Its that time of year again! We ventured out to Coronado Springs for the Disney Vacation Club Annual Condominium Association Meeting and gathered with fellow DVC members to reminisce about the past year (and get a free cookie!)
As part of the rules and regulations set forth in the DVC bylaws, this meeting is held every year so the association can conduct required business like electing and re-electing board members, approving last year’s minutes, and approving resort budgets for the upcoming year. Members also get to hear a little bit about upcoming events and plans for the next year, as well as have a chance to ask questions to the board.
This year’s meeting focused on Disney’s continuing efforts to improve member satisfaction in areas like room refurbishments, enhancements, new experiences, and more Membership Magic offerings. The board also went over reasons for the increases in member dues and officially approved the 2019 resort budgets and Maintenance and Taxes.
2018 Year in Review
The order of business was quite the same this year with an opening greeting from the new Senior VP of DVC, Terri Schultz, recapping the highlights from the past year and thanking everyone for another wonderful year at DVC. Terri Schultz is also the Vice President of Adventures by Disney and Golden Oak and works directly under the newly appointed President of Disney Signature Experiences, Jeff Vahle.
Next we heard from Mahmud Dhanani, VP of Resorts at Walt Disney World and also a DVC Board Member. He went over the various enhancements already being implemented at the resorts and some new ones to come over the next few years. These include: increased Wi-Fi bandwidth for a better experience in-room and around the resorts and parks, scheduled refurbishments and refreshes for the DVC resorts and continued efforts to improve room cleanliness with better training and tools for housekeeping.
RESORT REFURBISHMENTS & UPGRADES
Renovations are currently underway at Disney’s Old Key West resort with completion slated for Spring 2019. This included a complete unit refurbishment: new flooring, bathrooms, kitchens, paint, furnishings, bedding, decor, etc.
Saratoga Springs is up next for a full refurbishment starting in 2019 with new furniture, artwork, kitchens, and a new pull-down sofa bed! More details on these new beds are below.
There are two type of refurbishments: a full refurb and a refresh. The full refurb includes everything from new floors to new furniture and design. A refresh is typically just “soft goods” like bedding, curtains and carpets.
The following resorts will also be receiving their scheduled refurbishments and refreshes over the next few years:
- 2020 – Aulani (Refresh)
- 2021 – Hilton Head (Full refurb)
- 2021 – Grand Floridian (Refresh)
- 2021 – Boulder Ridge (Full refurb)
- 2022 – Polynesian (Refresh)
The most exciting news to come from the meeting was the design for a new pull down sofa bed that will make its debut at the Riveria Resort in 2019. Looking at the artist renderings, these new beds should also be coming to Saratoga Springs during that resort’s full refurbishment slated to start in 2019. This murphy-style bed is designed and manufactured by INOVA and is promised to be much more comfortable than the current sofa beds. You can see from the artist rendering below that this design will be a big space saver as well!
Another upgrade Mahmud (VP of Resorts) pointed out were the in-shower shampoo bottles that will be replacing the travel-sized ones. He pointed out that not only is this more cost-effective for members’ dues, it will drastically cut down on waste. This is a win-win in my eyes!
2019 DUES PRESENTATION AND APPROVAL
A member’s dues goes towards a variety of things needed to run the resort. Two-thirds of the budget is allocated to Operating & Administrative Expenses (housekeeping, transportation, Front Desk services, maintenance, utilities, etc), and the remaining one-third goes to Reserves (for refurbishments and enhancements) and Property Taxes. Each resort’s budget and member dues varies greatly as they are all different in size, number of units, age, number of cast members, theme, etc.
As you can see from the charts above, the dues for almost every resort increased substantially this year. The reason why? Increased wages for cast members. The minimum wage rate will increase to $15 per hour by October of 2021 in an effort to “take care of the people that take care of you.” The cast members are Disney’s biggest asset. They are an essential part of the magic behind DVC and Disney is “committed to their future.” The biggest impact on member dues as seen for 2019 with smaller increases to come gradually over the next few years.
Other items that contributed to the 2019 budget increases include: commitments made in the Reserves Budget over the last 3 years for refreshes/refurbishments and a higher member usage rate at the resorts. Property Taxes in Orange County, FL have stabilized so that helps keep costs down some.
As usual, the annual dues and resort budgets were approved by the board and owners can expect bills in the upcoming weeks. You can view all the budgets by resort here: 2019 Resort Budgets
The big items for 2019 include Disney’s Riveria Resort (Fall 2019), the Gondola Skyliner system (Fall 2019), the opening of Star Wars Land (Fall 2019) and the announcement of a new mixed-use (hotel + DVC) nature-themed resort called Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge.
More Membership Magic* is also on the horizon that will include:
- Moonlight Magic events every month in 2019 and a better reservation system for them
- Two (2) Member Cruises
- DVC Lounge at Epcot open through 2019
- Seven Seas Tasting Cruise
- New DVC Merchandise
- & more
*Please note, certain Membership Magic offerings are only available to members who purchase directly from Disney. To learn more about DVC’s resale policy, click here: https://www.resalesdvc.com/dvc-resale-policy/
Stay tuned to our website for more exciting DVC news as 2019 unfolds. Happy Holidays everyone!