No matter where you are in the world and where you are hoping to go, there is always a key factor when it comes to planning a vacation – the cost!
Any trip to Walt Disney World comes with a price tag and that can be one of the very first things to put a person off. From a British perspective, it isn’t just the cost of the hotel, food, theme park tickets et al. There is also the airfare, which can be a terrifying prospect all of its own.
Our reasons aren’t at all magical or pixie dust loaded (unlike the trip where we became DVC Members), but one of the key reasons that DVC works for us, is the financial savings.
Like any DVC owners, you buy into the club because you intend to visit a Disney resort frequently. That was certainly no different for us and I’d go so far as to say that for any Brit that has those intentions, DVC is totally worth a closer look and perhaps essential consideration.
Back when we purchased DVC we pulled together all of the calculations and came to the realisation that if we repeated the trip we were on (14 nights at All Stars Music Resort) eight times, we would have effectively spent the same amount as the DVC Membership offer in front of us. It is worth bearing in mind that our initial maths were all based on the value resort we were staying in at that exact moment. When we looked at the cost of a standard 14 nights at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, the number of visits required to ‘break even’ (excluding annual maintenance fees I hasten to add) dropped significantly, to just below three.
Being totally upfront and honest, I thought I would compare the cost of booking a vacation for the same period of our upcoming DVC reservation. Right now, the cost of booking at AKL (and not Kidani Village I must add), for 14-nights for myself, my husband and our 8-month-old daughter would be in the region of £5,700 ($7,300 based on current exchanges rates). Bearing in mind that is only the cost of the hotel, it is simply outside of our budget for a single trip. Even looking at one of the value resorts would be a tight squeeze. Disney’s All Stars Music Resort is currently selling at £1,790 ($2,310) which while possible, its still quite a chunk of cash, especially when you begin factoring in the flights, the park tickets and dining. Obviously, all of this is based on the current availability and I am aware that the impending opening of Galaxies Edge may be having an impact on both cost and availability but it really does put it all into perspective.
We always knew with 100% certainty that we wanted to return to Walt Disney World and that it would be as frequently as budgets would allow. DVC really opened up that possibility for us and gave us the added bonus that we would be staying in deluxe resorts rather than the value resorts. In addition, we had the same conviction about visiting other Disney Resorts around the world, starting with California. Having the flexibility with points to chose various locations around the world really appealed to us.
A smaller, yet still important reason that DVC works for us, is the booking windows. You may hear many people baulk at the notion of booking a vacation 11 months out, but generally speaking, even outside of DVC, if we are booking a 2-week vacation, over in the United States, it has to be planned that far out. We most definitely would not book flights without having accommodation booked but we like to book flights as soon as they are released to get the best price. The DVC booking window works in our favour here, although less so if we were to chose to stay at a different resort from our ‘home’ Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village.
Don’t get me wrong, we do find ourselves coming across some challenges with DVC, but that is another topic for another time. Ultimately, DVC has given us the ability to revisit our favourite place on Earth far more frequently and in far more wonderful accommodation than we can have ever dreamed of and for us, that is more than enough.