DVC Monthly Update – November 2019

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Welcome to the November installment of our monthly Disney Vacation Club preview. This month, we round up the latest news, including dates for the 2020 Moonlight Magic events. We’ll also take a look at some common DVC owner questions.

Lobby, Old Key West DVC resort, Walt Disney World

Booking Windows

Here are some booking window dates to keep in mind. For your home resort (11-month booking window), in November, you will be able to book for dates in October 2020. For all other DVC resorts (seven-month booking window), this month you will be able to book for dates in June 2020. Bear in mind that we’re now into the range for booking your home resort for Halloween season 2020 (I know, I know).

Booking a last-minute late fall trip directly through Disney, there is virtually no availability November or December anywhere at Walt Disney World. Throughout the late fall, there are plentiful openings at Aulani in Hawaii in one-, two-, and three bedroom villas. There are some two- and three-bedroom villas open at Hilton Head in both November and December. Given the holiday crowd crush, if you haven’t booked your stay at Disney World already, you’re probably not using your points there in 2019.

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

Galaxy’s Edge is now open at Disney World, there are just a few more weeks of the 2019 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and the Skyliner overhead gondola transportation system in now operational. The Epcot evening fireworks presentation, IllumiNations, has been replaced with a temporary show, Epcot Forever.

Upcoming events include the opening of the new Riviera Resort and the debut of the Rise of the Resistance Ride at Galaxy’s Edge. Both are happening in December.

For a limited time, save $1,250 or more when you add onto your DVC member with points at Disney’s Riviera Resort in Florida. Act by December 16, 2019 to save the most with this offer. The promotion continues through January 28. 2020.

DVC members may attend several different just-for-members meals and events this holiday season. For more information, visit dvcmember.com or call member services.

  • New Year’s Day Character Brunch at Topolino’s Terrace
  • Holiday Dinner at Walt Disney World, December 24
  • New Year’s Eve Eve Party at Walt Disney World
  • Christmas Eve Dinner at Disneyland

Disney Vacation Club has announced the dates for its 2020 Moonlight Magic events. Moonlight Magic is similar to the evening parties at Disney World in that a park is open for only a small number of guests. However, there are two big differences: the event is only open to Disney Vacation Club members and it is FREE. The 2020 dates are:

Animal Kingdom

  • Event Dates – January 21; February 11; and February 25, 2020
  • Registration Dates – Members with Resort reservations can book beginning November 20, 2019; general registration opens to all Members on December 4, 2019

Magic Kingdom

  • Event Dates – March 3; April 21; and April 28, 2020
  • Registration Dates – Members with Resort reservations can book beginning January 8, 2020; general registration opens to all Members on January 15, 2020

Epcot

  • Event Date – May 4 and June 29, 2020
  • Registration Dates – Members with Resort reservations can book beginning March 11, 2020; general registration opens to all Members on March 18, 2020

Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

  • Event Dates – July 27 and August 10, 2020
  • Registration Dates – Members with Resort reservations can book beginning June 17, 2020; general registration opens to all Members on June 24, 2020

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Event Dates – September 15; September 22; and October 6, 2020
  • Registration Dates – Members with Resort reservations can book beginning July 15, 2020; general registration opens to all Members on July 22, 2020

And here’s the fine print …Registration is required for these events. At least one valid Disney Vacation Club Membership Card with photo ID will be required for these experiences. Activities, entertainment and characters are subject to change and these events are subject to cancellation in the event of inclement weather. Members can register online when the booking window for their preferred date begins. For some events, Members with Disney Resort hotel reservations during the event will be given priority registration dates. When your booking window opens, visit the page for the event you’d like to attend, then select RSVP. Be sure to have your Member number ready. You’ll enter a virtual waiting room to secure your place in line, so you won’t have to refresh the page. In order to allow as many Members as possible to enjoy Moonlight Magic, Members may register to attend only one event date for each participating park.

Reminders

Disney is now giving DVC members the option of receiving all their communications, including annual dues statements, electronically rather than in printed form in the mail. If you’d like to alter your communications preference, log in to your DVC member profile and select “Communication Preferences.”

Members staying Grand Villas (three bedroom units) – you can now get extra FastPasses during your Walt Disney World stay. The catch (there had to be a catch, right) is that the extra FastPasses are available for a fee. For $50, per person, per day, guests in the Grand Villas can receive three additional FastPasses. Additionally, the window for booking these bonus FP opens at 90 days, not the usual 60 days for regular on-site stays. If you’re in a Grand Villa (which sleeps up 12 people) and you’re at the room’s maximum capacity, that would be an extra $600, per day, to get more FastPasses.

There is limited availability on the DVC member cruise on Disney Cruise Line, a 7-night Alaska cruise out of Vancouver from August 24-31, 2020. In addition to all the fun of a regular DCL voyage, member cruises include loads of perks not available to regular guests, including enhanced stateroom gifts, presentations by Disney-affiliated celebrities, member receptions, and other surprises. Members may book up to four staterooms for these sailings. Call member services at 800-800-9800 for more information.

If you decide to book a member cruise (or any other Disney cruise sailing), you may want to kickstart your planning with the Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line 2020, co-authored by yours truly.

There is lots of DVC member merchandise sold at the DVC resorts and in some parks locations. One of the largest selections of DVC merch is available in the Imagination pavilion at Epcot near the entrance to the DVC member lounge.

Recent TouringPlans DVC Coverage

If you want to scope out DVC accommodations and perks, take a look at some recent posts where we explore DVC rooms and other amenities:

DVC FAQ

Here’s where we tackle a frequently asked question or two about Disney Vacation Club.

Question: I’m staying at a villa at Saratoga Springs. I want to walk to go to Disney Springs for dinner several nights, what’s the best way to do this?

Answer: There are buses from several locations at Saratoga that stop at Disney Springs. However, depending on your room location it may be much faster to walk than to wait for the bus.

The Congress Park section of Saratoga is the closest area to Disney Springs. Most units are less than a ten minute walk to the Marketplace part of Disney Springs. However, Congress Park units (along with The Springs) are considered “preferred” DVC rooms. They cost more points per night than the non-preferred units elsewhere at the resort. The only difference between preferred and non-preferred rooms is the proximity to Disney Springs. My suggestion if you want to be as close as possible to Disney Springs without paying the preferred rate, is to request a room in The Paddock section of Saratoga, preferably in the 6500-6800 building or the 6100-6400 building. These are a less than 15 minute stroll to Disney Springs, at standard room rates.

To make a room request, check out our recent video on how to do this through TouringPlans. Good luck!

That does it for this month’s wrap-up. Got any DVC questions? Current members, do you have any advice for someone deciding whether to purchase points for the first time? Let us know below.

Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel at DisneyWorldMoms.com, a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater. Erin can be reached on Twitter @MsErinFoster.

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