In order to finish up the block of vacation day dreaming, if you are interested in where we have gone and what we have been able to accomplish using our Disney Vacation Club points and adventures after having our membership for coming up on five years in July, thought it would be interesting and provide insight as to where we have gone, what we did and how long we stayed there.
Our very first trip using our points occurred in January 2018 when we still only had 125 points to our name to see if the 125 points would be enough for us or if we wanted more. If you haven’t read our previous post, check it out and you will know the answer to that question. Regardless, we originally planned to stay in a Studio room (glorified hotel room with kitchenette) for 8 nights. There was a DVC perk though that if you were a DVC member staying on property (the on property part made things easier) they will occasionally (read maybe 2-4 times a year per park, at least in the before times of COVID, but I have heard that they are starting to bring this back) a members only party. This event was set to occur the day before we arrived. Therefore, we decided to see how much adrenaline we could get going and ride the time zone shift and booked an extra night the day before our original arrival at Saratoga Springs resort.
As an added perk, my parents were also staying on rented points (explained soon) in Saratoga Springs so we were able to bring them to the party with us as on our membership, we could bring up to four guests. This foray into Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom would be my first trip back to the park since October 15, 2011 when the Tropical Storm cruise mentioned in three posts back was referenced, see told you that was a pivotal point, hahaha, and the Dogfather’s first trip into the parks EVER. I was excite as this would be my first experience as a DVC member ourselves and excited to share and make memories. The only “Problem”…This event STARTED at 10 pm and ran to 1 am. My parents are on the older side and while they appreciated the party, did not appreciate the late hour. Regardless, we get to the park and watch the new firework show, Happily Ever After on the bridge to Tomorrow Land and the park begins to empty to those persons who only have special wrist bands indicating that we registered for our event. The evening is a huge success as anyone who knows the parks can and will get crowded. To be able to have the Dogfather experience Disney’s Magic Kingdom for the first time ever with less people, low wait times, etc-it was absolutely perfect.
My parents lasted until around midnight which was an admirable achievement for them and we shut down the park. At 1 am, we worked our way back to the buses and our room and crashed hard in our bed. The remaining portion of the trip was similar in the essence that it was important to me to have as many in park experiences with my parents as possible knowing full well that it could be one of their last times going into the parks. We would spend the mornings with them and around noon daily, they would retreat back to their resort and enjoy the rest of their day in peace as we walked more than a half marathon daily. Some of my favorite memories from that trip include convincing my mother to go on Flight of Passage with us. My Father loved it, she said she would never trust me again, Tower of Terror, with the father, she stopped trusting me at this point remember, and my mother yelling at us for rocking the car in the mine section of the Seven Dwarves Mine Train. We thought it was hilarious.
There true are so many more memories that we were able to gain from this trip and the Dogfather saw the value of the vacation club. With his blessing, in May of 2018, we added the 175 points. We knew that we wanted to take two trips using our points within a year and purchased Annual Passes to save some money but also wanted to start creating memories and spend vacation time with our families. Therefore in December of 2018, we planned our first trip to our home resort of Copper Creek. We decided to book a one bedroom villa and invited the Dogfather’s sisters to join us as the room slept four and neither of them had ever been to Walt Disney World either.
As we went in December, we had the privilege of booking early with home resort preference at one of the prime Christmas decorated hotels, Copper Creek at Wilderness lodge. The younger sister and owner of Pancake Flats (see our early posts from January / February 2022)fully embraced the trip donning Mickey ears, meeting and greeting her favorite character of Stitch and as she was not 21 at the time, yearning for the day she could drink around the world at EPCOT. For our time in the one bedroom, we ordered InstaCart groceries and worked our time hard and fast as they “wanted to experience everything”.
HAHAHAHAHA…that’s just not possible in the eight nights that we were going to be there. Eight nights is going to be a trend that you will see that we do as to travel most economically we have to drive for 4-5 hours from Wyoming to Denver to catch a flight to wherever from Denver. As the Dogfather works 10 hour days, that means he doesn’t “have” to work Fridays so we use that as a travel day down and then we typically return the following Saturday to have a travel recovery day on Sunday prior to returning to work.
Regardless, the trip was successful and Pancake Flats Sister turned 21 in the middle of the COVID Shenanigans and we haven’t been able to make a trip down for her again yet. We did as much as we could showing the two of them the basics of the four parks and scheduling their fast passes for them early in the day, but halfway through the trip, we left them to their own devices. This trip however we did as their Christmas presents got them passes to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party which allowed them to enjoy the park with a lower capacity like the Dogfather had experienced. In addition to that experience with them, the Dogfather and I wanted to be sure and have something for us to remember also so we booked an After Hours party for just the two of us and established so many awesome memories and started some of our own traditions as well.
The next trip we took on our points was intended to be a trip with the Dog Grandfather and we booked a 2 bedroom villa at Copper Creek again at the end of May / first of June 2019 and coordinated to go with The Dogfather’s older brother, and his family as well. Again, this would be a trip of firsts as we understood it and were ecstatic to share the knowledge we had and the experiences we had with them. Unfortunately, the Dog Grandfather had to back out and instead it was a trip with just Older Brother and family. This trip was so fun and memorable for us as on this trip we would have younger kids with us in the range of a new birthday four year old to an almost 10 year old.
In this trip in our two bedroom we like every trip before it, took everyone up to the Top of the World lounge for the seven layer cake and fireworks as we had been taken for the first time 2 years before at this junction in time. It appeased our guest so much that we went back for seconds and we might have even coordinated a third trip. On this vacation, I loved our fancy dinner to Ohana at the Polynesian Village Resort that we had and the Boys varying reactions to rides. This trip we slowed down in comparison to previous adventures and spent several afternoons in the pool at the lodge and the slides were thoroughly enjoyed. Meals at Geyser Point with adult beverages were had and we considered ourselves so lucky to be able to have created these memories for ourselves, taken much needed vacation time off and be able to create memories for and with our families.
But that’s only our first three trips, we’ve taken three others on our points and are about to embark on our seventh in the very near future!