The Disney Vacation Club Resorts
The Disney World Disney Vacation Club Resorts include nine paired with regular Disney World deluxe resorts, and three standalone resorts.
The paired resorts are the Boulder Ridge and Copper Creek Villas at the Wilderness lodge, Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort, the Jambo House and Kidani Village Villas at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Beach Club Villas, the Boardwalk Villas, The Villas at Disneys Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, and the Polynesian Villas and Bungalows.
Each is paired with the regular resort of similar name, sharing services, restaurants, pools, transportation, etc., and having the same convenience and kid appeal as the regular resort.
Because the two sets of options at the Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge and Saratoga Springs are so different, for review purposes I count thirteen options among the Disney Vacation Club resorts at Walt Disney World.
The overall ranking among them for first time family visitors is as follows:
Theres variability within these overall rankings by room typeI cover the basics below, but click the links above for detailed reviews that will tell you exactly whats what.
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort
One of our last picks is the Port Orleans Resort. Both sides of it the French Quarter and Riverside begin at $243 a night. This is one of the most romantic, charming resorts youll find, but it has immersive theming too, making it a fun choice for both couples and children. Plus, it offers a variety of dining options and is pet friendly. And as a bonus: you’ll feel like you just stepped foot onto the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
Pros:boat transportation option, great theming for adults and kids without being overly cartoon focused, can access the pool and restaurants for either side of Port Orleans, moderate hotel with hot tub and water slides
Cons: large resort which means you may have to walk far to your room, no table service restaurant in the French Quarter
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Located in Orlando, FL
The spirit of the South Pacific beckons at this relaxing tropical paradise where you’ll be surrounded by lush landscaping, colorful birds, koi ponds and beautiful white-sand beaches. From moonlit nights on the torch-lined waterfront to the exotic tastes of world-class restaurants, Disneys Polynesian Villas & Bungalows at Disneys Polynesian Village Resort are a delightful oasis situated on the Seven Seas Lagoon across from Magic Kingdom. The tropical look and feel of each Villa is complimented by a modern style, creating a contemporary retreat reminiscent of the Pacific Islands.
How Much Does A Disney Vacation Club Membership Cost
One of the reasons that many people dont consider a Disney Vacation Club membership is because they assume that it will be too expensive. However, it is more affordable than they might think.
Like any real estate, specific properties are more valuable than others therefore, the points at one sometimes cost more than at another. For example, the Grand Floridian is Disneys flagship in Florida, so when they built villas and sold membership, it cost more than at Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa. Not only does it carry real and symbolic luxury, but the Grand Floridian is also in a better location.
When you buy into Disney Vacation Club, the actual value item youre purchasing is the vacation points themselves. You will pay a specific dollar amount for every point you buy. Currently, points start at just over $200 each. Since you have to buy at least 150 points to get in, your initial investment will be over $30,000.
Different factors can drive this price up. We already mentioned which resort you buy, and if you buy more than 150 points, youll pay more. There are other fees attached as well. Since this is a real estate transaction, you must pay closing costs, which Disney states start at $628. Disney offers a financing program for up to 10 years, and these costs roll into a single payment that includes monthly membership dues.
Best Disney Hotel For Little Kids
Animated movies spring to life at Disneys Art of Animation Resort, a value-priced resort with four different wings themed around The Lion King, Cars, Finding Nemo, and The Little Mermaid. Choose from standard rooms with two queen-size beds that sleep four, or family suites with two bathrooms, a kitchenette, and three separate sleeping areas that sleep six. The pool is always one of the most important features for little kids, and Disneys Art of Animations Big Blue Pool is the largest at any of the Disney World resort hotels.
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No: Disneys Wilderness Lodge
The all American rustic getaway with a magnificent, magnificent interior.
Relive being a kid at Disney with a stay here.
Wilderness is our personal fave Disney hotel.
Who wouldnt want to stay in this imposing hotel with spectacular architecture, nature views and the Silver Creek Springs pool?
But its also the place where you can find the answer to the popular question: What happens when you ask for ketchup at Whispering Canyon cafe?
Hint: Its a fabulous fun experience for the whole family!
Why Rent Dvs Points
DVC members have a certain amount of points they receive every year. Now if they dont use those points they will expire so they will lose out on their money. Their potential loss turns into our personal gain. The DVC members have the ability to sell these points for money so they will not lose them.
