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Old 03-25-2014, 03:49 PM   #1
cajunprincess
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Bad idea?

I've been a long time reader on the dvc boards, and I know the most common advice I see is to buy where you want to stay. I've always thought we would buy at BLT if we ever bought bc of the ease if getting to/from MK. We have a young son and plan to have more kids in the future so we will be spending the majority of our time at MK for several years. However, I also know DS LOVES animals so I could see us staying at AKL. Then also staying at BWV or BCV later on too. I'm wondering since we honestly like all of the resorts and would be ok staying at any of the resorts as long as we can be close to one park is the main idea. So would it be bad idea since we are flexible to buy at Saratoga? I know that it could mean us not being able to get other resorts since we couldn't book them as far out, but if we are more flexible, it seems like it could be worth the savings for us.

Also. If we did go this route, would be book at 11 months out with the hopes of getting a room elsewhere at 7 months or is that not possible?

TIA!
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:02 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by cajunprincess View Post
I've been a long time reader on the dvc boards, and I know the most common advice I see is to buy where you want to stay. I've always thought we would buy at BLT if we ever bought bc of the ease if getting to/from MK. We have a young son and plan to have more kids in the future so we will be spending the majority of our time at MK for several years. However, I also know DS LOVES animals so I could see us staying at AKL. Then also staying at BWV or BCV later on too. I'm wondering since we honestly like all of the resorts and would be ok staying at any of the resorts as long as we can be close to one park is the main idea. So would it be bad idea since we are flexible to buy at Saratoga? I know that it could mean us not being able to get other resorts since we couldn't book them as far out, but if we are more flexible, it seems like it could be worth the savings for us.

Also. If we did go this route, would be book at 11 months out with the hopes of getting a room elsewhere at 7 months or is that not possible?

TIA!
One of the immutable laws of owning DVC is realizing that your park habits will likely change over the years, and owning DVC is a long-term commitment to be sure. That aside, you said, "would be ok staying at any of the resorts as long as we can be close to one park." SSR is close to no parks. It is one of the better bargains as far as entering into the DVC market, and currently there is a fair amount of success in booking rooms at non-home resorts at the 7-month mark with some glaring exceptions: VWL during Christmas holiday season and BCV/BWV during Food & Wine to name just a couple. As Disney continues to aggressively fill the parks and their resorts by offering things like "free" dining and earlier access to FPs, there is a real likelihood that 7-month booking of non-home resorts will get more difficult. . .not impossible, but fraught with uncertainty.

Your best bet is to visit (if possible) as many resorts as you can before deciding which would be best for you. If that's not possible, conduct research on the specific pros and cons of each resort from the costs of owning (maintenance fees vary as do point costs/totals), to the proximity of any given resort to a park(s), to what each resort has to offer in terms of theming. In the end, as many will tell you on here, the only sure thing you are offered buying into DVC is the ability to book your home resort at 11 months. Thus, I always tell potential DVC owners to buy where you want to stay. Good luck!
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:04 PM   #3
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Yes, it is possible to own at SSR and get any of your other choices at 7 months. Some places will be harder than others at certain times but entirely do-able. Especially AKV. Unless you need the value rooms or Concierge you will have no trouble booking at 7 months.

At popular times I would suggest you book your home resort at 11 months and then try to move at 7 months. If you can't move at least you will have a place to stay. Then there is always the waitlist.
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:12 PM   #4
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It depends on you and your family. As long as you don't mind not always getting to stay where you want, having to do split stays and/or being flexible on your dates then owning at your favorite resort can be less important.

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Old 03-25-2014, 04:38 PM   #5
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My DH and I consider buying in at SSR.. We were planning on Doing EXACTLY what you are looking at..
Buy at SSR and the transfer at 7mo..

Our reasons we bought at AKL instead..
1. We want to be close to at least one park! SSR is only close to DTD
2. DD loves animals! This is her 1 choice if we were to let her choose where to stay.. And AK would be her 2 choice of parks..
3. SSR as lots of non-resort guest using their buses.. Since we don't rent a car, this was a biggie for us..
4. Altho we may never use it, having the option of the value studios might be nice. If DH and I did a trip for just the two of us.
(Never thought we would, but did it last DEC, and it was sooo fabulous and different not having the kids with us)
5. avatar land is due to open at AK in the next few.. According to the plans, the imagineers are working on some night time entertainment to help ease the other parks..


"Also as part of the expansion, Disney will introduce all-new entertainment experiences, including a new nighttime spectacular where live music, floating lanterns, water screens and animal imagery all combine for a show to end the day in Animal Kingdom."

With three new avatar movies being planned, and Disney adding on.. I think AKL will be difficult to get a room at 7mo. Once Disney opens avatar land..
So for us a few extra $$$ is worth for AKL vs. SSR Our contract was sent to ROFR yesterday! :fingers crossed:

Ps. I would read a few of the cons of each resort.. So you can see what you maybe dealing with.. I say the cons , b/c I feel everyone loves each resorts for different reasons.. But if you see cons you may not be able to deal with, that could make or break where you want to stay..
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:12 PM   #6
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Thanks for the help and advice. I will definitely take those into consideration. I don't think we would even mind staying at Saratoga springs if it came to it. I would love to try out several but I also want to start "getting our money worth out of it" if that makes sense.

