In episode 3, I have the pleasure and challenge of interviewing my good friend, Terry Weaver. Terry and I have been to WDW multiple times, attended Moonlight Magic at Disneyland and have more trips home on the horizon. Terry has been a DVC member since 2007. His home resort is Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. He bought directly from Disney when SSR was the actively marketed property. Terry and his wife Leslie tend to take multiple smaller trips a year to Disney. They never use the 11-month window and rarely ever book 7 months in advance. However, they have stayed at all DVC resorts except Vero Beach.
His favorite resorts are Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village and The Villas at the Grand Californian with a nod of respect to the Treehouses at Saratoga Springs. Terry and I both love Moonlight Magic events and have been to two of these events together. While the membership extra’s may not be worth to some people, we both love using the exclusive member events for those who purchased points directly from Disney.
Terry’s fondest Disney memory is going with his mom, grandparents and little brother. His grandmother collected Hummel figurines ever since she and his grandfather were stationed in Germany. She debated buying a Mickey Mouse Hummel. Just before park close, she decided to buy one from a store that is now the Karamell-Küche in the Germany pavilion at EPCOT world showcase. The entire family rushed over to buy it as the fireworks show ended. Now, every time Terry goes to world showcase, they stop by the Karamell store and he has fond memories of his grandmother. Upon her passing, Terry inherited the Hummel and its one of his most cherished possessions.
Terry’s biggest regret was not buying more points and not adding on more points when Vero and Hilton Head were selling in the thirty dollars a point range.
He’s most looking forward to the new resorts that Disney is building: the Riviera resort, potential DVC rooms at Coronado Resort and the rumored resort coming near Fort Wilderness campgrounds. His favorite studio is the Polynesian. When he bought into DVC, he never dreamed his family would be able to spend a week at the Polynesian resort.
Terry’s opinion on the dining plan is that you really have to strategically use the deluxe dining plan with all-you-care-to-enjoy meals and signature dining to maximize the dining plan. He wouldn’t recommend the dining plan for most families as he believes the typically family will come out ahead paying out of pocket. Terry gives tips like never use the dining plan for breakfast – he prefers paying cash for breakfast at Kona Café and using dining credits at California Grill. Otherwise, Tables in Wonderland is a worth looking at for DVC members and AP holders at $150 a year. Terry’s favorite place to use a snack credit is at Starbucks. His suggests using the dining plan on a split stay where you only have to purchase it for one leg of the trip. We discussed using Tables in Wonderland at Tuskar House character dining. The card almost paid for itself in just this one meal.
In WDW, Terry doesn’t do much cooking in the room. They use the fridge, microwave, and coffeemaker. However, in Aulani, Terry suggests going to Costco a mile or so away from the resort and extensively using the kitchen to save money.
Looking back, like most members, Terry wishes he would have bought more points when the price was lower. His advice to new members: buy enough direct points to get the membership extras and buy the rest of your points on the resale market. However, buying into DVC was one of the best decisions they have made.
Terry is a member of the My DVC Points Community group on Facebook. You can also connect with Terry at TerryWeaver.com. He also leads an event that Terry and Chad will both be attending called “The Thing.”
You can find Terry's WDW Today podcast on iTunes.