May 23, 2018

All About Disney Vacation Club!

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Disney post! Since one of my most popular videos so far is all about our Disney Vacation Club Story, I thought I would do a post all about DVC! More informative than a story of how we became members, and if you have any questions you can comment below! I’m am writing everythink I can think of when it comes to Disney Vacation Club, so this post is a bit of a long one! Okay, let’s get started!

All about Disney Vacation Club

What is Disney Vacation Club?

Disney Vacation Club is Disney’s timeshare program. By purchasing points, you are purchasing real estate interest in one of their hotels, not just in Walt Disney World, but all over with locations in California, North Carolina, and of course Florida. By purchasing a certain number of points, you recieve that allotment  each year. You get a “use year” which is the month you recieve your points for the year. For example, ours is October.

Disney Vacation Club is available at the following Resorts:

  • Aulani (Hawaii)
  • Bay Lake Tower
  • Bolder Ridge Villas and Copper  Creek Villas at Wilderness Lodge
  • Jambo House and Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Beach Club
  • Boardwalk
  • Hilton Head (South Carolina)
  • Old Key West
  • Polynesian
  • Saratoga Springs
  • Vero Beach
  • Grand Californian (California)
  • Grand Floridian
  • Riviera Resort (coming in 2019)

Prices vary by resort, but currently through Disney points are in the $170 range. It’s definitely an investment!

How Does it work?

DVC is a bit different than a “normal” timeshare, because you are NOT limited to a specific time of year or resort. You purchase a number of points, and different resorts, room sizes, and different times of year cost different numbers of points. Each year you receive your certain number of points, and the month you receive them is known as your use year. Ours is October. If you purchase multiple contracts, they can have different use years. It makes it a little bit more confusing, but can definitely be done.

You are purchasing a contact that has an expiry date, some of them are 50 years. You can pay up front or finance the purchase, and the only yearly cost is maintenence fees or “annual dues”, were are paid per point. Dues can be around $11 per point, but are slowly increasing and vary by resort. Different resorts are more expensive and less expensive, and the ending year of the contract will play into that. Generally buying directly from Disney is more expensive than buying through the resale market, which I speak of below.

All About Disney Vacation Club

 

What is a home resort?

A home resort is the resort on your contract. You can book vacations at this resort 11 months in advance. For example, ours is Disney’s Polynesian Village. If I were to book a trip right now, I could book a trip starting 11 months from today, at the Polynesian. If I wanted to book at a different resort, I could only book a trip starting 7 months from today. For popular resorts, accommodations might not be available. This is where it becomes important to like you home resort, because in very busy times of the year, you may only be able to stay there.

What type of rooms are available?

DVC rooms are generally referred to as Villas, and are a little bit different than the “normal” rooms at Walt Disney World. You can book to stay in a studio, deluxe studio, 1 bedroom villa, 2 bedroom villa, and 3 bedroom grand villas that sleep up to 12 people. Deluxe studios include a kitchenette, and 1 bedrooms and up have a full kitchen and laundry.

  • Deluxe Studio (sleeps up to 5 people)
  • 1 Bedroom Villa (sleeps up to 5 people)
  • 2 Bedroom Villa (sleeps up to 10 people)
  • 3 Bedroom Villa (sleeps up to 12 people)

Where do I buy?

I speak a little more about this below, but I think you should buy at a resort you would like to stay at. The nice thing is you don’t have to stay there all the time!

Disney is only selling a few resorts directly, and others you may have to go on a waitlist for. Otherwise, you can purchase through the resale market. Because there are only a certain number of rooms at each resort that are DVC specific, resorts sell out.

All About Disney Vacation Club

Buying direct vs. buying resale

There are benefits for buying directly from Disney (which we did), but there is also a resale market that is cheaper. The minimum for buying direct is 75 points currently, and I’ve laid out some of the benefits below. There are a lot of people who buy the minimum number of points directly, and buy larger contracts through resale. I think if we ever added another contract, it would be via the resale market.

benefits of being a member

There are quite a few benefits of being a Disney Vacation Club member. In addition to merchandise and Halloween and Christmas party discounts, there are special Moonlight Magic events at the parks only for members, plus member cruises, as well as the member lounge in the Imagination Pavilion at Epcot! To get the extras, you need to buy direct because you receive a membership card when buying from Disney, not through the resale market. These bonuses could be taken away at any point, but there are some advantages to buying directly through Disney.

