Today, I’m happy to have a guest post by a fellow b5media Travel Channel blogger, Apryl Chapman Thomas. If you don’t already read Apryl’s blog, Southern Byways, then you’re missing out! Without further ado, here is Apryl’s guest post.
We did it.
We are now officially a part of the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) family. Honestly, this is something I didn’t think we would ever do. My husband wasn’t a big fan of being locked into vacationing at one place, but over the years had a change of heart. We have always been big Disney people. We head to Orlando at least three times a year, maybe more. So after taking a look at our vacationing patterns and realizing what’s being built next to the Contemporary Resort (yes, you know, what no one remotely connected to the property can talk about – wink, wink), becoming a member of DVC made sense for us. We bought into the Beach Club Villas (EPCOT resorts) and haven’t been disappointed.
However, it doesn’t make sense for everyone. DVC is a rather large investment, perhaps maybe not the best words to hear right now in these unusual economic times, and for many, it’ll pay for itself overtime. Now, truthfully when my husband talked about doing this, my first reaction wasn’t jumping up and down for joy. I was happy, but cautious; that is, until I thought about the pros and cons. So, if you’re on the fence of whether to become a member or not, do what I did – make a list. I’ve included some of my pros and cons on becoming a DVC member.
- The Room/Space in the Villa: I love my family, but there are times that we need to have our own areas. Now this is impossible in a hotel room, but not with the DVC’s Villas. Even the one-bedrooms are a little larger than your typical hotel rooms. Also included is a kitchen/sink area and in the larger Villas, a washer/dryer unit.
- The Extras: I’m the nerd who works on vacation and I must have my Internet. Yes, I part with a good chunk of my money on every trip I take for internet service, but not anymore on Disney properties. The internet is free for DVC members. There are a number of discounts and perks available with your DVC membership. The discounts may seem small – you know, 10 percent here or so much off here, but can add up over time. And speaking of adding up over time…
- Ownership is Cost Effective: If you find yourself visiting the Mouse’s House over two times a year and staying on property, you know DVC just might be for you. The best thing to do is one night at home, sit down and make a list of all your expenses that you incur when staying at one of the resort hotels and compare it to DVC’s benefits and price. You might be surprised.
- Plan Ahead: If you are the type that thrive on planning last minute vacations, the DVC isn’t for you. No, with this you need to plan a little further out. Well, actually a lot further out. To get the room what you want, when you want it, you need to make reservations at your home resort (the one you bought into when you became a member) 11 months in advance. Want to stay somewhere else? Need to make those reservations seven months in advance. Thinking about going during the peak seasons? Your best bet is sticking with your home resort and calling for space.
- Point Limitations: While you can use your points for non-Disney vacations, you are rather limited. When you buy into the DVC club, make sure that you really want to stay at Disney.
Apryl Chapman Thomas is the author of Southern Byways. When she isn’t spending time in Walt Disney World, she’s vacationing around the South and beyond.
Image: Apryl Chapman Thomas