We love creating these posts for you, but we also love reading the trivia that you all come up with! Last week we had some great contributions to the collection, so keep the momentum going this week, and thanks! This week, we are pulling from two resources for some great Disney trivia. The first is This Day in Disney History.
Did You Know: That on October 15, 2010, Disney Legend Dave Smith, the founder and head of the Disney Archives, puts in his final day of work at the Burbank studio. Smith started the archives after being approached by Walt Disney’s family, including Roy O. Disney four years after Walt’s death in 1966, to preserve the history of the company. “I will take a lot of memories with me.” -Dave Smith
Did You Know:That there have actually been three babies born at Disneyland?! The last time that happened was in April, 2002. Can you imagine being born at Disneyland or Walt Disney World?! How crazy would that be, but for the child, imagine that story to tell your friends!
Are you thinking about taking your family on a Disney vacation to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, on a Disney Cruise, or to some other destination? If you are, give me a call — I can help you out! I am an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner with Pixie Vacations, and I specialize in helping families like yours plan and enjoy a wonderful vacation to a Disney location. I’ve been a Pixie for over two years now, and during that time I’ve helped many families have a wonderful vacation and create many memories that they remember to this day. Feel free to check out my Client Testimonial page for more information on that. As an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I can help you plan your trip to any of these great Disney Destinations:
My services to you are absolutely free, so if you would like more information on what it will take to get you and your family to a Disney park near you, please give me a call at 919-606-6725, email me at Mike@PixieVacations.com, or click here to generate a quote request for me. Thanks, and remember, at My Dreams of Disney, our goal is to help you turn My Dreams of Disney into Your Dreams of Disney!
Get Ready. Get Set. Go! I am so excited! Last Monday night, I was looking at our DVC points we had for next year (we had borrowed some for our trip this year) and I found out that we could spend a week at the Grand Californian Resort & Spa for 166 points! I talked with Cindy about it, and decided that this would be the perfect time to take a trip out west to experience “The Park” as my good buddy Chad from Days in the Park calls it! I can’t wait! I have so much planning to do, and did I tell you that we have never been before? Fortunately for us, we have some great Disney friends in California, and I’m hoping that we’ll be able to meet up with them — and that they’ll be able to help me with vacation planning. For now, though, here are the questions that I have off the top of my head:
Our check-in date is June 20, and check-out date is June 27. When should I purchase our airfare? What airlines are the best price typically?
Does Disneyland have Magical Express, and is it worth it to use?
I’ve heard there are two airports near Disneyland. LAX and John Wayne. Which is better to fly into?
Who should I get my tickets through? My friends that are TA’s, or Undercover Tourist, or somewhere else?
What are the best places to eat at the parks?
How busy will it be during that time period?
Are there Touring Plans type apps for Disneyland also?
What else am I forgetting? I expect it is quite a bit!
At this point Sophie doesn’t know that we are going! So don’t tell her (she doesn’t read the blog that much, especially with all the schoolwork she has in middle school) so I expect that she won’t see this post anytime soon. :)
Have I told you how excited I am? Thanks for stopping by!
Breaking News: Extra Magic Hour for Disneyland Resort Hotel Guests
On Facebook the other day, I posed the question “Are you a Disney Vacation Club owner?” and received a myriad of answers. Most of the people that answered were DVC members already, but one told me that she had been thinking about it, but that she wasn’t sure what it was all about, and hadn’t had time to take the tour. So Jennifer, this post is written especially for you and those like you that are not entirely sure what the Disney Vacation Club is all about. I hope that I can help explain what “The Best Kept Secret” is, and how you too can have your own slice of Disney! Disney Vacation Club Resorts The Disney Vacation Club, or DVC for short, started with the opening of the Old Key West Resort on December 20, 1991. During the years, DVC has opened several other “DVC Resorts”. Here is the complete list:
Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas, Ko Olina, Hawaii
Grand Floridian Villas
How Does the DVC work? The concept behind the Disney Vacation Club is quite simple; you, the owner, purchase an allocation of points. For our family, we purchased 220 points. The points can be used to stay at any of the DVC Resorts listed above, and each resort has Studio, One-Bedroom, Two-Bedroom, and sometimes Three-Bedroom suites available to reserve. Of course, the number of points you need for each resort will vary based on location, room size, and time of year that you are staying. Of course, the resorts are marketed such that a resort like Bay Lake Tower will require more points for the same type room than at Animal Kingdom Villas. What makes DVC different from a standard timeshare is that you are able to use your points at any of the resorts, and if you purchase your points directly from Disney, you can also transfer your points to use at other types of locations, which are listed below:
The Disney Collection
This collection is comprised of traditional Disney resort rooms, for example, a room at Port Orleans French Quarter
The World Passport Collection
This collection is made up of resort locations that are available in an exchange with RCI or Buena Vista Trading Company. There are something like 400 resorts available all over the world, and if you elect this route, the cost for you is a $95 transfer fee.
