During our most recent trip to Walt Disney World, Amy and I finally had the opportunity to visit the Disney Vacation Club Preview Center at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa. To many, including our guide, it all probably looked a little strange. Here were two current DVC owners walking into the preview center to purchase another contract (thanks add-on-itis) who called after the fact to see if they could still do a tour. Looking back on it now, I can see where it was a bit odd, but we still had fun!
Our journey began earlier that same day when we peeked our heads into the preview center at Disney’s BoardWalk Villas. Touring a 1-bedroom accommodation, we quickly confirmed what we already knew: we were adding more points! Although we attempted to begin this process with the cast member showing the room, we were surprisingly given a lecture on the many reasons NOT to buy points at the BoardWalk. Perhaps we didn’t make it clear enough that we were current owners looking to purchase a small add-on contract. Nonetheless, we thanked her for her time and went back to our room to call our DVC Guide – Gib McCain.
One hour later, we were loaded into a van and on our way to the official preview center for a small tour and to sign paperwork. I tried to take in the experience as if I were a guest experiencing Disney Vacation Club for the first time. With that attitude in mind, the van ride already began to set the tone towards why you needed DVC in your life. Our driver talked about how he has been a member since the beginning, owning a large contract at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. Conversation then turned to the newer resorts and although he would not admit to it, I swear the van slowed down a little as we cruised by the site of Disney’s Riviera Resort which is scheduled to open December 2019.
Upon our arrival, we were each given a nametag and invited to enjoy the amenities being offered until they were ready for us. The nametag is a small subtlety that should not be overlooked. Each cast member we encountered while at the preview center made the experience feel more personal by addressing us using our first name. Although a small detail, it made it seem as if you knew them for years and that you truly were ‘home’.
The front lobby is what I quickly dubbed as the “Ode to Riviera”. A large beautiful picture of the resorts concept art hits you in the face as you walk through the door. To someone not already familiar with the resort, this is likely breathtaking. Also on display is a preview of some Riviera merchandise that can be purchased at the nearby Saratoga Springs gift shop as well as armchairs and other furniture styled to the European theming of the resort.
The waiting area also featured a wide variety of snacks and refreshments for guests to enjoy. These include a selection of pastries, fruit, coffee, and everyone’s favorite, POG juice!
Once we finished signing paperwork for our new contract, we were escorted to the DVC model villas located in a building adjacent to the preview center. The foyer of this building features a full model of Disney’s Riviera Resort, as well as various pictures of other Disney Vacation Club properties. Since we were not on an official tour, we were encouraged to spend as much time as we would like exploring the various rooms available for preview. Although we focused our personal attention to Disney’s Riviera Resort, model rooms for Aulani and Copper Creek were also on display. We were blown away by the beauty and elegance of the Riviera model rooms and can’t wait to stay there someday.
Here is a great overview video of the Riviera models on display:
Ending our time at the preview center, we were brought back to the main building and taken to a room I honestly never knew existed. Despite all my reading and writing about Disney Vacation Club, I somehow missed the fact that the cherry on top of your preview center experience was FREE ICE CREAM! At that moment, as I sat enjoying my ice cream, I’m fairly certain they could’ve talked me into another add-on contract (…don’t tell Amy). Once finished, we were asked where we would like to go and whisked away in a van just as another pulled in to begin their DVC adventure.
Regardless of when and where you purchased your Disney Vacation Club contract, I would highly recommend that all members pay a visit to the preview center at least once. Be warned, however, that you may end up leaving with some additional points and free ice cream!
Have you visited the DVC Preview Center? Would love to hear about your experience in the comments below!
4 thoughts on “Visiting The DVC Preview Center”
When we visited they also gave us three fast passes per guest at a park of our course, did you also get this offered or have they stopped this now?
Since we visited for an add-on contract and we were already owners we were not offered any Fastpasses.
