Grand Floridian Villas


#1

So is anyone planning on buying into the Grand Floridian Villas? Also, any idea if model rooms are available to tour yet? I did see the video on the DVC member website but I’d love to see a model room.


#2

There are model villas located at SSR, and they are available to tour. I think I remember reading that they offer tours on the hour. If you’re curious, there are some pictures on DVCNews and the DVC board on DIS.

This is a resort that I would like to one day purchase points at, but that’s not going to happen in the very near future. Guess I’ll be buying resale.

I know that DVCMike bought points there because he said so on one of the other boards he’s on… either DIS or DVCNews. It’s funny because he had commented on a DVCNews article, saying that he wasn’t going to purchase points there, but wait for the Polynesian… but he ended up purchasing 160(?) points as a gift for his wife.

I’m glad you started this thread because I was thinking of starting one similar yesterday. What I want to know - does anyone else have a problem with how large the DVC building is to scale with the rest of the GF Resort? I’ve seen pictures of the construction and artist renderings of the resort behind the Wedding Pavilion, and I just don’t think it’s a very pretty view from the Seven Seas Lagoon. The new building is way too massive and takes away from the Wedding Pavilion. I think they should’ve either done multiple buildings or built it a story or two shorter. But mainly, I think it’s just too much width-wise and needs a break in the center. Perhaps if they did something like the Disneyland Hotel in Paris with the arches connecting three different wings. It looks like Disney is planning to build up all of their lakefront properties around SSL.

One point that a lot of people have been making about the GF villas is that they took the dresser drawers out of the media center in the studios and have replaced it with a twin-size (or smaller) murphy bed. So there are no longer drawers in the studio - only a closet. I don’t know about you guys, but for Disney travels, I rely pretty heavily on drawers.

Also, with the one and two bedroom units, they took the spare bathroom out of the kitchen/living area which had been a recent addition to the units in AKL and BLT.

The grand villa is especially odd with the addition of a media room (originally speculated to be a fourth bedroom). It’s just so odd to me that they think they need a small room for media - why not just expand the living space. I don’t think I would use a media room at all on vacation at WDW.


#3

The pictures do look beautiful. I’m right now saving for AKV. My first purchase, I bought for location, location, location (and lower maintenance fees.) This time, I’m going to buy where I love, Animal Kingdom Villas. Want to be able to get the values or concierge at 11 months. But, I tell you, it is tempting for Grand Floridian. It’s priced better than I thought they would start out. Still a lot more than what we paid for BLT, but not as bad as I thought it would be.

As for the drawers, they do have them, just in another place. They are located on the other side of the kitchenette area, kind of under the separator from the kitchen to the living area. (Now, I’m second guessing myself where they are located. I know they are there, because I saw the picture, just not 100% on where.)


#4

We’re not planning on buying points there, we honestly don’t need more. However, everything I’ve seen looks beautiful and we would enjoy the location so I’m sure we’ll try to stay there one day.


#5

We’re happy with the amount of points we have now…as we get older we’re finding that there are many other places we want to visit - so I think eventually we will be happy with a WDW trip every 15 months or so - but DVC certainly seems to be the way Disney is headed. GF is gorgeous and I’d be very happy there - but dh- not so much.


#6

[QUOTE=LittleMissMagic;1134632]There are model villas located at SSR, and they are available to tour. I think I remember reading that they offer tours on the hour. If you’re curious, there are some pictures on DVCNews and the DVC board on DIS.

This is a resort that I would like to one day purchase points at, but that’s not going to happen in the very near future. Guess I’ll be buying resale.

I know that DVCMike bought points there because he said so on one of the other boards he’s on… either DIS or DVCNews. It’s funny because he had commented on a DVCNews article, saying that he wasn’t going to purchase points there, but wait for the Polynesian… but he ended up purchasing 160(?) points as a gift for his wife.

I’m glad you started this thread because I was thinking of starting one similar yesterday. What I want to know - does anyone else have a problem with how large the DVC building is to scale with the rest of the GF Resort? I’ve seen pictures of the construction and artist renderings of the resort behind the Wedding Pavilion, and I just don’t think it’s a very pretty view from the Seven Seas Lagoon. The new building is way too massive and takes away from the Wedding Pavilion. I think they should’ve either done multiple buildings or built it a story or two shorter. But mainly, I think it’s just too much width-wise and needs a break in the center. Perhaps if they did something like the Disneyland Hotel in Paris with the arches connecting three different wings. It looks like Disney is planning to build up all of their lakefront properties around SSL.

One point that a lot of people have been making about the GF villas is that they took the dresser drawers out of the media center in the studios and have replaced it with a twin-size (or smaller) murphy bed. So there are no longer drawers in the studio - only a closet. I don’t know about you guys, but for Disney travels, I rely pretty heavily on drawers.

Also, with the one and two bedroom units, they took the spare bathroom out of the kitchen/living area which had been a recent addition to the units in AKL and BLT.

