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  1. #1
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    First time DVC renter

    For years my wife and I have visited Disney and naively considered myself a “Disney expert”. This time, we are raveling with our adult daughters, spouses, and our under 3 grandchild using non-Disney rental company. We are staying at Wilderness (2bdr), five nites in early May. This website was a great help finding info so far (including directing me to reputable resellers). Now we are getting close to arrival date, and I’m kinda freaking out because the whole thing is so different from what I’m familiar with. Anyway, any tips/tricks/advice? I know this is a ridiculously open question, but I mean obscure, non-obvious things a 1st DVC renter might need to know that isn’t shared/ found. For example, thoughts on best food delivery options? Any helpful comments appreciated.

  2. #2
    wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tagline George's Avatar
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    Your question is so open-ended, and it's hard to determine what kind of info that you need, especially since you're a long-time repeat visitor. Staying in a DVC unit isn't much different than staying in a hotel or condo; the only difference I can think of is the difference in housekeeping services, but you probably already know about that.

    As far as food, are you talking groceries or restaurant delivery?
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    Your question is so open-ended, and it's hard to determine what kind of info that you need, especially since you're a long-time repeat visitor. Staying in a DVC unit isn't much different than staying in a hotel or condo; the only difference I can think of is the difference in housekeeping services, but you probably already know about that.

    As far as food, are you talking groceries or restaurant delivery?
    Apologies, I didn't explain myself well about the food delivery. I was referring to food/staples being delivered via a third party vendor (Garden Grocer or Amazon Prime Now for example). And yes, very open ended, just looking for anything obvious yet sometimes overlooked by first time guests. For example, I actually didn't realize there was a washer/dryer available in our villa...!!!

  4. #4
    wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tagline George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dadellkatmom View Post
    Apologies, I didn't explain myself well about the food delivery. I was referring to food/staples being delivered via a third party vendor (Garden Grocer or Amazon Prime Now for example). And yes, very open ended, just looking for anything obvious yet sometimes overlooked by first time guests. For example, I actually didn't realize there was a washer/dryer available in our villa...!!!
    The W/D makes it really easy to pack, as you can pack a lot fewer clothes and do a load in the middle of the trip.

    We always rent a car, so we make a Target run for groceries on the way from the airport. You might also want to get some of those big 3-gallon jugs of water if you don't like the Disney tap water, and for making coffee.

    We like coconut water, so we have that delivered by Amazon.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Strangeite's Avatar
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    We have used Garden Grocer many times in the past, but I know there are a ton of options these days.

    As for more obscure info, even if they aren't particularly DVC-centric, remember that in the resort grocery, beer is insanely overpriced but bottles of wine only marginally overpriced. Since you don't get daily cleaning, you might pick up a bottle of shampoo because the little bottles will go fast with that many people. Same goes for coffee and filters.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Strangeite's Avatar
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    One other thing.

    If you are planning of cooking meals, it is almost impossible for more than 4 people to sit down to eat at the same time in any 2BR besides the ones at OKW.
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  7. #7
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    One other DVC perk you might look into is pool hopping, if you have interest in a different resort's pools. Stormalong Bay at the Beach/Yacht Club and several others are NOT available for pool hopping, but many others will be during October.

    See: https://disneyvacationclub.disney.go...axation/pools/

    I remember the kids water play area at Kidani Village was a lot of fun when our son was a toddler. If you didn't mind packing your swimwear into the poolside locker room, you could do this in a couple of hours on your Animal Kingdom day.

    I'm sure you'll have a wonderful trip and appreciate the extra space, kitchen, and laundry!
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Micah008's Avatar
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    The only other thing I can think of is that as a renter you must use the owner of the points to add things to the reservation (such as room requests, Magical Express, etc). This is a strange part of renting (not DVC in general) since someone else owns the reservation. I expect you may have known this already since you are working with a "reputable" renting company, but just to make sure.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Micah008's Avatar
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    I believe the pool hopping perk is for members only, not renters. It is listed in the "Member Benefits" section, and here is the quote from the member website above (bold added by me) :

    "When staying on your Membership at any Disney Vacation Club Resort at Walt Disney World Resort..."
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  10. #10
    wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tagline George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micah008 View Post
    I believe the pool hopping perk is for members only, not renters. It is listed in the "Member Benefits" section, and here is the quote from the member website above (bold added by me) :

    "When staying on your Membership at any Disney Vacation Club Resort at Walt Disney World Resort..."
    Is this enforced? Is there someone checking IDs at the pools? I know they check Member IDs at the Member Lounge at Epcot.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Micah008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    Is this enforced? Is there someone checking IDs at the pools? I know they check Member IDs at the Member Lounge at Epcot.
    I know Stormalong Bay enforces it for sure, as they actively check Magic Bands at the pool. Beyond that, I don't know for sure.
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  12. #12
    the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts for him DopeyRunr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micah008 View Post
    I know Stormalong Bay enforces it for sure
    I think that's because Stormalong Bay doesn't allow any pool hoppers, period. We've never had our ID checked at AKV Jambo or Kidani IIRC.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Strangeite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micah008 View Post
    I know Stormalong Bay enforces it for sure, as they actively check Magic Bands at the pool. Beyond that, I don't know for sure.
    I personally have never seen it enforced anywhere but Stormalong Bay, but I have a friend that was asked once at Poly. He showed his member card and everything was fine, but he was surprised they asked.
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  14. #14
    Member Big Kid's Avatar
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    Good eye, Micah! I was not aware pool hopping is specifically a membership perk.
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  15. #15
    I don't mean to highjack the thread but I do have some specific questions about renting DVC points. We are staying in a studio at Boulder Ridge May 29-June 5. We rented points through David's Vacation Club Rentals.

