Defining DVC Booking Categories
When you check availability for DVC villas, you’ll notice that there are not only options for room size but also booking categories. They can be related to views, location, or amenities, but sometimes their meanings are not intuitive.
Here’s a look at the different categories across the resorts and what they mean. Note that the Beach Club, Boulder Ridge, Hilton Head, and the Grand Californian are omitted from this list since they do not offer different booking categories.
Animal Kingdom Villas
Animal Kingdom Villas has two buildings: Jambo House and Kidani Village. Both buildings have Standard View (parking lot, pool, or landscaping views) and Savanna View villas that allow you to see animals from your balcony.
However, Jambo House has two additional categories: Value and Kilimanjaro Club Concierge. Value rooms are slightly smaller than their Standard counterparts but have an incredible point savings with Deluxe Studios available for as little as 7 points a night. As the name implies, Kilimanjaro Club Concierge gives you access to concierge services and the club level amenities like drinks and light bites.
Aulani has four different booking categories: Standard, Island Garden View, Poolside Garden View, and Ocean View. Standard View is the lowest in point value and has views of the parking lot, garage, or conference center. The Island Garden View is slightly higher in point value and has views of the mountains, landscaping, or spa. The Poolside Garden View has pool views and is the second most expensive category in terms of point value. Finally, the Ocean View costs the most points and has at least a partial view of the ocean.
Note that the Hotel Rooms are all Standard View, and the Three Bedroom Grand Villas are either Standard or Ocean View.
Bay Lake Tower
Bay Lake Tower is most known for its Theme Park View category that has views of the Magic Kingdom, but it also offers Standard and Lake Views. Standard View is located on the first five floors, and most have views of the parking lot though some have a partial view of the Magic Kingdom. The Lake View category includes the villas that face the beautiful Bay Lake, some of which also have partial theme park views. Lake View has the most inventory out of any of the booking categories at Bay Lake Tower.
At the BoardWalk, the booking categories relate to views. Standard is typically the front of the resort by the porte-cochère and parking lots. You may even have a view of the Skyliner turning station. However, the tradeoff is that these rooms are low in point value and a great bang for your buck.
The Boardwalk View is the best view category. It gives a perfect view of the lively boardwalk, which is especially beautiful at night. You’ll even get a glimpse of EPCOT fireworks from some of them.
The Garden/Pool View is the same point value as the Boardwalk View but faces either the waterway leading to Hollywood Studios, landscaping, or the pool. The benefit of this view is that it has the most inventory, so you have a better chance of booking at the BoardWalk if you choose this category.
There is only one room type that has a separate category, and that is the Deluxe Studio. You’ll see that there is the Deluxe Studio with Walk-in Shower or Deluxe Studio. The Deluxe Studio has a tub/shower combo whereas the Deluxe Studio with Walk-in Shower has a walk-in shower, as the name implies. The rest of the room remains the same, as is the point value. It may be a small difference, but most families with young children will prefer the Deluxe Studio for the tub.
Old Key West
At Old Key West, you can either book Standard or Near Hospitality House. Hospitality House is the lobby building at the resort. If you prefer to be walking distance from the amenities like dining and shopping, Near Hospitality House is where you want to be. This includes Buildings 11 to 14 and 23 to 26. It doesn’t cost any additional points compared to Standard, but it does book up more quickly than Standard.
If you book Standard but want to be as close as possible to Hospitality House, Buildings 15, 16, and 62-64 are your best bets. Buildings 62-64 are also the only buildings within Old Key West that have elevators.
Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
Currently at the Polynesian, there are Standard and Lake View Deluxe Studios. (All of the Bungalows are Lake View.) All of the Lake View studios are in the Moorea longhouse and face the Seven Seas Lagoon. Some of these studios have a decent view of the Magic Kingdom too! Standard View studios are in the Tokelau, Pago Pago, and Moorea longhouses and mostly have views of the resort grounds.
It will be interesting to see what the booking categories will be for the new tower at the Polynesian.
There are two booking categories at Riviera: Standard and Preferred. Here, the categories refer to views rather than location. These categories are applicable to all room types except Tower Studios and the Three Bedroom Grand Villas. Preferred has pretty views of the water and pools. Standard typically faces the parking lot. However, some Standard View rooms face towards EPCOT and have views of the fireworks off in the distance at night! They are also lower in point value, which can make them more popular than Preferred View rooms.
Saratoga Springs is made up of several different sections. Two are the Preferred category while the others are Standard. In this case, Preferred refers to the location rather than the view. The Preferred sections are The Springs and Congress Park. The Springs is closest to the Carriage House (lobby and dining), and Congress Park is closest to the walkway to Disney Springs. The rest of the resort is Standard and includes the following sections: The Carousel, The Grandstand, and The Paddock. The Treehouses are in their own section of the resort grounds.
Here, the only room type that offers booking categories is the Deluxe Inn Room. The Deluxe Inn Room is essentially a typical hotel room set up with two Queen Size Beds. You can choose between Standard View (views of the garden, resort grounds, or parking lot) and Ocean View (views of the Atlantic) for the Inn Room.
Villas at Disneyland Hotel
The latest DVC resort offers Standard and Preferred Views for Duo Studios, Deluxe Studios, One Bedroom Villas, and Two Bedroom Villas. Three Bedroom Grand Villas are all Preferred Views. Standard Views are the local neighborhood or parking areas while Preferred Views have at least a partial view of the pool area, interior resort areas, or landscaping.
For Duo Studios and Deluxe Studios, there is a separate category called Garden Rooms. These are located in a separate building by the pool and have patios or balconies, which aren’t available in the Standard and Preferred Duo and Deluxe Studios in the main Discovery Tower.
Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian
There are two DVC buildings at the Grand Floridian. The original one has two booking categories: Standard View and Lake View. Lake View rooms have a view of the Seven Seas Lagoon, and you’ll often be able to see the Polynesian across the way or the Disney’s Wedding Pavilion. All of the Three Bedroom Grand Villas are Lake View. Standard View usually has a view of the resort grounds, but you can catch a view of the monorail from quite a few of them!
The newest DVC building at the Grand Floridian is Big Pine Key. This is where you’ll find all of the Resort Studios. Within this building are Standard, Lagoon, and Theme Park Views. Standard View provides a view of the resort grounds and landscaping while Lagoon is essentially the same as Lake View–views of the Seven Seas Lagoon. Theme Park View provides views of the Magic Kingdom!