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PassPorter’s Disney Vacation Club Guide

PassPorter’s® Disney Vacation Club Guide by Cheryl Pendry and Petula Brown

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2009 by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

P.O. Box 3880, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106 • 877-929-3273 Visit us on the World Wide Web at http://www.passporter.com PassPorter® is a registered trademark of MediaMarx, Inc. Photographs MediaMarx, Inc., unless otherwise noted

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PassPorter’s® Disney Vacation Club Guide is not affiliated with, authorized or endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with The Walt Disney Company, Disney Vacation Development, Inc., Disney Vacation Club, or any of their affiliates. While every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information in this book, the passage of time will always bring changes, and consequently, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for errors that may occur. The author and publisher of this book shall not be held liable for any information (valid or invalid) presented here and do not represent The Walt Disney Company. Walt Disney World® is a registered trademark of The Walt Disney Company. This book makes reference to various Disney copyrighted characters, trademarks, marks, and registered marks owned by The Walt Disney Company, Disney Enterprises, Inc., and other trademark owners. The use in this guide of trademarked names and images is strictly for editorial purposes, and no commercial claim to their use, or suggestion of sponsorship or endorsement, is made by the author or publisher. Those words or terms that the author and publisher have reason to believe are trademarks are designated as such by the use of initial capitalization, where appropriate. However, no attempt has been made to identify or designate all words or terms to which trademark or other proprietary rights may exist. Nothing contained herein is intended to express a judgment on, or affect the validity of legal status of, any word or term as a trademark, service mark, or other proprietary mark. PassPorter’s® Disney Vacation Club Guide is edited by Carrie Hayward. The information presented is for entertainment purposes. Any stated opinions are ours alone, unless otherwise noted, and do not represent The Walt Disney Company or anyone else. Materials submitted and credited by persons other than ourselves are used here with their permission, and any associated rights belong to them. Any and all written messages, suggestions, ideas, or other information shared with the authors in response to this guide shall be deemed and shall remain the property of PassPorter Travel Press. Special Sales: PassPorter Travel Press publications are available at special discounts for bulk purchases for sales premiums or promotions. Special editions, including personalized covers and excerpts of existing guides, can be created in large quantities. For information, write to Special Sales, P.O. Box 3880, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48106. Resale of this guide is strictly prohibited without the copyright holder’s permission. If you purchased this publication from someone other than PassPorter Travel Press, please call 877-929-3273.

ISBN-13: 978-1-58771-066-7 ISBN-10: 1-58771-066-8 Version 1.2 (10/19/2009)

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All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this publication may be store in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted under sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act.


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PassPorter’®s Disney Vacation Club Guide Authored by Cheryl Pendry and Petula Brown Edited by Carrie Hayward

PassPorter Travel Press An imprint of MediaMarx, Inc. P.O. Box 3880, Ann Arbor, MI 48106 877-WAYFARER http://www.passporter.com


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PassPorter’s Disney Vacation Club Guide

About the Authors

Petula Brown is a new member of the PassPorter team who traveled to Disney years before becoming a DVC member in 2006. Most recently, she’s visited Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, the Villas at Wilderness Lodge, and Animal Kingdom Villas. She is a freelance travel writer, a wife, and a mother of a gradeschooler. Petula has written for the Ann Arbor News, JAXFAX, Odyssey Couleur, Pathfinders Travel and World & I Online. Petula writes the column “Healthful Hideaways” for the Ann Arbor-based Crazy Wisdom Community Journal as well as “Families on the Go” for SheKnows.com.

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Carrie Hayward has edited newspaper, magazine, and web copy for 15 years, but she’s been a fan of Disneyland all her life. She and her husband, Patrick, try to visit the park monthly, and they especially enjoy date nights at Disneyland for swing dancing at Carnation Plaza Gardens. Carrie and Patrick recently visited Walt Disney World to celebrate the anniversary of their marriage at Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion.

