Why Disney Vacation Club
My family and I are unapologetic Disney fans. We visit Disney World almost every summer.And we obsess over our Disney vacations. We love to plan our restaurants, our FastPasses and itineraries at each park. Needless to say, the thought of joining Disney Vacation Club has enticed us for years.
And right now there is a color fad at Disney Parks – “Potion Purple”. Minnie Mouse Ears, sweet treats and all sorts of apparel are popping up in Potion Purple everywhere!
Since we joined Disney Vacation Club during this fad, I like to tell everyone that we drank the “Potion Purple” so to speak!
We were overwhelmed with questions when we learned about Disney Vacation Club. I scoured the internet to read blogs, discussion boards, etc. doing my due diligence. There are many things to consider, including but not limited to, the number of points to purchase, purchasing resale or direct, and the overall economic impact on your finances. Here are the basics:
What is Disney Vacation Club (DVC)
First, what is DVC? Basically it’s Disney’s version of a timeshare. Straight from THE Mouse himself: Disney Vacation Club is a flexible timeshare that gives you access to Disney destinations—with the freedom to choose when, where and how often you vacation. By becoming a Member, you’re locking in future accommodations at today’s purchase price.
What does that mean? In short, DVC runs on a “points” system that allows members to use their points in a flexible fashion at any of the Disney Vacation Club Resorts.
Disney Vacation Club Resort rooms are called Villas and they are different than the regular hotel rooms. You can think of DVC Deluxe Villas as condominium-type accommodations.
There are studio villas with kitchenettes, all the way up to two- and three-bedroom grand villas with full kitchen and laundry machine that can sleep up to 12 in some cases.
And, unlike other timeshares, you are not limited to a certain date or week! You can go anytime it fits your schedule.
So say we own 300 points, every year we can book our lodging at a DVC resort using our 300 points. Points required for each stay will vary based on length of visit, on the time of year and what size DVC Villa you require (studio, 1 BDR, 2 BDR or 3 BDR). It costs more points per nights for a two-bedroom villa versus a studio villa, for example.
How Does Disney Vacation Club Work?
Members purchase points that are used to pay for rooms at any of the 14+ DVC resorts located across the U.S. (including a DVC resort in Hawaii). Similar to room rates at other luxury resort hotels, each DVC resort has rates per night for their rooms in the form of points. One point is not equal to one dollar, but you spend points in the same way.
Rates for rooms using points can also vary by time of year, the same way as regular rates.
You can buy as many points as you wish (for as much as you would like to travel each year and for as much as you can afford), but for example’s sake let’s say you own 160 points (a “typical” standard amount for one week of travel per year in a studio villa).
Each year you would have 160 points to spend and you can spend them however you like. Without getting too granular (and for illustration purposes only), you could spend 160 points in several ways, including any one of the following:
- a one-week stay at a Resort studio villa
- a 3-night stay in a two-bedroom villa
- three weekends in a studio villa
You can use the points purchased directly from Disney at Walt Disney World Resort, at Disney Aulani in Hawaii, at either of Disney’s Beach Resorts in Florida and South Carolina, and at Disneyland Resort in California. Wherever there is a DVC property, you can use your member points.
The idea is that you make a significant outlay for your points initially, but after the initial cost, you get those points to use every year (with only a small annual maintenance fee) until the end of your agreement period (which is in the range of years 2050 to 2060 at the moment).
How to Purchase Disney Vacation Club Points
You can buy points direct from Disney. They usually run incentives and there are benefits you will receive if you buy directly from them. Click here to learn more about the benefits of buying direct.
In addition to buying direct from Disney, you can also purchase points in the resale market. People who want to sell their points on the resale market list them for sale via various agencies.
However, buying points resale has become less appealing as of January 19, 2019, as new limitations have been placed on points purchased from anyone other than Disney directly.
Why DVC Is A Good Fit For Our Family
- First, we are a family of five. With a toddler girl and TWO teenage boys, we have outgrown regular hotel rooms. Imagine a grumpy toddler keeping her brothers up all night because she’s missing her bed. We NEED a two bedroom accommodation.
- Second, when we do vacation at Disney, we prefer to stay in the Deluxe Resorts using the DVC Villas. Villas have kitchens, washers and dryers, which is a Godsend for our larger family.
- We visit Disney World often—at least every other year—and will continue to do so for many years to come. This is important because at some point we will break even and essentially have free lodging* (with the exception of annual fees).
- My husband and I plan to “gift” our points to our children so they can pass the Disney traditions on to their family.
- Our schedules allow us to plan and book our vacations at 11 months out. There is an 11 month (home resort) and a 7 month (other DVC properties) booking window.
- We know that DVC is not a financial investment but a quality of life investment.
- And finally, we waited until we had cash in hand to purchase DVC.
Why DVC May Not Be A Good Fit For Some Families
- You do not plan to travel to Disney often.
- Purchasing DVC points would require financing.
- Your family prefers to stay at Moderate or Budget Resorts.
- The Annual Fees would be a financial burden.
- It’s difficult to plan your vacations far in advance; If you prefer to wing vacations and plan at zero hour, DVC may not be a good fit.
We have our first “Welcome Home” trip planned in July at our Home Resort, Copper Creek Villas. We are literally counting the days, and of course, obsessing over dining, itineraries and all the fun stuff we get to plan.
My family is absolutely thrilled we made the investment in Disney. It means a lot of magical memories for years to come!
Excellent DVC Resources