First time post - most economical resort for UK couple (plus one child?)

Jaguar Skills

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Hi all,

This is my first post on this forum so please go easy. We went to Disney this year for the first time as a family. Myself, fiancee (who I proposed to at Cinderella's fountain) and our son, who was (and still is 2). We are from the UK so realistically I think we would be doing disney every other year, or trying to do it twice in one year to take advantage of an annual pass then leave it for 2/3 years. Are there any other UK DVC members that can help as we'd love to hear opinions!

We also went and did the DVC intro meeting as we were interested in finding more about it. We have a few questions, and given it is such a minefield thought we would open them up to the forum.

- Which currently is the best value resort? Looking at some articles it seems like Saratoga Springs is. We had originally thought that AKL would have been the sort of resort we'd like but want to try and make this as cost effective as possible?

-Potentially and probably, we will have another child in the near future, so should we look to get more points to take that into consideration? I don't want to overprice given we will be cash buyers.

-we have seen that some of the contracts are shorter than others, what would be the minimum you would go for?

-should we also buy some direct to get the discounts etc? What exactly is the discount on annual passes? Do the UK packages outweigh the benefit of getting anything with disney direct?

- There is obviously a slight concern about travel cost i.e. flights per year albeit we do collect airmiles through our credit card.

-if we look to buy resale and there are points available, how do we find out if these can carry to next year?

-with dining options, this is also an added cost as when we went this year we took advantage of the free disney dining.
 

McCrae

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 29, 2009
At this stage in your life...wedding on the Horizon and possibly an expanding family I would hold back from buying DVC. Even if you buy DVC it’s not a cheap holiday and you are locking into potentially 50 years of annual dues. I personally would go at least another couple of times before making such a large investment. Resorts like All Stars are great value for a young family and are worth trying.
If you still want to do this the next stage is working out how many points to buy. Longer term as your family gets older you will probably really appreciate the extra space you get in a 1br. Studios are a bit small, especially if you are going for a couple of weeks and have a couple of teenage children.

We bought BLT in 2009 and it was one of the best decisions we have made.
 


Jaguar Skills

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
At this stage in your life...wedding on the Horizon and possibly an expanding family I would hold back from buying DVC. Even if you buy DVC it’s not a cheap holiday and you are locking into potentially 50 years of annual dues. I personally would go at least another couple of times before making such a large investment. Resorts like All Stars are great value for a young family and are worth trying.
If you still want to do this the next stage is working out how many points to buy. Longer term as your family gets older you will probably really appreciate the extra space you get in a 1br. Studios are a bit small, especially if you are going for a couple of weeks and have a couple of teenage children.

We bought BLT in 2009 and it was one of the best decisions we have made.
Thanks for your reply. We are in quite a good position financially and think it would make sense to do it soon. We stayed at All Stars last year and it was fine but we figured if we went again, we wouldnt do both disney and universal just one or the other. With the dining plan, it still cost us in excess of £5,000 to go.
 
  • McCrae

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 29, 2009
    Thanks for your reply. We are in quite a good position financially and think it would make sense to do it soon. We stayed at All Stars last year and it was fine but we figured if we went again, we wouldnt do both disney and universal just one or the other. With the dining plan, it still cost us in excess of £5,000 to go.
    It would be worthwhile if you haven’t already visiting a number of different DVC resorts and taking a look at the Studio’s, 1 and 2 bedroom suites. We found that is some resorts we liked the facilities in the reception area, restaurants etc but didn’t like the rooms. One thing also worth considering is that switching from the resort you own to another may become more difficult or could stop completely. The commonly used DVC expression buy only where you would be happy to stay all the time is very valid.

    Other consideration are how easy is it to get to a park from resorts. We bought at BLT because it was so near to Magic Kingdom. Being able to avoid crowded buses or Monorails was an important factor for us. We wouldn’t buy at Saratoga because of the size of the resort and the need to use bus transport even around the resort. Resorts we liked are BLT, VGF, VGC and Animal Kingdom. We are not so keen on any of the older DVC properties, especially ones nearer Epcot.