Nathan Root

About the Editor

Author Acknowledgments Cheryl thanks everyone who helped with this, my co-author Petula, Jennifer and Dave for giving me the opportunity, and Carrie for her help and support. My biggest thanks to my wonderful husband, Mark, for being there for me throughout this. I couldn’t have done it without you! Petula thanks the entire PassPorter team for the chance to learn new things, use my skills, and have fun at the same time! Also, thanks to the numerous DVC cast members who helped me compile and validate information. Last but not least, kudos to my husband for his patience and help. By giving me time and space during late nights at home and on the road, you enabled me to make deadlines (usually) and keep my sanity.

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Cheryl Pendry has been a Disney fan for as long as she can remember, and she and her husband, Mark, visit Walt Disney World at least once a year. They have been Disney Vacation Club members since 2002, with their hearts firmly at the Beach Club Villas. Those points, along with the ones they’ve since added on, have allowed Cheryl and Mark to take numerous Disney vacations, enjoy Disney cruises, visit Disneyland, and stay in some of the world’s finest hotels. A former journalist, Cheryl has made numerous contributions to the weekly PassPorter News, and she has been a peer reviewer of PassPorter’s Walt Disney World, PassPorter’s Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call, and PassPorter’s Disneyland Resort and Southern California Attractions.


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PassPorter Peer Reviewers Dianne Cook and her husband, Tom, had a Disney honeymoon and now “do Disney” twice a year with their sons, Andrew and Matthew. A Disney Vacation Club member since 1996, Dianne is also a PassPorter Guide.

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Claudine Jamba, her husband, Ted, and children, Ethan and Colin, have made five trips to Walt Disney World since becoming Disney Vacation Club members in 2005. Claudine is a Passporter Message Board Guide. Tim Krasniewski is the founder of the website DVCNews.com and an owner at three Disney Vacation Club resorts. He visits the Disney parks two or three times per year with wife Lisa and children Andy and Molly. Sabine Rautenberg lives in Germany with her husband, Manuel. Together they love to travel to the States and Florida in particular. Last year they became Disney Vacation Club members and discovered their love for Disney cruising. Sabine is also a PassPorter Guide. Marnie Urmaza, her husband, Matt, and children, Alexa and Colin, have made seven trips to Walt Disney World since 2003, including a Disney Cruise. Marnie also enjoys being a PassPorter Message Board Guide.

PassPorter Acknowledgments Thank you to the many people who contributed information and photos to this book: DawnDenise, Keith Stanton, huizarst, eeyoresmom, KG Holt, Sue Kulick, meghan0106, Laura Dawson, Dawn H., Lynn Mirante, Victoria G., NevQueen, and Natalie Pock. Thanks also go to the members of all the online communities devoted to discussing the Disney Vacation Club for generously sharing their information and experiences. And special thanks to these very important folks behind the scenes at PassPorter Travel Press: Publishers: Jennifer and Dave Marx Layout and Design: Jennifer Marx Office Manager: Chad Larner Online Coordinator and Newsletter Editor: Sara Varney


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PassPorter’s Disney Vacation Club Guide

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Cheryl Pendry

Chapter 1: Introduction.............................................................................................................. 9 How the Magic Has Grown .................................................................................................. 10 Disney Vacation Club vs. Other Timeshares........................................................................11 Taking the Disney Vacation Club Tour ................................................................................ 12 Finding Out More Before You Buy ........................................................................................13 Chapter 2: Buying into the Disney Vacation Club .............................................................. 15 Pros and Cons of Disney Vacation Club Membership .........................................................17 How Much Is It Going to Cost? ..............................................................................................19 Break-Even Analysis .............................................................................................................20 Choosing Your Home Resort ................................................................................................ 22 Selecting Your Use Year .......................................................................................................24 Buying From Disney vs. Buying Resale ................................................................................ 25 Financing Your Disney Vacation Club Payment .................................................................. 26 Disney Vacation Club Purchase Process ............................................................................. 27 Chapter 3: How the Point System Works .............................................................................. 29 Using Your Points Effectively...............................................................................................30 Making a Reservation........................................................................................................... 36 Banking and Borrowing ........................................................................................................ 39 Owning at Different Home Resorts..................................................................................... 41 Managing Your Points Worksheet .......................................................................................42 Chapter 4: Welcome Home: Your Membership ...................................................................43 Members Only! .................................................................................................................... 44 Housekeeping Services ........................................................................................................46 Travel Services ......................................................................................................................47 Discounts for Disney Vacation Club Members ..................................................................49 Other Membership Perks ..................................................................................................... 58 Special Events for Disney Vacation Club Members ............................................................60 Renting Out Your Points ....................................................................................................... 61 Adding On Points .................................................................................................................. 63 Selling Your Points ................................................................................................................ 63 Paying Your Dues .................................................................................................................. 66

Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, one of the newest resorts

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Table of Contents


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Cheryl Pendry

Chapter 5: The Disney Vacation Club Resorts..................................................................... 67 Resort Comparisons ............................................................................................................. 68 Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas ...........................................................................................70 Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort ............................................................. 75 Disney’s Beach Club Villas ................................................................................................... 79 Disney’s BoardWalk Villas ....................................................................................................84 Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort ..................................................................................... 89 Disney’s Old Key West Resort ............................................................................................ 103 Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa ........................................................................... 108 Disney’s Vero Beach Resort ................................................................................................113 The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge ........................................................................... 122 The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel .................................................................127 Aloha to the Disney Vacation Club .....................................................................................131 Which Resort Is Best? ..........................................................................................................132 Lodging Worksheet ............................................................................................................. 134 Chapter 6: Other Destinations: The Disney Collection ....................................................135 Other Resorts at Walt Disney World.................................................................................. 136 Disneyland ...........................................................................................................................138 Disney Cruise Line ..............................................................................................................141 Other Disney Parks Around the World..............................................................................144 Chapter 7: Worldwide Destinations Using Your Points ................................................... 147 Adventurer Collection (Adventures By Disney) ............................................................... 148 Concierge Collection ...........................................................................................................153 World Passport Collection .................................................................................................. 160 PassPorter 30% Discount ...........................................................................................................163 PassPorter Title List for 2009 .....................................................................................................163 “Free” E-Books ............................................................................................................................ 164 What is PassPorter? ................................................................................................................... 165 More PassPorters ....................................................................................................................... 166 Even More PassPorters ...............................................................................................................167 Register Your PassPorter ........................................................................................................... 168 PassPorter Online ...................................................................................................................... 169

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PassPorter’s Disney Vacation Club Guide

Sanaa, the table-service restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas’ Kidani Village


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PassPorter’s Disney Vacation Club Guide

About This E-book Unlike other e-books you may have seen in the past, this e-book was created to look the same as a regular print guidebook ... but with added features and interactivity! Here are some tips on making the most of this e-book:

Hyperlinks We’ve created clickable hyperlinks for every web address in this book. Just click and you’ll instantly be connected to the particular web site (assuming you’re online). Printing We’ve carefully formatted this document so it can be printed easily. There are a variety of ways to do it, depending on your needs. Here are the details: Simple Print—Just press the Print button or select Print from your File menu while you’re in Adobe Acrobat. What you see is what you get. Print for PassPorter—To print this e-book so it can be placed into your deluxe PassPorter, you’ll want to be sure that the pages print at the correct size (5.5” wide by 8.5” tall) and back-to-back. This can be tricky. To print pages at the right size, bring up your Print settings in Adobe Acrobat and look for a “Page Scaling” option—make sure it is either turned off or set at “None.” To print pages back-to-back (on both sides of the sheet of paper), print only the odd pages of the book, take those pages and place them back in the printer, and then print the even pages of the book. This may take some time to get just right. Once the pages are printed, trim them to 5.5” x 8.5” and then use a hole punch to punch out the six marked holes (for insertion in a deluxe binder) or trim the pages on the dotted line (to insert them in the PassPocket of a spiral edition). Print and Bind—If you want this book printed and bound for you, consider using a local Kinko’s, which will print a PDF file sent to them electronically—you then pick it up in your local store. For details, visit http://www.fedex.com/us/office/. A similar option is offered by http://www.lulu.com Also check the PassPorter Store at http://www.passporterstore.com/store, as we plan to begin offering print versions of our popular e-books. If you have problems printing in Adobe Acrobat Reader, visit this web page for tips: http://www.adobe.com/support/products/acrreader.html. Sharing We know it is tempting to simply e-mail this file to a friend or family member, but we encourage you to instead send them to a link to purchase the book. Without support, we won’t be able to keep this e-book updated or produce future e-books. Here’s the link you can give others: http://www.passporter.com/disney-vacation-club.asp

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Bookmarks We’ve bookmarked each section of this e-book so you can go right to the place that interests you. Look for the Bookmark section in Adobe Acrobat, which will act as a sort of electronic table of contents.


