Thursday, October 21, 2010

DVC – Isn’t it Grand! Grand Villa that is!!!

If you have followed posts on this web site for long you know by now that we are Disney Vacation Club Members and that we have been members since 1993. That was back when Disney’s Old Key West Resort was known as The Disney Vacation Club Resort. It was the first and only one of its kind. My wife and I toured DVC in December 1992. That was just over a year after it had opened and many of the buildings were still being constructed. We toured the model Studio and One Bedroom villa and saw how it became a 2 Bedroom lock-off. We also toured the Grand Villa. A beautiful 2-story 3-bedroom Villa that was bigger than our home. We could see ourselves staying in the Studio or the one and Two Bedroom villas, but the Grand Villa was something else. Even when Amy was married at WDW we booked 2 – two bedroom villas and a studio. The Grand Villa was still something we didn’t consider.

Then Tink came along.

Having a first Grandchild is different. I guess because we traveled to Oklahoma to see Tink instead of Florida to see Mickey, we happened to have “extra” Vacation Club points. When we started talking about Tink’s first birthday of course it had to be at WDW. Amy and Andy were married there and we received our announcement Tink was on the way just as fireworks were going off at the start of Illuminations at EPCOT. Grand Villas are normally hard to book and you need to book them at the 11 month Home Resort Priority window to ensure booking one of the 27 Grand Villas at OKW. My daughter was, however, able to book us in a Grand Villa for Tink’s Birthday Party.

The Grand Villa at Disney’s Old Key West Resort is normally on the second and third story of one of their Key West themed buildings (although handicapped GVs are available). This does give you some wonderful views from the upper floor of the GV. Our GV was wonderful. Three bedrooms, four baths with a full kitchen and dining room covering about 2375 square feet. My wife and I got the main level Master Bedroom, which is larger than the master bedroom in the one or two bedroom villas. The extra room allows for a bench at the foot of the king-sized bed and two chairs sitting next to the bed. The master suite is completed with a Jacuzzi tub and separate shower, once again in a different layout from the one and two bedroom villas. Also on the main level is a kitchen, dining room, laundry room, 2 closets, a bath with a shower, and a 2-story living room. The living room also has a table that would seat 4 as well as an entertainment armoire with a large flat screen TV, DVD player and surround sound.

Up the winding staircase to the top of the stairs is the smaller of the two up-stairs bedrooms. It has 2 double beds and a full private bath. The third bedroom is across an open walkway that allows you to look down into the entry-way or the living room. It has 2 queen beds and a full private bath. Our daughter, son-in-law, and Tink took this bedroom with our son graciously taking the “smaller” of the two up-stairs bedrooms. With all this space and the sleeper sofa in the living room you can sleep 12 in the GV. We had 5 adults and Tink.

The kitchen and dining room were wonderful for celebrating a First birthday. There were 2 high chairs in the dining room along with seating for 8 at the dining table. We hung streamers from the light and let Tink have a go at her Mickey Mouse head shaped cake. The adults had our cake from a much larger Mickey Mouse head shaped cake without the small hands and face in our cake.

We love staying at OKW. Love the atmosphere. Love the look. If you have something special you are celebrating, whether it is a First Birthday, or your next family gathering, if you are a DVC member I hope you can book a Grand Villa. If you are paying cash, bring a wheelbarrow full. The rack rate for a Grand Villa at OKW will cost you around $1500 per night with taxes.


  1. We were thinking of trying to book a Grand Villa for our next trip. How would 6 adults and 5 kids fit? The kids will be turning 6 just after we leave, 5.5, 4.5, turning 4 while there, and 18 months. I was thinking having 6 small children, the kitchen would be ideal for breakfasts and some lunches. Plus, I've always made my kids birthday cakes, so it would give me the opportunity to bake a cake for Emily rather than order one.

  2. I think your group would fit just fine in a Grand Villa. The kitchen is large enough you'd have plenty of room for an occasional meal and making a cake. We made Tink's two birthday cakes at our house and carried them 600 miles, but there would have been plenty of space for making one there.

  3. Beth, I think the GV would be perfect for your group. The kitchen was the largest we've seen at any DVC villa. There is also lots of open space throughout so you won't stepping on each other. 4 full baths would help get everyone ready in a reasonable time. Oh, and it's beeeeautiful.

  4. Ok, I'm convinced this is perfect for us, now to convince my family! :-) Emily will turn 4 while we are there and though I know we'll take her out for her birthday to a princess dinner or breakfast, I would feel guilty not making her a cake. Thanks you so much for the information!

  5. Beth, be sure to bring a baby monitor for the 18 month old.


Thanks so much for visiting us and reading this post. Please leave us a message because we love to hear your Disney stories and tips too!