    The way we compared the value for each resort was to calculate a cost per point including annual dues. This involved dividing the price you pay per point by the number of years left on the contract and then adding the annual dues. At the time we bought BLT was the cheaper option. Annual dues were lower than other resorts.

    One other consideration is that over time is that your dining habits change. A lot of people start off using the dining plan, but after a while you go onto other options. For us we made the change because the dining plans had far too much food. We tend to eat less often in the park...no more character meals for us!
     
    Last edited:

    waltfan1957

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 13, 2005
    It would be worthwhile if you haven’t already visiting a number of different DVC resorts and taking a look at the Studio’s, 1 and 2 bedroom suites. We found that is some resorts we liked the facilities in the reception area, restaurants etc but didn’t like the rooms. One thing also worth considering is that switching from the resort you own to another may become more difficult or could stop completely. The commonly used DVC expression buy only where you would be happy to stay all the time is very valid.

    Other consideration are how easy is it to get to a park from resorts. We bought at BLT because it was so near to Magic Kingdom. Being able to avoid crowded buses or Monorails was an important factor for us. We wouldn’t buy at Saratoga because of the size of the resort and the need to use bus transport even around the resort. Resorts we liked are BLT, VGF, VGC and Animal Kingdom. We are not so keen on any of the older DVC properties, especially ones nearer Epcot.

    The way we compared the value for each resort was to calculate a cost per point including annual dues. This involved dividing the price you pay per point by the number of years left on the contract and then adding the annual dues. At the time we bought BLT was the cheaper option. Annual dues were lower than other resorts.

    One other consideration is that over time is that your dining habits change. A lot of people start off using the dining plan, but after a while you go onto other options. For us we made the change because the dining plans had far too much food. We tend to eat less often in the park...no more character meals for us!
    Not sure why you say need bus to get around resort, 4 pools 5 bus stops no where more than 5/6 minute walk, easy to get to Disney springs walking or by boat, have owned there since 2004 never stayed anywhere else.
     

    Jaguar Skills

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 13, 2020
    Not sure why you say need bus to get around resort, 4 pools 5 bus stops no where more than 5/6 minute walk, easy to get to Disney springs walking or by boat, have owned there since 2004 never stayed anywhere else.
    we like the idea of walking around anyway. The walk to DS is a big sell for us.
     
  • going/again

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 27, 2009
    That’s good to know. How far a walk is it? I presume these are non disney resorts?
    About 25 minutes plenty of restaurants some gift shops walgreens and a win dixi, owned SSR since 2004 been twice most years, 15 years running Xmas and new year only stopped as wife was to ill to fly. I went last November and this February, booked for December fingers crossed,
     

    Jaguar Skills

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 13, 2020
    About 25 minutes plenty of restaurants some gift shops walgreens and a win dixi, owned SSR since 2004 been twice most years, 15 years running Xmas and new year only stopped as wife was to ill to fly. I went last November and this February, booked for December fingers crossed,
    Just had a look on the map and google says 50 mins, is that just them being conservative or is there a better cut through?

    Have attached an image.
     

    Attachments

    going/again

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 27, 2009
    Just had a look on the map and google says 50 mins, is that just them being conservative or is there a better cut through?

    Have attached an image.
    Not sure really it's a nice walk never really timed it I may be a bit out if that's what Google says, there is no short cut as I know off, also can catch bus to the malls across from Disney springs in February it was $2 dollars including transfer you catch bus to sea world and then transfer to which mall you want to go to.
     
  • leise

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2003
    We did something similar to you when our kids were small. We initially bought 100 points resale at Old Key West, which allowed us to go to a studio every other year for two weeks in late August. This worked really well for us. We love Old Key West, it has a lovely laid back friendly vibe. Then as the boys got bigger we added more points and started going for longer. Now they are adults we need a two bed!
    Don’t regret for one minute buying DVC. I always thought we might get bored of going, or the boys would grow out of it. Nope! It is such an important part of our lives and we are all looking forward to our next trip as much as ever. Over the years we have saved a fortune in accommodation costs, the greatest expense is always the flights, hence building up to go for longer. Good luck, I hope you can make it work.
     





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