The “buy where you want to stay vs. buying where’s cheapest” debate

There’s a bit of a debate within the DVC community, encouraging people to buy where is cheapest, or buy where you want to stay. I see points on each side, and sort of sit in the middle. It’s great to buy where is cheapest because you can really stay at any resort, but I think you should buy where you’d be okay staying, because during busy times of years it may be your only option.

All About Disney Vacation Club

is it worth it?

In my opninon, yes. But you have to use it for it to be worth it. If you generally stay at deluxe resorts, you will save money. If you aren’t going to use it for 10 years or more- rent instead of buying. (more on that below). It is a large investment, and you should do lots of research before buying. I’ve linked some helpful websites at the bottom of the post. 🙂

Banking & Borrowing Points

You can bank points for one year, and borrow one year ahead. You have to banked your points by a certain date to avoid losing them. In our case, we had x number of 2017 points left from our last trip (where we borrowed some points). We had to bank those points by May or use them. We banked them. When booking a vacation outside of the use year for example in November, I had to bank the 2017 points before I could select them to use, otherwise it defaulted to using the 2018 points (which we haven’t technically received yet because we get our allotment in October).

For our last trip (which we had 9 people in 4 rooms) we used all of our 2015 points from the current use year, used out 2016 points that we would receive before our trip in November, and borrowed points from 2017.

 

All About Disney Vacation Club

A Note on RCI & Cruises.

Disney has partnered with RCI, meaning you can stay in locations around the World, and you can also use points for Disney cruises. But it’s not a very wise use of points- you would be better off getting money for your points through renting, and paying cash for the vacation.

Try before you buy

Rent point through a company. You still get rooms cheaper than booking through Disney, and can get a feel for the accommodations! We intended to do this but failed. I would suggest using a company like David’s Vacation Club Rentals (linked at the bottom of the post) or another broker, instead of finding someone on the internet. You are essentially paying someone to use their points, and they make the reservation for you. A broker helps to protect you!

Booking online is easy!

I may have booked a trip using points recently, (although it may not be to where you are thinking), and it was easy! Just like booking a hotel, it just took a little bit to make sure I was booking using the correct points. You can also call to make reservations, but you obviously have to be a member to do so. We booked our first trip over the phone.

 

If you’d rather listen to me talk than read all of the information above, check out the video below!

Helpful Links

Disney Vacation Club Website

Mouse Owners

David’s Vacation Club Rentals

DVC Resale Market

There are also booths in the parks and resorts for more information. If you book a tour while at Walt Disney World, you may get free FastPasses or other incentives!

 

Questions?

If you have any questions about Disney Vacation Club, comment below and I will do my best to answer them!

Thank you for reading!

 

Kelsey
May 16, 2018

Empties! May 2018

Hello friends! I hope you are well! Today I am sharing another empties post! I’m trying to do 2 of these posts per year so they are shorter and I don’t have a massive container of empties laying around! If you are new to an empties post, I’m sharing the products that I’ve used up recently (and at least one that I didn’t finish), what I thought of the products, and what I would repurchase. If you missed my last one, you can see that here. Okay, let’s get started!

Empties May 2018

*affiliate links used for convenience*

Crest Pro Health Mouthwash– This is actually my favourite mouthwash! You can find the big bottles in a 2-pack at Costco, and it doesn’t burn, and has a mild minty taste. I would repurchase this again!

Empties May 2018

Aveeno Positively Radiant toner– I have been trying to find a line of skincare that works for me, and Aveeno was one that I didn’t see much of a difference. I didn’t completely use up any of the other products so this is the only one making it to the Empties, but I didn’t find it made a difference in my skin for me, so I wouldn’t repurchase it.

Empties May 2018

Tressemé Breakage Defense shampoo– I haven’t really found a shampoo that’s made a difference in my hair, so this one was a “meh” for me. The major turnoff was the buildup of product on the outside. I’ve never had a shampoo so that (with the exception of the one below, and you can see it when I hold them up in the video at the bottom of the post).

