Blog

DVC Member Lounge Extended through 2018 & Member Services Hours Extended

Disney Vacation Club Member Announcements:

DVC Member Lounge Extended Throughout 2018

DVC Member Lounge
DVC Member Lounge

Disney Vacation Club announced today that the DVC Member Lounge has been extended throughout 2018. The Member lounge, launched in 2016 to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of DVC, is located in the Imagination! Pavilion at Epcot. It is open between 10 AM and 6 PM daily with complimentary soft drinks, WiFi, charging stations, computers, printers, and children’s play area.  The lounge has been very popular, with over 180,000 visitors during its first year.

DVC Member Services Hours Extended

DVC Member Services

Disney Vacation Club also announced that starting Sunday September 10, Member Services will extend it’s operating hours to 9 AM – 9 PM Eastern on weekdays (currently 9 AM – 7:30 PM) and 9 AM – 7 PM Eastern on weekends (currently 9 AM – 5:30 PM).

Please join the discussion on our forums and tell us what you think!

Image credit: © Disney

Final Polynesian DVC Declaration

On August 1, Disney Vacation Development (dba Disney Vacation Club) filed the 5th and final Declaration of Condominium Amendment for Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.  The Declaration adds the 4 remaining bungalows and 16 remaining studios (on the third floor of Tokelau) to the inventory available to DVC, allowing DVC to start selling points corresponding to these units.  This brings the total Polynesian Villas & Bungalow units available for DVC Members to 20 bungalows and 360 studios.

Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows Declarations

FilingDate RecordedReason
Original DeclarationJanuary 7, 2015Phases 1-5 & 11-40 added to the Condominium
First AmendmentJanuary 7, 2016Phases 6-8 & 41-57 added to the Condominium
Second AmendmentOctober 21, 2016Phases 58-67 added to the Condominium
Third AmendmentMarch 13, 2017Phases 68-77 added to the Condominium
Fourth AmendmentJune 2, 2017Phases 78-84 added to the Condominium
Fifth AmendmentAugust 1, 2017Phases 9-10 & 85-87 added to the Condominium

Phase Site Plan

This Declaration added 5 additional “units” shown below:

Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Phase 9-10
Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Phase 9-10
Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Phase 85-87
Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Phase 85-87

Two Use Years Selling Out Imminently

Prior to this latest Declaration, only one previously declared unit had no deeds recorded against it, bringing the total unsold units to 6 with this Declaration.  Since each unit only corresponds to one Use Year, and there are 8 Use Years, this means 2 Use Years will become unavailable once the units currently being sold are exhausted, which could happen imminently.  There is no way to tell which Use Years will become unavailable, since the Use Year assigned to the remaining 6 units will not be known until deeds start being recorded against them.

Polynesian to Sell Out in ~3 Months

DVC has sold 3,329,774 of 4,032,720 total points (83%) at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows as of July.  Polynesian Villas & Bungalows will be considered “sold out” (~95% sold*) within 3-4 months at the current sales rate – just in time for the popular holiday season at Wilderness Lodge, which should boost sales of Copper Creek Villas & Cabins.

* Completely sold out is 98%, since DVC retains 2% of each resort for cash reservations.

Thanks to DVCinfo forum member @hakunamatata for tip!  Thanks to DVCinfo forum member @wdrl2 for additional information!

Please join the discussion on our forums and tell us what you think!

Direct DVC Sales Update

Direct DVC Sales for Walt Disney World resorts reach highest level in 4 years

Direct DVC Sales for Disney Vacation Clubs’s Walt Disney World resorts reached 244K points in April – the highest level in 4 years.  Disney Vacation Club’s newest resort, Copper Creek Villas and Cabins, which went on sale in April, contributed to the results.  The prior high for monthly sales was 227K points in March 2015, the first full month of sales for the Polynesian Villas and Bungalows.

Direct DVC Sales July 2017
Direct DVC Sales through July 2017 (click for larger image)  Total includes Aulani, Hilton Head, and Vero Beach resorts through March 2017.

Copper Creek Villas and Cabins Sales

Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney Vacation Club’s 14th resort, began pre-sales to existing members on March 8, and began sales to new members on April 8.  Copper Creek Villas and Cabins sales for April, which include pre-sales for March, totaled 51,675 points.  Sales for the first four months of sales of Copper Creek Villas and Cabins totaled 172,466 points – 30% of Polynesian Villas and Bungalows Sales for the same period.