Lots to continue to think about! Lol
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:17 PM   #7
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Honestly, with the maintenance fees and end year, I think BLT is a reasonable value at the current resale prices. I still recognize that SSR is cheaper in the long run, but only slightly so. With direct park access, I'd recommend BLT if that's important to you.
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:38 PM   #8
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I don't think we would even mind staying at Saratoga springs if it came to it. I would love to try out several but I also want to start "getting our money worth out of it" if that makes sense.
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Honestly, with the maintenance fees and end year, I think BLT is a reasonable value at the current resale prices. I still recognize that SSR is cheaper in the long run, but only slightly so. With direct park access, I'd recommend BLT if that's important to you.
Ironically the bulk of our points are at BLT and we honestly prefer SSR. And we don't have any points there. Who knew?? I honestly think your idea of buying at SSR even if you never intend to stay there is a good one. You could save $25/$30 per point just with the buy-in. Or you could get more points for the same money. You really would be getting the best bank for your buck.

Good luck with your decision!
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:16 AM   #9
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We bought in at VWL back in 2006 and have stayed at a DVC resort about 10 times since 2006...but never at our home resort !!! That's just how the vacations have worked out so far. I'm sure one of these years we will make it to VWL but we are very flexible in our WDW vacation plans so going during the off seasons is big for us so the 11 month booking window is not as important for us and that is the key...If you want to stay during the busier times of the year then buy where you want to stay.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:44 AM   #10
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We bought in at VWL back in 2006 and have stayed at a DVC resort about 10 times since 2006...but never at our home resort !!! That's just how the vacations have worked out so far. I'm sure one of these years we will make it to VWL but we are very flexible in our WDW vacation plans so going during the off seasons is big for us so the 11 month booking window is not as important for us and that is the key...If you want to stay during the busier times of the year then buy where you want to stay.
Yes, we are hoping to stay during the "off season" even though I know those are getting busier too.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:28 AM   #11
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On my 3 contracts the only one purchased where I was planning to stay was SSR. The other two were purchased soley on where I felt I was going to get the best bang for my buck thus I own at HHI and just waiting on my VB 250 point contract. I have never had an issue getting any of my choices at the 7 month window in 15+ years.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:33 AM   #12
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We have a young son and plan to have more kids in the future so we will be spending the majority of our time at MK for several years.
My youngest is 1. We may have another in 1-2 years, so that's at least 6-7 years with strollers. If you've ever been on a packed bus with a crying baby/toddler, while carrying a diaper bag and holding on to a stroller bc DH has to run ahead to get reservations or something else, then you'll want to buy at BLT or BWV/BCV.

You can split your purchase between a near park resort and SSR. It will guarantee you a room there until you figure out your travel schedules and when you can get a room at 7mons.

I would not bother with AKV. Standard rooms and Sav rooms are mostly available at 7 mons. I have yet to be able to book a value or concierge, having owned there for almost 3 years.
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:04 AM   #13
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I would not bother with AKV. Standard rooms and Sav rooms are mostly available at 7 mons. I have yet to be able to book a value or concierge, having owned there for almost 3 years.
There is value with AKV. The expiration is 2057. And if the addition of Avatar leads to expansions and activities at AKV, it'll be more sought after. AKV is so big, it's easy to find room availability.

With that, monorail is great for young children. The proximity of BLT, Wilderness Lodge, VGF, etc. provide a different kind of value.
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:09 PM   #14
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My youngest is 1. We may have another in 1-2 years, so that's at least 6-7 years with strollers. If you've ever been on a packed bus with a crying baby/toddler, while carrying a diaper bag and holding on to a stroller bc DH has to run ahead to get reservations or something else, then you'll want to buy at BLT or BWV/BCV. You can split your purchase between a near park resort and SSR. It will guarantee you a room there until you figure out your travel schedules and when you can get a room at 7mons. I would not bother with AKV. Standard rooms and Sav rooms are mostly available at 7 mons. I have yet to be able to book a value or concierge, having owned there for almost 3 years.
The OP was looking for a good bang for their buck, but wanted something close to at least one park..
BLT is reasonable, but not as good of a deal as SSR or AKL..
I think the only one that fits this is AKL..
SSR altho a few dollars cheaper Per point, is not located near a park.. And the contract ends sooner than AKL

For OP:
>>>>>> Also I wanted to add from my Reading of SSR you can be placed pretty far from the main lobby/busses/pool
The rooms are not all in one building.. But multi. Buildings across the grounds.. Like POR
With young children this should be something you may need to look at and compare AKL..

>>>>>>Take a look at what the pool areas have to offer... From my reading AKL has a wonderful kids splash zone. "Best at Disney" multiple people have posted!
I don't know what SSR has for little ones, but I heard they have a nice water slide for older kids.
Also SSR as a spa, which maybe nice when the kids are older and can be on there own!



I do agree that crowed busses with strollers can be hard.. But this will be true no matter where the OP buys.. They will have to be on a bus at some point..
Also at BVC and BW there are no busses that go to Epcot or HS (only boats) which can be really slow... With and older child of 6-7 and one in a stroller.. It is a pretty far walk for the 6-7 year old.. Trust me! My 7year old was pretty mad at us..
Trying to drag you older children after a long day at the parks back to the resort is no fun.. That walk from HS is over a 1/2 a mile
And line for the boats is over an hr wait most times after park closing..
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:22 PM   #15
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We bought at AKV in 2012. We've only stayed there once since we're working our way through all the DVC properties, but we are going back again in January. My kids are 4 and LOVE animals. They loved it there! I figured that we will really never have a big problem booking anywhere DVC since we are pretty flexible with dates. I also have friends with teenage kids who own and LOVE AKV because their kids aren't crazy into parks anymore, but still think the animals at the hotel are awesome!

We just came back from SSR and it was great!
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