The Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is going through a 500-unit growth spurt. And the 16 year old Walt Disney Company owned time share firm is getting a more sophisticated and grownup look.
The expansion includes plans to add 50 two bedroom suites in Anaheim, California, as part of a 250 room 2009 expansion of the Disney Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
The expansion will also the first time share suites for the Orlando based Disney Vacation Club to be built at an existing Disney resort outside of Florida. The club currently has eight resorts: six at Walt Disney World; one at Hilton Head, S.C.; and another at Vero Beach.
Disney Vacation Club has doubled its membership in the last four years to 350,000 members from more than 100 countries and all 50 states, according to reliable sources .
Meanwhile, in early 2008, Disney is wrapping up its 109 unit Phase One at Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge, with another 340 suites in Phase Two set to open in spring 2009.
The new Animal Kingdom vacation suites range from 366 to 2,200 square feet. The largest unit, the Grand Villa, is themed with African artifacts and includes three bedrooms, four bathrooms, a kitchen, and even a game room with a pool table.
Animal Kingdom suites are situated in a truly unique game park setting. Balconies overlook the hotel savannas, where dozens of African animals wander about in a natural habitat.
Disney Vacation Club will have nearly 2,900 total suites when all current construction is complete.
Even more Vacation Club suites are on the way, but officials are not yet confirming when and where.
Next on the list may be a new north wing at the Disney World Contemporary Resort Hotel. If persistent rumors prove to be true, it will be the first time share resort on the monorail connecting both Epcot and the Magic Kingdom. Despite the rampant rumors, Disney Vacation Club officials will not confirm the information.
In August 2007, Disney opened a sales center for the timeshare club in the upscale Woodfield Mall, a suburban Chicago retail center. The new mall sales center is called Disney Doorway to Dreams and includes a two bedroom model of the Animal Kingdom suites at Disney World in Orlando.
There is also a more sophisticated, grownup look ahead for the Disney Vacation Club [http://www.edisneytimeshare.com] brand.
Look for a major shift in DVC graphics and artwork in 2008. The brand will reportedly move away from its traditional Disney character based pixie dust approach toward a more grownup brand theme emphasizing the worldwide travel opportunities available to Club members.
The brand graphics shift and repositioning is because, oddly enough, Mickey Mouse was not always considered the best approach when it came to time share sales. Tony Diehl, the timeshare Club sales manager, reportedly says that buyers cannot always make the connection between the animated icon and an actual real estate sale and closing. And DVC Vice President Lisa Becket says the club logo, made up of Florida palm trees, ocean waves, mountain peeks, and a Mickey head silhouette, does not tell the complete story.
The full Disney Vacation Club timeshares story is apparently more broad and grand than even the great Mickey Mouse can communicate.