 Apr-17May-17Jun-17Jul-17Total
WDW Resorts Total243,754215,857205,874178,109843,594
CCV51,67534,26940,96945,553172,466
PVB167,904150,335138,581107,734564,554
Other WDW Resorts24,17531,25326,32424,822106,574

Comparable Sales

Although Walt Disney World resort sales decreased the past 4 months sequentially, comparable sales from the same period last year are up the past 4 months. Sales in July are up 32% from the same period last year.

Direct DVC Comparable Sales July 2017
Direct DVC Comparable Sales through July 2017 (click for larger image).  Total includes Aulani, Hilton Head, and Vero Beach resorts through March 2017.

These charts are based on data gathered by @wdrl2 (Wil Lovato) and @hakunamatata (Dan), who have graciously provided the data to DVCinfo.

Please join the discussion on our forums and tell us what you think!

Goodbye DVC Mike

I don’t know if you were aware, but I was diagnosed in early 2014 with Parkinson’s Disease. I have been thinking about the difficult changes in my life as a result of this progressive degenerative neurological disorder. Lately, I have been unable to write many blog posts or participate in the DVC Discussion Forum on this website very much at all, and to be perfectly honest I don’t see that changing.

While I started the DVCinfo.com website and maintained it as a labor of love, it will eventually become burdensome for me to manage, all things considered. I will need to focus on my day to day health issues as I will have no other choice.  It appears unlikely that I will be able to make any future visits to Disney, so I plan on ridding myself of all my DVC points in January.

Since this website has been a labor of love for me, I want it to continue to grow and flourish. The members of our discussion forum have all worked so well together creating a safe and welcoming community. Each of you has contributed in your own way to the health and vitality of the site.

I have decided to transition management of the website to Russ, as well as grant him a perpetual license to continue to utilize my informational content. Russ and I have talked and he has told me of his vision for continued development and operation of the website, as well as allowing DVCinfo.com to remain ad-free and sponsor free.

I will be transitioning my responsibilities to Russ over the coming weeks, bit by bit, so as to not overwhelm him.

It is my hope that you will give Russ the great support that you’ve given me over the past years. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my participation in the DVC community for over 10 years now. I’ll still be around for a while. I don’t know if I will continue to read and post on the discussion forum in the future, or if I will just slowly fade into the sunset over the next several months.

However, it’s been a grand ride!

Please join the discussion on our forums.

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Grand Opening

Today, Disney Vacation Club welcomes its 14th resort with the opening of Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, the latest vacation ownership property in its growing portfolio. Offering one of the widest ranges of accommodation types at Walt Disney World Resort, Copper Creek Villas & Cabins features 184 rustically elegant accommodation options, including Deluxe Studios, one- and two-bedroom Villas, three-bedroom Grand Villas and unique Waterfront Cabins.

“Copper Creek Villas & Cabins offers members and guests a uniquely designed and exquisitely appointed home base for their Walt Disney World vacation, and it is truly a gem in the growing Disney Vacation Club portfolio,” said Ken Potrock, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Disney Vacation Club. “This resort offers the best of everything, including immersive theming, accommodations in a variety of sizes to suit any type of family, high-quality amenities, and the ideal waterfront location that is just around the river bend from Magic Kingdom Park.”

Inspired by the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, the resort features natural elements, such as wood and stone, in its design, as well as subtle nods to the American transcontinental railroad. The Deluxe Studios offer room for up to four guests, while the larger one- and two-bedroom Villas and three-bedroom Grand Villas seamlessly blend the comforts of home with the wonders of the wilderness to create a tranquil retreat for families of any size. Each Villa is thoughtfully designed with today’s families in mind offering full kitchens, expanded storage space for belongings, and private patios or balconies with scenic views.

Cascade Cabin at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins
Cascade Cabin at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins

The 26 all-new luxurious waterfront Cascade Cabins are the centerpiece of the resort. These two-bedroom, two-bath cabins sleep up to eight, offering modern luxuries with a homey, yet upscale feel. Large dining and living room spaces, along with a screened-in wraparound porch, allow for plenty of space for families. Amenities throughout the cabins include a full kitchen, flat panel televisions, a washer and dryer, a hidden pull-down bed featuring artwork of Chip and Dale, a built-in hot tub on the porch, an indoor/outdoor fireplace and a number of special Disney touches.

The resort is a short water taxi ride away from Magic Kingdom Park, and offers easy bus access to the rest of the Walt Disney World Resort, making it the ideal home base for families looking to explore a wide range of new Disney attractions, including the recently opened Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and the reimagined Disney Springs retail, dining and entertainment district.

