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SJF510
11-27-2007, 03:50 PM
We got back from WDW last week and I think we are going to take the plunge to be DVC members. I had just a couple of practical questions that I was hoping someone with some experience could answer.

1. Availability of Resorts - Our coordinator/salesperson assued us that even though we were buying at Saratoga it would not be a problem to book at the other resorts. I understand the 11month/7month rule, but is this realistic? We are off season sorts of people who would be planning an annual trip, so we don't need much flexibility, but I just wanted to make sure that this piece was at least reasonably accurate. For example, our salesperson suggested that if we wanted a GrandVilla to book at Key West since that "cost" the fewest amount of points. Makes sense, but seems like everyone would do that and thus there would be little to no availability.

2. I know this is HIGHLY subjective, but what is the "right" amount of points? We are in line for 200 points, which seems to be enough, but some of the more fun things seem to be out of reach. On the other hand, I am not willing to get a ton of points that we can't use.

3. Can you pay cash for things that you don't have enough points for? We would really like to use our years 1 and 2 points for the Mexican DCL cruise that we have booked already. Using the Caribbean as a guide, we would probably be some points short for hubby, me and Goofnut. Just wondering how that worked.

Overall, we are very excited and are looking forward to being members!

DVC Mike
11-27-2007, 04:37 PM
1. Availability of Resorts - Our coordinator/salesperson assued us that even though we were buying at Saratoga it would not be a problem to book at the other resorts. I understand the 11month/7month rule, but is this realistic? We are off season sorts of people who would be planning an annual trip, so we don't need much flexibility, but I just wanted to make sure that this piece was at least reasonably accurate. For example, our salesperson suggested that if we wanted a GrandVilla to book at Key West since that "cost" the fewest amount of points. Makes sense, but seems like everyone would do that and thus there would be little to no availability.


There are some accomodations that you will have a difficult time booking at other resorts -- Grand Villas, Std and BW view at BWV, BCV during F&W festival, and VWL in December. Keep in mind that "off season" for WDW hotels and DVC differs. For example, the first 2 weeks of December are a peak DVC time. As long as you're happy staying somewhere, you'll have no problem getting a reservation most times. If you book in DVC quiet times, such as late Jan / early Feb, May and Sept, you can probably get any resort you want.



2. I know this is HIGHLY subjective, but what is the "right" amount of points? We are in line for 200 points, which seems to be enough, but some of the more fun things seem to be out of reach. On the other hand, I am not willing to get a ton of points that we can't use.


It depends on how often you want to visit WDW, for how long, when you go, and what type of room. Also, if you typically don't stay on Fri & Sat nights, you won't eat up a lot of points.



3. Can you pay cash for things that you don't have enough points for? We would really like to use our years 1 and 2 points for the Mexican DCL cruise that we have booked already. Using the Caribbean as a guide, we would probably be some points short for hubby, me and Goofnut. Just wondering how that worked.


I think it's best (from purely getting the most "bang for you DVC point") to use your points only for DVC resorts, and to pay cash for cruises. Of course, you can use your points however you like. If you don't want to visit WDW, you have the flexibility of taking a cruise on points, trading into II, etc.

We love DVC!

DVC Mike
11-27-2007, 04:52 PM
1. Availability of Resorts - Our coordinator/salesperson assued us that even though we were buying at Saratoga it would not be a problem to book at the other resorts. I understand the 11month/7month rule, but is this realistic? We are off season sorts of people who would be planning an annual trip, so we don't need much flexibility, but I just wanted to make sure that this piece was at least reasonably accurate. For example, our salesperson suggested that if we wanted a GrandVilla to book at Key West since that "cost" the fewest amount of points. Makes sense, but seems like everyone would do that and thus there would be little to no availability.


If you book at 11-mos out, you will typically get the reservation you want.

If you book at 7-mos out, it depends on what room type, resort, and time of year. If you're booking in an off-season for DVC, then you'll probably get what you want.

The reservations that are typically hard to get include the following resorts during the times listed:

Everywhere: All of December, especially the week before Christmas to NY
Easter Week, Thanksgiving Week
BWV/BCV - Epcot Food and Wine (October-1st of November)
VWL - Thanksgiving-NY
HHI - 2nd week of June - August
VB - Spring Break (March-April)The following room types may typically be hard to get:

Standard or BoardWalk view rooms at BWV
OKW Grand Villas
AKV Concierge rooms
AKV Value rooms

GusMan
11-27-2007, 06:57 PM
For example, the first 2 weeks of December are a peak DVC time.
A little clarification on this... "Peak" in this context refers to "most popular" time to go since the points scale tend to be the lowest and you can make your points go farther. Mix that in with the holidays, being less crowded for the parks, and annual events, many DVC'ers find this to be a great time to go. My general thought process is that if you have a particular time of the year that you really prefer to go, make your ressies right at the 11 month mark for your home resort. That way, you at least have accommodations regardless.


