Booking Day Woes

The lucrative 11-month window should give you peace of mind. A couple of weeks ago, this was not the case for me. Imagine, you go on the DVC website knowing that you will score that room you have been thinking about booking for a couple of months now. You login in and search your selected dates right at 8:00 AM. Time seems to go by like molasses as you sit and wait (praying that the seven dwarfs don’t appear on your screen telling you there is a problem with the site). As your home resort(s) load on the page, you are shown that all the days you want are not available. There is a random day towards the beginning of your trip that is unavailable.

Booking DVC
Every DVC member’s worse nightmare while booking a stay

You’re dumbfounded because you woke up extra early to make sure your computer or cell phone was ready to go. The decision is then made to go ahead and book a room at your home resort to lock in your stay, possibly spending more points than originally planned. A few days go by, so you decide to check the website just to see if anything has changed. Alas, all the dates you want are available. After a quick switch-a-roo, your inner dwarf can finally transform from Grumpy to Happy.

The Possible Reason?

You think to yourself, why would the availability change like that? Could I have just witnessed the workings of a DVC walker? Walking a reservation consists of modifying your reservation until the dates of the reservation match up with your desired travel dates. This can be a confusing topic, so here is a link to the DVC Show video explaining more in-depth of the concept. I honestly did not know this is something that occurred until watching the video.

Now I know there is no rule to walking your reservation, but it’s common curiosity. Everyone wants to be able to book their reservation at 11-months knowing that their stay is secure. For a Type-A planner (like most of us that go all out planning DVC stays), this adds unwanted stress. Most of us buy where we want to stay, and it’s tough not being able to secure a desired room.

Booking DVC
Not what you want to see at the 11-month mark.

Hard to Get Reservation

As a disclaimer, I was trying to book a tower studio at Riviera during Thanksgiving week. I have never booked a room at Thanksgiving, but I have been able to get two studios at Poly over New Year’s Eve at 11 months with no issue. I know the rooms are very limited. But with a new resort that is not yet sold out, there are fewer people aiming to book those rooms. But checking the website after I switched, another date that was originally unavailable prior to my desired travel dates became available again. This quick change in availability makes me wonder if this was someone walking their reservation.

Sure, someone could have decided to switch room types allowing the tower studio to become available. But, this incident is to bring to light how frustrating it can be when people are booking DVC rooms during dates that they don’t intend to keep.

Let me know in the comments what your opinions are on “walking a reservation.”

Shelby LaFlash
DVC Member Since 2017
Polynesian & Riviera

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8 thoughts on “Booking Day Woes

  • January 30, 2020 at 5:08 pm
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    I just learned of this practice the other day and I have been a member since 1999. We go every 2 years for about 10-14 days depending on where we stay and when we go. The last 2 trips one coming up I set an alarm and reminder on my phone because we wanted to stay at the grand Floridian. Alas even the day before my dates and rooms were available but early morning of my first day able to book my non home resort puff gone. So we are staying lucky at our home resort The Boardwalk but not in the room we want. This walking the reservation is not to my liking but I can see why people do it but I couldn’t do it.

    • February 1, 2020 at 9:24 am
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      I think walking a reservation should not be allowed. It’s not fair to everyone else. Most of us are not techie. I’m definitely techie challenged. Reservations should be made available 12 mos in advance

  • January 30, 2020 at 8:53 pm
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    Where is the link for Walking Forward. I can’t find it in the piece you wrote

  • January 31, 2020 at 12:24 pm
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    Just my thought as a new dvc member, this just seems rude, there may not be any rules against this but is so unfair to other members wanting to book following the guidelines provided for booking a vacation.

  • January 31, 2020 at 4:16 pm
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    I think it’s a way to abuse the system. The people who do should have some sort of consequence.

  • January 31, 2020 at 8:47 pm
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    I think DVC know this is taking place.. and it would/SHOULD be simple for them to stop the process. DVC continues to grow too large for this to be allowed to continue much more.

  • February 1, 2020 at 5:36 am
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    If the reservation system shows availability at 7:59am, then there is a room to be had. There may be very limited availability, and only those with the best luck and internet get those rooms.

    To get the most popular (read: cheapest) rooms at the busiest times, members are indeed walking to increase the number of chances they get to pull that 8am slot machine lever.

    Bon chance!

  • February 4, 2020 at 8:33 pm
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    I was looking during that same time period, hoping to book two SV deluxe studios the Sunday following Thanksgiving. You just see the walking going on and I was tempted to join in, but I was convinced the walking would stop after Thanksgiving, so I waited. It turned out the studios were available for that Sunday and I was able to get them. While I don’t like walking, I think you can work your way into the rooms you want at the 11 month mark. It just requires you be on top of it to get your days at 8 am (4 am for me), or pick up your first day as the walkers move on later in the day/week.

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