Ok, so before anyone gets all ‘triggered’ because I am blaming an infant for what is definitely an adult problem – I will concede that the title was a little dramatic and laced with humour. Nevertheless, our most recent trip was our first with our now one-year-old daughter. This trip has definitely left us with a case of add-on-itis. Here is why…
For our most recent trip, we found ourselves in a 1-Bed Villa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village, our home resort. Up until this point we had only ever stayed in Studio rooms. Our purchase of DVC was fundamentally linked to the notion that we would only ever really need a studio. For those that don’t know, we are a gay couple. Back in 2007 when we purchased our points, having a child was not even a mere flickering of an idea. In fact, we were both against the prospect. It was just the two of us. We purchased our points accordingly, with enough to ensure that we could visit at least every other year. We were more than happy with the studio accommodations too.
How we ended up with a 1-Bed Villa is another story that is in no way DVC related but it happened. From the moment we walked into the room after checking in, we both waxed lyrical about the abundance of space. We were both genuinely bowled over by the size of the rooms and the amenities available. Why it was a surprise is unknown to me. There are the mock-ups of these rooms in our original purchasing tour. We watched countless ‘The DIS’ room tour videos. Therefore, we weren’t exactly in the dark about what these rooms were like. Yet, walking into one for the first time and knowing we were staying there. It had a wow factor that I will never get over. I can only imagine what it must be like to stay in a 2-Bed or more so the 3-Bed Grand Villas.
Our little one wasted no time at all in exploring the space. She certainly seemed as ecstatic with our home for the next two weeks as we were. It is probably safe to say that she had more space to crawl around than what we had back home. The first 11-months of her life were in a flat (apartment) that was smaller than the 1-Bed Villa. This must have been a paradise for her and she made it known. When we were back at the resort, we would be chasing her around while she crawled and played endlessly.
At some point, a conversation arose around what it would have been like if we had been in a studio. Sure, it would have been wholly appropriate for us to stay in a studio. All we needed was a cot (crib) for her. We both agree that a studio would be more than adequate all the while she is young. After all, is space really that important when you actually spend so little time in the room? It really isn’t for us, or at least it wasn’t! Now that we have, the extra space and amenities have become a game-changer.
In addition, having that space also afforded us a little more privacy. Again, right now, that is less of an issue. We would have no problem having the crib in a studio with us. That being said, it was particularly nice to let our daughter have her own space. It was lovely for us to be able to close the door and let her sleep without worrying we would wake her. In the future, she is going to want and need her own private space.
Aside from space, there was also the amenities. Having the washing and drying facilities in our room was invaluable. It meant that we didn’t have to do a laundry afternoon. We had the luxury of a full kitchen to store and prepare all of her baby meals. In the future, having two bathrooms will serve to be invaluable.
The trouble is, now that we have had this wonderful experience, it is very hard to imagine staying in anything smaller. As I mentioned earlier, a studio would be absolutely fine with an infant, or even a young child but we both agreed that as she gets older, she would need her own space too. Essentially, with this experience, we have managed to convince ourselves that we need to be staying in a 1-Bed Villa as a standard. Especially if we continue down the road of having a second child. We are both in agreement that we don’t think we can ‘go back’ to staying in studio accommodations. Dress it up any way you want, future-proofing, being spoilt or enjoying those luxuries. It has changed how we want to use our DVC membership. In turn, this has presented a conundrum.
Looking at the numbers, our current vacation points would allow us to stay at a studio every other year. If we wanted to stay at a 1-Bed every other year we would find our points a little short. Ultimately, we ‘need’ more points and sooner rather than later. If it wasn’t for watching our little girl enjoying the space so much, or the extra luxuries that it afforded us, more points would not have been a conversation. So yes, I am ‘blaming’ her for this newly diagnosed case of ‘add-on-itis’ (again, with a real sense of humour). How, when and where we go about purchasing those points is a whole different story for another day.
This is a real situation for many, as reflected in the recent DVC Fan article by fellow contributor Matthew. The struggle is, indeed, real. In turn, it made me think about what you might take away from this article.
If I had any advice, particularly to those who are looking at purchasing DVC for the first time it would be to keep one eye on what your future might look like. We certainly didn’t foresee having a child, but I have to wonder if it was part of the plan back when we purchased, would we have purchased differently? Would we have picked a strategy to stick to our minimum requirements or would we have ‘future-proofed’? We could have also chosen to stick to the minimum requirements whilst also saving and purchasing additional points at a later date.
Theoretically, it doesn’t matter. You can always fix it at a later date. I do think it is something worth considering though. This is especially true when you take into account the rising purchase prices of points. The recent purchase price increase is a case in point. It may be cheaper to purchase now rather than later. If you know from the outset that your family is going to be growing in the coming years, it is worth having a plan for how you can make your membership work for your future too.
What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on if and how you planned any kind of ‘future-proofing’ when making an investment and becoming a Disney Vacation Club member.
As always, thank you for reading. If you have enjoyed this, why not come check out the vlog series for our most recent trip:
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