The 7-Month Switch: a Look at Availability when Modifying Resort Reservations

Part of the fun of DVC is the ability to book different resorts.  While many people buy where they want to stay, it is still great to try the other resorts since each has its own unique theme and feel.  The advice our DVC guide gave was to book our home resort and then modify at the 7-month mark if we feel like trying something new. This way, you have a room reserved somewhere.  Of course, the skeptic in me was well aware that DVC guides are salespeople, and I questioned how easy it would be to switch resorts. My fiancé and I purchased where we loved staying, so we would be happy to be stuck at our home resort (Boardwalk Villas), but just out of curiosity I wanted to put the 7-month switch to the test.  

I conducted my little test at the end of July, which means that I was at the 7-month mark for the end of February.  I kept my search broad and included all resorts in WDW and all room types for a 1-week stay (February 29, 2020 through March 6, 2020).  It’s also important to note that I did not search at 8am, so those of you who are prompt may have better results.  

Here’s what I found:

Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House

Studio

Standard View and Savanna View Studios had full availability while the Value Accomodation Studio had 2 nights available.  The Kilimanjaro Club Concierge Studio was waitlist only.  

1-Bedroom

Standard View and Savanna View 1-Bedroom Villas had full availability.  Only 4 nights were available for the Kilimanjaro Club Concierge 1-Bedroom Villa and 3 nights at the 1-Bedroom Value Accommodation.

2-Bedroom

Standard View and Savanna View 2-Bedroom Villas had full availability.  However, the Value Accommodation and Kilimanjaro Club Concierge 2-Bedroom Villas were waitlist only.

3-Bedroom

The Savanna View 3-Bedroom Grand Villa had full availability. 

Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village

Kidani Village had full availability for every room type and view (Standard and Savanna).  This included Studio, 1-Bedroom, 2-Bedroom, and 3-Bedroom Villas.

Bay Lake Tower

Studio

The Lake View Studio had full availability.  However, the Theme Park View Studio only had 5 nights, and the Standard View only had 4 nights.

1-Bedroom

The Standard View 1-Bedroom Villa had full availability as did the Lake View and Theme Park View 1-Bedroom Villas.

2-Bedroom

The Lake View and Theme Park View 2-Bedroom Villas had full availability.  However, the Theme Park View 2-Bedroom Lock-Off Villas had only 5 nights available.  Any of the Standard View 2-Bedroom Villas only had 4 nights available.  

3-Bedroom

The Lake View and Theme Park View 3-Bedroom Villas had full availability.

Beach Club Villas

Studio

The Studio had 4 nights available.

1-Bedroom

The 1-Bedroom Villa had full availability.

2-Bedroom

The 2-Bedroom Villa had full availability while the 2-Bedroom Lock-Off Villa had 4 nights available.  

Boardwalk Villas

Studio

None of the Studios had full availability.  Only 1 night was available for a Standard View Studio and the Boardwalk View Studio.  Four nights were available in a Garden/Pool View one.

1-Bedroom

Surprisingly, you could still get a Standard View 1-Bedroom Villa for the full week, and the Garden/Pool View was also available for the week.  The Boardwalk View was available for only 5 of the nights that week.  

2-Bedroom

The Garden/Pool View was available for 4 nights while the Boardwalk and Standard Views were only available for 1 night each.  

3-Bedroom

The Boardwalk View 3-Bedroom Villa had full availability.

Boulder Ridge Villas

Studio

The Studio only had 2 nights available. 

1-Bedroom

The 1-Bedroom Villa had full availability.

2-Bedroom

The 2-Bedroom Villa had full availability, and the 2-Bedroom Lock-Off Villa had 2 nights available.  

Copper Creek

Studio

Both the Studio and Studio with Walk-In Shower only had 1 night available.  

1-Bedroom

The 1-Bedroom Villa had full availability. 

2-Bedroom

The 2-Bedroom Villa had full availability.  The 2-Bedroom Lock-Off Villa and the one with the Walk-in Shower both had only 1 night available.

3-Bedroom

The 3-Bedroom Grand Villa had full availability. 

Cabin

The Cabin had full availability.

Old Key West

Studio

Standard Studios and those near Hospitality House had full availability.

1-Bedroom

Standard 1-Bedroom Villas and those near Hospitality House had full availability.  

2-Bedroom

Standard 2-Bedroom Villas and those near Hospitality House had full availability.

3-Bedroom

Standard 3-Bedroom Grand Villas had full availability, but those near Hospitality House were waitlist only.

Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

Studio

 Standard View and Lake View Studios had full availability.

Bungalow

The Bungalow had full availability. 

Riviera Resort

Studio

The Preferred View Deluxe Studio had 5 nights available while the Tower Studio and Standard View Deluxe Studio had 4 nights available.  

1-Bedroom

Standard and Preferred View 1-Bedroom Villas had full availability.  

2-Bedroom

Standard and Preferred View 2-Bedroom Villas had full availability.  The Preferred View 2-Bedroom Lock-Off Villa had 5 nights available. The Standard View 2-Bedroom Lock-Off Villa had 4 nights available.

