units, if Disney is following the rules, do not come up for cash until 11 months out.
     

    eeyoresmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 10, 2015
    Just a data point. We are DVC but I can not get a 2 bedroom at Kidani for a night I need so I looked up the cash price. $1254 for a 2 bedroom standard view ( not savannah) for a Wednesday night the first week of April. That is one Wednesday night at a lower cost property. OP, good thing you are splitting it 3 ways. I cant imagine the price of a grand villa ( 3 bedroom)
     

    Little E

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2016
    Hi all! I'm not sure what the rules are regarding our DSs and the band. Historically, the band stays off property and has charter busses that transport the kids from the midwest, where we live, to WDW and then transport kids to the parks. My DH, folks, and in laws and I are NOT interested in that. :tongue: You make a good point...I guess I'll have a chat with the band director regarding the rules. I know that other families have stayed on property in the past, even though the band stays off site. I assumed the boys would be able to stay with us and just meet up with the band and their friends as needed throughout the week. While I'm sure they will want to be with their friends, I also know how much they like staying on WDW property.

    I know that villas for cash bookings are going to be crazy expensive. While I don't like it, this is truly a unique, once-in-a-lifetime trip. Most likely the only trip for my in-laws. The only time both boys will be in band together AND at Disney, my oldest's senior year, and potentially my folks' last trip to WDW (both sets of parents are in great shape, but all are currently in their late 70's). So, it sort of feels like the right time to splurge. Especially knowing we'll split the costs.

    I'm still trying to figure out which scenario will suit us best, and I'm starting to see from everyone's info above that the worst case scenario may have us in three rooms instead of a villa. That will be OK, as long as we can be at the same resort. We don't even need connecting rooms. Any way we cut it, we'll be at Disney. :love: I just really wanted some advice regarding securing a villa(s) for cash booking at potentially very busy times during the year.

    Does anyone have experience with having their kids play in a school marching band at WDW? If so, where do they play, exactly?
     


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