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Chapter 1

Introduction

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If you’ve been to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida or the Disneyland Resort in California, or if you’ve cruised on the Disney Magic or the Disney Wonder, chances are that you have seen information booths about the Disney Vacation Club. If you’ve ever wondered what the club is all about or wanted to learn more, PassPorter’s Disney Vacation Club Guide is the perfect introduction. This book will answer the most commonly Natalie Pock asked questions to help you decide whether the Disney Vacation Club is the right investment for you. We’ll also explore the club’s points system—including how to buy, bank, and borrow points—show you how to choose a home resort, and discuss membership dues.

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For those who are already members, this guide brings together everything you need in one Every Disney Vacation Club resort features place, including a look at all the a “Welcome Home” sign like this one ways you can spend your points at Animal Kingdom Villas and the various benefits available to you. Don’t forget that Disney Vacation Club members can use their points to visit other destinations around the world, including Disney parks and cruises, along with top hotels in a range of cities. You can even take an Adventures by Disney package tour. PassPorter’s Disney Vacation Club Guide will help you manage your points, explore other club destinations, and explain the ins and outs of ownership. All of the Disney Vacation Club resorts have different themes and amenities. While the majority are located at Walt Disney World in Florida, two offer the opportunity for beach getaways at Vero Beach in Florida and Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. PassPorter’s Disney Vacation Club Guide offers an in-depth look at these resorts, which are not usually covered in Disney guidebooks. We’ll also take a peek at two new properties Disney has in the works, one in California and one in Hawaii. So turn the page to start learning everything you need to know about the “best kept Disney secret”!


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PassPorter’s Disney Vacation Club Guide

How the Magic Has Grown

Since then, further building has taken place inside The first resort, now known the Walt Disney World Resort, usually in the form as Disney’s Old Key West of accommodation added to existing Deluxe resorts. The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge opened in 2000, followed by Disney’s Beach Club Villas in 2002. Perhaps the most ambitious expansion, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa sits across the lake from Downtown Disney. The Disney Institute villas and nearby Fairway Villas were demolished and replaced with what has grown to be 1,320 villa-style accommodations, making Saratoga Springs the biggest Disney Vacation Club resort to date. Further additions to existing resorts at Walt Disney World followed, with Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas adding Disney Vacation Club rooms on the top floor of the lodge and, in the spring of 2009, a whole new building, Kidani Village. A new building has also been added to Disney’s Contemporary Resort: Bay Lake Tower, which opened in August 2009. And an additional phase of development at Saratoga Springs brought the former Disney Institute’s 60 treehouse suites along the Sassagoula River back into use as three-bedroom villas in summer 2009. As for the future of the Disney Vacation Club, it seems likely that the number of resorts will continue to keep pace with the growing number of members. In 2007 Disney announced a new Vacation Club property adjacent to the Grand Californian Hotel at the Disneyland Resort, along with plans for a Disney Vacation Club resort on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. With continuous building work over the last few years and more than 100,000 families from over 100 different countries as members, it’s clear that the Disney Vacation Club is a huge success.

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The second resort was built near Vero Beach on the Florida coast, around 2 1/2 hours’ drive southeast of Orlando. Opened in 1995, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort was at the forefront of a period of rapid expansion for the Disney Vacation Club, which added two more resorts over the next year. Disney’s BoardWalk Villas opened on the shores of Crescent Lake, between Epcot and what is now Disney’s Hollywood Studios, while Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort became the first Disney Vacation Club resort outside of Florida.

NevQueen

Disney debuted its “vacation ownership program” in 1990. The imaginatively titled Disney Vacation Club Resort, now known as Disney’s Old Key West Resort, opened a year later and was the only option for those wanting to become Disney Vacation Club members.


