There’s one thing I will never get tired of hearing when I go to Disney and that is “Welcome Home.” We are Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members so we always stay at one of the resorts on Disney property. As a DVC member, there are a lot of things you get used to and that is always finding a welcoming staff at the resort when you arrive. You’re every need is attended to with professionalism and courtesy. That is one reason we keep going back.
I remember the first time we stayed on a Disney property. Our kids were still young, about 12 and 10 years old. We had been to Disney a few times and always stayed in hotels in the area. One time we ended up staying in a hotel that was about 10-12 miles away to save money. That was the pits. We would go to the theme parks all day, then fight traffic to get out to the main highway and then drive several miles to get back to the hotel. Those days were in the rear-view mirror once we stayed at one of the resorts for the first time. I believe it was in 2000 that we decided to stay at one of the resorts. We had saved our money for vacation and decided we’d try the Wilderness Lodge. We fell in love with that resort and after spending several days there we vowed we would never stay in a hotel off Disney property again. The convenience of staying on a Disney property coupled with the ambiance, the recreational opportunities at the resort and the closeness to the parks kept us coming back to the resorts. That year was probably one of our most memorable trips because our kids were at the age where we could do a lot more things with them and we loved being so close to the parks.
Fast forward a few years and we decided to become DVC members. We had visited Disney several times and stayed at one of the resorts each time. We had not heard of the Disney Vacation Club but one day we were walking through the resort and one of the cast members at the resort asked us if we would like some information about DVC. We weren’t sure what it was, but we took the information and when we returned to our room, we looked at the brochure and wondered more about it. We decided to make an appointment to take a tour. They schedule a time that is convenient for you and your family. They send a cast member and van to pick you up. A cast member shows you through a model room of the specific resort they are working on at the time – for us, it was Bay Lake Towers and then the Polynesian huts (we took a second bite a few years later). The DVC staff explains the costs associated with being a member and you decide what is best for you and your family. I think the lowest you can purchase is 50 points but don’t quote me on that. Find out for sure from your DVC representative. With those points, you reserve a room at any of the participating resorts. We found it helpful to have 500 points because we try to go to Disney once or twice a year.
In 2008, we decided to become DVC members and have enjoyed years of fun, excitement, special memories and more with our family. We have taken our children, our siblings and our parents to Disney and all stayed in a specific room with enough space for everyone. There are studio apartment sized rooms, one bedroom, two bedroom, and even three-bedroom apartment sized rooms. Each room has a fully functional kitchen and depending on how big it is, has one to three bathrooms.
What to Expect as a DVC Member
When you become a member of DVC you decide on how many points you’d like for the year. In 2008, my husband and I decided we wanted to have 500 points because we live in Alaska and we wanted the option to come down to Disney a couple of times a year. I can’t tell you what that equated to in price because the prices change over time. For us though it was very manageable and worth every penny. If you have ever stayed at one of the resorts you know that each room is a specific rate per night, just like a hotel room. If you multiply that rate by five to ten days you are spending a wad of cash for the room for the week and that’s fine if you are only going to Disney one time in several years but if you want the option to go once or twice a year it definitely adds up. With the DVC program, you make monthly payments toward your timeshare and eventually it is paid off. In fact, we just paid off our first purchase this past February. We no longer have any monthly payments but still, have our monthly dues that are ongoing. Talk to your DVC representative and let them explain this to you in more detail. So now when we use our points our accommodations are taken care of. We just need to schedule the dates we would like to stay and choose the resort where we want to stay.
Benefits of Staying at a Disney Resort
Staying at a Disney resort is so much more convenient and there is so much to do. Each resort has recreational opportunities such as swimming, basketball, pool or billiards, air hockey, and most resorts have an arcade where the kids can hang out. Most of the resorts have movie nights for the kids too. This was a lot of fun when our kids were smaller. There are spas and golf courses, and mini-golf courses close by. Some of the resorts are close enough to the parks to walk to or you can take a bus, which is just a few steps away from your door. Most, if not all, the resorts have a restaurant and/or café. Some even have more than one. The food is exquisite everywhere you go whether you are in the Disney parks or staying at a resort.
Each resort has a theme. There is the Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Wilderness Lodge, Saratoga Springs, Key West, and more. One of our favorite things to do is to go resort hopping.
When you are planning to go to Disney for a visit make sure to call the Disney Vacation Club and schedule a tour with them to see what you are missing out on. If you decide that DVC is for you and your family, you won’t be disappointed. We love it!!
Enjoy Your Disney Trip!