Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Stars Fell on: Heather Terrell, @WDEHST

Welcome back to "Stars Fell on Disney Fans from Alabama!"  I'm excited to introduce my twitter friend Heather to each of you!  Heather and I have three major things in common: 1) we're from Alabama, 2) we love Walt Disney World and 3) we are both HUGE Auburn fans!  One thing we don't have in common is the fact that Heather is a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) member.  She is going to share her knowledge and experiences with you.  Thanks Heather!

Hello everyone, my name is Heather Terrell; I’m a widowed mother of three girls, DVC member since 2003, and lover of all things Auburn. I live in Daphne, on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay or 7 hours 48 minutes from Disney World.

My parents have always loved Disney; it was a yearly vacation spot for us. My father insisted we always stay on Property and never liked staying at the same place twice. This is lucky for me because I can honestly say I have stayed in every Disney hotel except Swan, Dolphin, & POP.

image from Share Disney Timeshare
Once I became a parent myself, I wanted to provide the same wonderful Disney memories for my children and I felt DVC was the best way to do so. Our Home Resort is Saratoga Springs but we have enjoyed all of the Vacation Club Resorts at Disney World, with Bay Lake as our favorite. I use DVC strictly for Disney World, but my parents have stayed at Vero Beach Resort & Hilton Head Resort.

People often ask me if DVC is worth it and for me YES. We go to Disney once every 12 to 18 months, stay for 5 or 6 nights in a two bedroom villa. Oh and by “we” I mean my parents, my brother, my aunt, my 3 girls (15,10,&8) and myself. I still have to buy the tickets and pay for the Dining Plan, but we get to stay in a nice big room with a full kitchen, washer & dryer, three baths, and everyone is comfortable. Let’s talk money. We have 200 “points” annually, which gets us about 8 to 10 nights a year and any points we don’t use can be “rolled over” to the next year. We paid about $13,000 to buy in and pay about $80 a month in “fees”, which is tax deductible. I also love that DVC is a one stop shop when it comes to my planning; I call them everything, dining reservations, everything. We also get discounts in some of the shops, restaurants, pet boarding, stroller rental and annual passes. We DO NOT, however, get a discount on the Dining Plan or regular park tickets.

DVC is not for everyone, but all the members I know love it! You can buy as many points as you want and use them any way you like. This year we were able to use the points we saved from years past on a three bedroom Grand Villa.

image from Heather
Our most recent trip ended last week, and we only had one problem our whole trip. We were a group of 13 this time and dining with that many can be a nightmare. Luckily I was able to get reservations for everywhere we wanted to go. All of our dining experiences were great except at Disney Jr. at Hollywood & Vine. We had a 10 am reservation for breakfast, arrived 10 minutes early and waited 30 minutes for our table. Meanwhile people without reservations kept coming up and were seated right away. When I questioned the hostess, she said they were getting our table together and that’s what was taking so long. They finally call our name, I was shocked at how empty the place was, and WE had to but our table together. My cousin’s 3 & 1 year olds were so cranky by the time we finally sat down it was hard to enjoy it by then. It was still a great trip and it’s a miracle that was our only problem.

I hope I have answered most of your questions about DVC, if not you can find me on Twitter @WDEHST or on Facebook, Heather Silvernail Terrell. Have a Magical Thanksgiving and Holiday Season. War Eagle!!


  1. We love DVC!! You are right it's not for everyone but others it is perfect.  I really have become used to having that washer and dryer in the room.  Especially with a toddler!  We have added on twice now. We are a bit addicted.

  2. What a great, informative post about DVC. We did the tour this past spring, and it's very tempting . . .

  3. Nice article!  And I guess since we both own at SSR, I should say "Hi-de-ho, neighbor!" Oh, and "War Eagle!"  :)

  4. I wish DVC was in my future, but I don't think financially it's in our future.. but seems so cool!  As an LSU Tiger, I don't often say it - but Go Auburn!  Rooting for you this weekend!

  5. Thanks Jennifer!! I too wish DVC was in my future... I also hope an AU win is!! ;)

  6. I agree Heidi!  I'm hoping on our next trip we can squeeze a tour in... just hoping he'll bite! :)

  7. I wish I could be addicted Mary!!!