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Going for a DVC... Change my mind?!

SunsetMaven

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Background - we have owned a week at SBP for 6 or 7 years now (initially purchased for $0 off eBay) and use it as an Interval Trader. Thanks to the Sightings board, we trade into Westin Nanea, Four Seasons, NCV, Pulse, etc. And we enjoy occasional getaways (mud season @ Breck, off-season @ Orlando Marriott, etc.). It is worked out GREAT for us. Love it!

Recently, now that both our kiddos ski, we added a Hyatt Beach House platinum week ($4000 off eBay) primarily to trade into ski weeks in Colorado (we live in CO) and it has worked out tremendously well for us this season. Including our upfront purchase price (amortized over 10 years NPV0), we end up staying at Mountain Lodge and Breck Main St Station for $65/night. (Since we are local, we end up with a lot of last minute reservations.) Mind-blowing really! (Thanks @travelhacker for the encouragement and answering 1000 questions!)

In running a "gap analysis" for our family's travel style, I have always wanted a DVC and have done a ton of research but never could justify it until the last year now that our youngest one is old enough to enjoy WDW. But it still feels rather like an emotional purchase because it's tough to justify the numbers.

I'm posting here because many of you also own outside of DVC and understand the context of having II or RCI traders that give you nights at 5* resorts for ~$50-100/night (depending on your home resort MFs). For example, I just paid $400 for a getaway week in a 2 bd at the Marriot Harbour Lake!

So my questions:
1) Should I do it?

I am admittedly emotionally biased towards the ease of being in the DVC bubble (albeit the bubble is a bit less appealing now with Magical Express being discontinued and bags no longer going direct to resort).

Being on the monorail is a game changer with 2 young kids, but they won't be young forever nor will MK be our go-to forever.

I'm concerned that as the kids get into elementary school, we won't have as many opportunities to travel in the off season when we can get trades, and as much flexibility in traveling to sync up with availability. So owning at DVC plus planning 7-11 months ahead will allow us to get in when we want.

I'd like to purchase more points than what we need to rent the remainder to help pay for each year's DVC MFs. Seems like there's always a huge demand for point rentals whether going direct or through an intermediary like David's.

Locking up $30K is a big deal and if I can earn a decent amount of money on it, should we just rent points each year we want to splurge at a DVC instead? Downside is the lack of flexibility when working with another owner or intermediary.

I don't know how to determine residual value on our contract if we don't want to own at DVC anymore in 10-20 years.

2) If so - which resort?

My criteria for the DVC resort:
  • Home resort is a popular place for point renters
  • Home resort is somewhere we want to go that usually doesn’t come up at the 7 month mark
  • Longer life of contract remaining
  • MFs increases have been stable and will continue to likely be stable
Based on the above, we have decided on Bay Lake Towers because of the rental desirability by others (increasing the value of the home resort preference), the monorail access, the walkability to Magic Kingdom and the lower point requirements for rooms (compared to GF and Poly).

Just looking to bounce my thoughts off like-minded TS folks here on TUG. Any and all discussion welcomed and appreciated. Thanks!
 

AnnieBets

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Love my DVC. MFs will continue to rise. Studios at BLT are small so personally I wouldn’t consider BLT with 4 people for more than one night unless doing 1 bedroom or more. I combine stays with DVC with off-site condos. So can do several park days at DVC and then I can do more rest/pool days. I got a small direct contract to get benefits and a bigger resale contract. I spend more time and money on Disney vacations than before I bought DVC. If you like/don’t mind the value or moderate hotels, you might want to just use those instead of buying DVC.
 

CPNY

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@SunsetMaven let me be the first to send you apologies for having to deal with @travelhacker i can only imagine the advice he gave you. How they still allow him to log on here is mind boggling. Haha, just kidding just kidding! He’s been a huge help to many here.

Now that the jokes are out of the way, my knee jerk reaction is to say BUY DVC! But my logical mind says maybe not. I’ve also been looking to buy DVC and have had the same thought process about which home resort to purchase into or of it even makes any sense to buy. While bay lake is great, I don’t require close proximity to MK at this point, so for me it’s not appealing (yet you make great points about buying there as a home resort). In the short term, being in the “bubble” has no advantages. The buy in is expensive and you need to book well in advance or it won’t work. I prefer a bit more flexibility. Is the high cost really worth it?

Being in cahoots with travelH, we both purchased RCI point contracts around the same time. While it is covid, we have both been able to book DVC using RCI points this year. RCI points could be an option for future once in a while DVC trips. I noticed before covid that there was consistent availability in RCI around school breaks (winter/spring/summer breaks). This is usually when DVC point bookings are the most expensive and Many DVC members tend to book lower seasons to stretch their points. Granted, SSR and OKW are the more popular resorts that show up, it is better than nothing.

