Exterior Paneling Removed Amidst Construction On The Villas At Disneys Grand Floridian Resort
The Villas at Disneys Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is being expanded to include new Disney Vacation Club Resort Studios. Construction began on March 1 and we last checked in on March 13. Lets see how things are coming along.
Construction work can be seen at both ends of this building.
Scaffolding, and a white tarp, are visible from across the lagoon on this end.
The staircase on the other end is surrounded by construction walls.
Paneling around the staircase has been removed.
Staircases at the Grand Floridian are usually partially enclosed with white paneling that matches the buildings exterior walls.
The metal of the staircase structure is currently exposed.
Construction walls extend around the trees in front of the building.
From the pool area, we could see more scaffolding and tarps on the side of the building.
The tarps dont entirely cover the scaffolding, but we didnt see crew members during this visit.
Scaffolding surrounds much of the Big Pine Key building.
Construction walls separate it from guest access.
Construction materials were sitting on the highest level of scaffolding.
Net fencing is along the edge of the lagoon.
Some red roof paneling has been removed, exposing the black sheathing underneath.
The Resort Studio rooms start at 16 Disney Vacation Club points per night and go all the way up to 55 points per night, depending on view and season. This pricing aligns with Deluxe Studios at the Villas at Disneys Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
Disneys Animal Kingdom Villas Jambo House
Disneys Animal Kingdom Lodge is a popular resort broken up into two sections Jambo House and Kidani Village. Jambo house is the main lodge where the beautiful lobby is. Kidani Village is a short bus ride away and is all DVC Villas. Animal Kingdom Lodge is a popular place to stay because of the on-site savanna with animal viewing. I meanwho wouldnt want to have their morning coffee while watching the sun rise with some giraffes?
We stayed in a three-bedroom Deluxe Grand Villa inside Jambo house and it was the height of Disney luxury. This is how I imagine celebrities and the ultra rich must experience Disney World. The Deluxe Grand Villas have three bedrooms, one master suite with a king-sized bed and two smaller bedrooms with two queen beds each. The couch in the living room also makes a bed. There were two separate balconies overlooking the savanna, a full kitchen, dining room and game room with a pool table. There were four bathrooms an en suite for each bedroom plus a hall bathroom you can use without having to go into anyones bedroom. Everything was exquisitely themed, from the wall art to the tiles in the shower.
How To Decide If Disney Vacation Club Is Worth It To Join
First and foremost, the biggest factor when it comes to deciding is Disney Vacation Club worth it for your family is the cost. DVC is quite expensive, and requires a lot of money upfront. It is a timeshare after all, and you own a piece of property. This requires a down payment, potential monthly payments, annual maintenance fees, and the overall price is similar to the cost of a new car.
You also have to think about how often your family likes to go to Disney World or would be willing to go to other locations owned by Disney. Your membership guarantees you a trip every year, or you have the ability to bank your points for a bigger trip down the road, or even borrow from the next year for a big trip this year.
If you do decide to go every year, you have to think about whether that is cost effective or not. Travel, tickets to get into the park, and food/merchandise costs still need to be considered.
Also, your points expire after 50 years. You have to make sure you get enough trips in to break even, go at least once a year every year for 50 years, and, if going for 50 years isnt going to be possible, you can leave your Disney Vacation Club to someone else.
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What If I Have A Set Budget To Stay Under
If you know how much money you are willing to spend on your Disney vacation, a spot for that number is already built in for you!
At the top of the spreadsheet, simply put in the budget youve decided you feel comfortable with. For example, lets say youve determined that $4000 is the max amount you want to spend on the trip.
Simply input $4000 into the spot labeled My Budget. This amount is now factored into every single Disney World trip cost calculator you see on the page.
At this point, go about adding in the amounts you are researching for resort, tickets and so on. As you plug those numbers in, IT DOES THE MATH FOR YOU! You can see in real time the total cost of the trip so far and the amount of your budget you have left.
This is so useful to help make sure you dont accidentally go over budget on your spending.
Membership Has An End Date
Even though youre technically buying real estate there is a date your membership will expire. The person who sold us our membership explained this really well and it will be in your contract that you sign. The length of our contract is 50 years and there are provisions that allow us to transfer or will our membership to our children or mention it in our wills.
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Can You Get Out Of A Vacation Club Contract
Most, if not all, contracts include a termination clause. Some call it dispute resolution, rescission period, and other legal mumbo-jumbo. Now, we all known that such contract is eligible for resale or transfer. Another feasible way to cancel a contract with your vacation club carrier is to sell or give it away.
