Last night, the DVC Fan Facebook Group was buzzing with excitement over the announcement of the 200 new villas being added to the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. While there was a lot of great discussion and questions, one burning question continued to stand out. Will the new addition have any sort of restrictions?

What do we mean by restrictions? When Riviera was in the works, two restrictions were announced. First, anyone who purchased a resale contract for any of the original 14 resorts (every resort except Riviera) on or after January 19, 2019, would be allowed to continue to use their points for the original 14 resorts, but would not be able to use their points for stays at Riviera. The bigger restriction though, was that anyone who purchased Riviera resale would only be able to use their points at Riviera. Basically, DVC separated the original resorts from Rivera. A lot of members have nicknamed the original 14 resorts as “DVC I” and Rivera along with any new resorts going forward as “DVC II” since it’s assumed new resorts will carry similar restrictions. With that explanation behind us, let’s get to the topic at hand.

Will DVC impose restrictions on the new Villas at Grand Floridian? Unfortunately, we don’t know for sure, but we can use the facts at hand to make some guesses and hope for the best. And while you just never know what DVC will have up its sleeve, I would like to agree with what Paul said during the live show yesterday and think that in my heart, I believe DVC will do the right thing. Here is why I personally don’t see there being restrictions for these new villas. Again, I may eat my words later on. I certainly hope not. They will not taste good.

Same Condo Association as Original Villas

DVC has already stated in an announcement on their site that these new Villas are an expansion of The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and will be part of its current condominium association. Therefore, this is not the same situation as Copper Creek vs. Boulder Ridge or Riviera where the Villas will be sold and treated as a new DVC development. Adding this to the current association means current owners of Grand Floridan, like myself, should have access to book the new villas at the 11-month window. And you better believe that opening night I plan to be there. Likewise, those who purchase points with interest in the new villas should be able to book the original building at 11 months as well. You may not even know which building your interest is when you buy. This is more similar to the situation at Animal Kingdom Villas where Kidani and Jambo House are both in the same association and fall under the same rules and booking rights for anyone whose ownership interest is located in either unit. When we bought Animal Kingdom, we didn’t even know which resort we were buying into because it didn’t matter. You could even compare this to Saratoga Springs which opened in 2004 because the Treehouse Villas were not added on there until 2009, five years later.

Restrictions Would Affect Current Owners

I just don’t see any way you can slice it to put in restrictions without affecting current owners. If restrictions are imposed on all Grand Floridian resale going forward, you are greatly impacting the resale value of all those who had previous purchased whether that be resale owners, direct owners, even the original direct owners of the resort. Riviera was sold directly with buyers being fully made aware of the restrictions going forward. Current owners of Grand Floridian were not. We didn’t sign on for that. I’m sure the intelligent people over at Disboards will have lots to say if that happened.

Yes, you could say that the restrictions put in place on all the original 14 resorts were done during everyone’s ownership. But there is a big difference in those restrictions and limited someone to only one resort. The original 14 resorts didn’t have anything taken away from them. They still have access to all the same resorts they always had access to. They just didn’t get the ability to stay at Riviera added. Since DVC isn’t actually in the market of contractually taking things away from current owners (that’s why we have so much grandfathering in going on), I don’t see Grand Floridian being removed from the original 14. So restrictions (in my mind) could only be imposed on the new addition which would be a nightmare in terms of who pays what dues, but I’ll cover that later.

What if, instead, DVC would only impose resale restrictions on new Grand Floridian contracts going forward? For example, you buy direct now and resell it later and the resale buyer will then have restrictions. If this were to happen, anyone could circumvent that issue by purchasing someone’s older Grand Floridian contract from the resale market. Then, current direct sales would not be appealing to anyone.

Location of the NEW DVC Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Annual Dues Could Get Confusing

The Grand Floridian Villas are part of the original 14 resorts that all owners of the original 14 have had access to. As I said above, I just really don’t see DVC changing that fact as it would be taking something away from current owners. DVC has not actually taken away in this regard. The restrictions have only been added in regards to completely new associations (like Riviera) going forward. Because of this, if DVC added anything in terms of restrictions, it would possibly only be on the new villas building and that just sounds like a nightmare for annual dues. Let’s say they grandfather in current owners and current owners contracts do not carry resale restrictions so (like the Aulani subsidized dues contracts), the current contract stipulations transfer to the new owners. But going forward, anyone who buys Grand Floridian and resells it, those resale buyers are restricted to just that new villas building (in the same way they restrict Riviera resale owners to just Riviera). The new build is going to be part of the same condo association as the existing building, so what happens with dues? I’m sure soon Grand Floridian dues will see the effects of this. Just as my Animal Kingdom dues cover both Kidani and the villas at Jambo House, my Grand Floridian dues should cover this new building too. WIll anyone with restrictions only pay dues for the one building? You really can’t have some owners paying dues for both buildings and some only paying for one. The whole idea just sounds like a nightmare that maybe someone smarter than me can wrap their head around.

I just don’t think in my gut that DVC would have made this new building part of the current condo association if they were going to pull a Riviera on us. In my head and in my heart, I want to truly believe that DVC will leave this one alone. They will renovate it, sell the new points associated with it, and it will continue to exist as the beautiful Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. And we won’t have the original vs. Villas at Disney’s Grand Restrictions. I just don’t want to believe that will happen. But hey, I’ve been known to be wrong.

I’m interested to hear your opinions. Let me know your thoughts on what you think will happen with these new Villas!

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.

4 thoughts on “Will the New Grand Floridian Villas Have Restrictions?

  • I agree with you 100% Amy. I was talking with Paul about it. I dont think disney is going to get into all of those murky weeks. Disney needs money right now and selling these at the Grand Floridian is a guaranteed sell out. I did disagree with Paul’s assessment that this news would help out riviera sales. I think it will do the opposite.

    • It won’t sell out all that fast…. but the speed with which it sells, and the affect on Riviera, will all come down to pricing.
      If they price is cheaper than the RIviera (unlikely), then it will sell really fast and hurt Riviera sales. If they price it significantly higher than RIviera, then it could help Riviera sales. (VGF draws people in.. but then they buy at Riviera when they find out it’s cheaper).

  • I definitely agree Darrell, it will just go further in the direction of hurting sales at Riviera.

  • The only way they could do it realistically and legally, is to do it on all GF contracts moving forward, grandfathering in older contracts.

    Not saying they will do it, but your reasoning against it isn’t persuasive: Such grandfathering would not hurt direct sales– it would ultimately help direct sales.
    Such a rule would mean:
    Re-sale purchase of “old” GFV contracts gets 14 resorts
    Re-sale purchase of “new” GFV contracts, gets just 1 resort.
    Direct purchase of new GFV gets 15+ resorts

    It would certainly make re-sale purchase of “old” GFV contracts far more attractive than “new” GFV contracts. But that’s akin to OKW: 2057 contracts are far more attractive than 2042 contracts. But the re-sale market of 2057 contracts is ultimately small. Most re-sale buyers are stuck with 2042 contracts…. and “direct” is the way to get a 2057 contract.

    It would be the same with GFV: Remember, it’s a small resort. Only 147 “old” units. The expansion will more than double the size of the DVC. Thus, the market supply of “old” contracts will always be quite small. It will greatly boost the value of those re-sales. But because the market of supply would be so small, it wouldn’t be a big savings of buying direct — So plenty of people would still buy direct for blue card perks, ability to use future resorts, and just for the security of buying direct from Disney.

    There may be contractual hurdles that make putting in the restrictions a non-starter. But exclusion of the restrictions wouldn’t be out of fear of hurting direct sales.

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