If you are currently planning a trip to Walt Disney World and are wanting to stay at a non-home resort, chances are you already know the date of when that booking window opens. You have an alarm set before 8:00 A.M. to make that reservation. But what happens if the room you are wanting isn’t available? You can feel defeated, like the dream Disney trip you envisioned is somehow turning into a Disney nightmare (which really, is that even possible??).
You may have spent endless hours stalking the website daily for availability leading up to the day. You were probably tempted to “walk the reservation.” You also may have even browsed the DVC Store website to see if you could close on a contract at the resort you want just to book at 11 months.
I will be the first one to admit that I have been in this situation a couple times before, and I am guilty of doing all of the above. I own at great resorts, but I want to experience all that DVC has to offer, just like we all do! Here are some tips you can utilize when booking a non-home resort vacation at the 7-month mark.
Booking at Your Home Resort at 11 Months
Doing this confirms that you will at least be able to stay on property during the dates you want. You can then change your reservation once the 7-month booking window opens at your desired resort. If there is no availability, you can go ahead and waitlist at that resort without worrying about not being able to stay in a DVC Resort. Don’t miss out on the magic!
The process of waitlisting seems very grueling. You are just impatiently waiting to see if you will get the notification that it has gone through for your desired resort. You usually will know by 30 days out if your waitlist has gone through, but there is an option to keep it active until a week out from your trip. I have read mixed comments on how people did or didn’t have a waitlist go through. There is no guarantee, unfortunately, but may the odds be in your favor!
Having a Back-Up Resort
When booking a resort, you want to take in the time of year you are going. The availability may be slim to none at Beach Club or Boardwalk during Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival due to the proximity of the resorts to International Gateway. There is no problem waitlisting these resorts during that time, but booking at another DVC resort will still allow you to enjoy your Disney trip. If you just put all your marbles into the waitlist, you may not be able to use your DVC points to stay on property.
Willing to Adjust Your Trip
For this coming October, I planned a trip with one of my longtime childhood friends and her family. With a total of 7 people, the room choices included booking 2 studios or a 2-bedroom villa. With her children in mind, we wanted to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge, which we do not own. The day before I could make reservations, all the studios had been booked and there were limited days for a 2 bedroom villa. Ultimately we decided to adjust the dates of our trip and booked an available 2 bedroom villa.
Walking a Reservation
This process consists of modifying your reservation until the dates of the reservation match up with your desired travel dates. I question how fair this is and do not agree with this process, but there is no rule set by DVC about doing it.
With the stress and frustrations that the 7-month booking window can bring, this just reinforces the statement of buying points at the resorts you want to stay at. Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips or strategies on booking a non-home resort at 7 months!
DVC Member Since 2017
Polynesian & Riviera
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