The Concierge Collection
This collection offers a select choice of fine hotel choices in various locations, with fine dining packages and other amenities.
The Adventure Collection
People who select this collection will be able to examine the Adventures by Disney selections, and can use their points for these destinations!
The first thing to do if you are considering purchasing DVC is to either take a tour when you are visiting one of the parks, order the Disney Vacation Club DVD, or call the phone number on the image below. If you tell them that I referred you, I believe that we will both get a special reward! However, I’ve never referred anyone, so I could be wrong on the reward.
Call or visit www.dvcfriends.com (click to enlarge)
Special Incentives Upon occasion, the sales folks at DVC will offer incentives to people that are buying ownership in DVC.When we purchased, we were looking at purchasing as our home resort (more on that later) either Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort or Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas. However, we ultimately decided to purchase our points through The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian® Resort & Spa. There were a couple of reasons, which I’ll elaborate on next.
One thing I didn’t mention is that when you purchase an interest, your ownership interest is for fifty years minus the length of time that the resort has been open. For example, if we had purchased at Old Key West, which opened in 1991, we would have been able to have our ownership interest until the year 2042, which is about 50 years after OKW opened for business. So, for us, we would have been able to stay there for 32 years since we purchased in 2010. However, since the Grand Californian opened in September, 2009, the DVC end date is January 31, 2060, so we’ll have our interest for a full 50 years.
When we purchased, GC was about to sell out — so the sales folks were all about finishing up that resort. Because of that, when we purchased our points, we were also given the current years points as a free add on, so for 2011 we had 440 points available for use.
We also got a discount on the cost of the points by purchasing at Grand Californian, so our purchase price was less than at other resorts.
Home Resort Pros and Cons When you purchase your points, you purchase them at a certain resort — that resort is known as your home resort. The advantage of your home resort is that when you want to reserve a room there, you can reserve your room 11 months out from your date of check-in. For example, if we want to go to the Grand Californian next year and check in December 14, 2012, we will be able to reserve our room on January 14, 2012. However, if you want to reserve a room at a resort that is not your home resort, like we did at Bay Lake Tower, you can only reserve your resort seven months out. So in my example, if we wanted to check in on December 14, 2012 at Bay Lake Tower, we would have to wait until May 14, 2012 to reserve our room, and for that time of the year, there may not be any inventory available at our point level. Banking and Borrowing Points With DVC, you get a certain number of points each year, in our case it is 220 points. If you don’t use all of your points in one year, you can bank the remaining points to the next year. As an example, here is what we have done so far with our points:
Received 2010 points in June 2010 when we purchased
Also received our 2011 points in September, 2010 (which is our use year)
In June 2010, we banked our 2010 points to 2011, which gave us a total of 440 for 2011.
We reserved a two bedroom suite at BLT in November 2010, which cost us 384 points.
This left us with 56 points. We banked those points from 2011 to 2012 use year.
So, for 2012, we now have 276 points.
For 2012, we are looking at staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge, and since we will have some family and friends with us, we are thinking about getting our two bedroom suite with a Savannah View, if it’s available. Because of that, the cost for that view in points is 345 points, based on the dates we want to go. Since we only have 276 points available for 2012, we will borrow some of our points from 2013. To make this reservation, we will have to borrow 69 points, which will leave us with 151 points for 2013. Summary In essence, a purchase of a membership in the Disney Vacation Club is a purchase for hotel lodgings for the next fifty years. What makes the Disney Vacation Club different is that you can stay at Disney Resorts near the parks, or you can stay at Hilton Head Island, or Vero Beach, or you can decide to trade your points for other lodgings at destinations across the world! Also, you can choose to use your points at any time during the year that you want, not for a certain week at a certain resort every year. All of these things, plus the proximity to Walt Disney World and Disneyland, made the choice for us a really simple one. Couple that with the realization when we were doing the tour that we could have paid about half of our ownership costs if we had purchased a few years earlier, just really made the cost a smart one for us. One thing that I didn’t cover in my discussion was the maintenance fees. Every resort has maintenance fees, and for us, we are paying them with a monthly draft. You can also pay them in one lump sum each year. Your ownership cost can be paid with cash, credit card, or you can finance them through DVC. A purchase in DVC is basically a purchase of a second home, so any interest you pay if you finance the purchase is considered real estate interest, and may be deductible on your taxes depending on your circumstances. I hope that I have helped you all to understand the Disney Vacation Club a little better. I know that there are a lot of details, so if you are at all interested in DVC, I urge you to call them up. Just tell them that Michael Ellis from Raleigh, NC sent you! If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments! Welcome Home!