Let’s Chat About The Disney Vacation Club’s Newest Additions: Grand Floridian Villas And The Polynesian Resort

If you know anything about the Disney Vacation Club’s expansion to the Grand Floridian Villas or the Polynesian Resort – please leave a comment below. I wrote a VERY LONG POST about the two and I don’t want you to get discouraged by the whole thing if you just want to leave some info. LOL!!!!

disney vacation club polynesian resort grand floridian villas

I have spent the last three days trying to convince my husband to buy into the Disney Vacation Club. I’ve been wanting to get a timeshare since 1999 and no that’s not a joke. In fact, we’ve purchased TWO in our lifetime and Bill has made me return both within the 7 day marker because after much thought – he didn’t see the value.

Well, I crunched some hard numbers two years ago (I’m talking spreadsheets folks) and I determined that the ONLY timeshare that is really a bang for your buck is the Disney Vacation Club. BUT this is only true if you plan on using the timeshare at DISNEY and do NOT mess around with trading out to II and RCI. Disney Vacation Club is too high end to trade into those agencies and you will hardly EVER get an equal trade.

disney vacation club polynesian resort grand floridian villas

Fast forward back to Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Eve, I was pricing out cruises for 2013. As soon as I have this baby, I want to go away with my family on a Disney Cruise. I enjoyed the Fantasy Inaugural Launch SO MUCH that I just have to take my kids. I think this little nugget has to be 6 months old so that puts up in 4th quarter of 2013. I found one that I liked but it’s SUPER expensive because it’s during the holiday break. Natalie is old now – so we don’t want to take her out of school TOO much if we can avoid it.

And it got me thinking… IF I’m going to spend $10,000 on a freaking cruise – should I look BACK into the Disney Vacation Club??? I might as well put that purchase towards a membership, right?

disney vacation club polynesian resort grand floridian villas

A quick conversation with one of the Disney Vacation Club members and I determined that I want back in. BUT HERE’S THE THING.

There are two places currently available for purchase at Walt Disney World. One of which is the Bay Lake Tower (which is right next to the Contemporary). There is a little walk walk that connects the Bay Lake Tower to the regular hotel / tram. This is a GREAT APPEAL to us because we always stay on the tram. I DESPISE the bus. BUT when I look at the actual tower, I’m just not loving the UBER MODERN design. And it’s not that I dislike it a little… I totally hate it. Not my cup of tea. But the proximity to Disney World is very, very appealing.

disney vacation club polynesian resort grand floridian villas

And then there’s the Animal Kingdom Time share which puts us on the BUS route BUT at least that hotel has some serious character. There’s a second issues with that one – maintenance is WAY HIGH. It’s about $200 higher than the Bay Lake View Tower which really ADDS UP over the years.

So, we were finally winding down to a decision and then we came across a few articles online (because I am completely obsessive and researched for HOURS on Christmas day while my husband was with his family) that threw a wrench in our plans.

The Grand Floridian Villas are building timeshare space AS WE SPEAK. They will become available for purchase to the public any day now!!!!!!! The GFV are due to open late 2013 – some websites are even claiming as early as August.

disney vacation club polynesian resort grand floridian villas

We like the Grand Floridian Villas. It’s on the tram. It will probably price out just around what the Bay Lake Towers costs. Sounds too good to be true.

Issues
— we would lose all the 2012 benefits that are going on right now.
— there’s no guarantee it won’t be $15 more a point! That’s how much the Bay Lake Towers went up this year alone.
— I won’t be able to apply my cruise purchase towards that purchase because it will be too close for comfort
— there are only 147 units at the Grand Floridian Villas (who knows how fast they will go?)

 

AND THEN THERE’S THIS GOSSIP that the Polynesian Resort is about to join the Disney Vacation Club. THAT is a resort I could get behind. I think we would do fine at the Grand Floridian Villas… but it is a little upscale for the kids. We had a great time when we stayed there – don’t get me wrong. But it’s not a KIDS hotel by any means. Although they did upgrade their pool recently to include a fun little water park. I think they are trying. If Bill had to choose any property to buy into with the Disney Vacation Club, it would 100% be the Grand Floridian. That is his FAVORITE hotel. He was actually excited when we read the news. He was dragging his feet and appeasing me with the Bay Lake Towers / Animal Kingdom options.

