Welcome to the December installment of our monthly Disney Vacation Club preview. This month, we round up the latest news, including an upcoming price increase on Copper Creek Points and information about a DVC tasting cruise activity at Walt Disney World. We’ll also take a look at some common DVC owner questions.
This month, here are some booking window dates to keep in mind. For your home resort (11-month booking window), in December, you will be able to book for dates in November 2019. For all other DVC resorts (seven-month booking window), this month you will be able to book for dates in July 2019.
Booking directly through Disney, during the month of December 2018 there is virtually no availability at Walt Disney World or Disneyland. As usual, there is moderate availability at Hilton Head. With the exception of the two-week period including Christmas and New Year’s Day, Aulani is wide open, with 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and 3-bedroom villas available nearly every night. During January 2019, currently there is wide availability at Hilton Head and Aulani. In January, Saratoga Springs has 1- and 2-bedroom availability during most of the month. There are Polynesian Village bungalows available during weekdays in the second half of January. If you’re looking to splurge, now’s the time!
If you want to expand your options, you may want to explore renting points as an alternative to booking through Disney. (If you rent points through the affiliate link to David’s DVC rentals, TouringPlans receives a commission.)
DVC and Disney News
DVC members visiting WDW in December should purchase their Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets as soon as possible. Some dates may sell out. Later winter visitors should keep an eye out for events related to Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts from January 18 – February 25, 2019. If you want to graze on tasting tidbits without the overwhelming madness of the Food & Wine Festival, the Arts Festival is a terrific option.
DVC members may now book a new tasting cruise around the Seven Seas Lagoon. Members board pontoon boats at the Contemporary to explore the Lagoon, making stops at DVC resorts to enjoy food and beverage tastings. Stops include the Beaches Pool Bar at the Grand Floridian, Trader Sam’s at the Polynesian Village, and the Top of the World Lounge at Bay Lake Tower. The cruise cost $99 per person and is available on most Mondays through May 2019, setting sail at 3:00 p.m. To book, call member services at 800-800-9800. Reservations are required.
Price Increase Coming on Copper Creek Points
Member services recently sent out a notice that the price per point at the Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at the Wilderness Lodge will increase from $182 to $188 on January 16, 2019. DVC is also running additional promotions offering savings of $1,000 to about $3,000 for Copper Creek purchases made prior to December 15, 2018. If you’ve been waffling on a purchase, this might be the time to act.
Here’s where we tackle a frequently asked question or two about Disney Vacation Club.
Question: Do I have to pay to park at the DVC resort hotels?
Answer: During summer 2018, Disney added resort parking fees: $13 per night at value resorts, $19 per night at moderate resorts, $24 per night at deluxe resorts (which includes all the WDW DVC hotels). However, there is good news for DVC members. Members are still allowed free parking for up to two vehicles when staying at any of the WDW DVC hotels, whether they are paying with points or cash. If you are using DVC points to pay for a room at a non-DVC hotel at Walt Disney World, you are still allowed to park for free. DVC members paying cash to stay at a non-DVC hotel will be charged the parking fee. The valet parking rate at the deluxe and villa resorts is currently $33. All guests, including DVC members, using the valet parking service are required to pay the fee.
Question: I’ve seen outdoor grills at my DVC resort. Do people really use them?
Answer: There are outdoor grills available for guest use at many of the DVC resorts. In my experience, they’re used somewhat infrequently, so if you’re in the mood to cook up some burgers or hotdogs, or to indulge in some s’mores, it’s likely that you’ll have no problem finding an available grill. Charcoal briquettes and matches are available for sale in the resort shops. Tools like outdoor use tongs and spatulas are available to borrow in the DVC resort community centers.
That does it for this month’s wrap-up. Got any DVC questions? Comments? Let us know below.