2. I know this is HIGHLY subjective, but what is the "right" amount of points? We are in line for 200 points, which seems to be enough, but some of the more fun things seem to be out of reach. On the other hand, I am not willing to get a ton of points that we can't use.
In general, only you can tell. But at the same time, I think it is easier to add on points than to get rid of points. With the banking/borrowing options, you might want to go smaller, see what suits you best, and then add on later if need be. That is what we did and we do plan on adding on as soon as we get a little more cash.

Raidermatt
11-28-2007, 03:06 PM
Nothing really to add on questions 1 or 3.

On the question of how many points you will need, I strongly suggest taking your best guess at the type of room you will want, when you think you will want to visit and for how long. Then, use the DVC point charts to see how many points you will need.

I agree with the idea that it's easier to add-on than to sell points, especially since you can't sell part of a contract, but I do think you can get a reasonable estimate of what you will need. Ask yourself these questions:

Is there a DVC resort I will want to stay at most of the time? If so, try to purchase there. If you don't really have a strong preference, the resort you choose isn't as important.

Are you going to be happy with a studio, or will you want the 1 BR? Very important as 1 BR's are generally about twice as many points as studios. The benefits are more space, full kitchen vs. microwave/toaster, and in-room washer/dryer.

When will you most likely be visiting? You say off-season, but that could still mean lots of timeframes. If you have a pretty good idea of what month you will usually visit, you can get a real good idea of the points you will need.

On a side note, I'd be a little wary of the guide you spoke with. Anybody who tells you that you'll have no problem booking anywhere at 7 months without qualification is not giving you the whole story. I would either request a different guide or at least make sure I validated those types of statements elsewhere, just as you are doing here.

Good luck!

mom22gls
11-30-2007, 02:04 AM
We have been members for about a year now, with 210 points. We are a family of 4, and go down to WDW 1-2 a year, and plan to take family members at times. The conventional wisdom is to pay for weekend nights, perhaps with an AP rate, but we are finding it more cost-effective to stay at SS (our home resort) for the 5 nights on less points, then, if we want to stay the weekend, move to a hotel-based DVC studio for the weekend (resort hopping is easy). For example, in August, we did 5 nights at a 1-bedroom at SS, then moved to the Beach Club studios for the 2 nights, at the weekend rate. We then had the "best of both worlds," lots of room for most of the week, and the great location and use of the fantastic pool at Beach Club, for the weekend, without putting out any cash to stay at the Deluxe hotel. We still had points to bank for 2008. In March, we are getting a 2-bedroom villa at SS at the weekday point rate, for 4 nights, and are taking my parents (who don't want to be away from home longer than that). In June, we are doing the Disney Cruise, and want to stay at WDW before and after the cruise. I felt like I wanted hotel amenities for those nights. I just booked the Beach Club again, at a studio for 2 nights before the cruise, and at the Animal Kingdom Lodge for 3 nights at a Savanna view studio for after the cruise. We will be borrowing points from 2009, but, because of other travel plans, we probably won't be doing Disney, so we'll still have points to bank for 2010. If you are flexible, with your location and room size, you can book other locations, than your home resort. With the ability to bank and borrow, 200 points can go a long way.

SJF510
12-12-2007, 03:48 PM
I just wanted to say thank you for the words of wisdom and the excellent advice. Hubby and I took the plunge, so hubby's mantra has now become "Our journey to the Dark Side of Disney Nerdom is complete!". :)

Mrs. GusMan
12-12-2007, 03:50 PM
Congratulations!!!! And, Welcome home SJF510!!!

When and where will your first trip as DVC owners be?

Mrs. GusMan

SJF510
12-12-2007, 04:03 PM
Our first use of points will be next August for the Disney Cruise on the Mexican Riviera that we had scheduled already. Our first stay "on property" will be in January 2009, so we should have our pick of locations. We may have some points left over since the 09 trip may not be a long one, so we'll use any extras to bank or to stay at DL!

KJSJpipe
12-12-2007, 04:19 PM
Congratulations and Welcome Home!! :)

deanglin
12-12-2007, 05:50 PM
Wecome!

simzac
12-15-2007, 10:58 AM
Welcome Home

september
12-22-2007, 06:15 AM
I just wanted to say thank you for the words of wisdom and the excellent advice. Hubby and I took the plunge, so hubby's mantra has now become "Our journey to the Dark Side of Disney Nerdom is complete!". :)

My husband says that he drank the kool-aid, lol. I'm the Disney nut in the family but when he wanted to add on I think he knew that he'd lost the battle.

To just give you some personal experience, we're DVC members at SSR--we bought in Feb 2004 and since then have had two trips year--always the first or second week in May and then the week after Thanksgiving. Out of those seven or eight trips only two trips have been at SSR--we like it a lot, but also like the BWV and that's generally where we stayed (both last Nov and again this May). We've also stayed at VWL and BCV.