DVC Member Lounge at Epcot: A Little Bit of Calm in the Eye of the Stormby Donna Fesel, contributing writer
Picture this: It is a sweltering, humid summer day in Central Florida. You and your family are spending the day touring your favorite Walt Disney World theme park, Disney's Epcot. You started your day in Future World, visited your favorite attractions, Soarin', Spaceship Earth, and Test Track, and you are headed to the far reaches of Epcot's World Showcase for a delicious lunch. It is the kind of day where your clothes are drenched (either from a random thunderstorm or from the heat and humidity), and you are wondering how you are going to make the long walk to World Showcase crossing the expanses of unshaded paths.
You are thinking to yourself, my phone needs charging, we need a cold drink, and we just need to sit down and re-group. We've all been there. The really great news is that if you are a member of Disney's Vacation Club (DVC, Disney's timeshare program), or traveling with a member, it is your lucky day. In 2016, in celebration of 25 years of DVC, Epcot began hosting a DVC Member Lounge right in Future World.
The DVC Member Lounge—located on the second floor of the Imagination pavilion, and accessible through the ImageWorks merchandise section of the building—is a special, DVC Members-Only space with everything you need to take a breather and get back out to enjoying everything Epcot has to offer. Here's what you do: Approach the DVC Member Lounge podium. Whomever in your party is the DVC member produces their DVC member card and photo identification. Then the DVC member and up to five guests get to enter the DVC Member Lounge, as long as there is space. We've visited during Food & Wine, and in the middle of summer, and there was room. Then, once you are cleared for entry, you climb the spiral stairs or take the elevator to the lounge. When you reach the lounge, take a look around and take it in.
The DVC Member Lounge features comfortable seating arrangements, and an area showing Disney cartoons for kids. Disney Infinity gaming stations, computers, tablets, and printers provide entertainment opportunities or a chance to get some work done. Coke Freestyle machines, a coffee station, and even a trolley with snacks that makes periodic appearances help satisfy hunger and thirst. All of this is exclusively for DVC members.
The very first time my family visited the lounge, we kept asking ourselves what the catch was. There were several DVC staff members available for consultation about everything Disney. On our last visit, we chatted with a lifelong DVC member (a young man whose family joined before he was born), he was a fount of knowledge; his Disney cheer was contagious and just the thing we needed after a sweltering morning of tromping around.
We took a seat, and plugged in our electronics. The air conditioning washed over us, and we looked up at the beautiful all glass ceiling. Next, we got our custom Coke drinks—Diet Coke with vanilla for me and a mishmash for my son. My husband went for a piping hot cup of coffee from the Keurig. We all chatted with the DVC staff, and made ourselves at home. Then the snack trolley came by. We each got a little something to munch on and tide us over for lunch. There were some sweet treats, and savor ones. I picked Doritos. Yum! After a bit of idling, we felt ready to take on the walk to World Showcase and off we went.
A few bits of information: The DVC Member Lounge is available to existing members, and new purchasers after April 4, 2016 if the DVC interest was purchased directly from Disney. The lounge is currently open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and is scheduled to be open through 2018 as I write this.
If you are a DVC Member, or have someone in your party who is, run (do not walk) to the lounge on your next trip. It is a little bit of sanity and space in a usually hectic day.