General DVC

Disney Vacation Club – A Change of Pace

How it all Started

I can pinpoint when we started dreaming of Disney Vacation Club.

A friend of mine offered to my husband and I two tickets to Disney World. He had been given free tickets from a work conference he had no plans to use. So, my father, who was a road warrior at the time, booked us a room at The Swan and Dolphin using his Marriott rewards points and BAM- a free Disney World vacation! I managed to book advanced dining reservations and fast passes with only two weeks to spare. Boy was I proud of myself for doing so! After that, Disney became an addiction. Every few months, we were fishing for deals, discounts, any methods to score another trip. As a result, we worked diligently to make the most of every moment.

It was our mission to keep score of how many rides, food, and activities we could fit into each day.

The road trips from Kentucky to Florida were equally as memorable. Kev would download Disney vacation club podcasts to listen to during our drive. We binged podcasts like The DVC Show and would dream for the entire drive of becoming Disney Vacation Club owners.

Fast forward

Looking back on the way we used to experience the parks, I cannot remember where we found the energy to hustle the way we did. It’s as if we were in a contest with ourselves, constantly trying to break our own record. When we finally became DVC members a few years ago, that furious cycle began to break. Vacation became what it was always meant to be, a moment in time to have fun and RELAX!

Disney Vacation Club has given us the opportunity to experience the resorts and the parks spontaneously as often as our points will carry us for the foreseeable future.

Pool Time

Spending time by the pool, in my mind, was a huge misuse of valuable time. Tickets were expensive, and the resorts were even more so. The mission was to get to the parks, eat and ride, not laze about and swim. Time was scarce, and Disney is expensive!

One of my newfound pleasures as a DVC owner is unwinding by the pools at the vacation club resorts. My favorite is the adult pool at The Riviera Resort. It no longer feels like a waste of my time but a way in which to really experience the resorts themselves instead of focusing all my energy on the parks. After all, it would be a complete waste to drive all the way to Florida and not get a healthy dose of vitamin D.

Disney's Riviera Resort
The Riviera Resort

Disney Springs

The thought of actually shopping while on vacation used to be extremely offensive to me. I was paying big bucks for park tickets, and no way was I going to spend my time shopping for merch I could likely find at home. It just didn’t feel practical, and I wouldn’t allow myself to do it.

Having the guarantee of the next trip through DVC and annual passes has helped me remove those restraints. We have a newfound pleasure in visiting Disney Springs. The restaurants and treats are extremely unique and fun. And although I usually don’t walk away with much, I do enjoy shopping now, guilt-free.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Doughnut from Everglazed Doughnuts in Disney Springs
Peanut Butter Chocolate Doughnut from Everglazed Doughnuts in Disney Springs


Like I said previously, keeping score of how many rides we rode was a daily occurrence. And if we didn’t fill our scoreboard, remorse, and guilt would immediately follow. We would even ride rides we weren’t that enthusiastic about just to say we did it.

The problem with this kind of hustle is you lose out on the immersive park experience. The atmosphere of the parks is supposed to transport you to a different time, a different place. You miss out on all of that if your only goal is to move from one ride to the next. The details of each park and resort are extremely enjoyable only if one takes the time to slow down and look at them.

Me riding The People Mover in Magic Kingdom
The People Mover in Magic Kingdom

We no longer pressure ourselves to ride just for the sake of doing so. If we aren’t feeling it, we don’t ride it. After all Disney is not a job, and being DVC members has helped us to quit treating it as so. I’ve really started enjoying all the intricate details that make the parks special now that I’ve given myself permission to slow down. I’ll even allow myself to ride the people mover on a continuous loop if that’s what I feel like doing!


Paying out of pocket for each and every trip often led to really tough choices with the toughest one being where to stay on property. It was always dictated by two questions- what is affordable and what is available? If we were able to splurge, we would always want to stay at our favorite resort of the moment only if there was availability. If we had to budget heavily, we would often choose a value resort, again based on availability.

Being a DVC member has offered us the opportunity to stay at our home resort or branch out and try a different resort without feeling like we missed out on an opportunity. I love having the flexibility to take chances on different resorts within the DVC collection knowing that even if I’m not completely satisfied, I can stay elsewhere during our next trip. Exploring different resorts gives us a chance to eat at new restaurants and enjoy the different theming of the other DVC properties.

Advanced Dining Reservations

Filet Mignon from The Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk Villas
Filet Mignon from The Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk Villas

If any of you have had a chance to read any of my previous articles, you would know I love eating in Disney World restaurants as much as I love anything. Making advanced dining reservations was always a huge priority in planning our trips. And I would nearly burst a blood vessel if I couldn’t score the ADRs I wanted. It was hard to take a gamble on new restaurants when I didn’t know when we might make it back.

Now, however, we feel the freedom to try any of the dining locations in Disney. We don’t feel the slightest discomfort if we can’t get ADRs for the exact restaurant we want on the exact day we want. As a matter of fact, we see it as an opportunity to try new places. I can’t tell you how much great food I would have missed if I hadn’t allowed myself that flexibility.

If you are a DVC member, what are some ways being a member has changed your vacation style? What do you do differently? What has stayed the same? I believe we can learn a lot from each other about how to best enjoy our time as DVC members. Let me know!

3 thoughts on “Disney Vacation Club – A Change of Pace

  • Love this article we have been members since 2018 and usually rope drop and all of that, we are planning a trip around Halloween and will be doing more of a relaxing trip. Only a few days in the park. Cannot wait!

  • That sounds like a great idea. The guarantee of future trips makes it much easier to chill! Love DVC!

  • We use to vacation the way you did pre-DVC. We would go in the parks from rope drop to closing. This past trip (just got home) we did resort only except for the monsoon Moonlight Madness at AK. We loved the slow down. However, once we decide to get annual passes, we will be in the parks more, just not from opening to closing!

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