We are Disney Vacation Club members. Disney Vacation Club is the Disney Timeshare company, that allows members to stay at Disney Vacation Club resorts by using their yearly allotted points. Members own a part of one of the Disney Vacation Club properties, this is called their home resort. Members can book a room at their home resort 11 months ahead of their vacation dates. 7 months ahead of their vacation dates they can book any other DVC resort.
We have been DVC members for 9 years. We’ve taken 7 vacations as members, using our points to book stays at the Disneyland Hotel in California and at Boardwalk Villas, Bay Lake Tower, Saratoga Springs, Old Key West in Florida (among others). By this time we feel like we’ve got booking our vacations down to a science. Even with all this experience under our belts, it can still be very tricky to get the reservation we want at the resort we want to stay at. Getting a reservation at our home resort, Saratoga Springs, is incredibly easy because the resort is massive. There are so many rooms to stay in, which means we never have problems booking a stay 11 months ahead of time. What is more difficult is booking a stay at the resorts we don’t have ownership in. When the 7 month window opens up, there can be any number of members trying to snag a reservation at the same resort you want to stay at. Especially the most popular ones: Beach Club, Grand Floridian, Bay Lake Tower.
For our upcoming 2022 vacation we were dreaming of staying at the Beach Club or the Polynesian resort. The purpose of our trip is to take in the Princess Half Marathon weekend. The Polynesian resort is closely located to the race course, which means my hubby and 3 kids could come and cheer me on without having to travel too far. The reason we wanted to stay at the Beach Club was to enjoy the amazing pool, Stormalong Bay.
We ended up securing a stay at the Polynesian Resort for most nights of our vacation, after our first night at Bay Lake Tower. Here’s how I managed to get such a coveted reservation at such a busy time of year.
The days before I could reserve I scoped out what was actually available. Already the Beach Club was snatched up by home owners, but the Polynesian was available. The day I could reserve I was at the ready, refreshing my desired room each minute leading up to 9am. 9:01 hit and it still said I could not book the reservation I wanted, I had tried to book too many days. When you are booking 7 months, or 11 months out, you can only book 7 nights at a time. I was trying to book 8 nights. The Poly reservation slipped through my fingers. We went back to the drawing board and came up with an alternative plan. But I did not give up hope. Each morning, at 7 am I checked to see what was available to book. Two days later, there was the Poly available for the dates of our vacation, with the exception of the first night. I booked it!
The three takeaways:
- Make sure you are following the rules. If I had simply requested 7 nights the first day I tried to book, I would have had the reservation we wanted from the very beginning.
- Don’t Give Up! Members are constantly changing their plans. That’s one of the many benefits of membership. You have the flexibility to make changes quickly and easily. So check often for the latest reservation updates. Or add your vacation to a wait list. For more on that click here.
- Be Prepared. If you know where you really want to stay and when you are going, then be prepared to book when that booking window opens. There are any number of members looking to book that same room for those same dates. You can’t take for granted that a room you see in the AM will still be there in the PM.
We can’t wait to stay at the Polynesian. We love staying on the monorail, we can’t wait to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the beach, and we’ve never stayed there before. It’s going to be a wonderful return to our home away from home.
For more tips and tricks for Disney Vacation Club members check out these previous posts: