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Old 04-01-2014, 09:11 AM   #1
GFShelley
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New DVC member - Questions, please help!

We just purchased our first DVC! I'm so excited. We live close to WDW but opted to buy Aulani for the 11 month booking privileges. We plan to go to Aulani every other year and hopefully rotate HHI or Vero and of course, WDW for the "off" year.

Has anyone visited Aulani? And other Orlando DVC members?

I keep reading booking is tough but I was able to get Memorial weekend at BW, 4th of July & Labor Day at BLT, and my husband's birthday at AKL. Did I just get lucky? Booking weekends here and there are important to me and I keep reading it's tough. Can someone explain what the issue is so I can learn more?

Thanks!!!!
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:54 AM   #2
nalajms
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Not sure when your DH's birthday is, but the other times are considered low season for DVC.
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Originally Posted by drusba View Post
DVC at WDW currently has two main demand seasons: about mid-Jan to near end of Sep, which is DVC's lower demand season during which you can usually get rooms at 7 months out at near park resorts and not just SSR, OKW and AKV except for certain "usual suspects" for which room demand is usually high for a limited number of rooms: BWV standard and boardwalk view, BLT standard view, AKV club level and value rooms, VGF studios, and during some holiday times BCV and BLT theme park view. In fact, the time during that about nine month period with the highest demand and biggest risk of not getting a near park resort is the weekend in the latter part of Feb when they have the Princess half marathon. Spring break weeks including the Easter weeks are actually among the easier times to get a near park resort at 7 months out.

The higher DVC demand season at WDW is currently end of Sep through marathon weekend in Jan during which it can be difficult and at times impossible to get a near park resort and even AKV and OKW may sometimes have a risk of being difficult first and second week of Dec, Christmas week, Columbus Day weekend and the weekend after it, few days around Thanksgiving and Veterans Day weekend. Thus far, SSR has always been open at 7 months out except that grand villas and treehouses are sometimes gone during very high demand times. Note that 1BRs are usually the last to reserve and even during that high demand season, you may find them at 7 months out at near park resorts when nothing else is open.

And it's much easier to book a few days here and there, versus a full week.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:10 AM   #3
disneynutz


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Quote:
Originally Posted by GFShelley View Post
We just purchased our first DVC! I'm so excited. We live close to WDW but opted to buy Aulani for the 11 month booking privileges. We plan to go to Aulani every other year and hopefully rotate HHI or Vero and of course, WDW for the "off" year.

Has anyone visited Aulani? And other Orlando DVC members?

I keep reading booking is tough but I was able to get Memorial weekend at BW, 4th of July & Labor Day at BLT, and my husband's birthday at AKL. Did I just get lucky? Booking weekends here and there are important to me and I keep reading it's tough. Can someone explain what the issue is so I can learn more?

Thanks!!!!
The best test is for you to check availability for yourself. Past availability patterns do not necessarily tell you what will happen in the future. A lot of things can change over the years. The events that create some of the booking times now didn't exist 10 to 20 years ago and you just bought a 50 year contract.

Bill
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GFShelley View Post
Booking weekends here and there are important to me and I keep reading it's tough.
booking weekends should be relatively easy, as weekend nights are often more expensive than weeknights. some people still mostly focus on booking just Sun-Thursday stays to save pts.

i would still recommend booking right at the 7 month window to be safe but i expect you'd have a lot of options for the Fri-Sat parts of your stays.
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:15 AM   #5
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Local here. Have been a DVC member since '93.
There are currently considered two seasons for availability:
High Season - Mid-Sept through Mid-Jan
Less High Season - Mid-Jan through Mid-Sept except for around holidays
Very few times have I not been able to find a night or two available at one of the DVC resorts at WDW, at any time of the year. You just have to be willing to accept the limitations, of maybe not getting what you want when booking late but I choose to look at it like, hey, I am going to WDW, no matter where I am staying.
DW and I several times have been at DTD for the day and decided we wanted to stay the night. Called the resorts directly (back before MS was open on Sundays) or MS and checked in within 15 minutes. Yes, last minute reservations are possible.
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:42 AM   #6
GFShelley
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Thanks for your thoughts! So far, I'm really pleased. I just hope to continue with the booking luck. One reservation at a time, right?
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by GFShelley View Post
One reservation at a time, right?
WHAT!
I have booked already for the next 11 months trips in May(DVC & DCL), July, 2 in Sept, Nov, Dec, and Feb.
You need to be looking at least two - three years down the road to make the most/best use of points. Already planning points usage out to May of 2016 for a 30th anniversary DCL.
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Old 04-06-2014, 06:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GFShelley View Post
We just purchased our first DVC! I'm so excited. We live close to WDW but opted to buy Aulani for the 11 month booking privileges. We plan to go to Aulani every other year and hopefully rotate HHI or Vero and of course, WDW for the "off" year.

Has anyone visited Aulani? And other Orlando DVC members?

I keep reading booking is tough but I was able to get Memorial weekend at BW, 4th of July & Labor Day at BLT, and my husband's birthday at AKL. Did I just get lucky? Booking weekends here and there are important to me and I keep reading it's tough. Can someone explain what the issue is so I can learn more?

Thanks!!!!
Weekends and 2 or 3 night stays tend to be much easier that 4D+ if wanting to stay at the smaller venues.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:00 PM   #9
DVCTiff

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Aulani owners here!

We last went to Aulani on our SSR points, but then we added on when we were there bc my DH had a CM discount. Alas, he's no longer with Disney (they're actually not a fantastic company to work for. Shockers). However, we leave for our second trip to Aulani on our points tomorrow. It's absolutely GORGEOUS. One of the nicest resorts I've ever been to in my life. And it makes much more sense for us now since we live on the West Coast.

Now, for you guys it's a long trip. I also wish I'd factored the higher dues in and maybe used my DH's CM discount for another WDW DVC and just traded in to Aulani. To remedy that feeling, I think we're going to try to book at Christmas next trip to really take advantage of the 11 mos window.

Hope you get there soon! Enjoy!
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