Hanging Out at the Disney Vacation Club Member Lounge In Epcot

DVC Lounge

Updated for 2017!

Located in the Imagination! Pavilion, Disney Vacation Club opened a DVC Member Lounge back in 2016 for members to enjoy when they visit Epcot. Who does;t need a break in the air conditioning when walking through that park – Every Person Comes Out Tired. The Lounge is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

location of the DVC Epcot Member lounge

This complimentary space was opened as part of the 25th anniversary of Disney Vacation Club, and current plans call for it to stay open through 2017 through the Membership Magic Ever After celebration.

We read about the lounge in our winter 2016 Disneyfiles Magazine. I was interested immediately because I thought the Imagination Pavilion in Epcot was the coolest place to be back in the 80s. The look of the lounge was retro and reminded me of the furniture I missed back in the 60s, since I wasn’t born until 1970.

DVC Memver Lounge in Epcot

Formerly called  The Journey Into Imagination, Imagination! is a pavilion that debuted in 1982 on the western side of Future World. I remember the movie you watched inside in 3D, which was the coolest thing ever back in the mid 80s when Kodak was the former title sponsor of the pavilion. The movie, Magic Journeys, was played along with a song of the same name by the Sherman Brothers. Those of you my age are singing the song in your head right about now…

After checking in with your membership card and photo ID, you walk upstairs to the second floor of the ImageWorks merchandise location within the pavilion.

DVC member lounge stairs

walk up the DVC member lounge stairs

In 1998, the original Journey Into Imagination was shuttered for renovations. The upstairs ImageWorks was closed, the leap-frog style fountains were reduced in size to accommodate the new gift shop at the exit of the new ride, but the glass pyramids remained intact even though the upstairs ImageWorks was closed.

The glass pyramid ceiling is of course the best part of the building.

DVC Lounge pictures

DVC Epcot Lounge

The lounge space offers many features:

  • Comfortable seating

DVC member lounge in Epcot

DVC Lounge perks at Epcot

  • Complimentary soft drinks

DVC Lounge complimentary soft drinks

  • Children’s play area

DVC Lounge children's play area

  • Wi-Fi
  • Charging stations
  • Computers with printers

DVC perks

  • Member Services Advisors

DVC Lounge at Epcot Member Services Advisors

We visited during Thanksgiving, so Christmas decorations were already on display.

DVC Christmas decorations at the Epcot member lounge

Mickey Mouse Christmas decoration

Important Details

There were a lot of rules members needed to be aware of to visit the lounge without issue.

  • Valid Membership Card and photo ID required at check-in. The name on the membership card must match the name on the photo ID.
  • Party size is limited to the member and up to five guests per membership card.
  • Guests and associates must be accompanied by a member with a valid membership card and photo ID.
  • No automatic re-entry allowed. Members and their guests who leave the space must follow the same entry policy.
  • Strollers must be parked at the attraction stroller parking outside.
  • Children may not be left unattended in the member lounge.
  • Members should remain with their guests.
  • Personal devices should not be left unattended.
  • Personal cups may not be used with the Coke Freestyle machines.
  • Access to the Member Lounge is part of Membership Extras. New purchasers after April 4, 2016, must purchase directly from Disney to have access to Membership Extras.

Was it worth paying DVC membership dues to visit the Member Lounge? No, not by a long shot as a perk by itself, but it was cool experience. DVC perks has started vanishing through the years we have been members.

It felt like sitting in a part of my childhood history. Enjoying free snacks and drinks in the air-conditioning on a hot fall day was certainly fun for 20 minutes or so.

 

To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess

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Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

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Now let our vacation planner help you plan your trip, totally for FREE!

Earn $20 Rewards for Vacation Referrals!

Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from Mike Ellis, our Disney Vacation Planner with Pixie Vacations.

Call Mike at 919-606-6725 or e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations, Mike Ellis. You can also e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

Disney World Resort Pool Hopping: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

guide to Disney World pool hopping

Updated for 2017!

People pay a lot of money for accommodations at Walt Disney World, for reasons including proximity to the theme parks, ease of transportation, luxury, and amenities. You know that saying about getting what you pay for?  The larger amount you pay for on-property accommodations at Walt Disney World, the nicer your resort pool will be.

