In episode 021 we meet our neighbor Annelise. She has been an owner at Disney's Polynesian Villas and Bungalows since 2016. She bought into DVC after her third visit to Disney. She explains that raising a family and going to Disney took a lot of planning and saving and other life events came up. They wanted to go more, but the trip was always delayed or postponed. DVC membership allows them the flexibility to visit a couple of times a year for shorter trips or allows them one big trip. With DVC, the only additional costs to cover each trip are airfare and park tickets. (We discuss in the podcast, that you always have food expenses). Annelise used Dizzy Dolphin, a grocery delivery service, to make food more affordable by having breakfast in the room each morning.
Anneliese has made two trips thus far on DVC points. She's stayed at the Animal Kingdom at Kidani village, Boardwalk and Saratoga Springs. Anneliese At this time she's a fan of split-stays. She enjoys different resorts and different stays at Disney. Saratoga Springs has been her favorite resort thus far. (Chad makes the point it could be a one bedroom bias, as this is the only one bedroom villa she has visited).
After they learned about DVC, it took their family 6-7 months to make the purchasing decision. Most of that time was figuring out the financial aspects of ownership and fitting DVC into the family budget. They ended up deciding to buy their membership from Disney as opposed to resale because they wanted the flexibility of using their points on hotels, cruises, and Adventures by Disney. A couple of factors lead to their decision. One of their children is a Disney fan, and they knew he would use the membership for years to come. A second factor was the excellent service they received at Disney. Another factor came from feeling like they are part of a family.
When they bought, Poly and Aulani were the two actively sold properties. They choose Poly as their home resort just because it's easier to get to Orlando than Hawaii. Addonitis struck the family rather quickly. They purchased their second contract two months after joining DVC.
Anneliese is looking forward to attending the Soarin' tour and attending more moonlight magic events. She was pleasantly surprised to get tickets to the first Moonlight Magic event they sought. Anneliese made her husband stand in line for over 25 minutes to capture this picture with the Stitch in an Elvis costume. Another highlight of the trip was meeting Bee Thaxton from Buy and Sell DVC at the moonlight magic event. (Bee is not a sponsor of the show; however, she was instrumental in arranging this interview. Ironically, I've met Bee twice as well; both times were at Moonlight Magic events – once in Disney's Animal Kingdom and another time in Disney's California Adventure).
Anneliese and her husband buy annual passes to Walt Disney World as they usually make multiple trips a year or at least one 10-day trip. The blue-card membership extra perk of discounted annual passes make buying the AP a no-brainer.
Anneliese has a simple touring plan. She starts fast passes from 10 to 11 am as close together as possible. The passes are laid out in a logical touring plan without running across the park. Her party typically finishes up the three Fastpass+ by 1 pm and from there on everybody is free to do what they want. In her opinion, this offers everybody in the traveling party a chance to do something together but also provides a lot of freedom.
One of Annelise's favorite Disney memories was from going with mom as a child. They rode the teacups with their mom on one condition, that the kids didn't spin the teacups. Well, the siblings ended up turning the cups. Their punishment was their mom made them sit for 90 minutes while they had a silhouette portrait made on Main Street.
In terms of advice to other new members, keep an open mind and try new things. DVC and WDW have a lot to offer in terms of various festivals and parties. Even if you can only start small, get started now. You can always add on another contract. They wish they had joined DVC 10 years ago. In hindsight, they probably could have made it work. Anneliese is also active in numerous facebook groups. Here's the groups mentioned on the show:
The Orange County Comptroller’s Office in Florida is where you can verify DVC ownership.
We briefly discussed the Void virtual reality experience on the show. At Disney Springs in Orlando, they lease enough space for two salons, and you can currently take in Star Wars or Wreck-it-Ralph every day. However, Downtown Disney only has one salon that limits them to only offering one of the two experiences per day. You may want to check the schedule and purchase advance tickets.