Last year when we bought our house in the suburbs, I convinced my hubby that buying a piece of Disney would make my transition from urban to suburban life more bearable.
I have been researching the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) ever since we took our kids on their first trip to Disneyland. I kept wondering who those weirdos (no offense, I’m a weirdo too) were at the many booths throughout the parks, but my first instinct whenever someone tries to sell something is always to walk away. When we got home from a great vacation, I went online to find out how to keep the magic coming… subsequently becoming enthralled with DVC.
In case you didn’t know, I am a bit obsessive when it comes to researching something I’ve taken a shine to. I obsessively combed the internet for information on DVC for years, but never had the money to buy in until we sold our home in the city. We bought a small contract on the secondary market for Animal Kingdom Lodge thanks to Bee at Buy and Sell DVC.
Just like that, I was planning Disney vacations for many years to come.
Our first trip as DVC members will be to Aulani, Disney’s gorgeous resort in Hawaii. With our small contract, I used almost three years of points to get an island view villa. It will have all the comforts of home with a full kitchen and a washer dryer for laundry.
As timeshare owners, you really need to plan far in advance to get the vacation you want. In the case of Disney Vacation Club, you get to book your home resort 11 months before your travel date. If you want to switch to another resort, you need to wait until seven months before travel dates to book your vacation.
That means I’ve been planning this week in Hawaii for a full seven months. I booked our flights, booked dining reservations, and booked Aunty’s Beach House activities.
But there are several activites that I want to do, but haven’t booked for just one reason. My chronic illness is unpredictable and I honestly don’t know what I’ll be able to accomplish once I’m in Hawaii.
For example, I would love to go on one of the many tours at the Kualoa Ranch, but the movie tour that I would like to book is 90 minutes long. When you suffer from arthritis and IBD, sitting in a bus for that long really brings up feelings of anxiety. Will my spine be able to handle sitting still for that long? What happens if I get a sudden flare and need to use the washroom ASAP, but we’re in the middle of nowhere on a bus? And I have to worry about all of this while in the company of three energetic and constantly jabbering children. This especially applies my two littles, who are forever attached to my hips. But traveling with children is another post for another day.
These are questions I need answers to before I can put any money up. I have to check cancellation policies carefully, or I have to hope that there will still be spots available at the last minute if I’m having a good day. I’m considering finally getting a medical ID in case of any trouble when I’m far from home. I have to make sure I have all the medications that I will need and all of the documentation necessary to bring them on the trip.
So my research continues, but the growing number of limitations due to the progression of my illness is mildly discouraging. In any case, I’ll make it the best trip that I can for my kids and husband, and if there are things I need to sit out on, then so be it.
No matter what my challenges are, I would rather be sick and chilling in a fancy Disney villa in Hawaii than sick and doing my regular routine at home!
Watch out Aulani! My crazy family is heading your way!