Welcome to the May installment of our monthly Disney Vacation Club preview. We’re entering the heat of summer, so we’ve got an appropriate resort profile on Disney’s Beach Club Villas and a timely reminder about the DVC parties at Typhoon Lagoon. You can view last month’s preview here.
This month, here are some booking window dates to keep in mind. For your home resort (11-month booking window), in May, you will be able to book for dates in April 2019. For all other DVC resorts (7-month booking window), this month you will be able to book for dates in December 2018. With the first half of December falling into “Adventure Season” rates, rooms go quickly. So don’t delay in making your plans.
For last-minute trips, Saratoga Springs has availability for much of the month, as long as you’re not set on a studio. Old Key West also has dates available for their expansive 2-bedroom villas and Aulani has limited dates at DVC’s last-minute resort availability page.
The next round of Moonlight Magic parties for DVC members is set for May 30 and June 11 at Typhoon Lagoon. Registration opened for members with resort reservations a couple weeks ago and is already full. If you missed out on tickets, you have another chance when registration opens to all members at 9 a.m. Eastern time on May 3. There will be more available party tickets, but don’t expect them to last long.
If you miss out on Moonlight Magic, but still want to enjoy Typhoon Lagoon after dark, DVC members can purchase discounted tickets to Disney H2O Glow Nights, held 8-11 p.m. every Thursday and Saturday from June 21 to Aug. 11. Tickets for members are $49 for adults and $44 for children ages 3-9, plus tax.
Looking ahead to the Epcot Moonlight Magic events in July and August, registration opens to members with resort reservations on June 6 and all members on June 20.
Through June 29, DVC members can save 40 percent off the regular $49 price for the Wonderland Tea Party at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. This experience for kids ages 4 to 12 takes place weekdays from 2 to 3 p.m. It includes crafts, games, storytelling and character greetings with photos, along with cupcakes and special kid-friendly “tea.”
The Alice In Wonderland-themed members-only Mother’s Day Brunch at Disney’s Contemporary Resort on May 13 is sold out.
If you’re staying in the Crescent Lake area, you should be aware that Friendship Boat service to Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be suspended for about six weeks, starting May 7. The change is due to maintenance work being done on the bridge near the Swan and Dolphin resorts. The walking path to Hollywood Studios will still be open and bus service will transport guests from the Crescent Lake resorts to the park.
If you’re considering adding Disney Vacation Club points, the current purchase credit add-on offer ends May 30. The offer is good for two resorts – Copper Creek Villas & Cabins and Aulani. The incentives start at $750 for a purchase of 125-149 points, and go up to $3,500 for a purchase of 200-249 points.
Finally, many of you with June trips planned to Walt Disney World are probably awaiting word of previews of the new Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which opens officially on June 30. Unfortunately, we haven’t received any information about previews prior to opening available for DVC members and Annual Passholders. Last year, those groups were able to preview Pandora: The World of Avatar starting about two weeks before that land opened in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Notification of those previews came by email, so I’d recommend keeping an eye on your Disney-registered account.
I don’t own at Beach Club Villas, but they’re part of the reason I’m now a DVC member. During my second trip to Walt Disney World, I exited Epcot’s International Gateway to take a sightseeing stroll around Crescent Lake for the first time. I came across that first wing of Beach Club rooms to the right, and thought, “I must stay this close to Epcot!”
A couple years later, I was able to swing a point rental to stay at the Beach Club Villas and enjoy that short walk from my own room. With that experience, a DVC point purchase wasn’t far behind.
So when you talk about Beach Club Villas, the first thing that comes to mind is that prime location. Outside of Disney’s Grand Californian Villas (which has its own theme park entrance), it’s the DVC property that is closest to a theme park.
Beach Club Villas and its 205 units opened to guests on July 1, 2002. The villas are in a separate building set back from the rest of the Beach Club Resort, but still a very short walk to Epcot. Themed to an early 20th-century New England oceanside resort with a pastel color scheme, the villas share their aesthetic with the larger Beach Club.
The studios, at 356 square feet, and one-bedroom units, at 726 square feet, both sleep four. The two-bedroom unit, at 1,083 square feet, will sleep eight. The villas building is definitely quieter than the rest of the resort, with plenty of relaxing seating areas, including the Solarium, Drawing Room, and Breezeway. The wings of the DVC building wrap around the Dunes Cove Pool, which is for the use of DVC guests. Guests also have access to the rest of the amenities at Yacht and Beach Club, which brings us to the other big selling point for this resort – Stormalong Bay.
No summer stay at Beach Club Villas is complete without a visit (or several visits) to this three-acre water park. Let your toes explore the pool’s sandy bottom, float around the lazy river and plunge down the shipwreck slide. On a hot Florida day, it’s the ideal place to take a break from the parks.
The restaurants at Yacht and Beach Club include the popular Beaches & Cream with its burgers and ice cream treats. Cape May Cafe is the buffet with Minnie’s Beach Bash Breakfast character buffet and the non-character seafood buffet for dinner. Yachtsman Steakhouse is the fine dining option over on the Yacht Club side. The newest dining option is the Ale & Compass Restaurant, serving New England comfort food. This is in the old Captain’s Grille location at the Yacht Club.
The closest counter service option to the Villas is the Beach Club Marketplace, which is really just a counter inside of the Beach Club’s merchandise store. There’s some limited seating, but it’s best for grab-and-go items. Hurricane Hanna’s is the counter service option near Stormalong Bay. Of course, if you don’t mind a little extra walking, it’s not too far a hike to Epcot for better options at Yorkshire County Fish Shop or Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie.
Transportation options include buses and the Friendship Boat dock on the Yacht Club side of the resort. The boat is a relaxing way to get to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, however, as we noted earlier, that service will be temporarily down in May and part of June.
If you’re looking at purchasing a Beach Club Villas contract on the resale market, you’ll find that demand has kept prices higher than other older resorts. In fact, when you consider that the contracts expire in 2042, buyers are paying more per year of points than direct buyers are paying for the new resorts with twice the years of points.
That’s it for this month. We’ll be back in June with more DVC news and a new DVC Explainer. If you have any topics you would like us to tackle, let us know in the comments.