How Can I Save Money
Buying a Disney timeshare used is going to potentially save you more than 50 percent on your purchase. If you are heavily considering this club, consider going the used route.
Be sure to crunch the numbers ahead of time. As long as you think you are going to be able to take full advantage year after year, it may be worth the investment. However, not taking advantage of the opportunities provided by the Disney Vacation Club will result in wasted money.
- If you cannot afford the costs up front, Disney does offer low-cost financing options for up to ten years.
- If youre questioning if its worth it, here are a few questions to ask yourself first: Do I need to take out a loan? Will you visit at least once a year for the next 10 years? As long as you think you can come out ahead by doing the math, then it may be a decent investment however, if youre questioning it, youre better off reserving a room as you please without any monthly maintenance commitments.
- The DVC does offer financing options in one, three, five, seven and 10-year increments.
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Youll Be Assigned A Home Resort
Youll likely have some options on choosing what resort you want to call home. We had the choice between Copper Creek at Disneys Wilderness Resort Canyon and Aulani in Hawaii . We chose Copper Creek. On our 2020 Disney Cruise, prospective DVC members were being offered the choice between the new Riviera Resort and Aulani. You have to pick from what they give youyou cant just randomly decide you want to call Animal Kingdom Lodge home.
If youd like to stay at other properties besides your home resort, you can. The rules for making reservations are different. You can make reservations at your home resort up to 11 months in advance. If you want to make reservations at any other DVC resort, its seven months. These time standards are no joke. We were able to reserve at our home resort right at the 11-month mark but when we tried to book a room four months in advance, we had trouble finding anything and ending up having to split our stay between two different properties.
How Much Do Disney Vacation Club Weeks Cost /worth It
I am toying with the idea of bankrupting myself with a DVC purchase. I know the prices must vary according to time of year and size of condo but am unsure exactly what a basic week would cost. The web site is a bit confusing and non-committal.
Does anyone have one of these? Are they good value? Are there ongoing maintenance costs like timeshares? Ups and downs? Are they Chav free? Any comments gratefully received, thanks.
I own DVC and am glad I do. As you note, the number of required points vary depending upon accomdations and season. For example, a two bedroom unit at one of the Disney World resorts is about 30-40 points per night for Sunday through Thursday. Friday and Saturday nights are significantly more costly at 60-75 points per night. The costs for a studio are 12-14 per night for Sunday through Thursday nights and 22-32 points each for Friday and Saturday nights.
There are yearly dues that are in the range of $3-$4 per point. My dues for 200 points at Wilderness lodge run $75 or so a month.
DVC works out great for us. We, like many others only stay Sunday to Thursday to maximize our points.
There is too much information for me to give you here. I would suggest you go to the DVC discussion groups at www.disboards.com where you can learn everything you want to know.
I am so glad people who actually own time shares are happy with them.
And I’d be happier with one at disney than anywhere else.
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Benefits Of Dvc Membership
DVC Member Services is awesome. They offer vacation planning assistance if you need it, to include help with flights, car rentals, room requests and priority seating for meals. I consider myself as very knowledgeable on all things Disney but the DVC Members Services peeps know way more than I do and theyre able to answer questions or make suggestions that can help me plan my best trip.
You can also arrange for groceries to be delivered to your room via Member Services, although in this day and age, most people use Shipt, Instacart, or Amazon. Ordering through the DVC gets your food IN to your room. Ordering through other delivery services get your food to the concierge and you have to arrange for them to deliver itwhich isnt a difficult process at all. Still, if you want to walk into your room and have milk in your fridge, as a DVC member, you can.
One of the things I love most is having a full kitchen. Now, I dont love the idea of cooking on vacation. However, its nice to be able to make sandwiches and simple breakfasts. We also love doing things like baking cookies or making popcorn on vacation.
What Are The Extra Costs
As stated above, annual fees will have to be paid to keep the membership active. These fees will be around $75 per month. Effectively, its best to budget $5 to $7 per point in mainteannce expenses, paid whether you visit or not.
If you purchase used or new, closing costs will be involved which can cost anywhere from $500 to $900.
Rooms booked during peak times and weekends can often cost up to 40 percent more in points. Also, the larger the room is, the more points it will require. For example, a studio will cost one-third of what a three-bedroom villa would cost.
If your membership does not have enough points, you can add more on throughout the year.
