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View Full Version : Villas at Grand Californian Owner Looking to head East for the first time (Yeah!)



poohlovesgoofy
09-08-2011, 09:55 AM
Hello Everyone-

We have been VGC owners for just over a year. After completing our first vist to VGC (and booking our second) we are looking to head east and visit a DVC property in Florida. We are hoping that all of you wonderful people will help us with the list of questions which are starting to swirl around in our heads.

We are looking to travel to Florida in mid August 2012
-Will we have trouble booking a resort at the 7 month window for this time?
-What locations are most centrally located to the parks? (we want to be near Disney World)
-Will we need a car or do they have shuttle service to all of the parks?
-Is the heat and humidity difficult in Florida at this time of year?

Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

GusMan
09-08-2011, 10:04 AM
-Will we have trouble booking a resort at the 7 month window for this time?
Probably not, but you will have to be flexible as to where you might stay. During the summer, I have been able to obtain rooms at AKV, BWV, and BCV. Sometimes using the wait list. Just be flexible and you will get something that suits your needs.

-What locations are most centrally located to the parks? (we want to be near Disney World)
WDW consists of the four parks... Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Each resort hotel has a "closest" park and a "furthest" park. Its really going to depend on which park you think you might visit most. Which park do you think you would favor? (You being a DL regular, I would spend more time at parks other than the Magic Kingdom...)

-Will we need a car or do they have shuttle service to all of the parks?
Disney has transportation throughout the park. A car is really not needed since Disney's Magical Express will take you from the airport to the resort and back.

-Is the heat and humidity difficult in Florida at this time of year?
YES! You are talking about the hottest and most humid time of year. And even for those who say they live in a humid area - the heat and humidity is very impressive. It impacts everything from your fluid intake, your appetite, your energy levels, and your ability to storm the parks all day. Even with that said, being mentally prepared for it is 1/2 the battle. (Done 3 summer trips myself and Im now used to it and know what to expect.)

poohlovesgoofy
09-09-2011, 08:34 AM
GusMan THANK YOU so much for the information.

I think we are going to try to get AKV.... but if that is not available as long as we can be near one of the parks eveyone will be happy (they all look wonderful). It's going to be difficult waiting so long to request the room..... not to mention nerve wracking.

I'm sure we will have tons of other questions.... Just from the small amount of research we have done so far we can tell WDW is much different then DLR. So much to learn!!

If anyone wants to give us hints or tips we'd love to hear them!

Simba0614
09-09-2011, 09:10 AM
GusMan THANK YOU so much for the information.

I think we are going to try to get AKV.... but if that is not available as long as we can be near one of the parks eveyone will be happy (they all look wonderful). It's going to be difficult waiting so long to request the room..... not to mention nerve wracking.

I'm sure we will have tons of other questions.... Just from the small amount of research we have done so far we can tell WDW is much different then DLR. So much to learn!!

If anyone wants to give us hints or tips we'd love to hear them!

We have been owners at Saratoga Springs for several years now, and find that the best way to make sure you have a room where you want to stay (we rarely actually stay at our home resort) is to book at 11 months, then try to change reservations as soon as the 7 month window opens. Since you're an owner at VGC, that won't work for WDW, but . . . If a room isn't exactly what you want when you switch, then the wait list is your friend. You should be able to book somewhere at 7 months, then wait-list for your preferred resort. That works most of the time.

A few scenarios may then arise: 1) you get what you want; bonus, 2) you don't get your wait-list at all; you still have a room on property, or 3) you may get only a partial wait-list with a few days available of where you want; then you have a decision to make: keep the existing res and don't move or figure on moving to your preferred resort for the days you do find available. Moving depends on your desire to pack up and truck your stuff to a different resort, both time and transportation-intensive. Since I'm the family pack-mule, I have done this successfully using WDW transportation with little hassle, except having to transfer busses since there are no direct resort-to-resort busses; you have to go the the Trans/Ticket center or one of the Parks to hop another bus to your next resort.

You have to be careful, though. We just learned that points are locked into a reservation based on how they were allocated at that time. So, if you are using previously banked points, and switch, make sure the banked points are used first, and be specific in making sure. We were on the line for about 70 points that were held during this reservation swap that the cast member was kind enough to reallocate so we didn't lose them (we had to cancel a reservation and were trying to bank all remaining points, calculating that the 70 were available, while the DVC calculation was different, holding the previously banked points that couldn't be banked forward a second year).

Hope that helps.

Kevin