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Disney Vacation Club vs. Other Timeshares So what differentiates the Disney Vacation Club from other timeshares? To understand how different the two concepts are, let’s start with some similarities. With both, you pay a portion of the price of the property for an ownership interest in that property. You’ll also pay annual maintenance fees, regardless of whether you’re making use of your investment.

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Both the Disney Vacation Club and conventional timeshares allow you to rent your timeshare out if you know that you won’t be able to use it in a particular year. This means that it won’t go to waste and you’ll receive payment for it. But that’s where the similarities end. Traditional timeshares work on the principle that you are buying a set period of time in the property that remains the same each year—for example, the second week in May or perhaps two weeks in December. You won’t be surprised to learn that the price is likely to be a lot higher at peak times of the year than at quieter times. This system is perfect if you’re happy to return to the same place at the same time every year. But what happens if your circumstances change and you can’t go away at that time of the year any longer? Under the standard timeshare operation, if you want to change the week that you travel or your destination, your only option is to swap with someone else. It sounds simple enough, but it’s worth remembering that it may not be that easy to find another person to trade with. Demand for your dates or your resort’s location may be low. If you can’t find anyone, you can go through an exchange company, which will endeavour to match what you are offering with what someone else wants. Some timeshares operate what’s known as a flex system. Under this plan, you can buy a share in a particular season at your chosen resort. Weeks are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, so this is a good option for those who plan far ahead. But if you prefer to take last-minute breaks, you may find that there’s no availability for the time you want to visit. The Disney Vacation Club operates on a points system, which is the most flexible of the three options. We’ll cover how it works in detail in later chapters, but essentially you purchase a certain number of points that can be used at any participating resort throughout the whole year. There is no minimum stay, you can choose different sizes of villas, and you can even book multiple villas, say for a family reunion. The number of points you use will depend on such factors as villa size and the time of year you’re traveling. This allows you to change your vacation plans from year to year, varying when and where you travel. You can even skip a year without losing the benefits. Perhaps the biggest difference between the Disney Vacation Club and some other timeshares is how the product is sold. We’ve all heard horror stories about highpressure sales pitches, and indeed some countries and states have put laws in place to protect people from these methods. There’s no danger of anyone feeling pressured to buy into the Disney Vacation Club, and the Guides you speak to are more than happy to let you walk away if the decision isn’t the right one for you.


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But the best way to learn more about the Disney Vacation Club Preview Center at Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa is to take a tour at the Disney Vacation Club Preview Center at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort or adjacent to Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel at Disneyland. You’ll get to see the rooms in person and learn more about where you can use your points. The Disney Vacation Club is currently selling points at four resorts: Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and the Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. At Saratoga Springs’ preview center you will be shown a scale model of a Treehouse villa and a full-size replica of a two-bedroom villa at Animal Kingdom Villas and at Bay Lake Tower. There is also a BoardWalk Villas model room near Big River Grille at Disney’s BoardWalk. Visitors to Disneyland may tour a model of the Villas at the Grand Patrick Johnson Californian. If you wish to visit the preview center but don’t have a car to get around Disney property, a cast member at any Disney Vacation Club kiosk can arrange for a van to pick you up from a park or resort and drop you off there afterward.

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When you get to the preview center, you’ll meet the person who will become your Guide Model of a Bay Lake Tower studio if you decide to buy into the club. If for any reason you don’t feel comfortable with him or her, be sure to say something at the earliest possible stage. The Guide will be your salesperson initially and for any future points purchases from Disney.

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If you’re heading to Disneyland or Walt Disney World soon, it’s worth checking out one of the Disney Vacation Club kiosks. You’ll find them at every Disney resort, inside all the theme parks, and at Downtown Disney. The cast members there can provide b a s i c i n f o rm a t i o n a n d arrange for you to take a tour.

Patrick Johnson

Taking the Disney Vacation Club Tour


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Don’t worry—the tours aren’t like those of other timeshares. They’re not high pressure at all and are well worth taking if you really want to find out more before making up your mind. You won’t be expected to join the Disney Vacation Club on the spot. Many people have taken the tour and decided that the time wasn’t right for them to join, and they have never been made to feel uncomfortable about it.

