Cover Photo Courtesy of: UpstateNYer
The biggest news out of Walt Disney World this week is that plans have been filed for an expansion at Caribbean Beach Resort.
Naturally, speculation began that this might be, at least in part, for the addition of Disney Vacation Club villas to Caribbean Beach. This question is particularly interesting because the addition of Vacation Club villas to moderate-level resort would depart from Disney's history of pairing Disney Vacation Club only with Deluxe resorts.
There are Disney Vacation Club units at Disney World that are part of their own properties (Old Key West and Saratoga Springs), but the only resorts that offer both non-villas and villas are Deluxe (Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Contemporary, Beach Club, Boardwalk, Wilderness Lodge).
Of course, if you're counting, Disney is effectively out of Deluxe resorts. The only Deluxe resort without DVC is now Yacht Club, which neighbors and shares staff with Beach Club. It's unclear whether there is even enough room over there for another set of Villas. So if Disney was going to pair resorts with Villas, they had to look outside Deluxe.
What would this mean for Disney hacking?
Renting Disney Vacation Club points is already one of the best hacks available for Disney World stays. If you head over to David's Vacation Club rentals, you can check out some of the prices for DVC renting. We included this strategy in our 8 Ways to Hack Disneyland Hotels.
Assuming DVC is coming to Caribbean, it's hard to know what to expect. At the very least, Caribbean lacks the transportation options of the Deluxe resorts (AKL excluded). We headed over to David's Vacation Club and priced out a week-long rental at the studio level to see what the overall prices look like. Here's what a week priced in a studio at different levels looks like:
Purely guessing, I would expect (and hope) that Caribbean Villas would fall somewhere in between Animal Kingdom Lodge's Value level and the other options. These are week-long stays, so there isn't much room to dip below that level, but it is possible.
Remember, though, that lots of different factors determine these rental prices versus how Disney prices the resort.
Should Disney Have Gone to Value Instead?
I don't really understand the moderate resorts. I don't think they are any sort of sweet spot. They're slightly nicer properties than Pop Century and Art of Animation, but the theming falls well short of the Deluxe Resorts and the transportation is the same as the value resorts. I find the theming at Pop Century and Art of Animation particularly fun, too.
There are plenty of people who disagree with me, though, and I could see how DVC member particularly would be more accepting of a "moderate" option than a "value" option being added to their portfolios.
Disney Travel Hackers Are Probably the Winners
More options on WDW property means more opportunities for travel hacking. While DVC members may worry about their product being devalued, non-members will likely reap the benefits. If these at-this-point-still-theoretical new villas wind up having a deluxe-level accommodations, we would all be winners.