3-Bedroom

The 3-Bedroom Grand Villa had full availability. 

Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Springs had full availability for every room type and view (Preferred and Standard), including Studio, 1-Bedroom, 2-Bedroom, and 3-Bedroom Villas as well as the Treehouse Villa.

Villas at the Grand Floridian

Studio

The Standard View Studio only had 5 nights available while the Lake View Studio had 2 nights.

1-Bedroom

Standard and Lake View 1-Bedroom Villas had full availability.

2-Bedroom

Standard and Lake View 2-Bedroom Villas had full availability.  The Standard View 2-Bedroom Lock-Off Villa only had 5 nights available, and the Lake View 2-Bedroom Lock-Off Villa only had 2 nights available.  

3-Bedroom

The Lake View 3-Bedroom Grand Villa had full availability.

Overall, it is possible to switch to another resort though you may need to be flexible about the number of days, view, or resort.  Switching at 7 months is a bit hit or miss for Studios depending on the view and resort since they seem to be in higher demand than the other room types.  For 1-Bedrooms, 2-Bedrooms, and 3-Bedrooms, switching may be less difficult except for the 2-Bedroom Lock-Offs since their availability is subject to the availability of studios.   

It’s important to note that this was a test for a specific time period: the end of February into early March.  This time period can be easier to book compared to other times of the year, especially September through January.  For a much more detailed look at availability for Studios and 1-Bedrooms, be sure to check out Skier Pete’s incredibly informative  “Predicted DVC booking patterns” thread on the DIS boards.

What has been your experience with the 7-month switch?  Have you scored any coveted rooms at 7 months?

11 thoughts on “The 7-Month Switch: a Look at Availability when Modifying Resort Reservations

    • August 16, 2019 at 4:05 pm
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      Thanks, George! I truly was curious to see what I’d find. I also learned to just keep checking. People change plans all the time, so you never know what you may find!

      Reply
  • August 16, 2019 at 2:45 pm
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    Well, you had much better luck than I have had. I normally schedule in either Oct., Nov., or early Dec. outside of the holidays. In the last three years, I have not been able to get into any DVC resort except for my home resort. Out of curiosity, I tried making the same reservations on the cash/hotel side at the same resorts and guess what? I was able to get into any DVC resort I wanted. I really was not supprised.

    Reply
    • August 16, 2019 at 4:04 pm
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      The fall through early December is probably one of the hardest times to book anywhere since it’s so popular between low points and the holiday decorations. Unfortunately, the hotel sides are completely separate, so the availability isn’t the same. Hopefully you’ll have better luck next time!

      Reply
  • August 16, 2019 at 5:18 pm
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    You have to be careful to watch your use year, because if you borrow points from next year, and book for this use year, you cannot switch to anything in the next year! You may have a very hard time finding anything before your year ends, or you lose points

    Reply
  • August 16, 2019 at 8:35 pm
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    We often go in summer and have gone in early December and usually get the switch out we want. I think only once or twice got our second choice. The availability you found was amazing. Can’t do much better than that! You can’t go wrong with DVC rooms anywhere any way.

    Reply
    • May 7, 2020 at 3:46 pm
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      The availability above is a little misleading. I am quite confident that the studios that showed ‘4 days’ and ‘2 days’ available, are not actually available. Usually, when the resort shows availabilty of less than your requested days, the start day is further out then the 7 month booking date. For example, if today is May 7th, I can book anywhere starting December 7th. When I look at availability, Boardwalk, for example, has 4 of my 7 dates available, but the first of the 4 dates is December 11th. I cannot book starting December 11th until May 11th – and trust me, by the time the 11th of May comes, those dates will be gone too. There are simply too many points for other locations that are being used at WDW resorts and thus, it will be hard to book a non-home resort in the 7-month window. You are best to find DVC members you can trade points with at the 11-month mark.

      Reply
  • August 20, 2019 at 8:57 pm
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    I’ll be paying close attention to the 7-month booking process at Riviera during Food & Wine next year. We’re planning a split stay in the fall of ’21, one week at AKV which is one of my home resorts and another week at Riviera, not a home. I’m hoping for standard view at Riviera but would be ok with preferred.

    Depending on next year’s booking patterns, I may have to do the dreaded and controversial walk.

    Reply
  • October 31, 2019 at 8:39 am
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    This was super helpful! So if I want a Boardwalk studio I should be booking 11 months out then??
    I can book through my Uncle’s DVC but that’s not their home resort.

    Reply
    • May 7, 2020 at 3:38 pm
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      Your Uncle can only book at his home resort 11 months out. If Boardwalk is not the home resort, you would need to wait until the 7 month window. Sadly, due to Alauni and the cabins at Copper Creek, and the Polynesian, there are a lot more points in the pool vying for other spots. The Alauni resort in Hawaii accounts for 11,000,000 points in the system, but the owners (for the most part) are not using their points there year-after-year. This becomes problematic as those points are now competing to book rooms at WDW resorts.

      Reply
      • July 7, 2020 at 3:54 pm
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        Thanks for explaining all that you have above. It gets confusing when trying to figure out whether to buy or not.

        Reply

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