While staying at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins, guests have shared access to all of the amenities and activities available just steps away at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Geyser Point Bar & Grill, which opened earlier this year, offers picturesque views of Bay Lake, as well as explorer-worthy feasts and trails-end spirits in an open-air lounge. Roaring Fork, the resort’s original quick-service restaurant, has recently reopened featuring a refreshed look and expanded outdoor seating.

Boulder Ridge Cove Pool
Boulder Ridge Cove Pool

The resort’s new leisure pool, Boulder Ridge Cove Pool, is themed to the legendary mining history of the Northwest featuring a zero-depth entry pool, a whirlpool spa and first-come, first-served cabanas. Additionally, a brand-new sports court, BBQ pavilions and a refurbished fire pit and movie area have all joined the lineup of resort amenities. Those in search of extra pampering will want to stop by Salon by the Springs, opening later this year, for pool-side manicures, pedicures and hair services.

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins is the second Disney Vacation Club resort at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. For more information about Copper Creek Villas & Cabins and Disney Vacation Club, visit DisneyCopperCreek.com.

Please join the discussion on our forums and tell us what you think!

Next DVC: Disney Riviera Resort

Today at D23 Expo in Anaheim, Calif., Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, announced the next planned development for Disney Vacation Club will be an entirely new resort near Epcot called Disney Riviera Resort and that a new skyway transportation system will connect the new resort to other areas on Walt Disney World property.

The next planned development for Disney Vacation Club will be an entirely new resort called Disney Riviera Resort. Estimated to open in fall 2019, this new resort experience is slated to be the 15th Disney Vacation Club property with approximately 300 units spread across a variety of accommodation types. A new skyway transportation system will connect the new resort to other areas on Walt Disney World property.

“We’re thrilled to announce plans for a new Disney Vacation Club property called Disney Riviera Resort coming to Walt Disney World Resort,” Chapek said. “Our Vacation Club Members are among our most loyal fans, and we think that they will love what we have planned, especially the rooftop restaurant that will offer unbelievable views of nighttime spectaculars at both Epcot and Hollywood Studios.”

In addition, Chapek announced that a whole new transportation system of gondolas is planned, called the Disney Skyliner, to give guests a never-before-seen birds-eye view of Walt Disney World and connect the new Disney Vacation Club property, Disney’s Art of Animation, Pop Century and Caribbean Beach resorts with Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at Epcot.

Disney Skyliner
Disney Skyliner

Estimated to open in fall 2019, this new resort experience is slated to be the 15th Disney Vacation Club property with approximately 300 units spread across a variety of accommodation types.

Ken Potrock, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Disney Vacation Club, said, “The opening of Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge in just a few days and the announcement of our next planned development, Disney Riviera Resort, demonstrate the incredible momentum underway at Disney Vacation Club. Our members tell us over and over again how much they love the outstanding accommodations and the value and flexibility of a Disney Vacation Club Membership, as well as the unique location to our growing and evolving theme parks and the exclusive member experiences and benefits they get from our Membership Extras program.”

Please join the discussion on our forums and tell us what you think!

Are DVC Annual Dues going to rise dramatically?

Property taxes are a large portion of annual dues

One of the obligations Disney Vacation Club members have is to pay annual dues to cover the operating costs and upkeep of their resort. Real estate taxes (ad valorem property taxes) make up a large portion of the annual dues – in the range of 20-30% of the dues for a resort.

Property taxes are a primary source of revenue for local governments. They’re also a significant expense for real estate owners, year in and year out.

Battles over property assessments

Property taxes are based on the assessed value of a real estate parcel, and a property tax rate. The Orange County appraiser determines property assessments.

Over the years, there has been a never-ending battle over how much taxes the theme parks and resorts should pay. Trying to get land values reduced is not new for businesses, including theme parks. Every time the assessed values have risen, Disney has challenged the increases in assessed values of their properties. Some companies have filed lawsuits year after year.

In the past, these differences in opinion over assessed valuation have been resolved through creative tactics or negotiations. Traditionally, the parks have gotten tax bills totaling tens of millions of dollars lowered through appeals to a property value adjustment board or negotiations with county officials.

The prior Orange County Appraiser, Bill Donegan, favored negotiated settlements. “My goal was always to come to a consensus because when you go before a judge … you don’t know what he’s going to do,” Donegan said. “We tried to come up with a compromise that both of us can live with. … I tried like heck to stay out of court.” The end result was the county’s value adjustment board reduced the assessed values.

Orange County Appraiser more willing to fight?

