We decided to check out the changes to the DVC Member Lounge during our EPCOT visit on Saturday. Although we knew this would be a different experience than what we were used to, we figured it would still be a relaxing place to take a break from the heat.
Upon arriving at the desk, the cast member checked for our blue membership card and ID as usual and asked how many were in our party. They then asked for a phone number and let us know we would receive a text when we would be able to enter. This was no surprise given current capacity limits and the lounge’s popularity and very similar to the new check-in procedure implemented at resort restaurants. The wait for a party of two mid-day Saturday was ten to fifteen minutes. This is enough time to ride Journey into Imagination if you dare. Before we could finish the ride, we got our text from the lounge. Luckily, the ride exits in the same area, so it was a quick trip back.
We showed the cast member at the bottom of the stairs our text and were allowed to go up. At the top, we were greeted by a cast member and led to a table and chair designated for two people labeled as Animal Kingdom Villas-Kidani Village. The seating has all been arranged into socially distanced groups of various party sizes. They are then labeled with the name of a DVC Resort. This is to help the cast members know where to seat guests and ensure that the tables and chairs are cleaned between parties. It’s basically like seating people at a restaurant now in that you will wait for a spot large enough for your party to open up and be cleaned before it becomes ready for you.
Snack service is no longer available in the DVC Member Lounge, though I did notice a few groups that had brought their own. Drinks are still being offered, although a bit differently than before. You will need to walk around to the table set up near the Coke Freestyle machines, where a cast member is getting everyone drinks. It should be noted that only drinks you can get through the freestyle machine are available. No coffee or other beverage options were around. Nonetheless, the cold drinks really hit the spot.
Several cast members were going around asking guests to keep their masks on unless actively eating or drinking. Another cast member was going group to group talking to members about the new DVC open house tours. Coincidentally, it was the same cast member who greeted us at the Copper Creek Cabin tour yesterday.
It is interesting to note that there were very large advertisements for the RCI exchange. Perhaps this is in an effort to push members to transfer their nearly expiring points or just any points in general into RCI.
All in all, the member lounge is still a great place to relax. I think they did a good job adapting it to the current situation. It is still a great place to grab a free cold drink and relax in the AC for a little bit.
Have you visited the DVC Member Lounge lately? Let us know your thoughts on the new safety procedures in place and if it changed how you enjoy this direct membership perk!