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Resale Or Direct From Disney
Generally only the newest resorts are available for immediate purchase directly through Disney. You can ask Disney to put you on a waiting list to purchase the other resorts, though they are supposedly sold out. If Disney exercises its right of first refusal on a resale, or it gets back points through foreclosure, it will turn around and sell those points at current full market rates to the next person on the waiting list. For popular, small resorts like Beach Club or Grand Californian, the waiting lists can stretch for several years. For bigger resorts like Saratoga Springs, you may be able to get points immediately or within a few weeks or months.
If you just want to buy into DVC as quickly as possible so you can start using it right away, buying direct from Disney is usually the best bet. You can usually complete the transaction instantly if youre already at Walt Disney World, and even over the phone it usually only takes a day or two to purchase a contract. Disney expedites the deed recording process and you can usually get a reservation as soon as you sign the paperwork, even before the deed is officially recorded with the state.
Best Candidates For Dvc Membership
DVC membership might make sense if you meet most or all of these criteria:
- You have the cash in hand to pay all of the upfront costs of membership without borrowing.
- The cost of dues does not appear to present a financial hardship based on your current expectations.
- You vacation at Walt Disney World, Disneyland and/or Disneys beach resorts frequently: ideally at least once every two years.
- You plan to continue staying at DVC resorts far enough into the future to make the membership at least break even.
- You prefer to stay in Deluxe or DVC accommodations and/or you stay a long time .
- You are able to plan your vacations well in advance ideally 7 to 11 months out.
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Do I Have To Visit Disney Every Year To Make It Worth It
When people are determining if the Disney Vacation Club is worth it, they always ask me, Do I have to visit Disney Every Year? The answer is a definitive no. You do not have to visit Disney every year to make your Disney Vacation Club Worth it.
There are several options you can utilize if you are planning on having a non-Disney Vacation year?
1) You can bank your points to use the next year. Even if you have only a few points left over from your current year, you can bank them for the next year.
2) My favorite Method You can rent your points through a service like Davids Vacation Rentals and make money off your Disney timeshare. In fact, you actually can make a bit of a profit off it. The company pays $14.50 per point and since dues are around $7, you can make a little extra money to pay off that timeshare. The points typically rent very fast since it is Disney, usually within a month.
3) You can use them at one of the thousands of other timeshares around the world.
If you are planning on only doing a Disney trip once every few years, the Disney Vacation Club is still worth it, because you can bank your points or rent them out and use that money for another vacation. Now, if you are only going to Disney once or twice in 10-15 years, then I would pass.
Scenario 2 A Flexible Couple
- Travel Party of 2
- Love staying at Disneys Deluxe Resorts
- Can travel anytime throughout the year, often in early December time frame
- Want to be close to the Theme Parks
Next, lets do a fairly different example: say your travel party is you and your partner, and your jobs are pretty flexible you can basically travel whenever you want. You prefer to stay in deluxe resorts and enjoy walkability to the theme parks. lets take a look at what we consider one of the best times to head down to Walt Disney World: early December.
If you wait until after Thanksgiving but before Christmas the crowds are going to be low, but the parks will be all lit up in their holiday magic! Because you like quick access to theme parks, lets do comparison within the Beach Club, which is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from EPCOT, and also you can walk to Hollywood Studios. Plus who doesnt love the Stormalong Bay pool complex?
One week in a hotel room at the Beach Club resort in early December with a water view room will cost you around $5,800 this year. Standard view rooms typically cost $100 less per night than a water view room, so if you were to book a standard view room instead the total cost for that would be around $5,000. Lets use the lower cost of these two view options.
Room Rate: $731.57 per night x 7 nights
At the Beach Club Villas, which will comfortably accommodate two of you, it will cost 107 points for a week in early December.
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Disneys Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Like Key West, Saratoga Springs is an all-DVC property. The themeing is inspired by the Saratoga Springs in New York famous for horse racing. One of my favorite things about this resort is the artwork in the lobby of all the different horses that have been featured in Disney movies over the years.
What we liked best about Saratoga Springs is the pools. There are five pools total and two of these are feature pools with great waterslides, whirlpools and available poolside dining. My advice for anyone booking at Saratoga Springs is to check out where your villa is located on a map and see where you are in relation to pools and the bus stops. We had very long treks to get from our villa to the pools and the bus stops. If you have very young kids or any mobility issues, the amount of walking you have to do to navigate the resort might be a detractor.
Both Key West and Saratoga Springs are larger resorts. I mention this because if you want to book last-minute trips, youre likely to find availability at one of these two properties because there are more villas in these two resorts.