Posted on June 04, 2021
Disney has been in the news quite a bit lately, with announcements regarding the Disney Vacation Club timeshare offerings at the Grand Floridian among other DVC news.
Consumers looking to buy Disney timeshare at the Grand Floridian will have some new options as DVC will be turning 200 hotel rooms into deluxe studio timeshare units to be sold into the Disney Vacation Club. The new units are expected to be unveiled next summer.
The units are located in the Big Pine Key building at the resort complex and will accommodation up to five people per unit. Disney currently has 100 DVC units at the Grand Floridian, so this will significantly expand the timeshare presence at the resort.
One important point mentioned in the Disney announcement stipulated that the redeveloped units will be part of the current Grand Floridian condominium association. Speculation has run rampant online wondering if any restrictions will be placed onto the new timeshare units similar to what was done with Disney's Riviera Resort, where resale restrictions were put into place. Because Disney announced the units as part of the existing association, this could indicate that the new timeshares will be grafted into the current structure rather than involving new restrictions. An excellent explanation can be found on the DVC Fan blog page.
Speculation has also begun regarding the price of the new timeshare units at Grand Floridian, since the resort had previously been given sold-out status. With the new offerings will also come new prices as Disney ramps up its sales team to market the new points packages attached to the resort.
The latest Grand Floridian rates were going for $255 per point, which is not only significantly higher than the $201 base price at other DVC resorts, but a major difference compared to discounted DVC resale prices. The new units are expected to have the same expiration date of January 2064, so owners would be much better off looking for resales than buying direct from Disney, especially if there are no resale restrictions placed on the new points packages.
One DVC timeshare resort which has already seen a price increase is Disney Saratoga Springs, with prices reportedly jumping from $165 to $180 per point. Even with marketing incentives, the new sale prices can’t really compare to the $100-$125 per point found on the resale market. Buyers need to do their research or call a licensed timeshare broker to see what deals are on the market.
Disney fans have speculated that Disney World recently lifted its capacity limits, allowing more guests into their theme parks around the same time temperature checks were discontinued and outdoor mask wearing became optional. Now, Disneyland has announced it will begin receiving guests from out of California beginning June 15.
Disneyland has only been allowing California residents into the theme park since its reopening in late April. Prebooking park entry tickets is still necessary and COVID protocols will remain in place such as wearing masks and social distancing requirements.
The new policies come following renewed optimism from Disney CEO Bob Chapek, who expressed during a virtual session at JPMorgan’s virtual tech-and-media conference that he expects Disney theme parks across the country to return to full capacity by September. He confirmed that the parks have begun increasing capacity limits but are still working through changes to COVID protocols.
Hilton Grand Vacations has opened its latest timeshare resort in the historic town of Charleston, South Carolina. Liberty Place Charleston by Hilton Club offers 100 timeshare units ranging from studio to one- and two-bedroom configurations. Multi-room units will feature full kitchens, living room, dining area, and flat panel TVs with select units featuring balconies.
Among the resort amenities on offer are an owner’s lounge, fitness center, outdoor second floor terrace for gathering with friends and a lobby bar.
The resort is called Liberty Place because it is located near the traditional spot of the Liberty Tree, where the Declaration of Independence was read aloud to the residents of Charleston on August 5th, 1776. Guests can walk to The Battery and other historic downtown sites, shops, bars, and dining locations.
Another indicator of the rebound of the timeshare market is seen in rising occupancy rates for Marriott timeshare operator Marriot Vacation Club. Occupancy rates during the first quarter of the year were reportedly in the mid-80% bracket, highlighted by beach resorts in Florida, South Carolina timeshares and ski destinations Colorado and Utah.
Marriott timeshare resorts in Orlando also saw a lift, with occupancy rates for the quarter around 60% led by a late quarter surge of 75% in March. As a comparison, hotel occupancy rates in the metro Orlando region for the first quarter stood at 45.4%, once again showing the resiliency of timeshares.
Las Vegas businesses are fully operational with the lifting of all COVID-related restrictions as of June 1. Las Vegas timeshare owners can now return without the need to wear a mask or socially distance, as businesses can revert to full capacity levels.
Even casinos have begun to dismantle the plexiglass barriers that have become a symbol of the COVID era. Private businesses can still retain whichever protocols they choose if they feel as though restrictions are still needed – it is just not being mandated by the state or local government. Patrons at some facilities such as hospitals, airports and forms of public transport are still required to wear masks, and visitors can still wear masks in public venues if they choose.
The local ordinance states that vaccinated people no longer need to abide by the requirements, as local officials have pointed to the high vaccination rates among residents as the reason for the lifting of restrictions. However, there is no stated requirement for businesses to check guest vaccination status, so it appears that anyone can visit without wearing masks or social distancing regardless of vaccination status.
Officials in Puerto Rico have altered entry requirements, with fully vaccinated visitors from the U.S. now able to arrive on the island without the need to provide a negative COVID test. Vaccinated visitors must upload their vaccination card to avoid testing, while non-vaccinated and all international arrivals must provide a negative COVID test prior to entering the island.
No quarantine requirement is in place for vaccinated travelers or visitors showing a negative test prior to arrival. Since Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, the island is a popular spot for Puerto Rico timeshare accommodations because no passports are required for American citizens and residents – who are also not required to take a COVID test prior to returning to the U.S.