IF the Polynesian Resort does become part of the Disney Vacation Club, I feel that would be the BEST FIT. It’s loud. It’s themed. It’s SUPER kid friendly. It’s on the tram. All things I am looking for in a HOME resort.

I know you can trade out to the other properties… but it’s always save to really love your home base right? It’s the ONLY place in the Disney Vacation Club that you are guaranteed a reservation.

So, my question is this — have you heard anything about price / availability / time for either the Grand Floridian Villas or the Polynesian Resort  and the Disney Vacation Clubs? We only have a few days left to consider this purchase!

Thanks so much!!!

16 comments

  1. Sherry

    I don’t know anything about the DVC, but I hope if you go with the cruise that they give you some sort of discount. I know you’ve worked with them in the past, so hopefully they’ll give you a deal. I nearly passed out when I saw $10,000 for their cruise! Holy hannah! I know it was an INCREDIBLE experience for you, but wow. You could probably go on 2-3 vacays for that. lol

    I still have never been to Disney nor on their cruises, but reading your posts always makes me get that Disney itch. :)

    I hope you find a great deal before the deadlines!

  2. Kim

    I own at AKL and it’s great. I waited 5 years to purchase and could have kicked myself – cost of points will go up with every property. I have had NO problem using my points at any of the the other DVC properties – ever.
    Bite the bullet and do it. Highly recommend talking to Gib mcCain as a guide – honest and not about the sell.
    I am 4 years in, used it for 9 trips and booking the cruise next week for 2013. Has paid for itself in triplicate – don’t wait for more to open, that’s what I did and that was my only regret. Ended up paying $25/point more bc I waited – oh well- having a blast now. Good luck

  3. W.B.

    We own at Bay Lake Tower. I have a feeling you would be best served waiting for the Grand Floridian. We love Bay Lake Tower – the convenience, the close proximity to the grand concourse at the Contemporary – and of course the monorail going right through the hotel. But if you don’t like the decor, you would be best serve just waiting. My guess is the Grand Floridian will be a premium price, but there is a definite advantage to owning points at the place you want to stay. Yes, I can get a room at the Grand Floridian with my Bay Lake Tower points, but only 7 months out. By that time, hardly any rooms are available at the best times of the year (such as President’s Week for New York residents). We were lucky to get get a room at Bay Lake Tower for our trip this year, and I literally reserved it exactly 11 months to the day from our expected arrival (you get to book at your ‘home resort’ 11 months out instead of 7 for all other DVC resorts). We spent about $4,000 on our first Disney trip for a three-day stay. It would have been much better for us to invest in DVC right away. You get about 50 years worth of premium hotel stays for 2012 prices – what’s not to love about that? Plus, DVC timeshare dues are about a quarter of other timeshare companies, such as Marriott. The only catch is Marriott you buy in for life – and can pass on to your kids, and with Disney you just get the 50 years (or extensions if you choose to buy them, such as at Old Key West). Good luck with your decision!

  4. Hey Vera, I highly recommend calling me if you have a chance. Get my info from Kim. I own two timeshares. Neither are with Disney, but regardless I know a lot about time shares. We use ours, I like ours, but I would never buy another one from the actually people selling them. Find someone who wants out of there timeshare that’s ready to sell for a couple of thousand dollars.

    We can trade through RCI to use Disney timeshare places whenever we like. We have to pay more to do this, but then we are stuck with the annual Disney timeshare fees.

  5. Fred Prefling

    I suggest you look into the Disney resales, save a ton! I have been a member since 1992 and we use ours all the time, never trade for the RCI!

  6. Rachel

    I agree that you should look at DVC resales. You can stay at any DVC resort if you book within 7 months of your trip, regardless of which DVC resort you buy at. AND, You can buy at all the resorts if you go resale (you aren’t limited to Bay Lake Tower and Animal Kingdom) and will pay a fraction of the cost. How does $50 per point sound as opposed to $165 per point for BLT? SSR often sells at 50 per point & I just purchased 220 BLT points for $75 per point. Good luck!

  7. EXCM

    By all means, DO NOT BUY INTO BAY LAKE TOWER. I use to work concierge in the lobby, and let me tell you, this hotel receives the most complaints from members about maintenance, cleanliness, and availability then any other DVC property. It is a nice hotel, but this hotel has the wear of a 15 year old hotel, and it was only built in 09’! For maintenance fees being so high and the hotel not being properly maintained, where is this money going!?