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A Home Base With Extra Space
Disney Vacation Club Villas offer many comforts of home.Aulani Resort and other Disney Vacation Club Resorts feature spacious Villas that are designed to comfortably accommodate a wide variety of party sizesfrom couples and solo travelers to families and groups of up to 12 Guests. Choose from 1-, 2- and 3-Bedroom Villas with outstanding features.
A little more than you need? Deluxe Studios sleep up to 4 or 5 Guests and include a kitchenettea great option for smaller travel parties and shorter stays.
No: Disneys Pop Century Resort
This Disney collection hotel is a fave of anyone who loves RETRO theming, nostalgic pop culture, cool hippy catch phrases, fonts, and graphics, and viral dance hits from Americas history.
Youll find lifesize decor of all the unforgettable fads and toys from the 1950s to 1990s including:
- The Jungle Book
- Big Wheel Junior ride on trikes
This is THE best hotel for kids at Disney world .
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No: Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
Sister hotel to the Dolphin.
This is one of the best Disney resorts for toddler-towing families, who are still in the toddler tantrum throwing phase, as its not one of the most popular resorts at Disney World, so you can be a little bit more incognito.
And the location of both Dolphin and Swan resorts at Walt Disney World are great for both Epcot and Disneys Hollywood Studio.
Hollywood Studios is just a Skyliner ride or 20 minute walk away!
Epcot is five minutes walk.
No: Disneys Polynesian Village Resort
Disneys Polynesian Village Resort is a Hawaiian themed resort for a fun holiday vibe.
These villas are the only rooms in WDW to sit on top of the water!
Its an island paradise with delicious Polynesian cocktails and South Pacific inspired cuisine, plus unique Polynesian shows!
Its on the monorail line for super easy access to Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
This is the best Disney resort for adults who want to imagine they are in Bora Bora!
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Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Located in Orlando, FL
Settle into a peaceful country retreat that pays homage to the historic spas and pampering atmosphere of America’s first grand resort destination in upstate New York. Relax and rejuvenate among dazzling fountains, lush gardens, recreation for the entire family and a nearby spa and fitness center.
Park Tickets & Annual Passes
These discounts can vary depending on limited time promotions, but DVC owners generally receive special rates on Annual Passes, Premium Annual Passes, and renewals. The same goes for special events at the parks, such as Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party, and Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party. Also, make sure you keep an eye out for the occasional special offers on park admission available exclusively to the DVC family!
Transportation DVC members get free parking on Disney property and may be eligible for up to a 20% discount on car rentals from Alamo.
Tours Ask about a 15% discount on tours of Disney property
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Choosing A Home Resort
The price per point varies across Disney Vacation Club resorts, and even though points can be used at any property, its important to give serious consideration up front to your home resort choice. DVC members can use their points to book stays at their home resort 11 months in advance and at any other DVC resort seven months in advance.
Popular weeks and room types do fill up at the 11-month window. So, if you have your heart set on, for example, a week at the Polynesian between Christmas and New Years every year, its unlikely youll be able to get the dates you want at the seven-month mark if you purchased at a different home resort.
If youre more flexible with your dates and where you stay, you can save a lot by purchasing at a lower price-per-point resort, booking your home resort as a backup at the 11-month mark, then trying your luck inside the seven-month window if youd like to stay elsewhere. We bought our primary contract at Disneys BoardWalk Villas, our favorite resort, to ensure we always have a room there during peak demand times when our kids are out of school.
We later bought a second, smaller contract at a lower price per point at Disneys Saratoga Springs Resort, and have used those points to stay in every single other Disney Vacation Club resort at Walt Disney World.
Value Hotels In Disneys Animal Kingdom Area
Need to find a budget Disney stay?
Round up enough dollars to book a Disney value hotel.
You will NEVER regret it.
They are the best Disney world resort hotels on a budget.
The three most important bonuses from a stay at a Disney Value hotel are:
- FREE Disney Shuttle buses to each theme park
- Atmosphere. The Disney Magic is alive and well here. Theres a non-stop buzz and its electrifying for kids and families.
- Extra fast passes, and the ability to book those fast passes months before your trip.
We recommend Disney All Star Resort.
This is the best place to stay in Disney world with toddlers if Contemporary is booked out.
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Villas At Wilderness Lodge
I love the ambiance of Wilderness Lodge at Christmas. Love actually might be too tame of a word. Looking at this photo takes me back to the night it was taken. Admittedly, I am biased towards Wilderness Lodge at Christmastime due to my own personal experiences there.
