Believe it or not, its already been a year since I joined the Disney Vacation Club. It frightens me how quickly a year seems to go by these days. The older I get, the faster it seems to go, but that’s a discussion for another blog.
I’m a man of extremes. I always have been, from the time I was a young boy. For those that have followed my work over the years, I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. As a kid, if I liked something I was all in. Wacky Packages, Star Trek and any piece of electronics that had buttons. Even as young as 3, my mother had to watch me like a hawk in a grocery store, because if there was an unattended cash register I would find it and just sit there jamming on the buttons. At the age of 10, I discovered a Casio calculator that did date/time calculations, had a stopwatch, a timer, and an alarm! I was obsessed with it to the point where almost daily I would go and “visit” it at the Steinbach’s in Asbury Park (now I’m really dating myself). However, it was $60 (remember, it’s 1975 and I’m 10 years old – that’s the equivalent of more than $200 today). That was seemingly impossible for me, but that winter had a lot of snow, and I shoveled every walkway in Ocean Grove for $.50 or a $1 to save up the money. Needless to say, I bought the calculator. Even back then, the most dangerous place to be was between me and something I want!
I joke to people that there is no ‘five’ on the dial with me – it’s either zero or eleven. Sometimes this has been a good thing – the DIS was one of the ‘elevens’. Our podcasts are definitely one of the ‘elevens’. Alcohol and drugs were also on the ‘eleven’ list for many years – so it’s a sword that swings both ways. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to temper those impulses, or at least that’s what I told myself until last year.
Here’s the thing about living a life of ‘zero’ or ‘eleven’. If you’re going to live that life, you have to make peace with regret. There have been things I’ve indulged in that I have regretted, and there are things I’ve walked away from (the ‘zeros’) that I’ve regretted as well. However, with those risks, and the unavoidable mistakes they can engender, there is also the other side – unimaginable joy and passion.
So, what’s the verdict?
So where does DVC fit in this equation of extremes? Well, clearly – since you’re reading this on the first new website I’ve created in over a decade – it’s an eleven. For four months I went on a contract buying spree – going from zero points on February 24th, 2019 to 1200 points by June. I have contracts at Copper Creek, Boulder Ridge, BoardWalk, Beach Club, Bay Lake Tower, and Saratoga Springs.
During the point-induced haze I was in, I did occasionally wonder if I’d reach a point where I would regret my decision. As I said, if you’re going to live an ‘eleven’ life, regret comes with the territory. However, I can honestly say that after 1 year I consider my decision to be one of the best I’ve made in a very long time.
I’ve had many new experiences at Disney through DVC. That’s saying something for someone who has spent the last 23 years covering Disney and experiencing many of the things it has to offer. I’ve discovered that there are pockets of Disney where they still appreciate the guest. I’ve found that DVC has spoiled me rotten. Regular hotel rooms no longer have appeal for me. I’ve also made some wonderful new friends this past year thanks to DVC. Paul Krieger, John Doan, Peter Scheidle, Jerry Sydow, Jamie Carr just to name a few. Also, joining DVC has led me to a newfound appreciation of DISboards.com – one of the sites I started back in 1997. The DVC forums on DISboards are, in my opinion, the platinum standard for DVC community and information.
It’s been an expensive year, but one that sits firmly in the “No Regrets” column!