Welcome to the August installment of our monthly Disney Vacation Club preview. This month, we round up the latest news, including dates for the DVC member cruises. We’ll also take a look at some common DVC owner questions.
Here are some booking window dates to keep in mind. For your home resort (11-month booking window), in August, you will be able to book for dates in July 2020. For all other DVC resorts (seven-month booking window), this month you will be able to book for dates in March 2020. Bear in mind that we’re now well into the range for booking in the Christmas season 2019. If you’re planning to enjoy the park decor and parties during the holidays, now’s the time to get organized.
Booking a last-minute summer trip directly through Disney, there is virtually no DVC studio availability in August or September. There are one-, two-, and three bedroom villas, as well as Treehouse villas, open at Saratoga Springs during most of August and September, as well as one- and two-bedroom openings at Old Key West, and some bungalows at the Polynesian Villas. Outside of Disney World, you can find plenty of non-studio openings at Aulani and Hilton Head. There is minimal availability elsewhere.
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
Remember that Galaxy’s Edge is opening at Disney World very soon. The last weekend in August will see both the debut of Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the opening of the 2019 Food & Wine Festival at Epcot. In other words, late summer is going to be bonkers with new things to do, see, and taste at Walt Disney World. If your kiddos don’t go back to school until after Labor Day, and you can deal with the Orlando heat, it could be a good time to experience a lot at once. Unless you need a studio, there are plenty of DVC rooms available.
DVC and Disney News
STAR WARS: GALAXY’S EDGE IS OPENING IN THREE WEEKS AT DISNEY WORLD. You’ve heard us talking about this for eons. Follow the Touring Plans Blog as we update the happenings there.
The Play Disney Parks app is a great way to have some interactive fun in the parks. Check it out if you’re traveling with kids (or adult who like game stuff).
The NBA Experience is scheduled to open at the end of August, and the NBA Store is now open. These venues have taken over the space that was once occupied by the dearly departed DisneyQuest. Basketball fans should check it out.
Until October 30, 2019, Disney is running reduced-cost promotions for points purchases at the new Riviera Resort at Walt Disney World and at Aulani in Hawaii. The larger the purchase, the greater the savings. Call 888-681-6028 for details.
If you were thinking of purchasing points at Copper Creek Villas, act NOW. The resort is more than 90% sold out and ownership access is going fast. (As a reminder Copper Creek is a division of the DVC room at Disney World’s Wilderness Lodge.)
On October 4, 2019, Disney will be offering a special showing of Frozen on Broadway for DVC members and special guests, with reduced-price seating. As a New Yorker, I’m always thrilled when DVC offers perks close to home. Call the Disney on Broadway Hotline at (866) 870-2717 and ask for the Special Member Offer for Frozen on Broadway. You’ll need to provide your Home Resort and party size. Party size is limited to Member plus 5 Guests, for a total of 6 per Membership.
There is limited availability on the DVC member cruises on Disney Cruise Line. The member cruises currently available are a 7-night Bermuda sailing from October 5-12, 2019, out of New York on the Disney Magic and 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.
In addition to the member cruises, there are select regular DCL sailings (some 4- and 5-night Bahamian cruises, some 7-night Mexican Riviera cruises, and some 7-Night Western Caribbean cruises) that are available for 30% off the original price when paying with points. Additionally, some Adventures by Disney river cruises and general trips are available for 20% off the original points price. Call member services for details.
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 2019, co-authored by yours truly.
One of the perkier perks of DVC membership is Moonlight Magic Nights, evenings where members get the run of a park, plus lots of snacks, for freeeeee! Yep, it’s like those big-dollar paid late-night evenings, but at no extra cost. While there is no fee, advance registration is required and availability is limited. The 2019 Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot nights have now passed. Animal Kingdom will host two more events: August 8 and August 22, 2019, with registration now open for all members. The events are currently full, however DVC suggests checking back in case of cancellations. The last Moonlight Magic events of the year will take place at Typhoon Lagoon on September 18 and October 16, 2019, with registration opening on August 14 for members with WDW hotel reservations, and on August 28 for all members.
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:
- The DVC Lounge is a Beautiful Retreat
- Moonlight Magic DVC Merch at Epcot
- DVC “Member Since” Buttons Available Free to DVC Members
- PHOTOS: Studio Villa at Disney World’s Polynesian Resort
- One-Bedroom Villa Tour: Disney’s Boardwalk Villas
- PHOTOS: One-Bedroom Villa at the Grand Floridian
- One-Bedroom Villa Tour: Disney’s Old Key West Resort + Video
- Studio and One-Bedroom Tour: Disney’s Copper Creek Villas & Cabins + Video
Here’s where we tackle a frequently asked question or two about Disney Vacation Club.
Question: My family is staying in a DVC Grand Villa. Will we have to pay for parking? Can we bring a second car and, if so, will that change whether we’re charged for parking?
Answer: The exact wording from the Disney website is “Members will not be charged for standard overnight self-parking when staying in a Disney Vacation Club Deluxe Villa at Walt Disney World, regardless of whether they use Vacation Points or another form of payment. Members also will not be charged to park when using Reservation Points to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. A Member who chooses not to use Reservation Points for their stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel in an accommodation other than a DVC Deluxe Villa will be charged for standard overnight self-parking.”
There’s no specific language about having more than one car, but I’ve been in this situation myself a few times, staying with extended family in 2-bedroom or Grand Villas. They’ve never charged us for parking. As long as the lead guest on the reservation is a DVC member, you’ll be fine having two, or even, three vehicles associated with a Grand Villa.
Question: I keep hearing about DVC, but I’m not really sure what it is. Can you help?
Answer: The short answer is that Disney Vacation Club is Disney’s answer to a timeshare program, but it’s a lot more complicated than that. As a first step in your education, you should check out Disney’s free video explanation of the program. You can watch it online right now, or they’ll mail you a free DVD if you prefer.
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.