DVC Refurbishments

As a Disney Vacation Club member, one aspect of ownership should always remain in the back of your mind. Your DVC resort of choice could be undergoing renovations during your planned visit.

Often, these modifications are minor, but we all remember what Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort was like circa 2014. So, we cast a wary eye to significant construction at the various DVC properties. Here are the current and upcoming DVC refurbishments that could impact your next trip.

Here Are the Rules for DVC Refurbishments

Before we get started, let me remind you how DVC refurbishments work. The program’s rules require Disney to modernize the look and style of the hotel rooms on a set schedule.

Every seven years, a DVC resort undergoes in-room renovations. Sometimes, Disney performs a “soft goods” change. This is a minor refresh of linens, upholstery, and possibly flooring/window treatments.

Seven years later, the same DVC resort experiences a full or “hard goods” refurbishment. During these changes, management starts from scratch with the rooms, effectively turning them into entirely new spaces.

Working on a different timeline, Disney officials, not DVC executives, determine that the resorts could use a fresh update. In those instances, other changes occur at the resort beyond the scope of DVC. They’ll still impact your trip, though.

The Refurbishments at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Photo courtesy of: Disney Tourist Blog

Currently, only one DVC resort is undergoing a full refurbishment at Boulder Ridge. 

As usual, Disney has selected artwork featuring characters who fit the resort’s theme. In this case, we’ve got Donald Duck and his scout troop roaming the wilderness. Meanwhile, Mickey & Minnie Mouse are enjoying a romantic canoe ride.

The Boulder Ridge room refurb also uses a recent trick from Disney’s Riviera Resort. One painting hides a pulldown wall bed. When you use the bed, you discover a new picture on the newly uncovered wall. It’s quite clever.

Technically, the Boulder Ridge redesign won’t be ready until 2023. This project had been scheduled for 2020, but then the pandemic occurred. So, Wilderness Lodge technically has two renovations happening simultaneously.

The other one involves some modest guest room balcony changes at Copper Creek Cabins & Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. As a result, guests staying here have had some minor noise issues that will end when the project completes in November.

Disney’s BoardWalk Villas

Photo courtesy of Disney Tourist Blog

You’re likely aware that Disney’s BoardWalk is undergoing a dramatic overhaul. Staples of the previous era, like the BoardWalk Bakery and ESPN Club, have closed permanently.

In their place, Disney has opened BoardWalk Deli. Next year, The Cake Bake Shop by Gwendolyn Rogers will debut as well.

Not coincidentally, BoardWalk Villas will undergo changes to ensure it matches perfectly with the BoardWalk’s new aesthetics. Disney will add “light and airy touches” so that the vibe of a seaside breeze carries into the open areas.

Notably, BoardWalk Villas will open a coffee bar that serves small bites for guests. So, you’ll no longer need to leave the hotel to grab and go.

Disney hasn’t announced a firm starting date for the resort renovations. However, it could happen at literally any point. When it does, management has indicated that some parts of the resort may prove temporarily inaccessible.

Disney indicates that you should allow extra travel time while navigating the resort. Also, you are likely to hear and see construction during your visit.

Renovations at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

A wood carving welcomes guests at Disney's Polynesian Lobby

Photo courtesy of: Disney Tourist Blog

This renovation mirrors one happening at the Disneyland Hotel campus. Both longstanding properties are finally adding expansions to provide more inventory. Even better, they’ll both be DVC resorts.

Until these projects are complete, guests should expect significant disruptions across the resort grounds, though. For instance, the walking path between the Polynesian and Grand Floridian takes a different course now. You’ll walk under the monorail at one point.

Also, since we’re talking about complete building construction, both resorts are loud and messy. Thankfully, the disruptions don’t impact any of the Polynesian’s DVC longhouses.

However, if you’re staying in a cash room, you should avoid Tuvalu or Fiji if possible. They’re close to the construction, potentially causing aggravation during your hotel stay.

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

Picture courtesy of Disney Tourist Blog

You may feel that Saratoga Springs has undergone renovations for several years now. It’s not your imagination, as Disney has reinvented parts of this campus.

Now, we’re down to the small stuff. Specifically, the pools at Saratoga Springs are undergoing refurbishment over the next year or so.

The leisure pools at Congress Park and the Treehouse Villas area are currently closed. Unfortunately, they’ll remain offline into December 2022. Disney will probably reopen one or both in time for this year’s holiday rush, though.

In early 2023, the resort’s main pool, High Rock Springs Pool, will close for as long as three months. However, the other two quiet pools, Grandstand Pool and Paddock Pool, will remain open. So, they’re your best bets right now.

Overall, Saratoga Springs and the Grand Floridian have mostly completed their massive renovation projects. So, DVC members have reached the finish line with both refurbishments.

In 2023, we could witness several other significant refurbs at DVC resorts. Disney delayed multiple projects due to the pandemic, but we expect forward movement soon since normalcy has returned.

You should keep the possibility of renovations in mind if you’re planning to stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas, Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort, or Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. In addition, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is also a possibility. We’ll update you as we learn more about Disney’s modified refurbishment schedule.

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