Here Are DVC Highlights of 2023
As the calendar turns to 2024, people often look back to review the past year. For Disney Vacation Club members, 2023 signified the turn of a new page after three frustrating years. We were no longer beholden to health reports and could instead live our lives.
Not coincidentally, Disney parks proved quite popular, and many long-gestating projects were finally completed. Here are the Disney 2023 highlights that DVC members adored.
Let’s start with the event we’ll all remember for the rest of our lives. On October 16th, 2023, The Walt Disney Company turned 100 years old, so park officials threw a party. They didn’t wait until October, either.
The Disney100 kickoff started in January, as Disneyland Park decorated Sleeping Beauty Castle with platinum to commemorate the centennial. As we’ll discuss, Disney also added several new attractions and amenities to coincide with the unprecedented event.
Disney just kept adding to the parks, starting with Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in January and finishing with World Celebration Gardens in December. Every step of the way, DVC members relished new experiences and made memories we’ll carry with us for the rest of our lives.
Disney Park Improvements
Speaking of the park improvements, they were plentiful. Disney had closed Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland Park in 2022 to modernize it. The project ran ahead of schedule enough that Runaway Railway could open a bit early. Then, the updated themed land debuted in March.
Guests discovered a new form of entertainment, as Imagineers emphasized interactive elements and accessibility. Even the ground here comes with a bit of squish to reduce your walking stress. Disney really has thought of everything.
Later in the year, Disney California Adventure unveiled a limited-time show that sold out pretty much all the time. Guests couldn’t get enough of Rogers: The Musical, and we should expect a return engagement.
Something else at the park changed permanently. San Fransokyo opened, allowing park guests to inhabit the fictional realm seen in Big Hero 6. And yes, Baymax is here providing hugs to everyone!
Not to be outdone, Walt Disney World finally added two long-anticipated attractions. Tron Lightcycle / Run debuted in April, while Journey of Water | Inspired by Moana arrived in the fall.
The pandemic delayed both attractions, but the extra time helped Imagineers perfect both experiences. The Tron roller coaster is probably the best pure thrill ride at Magic Kingdom, while Journey of Water provides a more relaxing experience.
Speaking of which, EPCOT ended the year by introducing World Celebration Gardens, a new hangout spot that literally glows in the dark at night. Disney has synced the ground and light poles to the Beacons of Light on Spaceship Earth. The entire experience is as magical as Disney gets.
The Villas at Disneyland Hotel Open
The other three huge stories of the year directly impact your DVC ownership interest. In September, The Villas at Disneyland Hotel opened, immediately nearly tripling DVC inventory on the West Coast.
Fans had craved a second option for years. Now, we have one that shares the same campus as the vaunted Disneyland Hotel. However, the expansion tower features studios and villas brimming with modern amenities, not ones retrofitted onto a 70-year-old resort.
Still, what impresses me the most about The Villas at Disneyland Hotel is how vibrant the place is. Disney dug deep into the box of 64 Crayola crayons to decorate the rooms and shared spaces here. It’s a breathtaking place that encourages exploration to enjoy all the little flourishes.
DVC Confirms Wilderness Lodge
The highlights of 2023 include two things that won’t arrive until 2024. You’re going to love both of them, though.
For many years now, DVC members have begged Disney to build a property at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. When the rumors started about Copper Creek, some suggested we were getting the expansion then. Instead, Disney built the new Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge instead.
During the summer of 2024, our long wait will end when The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort open. Sales should start soon, and Disney recently revealed artist’s illustrations of the cabin interiors. They look spectacular, but that’s not all.
What has impressed me the most is how carefully Disney has contemplated the logistics. The east/west design of these Cabins is a bit unique. So, Disney has maximized efficiency like it did with Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. You should feel like you’re visiting the great outdoors even while holed up in your Cabin.
DVC Surprises Members with Polynesian News
Finally, we have the most recent twist, and it’s a welcome one. During the 2023 DVC Condominium Association annual meeting, a Disney executive answered a question. That’s what happens during a Q&A session, but this one was a showstopper.
When asked about how Disney would handle the expansion tower at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, the executive said what we all wanted to hear. DVC doesn’t intend to add a second Condominium Association, as Disney did at Wilderness Lodge.
Instead, Disney will add the new expansion tower inventory to the current agreement. So, if you own at the Polynesian, you already own at the expansion tower that opens late in 2024. And if you don’t own at Polynesian, you should be buying a contract! Its value has increased dramatically due to this announcement.
So, there you have it. DVC and Disney definitely experienced plenty of highs this year. What does the future hold? Next time, we’ll talk about what to expect with DVC in 2024. As you might expect, a couple of these topics will come up again.