Rick Singh, who was re-elected last year to a second four-year term as Orange County Appraiser, calls that attitude playing “the game, Let’s Make a Deal.” Singh has been with the property appraiser’s office for about 20 years, working his way up in the agency, rather than coming in the side door via a career in politics.

Orange County Appraiser Rick Singh
Orange County Appraiser Rick Singh

Singh takes a different approach than his predecessors. Rather than basing assessments on what the multi-billion-dollar corporations have been paying, or would like to pay, he employs the latest technologies to make property value assessments efficient and accurate. And doesn’t avoid challenging the way things have always been.

Singh explained that the real issue here isn’t how high he values them now, but how low they were assessed before he took office.

“Let’s put things into historical perspective. I am the first state certified, qualified appraiser in the history of the Orange County office”, said Singh. “I look at this with a professional appraiser’s eye. Perhaps it has never been looked at with the eyes of an appraiser. This office has been functioning in a level of what I consider to be unconscious incompetence. They didn’t know that they didn’t know. I’ll give you a great example; when the entire theme park of Magic Kingdom is assessed less than the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center, that’s a problem. The entire theme park, the land, and all the improvements. Picture that for a minute, and that speaks volumes.”

Singh said his methods for assessing properties are no different than those of his predecessors — except when looking at resorts and hotels. Then, he considers their income statements and the local “bed tax” paid by hotel customers, which he said his predecessor didn’t use. Income isn’t considered when assessing theme parks.

“It’s a matter of being fair and equitable,” Singh said. “If the single mother who is working two jobs has to be held accountable to pay her fair share, so should everybody else.”

Singh said he is more willing than his predecessors to fight in court rather than reach a compromise. “Some entities are not going to be happy because they’ve been getting away with murder,” Singh said.

Under Singh, appeals to the value adjustment board have generally been unsuccessful, and Singh said he is more willing to fight disputes in court than predecessors. He noted some companies have filed lawsuits year after year.

Disney sues over property tax assessments

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts are suing over their property tax assessments from 2016, calling them “excessive.” Disney filed nearly a dozen lawsuits at the end of last month in Orange Circuit Court, arguing the assessments by Orange County Appraiser Rick Singh exceeded their properties’ fair market value and incorrectly “included the value of certain intangible property in the assessments.”

“The increases in the assessments of our property are unreasonable and unjustified,” a Disney spokesperson said in a statement. “Similar to other property owners in Orange County, we have no choice but to take action to dispute these errors by the property appraiser. We look forward to presenting our case in court.”

Singh vowed to fight them in court at the time, saying, “We hold their feet to the fire.”

Disney is asking for “proper” fair market and assessed values to be determined so it can receive a new tax bill in addition to reimbursement for courts costs.

Will DVC Members see annual dues rise?

The difference between Singh and prior Orange County Appraisers, is that Singh doesn’t look to be backing down. Singh could just be posturing for his constituants and may still decide to settle as his predecessors have done.  We don’t know if a settlement is likely, or what decision a judge may issue on the matter.

Could DVC members see large increases in their annual dues as a result? Only time will tell. We have seen the annual dues for Disney’s Copper Creek Villas & Cabins have the highest taxes per point of all the other resorts.

Please join the discussion on our forums and tell us what you think!

DVC marketing of Copper Creek Villas emphasizes Choice

Disney Vacation Club’s marketing of it’s latest DVC resort – Disney’s Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – is in full swing.

DVC said the new resort is the culmination of listening to it’s members – particularly the breadth of accommodations. Offering five accommodation options, including Deluxe Studios, 1- and 2-Bedroom Villas, 3-Bedroom Grand Villas and waterfront Cascade Cabins, Disney is emphasizing choice in accommodations.

This is in direct contrast to it’s last DVC development – Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows – where the “villas” consisted of only studios. Disney got some feedback from many members complaining about the lack of choice of accommodation types at the Polynesian villas.

The video below (“Something for Everyone) stresses the breadth of accommodation types.

Disney’s Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge opens on July 17, 2017.

DVC on-demand webcast covering Copper Creek Villas

Disney Vacation Club has an on-demand webcast available for viewing by both members and guests to watch that covers Disney’s Copper Creek Villas & Cabins.

It’s titled “Makings of a New Frontier” and it’s hosted by Sabrina Soto, an interior design expert. After you watch the video, you can enter a contest to win a 5-night stay in a 1-bedroom villa at Disney’s Copper Creek Villas & Cabins.

The webcast is available at: makingsofanewfrontier.com

Copper Creek Cabin Porch
Copper Creek Cabin Porch
Copper Creek Cabin Spa
Copper Creek Cabin Spa