Coolest Summer Ever at Disney

Have you ever wished you could stay and party all day and all night at a Disney theme park? Well, Tinkerbell has sprinkled some pixie dust at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park, creating a fun-filled, 24 hours of magic to kick off this summer’s “Coolest Summer Ever” festivities. On Friday, May 22nd  the Magic Kingdom theme park will open at 6 am and the merriment will continue until 6 am on Saturday, May 23rd. This thrilling party ushers in the “Coolest Summer Ever” event to be held all summer long at Disney World theme parks and water parks, with Olaf from Frozen as the official party host.  During this special 24-hour long celebration, filled with thrilling summer-themed entertainment, seasonal activities, “cool” foods and beverages, and so much more! Guests will be encouraged to dress up for the day and show their “Disney Side” by wearing a favorite Disney character costume and becoming an active part of this Memorial Day weekend extravaganza.

For the rest of the summer, plenty of “Coolest Summer Ever” experiences have been planned to make your Disney summer visit the best ever!  Chill out at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and catch “Frozen Summer Fun LIVE”, held daily from June 17th through September 7th.  Join Princess Anna, Queen Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and the gang from Arendelle as they make their way along Hollywood Boulevard with plenty of fairytale décor, Frozen music and dancing.  There’s even a Frozen sing-along, and an evening DJ dance party followed a fantastic Frozen-themed Fireworks display.  Special Star Wars weekends will be held from May 15th through June 14th and will include out-of-this-world stars with adventures from a galaxy far, far away.  At EPCOT, the Voices of Liberty exhibit has been updated for the summer months, and there are delightful entertainment acts to satisfy guests of all ages.  A multitude of restaurants and shops are available throughout Disney World, including new waterfront dining as the Downtown Disney area continues its transformation into the updated “Disney Springs” complex.  There’s so many thrilling amusement rides to choose from at all four Disney theme parks including Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine, Twilight Zone, Tower of Terror, and Expedition Everest, just to name a few.  Plan a Walt Disney World vacation this summer and experience all that Disney has to offer.  Go to: www.disneyworld.disney.go.com for more information or call (409) 939-5277.

2015 Park Ticket Offers from Walt Disney World

It’s an exciting time to be a Florida Resident or a member of the U.S. Military in 2015. Disney has announced two new theme park ticket promotions giving you the opportunity to experience all the fun and magic Walt Disney World Orlando has to offer at a great money-saving price!  If you are a Florida Resident, you have your choice of purchasing either a 3-Day “Discover Disney” ticket at a discounted price of only $139.00 per person plus tax, or a 4-Day ticket for only $20 more at an incredible price of just $159.00 per person plus tax.  The Florida Resident promotion is for a limited time only and ticket sales begin on January 3rd, 2015.  These special entry tickets are valid at any one of the 4 Disney theme parks per day and may be used at any time between January 3rd and June 5th, 2015, with the exception of March 30th to April 9th at the Magic Kingdom.  Tickets may be used at any of the 4 main Disney theme parks: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As an added bonus, Florida Resident Discover Disney tickets can be used on non-consecutive days, letting you plan one great vacation all at once or letting you split your visit during the promotional period, which ends on June 5, 2015. Tickets are non-transferable. Proof of Florida residency needs to be provided at the time of booking and other restrictions may apply. Find details and additional information by visiting:   www.disneyworld.disney.go.com/special-offers/resident-discover.

If you are an active or retired U.S. Military member or spouse, Disney has a great promotion for you, too!  U.S. military personnel (including U.S. Coast Guard, Reservists and National Guard) will be offered a 4-Day Military Promotional Ticket. Disney has also included a “Park Hopper Option” in your special ticket price which is valid at the 4 main Walt Disney World theme parks, giving military members extra flexibility. This special military admission ticket is only $177.00 plus tax per person. Promotional tickets must be purchased on or before September 30, 2015 and used by October 3, 2015.  The only dates the admission tickets will not be valid in 2015 are January 1st and 2nd, and March 29th through April 9th, 2015.  You may add a ‘water park option” to your special promotion ticket for only $20 more per person. Valid identification is required at time of booking and is also required for ticket use at the Disney parks.  Eligible Military personnel may purchase these special tickets at participating U.S. Military base sales offices.  A maximum purchase of 6 military promotional tickets is permitted and there are other restrictions and requirements. For full details of this special promotion, please visit:   www.disneyworld.disney.go.com/special-offers/military-4-day-tickets/details/.

