According to Tim K., who does a wonderful job with the http://www.dvcnews.com website, Disney Vacation Club has filed paperwork to expand the Disney Vacation Club offerings at the Wilderness Lodge. This expansion looks like it will include 26 lake-side cabins. 12 of these cabins will be on the north-side of Wilderness Lodge. They will have a view of the Magic Kingdom and presumably of the nightly fireworks show. The remaining 14 cabins will be on the south-side of Wilderness Lodge. These cabins will have a view of Bay Lake and of the Fort Wilderness area.
That’s the news portion of it. Now, I try to answer what I think of the expansion and what it means for Disney Vacation Club.
The Villas at Wilderness Lodge is the smaller Disney Vacation Club property at Walt Disney World. It was the first Magic Kingdom area resort to get a Vacation Club add-on followed by The Contemporary, Grand Floridian, and finally The Polynesian. So, the DVC property is the oldest among the Magic Kingdom resorts. It makes sense to expand at Wilderness Lodge over some of the DVC properties in the EPCOT area or Old Key West and Saratoga Springs.
The Wilderness Lodge property also has zero grand villas. The largest accommodations is a two-bedroom villa. This is nice but does not let large groups (9 or more) have the Villas at Wilderness Lodge as an option if that group all wanted to stay in one room.
It is rumored that these cabins will be quite large. Based on some estimations, as large as 30 x 60 feet which would make 1,800 square feet. This puts the cabins in the Grand Villa territory in terms of size. This is both good and bad. It’s good because it adds Grand Villas to the Villas at Wilderness Lodge room inventory. But it’s bad if it turns out that all 26 cabins are grand villas. Is there enough, year round, demand for 26 grand villas along Bay Lake. Plus, grand villas cost a lot points. Most DVC members would need to bank and borrow to get enough points for a stay in one of them or do a split points/cash stay.
The announced expansion does put any plans of a new stand-alone DVC resort and/or a DVC expansion into a current moderate resort to bed for the next couple of years. Planned completion of the new cabins would be in 2018 (at the latest). At which point, the questions will arise again where should DVC go next? Should they build a new stand-alone resort on WDW property, should they expand into a current moderate resort (and the points headaches that could ensue), or do they build a DVC resort at Disneyland Paris or Tokyo Disneyland?
Those questions will be answered as Disney and Disney Vacation Club continue through the 2010’s. What are your thoughts?
Thanks for reading!
Today’s Behind the Magic Podcast with the Mouse News Minute