Hey Dad! I love your site and can't thank you enough for all the information I learned from you and used to make our Christmas trip to Walt Disney World so special. We didn't have a good experience at Pop Century since our rooms were oldish and had an awful smell.
My husband now doesn't want to stay at a Value Resort again and since we are a family of 6, we can't afford a villa. I noticed sites that rent out Disney Vacation Club (DVC) member points for stays, but I am confused about how secure it may be to go this route. I would really prefer to stay on Disney property, but I don't know if this is a good idea. Would you know if any of these sites are reliable? I was hoping you could give me your thoughts on this, any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for all the helpful information and tips!
I’m so glad I could help you make your last Walt Disney World vacation so wonderful during the Christmas season. I hope I can help you plan a second Perfect Vacation now. It’s always tricky to determine the best option for accommodations when travelling with a large party, but Dad is here to help!
It’s too bad your experience at the Pop Century was disappointing – it's a great hotel. I can understand how this would turn your husband off of Value Resorts, but I’m going to make a suggestion anyway because it will be your most cost effective option to stay on property.
There is a brand-new resort called the Art of Animation – it opened just last year so it’s all bright, shiny and new. They have family suites which sleep 6 (there’s one “real” bed and 2 pullouts). The amenities of the resort don’t feel like a value resort at all, and with a kitchenette in your suite you could save a bit of money by having a few groceries around. The best part? It will only cost you around $330 per night.
Dad’s note: all the prices listed in the answer are based on “regular season” prices – these prices are subject to change without notice and you can certainly pay more of less depending on what time of year you book and whether you mange to book with a discount.
If you really can’t convince your husband to try out the Art of Animation, I’d suggest the Cabins at Fort Wilderness. Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground offers campsites but also little cabins that have the same amenities as a hotel room but with more space and a full kitchen, which can save you lots of money. Plus the activities at this property are great for outdoorsy types. The cabins average around $360 per night.
All of the deluxe level hotels offer suites or deluxe rooms that can sleep 6 or more, but the cheapest option is a Club Level Deluxe room at Wilderness Lodge for around $700 per night, so this isn’t the most affordable options. And as you pointed out, villas are in this same price range with a 2 bedroom villa at Old Key West Resort and Spa coming in at about $750 per night.
OK, now let's look at renting those Disney Vacation Club points. If you wanted to stay in that same $750 per night villa at Old Key West by renting Disney Vacation Club Points. That villa would likely be 37 points per night (depending on the season). You can rent those at between $10 and $13 a point at $13 per point that's $481 per night. Now that's a deal since that villa has over 1,000 square feet and a full kitchen.
Renting DVC points comes with it’s own list of challenges – is it safe, are your reservations actually going to be made, will you show up to find that someone took your money and you have no hotel room reserved? It can happen, and if you’re not a risk taker this isn’t the best way to build your Perfect vacation.
Dad has rented DVC points twice – once from a stranger on the internet which was a nerve wracking experience even for an old pro like Dad. The second time we rented from a personal friend, which is the safest way to go. If you have a friend who is a member of the Disney Vacation Club, ask them if they can help.
If you don't have one of those special friends, I'd recommend you use my partners over at David's Vacation Club Rentals or a reputable broker. Just make sure and do your homework.
Dad's Bottom Line
Linda, David can help. He has a great reputation, but if you want to avoid that hassle check out the Art of Animation or the Ft. Wilderness Cabins.