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  1. #1
    Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix
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    Disney Vacation Club confirms Disney’s Grand Floridian Villas to open in late 2013

    The long-rumored Disney Vacation Club addition to Disney's Grand Floridian hotel was officially confirmed by the Walt Disney company in a brief press release today. (Read the release in its entirety below.) Buzz about the potential project picked up earlier this year when a member at MouseOwners.com came across a filing by Disney with with the South Florida Water Management District, for a new construction project at the Grand Floridian.



    MousePlanet's Mark Goldhaber wrote about the proposed development in March, saying,


    The new resort will have 200 keyed entries (a "keyed entry" is any room that can be locked off and entered separately, though it will probably counted as fewer "two-bedroom equivalents"which counts connected studio and one-bedroom units as a single "two-bedroom equivalent"), but we have received word that there will also be additional existing rooms at the Grand Floridian that will be converted to DVC units, as well. This will result in a roll-out similar to that of the Animal Kingdom Villas, where the converted fourth- and fifth-floor rooms in the original Lodge building (now called "Jambo House") were later joined by the new rooms in the Kidani Village addition.

    The existing parking lot by the to-be-demolished tennis courts will be removed, and replaced by two new parking lotsa 192-space lot for the guests of the new building and a 124-space gated lot specifically for the Wedding Pavilion. The gated lot will connect directly to the circular driveway for the Wedding Pavilion, while the resort lot will connect to the circular drive for the new building and fill the space between the existing Spa & Health Club (which will not be affected), the Wedding Pavilion lot and the main entry driveway. The entry to the new lots will cover much of the current tennis courts, though it appears from the site plan that enough room will remain for a half-court basketball court adjacent to the Spa & Health Club. Don't expect these new parking lots to ease parking restrictions at the Grand Floridian, though. Magic Kingdom resort parking is apparently enough of a problem that all Magic Kingdom resorts might be restricting their parking more in the future.




    According to the announcement, the new property is slated to open in late 2013, and will be the 12th DVC property. In addition to the 8 existing Walt Disney World DVC resorts, Disney Vacation Club recently opened Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii, and operates the The Villas at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort, Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort in South Carolina, and Disney's Vero Beach Resort in Florida.

    Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix
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    Received from Disney Vacation Club:


    Disney Vacation Club Announces New Development Project at Disneys Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

    CELEBRATION, Fla. (December 8, 2011) A new resort development announced today will expand Disneys Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, distinguished as the flagship hotel at the Walt Disney World Resort, and continue the growth of Disney Vacation Club, Disneys innovative vacation-ownership program.

    Disney Vacation Club plans to build an estimated 147 villas as part of a previously announced expansion of Disneys Grand Floridian Resort, one of the premier resort hotels at the Walt Disney World Resort.

    Estimated to open in late 2013, this new resort experience is slated to be the 12th Disney Vacation Club property and will be located near the spa and wedding pavilion at Disneys Grand Floridian Resort. In addition to villa accommodations, plans for the expansion include a childrens water-play area and other amenities.

    We continually look for ways to expand Disney Vacation Club by creating resort experiences that our members will love, said Claire Bilby, senior vice president and general manager of Disney Vacation Club. With the continued popularity of Bay Lake Tower at Disneys Contemporary Resort, we are thrilled to offer our members and guests a new resort option along the monorail system with easy access to the Magic Kingdom Park, as well as a variety of shopping, dining and recreation experiences.

    Disney Vacation Club is owned by Disney Vacation Development Inc., part of the magic of The Walt Disney Company. To learn more, visit www.disneyvacationclub.com.

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  3. #2

    I will be very interested to see how they price these points and how many points it will take for each stay.


  4. #3
    DVC - BLT/BWV/BCV/VWL/VGC DVC Mike's Avatar
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    I snapped a couple shots of the construction site for the new DVC at the Grand Floridian as I rode by today on the monorail. These are just thumbnails click on them to see the larger photo.







    DVC Member - My DVC Home Resorts: Bay Lake Tower, Boardwalk Villas, and Villas at the Grand Floridian



  5. #4

    Does this conversion of rooms in Deluxe resorts indicate that WDW is not getting the demand for Deluxe rooms that they either got in the past, or expected?
    When this happened at AKL, I thought it was a case of just not getting the expected demand on Deluxe rooms (AKL was not that old when they started converting some of the previous hotel rooms to DVC rooms).
    However the GF is much older, so this has me wondering if demand has gone down, for deluxe rooms.

    I am also wondering if the DVC units that are the result of the conversion of regular rooms will create a "Value" category as it has with the AKL villas.
    Basically they are smaller than other DVC units, and cheaper. When booked one is gambling with the view as it might be any available view, but one might get very lucky with the view. I would love to book a value at the GF, and find out I ended up with a theme park view :-).


  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by palmickey View Post
    Does this conversion of rooms in Deluxe resorts indicate that WDW is not getting the demand for Deluxe rooms that they either got in the past, or expected?
    Well that certainly would be my conclusion. The top end resorts make the most money, but only when the rooms are rented.
    Stan

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    Along the same lines, there are two things to think about:
    - Non-members can still rent DVC rooms. And they are still rather expensive compared to Mod's and Values, but are in line (read: not that much more) with other Deluxe non-DVC rooms in the same resort.
    - It will most likely cost DVC members a large number of points per night, which is still the equivalent of being "expensive."
    ---- And that means that people who buy into VGF are going to most likely have to buy contracts with more points in order to meet their needs.

    In essence, I dont think that this is because the demand for Deluxe rooms is inherently low, but because they see DVC as a way to get people to make a long-term Disney commitment. And as a Member, I would not want to pay cash for a stay at VGF, but I would stay there on points, if it suited my needs for that trip.

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  8. #7
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    I'd tend to disagree with Gus on point #1 - why spend the money on a conversion if you can get the same rent from what you already have? However, on point #2 I agree completely. There is no way in the world that I would ever pay for the GF, but getting in on points is extremely intriguing.

    Stan

  9. #8
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    I can see your point, Stan. I think the big perspective difference is the commitment that a DVC member makes when they buy in. You get 10's of thousands of people per resort to foot the bill for the next 50 years (via memberships and annual fees) then they dont necessarily have to worry about filling all the rooms every day of the year. The downside - they just have to sell them all. But they have a pretty good track record for that so far.

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