General DVC

Is Disney Vacation Club Breaking the 11-Month Booking Rule?

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… 

Grand Floridian Example

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. 

Bay Lake Tower Example

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.

Copper Creek Example

These are just a few of multiple examples we have seen throughout the DVC Fan Group and on a few DISboards threads in the past few months.

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. 

DVC Public Offering Statement Language

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. 

11-Month Booking Visual Example

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!

Amy Krieger

Amy loves all things Disney from the theme parks and resorts to the beloved films. She and her husband, Paul, are originally from Wheeling, West Virginia. They now live in Central Florida with their two fur kids, Odie the greyhound and Hermes the Spanish galgo. As Disney Vacation Club members and Disney World Annual Passholders, they visit Disney World and other Disney properties as often as possible. Full time, Amy is the Manager of Loan Origination for Monera Financial, a World of DVC company where she helps buyers finance DVC contracts. Amy and Paul own DVC at some of their favorite resorts: BoardWalk, Grand Floridian, Animal Kingdom, Polynesian, and Grand Californian.

43 thoughts on “Is Disney Vacation Club Breaking the 11-Month Booking Rule?

  • Thank you for writing this article. I was excited to have a chance to get an 11 month booking for a CL Studio at AKV for our trip over the 50th anniversary. On October 25th I was successful in getting that booked for Sept 25-28, 2021 however I was blocked at 3 nights. A call in to MS provided the same response that you have received. When I pointed out that in order for someone to have booked Sept 28th and beyond they would also have needed the 25th, 26th, and 27th, the CM couldn’t explain it. They just reiterated that someone had just beat me to it. I’ve been waiting on a call from a supervisor however in that time the reservation dates that I had have come to an end and I have no opportunity to book the room for the stay that I should have been able to with the 11 month reservation that was in place. I just ask for some transparency as the only explanation that fits right now is that rooms are being pulled ahead of the 11 month window. I have no problem competing with members and DVC themselves, and know that I may not get a room that I wish for, however all I ask for is a level playing field with everyone following the rules that are in place.

  • Are you seeing this only at resorts that sold “dedicated week” contracts? If so, this could be the culprit. Disney automatically books rooms for these guests at the 12 month mark.

    • Hi Bob
      This is happening at multiple resorts, including resorts without fixed weeks such as Bay Lake Tower and Animal Kingdom Villas to name a few.

      • This is happening a lot and it’s about time they are called out for it.

  • I have a question. Suppose I was the blue dot. If I booked the 10th – 12th at 11 months, and the 15th – 16th are still within my 7 day window, would I not be allowed to book this as a split stay? Just curious as I am still new to this and have not run into this situation yet. But I will be trying to book something for October soon!

    • You would not be able to book the 15th and 16th at that time since it would be beyond the current 11-Month booking window. Even in the event of booking a split-stay, you would have to wait for that second part of your stay to become available and be within the window.

      • Possible scenario?: You book a week at exactly the 11 month window, so day 1 is the leading edge of availability. You then call back the next day and cancel day 3-4. That would leave you with day 1-2, 5-7, with 5-7 being impossible to book as a separate vacation. Would Disney even allow that to be executed as a single reservation? Would they change it into two reservations, one of which is “impossible” due to being 3 days out of the booking window?

    • Gregory Johanek: no, that won’t work. If you drop the middle dates you can not keep the later dates. It has to be continuous.

      • While I assume you are correct is there anything definitive on this specific circumstance?

  • I didn’t have any problems booking for the 50th at the Poly. I guess I got lucky.

  • Bring this up at the next meeting!

  • I’ve come across this scenario pre covid at least 2x. Only thing I can think of is holding inventory for guaranteed week folks… but my understanding is that guaranteed weeks start w. a Sunday check in- so that kinda doesn’t make sense either.

  • Thanks for addressing this issue! I see the same happening at CCV, trying to get a room for the 50th. I got up really early this week in order to be able to book the trip (I have a time difference of 2 hours, so booking opens at 6 am) and couldnt get anything past the 29th of September. Really frustrating…

  • They better not be lying after the bebockle they did with the virus cancellations points no answer for months this is not good when you can’t trust trust DVC shadiness not a good thing

  • If there is a legitimate reason for this, DVC needs to explain what it is. If there is some kind of policy that allows them to jump the 11 month window with the points they own, DVC owners deserve a full and clear explanation of what that policy is.

  • If DVC can’t give us a legitimate response to why this is happening then it shouldn’t be happening.

  • This is utter crap. This has been happening pre and post covid during all sorts of times of the year and has been heavily documented with screenshots on the DIsBoards. If DVC can’t explain why this is happening then it goes to show it is either a serious glitch or they are violating the POS. We need to collectively put the evidence together again and threaten/draft a lawsuit. As we learned from the 2020 point chart debacle thats the only way to get Terri Schultz to give a dang.

    • If this is regularly happening I agree, we need to do something legally to stop it. Is this only for the 50th? I plan to book a 2 bdrm and a studio at Thanksgiving 2021 at the 11 month window. Should I call ahead to do something to get my reservation or just risk trying….I have 14 people involved and dates cannot be changed. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  • I just got off the phone with member services and they miraculously found availability and booked me in a standard view 1br for 9/29-10/3…. 🤔The CM supervisor I spoke to put me on hold for a while after I explained the situation and then came back with the reservation. She didn’t know what was wrong but said she would pass it on to her tech team.