A topic that can make a lot of people get irritated quickly when they talk about a Disney vacation is “Pool Hopping.”  Pool hopping is simply staying at one resort and swimming at another. So how can you pool hop at Disney World and not wind up in hot water? And the water I’m talking about is not bubbling in one of the hot tubs…

Read: 70% Off Disney Parks Authentic Merchandise? Cheapskate Bargains Galore!

The Boardwalk Resort pool

pool hopping at the Boardwalk Resort Pool at Walt Disney World

Bay Lake Tower Resort pool

can you swim at Disney World Bay Lake Tower pool

Disney World has an “open resort” policy;  you are legally allowed to visit their resorts and enjoy some of their amenities. You can sit in the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa lobby and listen to the pianist. You can stroll through the Animal Kingdom Lodge and learn all about the original African artwork. You can wander through the Cars Land section of the Art of Animation Resort, taking your kid’s photos with Mater and Lightning McQueen.

But Cast Members are very swift to say that you cannot swim in the pools if you are just visiting from another resort. This is a big no-no.

Disney Resort rules regarding pools are pretty straight forward. You may use the pool/pools at the specific resort where you are a registered guest.  You may not hop over to another resort and use their pool.  Most Disney Resort pools have signs displaying this information for guests. They usually read something like, “This pool area is for the exclusive use of  (fill in the Disney Resort name here) guests.”

Many of the newer or refurbished pools have fences and only allow entry using MagicBands. I’m thinking specifically about Bay Lake Tower, which was built with a fence, and Wilderness Lodge, which had a fence added several years ago. The Polynesian Village main pool now has a fence with multiple MagicBand gated entrances, and at times, both this pool and the Stormalong Bay pool require paper bands handed out by Cast Members as they check your reservation using your magic band. 

So how can you swim in Disney pools if you are not a registered, room-key carrying guest at the resort?

Read: 10 Cheapskate Reasons to Vacation on Disney Property

Contemporary Resort Pool

who can pool hop at the Disney Wiorld Resorts

Contemporary Resort Quiet Pool

Contemporary Resort quiet pool at Disney World

There’s only one simple, legal, legitimate (and expensive) answer to the pool hopping question, and that is for you to join either pay to stay at the resort or join the DVC, the Disney Vacation Club. I have heard occasional stories of people swimming in Disney Resort pools without actually staying on property, but those people are taking the huge gamble of being thrown out when discovered, or worse, arrested for trespassing. Yes, I think an arrest is a pretty far-fetched scenario, but people on vacation have too much to drink all the time and wind up in trouble. I always tell people to imagine what’s the worst that could happen. In this case, I would say arrest is it, no matter how far-fetched this may seem. 

Because over-crowding at the Deluxe level resort pools has occurred more and more through the years, swimmers can be asked by a Disney Life Guard to show their room key/MagicBand to verify they are staying at the resort and thus allowed to swim at that specific pool. That was a risk I was not ever willing to take, being escorted out of a pool area at a resort where I wasn’t staying. I think people who do take this risk are clearly not thinking about the possible negative outcomes. I realize rule breakers probably won’t be arrested, but I’m not one to take or advocate other people take risks or break rules.

And honestly, swimming in a pool you didn’t pay for is just not fair to the people who paid lots of hard-earned money to stay there.

Read: 22 and 1/2 FREE Activities at Downtown Disney!

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa pool

what pools can I swim in at the Disney World resorts

I am a Vacation Club Member. When we took the DVC tour, our DVC representative explained that pool hopping was not only legal for DVC Members (with some stipulations,) it was encouraged.  This was presented as a big perk of the DVC program. When I heard this, all rational stick-to-the-budget financial thought flew straight out the elegant-curtained windows.  Pool hopping, pool hoppingDisney Pool Hopping!!

I love Disney pools, and while I have not stayed in all the Disney resorts, I have swam in a fair amount of their pools, the pools on the “Pool Hopping is O.K.” list. Truth be told, I’ve swam in more Disney pools than I have actually spent nights in their numerous resorts. Why again was this possible? How do you pool hop without risking possible arrest and public humiliation when you’re caught swimming illegally?  Join the Disney Vacation Club.

Read: How to Maximize Disney’s FASTPASS System, Because Time = Money!