Proximity to MK is nice, personally I prefer quiet! Once I found out about those tree houses in SSR, I’d be leaning to buy there. Copper creek also has great villas but the point value is nearly 700 points for a week. Too rich for my blood. Truthfully, between the cost of DVC and the looming contract expiration dates, my thoughts have shifted away from DVC and more into buying a condo or house in Orlando to act as a vacation rental.

However, If you decide to buy DVC and were planning on buying more points than you need, I’d look to split it up into different contacts (same use year/same resort). This way you can cut down without having to sell all of it. You can always start with what you need then add smaller contracts later. Maybe a 200 point contact now then add another 100 points. You can always sell off the 100 points later if you don’t want the excess.
 
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littlestar

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I wouldn’t plan on renting out excess DVC points. It has been a rough 12 months for DVC and Disney in general with the pandemic. I would buy what you think you will use yourself with a small cushion just in case your season gets a point adjustment.

We usually tack a few DVC nights on to week long Interval getaways spent at Marriott or Sheraton. Our youngest daughter and her family are spending a week in the spring in Treasure Island, FL, and we booked a few extra nights at Disney with our DVC points to treat the grandkids. It is nice owning DVC to be able to do this (our whole family enjoys the DVC resorts).

We are very spoiled to DVC vs. Disney value and moderate resorts. So glad we didn’t sell more points than we did during the start of the pandemic (still own 185 points).
 

littlestar

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Oh, one more thing, your choice Bay Lake Towers has low maintenance fees. That is a plus in my book.
 

SunsetMaven

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Ha! This is exactly how I feel - my heart says go and my mind says STOP! STOP! STOP! But it has been this way on and off for so many years lol. Now I actually feel like I can mentally justify it a bit more with kiddos.

I have considered an RCI trader to get into SSR and AKL but it's not enough for me to commit to servicing an entire TS' MF just for those 2 places. My Interval pretty much gives me everything else I need. I do like RCI also to get into Windjammer Landing (one of our favs that we currently rent from a specific owner/friend every year or two) but doing it through RCI can't guarantee any specific units or units with private pools.

Thanks to you and everyone else on this thread so far for the insights and advice. I'm now feeling more lukewarm about it and will sleep on it a bit more. I knew posting here would give me lots of objective advice. I considered posting on Disboards but knew that this group would feel my reluctance :)



@SunsetMaven let me be the first to send you apologies for having to deal with @travelhacker i can only imagine the advice he gave you. How they still allow him to log on here is mind boggling. Haha, just kidding just kidding! He’s been a huge help to many here.

Now that the jokes are out of the way, my knee jerk reaction is to say BUY DVC! But my logical mind says maybe not. I’ve also been looking to buy DVC and have had the same thought process about which home resort to purchase into or of it even makes any sense to buy. While bay lake is great, I don’t require close proximity to MK at this point, so for me it’s not appealing (yet you make great points about buying there as a home resort). In the short term, being in the “bubble” has no advantages. The buy in is expensive and you need to book well in advance or it won’t work. I prefer a bit more flexibility. Is the high cost really worth it?

Being in cahoots with travelH, we both purchased RCI point contracts around the same time. While it is covid, we have both been able to book DVC using RCI points this year. RCI points could be an option for future once in a while DVC trips. I noticed before covid that there was consistent availability in RCI around school breaks (winter/spring/summer breaks). This is usually when DVC point bookings are the most expensive and Many DVC members tend to book lower seasons to stretch their points. Granted, SSR and OKW are the more popular resorts that show up, it is better than nothing.

Proximity to MK is nice, personally I prefer quiet! Once I found out about those tree houses in SSR, I’d be leaning to buy there. Copper creek also has great villas but the point value is nearly 700 points for a week. Too rich for my blood. Truthfully, between the cost of DVC and the looming contract expiration dates, my thoughts have shifted away from DVC and more into buying a condo or house in Orlando to act as a vacation rental.

However, If you decide to buy DVC and were planning on buying more points than you need, I’d look to split it up into different contacts (same use year/same resort). This way you can cut down without having to sell all of it. You can always start with what you need then add smaller contracts later. Maybe a 200 point contact now then add another 100 points. You can always sell off the 100 points later if you don’t want the excess.
 

SunsetMaven

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I like that a lot actually! Do an Interval week then add on DVC nights. I'd have to re-think this since if we did this, I would need a much smaller contract. Thanks!