That said, objectively, Wilderness Lodge has great theming, great food, and is gorgeous at Christmas. The rooms were also recently refreshed, improving them and giving them a greater feel of luxury while still remaining on theme. And then theres Christmas at Wilderness Lodge. I think youd be hard-pressed to find someone who has stayed there around Christmas who doesnt absolutely love the place.
Note that we dont differentiate between Copper Creek and Boulder Ridge here as we dont see the differences being significant or outcome determinative, but you can read about the pros & cons of each in our Ultimate Guide to Disneys Wilderness Lodge.
What Is Disney Vacation Club
According to the Disney Company itself, Disney Vacation Club is a vacation timeshare program. Members buy into the club by purchasing a small percentage of ownership in one of Disney Vacation Clubs several resorts. This resort becomes the new members home resort, a term well use throughout this article.
When you initially buy into DVC, you purchase a specific number of vacation points that you can use each year. Well go into more detail about how to use the points below.
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Disney Vacation Club Three
Three-bedroom villas, also called grand villas, are the most spacious of the DVC rooms and consequently cost the most points. These rooms often sleep up to 12 guests in three different bedrooms and have four bathrooms. Theres a full kitchen and a spacious living room and dining room where a couch and banquet-style table are easily used by families.
These accommodations often have two levels, with one bedroom being on the bottom floor of the villa and the other two bedrooms being on the top floor accessible by an in-villa staircase or doors from the outside on the next floor of the building.
Value Hotels In Espn Wide World Of Sports Area
These two are slightly more expensive to book than the three value resorts at Disney mentioned above.
But really, making the choice between value resorts comes down to the fun theming or styling you prefer.
Both these resorts have a retro feel in common, with a nod to the fun past times and popular icons of mid-century too.
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Disney Vacation Club Two
Those traveling with a large group of extended family will want to consider a two-bedroom villa. The sleeping area consists of two closed-off bedrooms and a living room that has a sleeper sofa. Theres also a large full-sized kitchen and a spacious living room. These rooms also have two bathrooms and a washer and dryer for laundry.
Book Through A Dvc Member
This option is only a good choice if it is someone you know and trust. You will need to find someone who is a DVC member . If they have unused points you can have them book your vacation and you can pay them the cash value for the amount of point you use.
I had a friend who just had a baby and they were not going to be making it to Disney that year. Since she knew I was planning a vacation to Disney she offered that I could buy her point instead of her selling them online. This was a win-win for both of us since she wouldnt lose points and I would be able to stay at the Polynesian for the same cost as a moderate hotel.
She was able to put my dates into the DVC website to see what my options were. I was able to pick the hotel and dates I wanted. She didnt book through the website since this was her first time she was doing this. She called in and a cast member went through all the steps of the booking process with her to book it all in my name. But the person you are renting from, can book online or call in and then have the room booking in your name.
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Disneys Art Of Animation Resort
Disneys Art of Animation is the king of Value resorts at Disney World. Its the newest of the category and has a whole lot going for it. The experience isnt exactly the same as at our favorite Moderate and Deluxe resorts, but Art of Animation can easy on your pocketbook while still offering a good amount of magic.
The Art of Animation resort is filled with bright colors, memorable Disney cartoon characters and its now very accessible to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios thanks to the new Disney Skyliner gondola system.
The Art of Animation resort really shines with its family suites, which offer a lot more room and have three beds in each suite . The family suites have The Lion King,Cars and Finding Nemo themes, while standard rooms are Little Mermaid-themed.
The Big Blue Pool at Art of Animation is actually the largest hotel pool at any Disney World resort. Youll find your favorite Nemo characters hanging around and you can even enjoy underwater music as you swim.
The food here wont blow you away, but Landscape of Flavors is a reliable cafeteria-style venue.
Outside of Art of Animation, our best advice, if you are booking a value resort, is to pick one that has been recently renovated. It still may not be your most exciting hotel stay ever, but a new room is better than an old room. For example, TPGs Katie Genter recently stayed in All-Star Movies, which is pretty fresh off a new room look.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas At Jambo House
Located in Orlando, FL
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas welcomes its first Guests to superb new accommodations located at Jambo House, the existing Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge in the fall of 2007. At Jambo House you will enjoy amenities such as the stunning Uzima Pool and two popular restaurants, Boma Flavors of Africa and Jiko The Cooking Place.
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