 Wilderness Lodge Resort Pool

how to swim at Wilderness Lodge Resort pool at Disney World

swimming at Wilderness Lodge resort

Once you’re in the DVC, or The Club as I call it, when you use your membership to stay at a WDW DVC or Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, you and any guests staying with you are allowed to pool hop to certain (are you paying attention to that word? certain) Disney resort pools when they are not at full capacity. There is your answer, my friends: this is how you legally pool hop.

Membership has its privileges, but there are certain blackout dates, usually around holidays, for members when resort occupancy is high. There are also pools even DVC members can never pool hop at while they are staying at another resort.

  • the pool at the Disneyland Resort in California
  • Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
  • Uzima Pool at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Samawati Springs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village
  • Leisure Pool at Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Bay Cove Pool at Bay Lake Tower
  • Nanea Volcano Pool at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Silver Creek Springs Pool at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • The Pools at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Even members of the DVC Club can’t swim at some of the nicest pools on WDW property without paying for a room stay.

Read: Can a Cheapskate Princess Afford a Dooney & Bourke Disney Handbag?

Stormalong Bay pool, Beach Club Resort

can you pool hop at Stormalong bay at Disney World

Stormalong Bay kid's pool

Vacationers pay a ton of money to go to Disney World, and some pay more than others for perks and amenities that money affords them with a room reservation.  It’s morally unethical to swim in a resort pool you did not pay to swim in. It’s also embarrassing if you get caught there illegally, so don’t take the risk.  Let the people who paid for those pool privileges enjoy them. As for the people who paid for DVC privileges, you will really enjoy the pool hopping option.

The summer after we joined the DVC, we used our new points to stay at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. I’ll be honest, I was so broke from paying that membership down-payment, we decided not to charge park tickets to our Disney Visa. We used a set of one-day tickets from a prior trip, and we spent the next five days pool hopping.  I called it the GREAT 2008 DISNEY POOL TOUR. It was absolutely, positively fabulous. It was so great, it took the sting out of my DVC bill each month, at least for a little while.

Read: 5 Easy Tips to Save Money On Food at Walt Disney World

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Quiet pool

pool hopping at the Grand Floridian Resort pool

Animal Kingdom Resort pool

can I swim at other Disney World resort pools

Without a DVC membership, you can tour the resorts and decide which pools you like, and then save your money for accommodations there. That way, no one has to call the  Cheapskate Princess for bail money.

Read: Top Ten Cheapskate Tips Every Disney World Visitor Needs to Know

I know, I know, you don’t need to sleep in a fancy resort bed when you stay at the parks all day anyway. I realize it’s expensive. I said the exact things before we joined DVC, and we still stay at inexpensive hotels on Disney trips when the points have run out, because they go fast. But when I hear people say that the DVC isn’t worth the money, I am the first one to pull up photos of my kids swimming in multiple Disney Deluxe Resorts and say…join The Club.

If you are into pool hopping, The Club may be just right for you.

Coronado Springs Resort Pool

how to pool hop at Disney World

Thanks for stopping by, and just maybe we’ll see you in the van on the way to the DVC headquarters at Saratoga Springs to take the DVC tour.

To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess

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Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

.

Now let our vacation planner help you plan your trip, totally for FREE!

Earn $20 Rewards for Vacation Referrals!

Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from Mike Ellis, our Disney Vacation Planner with Pixie Vacations.

Call Mike at 919-606-6725 or e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations, Mike Ellis. You can also e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

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Can a Disney Princess Afford a Vacation at Disney World’s Bay Lake Tower Resort?

Bay Lake Tower at night, how much does it cost to stay at Bay lake Tower, the cost to stay at Bay Lake Tower, should I stay at Bay Lake Tower

My earliest  memory of a Disney hotel is riding through the Contemporary Resort in 1975. My family never stayed there for even one night, as my Dad made no secret that it was WAY out of our price range. I rode through the building by day, then rode home late at night in a 1973 Ford LTD to sleep on my parent’s friend’s couch 28 miles from the Disney property. We snuck our lunch into the park during the 1970s as well, which I absolutely hated. I vowed to stay at the Contemporary when I grew up. Now I look back, and I’m just grateful I was even in Orlando on vacation.

