If you thought that Disney resorts gave you an up close and personal experience with the theme parks before, consider the new timeshares that just opened and those that will follow closely this year. For example, at the as-yet unopened Bay Lake Tower at Walt Disney World in Florida, several of the brand-new time shares offer a completely unblocked view of Cinderella’s Castle and the nightly fireworks show that takes place there. All of this is according to Orlando Sentinel writer Jason Garcia, who announced the opening of the Treehouse Villas at the Saratoga Springs resort in Orlando, Florida on TheLedger.com.
But Disney isn’t stopping there. In a financially ambitious move, the company is also opening 50 more time-shares in Anaheim, California at a later date this year next to Disneyland. This is all part of the Disney Vacation Club, which includes all of Disney’s time shares. In the past, these time shares have accounted for 10% of Disney’s total annual profit. In this year’s second quarter, the Vacation Club has sold no mortgages for its time shares.
That’s a sharp drop and it could be the sound of the recession hitting the Walt Disney company.
However, according to Garcia, “A spokeswoman for Disney Vacation Club would not discuss the unit’s performance. But Disney executives do not appear overly concerned: Disney Co. Chief Financial Officer Tom Staggs recently said the company was “pleased with the pace of sales” at Vacation Club, despite the falling revenue.”
If confidence seems high, part of that may be due to Disney’s company philosophy. The Disney Vacation Club website talks up their time-share experience rather heavily. Disney advertises it’s Vacation Club as, “So much more than a time-share, a Disney Vacation Club Membership is a unique vacation ownership program that gives you a whole world of vacation opportunities every time you’re ready to travel. And you’ll collect the most valuable souvenirs of all – countless cherished memories.
As a Disney Vacation Club Member, you’ll have the choice of where to go and when to go, year after year. And you’ll enjoy the comfort of knowing that your Membership is an incredible value. Discover what over 100,000 families already know – a Membership in Disney Vacation Club gives you a lifetime of vacation dreams.”
The new time shares that are opening can be divided up into three resort categories. The first is Kidani Village, which has an African theme. The Treehouse Villas are situated on stilts in the Florida wetlands. By the look of the resort from a picture accompanying the story, the structure looks like something right out of Disney’s animated, “Tarzan” film. Bay Lake Tower is just that, a high-rise tower 15 stories high that is close to Disney’s contemporary resort located closest to the Magic Kingdom. This is a more traditional time-share building structure, and not only is it more traditional in appearance, but you can see many similar time-share type buildings dotted all over the Florida map. Some of the suites in the above mentioned resorts tout giant views of their surroundings, some even containing two-story windows.
Will Disney succeed in its new time-share ventures or is the economy too unstable to support all the new construction? Time will tell, until then would you consider purchasing one of these time-shares?