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Old 11-17-2012, 10:49 PM   #1
Kwaschitz
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How important is the 11 month window?

All of our trips have been in early December, October/early November, or post-spring break/pre-summer which are typically in either Adventure, Choice or Magic seasons and that is unlikely to ever change (I have an aversion to Florida summers, the crowds of Spring Break, and being away from home on major holidays lol)

We know right now that we are going to go either in the fall or winter next year, but even if we wanted October, we don't feel that we'd be ready to book now, 11 months out - my husband has a lot of work travel and because it's partially his company, he doesn't get "vacations" in the same way that he would if he were an employee.

Given that it would be rare for us to know for sure 11 months out and that we travel during times that are less in demand, I was thinking it wouldn't so much matter where our home resort is allowing us to get more points at a lower price.

But is that a safe scenario? If we bought at one of the lower buy-in resorts but then had enough points for a stay at BLT (where my husband wants to stay - he's obsessed with the monorail) ... would we have a hard time at the 7 month window? Or, even at our home resort would it be tough to get in 6-7 months out (which is typically when we can get his schedule firmed up enough to book)
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:20 PM   #2
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To get almost anything at BLT standard view you usually need the 11 window. You could get lucky and get something at 7 months at slower times. We own there and have only stayed there once so far and had to get that at 11 months but I was able to snag a studio for 2 nights 2 months out.

I think that you wouldn't have any trouble at 6 or 7 months at AKV, OKW or SSR.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:50 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kwaschitz View Post
All of our trips have been in early December
early dec might be THE busiest season for DVC bookings.

Quote:
October/early November
food and wine at epcot makes BCV and BWV a tough get during this period.

Quote:
post-spring break/pre-summer
this period is less competitive at this point. things may change in the future.

Quote:
Given that it would be rare for us to know for sure 11 months out and that we travel during times that are less in demand, I was thinking it wouldn't so much matter where our home resort is allowing us to get more points at a lower price.
some are luckier than others at the 7 month window - for many, it means learning to love SSR, OKW and AKV (the largest resorts).

Quote:
If we bought at one of the lower buy-in resorts but then had enough points for a stay at BLT (where my husband wants to stay - he's obsessed with the monorail) ... would we have a hard time at the 7 month window?
if you want BLT on a regular basis, i'd recommend that you buy in there. lake view at BLT is not impossible but might be tougher in periods like early december.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:55 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kwaschitz View Post
If we bought at one of the lower buy-in resorts but then had enough points for a stay at BLT (where my husband wants to stay - he's obsessed with the monorail) ... would we have a hard time at the 7 month window? Or, even at our home resort would it be tough to get in 6-7 months out (which is typically when we can get his schedule firmed up enough to book)
If you aren't able to make reservations until 6-7 months prior to your stay, there would be no reason to buy a particular resort since at seven months out, all points are equal regardless of home resort. Purchasing the resort based on price and annual fees makes sense in your situation.

The possible downside is of course that you may not always be successful booking your favorite resorts at seven months out. But as long as you can be satisfied at whichever resort you can get into, it should work out.

Good luck!
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:50 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Kwaschitz View Post
All of our trips have been in early December, October/early November, or post-spring break/pre-summer which are typically in either Adventure, Choice or Magic seasons and that is unlikely to ever change (I have an aversion to Florida summers, the crowds of Spring Break, and being away from home on major holidays lol)

We know right now that we are going to go either in the fall or winter next year, but even if we wanted October, we don't feel that we'd be ready to book now, 11 months out - my husband has a lot of work travel and because it's partially his company, he doesn't get "vacations" in the same way that he would if he were an employee.

Given that it would be rare for us to know for sure 11 months out and that we travel during times that are less in demand, I was thinking it wouldn't so much matter where our home resort is allowing us to get more points at a lower price.

But is that a safe scenario? If we bought at one of the lower buy-in resorts but then had enough points for a stay at BLT (where my husband wants to stay - he's obsessed with the monorail) ... would we have a hard time at the 7 month window? Or, even at our home resort would it be tough to get in 6-7 months out (which is typically when we can get his schedule firmed up enough to book)
As posted, you likely should not buy DVC OR you should adjust your standards for the times you listed. As noted, early Dec will likely require the 11 month window to book high demand resorts and you may have to book 11 months out, or close to it, to get that time at all. Your Oct/Nov time will fall directly within the Food and Wine festival. For the other time, it really depends on when you can go. If you're not locked in to school calendar's and can travel May, EARLY June, Sept, Jan; then you'll likely be fine for that portion.

