News Nuggets from Around Disney World

It’s time for everyone’s favorite serving of Disney World, the Rope Drop [dot] Net News Nuggets! There isn’t a lot of particularly juicy news this time, but a few things that I would classify as “transitional” (like the closing of Sum of All Thrills or–essentially–moving all convention space to the Yacht Club.) That said, let’s get to it!

We’ll close out with a video that Disney recently posted of what it’s like to be the eagle at the tail end of the Main Street Electrical parade. Thanks for reading, and enjoy!

Major Change to Disney Vacation Club Member Benefits for Resale Buyers

Earlier today, Rick Note posted a letter from Ken Potrock, Senior VP & GM of Disney Vacation Club, that outlined a major change for the DVC resale market:

[E]ffective April 4, 2016, Members who do not purchase their ownership interest directly from Disney Vacation club will not have access to other Membership Extras, such as exclusive Member experiences and discounts. (emphasis added)

Bay Lake Tower
Bay Lake Tower
This is a huge change. It means that if you buy DVC on the resale market going forward, you no longer will be eligible for things like AP discounts. (I emphasize going forward in the previous line, since the letter makes it clear that current DVC members are not affected by this change, regardless of where they purchased their membership. Relatedly, Lisa Truesdell received confirmation from Disney that people who are currently in the “right of first refusal” stage of purchasing DVC via resale will also not being impacted. Recent updates indicate that if you hadn’t closed on your resale DVC update by April 4, that you will not get benefits. ANOTHER UPDATE! Now Disney says you will get the benefits. Hopefully, this will be the last of these updates.)

There are obviously a bunch of ramifications to this change that we going to start seeing shortly. For example, how many people who were interested in small (50 point-ish) DVC contracts as a way to “dip their toe” in the DVC waters are going to simply avoid buying DVC at all? Personally, this probably pushes out any potential DVC purchasing for Elyssa and me by at least a year.

I am also interested in seeing how this change impacts the recent “flat” or declining point purchase trends that have been reported over the past 4 months. Will people who would have purchased resale be driven to purchase directly from Disney? I think it will be a few months before we even start to see any impact, but I am really interested in seeing how this plays out.

News Nuggets from Around Disney World

Here are Rope Drop [dot] Net HQ we’re still recovering from the price increase that happened this weekend. Of course, even 8-10% ticket price increases can’t stop us from publishing the next edition of the News Nuggets!

Phew. That was a lot of News Nuggets. Let’s take a quick break to relax in the early morning glow of World Showcase:

Early Morning at World Showcase
Early Morning at World Showcase

Now, back to the News Nuggets!

We’ll finish things up with a couple of “events” from Disney World. First, they recently had a DVC 25th Anniversary “party” at the Magic Kingdom. It featured, among other things, a rare appearance by the Haunted Mansion’s tightrope girl and a special fireworks show. Here are the videos of that show from DVC News, Inside the Magic, and The DIS:

Also, Flower & Garden festival starts tomorrow. There’s a nice primer to the festival at TouringPlans and Denise at Mouse Steps has put together a really nice preview. If you’re still looking to get more hyped for the festival, I’ll leave you with this video from The DIS:

Thanks for reading!

Details about the DVC Expansion at Wilderness Lodge

Earlier today, Disney released a press release that goes into some of the details about the Wilderness Lodge DVC expansion. As someone who loves staying at the Wilderness Lodge (John & Elyssa’s Favorites article preview?), I have been interested in seeing how Disney positioned this expansion.

Based on the press release, it appears that Disney is going to create an entirely new condo association for this expansion. My immediate reaction to that news was “shoot, that means they might not extend the contracts for the original Wilderness Lodge villas” (which are currently set to expire in 2042.) This post from DVC News, however, suggests some other potential issues:

  • Points Charts could be different;
  • Annual Dues could be different; and
  • The 11-month “home resort” booking window might not be good for the original Wilderness Lodge Villas if you buy a contract for the “new” ones.

At this point, that is a lot of speculation (and things with Disney are always subject to change), but even the possibility of those things happening is making me hesitate about buying an original Wilderness Lodge contract on the DVC resale market in an effort to take advantage of the new construction. With so much in flux, I think I’m going to spend a little more time observing before I make any moves.