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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Test Track To Be Updated

Here is a piece I just received about the GM Test Track attraction located in Epcot.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Jan. 6, 2012 – Disney and General Motors have renewed their long-term business relationship with a new multi-year corporate alliance.

As part of the new alliance, GM will be actively involved with Walt Disney Imagineering in the development of a re-imagined, design-centric Test Track experience. The refurbished Test Track will be presented by one of GM’s most famous brands, Chevrolet. As Chevrolet marks its 100th anniversary, the new alliance agreement enables General Motors to tell its story in new and exciting ways to millions of Guests from around the world and continue as the official vehicle sponsor of Walt Disney World Resort.

“We are excited to renew our long-term alliance with General Motors,” said George Aguel, Senior Vice President, Corporate Alliances for the Walt Disney Company. “This unique agreement extends collaboration between two of the most recognized brands in the world, a relationship that spans over 30 years. The re-imagined Test Track Presented by Chevrolet will continue our shared goal of providing unique and innovative experiences that engage Disney guests in exciting and interactive ways.” ”

“As a global brand, Chevrolet is looking forward to welcoming Guests from around the world to the re-imagined Test Track,” said Joel Ewanick, Global Chief Marketing Officer for General Motors. “The best of Disney and the best of Chevrolet will come together to bring Guests an immersive experience in the design process of the vehicles they see on the road today and will see in the future.”

Plans call for closing the current GM Test Track in April 2012, with an anticipated opening of Test Track Presented by Chevrolet scheduled for fall 2012.

As part of the re-imagining, the Future World attraction will feature a sleek new “Chevrolet Design Center at Epcot” immersing Guests in the fascinating world of automotive design. Amid upbeat music, engaging media, dramatic lighting and a collection of Chevrolet concept cars and model vehicles, guests themselves will become automotive designers – and peer into the future of personal transportation in the process.

At interactive design and styling workstations, Guests will be able to create their own custom concept vehicles. The adventure will then shift into high gear as Guests buckle into their 6-person “SimCar” ride vehicle and put their design through its paces on the exhilarating hills, switchbacks and straight-aways of the Test Track circuit.

Their performance testing complete, Guests will move into a post-show area filled with special effects and be scored on how well their custom concept vehicle did. And of course, Guests will be able see the very latest Chevrolet vehicles in an all-new state-of-the-art showroom.

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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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Disney Weddings Are Out Of The Question

I always wanted to get remarried to my wife.  I also always wanted to have the ceremony in Walt Disney World.  Many people are fortunate enough to be able to have their wedding at the Disney resort in Florida.  With all of the money that it would cost we decided to forget that dream until I hit the lottery.  (BTW… I don’t play the lottery.) After we started the calculations we came to the grim reality that with the amount of people that you must pay for, and the other requirements that there was no possible way. I am even more happy now being that the Grand Floridian has construction going on. I am sure that the new DVC section will be an eyesore for the Wedding Pavilion.

I was just reading one of the Official Disney blogs and saw this video of a proposal. Now all they need to do is save a lot of money, get the bridal shower invitations sent out, and get to work on the rest of the necessary planning.

Here it is…

 

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Renting A Camper For Disney World

Back a few years ago my wife, and I decided that we wanted to try out staying in a rv in Fort Wilderness.  We drove down, and rented a camper from El Monte RV.  I had never driven a camper, and this was an experience.  I had to drive it down I-4 to get to Disney World.  I decided to take this trip very slow because I didn’t take the motorhome insurance that they offered.  I am a very cheap guy, and usually those policies are just pocket change for those that are charging it.

We setup in Fort Wilderness, and we ended up enjoying ourselves very much.  Previous to this trip my wife, and I only stayed in Ft. Wilderness once before.  That trip was a disaster, as we got flooded out, and we ended up getting a hotel room for the remainder of the trip.  My parents were in a camper on the opposite side of the road.  Now that we are DVC members we don’t think much about doing this type of vacation anymore.  The labor involved in camping is a bit much for me.  (Especially when I am on vacation.)  Even going camping now is a bit of a chore, but I have been teaching the wife, and little one how to help me hook up, and unhook.

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