Disney Vacation Club is starting to look very different than when we first bought in four years ago. Prices have continued to increase on sold-out resorts as seen by the recent increase for Saratoga Springs, Old Key West, and Animal Kingdom. Brand new resorts like Rivera have been constructed or are under construction like the Disneyland Tower. Some DVC resort plans have slowly ceased to exist like the disappearance of Reflections from all DVC literature.
To me, the new initiative to build more DVC at existing resorts is interesting. This isn’t a new concept for DVC. We have seen it when they added the treehouses to Saratoga Springs as part of the existing condo association. We have also seen it with the start of a new condo association as they did with Copper Creek even though Boulder Ridge was already at Wilderness Lodge. Now, we have villas being added to the existing condo association at Grand Floridan. We also have the newly announced DVC tower coming to the Polynesian. I don’t think the Polynesian tower will be part of the existing condo association, but that’s another speculative article for another time.
What I want to speculate now is where will DVC go next. We have seen the popularity of adding more DVC villas to existing resorts. Grand Floridian gave direct sales guides some of their best sales records ever and the new Polynesian tower is sure to be a hit. My dear husband has already told me if we pay off our new Grand Californian purchase by the time the new Polynesian goes on sale, we can grab a small contract. I nearly fell out of my chair when he told me this and I can promise you will be taking those words to the bank.
But now I’m asking myself if I need to consider selling one of my kidneys or maybe one of our two Animal Kingdom contracts. Because if DVC keeps this up, there may be other exciting prospects to invoke a bad case of addonitis. Here are some of the possibilities. These are merely just speculation (or maybe dreams), some stemming from rumors. But you have to admit, it could happen.
Yacht Club Villas
This idea has been thrown around for a while now. The naysayers claim its status as a convention resort limits its ability to add DVC. I agree with that to an extent. But after having conversations with my dear friend and Dreams Unlimited Travel Agent extraordinaire, Elaine Edwards, I’m left with some hope. As a travel agent, she sees which resorts are popular and book up quickly and which ones don’t. Yacht Club suffers the same issues that the Grand Floridian hotel side did. It just doesn’t book as well as other resorts. This is why Grand Florida took in a lot of people who received upgrades from overbooked resorts last year and why it was such an easy decision for DVC to acquire one of the hotel buildings for more villas. On the hotel side, Yacht Club gets overshadowed by Beach Club.
There are Disney Vacation Club members who are ready to be first in line if Yacht Club Villas ever goes up for sale and I’m afraid I’m one of those people. I get it, Yacht Club is kind of small, but if DVC can take a wing of Wilderness Lodge and turn it into villas, I feel like they can take a portion of Yacht Club. I think I see a nice area over by the lake I would like.
Bay Lake Tower Part 2
This has been a long-standing rumor as well, but it makes sense. Bay Lake Tower is a very popular DVC Resort. You have access to the monorail, a walking path to Magic Kingdom, and amazing theme park and lake views. One look at a map of the Contemporary Resort shows that there is not much space for another Bay Lake Tower. However, we do have the Garden Wing of the hotel side. I think this would make a very good location, and here is why:
First, the Garden Wing doesn’t really fit in well with the rest of the resort. It’s short unlike the A-Frame and Bay Lake Tower and spread out. If they removed it and instead built another DVC tower, they could probably make up for the missing hotel rooms with villas cash inventory. They would gain a lot more rooms through a larger 15-story tower. A new tower would offer great views of Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon and maybe a little bit of theme park views, but it looks like the A-Frame may block some of those views.
This seemed more true when these rooms didn’t get refurbished with the rest of the hotel. But, they were, in fact, recently refurbished. So my dream of Bay Lake Part 2 is a little less likely than I originally thought unless they find some better space.
I saw someone ask about DVC adding more onto BoardWalk. This is one I don’t feel as strongly about. BoardWalk is one of my favorites, but it already has a really nice-sized villas section. I don’t see DVC taking over the hotel side anytime soon, especially with the newly announced hotel refurbishment. While Disney isn’t opposed to the concept of “fill in any and all available space”, there isn’t a whole lot left here. I can see some area to the side of the former ESPN club across from Seabreeze Point. I just can’t see them taking that space especially since it’s no longer on the actual boardwalk itself. This is one I’m unsure of.
This is one of my favorite ideas and it gets a lot of flack. As many members disagree with the idea of adding DVC to a moderate resort. However, Riviera, while is its own resort, does sit on land previously occupied by Caribbean Beach Resort so that they can share some amenities like the Skyliner (I know they each have a station, but both are walkable from both resorts). They even removed some of the buildings at Caribbean Beach Resort to make room for Riviera.
If there is one thing Coronado Springs has going for it, it’s land. All around it is open space. Plus, it’s an amazing resort. Gran Destino feels very deluxe in the theming, lobby, and accommodations. They even have club level. There are great restaurants as well. I know it’s a convention resort, but the Cabanas section largely doesn’t get full. Casitas, Ranchos, and Grand Destino hold a large number of rooms. In my fantasy, I imagine a DVC tower somewhere near Grand Destino, possibly where some of Cabanas sits or in some of the open space back by the main pool and the addition of a Skyliner. I did say the word fantasy, but you never know. This is one of our favorite resorts even though it’s a moderate, an “honorary home resort” as we call it. I would love to make it a real home resort.
Speaking of open spaces, I see available land at Port Orleans for the DVC New Orleans-themed villas. Okay, I’m really dreaming here. I am not one to get hung up on DVC needing to be located at deluxe resorts. If the resort is beautiful and has great amenities, it can be worthy of DVC in my eyes. There is a decent amount of space above the French Quarter. Also, it’s right next to Saratoga Springs which means it could be walkable to Disney Springs. It’s a long walk, but I am not one to shy away from trekking from the Old Key West to Disney Springs. This is a well-loved resort and I do think there are some members who would be interested in buying here.
What Does the Future Hold?
My thoughts were merely speculative. But I definitely see the value of DVC adding on or adding new at existing resorts. There is already a lot of infrastructure in place at these resorts. In some cases, they only need to convert hotel rooms. For others, they need to build new structures, but most transportation and dining are already in place. I’m excited to see what the future holds for Disney Vacation Club and what resorts may be next for a revamp.
Where do you think the next DVC resorts will go? Which of the ideas I presented would appeal to you or not appeal to you? As always, stay tuned to DVC Fan for the latest news and discussion on all things Disney Vacation Club.