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During the tour you may be told about special offers on points purchases and given a limited amount of time to decide whether to join before the offer expires. Usually the time frame is between three and 10 days, although there are reports of people going back to their Guides after this period and still receiving the special offer.

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Patrick Johnson

The tour can last for as long as you like. Some people report being there for as little as an hour, while others linger for as many as three or four hours. It’s a good idea to allow two hours, but it really depends on how much you want to think about things after you’ve seen the resort and on whether you decide to buy in. If you do Villas at the Grand Californian model decide to become a member, you will spend additional time signing documents and receiving a membership pack. This includes a Vacation Planner binder containing all your points charts and lots of useful information. Usually only adults participate in the tour, so childcare is provided. Although it’s not guaranteed, sometimes you will be given a gift as you’re leaving to compensate you for your time. It varies, but in the past the gift has been a set of FASTPASSes good for any attraction, ice cream, or sometimes even a gift card.

Finding Out More Before You Buy Although you already have a wealth of information at your fingertips in this guide, you may still have questions. If that’s the case, there are lots of ways you can find out more before you decide whether you want to join the Disney Vacation Club. The first and most important way is to contact the Disney Vacation Club directly. The web site (http://dvc.disney.go.com/dvc/index) is packed full of excellent information and lots of photos, including 360-degree views of the rooms at each Disney Vacation Club resort. One of the best resources may well be Disney’s “guided home tour,” which allows you to take a personalized online tour of the Disney Vacation Club with an experienced guide. To do this, you’ll have to first get a guest ID by calling 1-866-240-3817. And if you want a copy of the Disney Vacation Club’s free introductory DVD, you can either order it through the web site or call 1-800-500-3990.


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Finding Out More Before You Buy (continued) Until recently, the only way to experience the Disney Vacation Club in person was to take a tour at Walt Disney World or Disneyland. But in August 2007 all that changed with the opening of Disney’s Doorway to Dreams at the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois. This Disney Vacation Club Preview Center is open seven days a week and includes a full-scale model of a two-bedroom vacation home at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas. There is also a dedicated children’s play area and what’s described as an “interactive family vacation discovery zone.” This includes places to sit and talk to Disney Vacation Club representatives and to learn more about the Vacation Club. You can’t miss the place—the entrance features a silhouette of that most famous Disney icon, Mickey Mouse.

Sometimes, though, you don’t necessarily want the official line. There may be things that you’re not certain about, or you may want to hear firsthand experiences from Disney Vacation Club members. One great place to learn more and to ask any unanswered questions is at the PassPorter message boards. The Owning the Magic forum is dedicated to Disney Vacation Club ownership (http://www. passporterboards.com/forums/owning-magic-disney-vacation-club). It’s frequented by people who are already Disney Vacation Club members and those who are thinking about buying in. We can usually help with most questions! DVC News (http://dvcnews.com) is a great resource for breaking news, points charts, and up-to-date information on current pricing and promotions. The site features a “DVC for Beginners” FAQ and a searchable database of room photos and descriptions for most Disney Vacation Club resorts. You can also sign up for an info-packed weekly newsletter and join the discussion on the site’s message boards. MouseOwners (http://www.mouseowners.com) is another independent site full of information about the Disney Vacation Club. One of its popular features is a message board where you can rent points from members for your vacation or rent out your own points if you aren’t able to use them. The DIS (http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-vacation-club/index.html) features a Disney Vacation Club section with points charts, a points calculator, and discussion forums dedicated to such topics as club operations, planning, and resort availability. There is also a rent/trade board. It’s a great resource for personal experiences and opinions from members and nonmembers alike. And, as you’d expect from such a comprehensive Disney site, AllEarsNet has its own section about the Disney Vacation Club, complete with some wonderful photo tours of the various resorts (http://allearsnet.com/acc/dvc.htm) and especially useful pages on Disney’s Vero Beach Resort and Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort.

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A second Disney’s Doorway to Dreams is located in the Roosevelt Field Mall in Long Island, New York. To find out more, visit http://www.disneysdoorwaytodreams.com.


