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New Disney Timeshares at Grand Floridian and More DVC News

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Posted on July 01, 2022

Disney has announced a few changes recently that not only impact the Disney World Resort overall but also have a bearing on Disney Vacation Club owners as well. As we all know, any changes or announcements The Mouse makes has a flow-on effect for Disney timeshare owners, whether it be new additions to the DVC offerings, upgraded amenities or Disney-centric events that keep bringing back fans every year.

Over 200 New DVC Studio Villas added to Grand Floridian

This is the biggest announcement from the past few days, as DVC has opened new studio units in the Big Pine Key building at Grand Floridian Resort. These are units which were former hotel rooms that have been converted into Disney timeshare units.

The new resort studio units are in keeping with the Victorian theme of the resort, with touches of Mary Poppins included in the décor.

One question in the lead up to the announcement was whether these units would be included in the existing HOA for Grand Floridian or a new association. The good news for existing DVC points owners is that the units are part of the existing condo association so they can be booked using points, with Disney currently selling points for these new units.  

Grand Floridian points owners can book 11 months prior to their requested travel dates, while other Disney points owners can book seven months out.

Grand Floridian Resort

Top of the World Lounge at Disney’s Contemporary Resort to Reopen

One of the best places to watch the nightly fireworks at Disney World has traditionally been the Top of the World Lounge at the Contemporary Resort. The rooftop lounge has been closed for renovations since 2020 but will reopen on July 11.

The new name for the lounge will be Top of the World Lounge — A Villains Lair, with a theme based on the famous villains from Disney’s iconic films.

What is unclear at present is whether members who purchased DVC resale points will be able to enter the lounge. Members who purchased directly through Disney will be able to enjoy the lounge, as will guests at any Disney World hotel, but what about members who own a combination of direct and resale points?

Presuming that Disney hotel or rental guests will need to present a room key to enter, DVC owners could possibly do the same unless entry status is monitored by MagicBands. You may want to contact Disney for more information.

The lounge will open at 6pm until midnight most nights unless preempted by blackout dates or private events.

fireworks over Disney Castle

Minnie Van Service Returns to Walt Disney World Resort

The Minnie Van service, those red and white polka dot vans that zoom around Disney World, are back. The service was suspended in March 2020 when Disney shut down due to the pandemic but restarted on June 29.

Accessible through Lyft and considered a ride-share service, prices vary depending on the destination. The vans or SUVs that are part of the service are driven by Disney cast members and include two child car seats in the back of the cars.

The service is considered a point-to-point service and Disney gives privileged access to the cars in some areas that they may not allow private cars or other ride-share services.

EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival is Back

It seems like there is always some type of themed event happening at EPCOT, and the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival is one of the best. Originally presented as a Fall event to fill the downtime between Labor Day and Halloween, the event dates have gradually been extended every year.

This year’s version will kick off on July 14 and run through November 19, featuring 25 food and wine booths with fare from countries like Australia, Belgium and Brazil to complement the permanent residents such as England, Germany, France, Mexico and Japan.

pub sign at EPCOT

Victoria & Albert’s Set to Reopen

Fans of The Grand Floridian have even more to celebrate with the anticipated reopening of the award-winning restaurant Victoria & Albert’s – scheduled to open to patrons again on July 28.

The AAA Five Diamond fine dining restaurant will debut a renovated dining room, as Disney took the opportunity to update the Victorian-style setting with new murals and wall coverings

Reservations are available online through Disney and remember the dress code is semiformal to formal.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Returns for 2022

Christmas is coming back to the Magic Kingdom with the return of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The long-standing event was replaced by last year’s Very Merriest After Hours as Disney emerged from COVID, but planners have wisely decided to go back to this fan favorite.

The special ticketed event will take place across 24 nights between November 8 through December 22, with special holiday music and themed dance performances combining with techno effects and a new Christmastime fireworks show.

As you would expect, Santa Claus will join Mickey Mouse and his friends for “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” in true Disney style. Other holiday highlights across the Disney parks include EPCOT’s Candlelight Processional, Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Merry Menagerie and snowfall at Disney Springs.