The Disney Vacation Club (“DVC”) Resorts at Walt Disney World
OVERVIEW: THE DISNEY VACATION CLUB RESORTS
The Disney Vacation Club (“DVC”) Resorts at Walt Disney World are time-share resorts whose rooms can also be reserved by anyone like any other Disney World resort hotel rooms.
Moreover, the rooms at these resorts can also be gained (usually at a huge cost saving) by privately renting “points” from Disney Vacation Club members on websites like SellMyTimeshareNOW.com, a sponsor of this site. See this for how.
For most first time family visitors, the Disney Vacation Club Resorts are worth considering only under a few circumstances:
- Large families—especially those aimed at a Deluxe property—who are not willing to bet on actually getting connecting rooms. (You can request connecting rooms at WDW, but getting them is not guaranteed.) See this for more on large families. “Villas” which can sleep 8, 9 and 12 people are available.
- Families aimed at a deluxe hotel, but who can only pull it off through the cost savings of renting DVC points. See this for more on renting DVC points
- Families who for one reason or another have targeted a resort with which a DVC property is paired, find it is sold out, but can get into the DVC resort
- People who already are DVC owners
For other first-time visitors looking for deluxe lodging, the Polynesian remains the best choice. No DVC property has the combination of kid appeal and convenience that the Polynesian presents.
THE DISNEY VACATION CLUB RESORTS
There are currently 7 DVC resorts at Walt Disney World.
DVC Resorts include five paired with regular resorts, and two standalone DVC resorts.
The paired resorts are the Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort, the Animal Kingdom (Lodge) Villas, the Beach Club Villas, and the Boardwalk Villas, each paired with the regular resort of similar name, sharing services, restaurants, pools, transportation, etc., and having the same convenience and kid appeal as the regular resort.
Because the two sets of resorts at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and Saratoga Springs are so different, for review and ranking purposes I count a total of nine resorts.
Their overall ranking for first time family visitors is as follows:
- The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas–Jambo House
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas–Kidani Village
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s Boardwalk Villas
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa, main resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort, Treehouse Villas area
There’s variability within these overall rankings by room type–click the reviews themselves for what’s what.
DVC RESORT ROOM OPTIONS: STUDIOS THROUGH GRAND VILLAS
All DVC resorts have three room types: Studios, One Bedroom Villas, and Two Bedroom Villas.
In addition, most DVC resorts also have a fourth room type, Grand Villas (the Villas at the Wilderness Lodge and the Beach Club Villas do not have Grand Villas).
The Treehouses section at Saratoga Springs offers a unique fifth room type, a three bedroom layout that sleeps 9.
Studio rooms sleep 4 (either in two queens, or a queen and a couch that folds out into a full size bed) and are similar to regular deluxe hotel rooms with the exception of having a microwave and (usually) a little more space. For first time family visitors they are without merit except under two circumstances:
- as a backup means of getting into a resort whose normal rooms are sold out, or
- for getting a major price break compared to the regular rooms at that resort by successfully renting points from a DVC member to pay for the room.
This material continues here.