In the past few months on both the DVC Fan Facebook Group and DISboards, there have been questions regarding the 11-month booking window and Disney Vacation Club’s rights regarding holding back rooms. I first noticed this issue on September 13th when I tried to book a few nights at the Grand Floridian. The 11-month window (August 13th) was open, but the next two days were blocked out. When I called to inquire, Member Services, and a supervisor told me another member must have taken the room first. In thinking about it, this answer was impossible since I could still book the 13th (and I did), but could not get the days after. No member could hold the 14th and 15th without holding the 11-month window of August 13th. Something didn’t add up here…
Since then, we have seen similar reports from members, most recently involving the period surrounding Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. Member Cathrine Abigail ran into this issue when trying to book her trip for the 50th at Bay Lake Tower. You can see that on October 27th, the 11-Month mark of September 27th, as well as the 28th were open, but September 29th- October 2nd were blocked out. No member could be holding the 29th-2nd without holding the 27th and 28th. In inquiring to Member Services, she received the same response I did that another member had those dates booked. If members booked those dates, the 27th and 28th would have to be booked by the same members and would not be open.
I decided to check this morning as well whether any occurrence of this issue was apparent and noticed it with the Cascade Cabins at Copper Creek. With today’s 11-Month mark being September 29th, no scenario would allow for September 30th, October 1st, and 2nd to be booked UNLESS they also had September 29th.
So what is going on here? Are these rooms being taken out for maintenance? I doubt that is happening this far in advance and during Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. Plus, when rooms are closed for maintenance, we usually get a heads up through an announcement on the member booking website.
Is Disney Vacation Club using their points to reserve rooms for others? I don’t pretend to understand exactly how it works, but I do know in the Public Offerings Statements, it clearly states that DVC must abide by the same booking rules that govern members when using their points. The blocking out of these rooms jumps the 11-month booking window members must follow. If this is related to breakage, I was under the impression that breakage occurs within a 60-day window, not 11+ months in advance.
One thing is certain; DVC is not truthful when it comes to the explanations members are receiving when inquiring about this issue. The canned response of another member whose vacation started before yours has the room is not possible since you can’t hold days ahead of the 11-month window without holding the 11 month day and any leading up to it. If that day is open, then the subsequent days should be as well. If this is a ploy to stop “walkers,” as some have rumored, it affects everyone and not a great “fix”.
If it seems confusing how another member couldn’t be holding these blocked off rooms, it can be. DVC Fan Facebook Member, Matthew Tenk, has provided us with a great visual that I think helps explain it. If we had five total rooms in a category and the 11-month window is on August 13, let’s pretend each color in the visual below represents a member’s reservation, and yellow wants to add the 15th. Since yellow has the 13th and 14th, the 15th should be open for yellow also. If yellow is blocked, which other color can have the fifth spot left on the 15th? The answer is none. Blue can’t take it since the five rooms are taken on the 13th and 14th. The other colors already have it. No new colors can get in since the 11-month window (August 13) is already booked up.
Whatever is going on, members are being lied to and it needs to stop. We deserve a real explanation that makes sense and falls within the confines of the law or this practice needs ended. Members deserve a fair chance to book what they paid for. This has been a definite source of frustration for members, and I hope DVC looks into it and provides us with a reasonable explanation soon.
Have you run into this 11-Month booking issue? What did Member Services tell you? Share your stories with us in the comments!