As part of the DVC Membership Extras program, DVC offers a class called “Painting with a View.” During this instructor lead program, you create a Disney inspired painting. The event is currently offered on Tuesday and Thursday mornings each week at the Top of the World lounge at Bay Lake Tower.
My daughter is working on her artistic skills and was thrilled for the opportunity to paint a Disney inspired photo at Walt Disney World. After some discussion, my wife and I thought the best time to do the program was on a park day while were already staying at Bay Lake Tower. Upon calling member services to make the reservation, a problem arose: the class has an age limit for unaccompanied minors. My daughter is just under the age limit. Consequently, I had to pay for a second person to accompany the minor child. My wife quickly offered the seat to me. Even more significant problem: I haven't painted a picture since elementary school – we're talking almost 40 years. I lead a team of data analysts for a living. Writing blog posts and creating a podcast has been pushing my creative envelope in the verbal areas; however, this is the visual art. I also reasoned that this would be great content for My DVC Points. I reluctantly rose to the occasion and signed up for the class.
Come to find out; I wasn't the only “good” parent attending the class with their up and coming child artist. Here's the great news. Marla, the instructor, has designed the experience for artists of all skill levels. If you haven't touched a painting easel in years, you're in great hands. Everybody in the class works on the same image. Marla has a temple you can trace to get started. While not quite as elementary as the paint by numbers works I'm most familiar with, Marla leads you through the class step by step. First, trace the castle. Then we worked on the night sky, then the castle and grass. Finally, add in the details and trace out some lines on the castle. Her instructions were clear, easy to follow and she's very approachable for questions. You're given enough time in class to complete the work as well.
I have a sincere appreciation and respect for my friends that have trained in the visual arts. After a firework didn't quite come out meeting expectations, a thin yellow firework like came out looking like a broad yellow streak. I thought to myself – what would my artist friends do here? A thick yellow line above the castle during fireworks. Hmm, then it became clear my yellow streak isn't a firework line, it's a path of dust that following Tink! Tweak the pixie dust a tad bid, paint in Tink, and the problem is solved.
As stated earlier, the class is designed to be fun for artists of all skill levels. I was quite impressed with numerous member's paintings. In all honesty, my daughter's painting came out a lot better than mine. However, given my lack of training and practice in visual arts, I'm proud enough of my painting to hang it in my office. If you'd like to see some other examples from the class, check out what people posted on Instagram with a hashtag filter: #DVCPaintingWithaView.
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The class is at 9:30 in the morning. Disney offers soft drinks and juice. In case you skipped breakfast, Disney delivers a fruit, cheese, and pastry tray at the bar. Mimosa's are available to guests over 21.
Top of the World lounge has a spectacular view of Magic Kingdom, Seven Seas Lagoon, Bay Lake and all of the Magic Kingdom resorts. This class was my first AM visit to the Top of the World as I'm usually there before, during or after fireworks in the evening.
Here's another great bonus. While the Contemporary Recreation team technically oversees the class, this class is an exclusive offering to DVC members.
Final thoughts and recommendation: Marla, the contemporary recreation team, and the entire program are everything you have come to expect from Disney cast members. Exceptional well designed and well-executed guest experience. Disney provides everything you need. Show up with an open mind, enjoy spectacular views, great food and drink and an incredible time socializing with other DVC members.
While I do highly recommend the class, I saved the best part for last. I will cherish the father-daughter experience for years to come. #DVCPaintingWithaView and #ContemporaryRecreation live up to all expectations you may have a for a Disney sponsored event. I hope DVC keeps offering this program on future vacations. I went from somewhat dreading the class to it becoming one of my favorite parts of the 2018 WDW family vacation.
Photo: Daughter, Marla the Instructor, myself (Chad)
Please Note: You need to purchase at least 75 points directly from DVC or be grandfathered in to participate in any of the DVC membership extras. I love the money my family saved from purchasing resale. I also appreciate the membership extras such as Painting with a View that is offered only with a direct purchase from Disney Vacation Club Development.