Picking where to stay at Disney World can be a mind-blowing exercise, as Disney has over 30,000 rooms at over 25 different resorts. Which one to pick? This seemed daunting until I realized what question I needed to ask: how many beds are in each room? That's not intuitively easy to figure out, because Disney rates their rooms by number of people, not number of beds. Once I figured out which resorts had rooms with three beds, the list was cut down to just eight...which made this a much simpler exercise of figuring out where to stay. Disney rates their resorts into three categories: value, moderate and deluxe. No moderates met the cut, so it was either deluxe or value.
The instinct for most would be to go "value", but I didn't assume anything - even if it were "just a place to sleep." And I'm glad I didn't assume, because research surprised me. For example, while Disney does provide complementary transportation throughout their World, some places have multiple, better options. One factor I did consider was "theming," but not in the manner that the Disney fanatics consider it. Some resorts, especially at the value end, go full-on with turning your room into a cartoon. While the kids might love it, I was sure that after a week, I'd be going insane from looking at the Little Mermaid or Mater first thing in the morning. While some people love and dream of that over-the-top approach, that wasn't me.
As I researched my options, I learned that many of my options were actually Disney Vacation Club properties, which are timeshare properties owned by Disney. What I found curious was that one site discouraged first time visitors from considering a DVC property, but the more I looked at my Disney options, the more I realized that DVC was precisely what I wanted.
While DVC properties can be rented directly from Disney, DVC owners have first shot at the rooms. That doesn't mean that only DVC owners can get a reservation, though. Two services, David's Vacation Club Rentals and the DVC Rental Store serve as intermediaries to allow DVC owners to rent out their points. I did the math, and quickly realized that I could stay at a "deluxe" property at a cost not much more than some of the "value" accomodations.
|Our actual view from Bay Lake Tower., with|
Space Mountain on the right and Cinderella's Castle
in the distance on the left.