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8 Best Disney Vacation Club Resorts

“Welcome Home”! These two simple words are how Disney Cast Members greet guests visiting one of the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) Resorts. We’ve been DVC Members for seven years now and truly feel at home the moment we arrive at any one of DVC’s 16 (and counting!) resorts. Not a DVC member? No worries – there’s still time! But seriously, if the DVC timeshare program isn’t for you, non-DVC members can always stay as guests at any one of the DVC Resorts. Out of the 16 DVC Resorts, we’ve narrowed the list down to our top 8 picks. Without further ado, let’s do a little resort hopping!





 

8 – Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Of course, we must include Magic Kingdom’s neighbor on this list! Disney’s Bay Lake Tower, located at the Contemporary Resort, wins a spot because of the superb location. You can walk to Magic Kingdom, which is an excellent highlight. While we aren’t super impressed with the lack of theming at Bay Lake Tower, we do enjoy the Top of the World Lounge – a special DVC Member-only lounge with outstanding views of Magic Kingdom. Another perk is the skywalk that connects Bay Lake Tower to the Contemporary Resort for easy Monorail access, shopping, and dining choices. Our favorite pastime here is heading all the way up to the Top of the World Lounge to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks with a drink in hand!

7 – Disney’s Old Key West

We are slightly biased to Disney’s Old Key West as it was the very first DVC Resort on Disney property. It is also one of our two “home resorts,” which simply means its where we own points. Old Key West exudes relaxation! There is a low key feel that flows through the resort with tropical décor and a flip flop vibe. Visit the quiet, yet delicious restaurant called Olivia’s while enjoying the sunset over the water with palm trees swaying in the breeze. Another perk to staying at Old Key West are the larger rooms it has to offer. Since it was Disney’s first DVC Resort, Imagineers went all out with larger floor plans making space feel like a huge perk to staying here. This is the DVC Resort we personally feel most at home.

The pool at Old Key West

6 – Disney’s BoardWalk Villas

With a high end, Coney Island-style, the BoardWalk Villas are a DVC Members restful yet entertaining one place stop. Stroll the Boardwalk for entertainment, food, and shopping! The BoardWalk is a great place to spend a resort day at the pool and on the Boardwalk, or simply head to EPCOT and/or Hollywood Studios with great ease via boat, walking, or the Disney Skyliner. This one has location, theming, and entertainment all wrapped in to one incredible DVC Resort.  One negative – booking a room with DVC points can be tricky at the BoardWalk. Much of the BoardWalk is not part of DVC, which means fewer DVC rooms tend to book up quickly. It’s worth trying to get in for a stay here, if at all possible!

5 – The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel

We’ve been showing love for the east coast, but of course, we need a dose of the west coast on this list! If you are headed to Disney California Adventure Park, THE place to stay is The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. Simply take a few steps outside of the resort, and you’ll land right in the heart of Disney California Adventure Park. The ease of getting to the park here is incredible! On top of the prime location, you’ll love the craftsman-style atmosphere, the pool, amenities, and dining at this west coast favorite. Much like Disney’s BoardWalk Villas, you will find snagging a room here with DVC points can be super difficult due to limited rooms. Plan ahead and do your best to book the moment your booking window opens.





 

4 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas

Moving back to the east coast, we land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, where you’ll feel like you’ve escaped to the African savanna rather than sunny Florida! Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to DVC Villas located in both the Kidani Village and Jambo House. While our favorite location to stay in the resort is Jambo House, we will say the views, and fantastic décor is top notch wherever you end up at this resort! Do your best to book a savanna view room so you can spot exotic animals grazing from the comfort of your room. The dining and amenities at Animal Kingdom Lodge are wonderful! We love staying here during the Christmas season to see the massive and beautifully decorated tree that stands tall in the luxurious lobby. Plus, if Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park is one of your favorites, you’ll especially enjoy a quick and convenient bus ride to the park.

3 – Disney’s Riviera Resort

Welcome to the newest Disney Vacation Club Resort – the Riviera! Disney’s Riviera Resort will have you singing the praises of European elegance! Clean, fresh, and modern, we found ourselves falling in love with this deluxe resort the first night of our first stay. We are especially huge fans of the dining, which is the rooftop at Topolino’s Terrace. Enjoy breakfast with favorite characters or a quiet non-character dinner while relishing in the stunning views of the Walt Disney World property. Another great perk is having Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT right at your fingertips. If you aren’t sitting at Topolino’s Terrace Restaurant enjoying the fireworks in the distance, you can easily catch the Skyliner to and from these two parks and other Skyliner Resorts. Unwind with elegance!

View from the patio off the lobby at Disney’s Riviera Resort

2 – TIE! Copper Creek Cabins & Polynesian Bungalows

Alright, we couldn’t decide, so we are throwing these two in as a tie! Two of the most popular Disney Resorts are Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Both deluxe resorts have DVC Villas for DVC Members to call home. They are incredible resorts…and we mean truly incredible. But, there is an extra special dose of DVC here! Both resorts offer unique accommodations, including a luxurious cabin or a bungalow experience. The Copper Creek Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge take staying in a cabin to a whole new level. These cabins sleep 8, have two bedrooms, a full kitchen, private hot tub, high-end finishes, pristine woodwork, and waterfront views. They make for comfortable living that will have you wanting to stay put for your vacation! If you aren’t a cabin person, check out the Polynesian Bungalows located at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. These bungalows are on the water! No really, the bungalow is actually ON the water! They also boast the best of the best views of Magic Kingdom fireworks and have all the amenities (private hot tub!) that you’ll find in the Copper Creek Cabins. So, which do you prefer? Cabins or Bungalows? We should be partial as our second DVC “home resort” is Copper Creek, but we still feel like it’s a win whichever way you decide to go!

1 – Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas

Why, ALOHA gorgeous! Other than Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, our top picks all call Walt Disney World home. For this one, however, we are heading to the tropical dream destination we all know and love as Hawaii. Ko Olina, Hawaii, holds a DVC dream resort called Aulani. There are no theme parks close by, but as far as a DVC Resorts go, it doesn’t get any better than this! Tropical splendor is the experience you can expect with untouchable Hawaiian charm and culture. Get ready to put your feet up and enjoy the beautiful amenities (including the Rainbow Reef!), delicious dining, spectacular entertainment, and an abundance of relaxation. Welcome home!

Did your favorite DVC Resort make the list? We’d love to hear from you!



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About Mike & Jamie Sylvester

We are Disney nerds. Two kids at heart who love the magic and the memories of Walt Disney World! We follow all things Disney and have great experiences with being Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, and RunDisney participants. We enjoy the vacations, day trips, weekend getaways and geek out over the planning of such events. From lodging to dining to Fastpasses we have a spreadsheet for every occasion. Mike’s frivolous Disney goal is to acquire as many MagicBands as possible while Jamie’s goal is to experience as many Disney desserts as possible. Usually there isn’t a day that passes without some discussion of the master plan of our next trip to the happiest place on earth. Most people think we’re normal – until they travel to Disney with us. We have been married for 13 years and are blessed with two children - our 8-year-old daughter and soon to be 2-year-old son. As a family we thoroughly enjoy the magic and the memories at Walt Disney World and are here to help others experience the magic as well.