The grand villa is especially odd with the addition of a media room (originally speculated to be a fourth bedroom). It’s just so odd to me that they think they need a small room for media - why not just expand the living space. I don’t think I would use a media room at all on vacation at WDW.[/QUOTE]

We got the promotional mailer with the floor plans and were perplexed by the media room and the removal of the extra bathroom. One of the things we love most about AKV is the extra bathroom. When we took our big family trip in 2011, it was a big help, especially when you have someone using the pull out in the living room area.


#7

I thought that was odd too. I thought the extra bathroom was the way new DVCs were going.

We had stayed at kidani (vs. jumbo) for the first time solo on the fact that the one bedroom has two bathrooms and we had DD and DGDs sleeping in the living room.

Having 5 people with the one bath at BCV was a bit busy in the morning.

If I had money, I’d buy more points at BLT. Walking to MK is the best thing. I was thinking they would have considered finished the walkway from GF to MK.


#8

…You don’t think that DVC will be the only option eventually? —to either own points or rent them from someone?? :ohmy::ohmy: Sure hope not!!


#9

No, definitely not! They will always have hotel rooms for non-DVC guests. They want everyone to stay on property, not just regulars who purchase into DVC. Then need hotels to lure guests in to then purchase DVC! :laugh:

But DVC is definitely expanding. It’s successful and something that I believe Disney will continue to grow. They may eventually experiment with “value” DVCs or something for families on a tighter budget. But so far, they’ve put DVC or are putting DVC at every deluxe resort (counting the upcoming Poly, and counting BC/YC as the same resort) at WDW. Where will they go next? More at Disneyland? The International Disney resorts? A better way for DVC owners to do Disney Cruises? There are so many possibilities!


#10

[QUOTE=LittleMissMagic;1134665]No, definitely not! They will always have hotel rooms for non-DVC guests. They want everyone to stay on property, not just regulars who purchase into DVC. Then need hotels to lure guests in to then purchase DVC! :laugh:

But DVC is definitely expanding. It’s successful and something that I believe Disney will continue to grow. They may eventually experiment with “value” DVCs or something for families on a tighter budget. But so far, they’ve put DVC or are putting DVC at every deluxe resort (counting the upcoming Poly, and counting BC/YC as the same resort) at WDW. Where will they go next? More at Disneyland? The International Disney resorts? A better way for DVC owners to do Disney Cruises? There are so many possibilities![/QUOTE]

So—from a non-DVC owner…do the DVC owned rooms go “into the pot” of available rooms if they aren’t being used by DVC owners? By that I mean—by having DVC rooms at every resort, won’t that make the rest of us who go every few years and don’t own DVC less likely to get a good room? I am thinking that from a marketing standpoint Disney may want to have less rooms available for regular hotel guests so that it makes us non members rethink things.

Let’s just say that today—i call to make a reservation for December. (oh how I wish) Is Disney holding back the DVC rooms at–oh let’s say OKW for DVC members—when they tell me that there are no rooms available? And is that why sometimes when you call back there are rooms? Just curious. Other than my friends membership — I have no idea how the DVC thing really works.

I just am concerned that by offering more DVC memberships at the various resorts—that it will mean less rooms available for “regular resort guests”—for the lack of a better description. :confused:


#11

[QUOTE=smallworld;1134669]So—from a non-DVC owner…do the DVC owned rooms go “into the pot” of available rooms if they aren’t being used by DVC owners? By that I mean—by having DVC rooms at every resort, won’t that make the rest of us who go every few years and don’t own DVC less likely to get a good room? I am thinking that from a marketing standpoint Disney may want to have less rooms available for regular hotel guests so that it makes us non members rethink things.

Let’s just say that today—i call to make a reservation for December. (oh how I wish) Is Disney holding back the DVC rooms at–oh let’s say OKW for DVC members—when they tell me that there are no rooms available? And is that why sometimes when you call back there are rooms? Just curious. Other than my friends membership — I have no idea how the DVC thing really works.

I just am concerned that by offering more DVC memberships at the various resorts—that it will mean less rooms available for “regular resort guests”—for the lack of a better description. :confused:[/QUOTE]

I think there will always be rooms for non-DVC members. They are two totally different pools of rooms. The rooms non-members book are rooms that DVC members can’t book on points. The cash rooms are available because a DVC member traded out of DVC and DVC is renting the room. The rooms members can book on points are not available for non-members to book on cash. However, at a certain point (maybe 60 days out) DVC opens rooms up to cash reservations. (someone please correct me if I’m wrong about any of this.)