Empties May 2018

Tressemé Nourish and Replenish natural shampoo– The same thing happened with this shampoo, although not as badly. I think we purchase these shampoos because they are frequently on sale. I probably wouldn’t repurchase them again.

Empties May 2018

Marcelle gentle makeup remover– This is my favourite eye makeup remover! It’s on the pricey side for an item from the drugstore, but I think it does a great job and it’s very gentle.

Empties May 2018

Almay Smart Shade Foundation– expired and not used up! This is a very sheer foundation and because my skin is sensitive and red I don’t like it- I repurchased it before finding my go-to foundation, so I didn’t touch this one before it expired.

Empties May 2018

Tresemmé Thermal Creations heat taming spray– this has been my go-to heat taming spray for years. My one gripe- don’t travel with it! Or if you do, decant it into a travel sized spray container. I’ve had two bottles spill while in a suitcase!

Empties May 2018

Satsuma shower gel from The Body Shop– I have a stockpile of this and will continue to use it! I love the scent, and largest size lasts me about a year!

Empties May 2018

Frizz Ease Miraculous Recovery conditioner – I got this is a swag bag from an event that I went to, but I probably wouldn’t repurchase it. The only conditioner I’ve noticed a difference with is the Garnier Whole Blends Avocado and Shea Butter.

Empties May 2018

Warm Vanilla Sugar ultra shea cream from Bath & Body Works– This is my favourite scent from Bath and Body works! I tend to get overwhelmed by scents easily, so this one is nice an neutral. I keep this lotion in my desk because my hands get dry at work! I have repurchased and would purchase it again!

Empties May 2018

Garnier Micellar water (sensitive)– I bought this in a pinch after hearing good things about it! It’s less expensive than the one mentioned above, and it does a nice job. I have repurchased the larger size and it should last me a while!

Empties May 2018

Vitamin E Moisture Cream from The Body Shop– This was the skincare line I was using before I tried Aveeno, and it didn’t really do anything for my skin. I used this moisturizer under my makeup and it was nice enough. I probably wouldn’t repurchase again.

Empties May 2018

Vitamin E Night Cream from The Body Shop– I used this cream at night, and again it was nice enough. Probably wouldn’t repurchase it again.

Empties May 2018

Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream from The Body Shop– changed scent before I could finish it- but only used it once in a while

Empties May 2018

Stemulation Daily Microderm scrub– I got this in a Fab Fit Fun box, and used it on my arms (I have Keratosis Pilaris). I don’t think this brand is readily available in Canada, but I liked the scent so I would probably purchase it again.

Empties May 2018

Tea Tree Squeaky Clean Scrub from The Body Shop– I was using this on my face in the shower, but was worried that it was making my skin worse so I stopped. It has a nice fresh scent, but I probably wouldn’t repurchase it to use on my face.

Empties May 2018

Beauty Blender– My go to foundation applicator, I would and have repurchased this! I’d like to try the Sephora brand blenders to see if there’s a difference, but I like the name brand one!

Empties May 2018

Loreal Paris Anti-Redness BB Cream– I bought this to use under my foundation to cover up the redness in my face, and it’s very orange. I’m not quite sure why I bought another, but I wouldn’t repurchase it. I think I was hoping to use it as a tinted moisturizer, but it’s way too orange.

Empties May 2018

Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray– This is the only setting spray I’ve used, and it’s my go to! I’ve repurchase it several times, most recently in the Sephora Spring Sale!

Empties May 2018

Peach lip gloss from The Body Shop- I bought this when it was on sale and kept it in my desk at work. I liked the scent, but it was very hard to use up, and was a tacky lip gloss. I probably wouldn’t repurchase it again. I don’t think this is available anymore, but you can see what it looked like in the video below.

Tattoo eyeliner from Kat Von D in Trooper– this is my go-to ride or die eyeliner! I love how easy it is to apply, and how fine of a line you can get. I wear this every day, and one usually lasts me about six months. I wish I bought another one during the last sale!

Empties May 2018

Loral True Match Foundation in C2– This is my go to foundation! It has nice coverage, and the colour is perfect. One bottle lasts me quite a while which is nice, and it’s available at the drugstore so it’s significantly cheaper than foundations at Sephora. I have repurchased this and would again and again!

