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Monday, January 11, 2016

Disney woos DVC members, much to the dismay of annual pass holders

Posted By on Mon, Jan 11, 2016 at 10:26 AM

  • Photo via m_quinones_ vacation on Instagram
The Disney Vacation Club, the in-house timeshare company at Disney, is turning 25 years old this year. 

To help celebrate the 25th anniversary (or more likely, to help sell more of those DVC points), Disney is rolling out a number of special limited-time features for DVC members. While most of the new benefits are standard for such events, like discounted tickets and specialty pins/merchandise, a few perks have been getting plenty of attention.

By far the most talked-about new perk is an in-park lounge at Epcot for DVC members. The new lounge will be located in the former second floor ImageWorks inside the Imagination Pavilion in Future World. The new pavilion will feature large seating areas, Wi-Fi, complimentary soft drinks, charging stations, computer access with printers and member services advisers. Sadly, the new lounge does not include a revival of the old Rainbow Tunnel.

This will be the first major use of the space since the Imagination pavilion saw a redo in 1999. Over the years, the space has been used for special events, storage, and as a popular backstage area for adventurous guests to roam.

The new lounge is similar to ones recently unveiled at SeaWorld Parks. Those lounges, which also feature free soft drinks, Wi-Fi and member advisers, are for annual pass-holders. Some have complained that Disney is increasing the benefits DVC members enjoy, while lowering the benefits the more frequent annual pass-holding members receive. The shift seems to be par for the course at WDW, which lately has shifted some of its focus from securing locals to prop up the slower times and instead focusing on high-income (and higher-spending) out-of-town guests.

Other benefits for DVC members this year include after-hours parties at the Magic Kingdom and Typhoon Lagoon, plus exclusive events at Animal Kingdom and Epcot later in the year. 

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