How do you sync up dates though? I usually use Getaways or ACs for Orlando and those are usually more last-minute reservations. Is it pretty "easy" to get 2-4 night DVC reservations within 60 days if you're flexible?


I wouldn’t plan on renting out excess DVC points. It has been a rough 12 months for DVC and Disney in general with the pandemic. I would buy what you think you will use yourself with a small cushion just in case your season gets a point adjustment.

We usually tack a few DVC nights on to week long Interval getaways spent at Marriott or Sheraton. Our youngest daughter and her family are spending a week in the spring in Treasure Island, FL, and we booked a few extra nights at Disney with our DVC points to treat the grandkids. It is nice owning DVC to be able to do this (our whole family enjoys the DVC resorts).

We are very spoiled to DVC vs. Disney value and moderate resorts. So glad we didn’t sell more points than we did during the start of the pandemic (still own 185 points).
 

Serina

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Go for it! We LOVE our DVC...no regrets! The only suggestion is considering if BLT is the best home resort. As your kids are young & MK is your go to park, it’s great but as they get older, other areas might be more desirable. Personally, we love the Boardwalk/Beach Club area. It allows easy walking access to Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Disneys miniature golf course and lots of dining options. Good luck with your decision!
 

Dean

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DVC is only a reasonable purchase if you value staying on property at DVC, can afford the purchase (pay for it), are OK with the timeshare limitations (you clearly are) and you'll use only at DVC and for you, only at the park locations. I would echo the recommendation to avoid buying to rent. Like several others here I own DVC and non DVC as well and we use them for different purposes. For Orlando and Disney we're OK staying off property whether it be Marriott, Bluegreen Fountains or Wyndham Bonnet Creek but we prefer to stay at DVC. The DVC resort have location, the benefits of being on property and theming going for them. But side by side in other ways, many of the resorts in the top tier for Orlando are nicer resorts as a stand alone. DVC is very flexible and that does add value.

You'll have to decide if it's worth it to you and whether to buy DVC at all is a bigger decision than which resort or how many points but those can be big (and expensive) decisions as well. Also realize that plans and groups change, the points you'd need today are almost certainly not what you'll need in 5 or 10 years. Whether the kids stop going or go and bring guests can greatly impact your long term points needs.
 

bogey21

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$30,000 is a lot of money particularly if you may only want Disney while kids are young. What we did when our kids were young (I think they were 6 and 7 at the time) is buy a package from Disney staying at the Contemporary Hotel. It worked great with all the extras they threw in like Breakfast With the Characters, some meals, etc. Another big plus was having the monorail right in the building which made it great for breaks. I don't remember being cramped, so it couldn't have been all that bad, as it was about 40 years ago. Anyway if you are thinking about buying Disney only for when the kids are young, I'd think seriously about saving the money...

George
 

presley

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Have you looked into just staying at the Swan and Dolphin? It is walking distance to 2 of the parks, has its own restaurant and bars and pretty much all of the benefits of staying on site, but for a lot less money. I am in the process of buying Polynesian, but when I need extra nights or an extra stay, I'll be over at Swan and Dolphin. I am not buying with intent to rent - ever. I don't thin that's a good idea at today's prices and Covid aftershocks. Perhaps it will be different 3 years from now, but it's a bad time to do that at the moment.

I don't recommend DVC for you based on what you have posted at this point. If you still feel the same way in a few years and you are traveling there often and you are only willing to stay in a DVC villa, then I'd say go for it.
 

Lisa P

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I like that a lot actually! Do an Interval week then add on DVC nights. I'd have to re-think this since if we did this, I would need a much smaller contract. Thanks!

How do you sync up dates though? I usually use Getaways or ACs for Orlando and those are usually more last-minute reservations. Is it pretty "easy" to get 2-4 night DVC reservations within 60 days if you're flexible?
This is a great plan. We've added a couple rental nights onsite to offsite RCI weeks many times, as well as to RCI exchanges into SSR. We've also added Wyndham points stays to RCI weeks in other destinations. We look for general points availability first. Then, we book an RCI week with a Friday or Sunday check-in, that can sync with available add-on nights. Usually, we have 24 hours for free cancellation of the RCI week. Then we reserve the add-on nights.

To minimize time off from work, we may spend Friday-Friday in the RCI resort, and end the vacation with a 2nd weekend at a WDW (or other destination) hotel room rental. Or, start our vacation with a weekend at a hotel, followed by a Sunday-Sunday RCI week. Using points exclusively for weekend nights is a very expensive way to do this. So for WDW, it's more affordable to go with a couple (hopefully discounted) cash nights nights at Swan/Dolphin or (low season) Disney resort.

