Len Testa does an occasional segment for the WDW Today podcast that he calls “Would You Rather.” In it, he and his cohosts compare Walt Disney World vacations of similar pricing.
It’s a revealing exercise that forces you to prioritize what you really value in your traveling. Perhaps staying off property doesn’t matter if it means you can use the savings for food and souvenirs. Or maybe you refuse to stay anywhere but a Disney deluxe resort, even if it means scrimping elsewhere.
This concept also works well with Disney Vacation Club, thanks to the vacation point system. Whether you own or rent points, everyone is using the same point charts to determine the cost of their stay, so it’s easy to compare apples to apples.
In this exercise, we will compare five different Disney Vacation Club itineraries at Walt Disney World using around 160 points — a fairly standard annual allotment. We’ll compare units with room to sleep at least eight guests visiting WDW in the summer (Magic Season). Join me below to get a sense of varying options DVC presents.
Scenario 1: Polynesian Villas and Bungalows – 1 weeknight in a two-bedroom bungalow – 160 points
Yes, we’re starting with the most expensive room in Disney Vacation Club’s portfolio. You can get in here for as little as 115 points a night during Adventure Season, but you can see that no matter what, a stay in the Bungalows will set you back quite a bit. For that once-in-lifetime visit, it’s an unforgettable experience to lounge in your own plunge pool as you watch Wishes across Seven Seas Lagoon. While proximity to the Magic Kingdom is great, I don’t think I’d want to squander time away from this amazing bungalow.
Scenario 2: The Villas at Grand Floridian Resort and Spa – 2 weeknights in a two-bedroom villa – 150 points
Heading down the monorail, we stop at the Grand Floridian, where you can stay at Disney’s flagship resort for an additional night at a price of 10 fewer points than you would spend on that Polynesian bungalow. Then, you can rent those extra points to pay for a meal for two at Citricos or Narcoossee’s and perhaps still watch Wishes from your balcony. If you prefer Bay Lake Tower, you can stay the weekend with theme park view for 152 points.
Scenario 3: Treehouse Villas at Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa – 3 nights (including one weekend night) in a three-bedroom Treehouse Villa – 158 points
Moving away from the monorail, we’re up to three nights. In terms of actual space you get an additional bedroom in 1,074 square feet (just below the 1,093 square feet of the Polynesian bungalow) and you can sleep up to nine. Each villa has a large wooden deck with a charcoal grill. You’ll enjoy more privacy than the other DVC choices. You’re also a short boat ride from all the new fun at Disney Springs. Back on the monorail, you can stay three weeknights in a Bay Lake Tower lake view two-bedroom for 156 points.
Scenario 4: Disney’s Boardwalk Villas – 4 weeknights in a two-bedroom standard view villa – 164 points
We have to go slightly above 160 points, but we get four nights at an Epcot area resort. This is for a standard view villa, which for those who dislike the noise and activity on the Boardwalk, is not necessarily a minus. One thing to keep in mind is that you likely need access to Boardwalk points and must act promptly 11 months out to get this reservation. Due to the low point cost, standard view rooms are hard to come by at the seven-month window. Alternately, you can get four nights in a huge (1,333 square feet) two-bedroom villa at Old Key West for 160 points. The question is whether you like the hustle of the Boardwalk or the flow of Old Key West.
Scenario 5: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – 5 weeknights in a two-bedroom value villa – 165 points
Hard to believe, but for five more points than you spent on one night in a Polynesian bungalow, you can stay five nights at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. The value villa reflects the smaller space (945 square feet), and it’s luck of the draw whether you get a savanna view. Once again, you will only be able to reserve one of these-high demand rooms with Animal Kingdom Villas points at the 11-month mark. There are just five units in inventory, all at Jambo House. Consider yourself lucky if you’re able to snag a reservation. Alternately, you can spend three nights, including one weekend night, in a larger two-bedroom savanna view for 161 points.
So there you have it, very different experiences with different lengths of stay at similar price points. If anything, this exercise demonstrates the vast array of choices that Disney Vacation Club offers, including options for the more value-oriented traveler.
If you had to pick one of these stays, which would it be?