I understand not being able to completely commit but one can plan and still have options. If you can estimate when you want and book it (no penalties currently for canceling), that may help you plan at 11 months. If not, it's questionable whether you should buy in unless you resign yourself to staying anywhere you can get a reservation, usually OKW or SSR if you plan after 7 months. If the monorail is important and buying in does end up being a good choice for you, you could consider waiting on the Grand Floridian which should start selling in the next few months, I'm guessing March or April.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:19 AM   #6
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I must admit, we are in the same situation (11 month window not going to work and hate crowds) and just purchased (at least through ROFR, but not yet closed), 400 pts at SSR. We love Disney and so do our children (16&18) - we've been there every year - even before they were born. My understanding is the studios and the standard views are the first to go. Since I don't want either of those (even if we travel without the kids), I bought enough points (at a cheap resort) to give us flexibility on the type of room we stay in. Oh, and we're gamblers at heart. Hope it works!

Good Luck to you!
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:22 AM   #7
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I must admit, we are in the same situation (11 month window not going to work and hate crowds) and just purchased (at least through ROFR, but not yet closed), 400 pts at SSR. We love Disney and so do our children (16&18) - we've been there every year - even before they were born. My understanding is the studios and the standard views are the first to go. Since I don't want either of those (even if we travel without the kids), I bought enough points (at a cheap resort) to give us flexibility on the type of room we stay in. Oh, and we're gamblers at heart. Hope it works!
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Love your plan!!
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Disneymagicforme View Post
I must admit, we are in the same situation (11 month window not going to work and hate crowds) and just purchased (at least through ROFR, but not yet closed), 400 pts at SSR. We love Disney and so do our children (16&18) - we've been there every year - even before they were born. My understanding is the studios and the standard views are the first to go. Since I don't want either of those (even if we travel without the kids), I bought enough points (at a cheap resort) to give us flexibility on the type of room we stay in. Oh, and we're gamblers at heart. Hope it works!

Good Luck to you!
Hopefully you won't want an Epcot resort in Oct or Nov since they are nearly impossible to get at 7 months out for a full week. We tried for a BCV one bedroom (usually easier than a studio or two bedroom) at exactly 7 months out for mid-Oct (after the holiday and before Halloween) and couldn't get seven nights together. We were lucky to get BLT, but a few days later wouldn't have been able to get that either.
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:26 PM   #9
Kwaschitz
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I honestly hadn't thought about Food & Wine making it more difficult to get reservations around our son's birthday. (I blame my cold medications for my stupidity...I'll come up with a different excuse next time I miss something to obvious!)

Is it mostly studios that are harder to reserve at 7 months? What about larger units?

My hope was that we would be able to have more flexibility/spontaneity in our planning with DVC, but from what I'm hearing, that wouldn't really be the case - while we might save some money on our trips if we can't actually get a reservation it wouldn't be worth it.
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kwaschitz View Post
I honestly hadn't thought about Food & Wine making it more difficult to get reservations around our son's birthday. (I blame my cold medications for my stupidity...I'll come up with a different excuse next time I miss something to obvious!)

Is it mostly studios that are harder to reserve at 7 months? What about larger units?
DVC busy times can be different from crowded times in the parks. The fall from late September through Marathon week in January is an extraordinarily busy time at DVC. The holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years) will typically require booking as close to your 11-month window as possible. Early December has become that way, as well (mainly because the parks are less crowded and the point costs are less than Christmas week).

Food and Wine is also extremely popular for DVCers (especially the Epcot resorts). And the Halloween parties (late September-early November) and Christmas parties (Mid-November to late December) make BLT and WL very popular during that time as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kwaschitz View Post
My hope was that we would be able to have more flexibility/spontaneity in our planning with DVC, but from what I'm hearing, that wouldn't really be the case - while we might save some money on our trips if we can't actually get a reservation it wouldn't be worth it.
One thing you may need to wrap your head around is that timeshares in general (not just Disney) require longer-range planning than booking a resort room. So spontaneity just isn't something that will work very often in DVC. Are there times when people are able to nab a reservation a couple of months out? Sure. But I wouldn't buy in if you think you'd have to wait that long to make reservations.