To stretch our Wyndham points, we may instead begin the vacation with 4-5 weeknights on points, followed by a Friday-Friday RCI week. Or, begin with a Sunday-Sunday RCI week, followed by several weeknights at a points resort. Weeknight availability may be better than weekend availability in most of the year. So long as we can manage the time off from work, these have worked out very well for us, especially when I used to work some weekends and/or when we wanted to split our vacation time between WDW/Universal or WDW/beach. Often now, we have other activities on the weekends (time with family/friends who work, church & special events like weddings and showers) and we like having the weekends to pack/unpack, do laundry, prepare for the week ahead, etc.
 
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elaine

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We literally just had this conversation. We sold our large akv contract last year to free up cash for Renos and now regret it. We still have a small dvc contract. Head says stay in hgvc Marriott or get a dvc points transfer (at double annual fees rate). Heart says just pay $5-7 more than you sold for and repurchase. And yes, We also think dvc prices will continue upwards-they certainly did in covid even with Closures! We don’t “need” any dvc points for a year. But then plan to stay in retirement at least 10 nights/year.
As we’ve bought/sold resale 2x at a nice profit, I really view it as parking capital. Yes that could change, but the only major downturns were 9/11 and 2008 I think and those recovered in a couple years.
I agree that I’d not buy extra to be a “planned”renter.
Still on the fence. Put in 2 offers-rejected. If i want it, likely have to pay sticker price. Hard to pay $7more/point for same thing I sold on 2020!
 
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SunsetMaven

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You guys are so awesome! The different experiences here, perspective and insights are super helpful. A timeshare is a big commitment as far as ongoing MFs and in DVC’s case, locking up capital. And I really appreciate everyone chiming in to help!

I’m now at not buying at all or buying a smaller contract/just buying what we need. That would also lower upfront costs. And I’m also concluding that if I were to do it, it would have to be a slightly emotional and irrational (for me!) choice. And maybe sometimes that’s ok? ;)
 

elaine

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If you have the disposable funds, I know we really enjoyed dvc. Imho buy the minimum you “need.” We also got our fix by adding days pre/post hgvc or Marriott stay. Or adding onto another FL trip. We usually Rci trade into dvc 1br as well.
fwiw-in the last 4 hours, I’ve talked myself out of dvc for now.
 
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capjak

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Go for it. I own several different systems and DVC Beach Club and SSR (Beach Club gets my vote) is easy to use and if not using it, it is extremely easy to rent. We especially like it for Epcot's Food and Wine Festival for adults and adult children (21 years old...lots of adult beverages).......August-November.
 

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Completely agree with capjak. We love the Beach Club, the ease of the DVC system and all the festivals at Epcot. They seem to get better each year. We enjoyed many trips when kids were young thru adulthood & now retirement.
 

elaine

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IMHO, I wouldn't buy a 2042 resort, if you plan to divest at some point. I think the pricing will tick down within the next 10 years, while longer resorts will hold their value.
 

bnoble

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I'm posting here because many of you also own outside of DVC and understand the context of having II or RCI traders that give you nights at 5* resorts for ~$50-100/night (depending on your home resort MFs).
I wouldn't necessarily let this be the cart that drives the horse. We here on TUG can get pretty invested in the best possible bargains, but that is sometimes getting in the way of a good vacation. You can get in inexpensively via RCI exchanges, but (a) not all pathways are inexpensive, (b) they are only seven-night stays with Fri/Sat/Sun check-ins, (c) they are overwhelmingly at SSR and OKW, and (d) they are all 1BR.

I'd like to purchase more points than what we need to rent the remainder to help pay for each year's DVC MFs.
I think this is a bad idea. If you check the math, the ROI on the purchase price is typically less than what you might expect from a diversified index fund---and that's on a before-tax basis. After taxes, it is worse b/c most of your redemptions in the index fund would probably be long-term cap gains vs. rental income that is taxed at your marginal income rate.

Renting is also a lot more work than index fund invest-and-forget.
 

ljmiii

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1) Should I do it?
When people ask me if they should buy DVC I ask three questions in return, "Do you plan on visiting WDW at least once every two years for at least the next 10 years?", "Can you plan at least 7 and ideally 11 months in advance", and "Do you really want to pay a premium to stay 'on property'?" Only if the answer to all of these questions is 'Yes' should you buy. More recently I have added a new codicil. Don't buy at Riviera or at resorts with a Jan 2042 expiration unless you know exactly what you are doing.

For a while Disney had been ratcheting up the benefits of staying 'on property'. 60 day + length of stay FPs, 180 day + length of stay ADRs (Advanced Dining Reservations), building dedicated bus lanes, etc. It reached a point a couple of years ago after the fourth consecutive day of getting up early to fight for 30 day FPs that I found myself channeling Scarlett - "As God is my witness, I will never stay off-property again."