Start the New Year with Disney Vacation Club!

New Year’s Eve is an exciting night no matter where you are or what you do, but Walt Disney World really stands out as one of the best places to go to ring in the New Year!  Get yourself ready for 2015 and select the Disney magic that suits your fancy.

Looking for an over-the-top fireworks display to start your new year off with a real BANG?  You have three Disney Parks to choose from:  Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot. All three locations will be hosting incredible, awe-inspiring shows so it can be difficult to decide.  In fact, why not plan ahead and get the best bang for your buck. On December 30th, watch “Fantasy in the Sky” at the Magic Kingdom, then on December 31st you can check out the New Year’s Eve extravaganza at either Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studio.  That way you’ll enjoy TWO simply spectacular Disney fireworks displays.

If you’re looking to see a great show but don’t have the desire to battle all the holiday crowds,  why not reserve a stay at Disney  Vacation Club’s ultra-modern and elegant Bay Lake Tower, offering all the comforts of home.  This Disney Vacation Club property is a lakeside resort located within walking distance of the Magic Kingdom located directly on Bay Lake and is connected to the Contemporary Resort via the Sky Way Bridge.  In addition to super amazing views of the Magic Kingdom park and the fireworks shows,  Bay Lake Tower has an incredible, private observation deck on the 16th floor where guests are able to see the magic and wonder of the fireworks show from an amazing vantage point.  During the show, if you find you are in need of refreshments, the Top of the World lounge, located inside the viewing area, offers a full-service bar and light bites.

Holidays are always special, but a visit to Walt Disney World makes holidays even more magical. Reserve your dream vacation today.  Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Choosing a Home Resort

The Importance of Home Resorts

Choosing a home resort is one of the biggest and most important decisions required of prospective Disney Vacation Club members. Though you can visit any of the DVC properties using your points, different resorts have different advantages/disadvantages as a home resort. The selection process is not complex, but there are some elements that require serious consideration.

Booking at Your Home Resort

As the owner of a particular resort, you have the privilege of booking your stay up to 11 months in advance of the proposed check-in date. To book a stay at resort other than your home resort, you’ll need to wait until 7 months in advance at the earliest. If you’re big on planning ahead (like we are), this could be a major factor. If there is a particular resort that you absolutely love, that should probably be your home resort. The ability to book almost a year ahead of time will ensure that you can get your accommodations of choice.

Annual Dues at Your Home Resort

Annual dues (a.k.a. maintenance fees) vary among resorts. Annual dues are paid on a cost-per-point basis and currently vary from about $4-$8. As far as annual dues are concerned, Vero Beach is typically the most expensive and Bay Lake Tower is usually the least expensive. This is an important factor that absolutely should not be overlooked!!! The cost of annual dues will inevitably surpass the initial purchase cost if you remain a Disney Vacation Club member for more than just a couple years. If you choose a home resort with a low purchase price but high maintenance fees thinking that you’re saving money, you’re destined to be disappointed. Womp womp :(

Also, keep in mind that the dues are likely to increase over time. Be sure to take a look at the history of annual dues and percentage increase.

Unit Availability

It shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that the DVC resorts and villas are not all equal in size and popularity. Wilderness Lodge and Beach club have fewer villas than the other resorts, making availability more scarce. Animal Kingdom Lodge is hugely popular. The 11-month booking opportunity for home resorts can really make a difference when trying to plan a stay at these resorts.

Certain units are also more popular than others. Studio villas are almost always in high demand, as are grand villas. One bedroom villas are typically the most widely available, but even these are not all the same: 1 bedroom villas at Old Key West are about 200 sq ft larger than the 1 bedroom villas at Boardwalk.

Home Resort Expiration Dates

All Disney Vacation Club contracts include an expiration date. If you’re planning on holding on to your DVC membership for a few decades and/or passing ownership on to loved ones, this could be a factor in your choice of home resort.

Vero Beach, Hilton Head Island, Boardwalk, Wilderness Lodge, Beach Club, and some Old Key West contracts expire on January 31, 2042.

Saratoga Springs contracts expire on January 31, 2054.

Animal Kingdom Lodge and some Old Key West contracts expire on January 31, 2057.

Bay Lake Tower and Grand Californian contracts expire on January 31, 2060.

Aulani contracts expire on January 31, 2062.

Grand Floridian contracts expire no January 31, 2064.