We recently did an unofficial tour as well. In April we finally decided to take the plunge and purchase at Copper Creek before the June 1 price increase (we’d pretty much decided on CCV some time before that). However, there ended up being a bit of a hiccup – we live in Delaware, and it turns out that Disney only registered to sell timeshares in DE but not to do lending. Because of this, they could not legally mail us the paperwork to sign. Since we already had a trip planned in August though, our guide got approval from some managers to hold the contract for 4 months until we came down (anyone can sign a contract on-site). To add some additional wrinkles, our contract got re-written 2 different times (3 contracts so we’re now on our 3rd Member ID as a result) – we purchased a fixed week and they initially changed our Use Year from December, which was what they were selling to new members at the time, to October since our fixed week sometimes overlaps November/December. Then the contract had to be re-written again for final signing since it had been so long between the deposit and finally signing it (they also had to do a second credit pull since the first one expired).
Since we were going to just sign out contract, our meeting was with a Quality Assurance Manager from the start – no one in sales. We only had to wait a few minutes after getting there to start our meeting. When we arrived, they had us put all of our stuff in an area near the room we’d be using (basically letting us use the adjacent room), since we were starting our main stay that day at Yacht Club, but we came in the night before and rented a room at SSR by renting discounted points. We usually try to come in the afternoon/night before our main trip and get a cheap room on property so we can start our trip off with a full day that morning and already are on property. As such, we had all of our suitcases with us. We probably could have had them come pick us up from our room over by the Paddock area, but we decided we were fine just walking over to the Preview Center with our stuff.
We arrived and took our kids (7 and 5) to the kids center where they watch them, have a whole play area, even did an art project. It’s almost like a day-care type setting, and there’s a check-in process with signing forms, checking ID, authorizing who can pick them back up (which requires another ID check). That was great and made things a lot easier. They even had to come grab us at one point because of a minor issue (our son’s tooth was loose and started bleeding some – he ended up losing the tooth a couple days later and still received his Tooth Fairy gift – but we told him that Tinker Bell fills in for the Tooth Fairy when you lose a tooth at Disney!).
For us, the whole process took some time because of the contract re-write, a slight issue with getting our stuff switched over to the new Member ID since we had already booked trips using our points, but we had no complaints with it at all. We even had a bit of a laugh when we had an issue with our call to Member Services since the person we got was unpleasant, unhelpful, and snippy – not a good idea when they’ve already been told we were sitting in the Preview Center with Quality Assurance. He took the phone, and quickly after talking to her, did as was discussed in this week’s Dis episode and hung up and called someone else – I believe a supervisor or manager with Member Services. He also filled her in on the first Cast Member’s attitude – rather amusing overall.
When we finished, we asked if we could see the model rooms, since we were curious about Riviera (already had 4 nights booked there for February, but still wanted to see it). He took us over there himself to show us. Then we also got to see the Copper Creek rooms, since we’ve only been in the hotel side of Wilderness and since we were now owners of Copper Creek. It was a nice, informal tour. Until reading this, I didn’t realize there were Aulani rooms – we would’ve taken a look at those too! Interestingly, I believe they were already working on Reflections rooms – they were working on the room area and building something across the hall from the Copper Creek rooms.
After all this – we then found out about the ice cream!!! We didn’t know about this either. We picked up our kids (smooth process again) and went over. Even though we were told in advance since we were already buying we wouldn’t get FastPasses since we weren’t doing a tour, we were taken over and still given a set of FPs. We were actually told that since we were staying in a Deluxe resort, we would be getting 4 FPs, but only 3 ended up on our account, and we did not follow up about it or complain – we were just happy to get the 3 since we weren’t expecting it.
Overall, while we didn’t go through the tour and sales process others go through (we did walk by and see the rooms where they did the sales), we thought it was a great experience and very impressive.
We purchased at Riviera a while back but were at WDW this past week so we asked about seeing the model again at the resort we were staying at. They arranged our transportation and said that they do tours for members at 2:00 and 3:00. We arrived and were promptly greeted. Everyone was very friendly. A guide came out and took us over to see the model and walked us through them. She answered all of our questions and made a it a great experience.
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