Empties May 2018

Tarte Birthday Suit lip stain (mini) from birthday gift– this was one half of the Tarte birthday gift from Sephora last year, and I loved it! It did sort of separate and leak, so I wouldn’t recommend it. I did purchase the full size thinking maybe it was just the travel size, but it is doing it as well. The applicator also pulls out a lot of product, which ends up seeping over the sides.

Empties May 2018

Holy moly! I didn’t realize I had gone through so many products! If you made it this far- thank you!

If you’d like to hear more about the empties, check out the video below!

What products have you used up lately? Let me know in the comments below!

Thank you so much for reading!

Kelsey
May 9, 2018

Monthly Favourites- April 2018

Hello everyone! How is it May already?! This year is flying by. It’s that time again- monthly favourites time! I’m sharing some of my favourite things from the month of April: from entertainment, books, beauty, clothing, and a “recipe”. Without further ado, let’s get started!

Monthly Favourites April 2018

*affiliate links used for convenience*

Entertainment

The Crown– I recently finished watching all of the episodes of Friends and was ready to watch something new! I find the Royal Family fascinating, so I’ve been loving this show! I’m on Season 2 and have been watching it in small pieces in the mornings. I think I will start watching it on weekends to pay closer attention. But I would recommend this show!

Monthly Favourites April 2018

Trading Spaces– it’s back! I grew up watching Trading Spaces after school, and I’m so happy it’s back! Seeing everyone again is fun! If you watched the original series, check out the reboot!

Monthly Favourites April 2018

13! game– This game is addicting! Similar to 2048, it’s a number tile game, where you connect tiles to get a higher number, and try to get a tile to 13. I think I do a better job explaining it in the video below lol, but the picture below might help!

Monthly Favourites April 2018

 

Books

Balancing in Heels by Kristen Cavallari – I’m a fan of Laguna Beach and The Hills, so I was interested to read her book. It was an easy read and parts of it were ineterstesing, but some parts were a little “preachy” (not in a religious way, more of a do this and don’t do that way). I wish I learned a little bit more about her life, but I still enjoyed it for the quick read it was.

Monthly Favourites April 2018

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid– I flew through this book! Like read it in 4 days. And it was probably double the size of the one mentioned above. I really enjoyed this book, and would highly recommend it! Here’s a synopsis from chapters.ca:

From Taylor Jenkins Reid, “a genius when it comes to stories about life and love” (Redbook), comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’s relentless rise to the top—the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Monthly Favourites April 2018

Beauty

Sally Hansen Nail Polish– I’ve been into wearing nail polish this month, and I thought I would mention the two shades I’ve been wearing. I really like the Sally Hensen Miracle Gel, because I find it doesn’t chip. Flushed Wanderer & Street Flair are the shades I wore a lot in April! Below is the Flushed Wanderer shade, and I’m wearing Street Flair in the video at the bottom of the post!

Monthly Favourites April 2018

Becca Liptuitive lip gloss– I picked this up during the Sephora Spring sale, and I’ve been loving it! It’s smooth and not tacky, hydrating and it a nice pink (bascially it just enhances the natural color of your lips).

Sephora Spring Sale 2018 Haul

 

Clothing

Columbia Jacket– I picked this up when Ethan and I went to Niagara Falls for his birthday (you can watch that weekend vlog here). I’m so happy it’s finally warm enough to wear it! It’s waterproof and is somewhat insulated, plus it’s flattering with the cinched waist and is long enough to cover my bum! I think it will last a long time! I’ve linked the closest one I could find 🙂

Monthly Favourites April 2018

Food & Drink

Scramble- I thought I would share what I’ve been having for breakfast lately! I take an egg, add some egg whites, fry up some red pepper and spinach, add some cheese and serve my scramble with some salsa! I also have a piece of toast with jam. It keeps me full, and I’m not getting sick of it!

Monthly Favourites April 2018

Vanilla Biscotti Folgers Coffee– This has been my go to coffee! It tastes similar to the Winter Carnival from Timothy’s but it more readily available (aka available at the grocery store). I’m slowly working my way to drinking my coffee black!

Monthly Favourites April 2018

If you’d like to hear more about my April monthly favourites check out the video below!

What is something that you enjoyed in the month of April? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Thank you so much for joining me today!

 

 

 

Kelsey