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Which DVC resort?

slomac

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I want to plan a Orlando trip with our kids ages 9,6 almost 4. Which DVC resort would be best? We stayed at Saratoga Springs one night before a disney cruise but this will probably be our one big trip to disneyworld with the kids since we live near Disneyland and can do day trips there.
 

glypnirsgirl

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In order of preference based on season:

Summer -

1.Beach Club Villas for the swimming pool and being able to get to Epcot and Hollywood Studios by boat;
2. Animal Kingdom Villas --- also for the pool and the animals. Much more difficult getting places.

Fall and Spring -
1. Bay Lake Tower - proximity to Magic Kingdom (walking or monorail) is great and the fireworks shows can be viewed easily from the patio like area at the entry to Contemporary on the monorail level. If you are staying on DVC points, rather than trading in, you can go up to the "Top of the World" and have an almost private viewing on the higher patio. Can also get to Epcot via monorail. Pool is not much fun.

2. Wilderness Villas - Boat ride to Magic Kingdom, fun restaurant on site.

Winter --- the pools are less of an attraction

1, Wilderness Villas - the theming is perfect for winter.

2. Old Key West - the theming is not conducive to winter, but the bus stops are very close to the units. And there is more space. I think that the space is more of an issue when the pools are cold --- you will be inside your unit more in winter --- if you will be out of the unit alot. this recommendation would change.

elaine
 

chriskre

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To me with kids in that age group, I'd opt for Animal Kingdom.
Lots of neat things to do, a great pool and nice theme. The two bedrooms have 3 bathrooms and you can't beat that huge balcony for animal watching if you're lucky enough to get a Savanah view.

I don't think you can go wrong with any of the resorts though, they've all got something for everyone.
 

bnoble

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You may not have the luxury of choice. You need a two bedroom with that travel party. If your dates are constrained, you should include as many DVC resorts as possible. If you have more flexibility about dates, you can afford to be a little more picky about resort.
 

MichaelColey

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The pros and cons of each Orlando DVC resort, from my point of view:

Animal Kingdom Villas - Savannas, convenient parking, slightly larger units, very nice pool, further from parks other than AK
Bay Lake Towers - Walk to MK, newest, slightly larger units
Beach Club Villas - Awesome pool, walk to Epcot, walk or boat to HS, small units
Boardvalk Villas - Boardwalk, walk to Epcot, boat/walk to HS, small units
Old Key West - Largest units, not as close to the parks, convenient parking.
Saratoga Springs - Least themed, only spa, convenient parking, small units
Wilderness Lodge - Boat to MK, small units

In a large part, it comes down to location, theme and unit size.

BCV and BWV are in the Epcot/HS area and are very popular because of that. BLT and VWL are in the MK area. The other three are more distant from most of the resorts. OKW and SSR are in the Downtown Disney area.

The themes are really a personal preference. AKV is probably the most unique to me, with the savannas. VWL and OKW (and perhaps SSR) feel the most laid back. BWV is probably the most lively and the boardwalk theme is fun.

OKW is the largest of the DVC timeshares. BCV, BWV, VWL and SSR are the smallest. AKV and BLT are a little bigger, but still smaller than most off site resorts.

And since I mentioned off site resorts, here's how they would compare.

Generally, the off site resorts are considerably cheaper (like 1/4th the trading power required) and noticeably larger with a more standard sized kitchen, and many are also higher quality properties. But of course they lack the on site perks (shuttles, EMH, dining plan availability, etc.), so for many it's worth the extra to stay on site.

Wyndham Bonnet Creek is probably the only one I would put in a class by itself, only because of the proximity to Disney. It's essentially on site, right next to Caribbean Beach Resort (a Disney moderate hotel) between HS, Epcot and DTD. I would consider it higher quality than most Disney resorts. There are others slightly better, but more distant.

The numerous HGVC and Marriott properties are probably the best in the Orlando area and aren't much further from Disney.

There are many other nice properties along the I-4 corridor and along 192.

It's really hard to make a BAD decision in Orlando, IMHO. There are plenty of great resorts and all of the Disney ones are good, too. I have most favorites and least favorites, but they're all good.
 

chalee94

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You may not have the luxury of choice. You need a two bedroom with that travel party.

1BRs at BLT and AKV-kidani will also accommodate 5...although a 2BR is a much better choice if available.
 

bnoble

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Good point. I keep forgetting about those. OKW now sleeps five as well with the sleeper chair, but has only one bath. AKV-K and BLT have two baths in the 1BR.
 

MichaelColey

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Also, how far in advance are you planning? If you plan 12+ months in advance (setting up an ongoing search), I think you have fairly good odds to get exactly what you want with DVC (yes, even 2BR and even the more rare resorts). Most bulk deposits happen at 5-7 months out, with some up to 10 months out. From 6-8 months out, the odds are quite a bit less. Less than 5 months out, it's far less likely that you'll find something.
 
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