    I would recommend to anyone else in this situation; call, email and make a fuss. They know something happened.

  • Yet more in the latest trend of DVC mismanagement and no one taking ownership of issues. The membership should be able to enjoy we’ve purchased. Instead lately we are constantly having to fact check what they are doing. This added with the extra stress of traveling during covid times is not a good practice at all.

  • This explains a lot. I have been trying to get continuous days next year and there were always 2 days in the middle no matter what I tried. Something seemed off so I am glad it is not just me. Question for fixed week people, does that require a whole week or could they get a fixed 2 days in a given week?

  • They are doing it to benefit their pocketbook some how. No doubt. Greed.

  • Great article, and explained very well. You can tell this is an obvious problem that can’t be explained away the way MS has been trying to. They need to investigate and fix it, because it’s looking more and more like they’re trying to take members as fools who don’t understand the workings of the program.

  • This happened to us! It was for our honeymoon and we wanted 3 weeks in a tower studio at riviera but all the weekends were booked. So we ended using more points to get a deluxe studio but it means our honeymoon is cut short! We were so upset about this!

    • Every time I try to book a tower at Riviera it’s booked. Tried booking my birthday weekend in September at the 11th month mark and everything gone. How can that be? But since I’m a new owner I thought maybe that’s how it is.

  • Happened to me yesterday. I couldn’t believe it. Two days prior I was checking on availability and everything was fine. Called MS and got the same run around. Not a happy camper right now!

  • Have had the same experience….when I contact the DVC they gave me the same run around….There have been a lot of questionable decisions made by Disney the last several months in my opinion. Don’t understand it since Disney is built on customer service.

  • You can more than 1 day at 11 months. People are probably just booking the max number of days and then dropping the days at the beginning that they don’t want to beat the 11 month clock. Google walking a reservation. Similar to that.

    • We are very familiar with waking. That’s not the case here. You can’t book seven days and then drop days and not still keep the 11-month window date. You have to have the 11- month window to have anything after it even if you modify an existing reservation.

    • This isn’t walking. With this it is gaps within the 7 days into the 11 month window. So the first 2 days in the 11 month window might be available but then 2 days booked solid, then 3 days available. The only way someone could have days 3-4 booked would be if they also had 1-2 so members can’t leave days 1-2 open and somehow have 3-4 booked. Walking involves adding days to the end and dropping days from the front as the 11 month window moves along.

  • Happened to me today

  • What are the fixed weeks that are being talked about?

    • Ever since Aulani Guaranteed Weeks have been available to purchase from DVC. You have to buy a small premium for number of points but then are guaranteed that specific week each year. If you choose you can cancel the GW though and receive all the points, including the premium, to use in the same manner you would use any other points.

      • Thank you

  • Could it be a scenario where multiple home resorts are in the reservation? I have both Poly and Boardwalk as home resorts with the same use year. Say I have a 7 night consecutive stay with night 1 being within my 11 month window. I book night 1 staying at Poly and then nights 2 to 7 staying at Boardwalk. Day 2 to 7 are outside the 11 months but part of my 7 day continuing stay. Someone else wanting Boardwalk would run into the original booking issue brought up in this article as my night 2 to 7 would take rooms and appear to be made outside the reservation window.

    • Hi Carlo,
      No the system would not allow that. You must have the 11-month window booked at each resort in order to reach any days after. Split stays are treated as two separate reservations and therefore follow the rules of any single reservation.

  • Are there certain resorts this is happening at more than others?
    We have our first ROFR going through now with disney so hopefully will be a DVC member over the coming months and want all the info I can get!

  • I have noticed similar problems at Jambo club level for at least the last year (probably the last two years). My guess has always been that Disney holds some rooms for “special individuals” or for the prospect that those rooms could be offered to “special individuals” in the future. I never called because the chances that a CM would be aware of such a situation would be zero.

  • Just wondering, I am a Boardwalk owner. My use year is in February. We have friends who own Boardwalk and their use year is March. We can book a month before them so we have gotten rooms and they have not because of how the 11 month window fell. So it isn’t impossible that someone has a stay booked in the middle of your 11 month opening window because their window is before yours. We were thinking of adding, well before the pandemic and were looking at getting a use year that better suits when we want to travel so that our 11 month window falls where it gets us the best opportunity to get the room we desire when we most want it.

    • Hi Richard – Your scenario makes sense if your friends have needed to wait for points to become available in order to book, but otherwise you hold no booking priority over them. Regardless of Use Year, every owner at a home resort shares the same 11 month booking window. I could have a December use year at BoardWalk but both of us can book 11 months from today if we have the points to do so. Use year and booking window don’t really have a correlation within DVC.

      Hope this helps when considering your add-on purchase!

      • Yeah. Brain freeze there. Have points stuck in my head, because we use them up every year except for this one. Cancelled our first December trip ever because none of the special events running and just didn’t want our first Xmas at Disney without all the bells and whistles. Again sorry, realized as soon as I hit send I had screwed that up.

  • I got blocked out of Sept 30 and Oct 01 at BLT for a 1 bedroom which should not have been available to anyone else but me. Email member services and Terry S. stating the problem. A day later I got a call and even though online still showed the dates unavailable, they added them to my reservations. No explanation on what was going on. Obviously DVC had rooms blocked for themselves ahead of the 11 month windows which they released so they could give it to me.

Comments are closed.