“Star View Station” DVC Lounge Coming in 2023!
Disney has announced “Star View Station” DVC member lounge will debut in 2023. In this post, we’ll share the official announcement and concept art for this in-park location at Disneyland; plus, why it’s likely being added, what it means for a Tomorrowland overhaul, and more. Let’s start with the official details from Disney.
Exclusive Member spaces have long been part of what Disney Vacation Club proudly calls “Membership Magic.” From the Top of the World Lounge, which recently reopened with villainous new offerings atop Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, to the colorful Member Lounge perfectly perched in the iconic glass pyramid of the Imagination! pavilion at EPCOT, these exclusive enclaves are among Disney Vacation Club Members’ favorite places at Walt Disney World Resort.
Disney Vacation Club is now developing its first Member Lounge at Disneyland Resort in California. Called “Disney Vacation Club Star View Station” and anticipated to open in the first half of 2023, the new lounge will be located in the heart of Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park, in the space on the second floor of the Star Wars: Launch Bay building. The sleekly designed “space” will be home to a dedicated Disney Vacation Club Member Services team, as well as plenty of casual seating, complimentary Wi-Fi, device-charging stations and more.
The new lounge will be open daily during scheduled hours to eligible* Disney Vacation Club Members with valid park tickets and reservations to Disneyland Park. (*Ownership interests must be purchased directly from Disney Vacation Development, Inc. and Valid theme park admission and park reservation also required, and park reservations are limited, subject to availability and not guaranteed.)
There are a total of 15 Disney Vacation Club properties across four states, including Disney’s Riviera Resort, the newest Disney Vacation Club property at Walt Disney World Resort, the recently expanded Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii.
As for the why of this, it’s smart marketing for Disney Vacation Club’s next big addition, which is a tower at Disneyland Hotel.
The new tower will consist of more than 300 units with a combination of studio, one bedroom, two bedroom, and three bedroom villas. It’ll also have smaller studios similar to those that debuted at Disney’s Riviera Resort offering ‘value’ accommodations.
The Villas at Disneyland Hotel will increase the number of DVC rooms at Disneyland exponentially over what currently exists at the Grand Californian. Currently, the tower is scheduled to open sometime in 2023. We’ve been watching the construction over the last several months, and it is moving fast. (When there are timeshares to sell, Disney can still build quickly!)
What’s most interesting to me is that Disney Vacation Club thinks this lounge is necessary to incentivize sales of new contracts for the Villas at Disneyland Hotel. Obviously, Disneyland Resort is significantly smaller than Walt Disney World and doesn’t have the same tourist market.
However, it’s also not even close to the saturation point. After this addition, Disneyland Resort will still have only one-third of the number of DVC rooms as Saratoga Springs Resort, alone. That’s not to mention the other resorts at Walt Disney World, many of which also surpass the total DVC inventory at DLR on their own.
Another DVC property at Disneyland Resort is a no-brainer, slam-dunk concept. There is a ton of unsatisfied demand for another California DVC property; the Grand Californian Villas are the most difficult to book resort, and also the most costly via the resale market.
Owning at Disneyland Resort is savvy due to the supply-demand constraints, as well as the pricing of hotel rooms (all of which are expensive). There’s only so much room for resort expansion in California, whereas we can safely expect DVC to construct constant developments in Florida for decades to come.
All in all, building a new Disney Vacation Club resort as a Disneyland Hotel tower is a savvy move. So too is buying one.
Personally, we aren’t in the market to add points on directly anywhere, but if we were, Disneyland Resort would be the obvious choice. I would hazard a guess that there are enough West Coast-centric or even bicoastal Disney fans who feel similarly. This isn’t a sales pitch for the Villas at Disneyland Hotel–I still think it makes more sense to buy via resale elsewhere and forgo Membership Magic–just commentary attempting to cut through to Disney’s motivation for announcing the “Star View Station” DVC member lounge.
Even if the company is confident in sales forecasts for the Villas at Disneyland Hotel, there are probably internal concerns about another Aulani boondoggle. While building a standalone resort in Hawaii is obviously very different from an add-on adjacent to an increasingly popular theme park vacation destination in the contiguous United States, the fears are understandable.
The Grand Californian Villas are much smaller, connected to the best Disney resort in the United States, and enjoy a private entrance into Disney California Adventure. Even then, they didn’t initially find an audience–instead, increasing in popularity over time.
All things considered, it’s understandable that DVC would want to hedge its bets and increase the perks for joining DVC in California.
It’s better than sales falling below expectations and scrambling to find ways to incentivize ownership. (I don’t think that’ll happen, but I also didn’t think Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge would debut to small crowds. Sometimes reality differs from expectations.
Another aspect of this is where the “Star View Station” DVC member lounge is going–into the Star Wars Launch Bay/Innoventions/Carousel of Progress building. This is worthy of discussion as there have been rumors this summer gaining an increasing amount of traction that a Tomorrowland overhaul is on the horizon, and this building is part of that.
