In January, Disney Vacation Club began targeting runDisney fans, promising that their ownership week would specifically follow their racing event of choice. Newly-revealed details show exactly how much flexibility is offered to buyers selecting the Guaranteed Event Week purchase option.
Disney Vacation Club helped bring flexible, point-based timeshare systems into the mainstream. Nevertheless, they have also dabbled in fixed week ownership, allowing select buyers to secure their desired week, resort and villa size without the need to compete with fellow owners for reservations.
Dating back to 2009, DVC has also offered a Guaranteed Week purchase option at Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas, Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort, Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows and now Copper Creek Villas & Cabins. The option has never been a popular one, but some astutue owners have chosen to secure those guaranteed booking dates for high demand dates and resorts, particularly Standard View Studio rooms at the Grand Floridian and Polynesian during cheap fall dates.
This Guaranteed Week option requires buyers to purchase 10% more points than would normally be required for their stay. In return, the purchased week is automatically "reserved" before the dates open to other resort owners, and the buyer is promised immunity from any future point reallocations. Additionally, owners can opt-out of the Guaranteed Week and use their points to book any other resort or dates subject to the normal 11 / 7 month booking guidelines.
In early 2018, DVC put a new spin on this option with a "Guaranteed Event Week" aimed squarely at runDisney fans. Similar to the existing Guaranteed Week, the purchased resort & villa size would be automatically booked on an annual basis with zero competition at 11 months. However, the Guaranteed Event Week goes one step further by promising that the fixed week will follow one of four runDisney events including:
- Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna
- Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
- Star Wars™—The Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend
- Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend presented by MISFIT™
Lack of immediate clarity left owners wondering exactly how this would work. Would the week truly float with a specific runDisney event? How would Disney compensate for the less-than-ideal Sunday-to-Sunday week for its current Guaranteed Week product.
Language in the revised Home Resort Rules and Regulations clarifies the rights granted to Guaranteed Event Week owners (emphasis ours):
In addition, if a Club Member’s Fixed Ownership Interest includes a Special Event Right, so long as the special event dates occur, Member Services will automatically book that Club Member’s Guaranteed Reservation to include the special event. If the special event date changes, Member Services will attempt to book that Club Member’s Guaranteed Reservation to correspond with the special event date change, based on availability, unless advised otherwise by the Club Member.
Those who purchased a Guaranteed Event Week associated with the January Walt Disney World Marathon receive "Week 1" in fixed week timeshare terms. But if future dates for the Walt Disney World Marathon push that event to Week 2, Week 3 or even Week 52, DVC will modify the reservation to float with the event.
Normal Guaranteed Week reservations are required to run from Sunday to Sunday with no adjustment allowed. Guaranteed Week owners cannot shift their arrval or departure or drop dates from their fixed week without opting-out entirely. But Guaranteed Event Week owners can make such modifications (emphasis ours):
If the Club Member’s Guaranteed Reservation includes a special event reserved with a Special Event Right, the Club Member may modify the check in and check out date by removing dates within the Guaranteed Reservation. Guaranteed Reservations have a standard check in day of Sunday and a check out day of Sunday. However, the Guaranteed Reservation may be modified to change the check in day from Sunday to another day following the same week (the check in day cannot be moved to days of the previous week). For example, the Club Member may modify the check in day from Sunday to Wednesday by removing the first three days of the Guaranteed Reservation.
With most runDisney events taking-place across an entire weekend, Sunday arrivals and departures are less than ideal. As stated above, Guaranteed Event Week owners can drop days off the front of their week, arriving closer to the start of the runDisney events. But that's not all; they can also extend their trip on the back end (emphasis ours):
The Club Member may also modify the Guaranteed Reservation that includes a special event reserved with a Special Event Right, by removing days within the Guaranteed Reservation and then adding consecutive days to the week following the original Guaranteed Reservation dates. Guaranteed Reservations have a standard check in day of Sunday and a check out day of Sunday. For example, the Guaranteed Reservation may be modified to change the check in day from Sunday to Wednesday, and the check out day from the following Sunday to the following Wednesday, by adding consecutive days only to the week following the original Guaranteed Reservations dates.
And if that weren't enough, all of these modifications can be made before 11 month reservation rights open up to other owners at the resort:
For all modifications as outlined...above, all requested modifications need to occur every year prior to the applicable Home Resort Priority Period, otherwise requested changes will be subject to the Home Resort Priority Period and subject to availability.
To summarize, Guaranteed Event Week owners will see their reservation float with the annual runDisney event scheduling. They can choose any arrival date and any departure date, as long as they have sufficient points in the contract to cover the stay. And the arrangements can all be made before the accommodations are made available to other resort owners 11 months prior to arrival.
Ironcially, the documents also contain one bit of standard legalese which may someday defeat the purpose of the entire Guaranteed Event Week:
Club Members should not purchase a Fixed Ownership Interest with a Special Event Right in reliance on the continued occurrence of the special event.
So Disney Vacation Club is selling ownership which is guaranteed to float with a specific runDisney event, allowing for unprecedented flexibility in modifying that reservation, while simultaneously reminding buyers that they should not assume that the event will continue to occur.
The Guaranteed Event Week is only available at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. DVC sold at least 2 of these weeks during the recent Walt Disney World Marathon, one for a Deluxe Studio and the other a Two Bedroom villa. Presumably, DVC will continue to market this option at future runDisney events and--if successful--expand it to other properties as they become available.
RunDisney has already announced its schedule of events for 2018 and 2019, and the Wine & Dine Half-Marathon event is during the peak DVC time when accommodations fill up very quickly. Here is what has been announced so far:
- 2018 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend
February 22-25, 2018
- 2018 Star Wars Half Marathon-The Dark Side
April 19-22, 2018
- 2018 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend
November 1-4, 2018
- 2019 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
January 9-13, 2019
- 2019 Disney Princes Half Marathon Weekend
February 21-24, 2019
- Star Wars Half Marathon-The Dark Side
April 4-7, 2019