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May 26, 2016

Preview: Disney Vacation Club Member Lounge

Deb's Digest Blog

Today I attended a preview of the new Disney Vacation Club Member Lounge that's opening as part of the DVC's 25th anniversary celebration. This lounge is in the Imagination Pavilion in Epcot at Walt Disney World and can be accessed through the pavilion's merchandise store.

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The lounge opens on June 6, 2016, and will operate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through the 25th anniversary celebration, which will last through the end of this year. Disney Vacation Club Members will need their membership card as well as ID to enter. A Cast Member will be at the bottom of the stairs (there is also an elevator) to check in you and your party. I believe a member can bring in five additional guests. If the lounge is at capacity, you can leave your cell phone number, and they will text you when space becomes available.

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The lounge will be staffed by a DVC Member Services Cast Member who can assist with any vacation planning you need for either your current trip or a future one. They can make dining reservations and assist you with FastPass+ and My Disney Experience. There will also be a representative from RCI to answer any questions you may have about other destinations and exchanges.

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The lounge has charging stations with plugs and USB ports for your mobile devices, or you can use one of the iPad Pros that are available. Complimentary Disney Guest WiFi is available throughout the lounge.

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There are also two computers stations and a printer if you need to check email or print a boarding pass.

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There is a kids' area showing Disney animated shorts on TV (similar to what's available in your DVC villa), as well as two Disney Infinity machines.

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The beverage area has a Keurig machine and three Coke Freestyle machines, which offer more than 100 different soft drink flavor combinations.

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After we had a chance to look around the lounge, Ken Potrock, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Disney Vacation Club, spoke about the DVC 25th Anniversary Celebration, mentioning a few things that we hadn't heard before.

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"We have long wanted to have a lounge for members in a theme park," he said. "As we began planning the 25th anniversary, we thought, 'What we could do to make things very special for our members?' "

"Special events are our way of celebrating our members and a way for us to interact with our members," he continued. "We already had two exclusive parties for our members at the Magic Kingdom. This summer we will have special events at Typhoon Lagoon. We will be having a special event for our members in California later this year and will share details at a later date."

Potrock noted that later this year there will be a private showing of Aladdin on Broadway in New York City for DVC Members. Tickets for this event were offered at a reduced price. DVC will also continue to offer Member-Only trips on Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruise Line.

He also talked about the new DVC Personal Vacation Advisors that will be available to members planning their trips. You'll now be given the specific extension number for your Persal Vacation Advisor, which will allow you to speak to the same person each time you call.

Potrock also spoke of the success of the DVC website's overhaul, and promised even more changes for the coming year, reiterating that the overall goal was, "We want our members to feel special and valued."

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Here's another look at the DVC Member Lounge:

As a DVC member, I was excited to check out this new space. It will be a nice respite from the park, especially on hot days.

DISCLAIMER: I was an invited guest of the Disney Vacation Club and our preview of the lounge included lunch, but my opinions in this blog are my own.

February 15, 2014

Preparing for the Trip of a Life Time

Deb's Digest Blog

As I begin writing this blog, a few happy tears are coming down my face. I KNOW how blessed I am. My life has taken me through lots of highs and lows, but one of the biggest highs was starting Deb's Disney Digest back in January 1996. I have met so many wonderful people and traveled to so many wonderful places all due to starting the little website 18 years ago.

Now I am just a couple weeks away from what I feel is my ultimate Disney fan trip of a lifetime.

When Disney theme-park fans talk about the Holy Grail, what comes to mind? Tokyo DisneySea, of course! I can tell you this has been on my bucket list for years. And I have been talking about a trip to Tokyo for years. And I have been saving my frequent flyer miles for years. And now, it is really going to happen!

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And since I'll be on the other side of the world, why not visit Hong Kong Disneyland?!

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And on the way back home, we'll stop at Aulani in Hawaii. I'm typing this and even I can't believe it! Here come those tears again.

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Some say it all started with a mouse and my dream certainly did, but it got kick-started by a Jack and, like Walt, he dared to dream.

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Two years ago my dear friend Jack celebrated his 50th birthday by running his first full marathon and throwing an elaborate character filled party! The theme of his party was his dream of visiting every Disney theme park within the next 5 years. Jack and I spoke afterwards and talked about how cool it would be to visit Tokyo together.

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About a year ago, we decided the time would be 2014. The first hurdle was deciding exactly when we would go. We didn't want to go in peak season and we didn't want to go when it was freezing cold, so when? I'm not sure how exactly, but we decided on early March.

You can imagine the complexity of planning a trip of this magnitude. We've been organizing for months and months and, now, 2 weeks away, we are still finishing all the details. We are spoiled here in the U.S. with Walt Disney World's website because the park hours are listed months in advance, and you can make hotel and dining reservations months in advance. Not so with the Asia parks. Add to that the time and culture differences, and planning was a bit tricky, to say the least.

Eight of us are part of this journey -- AllEars Bloggers Jeanine Yamanaka (all three locations), Laura Gilbreath and Lee Zimmerman (Hong Kong and Tokyo) ; AllEars photographer Linda Eckwerth (all three locations); my pal Jack and his friend Pete (Hong Kong and Tokyo) and AllEars Senior Editor Deb Koma (Aulani).

With everyone's different work schedules and living on opposite coasts, we decided to choose two "core" days we would be in Hong Kong and three "core" days we would be in Tokyo -- as the ones everyone would plan to be there. This has worked well, as we will all be coming and going but also be spending a good amount of time enjoying the parks with each other.

In early March, Linda and I will begin our long journey to Hong Kong. We plan to take a couple days to get use to the time change and then head to Hong Kong Disneyland for the start of this amazing trip.

So stay tuned as we chronicle our journey through Twitter and Facebook and here on AllEars.Net. You don't need a Twitter account to follow us, just go to this link: https://twitter.com/allearsdeb.

If you have been to Hong Kong Disneyland in the last few months -- we are looking for recommendations in the park and hotels for dining (counter- and full-service). Please leave a comment below. In Tokyo, we have reservations at Magellans and Blue Bayou. Where else shall we dine (again full- or counter-service in the parks or hotels)?

We are excited beyond words, and I'm looking forward to sharing this adventure with all of you!

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About Disney Vacation Club

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Deb's Digest in the Disney Vacation Club category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Disney Cruise Line is the previous category.

Disney's Wide World of Sports is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.