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Old 08-08-2013, 09:03 PM   #16
PlutoFan10
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We have 2 home resorts -- BLT and BCV. We have always loved stays at Epcot resort area (feels like home) and selected BCV to have SAB available. Both of our home resorts allow us walking access to a park, which was important to us. With your kids small, it's hard to say what the future will bring in terms of resort choice, so consider what the adults like, too. We are empty nesters, but our son usually meets us at WDW for each of our stays.
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:26 PM   #17
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The original purchase was "the only choice", i.e. all Disney was selling. So Boardwalk. In the end, it was good luck. We love having an Epcot area resort and while everyone seems to love BCV, we really prefer BWV. The restaurants and activity along the Boardwalk is more preferred (in our minds) to a sand bottomed pool.

My favorite resort of all time was Contemporary, so BLT was a logical add-on when the time came.

1) Buy where you want to stay. As more owners come on line the popular resorts will only be more difficult to get at 7 months.

Yup, that's pretty much it.
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:31 AM   #18
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We are a family of 5, and until 2007, the only way to sleep 5 in one accomodation was a 2Bedroom - way more points than we wanted to purchase. Then along came AKV with their sleeper chair and 5 could sleep in a 1 Bedroom (yes I know NOW that DVC would have let us sleep 5 in other 1 bedrooms but I am generally a rule follower - so I wasn't going to make a big financial commitment based on not following the rules). So we bought into AKV - and honestly if that was the only place we could stay - I'd be fine with that. We eventually added on more points at AKV and then purchased points at SSR - when the THV were declared. We bought the SSR points because it was simply a deal we couldn't pass on!

Oh and now my family usually gets a 2 Bedroom Villa.
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:52 AM   #19
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We bought AKV because it is the one resort the whole family love. We discovered we also love being on the monorail so I am toying with an add on at either BLT or VGF. We also want to visit the west coast sometimes so we added on at VGC. Everything we really want can be booked at 11 months once I do my last add on hopefully this month.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:05 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minniesgal View Post
We bought AKV because it is the one resort the whole family love. We discovered we also love being on the monorail so I am toying with an add on at either BLT or VGF. We also want to visit the west coast sometimes so we added on at VGC. Everything we really want can be booked at 11 months once I do my last add on hopefully this month.
just to clarify this type of comment for the n00bies reading along:

if you own 200 AKV pts and add-on a 50 pt BLT contract and want to book BLT at 11 months out, you can only use pts from the BLT contract - it's like you don't even have any AKV pts (when trying to book BLT) until you get to the 7 month window.

now you can bank and borrow from your BLT contract to get 150 pts every 3 years (50 banked BLT pts + 50 current BLT pts + 50 borrowed BLT pts = up to 150 BLT pts.) you can even transfer in more BLT pts from another BLT owner to use at the 11 month window, but you have to have BLT pts.

but there are always people who get confused and assume that if you add-on at BLT, then you can use your other resort's points at BLT at 11 months out, which is not the case. put another way: it is the points that have the home resort priority, not the owner.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:08 AM   #21
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There are essentially 6 criteria (that I can think of) to consider when selecting a home resort. These are:
  1. Location of the Resort
  2. 7 Month Booking Availability
  3. Length of Contract
  4. Maintenance Fees
  5. Price per Point
  6. Aesthetics of the Resort

For us, we bought into BLT by considering these criteria.
  1. MK is our favorite park, so we love to be within walking distance of it.
  2. We bought before BLT opened, so we were anticipating that it would be popular. Also it is smaller than many of the other resorts.
  3. We wanted a "full" (50 years) contract. Since DD has an intellectual disability, we do not anticipate her "growing out of" Disney.
  4. BLT still has the lowest maintenance fees even though it is going up at a faster rate than the other resorts. Granted, you do need more points (on average) for your stays, so this probably balances out.
  5. At the time we bought, BLT was selling at the same price as other resorts and it was only $20 pp more than most of the resale contracts.
  6. Not a huge concern for us, but to tell you the truth, we love the Aesthetics of BLT. I know it is not everyone's "cup of tea", but we tend to prefer "boutique" hotels and BLT has that kind of feel to it.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:20 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalee94 View Post
if you own 200 AKV pts and add-on a 50 pt BLT contract and want to book BLT at 11 months out, you can only use pts from the BLT contract - it's like you don't even have any AKV pts (when trying to book BLT) until you get to the 7 month window.
Good thinking to add this!

