Welcome to the October 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 October, you will be able to book for dates in September 2020. For all other DVC resorts (seven-month booking window), this month you will be able to book for dates in May 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 fall trip directly through Disney, there is virtually no DVC studio availability in October or November. Throughout the early 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 October and November. Within Disney World, there is minimal availability during the next two months. I’m seeing a few 2-bedroom and Grand Villas at Saratoga Springs in November and limited availability at Old Key West Grand Villas in October. Overall there is extremely limited availability anywhere at Walt Disney World through Thanksgiving.
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, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is in full swing, the NBA Experience is now open at Disney Springs, and Skyliner overhead gondola transportation system in now operational. The Epcot evening fireworks presentation, IllumiNations, has played its final performance and 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.
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 about 95% sold out and ownership access is going fast. (As a reminder Copper Creek is a division of the DVC rooms at Disney World’s Wilderness Lodge.)
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 into your DVC member profile and select “Communication Preferences.”
The Painting with a View member activity has been extended through December 2020. The activity is an art class that takes place at the Top of the World Lounge at Bay Lake Tower and includes snacks. For more information call member services at 800-800-9800.
There is big news for 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. Hmmmm.
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 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 dates for theme parks Moonlight Magic have now passed. The last Moonlight Magic event of the year takes place at Typhoon Lagoon on October 16, 2019, with registration now open 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: What can I expect for food options at the new Riviera Resort?
Answer: Riveria will have the full range of dining opportunities that you’d expect at a deluxe level Walt Disney World hotel. There will be Bar Riva, alongside the main pool. Le Petit Cafe is a coffee and wine bar. Primo Piatto will be the quick service venue. And Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera is a full service restaurant located on the top floor of the hotel. It will have views of Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Assuming that the food lives up to the hype, we’re expecting that this may become a popular evening spot in the same way California Grill at the Contemporary is.
Also remember that you’re a quick walk away from Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, so all the dining options there are available to you as well.
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.