Like many other experiences at Disney World, the traditional DVC tour has been modified since the resorts have reopened. As mentioned in a previous blog, the DVC tours have been replaced by open houses that are available Monday through Friday, 9am to 8pm. Having been through a DVC tour when we purchased our first contract in 2019, I was curious to see how these new open houses would differ. Plus, how could I resist checking out some of the villas that I’ve never seen before? With a split stay at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Beach Club Villas, and Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village, I ventured off on a few tours during my last trip.
When we went on a guided tour of Copper Creek in 2019, a DVC guide arranged for transportation from our hotel to Wilderness Lodge. They also gave us a ride back to Disney Springs following the tour. With the new open houses, transportation is not provided, but it really wasn’t too hard to visit the resorts. Besides visiting open houses during each part of my split stay, I also organized my visits so that they coincided with dining reservations or other plans. When I was staying at the Beach Club Villas, it was also very easy to take the Skyliner from International Gateway to visit Disney’s Riviera Resort.
One of my favorite things about this new open house format is the ability to visit villas from most of the Disney World DVC resorts. The resorts with open houses include Disney’s Riviera Resort, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village, Beach Club Villas, Disney’s BoardWalk Villas, Disney’s Polynesian Bungalows & Villas, and the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. In the past you were typically limited to touring whatever resorts were actively selling. Within my weeklong trip, I made it to all of the open houses except for Bay Lake, the Polynesian, and the BoardWalk Villas (which I have visited on a previous trip).
With the exception of the BoardWalk Villas, all of the villas that were part of the open houses were actual villas, not just models. When you look out of the balconies, you see the actual view, not a backdrop like you may see at the DVC Preview Center at Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa.
Another reason I enjoyed the open house over the tour is that you can go at your own pace. Some of my visits only lasted a few minutes while others took closer to 30 minutes if I viewed multiple villas as I did with Riviera. This kind of flexibility is great for people who are worried that a tour would take up too much of their valuable vacation time.
The DVC Guides
While the DVC guides are more hands off in an effort to promote social distancing, they are still there to answer any questions you may have. When I had questions about the Tower Studio at Riviera, the guide kindly brought me over to see one that was open even though it was not listed among the open house villas. Just as with the tours, the open houses are a no-pressure sales pitch.
Overall, I really appreciated the flexibility and convenience of these new open houses. I don’t think you’re missing out on anything if you didn’t have an opportunity to go on a DVC tour (other than perhaps the free ice cream from the DVC Preview Center). If you’re heading to Disney World in the near future, I would highly recommend checking out an open house or two. While no appointments are needed when visiting an open house at a resort where you are staying, Disney suggests that you call 407-827-4744 to schedule any visits at Riviera or at any resort where you are not staying. Just don’t blame me if the add-on-itis kicks in.