Which DVC Resorts Often Have Availability
Are you an impulsive vacationer? For those of us who love the unplanned weekend getaway, the Disney Vacation Club can pose problems.
In a perfect world, DVC wants its members to book reservations well ahead of time. It helps Disney staff its properties and stock its restaurants/shops efficiently.
Sometimes, you may not decide to go to Disney until many hotels have booked. So, which DVC resorts often have late availability, and how can you use that to your advantage?
Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas
First, let’s acknowledge the obvious. If you don’t book when your seven-month window opens, you’re reducing the odds of booking the DVC room you want.
For this reason, you may need to expand your options. I’m including two properties that aren’t near a Disney theme park because they technically fit the criteria.
I realize that not everyone can spontaneously fly to Hawaii. However, by joining DVC, you’re acknowledging that you plan to vacation frequently. Why wouldn’t you be open to the idea of an exotic Hawaiian vacation at Aulnai?
You’ll often notice some availability here when other DVC resorts have booked. So, it’s at least something to consider.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas
I’ve investigated some DVC analytics over the years, and most of them are…shaky in terms of reliability. Still, one thing that has jumped off the page is that Animal Kingdom Villas claims a surprising amount of late-term availability.
I presume the explanations for this phenomenon are two-fold. First, families target Animal Kingdom as much as any DVC resort. Their plans sometimes change as kids get sick, or school/extracurricular activities become a factor. So, this resort cycles through plenty of cancellations.
Second, Animal Kingdom Villas is kind of tucked away on its own, far away from the rest of the Disney theme parks. It’s not ideal for DVC members who don’t want to spend time worrying about bus arrivals and departures.
Also, I’ll throw in the fact that it offers 13 Room Types across two different hotels. There are a lot of reasons why you might find unexpected availability.
Since so many DVC members prefer Animal Kingdom Villas, you should definitely keep this one in mind when you’re looking late in the game. It might surprise you.
Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
This one comes with the massive asterisk that the time of your visit matters. If you’re suddenly in the mood for the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, you’ve probably waited too late for BoardWalk Villas.
DVC members know all the tricks by now. They grab reservations at BoardWalk Villas and Disney’s Beach Club Villas on the most popular festival dates. So, let’s be realistic that you won’t find late availability for something like the Candlelight Processional or the first week of Food & Wine.
However, this place offers a lot of room inventory. On non-festival dates, your odds of finding a Studio are better than you might expect. Similarly, the Villas here show some availability on what I’d consider unexpected dates this fall.
Given the ideal location of BoardWalk Villas, especially now that we have the Disney Skyliner, this place is a sneaky-good resort to target for an unplanned visit.
Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Two of the options on the list won’t surprise anyone. Longtime DVC members know that Old Key West often shows availability mere weeks before a travel date.
Realistically, that statement applied more a few years ago than it does today, but that’s still the perception many have. I tested out the theory in checking some dates, and it is still at least somewhat true right now.
Old Key West doesn’t offer as much availability as the property in the next section, but there’s enough to plan a trip or two. You must be flexible with your dates, though.
As a pro tip, booking weekdays remains easier than Fridays, Saturdays, and even Sundays. Three-day weekends have remained popular even after the end of the pandemic and the Revenge Travel era.
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Admit it. This was the first property that jumped into your head, wasn’t it?
All DVC members have experienced this phenomenon at some point. We’ve desperately searched for a DVC reservation. As we scroll through all the Walt Disney World properties, our hopes dwindle. Then, we suddenly feel euphoria when we notice that a Studio is available at Saratoga Springs.
If you’ve never had this happen as a DVC member, you will. It’s inevitable. And that’s the reason why most members have stayed at Saratoga Springs at some point.
Disney’s Vero Beach Resort
What I said about Aulani applies even more to Vero Beach. An impetuous trip here comes with additional benefits as well.
You’re staying by the beach, but you’re also an hour away from Walt Disney World. So, you can make day trips to and from the park as inclined.
Then, on your non-park days, you can soak up the sun in a tranquil setting. It’s a more relaxed approach to a Disney vacation. You’re visiting a beach while keeping your Walt Disney World options open.
Here’s one other thought, presuming that you have the available DVC Points. Some of the rooms that get canceled the most are the most luxurious options, like Bungalows, Cabins, and Grand Villas.
Often, these trips involve multiple parties. When one group cannot attend, the entire plan collapses. So, everyone agrees to cancel the reservation.
I just glanced through the fall calendar and found several expensive bookings available. You could feasibly find ultra-deluxe DVC accommodations late in the game, as long as you have enough DVC Points. If you don’t, remember that you can pay cash for this room via DVC Rental Store!