Not sure if my experience will help you decide as my thinking process is crazy. Our initial purchase was BWV because that's what's available and DH & I love BW. Then we had kids. DS loved AK and animals so last year we added on AKV - for the concierge rooms (when kids are old enough to go on the safari) and Savannah views during peak.

This year we started looking at BLT, then resale prices went up and VGF opened. I added on at VGF - for me. Still looking for a BLT, but considering SSR as well (kids would love the treehouse when older).

As I finished planning our 2013 and started on 2014, I realized DS will be starting school next year! We usually go around Thanksgiving or the week after. Thanksgiving trips end up longer because we try to fly off-peak for cheaper tickets. So either way he'd miss 5-6 days of school. We also like to go in early May, but that will have to change.

My current points allow for roughly the 2 weeks. If we were to change to Spring break or Christmas break, I'd have enough for almost 1 week. If we were to change to late August (right before school starts) it would give me 1 full week plus some leftover.

And in case no one has mentioned it, with DVC you're more likely to upgrade and book the bigger rooms. We went to a 1bd with a baby to 2bd when #2 came along.
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:49 AM   #23
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We used to follow the whole Buy where you want to stay but now I really don't worry about it. I can pretty much stay anywhere I want without an issue. We have a BCV trip coming up in a few days and we own at HH and AKV.

But we don't care where we stay (other than OKW which I really don't like) I can pretty much get something at the 7 month mark especially as DVC keeps building more options.
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:10 AM   #24
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When we bought OKW and BWV were the only two onsite choices. We did not like BWV and loved OKW, so OKW. Now, we look forward to the OKW Retirement Village. Nothing like sitting on the porch (a real one, not a little ledge) and watching time go by (and a few golfers or boats).

We also own VWL because we used to live in Montana and loved going to Yellowstone and Glacier.

We have no desire to use our points at VB (did that once, beach isn't good), Aulani (no need to go to Hawaii) or HHI. And I can get a one bedroom at OKW for the price of a studio at GFV.
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:53 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slakk View Post
We used to follow the whole Buy where you want to stay but now I really don't worry about it. I can pretty much stay anywhere I want without an issue. We have a BCV trip coming up in a few days and we own at HH and AKV.

But we don't care where we stay (other than OKW which I really don't like) I can pretty much get something at the 7 month mark especially as DVC keeps building more options.
"If pretty much stay anywhere" is acceptable then you can roll the dice and buy anywhere. If you want to guarantee your resort and room category, buy where you love to stay. It all depends on what your preferences are.

We find that booking is becoming more of a challenge as additional owners are added to the system, especially with so many buying at resorts where they never intend to stay and with people owning at Aulani, HH, VB, and VGC staying at WDW resorts. As long as WDW resort owners keep booking at non WDW resorts the system will be in balance.

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Old 08-09-2013, 12:32 PM   #26
DrewJB
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Originally Posted by ssawka View Post
There are essentially 6 criteria (that I can think of) to consider when selecting a home resort. These are:
  1. Location of the Resort
  2. 7 Month Booking Availability
  3. Length of Contract
  4. Maintenance Fees
  5. Price per Point
  6. Aesthetics of the Resort

For us, we bought into BLT by considering these criteria.
  1. MK is our favorite park, so we love to be within walking distance of it.
  2. We bought before BLT opened, so we were anticipating that it would be popular. Also it is smaller than many of the other resorts.
  3. We wanted a "full" (50 years) contract. Since DD has an intellectual disability, we do not anticipate her "growing out of" Disney.
  4. BLT still has the lowest maintenance fees even though it is going up at a faster rate than the other resorts. Granted, you do need more points (on average) for your stays, so this probably balances out.
  5. At the time we bought, BLT was selling at the same price as other resorts and it was only $20 pp more than most of the resale contracts.
  6. Not a huge concern for us, but to tell you the truth, we love the Aesthetics of BLT. I know it is not everyone's "cup of tea", but we tend to prefer "boutique" hotels and BLT has that kind of feel to it.
This almost exactly matches everything I looked at in choosing BLT. I spent several months researching and came to all the same conclusions.