I think you may be a little spooked by the responses you've gotten on this thread when it comes to what is typically available at seven months. Most of the time you will be able to get a reservation at seven months, but which resort reservation you're able to get at seven months will be dictated by the time of year. If you find yourself booking at seven months or less consistently, you should probably learn t love OKW, SSR and AKV. And if that's the case, I wouldn't buy in at one of the more expensive resorts (because you wouldn't be taking full advantage of the home-resort window.)

You have to have a tough conversation with yourself and your family about how you feel about the various DVC resorts. Will you be disappointed if you don't get to stay at BWV, BCV, WLV or BLT? It is a tough conversation to have (especially when dealing with prices as big as DVC). For myself and my fiance, we knew we wanted to stay in the Epcot area for Food and Wine and we also love the Contemporary, so we bought at BWV and BLT. It gave us piece of mind that we would love our home resorts enough, that if we attempted to change at seven months and couldn't, we'd still love our vacations. Every family is different.

Sorry to be so long-winded, hope this helps!
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kwaschitz View Post
I honestly hadn't thought about Food & Wine making it more difficult to get reservations around our son's birthday. (I blame my cold medications for my stupidity...I'll come up with a different excuse next time I miss something to obvious!)

Is it mostly studios that are harder to reserve at 7 months? What about larger units?

My hope was that we would be able to have more flexibility/spontaneity in our planning with DVC, but from what I'm hearing, that wouldn't really be the case - while we might save some money on our trips if we can't actually get a reservation it wouldn't be worth it.
People will want to go for the studio before the one bedroom because they sleep about the same number, but the studio is about half the points. They go for a two bedroom for the larger number of sleeping spaces.

So one bedrooms probably go last.

We're planning Nov 2013 right now and will be booking that in Dec. May/June trips we might not need to book so far out.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kwaschitz View Post
I honestly hadn't thought about Food & Wine making it more difficult to get reservations around our son's birthday. (I blame my cold medications for my stupidity...I'll come up with a different excuse next time I miss something to obvious!)

Is it mostly studios that are harder to reserve at 7 months? What about larger units?

My hope was that we would be able to have more flexibility/spontaneity in our planning with DVC, but from what I'm hearing, that wouldn't really be the case - while we might save some money on our trips if we can't actually get a reservation it wouldn't be worth it.
IMO, if one can't plan at least 7 months out (and 10-11 months for some time like early Dec), they shouldn't buy into DVC. That's not to say some haven't been successful under 7 months, just that the benefits don't warrant the risks. IMO, there are no exceptions to that dictum as a reasonable choice at the present time. Even for 7 months planning, you have to be willing to accept any resort available and often a 1 BR. What you can't do is expect to get BWV, BCV, BLT, VWL during the highest demand times, especially for standard views, Boardwalk view, value rooms, concierge rooms or the 2 Queen 2 BR at BCV or a 3 BR about any time. The same applies to VB and HH for certain times of the year. Again, some have been on the other side of this recommendation and some have successfully gotten some of the exclusions at times. None of that changes my thoughts or what I feel are reasonable choices.

Having said that, I think many who buy in expecting to plan 7 months out or less end up doing a better job of planning when they get into the system.
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:14 PM   #13
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As already mentioned, if you don't see yourself booking more than 7 months out, home resort becomes a non-issue.

However, if you know you will want to plan those early December trips regularly, you can always book at 11 months when you hope to go and then at the time you shore up your dates, call and change things if the dates you thought were not the ones you need. It would put you in no different of a position than just waiting, unless, of course, you would have to borrow points to do this.

IMO, if your husband knows he wants BLT then, you really should consider buying there because you may find that your needs and situation changes and using home resort advantage will be possible.

We spent more to own there because we knew we would be disappointed elsewhere and didn't want to chance it. We also knew we could book 11 months in advance for most of the trips so that helps.

But, I agree with others that if you buy elsewhere, you have to be comfortable with staying elsewhere. Nothing is ever impossible but as mentioned, most of your travel times are busy DVC times and they will really require a lot of flexibility in terms of resort choice if you choose to buy.

Good luck!
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:18 PM   #14
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Disney adds around 800 new contracts/members per month or 9600 per year. This decreases the odds of getting the accommodations you want.

In addition, the busy times are spreading out to be most of the year. Disney is really good at creating special events in addition to existing holidays and vacation periods already popular with Disney Guests.

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Old 11-18-2012, 04:36 PM   #15
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Here's a suggestion, take it for what it's worth... Why not rent points for the next couple of trips to see what the availability is when you can typically plan a trip? That way there's no commitment beyond each trip and you can see what is available for your seven-month window.
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