What Are the Best Resorts for DVC Villas
Sometimes, Disney Vacation Club members want to stretch out. A washer/dryer and full-sized kitchen in the hotel room would be nice as well.
Thankfully, Disney designed the DVC program to accommodate all needs. Some guests are fine staying in a Tower Studio. Others prefer lots of square footage and amenities.
Presuming you fall into the latter category, what are the best DVC resort Villas? Let’s examine the best options.
Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
First, let’s establish some ground rules. I’m not going to include Grand Villas since all of them will delight and astound you. They’re plush. Similarly, I’m taking the various Bungalows and Cabins off the list for the same reason.
Instead, we’re discussing the One- and Two-Bedroom Villas that have anchored the timeshare industry for 50 years now. While Disney modified the premise to make it distinct and unique, DVC Villas still follow that original blueprint.
These suites double as extended-stay hotel rooms, offering kitchens, washer/dryers, and expansive room designs to stretch out. While you may frown at the DVC Points cost, you’ll never regret spending the night in any DVC Villa.
We’re talking about the best of the bunch, though. And part of that conversation involves gains. While I love their efficiency, Bay Lake Tower Studios are undeniably on the smaller side at 339 square feet.
When you upgrade to a Villa, you’re more than doubling your space to 803 square feet. Also, the odds are quite good that you’ll book Lake View, which will enrich the experience when you cook, do laundry, and simply embrace the joy of being ensconced in the Disney Bubble.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas
No matter what kind of evaluation we do, Animal Kingdom Villas always seems to earn a spot at the top of the list. The underlying quality of this resort justifies placement in most categories.
In terms of Villas, where you stay factors into this conversation. The difference in Studios at Animal Kingdom Villas is just one square foot of space. When you choose a One-Bedroom Villa, Jambo House maxes out at 720 square feet, while Kidani Village provides an even more comfortable 807 square feet.
The difference may not sound like much, but it’s legitimately ten percent more room. The Two-Bedrooms at Kidani Village feature 98 more square feet of space as well.
So, when you’re booking a Villa at Animal Kingdom Villas, you know what to do. Since the DVC Points cost the same at both, you’ll enjoy more space at Kidani Village. Personally, I find Jambo House a bit more convenient and quieter as a counterbalance, but you may disagree.
Disney’s Beach Club Villas
My bias may creep into this particular ranking. The One-Bedroom Villa at Beach Club was the first one my wife and I ever booked, and it joins Bay Lake Tower as the two Villas we’re most likely to consider on vacation.
Honestly, the One-Bedroom Villa seems a bit basic compared to some of the others we’ll discuss and even some I didn’t list. Still, I like the simple elegance of this setup, especially the rounded kitchen cabinets and the sitting area by the kitchen counter. I can get a lot of work done here.
The Villa does fall a bit on the small size at 719 square feet, but that’s still double the space you’d have in a Studio. And the intimacy and efficiency of the Villa layout work to its advantage.
In a weird way, the smaller Villa fits the theme better at Beach Club. Oceanfront and Ocean View rooms at beach resorts are typically smaller since the real estate costs so much. So, the size of Beach Club’s Villas feels right, at least to me.
Disney’s Old Key West Resort
As a taller man who bumps his head in the shower about twice a week, I relish space more than most. When I book a Villa, it doesn’t need to be fancy, as I’m a meat-and-potatoes guy. I’m just happy with the extra space.
For this reason, the One-Bedroom Villas at Old Key West always put a song in my heart. They’re absolutely massive at 1,005 square feet. Even better, many of them include a view of the adjoining golf course, which creates a different kind of vibe at Disney.
Old Key West skews older than some of the other resorts listed here, especially Animal Kingdom. When older vacationers travel, we expect more from our experience, and a bigger room is definitely part of that.
I’ve got a friend my age who specifically owns an Old Key West contract so that he knows he’ll have a One- or Two-Bedroom Villa whenever he and his wife need a vacation. He prefers Old Key West because, as the first DVC property, it follows the timeshare tenet that bigger is better.
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
I’m in love with this resort, one of the few Disney has built during the 21st century. Everything about the Grand Californian possesses an air of luxury but also Disney fanaticism. Your Villa could possibly overlook parts of Disney California Adventure. What’s more Disney than that?
The Villas here prove challenging to book since there are so few of them in the DVC inventory. You’ll be rewarded for your effort, though. The One-Bedroom Villas cover 865 square feet of space, and many of the rooms feature a natural backdrop due to all the trees on the hotel grounds.
Some of the touches in the room, like the dining room table/bench, remind me of home more than a hotel suite. That’s what you want when you’re on vacation, right? A Villa should feel like a home away from home, and that’s what all five of these DVC Villas achieve!