Well, we now know that–if something does happen with a Tomorrowland overhaul–this building will likely still exist.
I’m mostly indifferent to that. Disneyland overhauling Tomorrowland is high on my wish list, and I think the carousel building is among Disneyland’s most underutilized parcels. This building has been languishing for years, and tearing it down and starting fresh makes sense.
However, I think a meaningful Tomorrowland overhaul can be accomplished without touching the carousel building, and I’m not confident the space would’ve been efficiently utilized anyway. I’d almost prefer to see Imagineering forced to work within the constraints of the existing building, trying to create something great that uses this space.
Ultimately, I’m pleased by the announcement of the “Star View Station” Disney Vacation Club member lounge. Our above analysis focused on the “why” of this addition and whether it’s actually necessary to sell contracts for the Villas at Disneyland Hotel, but setting that aside, it’ll be a nice perk and one we will take advantage of all the time.
It’s nice to feel valued as a customer, and this is the type of thing that accomplishes that–even if the real goal is selling more memberships. Sometimes it’s possible to kill two birds with one stone, and the DVC Membership Extras offerings are a prime example of that.
Whenever we participate in a DVC event, receive a sneak peek, or take advantage of the existing lounges, it makes us feel a little more valued and satisfied with our membership. We can’t be the only ones like that, and this is mutually beneficial–happy members are more likely to recommend the product or buy more of it themselves. (There should be a larger lesson in that sentiment for all of the company.)
Planning a Southern California vacation? For comprehensive advice, consult our Disneyland Vacation Planning Guide. If you’re considering joining DVC, first be sure to read our Ultimate Guide to Disney Vacation Club. If you still can’t decide whether membership is right for you, “try before you buy” and rent points from DVC Rental Store. If you are convinced a membership is for you, check out the discounted options at DVC Resale Market.
Excited for the “Star View Station” Disney Vacation Club member lounge at Disneyland? Do you agree or disagree with our take on why this is likely being added? Happy that there will be a member lounge at Disneyland Resort, or disappointed that this means the carousel building is sticking around? Planning on purchasing the Villas at Disneyland Hotel? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
That sounds fantastic. I have a fairly elementary DVC perks question: if you are a DVC member (direct, not resale) but you are visiting just for the day (or where you paid for the hotel reservation instead of using points), can you still access these DVC perks or do you have to be traveling while using your DVC points to get in?
As a DVC member, yes, whether paying by points or cash, all the benefits still apply. Just make sure you have your digital copy of your DVC membership as proof.
On the flips side of “it’s nice to feel like a valued customer” is the distinct feeling of being a second-class DVC owner that you get from having purchased secondary market. We would never do it differently (the current membership extras come nowhere close to getting in the range of that balance of price/intangible value that would make us question whether it would be worth it to spend the extra money), but it’s not a great feeling to constantly be seeing things that say you’re a dues-paying member, welcome home, you’re part of the family, but only sort of. I understand they think there’s a financial benefit to do it (although i have serious doubts about the short and long term benefits to the company) but it’s a really bad look for them to treat DVC owners as though some aren’t as worthy because they weren’t willing to give their full bank accounts to the Mouse.
As a DVC member since 1991, the first 15 years were great. However, we feel your pain as the last several years, we have seen continuous degradation of just about all benefits. Annually we pay $3600 in dues and have seriously considered selling and just pay cash for future stays. We are using points for lodging only and forgo Disney parks and looking to try other Orlando attractions. Additionally, due to the number of DVC members, when we joined, there were about 65K, it’s extremely difficult to book at the 7-month window for other than your home resort.
“I still think it makes more sense to buy via resale elsewhere and forgo Membership Magic”
While I agree based on the new RR era DVC restrictions and definitely think that’s the case at WDW, I don’t know that it is yet true at DL. I had serious problems finding useful availability at GCV for the second half of the year, and having some points there might have helped. Are you seeing things differently now (so basically, I was very unlucky) or do you think the DHV will increase supply more than it increases demand for DL DVC?
Thanks for the California content!
What do you mean by the Aulani boondoggle?
There are actually *multiple* Aulani boondoggles, but the one I’m referring to is slow sales of a large standalone resort in Hawaii.
Don’t forget its not really free. It’s incorporated into our DVC fees. Also don’t be surprised this will be an extra paid perk under the heavily rumored Disney Prime.
“Don’t forget its not really free. It’s incorporated into our DVC fees.”
I don’t think that’s accurate. When it comes to things offered only to those with access to Membership Extras, that typically comes out of a marketing or advertising budget. Legally, I think DVC would get into hot water charging all members for a perk that only some could access.
This is why even those renting DVC points get free parking. Because that does come out of DVC dues and isn’t really “free.” (Although I’ll take paying the actual cost of maintaining a parking lot over the Disney-inflated pricing, any day.)
If it comes out of a general budget, could it impact the New New New Tomorrowland budget? (Original, 1960s, 1990s … did I miss one?)