#12

Oh, heavens! I didn’t mean that! And I didn’t mean to upset you! I think Victoria has hit the nail on the head! While Disney likes nothing more than to guarantee repeat visitors - and hence buying into the DVC - they are always going to make sure that there are hotel rooms for all - those who have a once-in-a-lifetime trip and those who just MAY want to make WDW their prime holiday location…those are the ones they want to lure into DVC.:laugh:


#13

OK…thanks…this makes sense. However, I still say that in the long run…if DVC membership is available at every resort, or more resorts, those of us who are non-DVC members will find a shortage of rooms available if we are booking 6 months to a year out. But that’s just in my head----my way of thinking. :laugh:

It may just come down to getting a reservation where available and then keep checking back until that 60 day out comes around to switch to where you want to be. :happy:


#14

Oh no—you didn’t upset me. —just got me to thinking. I can’t blame Disney for wanting to have as many DVC members as it can. :happy:


#15

[QUOTE=smallworld;1134674]OK…thanks…this makes sense. However, I still say that in the long run…if DVC membership is available at every resort, or more resorts, those of us who are non-DVC members will find a shortage of rooms available if we are booking 6 months to a year out. But that’s just in my head----my way of thinking. :laugh:

It may just come down to getting a reservation where available and then keep checking back until that 60 day out comes around to switch to where you want to be. :happy:[/QUOTE]

We can’t book the same rooms. We own at Beach Club Villas–we can’t book rooms at Beach Club, only the villas part so we aren’t competing for the same rooms. if a non-member wants a DVC room they are booking one that members can’t book on points. The only rooms we may be competing for are DVC rooms under 60 days out. I don’t see how DVC will change the number of rooms a non-member can book since we can’t book regular resorts (well, we can but it’s a poor use of points and I’m sure very few actually do it).


#16

ahh Ok…I am understanding the system more now. My friend always books at Y&B and I thought that was just because they love it there. I didn’t realize that the Y&B was where their “points are”. I got that now.

Ok. Thanks everyone for the explanation. I can see that if families that go frequently to WDW want to become members but can’t afford it—setting them up for DVC membership in the value resorts where they like to stay would be beneficial to them.

I have just never really researched DVC deeply—since we don’t go but every 2-3 years it would never work for us.

Thanks for answering my questions. :happy:


#17

[QUOTE=smallworld;1134680]ahh Ok…I am understanding the system more now. My friend always books at Y&B and I thought that was just because they love it there. I didn’t realize that the Y&B was where their “points are”. I got that now.

Ok. Thanks everyone for the explanation. I can see that if families that go frequently to WDW want to become members but can’t afford it—setting them up for DVC membership in the value resorts where they like to stay would be beneficial to them.

I have just never really researched DVC deeply—since we don’t go but every 2-3 years it would never work for us.

Thanks for answering my questions. :happy:[/QUOTE]

DVC could work for you even with trips every 2-3 years. You could buy a small resale contract (50 points or so) and bank and borrow to get a week long stay. You can use three years of points at one time so you would have 150 points to use at once. A week at BCV is maybe 132 points give or take. It’s even less in the slower seasons.

Since we own at Beach Club Villas we can book there at 11 months out. We can book at all other DVC resorts at 7 months out.


#18

I’ve got all the points I want right now ESPECIALLY when the dues statement comes out…UNTIL they build DVC at Poly. :whistling :laugh:


#19

No, I don’t think non-DVC members will find a shortage of rooms available because of DVC. Like DT said, DVC members don’t book the same rooms as non-DVC members. For example, when you book the Beach Club as a non-DVC member, you’re actually booking a completely different resort. The DVC resort is called the “Beach Club Villas.” These are different rooms and in an entirely different building. Instead of the typical 2 queen beds in a standard room at the Beach Club, BCV has studios, 1-bedroom villas, and 2-bedroom villas. When they add DVC rooms, in most cases, they are not taking away standard hotel rooms - they are only adding DVC rooms (an exception is AKL where they changed X number of standard hotel rooms to DVC villas, now known as “Jambo House.” However, in my experience, this has not lead to non-DVC members being unable to book AKV).

The number of hotel rooms available to non-DVC guests is not decreasing. In fact, I believe that like DVC, it will only grow. Look at the Art of Animation Resort added just last year - they added a non-DVC resort to accommodate larger families. Before their family suites at the values, the only solutions to families larger than four or five were multiple hotel rooms, the cabins at Fort Wilderness, or renting/buying DVC.

Now, you will see that you can actually book DVC villas as a non-DVC member online through Disney’s website. This is not nearly as good of a deal as it would be renting through DVC owners. However, if I remember correctly (correct me if I’m wrong, DVC members!), it’s because only a certain percentage of the resort is available for DVC members to book until it is completely sold out. That being said, I just did a quick search for villas at WDW, and OKW and other early DVC resorts which have definitely sold out are appearing, so I’m not certain on that. However, when we booked BLT back in 2009, we did it through WDW, not by renting DVC points.


#20

All good information—thanks for it and sorry to hijack your thread Karen. :blush:

I haven’t been to the DVC information website in ages so I did some research there. I learned alot that I didn’t know–or thought that I knew from many many years ago when I looked into membership then. It seems that alot has changed since then.