In this episode, Chad chats with Marla E, the instructor for DVC Painting With A View. Marla shares information about this hidden gem of an experience for members, and she encourages everyone to try it! This episode is part of the Blue Card Benefits series, where we celebrate all of the offerings that Disney Vacation Club offers members who purchase their membership directly from Disney!
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DVC Painting With A View
Painting With A View is a two-hour painting session, led step-by-step by an artist, (Marla). This class takes in Top of the World Lounge on the 16th floor of Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort. Members can choose from sessions on Tuesdays from 9:30 am to 11:30 am, or Thursdays from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. While members flex their creative muscles, they are treated to fruit, pastries, and beverages. Adult guests 21 and older are welcome to enjoy mimosas (Tuesday mornings) or beer and wine (Thursday afternoons). All supplies are provided, including a 9″x12″ canvas, paintbrushes, paint, water for rinsing, etc.
Classes are usually limited to 20 guests. Guests must be 12 years or older to register, and children under 18 years olf must be accompanied by an adult. The cost is $50 per person.
Painting With A View is a Membership Extra and can be booked through DVC Member Services. DVC members must verify their Blue Card status to register. Members are welcome to bring non-members, as Marla says, “You have to have an in to get in.” Marla advises members to book their class as soon as they book their vacation, as the spots fill up fast!
History and Development of the Class
Three years ago, Marla answered an ad for a painting class instructor. Only when she called for her interview did she realize that the position was for Disney! She now works to develop the class as a contractor, with the help of a team of Cast Members. Since Marla began teaching this class, other creative classes have sprung up at other Walt Disney World resorts.
Marla and her team of Cast Members develop the paintings for the classes a month in advance so that they can gather all the painting supplies for each. Tuesday and Thursday classes have different paintings, and these are rotated out each month. Marla recommends that members who want a few different paintings book their vacations from the end of one month to the beginning of the other!
The images for each class tend to be seasonal, based on a Disney movie, or themed to a special occasion. For Mickey's 90th birthday, some guests learned to paint a scene from Steamboat Willie!
Marla says that some guests come to the class a bit nervous, and many have not held a paintbrush in years! She admits that some parts of the class can be a little tricky, but she goes around to each table with her own canvas, painting alongside the guests so they can learn from her. She also provides stencils – if you need a little help.
Marla has had a few members as “repeat customers,” and many of them tell her that she helped them get back into painting, which she loves! She says most of her classes tend to be made up of adults, but has seen parents and children join in the fun too.
Chad and his daughter attended one of Marla's classes in July 2018, while staying at Bay Lake Tower. His daughter is a budding artist, so he signed the two of them up so they could share in a fun non-park activity. They painted Cinderella Castle with a night sky and fireworks. Chad highly recommends the class!
Marla says that word of mouth and social media are the primary advertising for the class. Most of her guests hear about the class from friends or through social media posts. She encourages them to post their creations proudly with #dvcpaintingwithaview!
Marla recommends that everyone tries this class! If you're anxious about your artistic abilities, no worries, as Marla says, “I think everybody's an artist, so I highly encourage people to get in on it.” She also thinks the class is a great way to create a unique souvenir to take home.
Tips for Guests
Marla advises guests to utilize the aprons provided at her classes. The acrylic paint they use does stain if allowed to dry, but can usually be wiped off with a damp cloth when it's wet. Chad advises guests to wear clothes they don't mind getting paint on.
One of the best things about this class is that it allows DVC members to meet other members! Marla recommends chatting with the people at your table while you paint.
Today's episode was produced, edited, and engineered by Chad Pennycuff. Show notes by Samantha Kurtz-Seif. Facebook admins and moderators of the My DVC Points Community Group: Valerie Fairnington, Donna Bickert, Tamara Speidel, Caleb Allison, and Mary Anne Tracy.
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