How to Pick the Best Studio or Villa for Your DVC Stay
Analysis paralysis is real, and DVC members are particularly susceptible to that sort of overanalyzing our options. We enjoy almost too many choices when we book a DVC vacation. Here’s my advice on picking the best studio or villa for your DVC stay.
Determine Your Traveling Party
Let’s start with the basics of your trip. However, in my experience, this aspect isn’t as simple as it sounds, at least not if you’re prone to travel with others.
DVC empowers members with the ability to book up to 11 months ahead of time. Some of my loved ones cannot commit to dinner plans tonight until the sun has nearly set.
Determining the size of your traveling party is vital in choosing how to book, though. When you are vacationing alone or with one other guest, you probably don’t need a Villa unless you’d feel lost without a washer/dryer and a full-sized kitchen in the room.
Conversely, a Studio won’t work when your traveling party exceeds five members. Even at four or five, you may prefer the extra space of a Villa over a Studio.
Identify Your Favorite Room Types
One size doesn’t fit all at DVC resorts. The genius of the program is that you can highlight the amenities that you find most important. Then, you can target the DVC resorts that offer these features.
This conversation exists in several forms. For starters, you may prefer multiple dressing areas or a larger room. If so, look no further than Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows! Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort also offers spacious rooms. And Disney’s Old Key West Resort is the gold standard in Villa square footage!
Would you prefer a more intimate experience? Disney’s Riviera Resort offers Tower Studios that will ensure you and your loved one are never more than a few feet apart. The Villas at Disneyland Hotel will similarly offer Duo Studios.
On the other hand, you may prefer Room Types to room design. If so, staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas or Copper Creek Villas & Cabins is a no-brainer.
At Animal Kingdom Villas, you can choose between Savannah View, Kilimanjaro Club Concierge, or Value accommodations. Copper Creek offers private Cabins for booking. They’re addictive!
For most DVC members, the real choice comes down to a Studio versus a Villa. There’s no wrong answer here, but the amount of DVC Points you own should drive your decision.
When you have more points than you need, splurge on a bigger room, presuming your traveling party includes at least four guests. Otherwise, save your points for another trip…or use them for a room with a view!
Determine What You Want to Do During Your Stay
Not everyone vacations the same. In my experience, we spent more time at the parks when we were newer to DVC. Since then, we’ve enjoyed hanging out at the resorts more. Each one offers something unique during a hotel stay.
For example, foodies will delight in their dining options at Animal Kingdom Villas, the Polynesian, and The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
Similarly, vacationers seeking some retail therapy should pick the Polynesian, the Grand Floridian, or Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. Conversely, golfers will love Old Key West or Saratoga Springs.
Finally, park fans should select a resort that’s right by your favorite place. The monorail resorts, Animal Kingdom Villas, and Disney’s BoardWalk Villas are ideal when you plan to spend all your free time at the parks!
Frugality Is Your Friend
These final two sections embody the flip sides of the coin. On the one hand, we have the philosophy of living to fight another day.
You don’t know when you’ll return to Disney, but there’s always a possibility that it will happen sooner than you think. One day, you might check availability on a whim and discover that you have just enough DVC Points for a quick trip!
Those few days in the Disney Bubble could prove therapeutic. So, there’s nothing wrong with saving your DVC Points for a rainy day. If you’re indecisive about an upgrade, that’s a sign that you should wait.
Live a Little
On the other hand, when that rainy day arrives, you should splurge! I’ve found nothing in life as healing as being ensconced in the Disney Bubble for a while.
When I’m planning a trip, I simply will not settle for less at some resorts. For example, I won’t stay at Animal Kingdom Villas unless I’ve reserved a room with Savannah View. Otherwise, what’s the point?
If I have enough DVC Points, I’ll also pick a monorail resort every time. Their logistics are great enough to justify the added cost.
In short, you daydream about Disney whenever you’re feeling stressed, maybe even trapped in life. Once you’re ready to visit, live a little!
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