View Full Version : Booking Grand California at 7 months

06-02-2013, 04:11 PM
Thinking about trying to book our annual Disney Vacation at Disneyland next year. What are the chances of getting a Studio 7 months out?
We usually go the week after school is out around the middle of June. Any thoughts on another time in the summer? Dates that would not work for us would be before the middle of June, 4th of July week and the end of August. We are looking to book a week and do DL and possibly other things with in a decent drive if we decide to rent a car and finances at the time.
All thoughts on the dates and other things to do are definitely welcome! :)

06-02-2013, 05:44 PM
While I cant speak for crowds at DLR, availability at 7 months is going to be very limited, as Im sure you already know / predict. Just be flexible with the room type if you have the points, and see what you can do. Nothing is impossible - you never know.

If nothing else, reserve a room @ 11 months at WDW for the same time frame so you at least have something.

06-02-2013, 06:20 PM
All thoughts on the dates and other things to do are definitely welcome! :)

Can't help with dates, but here's a few other popular things to do:

1) Knotts Berry Farm is very close to DLR (I think it's an exit or 2 away on the freeway)
2) Sea World is ~ 2 hour drive in San Diego area
3) San Diego Zoo is also nice (similar drive as Sea World)


06-02-2013, 06:35 PM
Been to the SD Zoo back in the mid-90's. Im sure its been updated since then but I recall it being one of the nicest zoos that I have ever been to.

06-03-2013, 06:37 AM
It also depends on what time of year you're hoping to go. You can always get waitlisted. I waitlisted for a 1 bedroom last year 7 months out for Dec. 1 and ended up gettitng it about a month prior. I've also been told you can also use your points at the other 2 DLR hotels. You might ask if that's still a possibility.

06-03-2013, 09:17 AM
It also depends on what time of year you're hoping to go. You can always get waitlisted. I waitlisted for a 1 bedroom last year 7 months out for Dec. 1 and ended up gettitng it about a month prior. I've also been told you can also use your points at the other 2 DLR hotels. You might ask if that's still a possibility.

As long as you bought from Disney you can. If you bought resale you can't.

06-03-2013, 03:59 PM
I've had 50/50 luck with the wait listing VGC at the 7 month window. I'd definitely have a back up plan, I agree with GusMan.

How old are your kids and will you have a car?

06-03-2013, 07:14 PM
We tried to waitlist end of August (not Labor Day) and after a few months, I just decided to spend points at DLH.

We have stayed at the Grand in a 2 bedroom suite ("amazing" doesn't even begin to cover it) and a studio ("meh"). The studio is so much of a hotel room, that I decided to just spend the few extra points and get the hotel experience (with cleaning everyday, etc.) for our upcoming trip. The studio is really too small to cook or offset food any significant way, plus the studio room size is really small - there were only 3 of us, but it was smaller than a typical Motel 8/Super 8, I thought.

We planned to do laundry, and they gave us tokens to take to the onsite laundry rooms - the washers were not super clean, they were front loaders with tons of mildew build-up. Plus, it took time away from the park. Very different than in a suite where you just throw it in before you go and when you get back, toss in the dryer. The kitchens in the suites were nice and it made a huge difference to have breakfast and late-night snacks in the room.

06-04-2013, 04:20 AM
Thanks for all the info guys.
We have up to 265points to use for a week at the end of June, looking at the points chart that will probably be the better time to go. We would most likely go the 3rd week once the kids are out of school. Getting a room in either of the other two hotels may be a possibility but since it's a lot more points and has the booking fee so it would be more of a stretch on the points and budget. As far as room size we always stay in a studio so unless they are way smaller than the ones in WDW we should be fine. I will book at WDW at 11months and then try to switch at the 7month window.
The kids will be 17 and 15 when we go next year. I am not sure yet if we will rent a car, it will really depend on if we can save enough to do any thing else while there.

06-04-2013, 04:27 AM
That brings up another option...but more of a backup plan...
If you want to go to DLR and using points and the other hotels are an option, see how much the rooms are in cash vs how many points you would need. If you consider the rental value of your points around $8-$10 each, you might be better off renting out your points, take the cash, and use it for your hotel.

Granted, this would be a backup plan, but I think you see what Im talking about...

Personally, I have not done any comparison, so what I am proposing my not be the best idea, but it is at least worth looking into. I know a lot of people do this for DCL trips in lieu of using points and paying the fee, etc.

06-04-2013, 01:39 PM
Hmm, that's an option I had not considered. I have not really looked into Renting out points, every one I know who is interested in Disney has their own points. How do you rent points to some one else? I know there are companies that do it for you but have never looked into it. Any one have thoughts on that or renting to a person with out a broker? If we end up renting out the points we may try to stay off site since the rate I saw for on site this year about the same time is over $4,000 for the week just for the room.

06-05-2013, 03:25 AM
I have not rented my points, but it was a private point rental that got us hooked on DVC.

If you have never done it before, consider a broker such as David's. (http://www.dvcrequest.com/) Disclaimer: I have never used him, just providing him as an example. You will get slightly less per point, but they do much of the legwork for you.

06-06-2013, 01:48 PM
I have used David's to rent my points this year and was very satisfied. I had them all rented within 3 days. You get half the money right away and half upon check in (to make sure owners don't delete the reservation I am guessing). You have to make the reservation (and I think maybe dining plan stuff if wanted at WDW- my points are at Aulani), but it felt a lot "safer" to be going through a broker even though its probably $2 less a point then I could get myself. In full disclosure, my renters are checking in within the next week (2 rentals, almost the same dates ironically). So, it isn't totally over, but I have no reason to believe it won't be smooth. We are going to use the money to rent a beach house in San Diego next summer.

As far as VGC, we have always been able to get a 1BR at 7 months out. I have had 50/50 luck with a studio.

06-06-2013, 01:55 PM
Thank you for your feed back Mermaid. Let us know how it all worked out after the rentals are finished.

06-19-2013, 12:18 PM
I got the second half of the money this week smooth as silk!

07-02-2013, 02:05 PM
We had success booking a studio at VGC well within the 7 month mark. We did have to wait list the stay but we got confirmation within about 3 weeks. This was during Spring Break season. We thought the room was great. My kids are considerably younger than yours but I thought we had enough space. Good luck!

07-06-2013, 06:59 AM
We have booked twice (studios both times) at exactly 7 months out for a mid-March vacation, and had no problem either time. The 1st time we had an upper floor room overlooking the pool, but the second time we were on the ground floor abutting DCA (Paradise Pier area). I would have preferred something higher, but since we do not spend a lot of time in the room, it was OK.

07-10-2013, 01:36 PM
Just an FYI unless they changed there is no booking fee for the Disneyland Hotels. Once points are converted you can not change them back. Plus you still get the DVC benefits of free parking. Depending on the amount of space you need consider the Paradise Pier.cheapest points and you get two queens and a day bed.