    We added the dining plan to our reservation, but they said it won't be able to sync up with our MDE app since the dining plan isn't under our name. It will still be linked to our magic band though right? Also if we can't link it to MDE, does that mean we can't use mobile order when using dining credits?

    We had the rental company put in our three optional room location requests at the time of booking. Should we use online check-in or avoid doing that for fear it would remove our previous requests? If we use online check-in, do you have the option to enter requests?

    Thanks everyone! Again, so sorry to highjack!

  16. #16
    Re-read our dining plan confirmation email. It says we have to check in at our resort to activate the dining plan on our magic bands. Still curious about mobile ordering and whether or not we should complete online check-in.

    Thanks!

  17. #17
    Senior Member Anne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LAUNCHPADMCQUACK View Post
    Re-read our dining plan confirmation email. It says we have to check in at our resort to activate the dining plan on our magic bands. Still curious about mobile ordering and whether or not we should complete online check-in.

    Thanks!
    Mobile order worked for me in January with rented points and a dining plan. But I was not able to see dining plan credit balance in the app or see that we had the dining plan when I looked at our room reservation in MDE.

    I would still do online check-in. Then you will get a room ready email/text. I was never told I needed to stop at the desk to activate credits. We happened to stop at the desk anyway for a different reason and did not discuss the dine plan and the CM did not mention she was activating anything.

  18. #18
    wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tagline George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anne View Post
    Mobile order worked for me in January with rented points and a dining plan. But I was not able to see dining plan credit balance in the app or see that we had the dining plan when I looked at our room reservation in MDE.

    I would still do online check-in. Then you will get a room ready email/text. I was never told I needed to stop at the desk to activate credits. We happened to stop at the desk anyway for a different reason and did not discuss the dine plan and the CM did not mention she was activating anything.
    Agreed. The only thing that activates the DP is the calendar/date. Once you have paid for a DP (and you could have only purchase one if you had a qualifying reservation) you may use it once the date arrives. I don't think you even have to technically be checked in to use DP credits, though I may be wrong about that.
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    But Sandy Plankton said...

  19. #19
    Thank you both! So if we do online check-in, do we leave requests blank since we already submitted requests at the time we rented points? Are the requests the same for DVC as a hotel check-in?

  20. #20
    Senior Member Anne's Avatar
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    Yes, leave requests blank. I haven't been able to get the online request form to work for a couple years anyway.

  21. #21
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    If you do the online room requests it will cancel out any previous requests. The prevailing advice is to call the resort 10 days before your arrival date and ask to speak to whoever is doing room assignments. There's a list of those phone numbers somewhere if I can find them...

  22. #22
    wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tagline George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by capeokw56 View Post
    If you do the online room requests it will cancel out any previous requests. The prevailing advice is to call the resort 10 days before your arrival date and ask to speak to whoever is doing room assignments. There's a list of those phone numbers somewhere if I can find them...
    That list is a bit dubious, because oftentimes you'll be transferred to a reservations call center, and not the person doing room assignments. Much more effective is to have the reservationist note your requests, in order of importance, and to keep the requests to a minimum to have a better chance of getting what you want. Best of all, however, is to use Touringplans' room request service. They actually prepare faxes which do, in fact, end up in the assignors' hands, five days before check-in, the date that assignments are actually made. It's worked for me almost 100% of the time, and many times I got the exact room I requested.
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  23. #23
    the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts for him DopeyRunr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    Best of all, however, is to use Touringplans' room request service. They actually prepare faxes which do, in fact, end up in the assignors' hands, five days before check-in, the date that assignments are actually made. It's worked for me almost 100% of the time, and many times I got the exact room I requested.
    I've had the same experience. I'm probably the most vocal critic of Touringplans data-driven methodology for generating a crowd calendar, but given the total amount you'll be spending on a WDW resort, an extra $15 for a TP subscription seems well worth it if only for a strong assurance your room request will be granted.
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  24. #24
    wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tagline George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DopeyRunr View Post
    I've had the same experience. I'm probably the most vocal critic of Touringplans data-driven methodology for generating a crowd calendar, but given the total amount you'll be spending on a WDW resort, an extra $15 for a TP subscription seems well worth it if only for a strong assurance your room request will be granted.
    Same here. I don’t ever look at TP’s planning stuff. I just use it for the room request service and their ADR finder/alert feature, because I never plan my meals 180 days out!
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    Quiet, both of ya! You're gonna ruin Maw's birthday!

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    But Sandy Plankton said...

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