Disney Grand Floridian DVC

Today we received a packet from Disney Vacation Club (DVC) showing the floorplans of the upcoming Grand Floridian DVC Resort.  For many years my family went to the Grand Floridian for our vacations.  I don’t think I could afford a vacation like that now.  Gold Key was the ultimate in packages.  Having bathrobes, and a stocked mini refrigerator was just a few of the things that the rooms had.

Some other things that I always liked about the Grand Floridian was that the resort was very close to the Magic Kingdom, has monorail access, and high end customer service unlike any other Disney resort.  I still enjoy eating at 1900 Park Fare.  My little brother used to have his B-Day celebrated at one of the restaurants in the Grand Floridian.

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If there was a way to live at the Grand Floridian for the rest of my life I would pick up and move right now.  I would spend all that I could to get the house packed up in a truck rental, and get down there immediatelly.  I would have to get used to how some people act when they are there.  (Some people think that they are above other people because of the expense that comes with staying at the Grand Floridian.)

The Grand Floridian is the absolute best place a person could stay if money was no object.

From what I have read there is going to be 2 options available.  The first is a defined week.  The second is the standard point system.  I don’t know how I would like the defined week system.  I like to pick and choose when I go away.  Having only 200 points I am sure that the points required to stay at the Grand Floridian are going to be far out of my reach unless I was to bank one year, and also borrow the following year.

The Grand Floridian will have the same DVC options as the others… Studio, 1 Bedroom, 2 Bedroom, and 3 Bedroom Grand Villa.

Has anyone stayed at the Grand Floridian?

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Animal Kingdom Villas Review

We just returned from Disney World today.  We drove down the day after Christmas, and left Florida on the 3rd.  While we were there we stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  Our room was located in Jambo House.  This is the original hotel location that got several floors upgraded for DVC member accommodations.  We stayed there once previously, but it was not in a DVC accommodation because they weren’t fully finished as of yet.

As we entered the building we were teased with the smells of African food from one of the restaurants.  Being that we were situated with our food we did not have a chance to dine in the restaurants this trip.  We have heard that the restaurants are good.

Staying in the Jambo House we have found that the rooms have great views.  The layout of the 1 bedroom is slightly different than we are used to in comparison to Old Key West.  There is no FULL size jacuzzi tub.  There is a couch bed, and a chair bed in addition to the master bed.  In general the room felt slightly smaller than the Old Key West rooms.  We were in a Savannah view room.  Stepping out your porch door and seeing giraffe, and more just seems to make it so much more worth it.

The downside to Jambo House is that there is very few smoking areas.  You either need to go the the front of the building, or to the pool area.  This has a lot to do with animal safety.  The room had carpeting, and the kitchen, and bath were tiled.  The one thing that we would really find to be a nice change would be for the rooms to have wood flooring like the alloc original laminate that we have seen in some other timeshares.  The buses seemed to take forever.  I am sure that this had a lot to do with the holidays.

The lodge had their Christmas tree up still when we got there.  Towards the end of our stay we noticed some of the decorations being removed.  Overall the lodge is very nice looking, and the accomodations are acceptable.

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Is A Disney Timeshare Worth The Money?

YES!!!

Many years ago I asked this very question.  I had gone to many timeshare tours in Florida, and also Atlantic City.  I knew what kind of money I was spending by going to Disney World 1-2 times per year.  This was calculations based on 2 adults + 1 child in a “Value” resort.  We were spending on average $600-$700 in accomodations.  My mother and father came home one year and told us about the Disney Vacation Club.  Being we had done many timeshare tours in the past we basically tried to tell them what we didn’t want.

My parents showed me where the savings would be, and asked if we would just meet with the guide and see what she could offer.  We agreed to this as long as noone tried to pressure me.  We got there and met with Kelly.  She went over everything and at the end told us to call if we were interested.  My wife was very hesitant at first.  She said that we should just look into houses for rent when we go to Florida.

WAIT… She didn’t try to keep us at the table and sell us on the spot?  No.

After we got home and evaluated everything we called Kelly and told her that we were ready.  She said she would send us all the paperwork to finalize through the mail.  We were very pleasantly surprised at how easy everything went in comparison to the other timeshares that we saw.  Disney financing went through quick, and easy.

Disney Vacation Club accomodations have Studios, 1 Bedroom, 2 Bedroom, and Grand Villas.  Each accomodates a maximum amount.  Each also has a specific set of ammenities included.  The best part is that I get points, and those points can be used at any of the DVC resorts.  I am automatically part of an exchange program so I can go to other places that aren’t part of Disney.

Looking back at our decision I realize that it was one of the wisest things we could do.  We have already made our money back.

Would I do it again…?  Yes.  I would hope to get my hands on any of the original properties only because of the cost.  The cost of the DVC properties has gone up quite considerable since we bought.

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Computing While Vacationing

We used to get picked on for vacationing with electronics.  Being the line of work I am in I am almost required to have one with me when I go away.  Being a computer technician has its downfalls sometimes, but it is a great field to be in.  Over the last few trips we have found how invaluable having our laptop computers while on vacation has proven to be.  During the last 2 trips we have been able to get our blogging done, do research, check emails, and a lot more that we couldn’t do while away.  Being a Disney Vacation Club Member has its perks.  One of the most convenient to us is the FREE internet while at the DVC resorts.  They even supply the Cat5 cable.  All you have to do is bring your portables and connect.  Keep in mind that wired access is FREE, and WiFi access is a chargeable item.

We have also found them convenient for a second reason.  We take on average 400-500 photos during a relaxed trip.  On heavier planned trips we take sometimes 2-3 times that many photos.  Being able to download them straight into the computer is much better a solution than purchasing additional SD cards, or even using a bigger card.  I am against these solutions because you can lose the memory cards, or the memory cards could accidentally be wiped out by magnets, etc.

When you vacation do you take a laptop?  What do you use it for?

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Checking Out Disney DVC Hilton Head

Every now and then Disney runs promotions to help in selling their Vacation Club memberships.  I bought in quite a few years ago and didn’t pay as much as they cost now.  I own in Vero Beach, and Wilderness Lodge.  I have stayed in Vero Beach, but not the Wilderness Lodge.

This coming year when we go on the cruise my wife wants to take a day, or two on our way home to stop off in the Carolinas to visit the DVC resort Hilton Head.  We are going to try and book something for my family as well as my brother staying with us.  We have never stayed there, but I am willing to try something that doesn’t have the mouse.  When we stayed in Vero Beach we weren’t very thrilled because it just didn’t feel like the Disney resorts do.

While we are in the Carolinas my wife wants to look at some of the outer banks foreclosures.  She feels that maybe it is time to get out of New Jersey.  I understand her concern, but she needs to understand that moving isn’t a big option for us.

Have you stayed in the DVC resort in Hilton Head?  What was it like?  Would you stay there again?

Have you stayed in Vero Beach?  What did you think?

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