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Feeling frustrated with Discovery program

LadySM

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Good Morning!
My husband and I bought a Discovery program with 400,000 pts. I found you all too late but I am not complaining as it was good for us at the time. Our daughter finished her Disney College Program then did a Professional Internship and then was hired full time as a stage tech. So I searched for an affordable place to stay for a week starting the Black Friday and following week and found an owner who rents out in Bonnet Creek in 2014. Of course being newbies to this and getting checked in we had to get parking pass - well you all know what happens next. We could not afford the full deal so they offered us the Discovery program which we bought. Now comes the problem.

I called to book a week back in early January in a 2 bedroom at Bonnet Creek for April 10, 2016. The person we are suppose to call is actually the second person so far in this position. We can not go on line to book - I think this is a huge disadvantage to the program. She only works Tuesday - Saturday and the recording (not a live person) says she does not work in a call center so she will get back to me. It has taken me days to get her to call me back! Tell her specifically to call me on my cell and she calls my home so I miss the call. Finally get to talk to her live and she says she can only book the first 4 days of that week as Thursday in that week and the week before and I think she said the week after in the whole resort is booked. She was going to look into it and see why but I would have at least the 4 days. I asked her to keep trying and get back to me when she got them. Well a few weeks later I am calling again and same thing - multi times before call back. As of this past Thursday when I finally got to speak to her still no complete week. I asked availability other weeks but I did not want to go into May as we are taking my parents down to see their granddaughter for first time in Disney and they are almost 80 and the heat the past 2 years has been so bad. We will be driving down from Staten Island as grandma will not fly.

So can someone tell me why the Thursdays in April (not going Passover week - too much for parents) would be booked and stopping me from getting a full week? I have till August 6th to use these 400,000 points and so far have not been able to use any. Not happy.

I think we will be sticking with our camping timeshares - Thousand Trails and Travel Resorts of America as we have a 38ft travel trailer and plan on seeing the USA full time when I retire in 2.5 years.
Thanks for any insight you can give me!
Linda
 

bnoble

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Bonnet is large, but popular. It has no full weeks available at all for all of April. You might have better luck at Cypress Palms (try checking on on the 9th) or Star Island.
 

MaryBella7

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People start booking at 10 months before to get the best rooms/locations, and most desirable locations have very limited, if any, selection within 6 months of vacation time. Holiday reservations are very tough to get, and lots of people also book for long weekends, which is why you are probably able to get the first 4 days of the week. There are a lot of owners trying to get the best locations, so things get booked. It looks like April is completely booked for full-week vacations right now, but the very beginning of May appears to have some availability and shouldn't be too hot yet.

VIP members, depending on level, also get a discount on rooms at 60 days before, so that can make it tough to get any last-minute reservations.

Timesharing is good for planners as you will need to know well in advance what you want. Sometimes you can get reservations closer, but for most of the more popular resorts, you need to book far in advance. If your points expire in August, you will want to select something now to use them before they expire. If you don't plan vacations in advance, Wyndham timesharing may not be a good fit for you.
 

vacationhopeful

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I am familiar with Star Island .. it has FRI, SAT and SUN checkin units. It is perhaps quieter than Bonnet Creek and has a nice spa in the main building. The activities group is well rounded .. esp the nice adult music in the evening. There is LOTS of good dining ... just out the main gate ... Olive Garden and TGIFridays (who used to deliver to the resort using their golf cart). A good strip mall with a larger grocery store is less than 3/4 mile from the main entrance ... plus several other sit down "chain" dining options (or take out). It has many tennis courts for the younger generation.
 

CruiseGuy

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These are the weeks immediately following the prime time for spring break, so it's a little late to try to be booking them. Most people are probably making reservations at 9 and 10 months out for Bonnet Creek during this time. There's a chance that something could open up closer to 15 days out if someone cancels. But for most of us that means playing with extra reservation transactions to book something to have for sure now, then cancel and book something else later when it open up.

Both Cypress Palms and Fire Island currently appear to have 1 BR units open at the time you're looking for.

At 3 and 4 months out, you take your chances for being able to get anything. If you're going to vacation in the resort's off-season though, it may not be an issue to plan 6 months out. For timeshares, you really have to typically plan 9-10 months out, and in some cases, 13 months using ARP for Prime Time at a high demand resort. This is something a lot of people don't understand and that sales doesn't really tell prospective buyers.
 

LadySM

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Thanks everyone for the info. Just was not sure why the Thursdays were even booked.
I guess we will change our week - maybe early May. Would need 2 bedroom if I can get parents to go. I am a planner and husband is not. He thinks this works the same as our camping timeshare and it just doesn't. Otherwise will move parents trip to October and we fly down for a trip without them. Got to get it into his head we have to plan to use the rest of our points now or we lose them. Asked about extending and booking in October but would only do it if we bought into full program. That is not happening as I have learned so much from this group.
Thanks again for you help!
Linda
 

MaryBella7

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Thanks everyone for the info. Just was not sure why the Thursdays were even booked.

In a lot of places when you book in advance, you have to have a check-in or check-out date on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. You also have to book a 3, 4, or 7 night reservation (it is quite a bit more complex than this with tricks and ways around it, but for simplicity's sake, this explanation will do). Therefore, if you want to check out on Sunday for a weekend trip, your check in would be Thursday to fulfill the 3 night requirement.
 

LadySM

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Changed our dates

Just an update - after too many calls to the person who books our vacation dates - since we are in a Discovery program we don't have access to online booking - we changed our dates. Now going April 29 - May 10th. Had to tell her to try different dates - like April 30 - May 10th and we got Cypress Palms 2 bedroom. Not quite happy I had to tell her how to do her job. Just need to find a hotel for the first night as we booked the flights before the condo - jetBlue ran a sale with 25% off using your points and I was able to get 3 round trip flights and have a few pts left over. Not sure if I should push to see if Bonnet Creek would be available just before/at the 15 day cutoff? Bonnet Creek would save me 70,000 pts. That would give me about 215,000 pts to use for another week someplace - only have till August 6th to use them all.
Thanks for all your help and info! I have learned a lot.
Linda
 
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