But then COVID-19 changed everything. No FPs, 60 day ADRs, park reservations through 2023. And rumors continue to swirl that major changes in the FP system are on the way - perhaps with differing tiers of 'pay to play' FPs that don't take into account an on-property stay. Or they could give free FPs to those staying 'on property'. No one knows.

2) If so - which resort?
As you mention and in my opinion, BLT stands head and shoulders above the rest and is our favorite resort. Though now that they've built a walkway, VGF is a good option if you prefer its decor and pools. But Poly isn't a bad choice if you know you want to stay in studios for the rest of your ownership and CCV isn't bad if you know you don't (the competition for studios at CCV is fierce).

But while almost all the MK resorts have advantages, the EPCOT/HS ones are a hot mess. Given your situation I can't recommend Boardwalk or Beach Club because of the Jan 2042 expiration (which pains me...BCV is wonderful and was our first DVC 'home'). And I can't recommend Riviera to anyone.

AKV, SSR, and OKW with a 2057 expiration, are all good choices - do you like animals, proximity to Disney Springs, or larger villas?
 

Dean

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IMHO, I wouldn't buy a 2042 resort, if you plan to divest at some point. I think the pricing will tick down within the next 10 years, while longer resorts will hold their value.
I would go a step further and say that I would not buy DVC planning to sell later Regardless of the end date. There may be some rare exceptions but it would be something that was so cheap that you would not expect to get by right of first refusal anyway like happened a decade ago.
 

SunsetMaven

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GREAT points - thank you so much! We did go ahead and submit for a contract, waiting for ROFR now. And took everyone's advice and did *NOT* get more points than what we needed :cool:

I wouldn't necessarily let this be the cart that drives the horse. We here on TUG can get pretty invested in the best possible bargains, but that is sometimes getting in the way of a good vacation. You can get in inexpensively via RCI exchanges, but (a) not all pathways are inexpensive, (b) they are only seven-night stays with Fri/Sat/Sun check-ins, (c) they are overwhelmingly at SSR and OKW, and (d) they are all 1BR.


I think this is a bad idea. If you check the math, the ROI on the purchase price is typically less than what you might expect from a diversified index fund---and that's on a before-tax basis. After taxes, it is worse b/c most of your redemptions in the index fund would probably be long-term cap gains vs. rental income that is taxed at your marginal income rate.

Renting is also a lot more work than index fund invest-and-forget.
 

SunsetMaven

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Super helpful - thank you!

Yes, Yes and Yes :cheer::banana::cool:

We went for a BLT contract!!! Waiting for ROFR now!!


When people ask me if they should buy DVC I ask three questions in return, "Do you plan on visiting WDW at least once every two years for at least the next 10 years?", "Can you plan at least 7 and ideally 11 months in advance", and "Do you really want to pay a premium to stay 'on property'?" Only if the answer to all of these questions is 'Yes' should you buy. More recently I have added a new codicil. Don't buy at Riviera or at resorts with a Jan 2042 expiration unless you know exactly what you are doing.

For a while Disney had been ratcheting up the benefits of staying 'on property'. 60 day + length of stay FPs, 180 day + length of stay ADRs (Advanced Dining Reservations), building dedicated bus lanes, etc. It reached a point a couple of years ago after the fourth consecutive day of getting up early to fight for 30 day FPs that I found myself channeling Scarlett - "As God is my witness, I will never stay off-property again."

But then COVID-19 changed everything. No FPs, 60 day ADRs, park reservations through 2023. And rumors continue to swirl that major changes in the FP system are on the way - perhaps with differing tiers of 'pay to play' FPs that don't take into account an on-property stay. Or they could give free FPs to those staying 'on property'. No one knows.

As you mention and in my opinion, BLT stands head and shoulders above the rest and is our favorite resort. Though now that they've built a walkway, VGF is a good option if you prefer its decor and pools. But Poly isn't a bad choice if you know you want to stay in studios for the rest of your ownership and CCV isn't bad if you know you don't (the competition for studios at CCV is fierce).

But while almost all the MK resorts have advantages, the EPCOT/HS ones are a hot mess. Given your situation I can't recommend Boardwalk or Beach Club because of the Jan 2042 expiration (which pains me...BCV is wonderful and was our first DVC 'home'). And I can't recommend Riviera to anyone.

AKV, SSR, and OKW with a 2057 expiration, are all good choices - do you like animals, proximity to Disney Springs, or larger villas?
 

littlestar

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Let us know when it passes. Good luck.
 
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