Here I am as an adult,  riding pretty much the same monorail through pretty much the same Contemporary Resort, but hark…what new building is that out yonder monorail window? THAT is Disney’s Bay Lake Tower. If you’ve seen it, you instantly wonder, how much it costs to vacation there? Ok, Disney Princesses, you might want to sit down…

With amazing views of Bay Lake, there is no closer walk to the Magic Kingdom from any Disney resort. The 16-story, 428-room Bay Lake Tower Resort, one of Disney’s Deluxe Resorts, was built to resemble the modern-styled Contemporary, with the two buildings linked by covered walkway. They also share multiple amenities, so you reap many of the fabulous benefits of the Contemporary just by staying next door.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Photos of WDW during the Christmas Holidays

Bay Lake Tower bedroom, inside of Bay Lake Tower, Disney bed, photo of Disney bedroom, Disney sheets, cost to stay at Disney, Disney hotel cost

Room perks of Bay Lake Tower

  • Free Wi-Fi, free wired high-speed Internet is available in all rooms
  • Flat – panel television
  • DVD
  • 24-hour room service is available
  • Your own patio

Resort perks available at Bay Lake Tower

  • arcade/game room
  • on site marina
  • massage/spa treatment rooms
  • 3 outdoor pools and a water slide
  • 4 spa/hot tubs
  • 2 restaurants within walking distance
  • coffee shop/cafe within walking distance
  • poolside bar
  • fitness facility and tennis
  • wedding services
  • room service
  • beach/pool umbrellas

How Can You Save Money on Disney World Souvenirs? One Four Letter Word…

Bay Lake Tower pool, photo of Bay Lake Tower pools, Disney pools, the best Disney pool, swim in Disney pools, swimming pools,

Let’s get to the price with no room discount and before taxes are applied. For Value Season, which includes dates in January, February, August and September, 2013 prices are as follows per night on a week day:

Studio – Standard View – $431

One Bedroom – Standard View – $535

Two Bedroom View – $726

Three Bedroom Grand Villa – Lake View – $1838

For Summer Season, which includes dates in June and July, 2013 prices are as follows per night on a week day:

Studio – Standard View – $482

One Bedroom – Standard View – $584

Two Bedroom View – $924

Three Bedroom Grand Villa – Lake View – $2040

Bay Lake Tower bathroom, Disney bathroom, Disney bathtub, Disney rain shower, Disney resort bathroom, are Disney resorts great, the best Disney resort, Disney hotel room, photos of Disney hotels

And check out Holiday Season, for all of you who really want to experience the Christmas holidays at Walt Disney World. 2013 prices for December 20th to December 31st are as follows:

Studio – Standard View – $609

One Bedroom – Standard View – $776

Two Bedroom View – $1299

Three Bedroom Grand Villa – Lake View – $2441

Notice those are not weekend prices; weekend princes are, of course, even higher.

What Are the 5 Worst Times to Vacation at Walt Disney World?

Bay Lake Tower Living Room, Disney living room, great Disney resorts, love Disney resorts, Disney Princess Resort, Disney sleeper chair, Disney sleeper couch

Have you caught your breath yet?

I did my price research at expedia.com  and Disneyworld.com. What I’ve shown you are show room prices – exactly what you would pay, pre-tax mind you, if you booked a room with no discounts. Remember that prices change frequently, so don’t make any reservations without checking the prices out for yourself.

There are other options for staying at Bay Lake Tower. You can travel during times of year when Disney offers discounts on rooms. I have noticed these occur most often in the fall and pre-spring, when your children are in school.

The Disney Vacation Club offers a chance to pre-pay for your room through a financial arrangement similar to a time share. That topic is for a different day, but it’s certainly not cheap, although I am a fan.

So can a Disney Princess afford to stay at Disney’s Bay Lake Tower without a discount? If you can’t pick up a room discount, you just might have to sell off some of the royal jewels!

price to stay at Bay Lake Tower Disney World

Nine Cheapskate Tips to Celebrate a Birthday at Walt Disney World for FREE!

To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess

.

Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

.

Now let our vacation planner help you plan your trip, totally for FREE!

Earn $20 Rewards for Vacation Referrals!

Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from Mike Ellis, our Disney Vacation Planner with Pixie Vacations.

Call Mike at 919-606-6725 or e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations, Mike Ellis. You can also e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.