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Chapter 2

Becoming a Disney Vacation Club member opens up a world of vacation opportunities—and not just at the Disney parks! There are actually five different categories of vacations, known as Member Getaways, available when you join: Disney Vacation Club resorts, the Disney Collection, the Adventurer Collection, the Cheryl Pendry World Passport Collection, and the Concierge Collection.

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Patrick Johnson

The majority of the Disney Vacation Club resorts are located at Walt Disney World, and each offers a different theme. From the laidback Florida lifestyle of Disney’s Old Key West Resort to the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest at Disney’s Villas at Wilderness Lodge, there’s something f or Disney’s BoardWalk Villas on Crescent Lake everyone. Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa takes you to turn-of-thecentury upstate New York, while Disney’s BoardWalk Villas and Disney’s Beach Club Villas echo bygone seaside resorts. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas offers savannas full of animals right outside the rooms, and Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort overlooks the Magic Kingdom.

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Buying into the Disney Vacation Club

Model of the Disney Vacation Club resort at the Ko Olina Resort & Marina

Three more Disney Vacation Club resorts can be found in Vero Beach, Florida; Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; and Anaheim, California, at Disneyland. Disney’s newest resort, to be located at the Ko Olina Resort & Marina in Honolulu, Hawaii, will also feature Disney Vacation Club units when it’s completed in 2011.


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The Disney Collection allows members to use their points for stays at other hotels at Walt Disney World; at the hotels of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA; and at Disneyland Resort Paris, Hong Cheryl Pendry Kong Disneyland Resort, and the Tokyo Disney Resort. Sailings on the Disney Cruise Line are another option.

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The World Passport Collection opens Hong Kong Disneyland up point-exchange opportunities with Resort Condominium International (RCI), a timeshare organization that features locations across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe and as far afield as Africa, India, Argentina, Indonesia, and Australia. Points can also be exchanged through the Buena Vista Trading Company, which offers two collections: Club Cordial, which specializes in trips to Austria and Italy, and Club Intrawest, which focuses more on destinations in the U.S. and Canada. And, for a touch of luxury, the Concierge Collection features 11 of the top hotels in America and one in London. We cover all of the various categories of Member Getaways in more detail in later chapters of this book.

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Patrick Johnson

The Concierge Collection’s Hotel del Coronado in San Diego inspired the architecture of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

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The Adventurer Collection offers guided vacations through Adventures by Disney. These expertly planned trips bring that extra touch of Disney magic to destinations around the world.


PassPorter’s Disney Vacation Club Guide

Page 17

Pros and Cons of Disney Vacation Club Membership Because membership in the Disney Vacation Club is a major financial investment, it is important to consider every aspect of it. There are a number of factors involved in ascertaining the value of Disney Vacation Club membership, and not all may be of equal importance to you. We’ve provided several of the pros and cons below.

Pros of Membership

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• Lock in Room Rates—The cost of Disney lodging for your vacation changes only with an increase in annual dues, which, at around 3.5% per year, is usually less than the annual increase in resort room rates. • Discounts—Members receive discounts on the cost of annual passes ($100 off the price of regular annual passes and $125 off the price of premium annual passes), along with discounted admission to the Disney water parks. There are also discounts for restaurants, resort-based programs, tours, recreation, and shopping. • Toll-Free Planning Resource—The cast members at the Disney Vacation Club’s Member Services can assist you with booking Member Getaways, flights on some airlines and car rentals (with a confirmed accommodation reservation), room requests, and MediaMarx, Inc. dining reservations (excluding Hilton Head Island). This also applies to international guests, who will receive special toll-free numbers to call.

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• Pool-Hopping Privileges—When the resorts aren’t at capacity, members can use most Walt Disney World resort pools. You The Polynesian Resort’s theme pool can confirm the availability of this feature with the Concierge. The Uzima Pool at Animal Kingdom Lodge and all pools at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club resorts are excluded. • Reduced Room Rates—Members can receive a discount (usually around 25%) on cash reservations at Disney Vacation Club resorts. • Extra Room Guests—Members do not pay a surcharge when more than two adults stay in one Disney Vacation Club unit (up to the maximum occupancy) regardless of whether they use their own points, rent points, or pay cash.


Peek at PassPorter's Disney Vacation Club Guide