1. MK is our favorite as well and we have a one year old daughter and may be adding to the family soon. It was easy to see in our last trip how convenient a resort within walking distance to that park would be for the next several years.
2. BLT is one of those resorts that because of its location and access to a monorail - will likely always have more people looking to stay there than rooms that are available. My wife is a school teacher so we are stuck traveling mostly at peak times. Buying where we wanted to stay was the only real option for us.
3. This is easy to ignore, but is probably the most important factor in terms of the value in your purchase. This is what made the biggest difference between buying at BLT or an Epcot resort.
4. MFs played into the decision, but really the only resort ruled out because of MFs was Vero Beach. Over time that would be the most expensive place to own at.
5. Our BLT contract's asking price was the almost the same price as what BCV is selling for (which would be our preferred of the Epcot resorts - but expires EIGHTEEN years earlier!). Given that the only other monorail option is $150 pp direct through Disney at GFV it was a pretty easy choice.
6. LOVE the BLT decor. It is my third favorite at WDW (slightly behind AKV and GFV). Many people feel it is lacking in a Disney feel, but I disagree. I love the "boutique" feel of it and I actually find the decor of most of the DVC resorts to just be boring. Many of them simply feel too much like a typical hotel room.
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:40 PM   #27
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6. LOVE the BLT decor. It is my third favorite at WDW (slightly behind AKV and GFV). Many people feel it is lacking in a Disney feel, but I disagree. I love the "boutique" feel of it and I actually find the decor of most of the DVC resorts to just be boring. Many of them simply feel too much like a typical hotel room.
I agree! We stayed at SSR for one night this summer and I said to DW that I could barely tell the difference in decor between it and BCV. IMHO, Disney overdid the Victorian design. All of those resorts look the same to me!
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:53 PM   #28
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A "planner" family will want to select their favorite resort so they can have the 11 month booking. That makes home resort much more important than a "whatever/whenever" type family.

We just put in an offer for BLT resale. I considered size of resort and the possibility of where else we would stay. In the end. I am kinda "goofy" of that Castle. My kids, being 11 and 8, will soon be "over" the castle and we will spend more time on the monorail and the buses. But here was the thing, BLT is on the monorail, has one of the best views and we loved the style of the Contemporary when we stayed there. I like VWL and VGF, and I can see staying near Epcot. In the end, I felt like BLT was the best for the reasons I stated and share most of what PP have said.

HTH.
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:11 PM   #29
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You will often find us at our local tiki bars & I have hula lessons weekly - we were married on Maui, part of our honeymoon at Aulani, and have always loved the Poly but could never afford it (without having an aneurism over the opportunity cost that is). Love the themeing, love that there is the monorail right there, love the restaurants, love that it is on the lagoon with the little ferries, etc etc. Now that there are strong rumors that it is going in, we are saving our money. We have always rented points up until now so we wouldn't have to be locked in anywhere, but I know I would be happy there so I can't wait.
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:51 PM   #30
bisney
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We have a young family and are quite happy to stay at SSR (our home resort) if we can't book a reservation at another DVC location.

Currently there is no DVC property at WDW that we feel like we HAVE to stay at in order to have a magical vacation. So buying at SSR made the most sense for us as 1) lower PP buy in, 2) stable MFs and 3) relatively long expiry date.

With a young family, I anticipate that our preferences will change over time. We'll stay at AKV while the kids are little. When they get a bit older, we may prefer BCV for the pool or BLT for the proximity to MK. When they're teens, we may prefer SSR or OKV for DD. And when the kids are grown, my wife and I may prefer BWV or BCV for Epcot (our favourite park). I'm sure that we'll make a trip to Hawaii or California sometime as well. So "buy where you want to stay" doesn't apply to us as where we want to stay will change with time. Also, my wife and I like seeing different sights so staying at different DVC resorts was a key selling feature for us.
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