  8. Johnny twelve

    Totally agree on dvc resale, we purchased OKW for less than half of BLT points and bought twice as many points with the difference. Maintenance fees are cheaper too. we can still get in to the same resorts, just need to be patient. The home resort doesn’t mean much to us. The 11month rule seems to really only be applicable to whatever the newest resort is….once GFV opens, I expect BLT to be more available/open.

  9. Marge Ziemba

    We have been DVC members since 1995. Our home resort is OKW. Though we have stayed at other resorts, OKW is really home. We absolutely love it there. I have purchased DVC resales and received a real good price. To buy points now, is very expensive. I am glad we did buy the resale to add to our existing points. Haven’t missed a Disney trip at least twice a year since 1995. It’s always perfect.

  10. henry

    If interested in DVC you should look at resale. Here is a neat new site where you can research contracts available.

    If you know when you plan to travel each year it will help. If you think you will be traveling in off peak times, buy a location that is larger and less in demand (SSR or AKV) and use those points at 7 months to book into other DVC resorts. Otherwise, you need to buy where you plan to stay.

    We love the EPCOT resorts.

  11. Tania

    Have you made your decision already?

    Do not worry about buying where you want to stay. We have never stayed at our home resort. I stayed there once before we were members. After we joined, I called to make a reservation and found several openings for FEBRUARY BREAK (one of the busiest weeks in Disney!) I found availability at Old Key West, Saratoga, Animal Kingdom, Bordwalk. The only one that was limited was Bay Lake (with a nice view) So I think you will be find if you want to stay at different places. Just call as soon as your availability opens up. I even canceled ours several months later and booked a different resort and still had options for availability that week.
    How we got into DVC:
    My husband & I bought DVC when we were shopping for our honeymoon. Like what you wrote, we figured if we are going to spend X amount on a vacation, we should invest in something like this. We did want to use the RCI right away and nothing was available in the Caribbean because it was Spring Break week. However, a few months later, we were able to get RCI in Hawaii on 2 separate islands (back to back) and then spend 1 night at the new Aulani Resort (amazing by the way!!) I must say I was impressed with the RCI units, they were very clean and maintained well with nice views.
    As far as staying only on Disney property, I think you are limiting your options as you can travel to tropical and unique destinations for a quarter of the price if you ‘paid’ for it.
    When shopping for a home resort, always go with the lowest maintenance possible, unless you don’t mind paying extra. Convenience is more important than decor. I agree that the Bay Lake is too modern but it’s location is fabulous.

    I am very excited to hear about the new Villas at Grand Floridian!!! I am hoping to book that for next year when the availability opens up.

  12. Traci

    If you buy resale, you can no longer use your points for cruises. Some say it is a better deal to pay cash for cruises though. I love my DVC and feel it is a great value. Without it , we would not have been able to go back every year. We love Vero and Hilton Head too. You can not compare the value of Disney to other time shares because you don’t get Disney quality. My friends that own any where else can’t even get into Orlando unless they own there. we use our points for one person on a cruise and get a cash discount on the others.

  13. Morgan

    I just called DVC member services and they said they expect Grand Floridian to open at the end of this year, but they aren’t selling points or booking reservations yet. I own at Beach Club, bought through Disney but with points that were “repo’d” so to speak and find it a fantastic value if you are going to Disney resorts. I would have to say that if you want to stay at Grand Floridian you should buy in there, those units will be booked solid for a long time before the 7 month window for non-home DVC members. Also, you can buy less points than you eventually want somewhere and then add on later at a new “home” resort. I plan on buying like 50 points at Grand Floridian just so I can get a night or two for sure. Good luck!!

  14. Kevin Adams

    Hi

    My wife and I had the “pleasure” of a 3 1/2 hour high pressure sales at Holiday Inn Vacation Club at Lake Orange (right next to Disney) last Wednesday at the end of a 4 day Disney trip. I’ll spare you the gory details, but bottom line was $42,000 (“only” 20% down, balance financed at 16.5%!!!). My wife was disappointed because she liked the idea, and since we live in South Fl, it would be a big savings since the hotel is always the most expensive part.

    As luck would have it, we always have lunch our last Day on our Disney trips at ten Cafe in The GF(my fav hotel in all of FLA and that includes the Breakers or any of the Ritz’s down here) I struck up a conversation with the DVC rep there in the lobby, and, lo and behold, the GFV were up for sale – and for less (much) than the Holiday Inn!!! A pleasant hour later with our guide George and we were “home”