DVC Refurbishment Schedule for Fall 2023

Disney Vacation Club members, we know how you feel when your favorite resorts start the refurbishment process. On the one hand, you’re excited to learn what changes are in store. On the other, you know that construction will cause some aggravation during current visits.

So, we try to keep you updated on what’s happening with various resort renovations. Here’s the DVC refurbishment update for the 2023 holiday season. PS: We won’t include anything about holiday decorations, but you may already find a few of them at some resorts this week. 

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

The changes occurring at the Grand Floridian here don’t involve any of the DVC hotel rooms. Instead, Disney is currently undergoing a multi-year reboot at the request of Bob Chapek. Yes, that’s how long this process has been in progress. Chapek felt strongly that Walt Disney World’s crown jewel resort needed vast improvements. 

DVC members have primarily noticed the changes in the hotel lobby and at the restaurants. Narcoossee’s closed for the body of a year before it reopened in September. Then, it quickly shut down again due to concerns regarding newly installed equipment. The restaurant reopened for good (we hope) in mid-October. Meanwhile, 1900 Park Fare remains closed indefinitely. Disney has provided no insight into a return date. 

Construction in the hotel lobby and surrounding buildings has continued for three months now. Thankfully, the scaffolding is down now on the front, and you’ll only notice it from the back and one side. I presume Disney wants the work on the main lobby’s upper floors to be finished in time for the holiday gingerbread displays, but there’s no guarantee there. 

If you’re visiting soon, you should plan on construction in and around the main lobby. On the plus side, the situation has vastly improved over the past three months. So, it shouldn’t disrupt your impending gingerbread joy.

The Soft Goods Refurbishments

As a reminder, DVC refurbishments come in two forms. During a “soft goods” refresh, management updates little touches in the hotel rooms like the linens, the upholstery, and sometimes window treatments/flooring. 

A “hard goods” refresh will fundamentally change your perspective of the hotel room. In most instances, Disney takes down everything and starts from scratch. So, a “hard goods” refresh strikes members as much more dramatic than the modest, often minimalist “soft goods” changes.

Currently, two resorts are undergoing “soft goods” refurbishment. They are Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. Coincidentally, DVC Fan just visited Vero Beach and posted a video of a Deluxe Studio earlier this month:

According to our own Paul Krieger, the refurbishment plans call for “updated bedding, curtains, carpet, and upholstery in addition to Murphy Beds.” The biggest mystery here involves whether the rooms add Murphy beds or replace the sleeper sofa. DVC has trended toward more bedding, so I presume the sofas stay. Either way, I’ll let you know during next quarter’s refurbishment update.

At Beach Club, the most significant refurbishment news occurs in more than a year. In early 2025, Stormalong Bay, the iconic pool, will close for approximately five months. Since you’ll start booking for 2025 in a few months, you should be aware of that fact. 

As for the in-room changes, they’re quite lovely. Disney has swapped out the carpet and curtains, added new sofa daybeds, and updated the artwork. You’ll find pictures of Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, and Donald’s nephews in settings at Beach Club itself. You’ll feel like you’re taking a vacation with Donald Duck and his family!

Notably, this project has gone quickly. Disney has finished it faster than most “soft goods” refurbishments. Hopefully, this quicker timeline will become the standard. 

The Hard Goods Refurbishments

Finally, the “hard goods” refresh has just started at Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort. These changes typically take much longer since management is effectively rebuilding new rooms from scratch. 

You can find a few videos on YouTube that show the state of the project. Notably, DVC still hasn’t announced an end date for this refurbishment. So, you can safely expect it to continue well into 2024. 

Speaking of next year, DVC has planned some comprehensive updates. The resorts will finally address many of the projects that suffered delays during the pandemic. 

The current plan for 2024 strikes me as ambitious, and DVC could delay some of these. Generally, we learn the most about the refurbishment schedule during the DVC Owner Association meeting that will occur on December 7th. So, I’ll update you on changes during next quarter’s article. 

For now, here’s the 2024 refurbishment schedule:

We’re talking about a borderline unprecedented number of simultaneous “hard goods” refurbishments. Then again, several of these renovations are overdue. It’s definitely time to catch up on the projects the pandemic delayed. 

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