In Orlando, all four of the Walt Disney World themeparks are now open. If you’re thinking about planning a visit, prices to stay at a Disney hotels might be even higher than you’ve experienced before the parks were shut down due to the novel coronavirus.
These are the Disney resorts that are currently open:
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Besides the Pop Century Resort and Fort Wilderness Campground, the other resorts are all part of the Disney Vacation Club (Disney’s version of a time share) or have a part of the resort dedicated to DVC. I’ll get back to this later but here’s a bit of our history with owning Disney Vacation Club.
My family, and now Sharon and I have owned a stake in DVC since 1992. That’s why we’re able to go to the DVC Moonlight Magic events they hold throughout the year.
Back when we both lived in the northeast, it was a great way to save money on our yearly and eventually twice a year trips to WDW. Now that we live within a 20-minute drive of the parks, there’s not much use for a room at Disney World. We tried to use our points when we visited Disneyland but the DVC there fills up before owners of other resorts get a chance at booking a room.
Over the years, Disney has devalued the use of DVC points to book sailings on the Disney Cruise Line or for trips with Adventures By Disney With us getting more points (which is the “currency” you use to book DVC rooms) every year than we’d use, we’ve taken to “renting out” our unused points.
There are several ways to do this but they all involve you making a reservation for someone else. You can make them for a family member, friend or co-worker, all of which I’ve done on a few occasions. There are also numerous groups where people match up on what feels like a DVC Craigslist, which is not for me.
Most of our rentals have been through a third party service. These businesses match up prospective Disney guests with people who have extra DVC points. They find availability, collect and pay out the money (minus their fees) and make sure things run smoothly. Sure, you don’t get as much for each point as if you did everything yourself but the peace of mind was worth a little less profit.
I’ve been quite happy with the service we’ve used throughout the years, The DVC Rental Store. Even if we weren’t able to use our DVC points, we were able to let other families stay at Disney for a fraction of the cost while getting cash we could use to pay for our other trips.
That was, until COVID-19. With a timeshare (and DVC in particular), you get an allotment of points every year that have to be used or banked. If you have any points left over at the end of your use year (based on the month of the contract you purchased), they’re gone.
If you had a reservation at Disney World at any time during the closure, those points were deposited back into your account. If your points would have expired during the closure, they were extended into 2021 but if your points were set to expire during the last part of 2020, you still need to use them or lose them.
This difficult situation is most likely the reason that the DVC resorts were the first of the Disney resorts to open. The longer they remained closed, the bigger of a problem all of those expiring points were going to be over the next year.
As an example, we had booked a reservation for guests to visit WDW in May, which obviously never happened. I received the points back in my account but I already had been paid for most of the booking when I made the reservation. The solution presented by DVC Rental Store was for me to make a booking for dates they’d provide and take place before my points would expire, which I did.
That means The DVC Rental Store is sitting on a load of open reservations with no guests to fill them. For you, it means that if you were going to come to Disney World anyway, this might be your only chance to stay at a Disney Vacation Club Resort for 50% to 75% off.
The reservations for the next few days or weeks have the biggest discounts. For example, you can stay for three nights at a studio with a lake view at the Polynesian Village Resort Villas for $1376.
Or 3 nights in a two-bedroom villa at the Grand Floridian Resort for $2250. A two-bedroom villa sleeps up to 9 people.
I’m not telling you to come and visit WDW right now because you can get a room for cheaper than usual. I’m not also going to tell you to stay home at all costs. You’re going to make that decision on your own.
If you are going to make a visit, there are some discounted prices available to stay at DVC resorts that you’ll probably never see again.
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary