If you have been following along here at Chasing Walt, you may have heard me mention Disney Vacation Club a few times. I’ve mentioned it in resort reviews, in my post about honeymooning and half hazardly as I do in my everyday life. Now Disney Vacation Club isn’t this club I feel like I’m a part of because I vacation at Disney. This is a time-share ownership that we purchased 6 years ago. This time share program is done exclusively with Disney. Although it is involved in a partnership with RCI, which allows Disney Vacation Club members to use their points to vacation at other resorts, it is not a part of RCI. For the remainder of this post I’m going to abbreviate Disney Vacation Club to DVC to make things simpler. When you are a member of DVC you have an allotment of points for every year. With these points you can stay at any of the 11 DVC resort locations on Walt Disney World property, the DVC resort at Disneyland, the DVC resort in Hawaii, Vero Beach and the Hilton Head Island Resort. With these points you can also stay at any resort on a Disney property. For example you can use your points to stay at the Art of Animation in Florida or the Disneyland Hotel Paris at Disneyland Paris.These points can also be used on the Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney.
DVC is not a traditional time share package, if you’re familiar with such an idea. You are not buying a particular week, you are buying an allotment of annual points. You are purchasing the points as part of a property. When buying your package you choose from a few resorts that are currently being sold. For instance right now you would be able to purchase a package for Cooper Village at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. The resort package you purchase is called your home resort. For us, our home resort is Saratoga Springs. Your package normally lasts 50 years. So let’s say you purchase a package today in 2018, you would get an annual allotment of points every year until 2068. A lifetime of Disney vacations.
Now each resort has different point values attached to it. With the Grand Floridian sitting at the tip of the scales and and Animal Kingdom Lodge- Jambo House sitting at the bottom. And the calendar year is broken up into five seasons. Adventure season, Choice season, Dream season, Magic season and Premier season. A night stay during Adventure season is less points than a night stay during the Premier season. There are also a variety of room styles and views that range the point values as well. With deluxe studios being the lower point cost and 3-bedroom villas being a higher value. So there are ways to spend a very small amount of points in a vacation by staying at a resort that costs very little points, during a time of year that costs very little points in a deluxe studio.
The DVC packages are for resort stays. They do not include tickets or dining plans. When you are a DVC member you do get a lot of benefits including discounts at restaurants, exclusive member lounges, special events and in the know information on the parks. It’s also a community of people who love Disney. Whether you’re meeting people on vacation or online, you all have forked out cash to invest in vacationing at Disney Parks and therefore share similar ideas and experiences.
DVC offers payment packages through them to purchase the time share or you can pay up front. There are yearly dues which are dependent upon which resort you have purchased and the point value package you bought. We have kept track of every vacation we have been on with our DVC points and we compare the cost of our package and yearly dues with the cost of the room we have stayed and we continuously end up on top. These rooms are not your average hotel room, you’re staying in a condo. The one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom villas are really a home away from home. You can live in these places on your vacation. Creating a place to bring your kids and your kids-kids with you on vacation. Or what we’ve done, our parents and siblings.
If you are at all curious about DVC then go check it out. Upon arrival of your next trip mention to the concierge that you would like to schedule a meeting with DVC and they’ll arrange a time for you to be picked up and brought to the DVC Preview Centre. Tell the agent you’re not buying today and that will take off the hard sell. Get the information and go home and dream. That’s what we did and we were able to make a sound decision for what was best for our family and our dreams for vacationing. We kept the card of our agent and contacted him ahead of time. (His name was Tony by the way and he was great). We went in with a decision on what package we wanted and he was able to give us a better package that worked even better for us. We purchased a package that was old, so our contract was for 48 years instead of 50 but it was cheaper. Over the years we have moved many times, we have purchased homes and sold homes seeing money come and go and never once have we regretted our choice to purchase our DVC property. If we hadn’t purchased when we did we would have never done the Coast to Coast challenge. We wouldn’t have taken my sister and her hubby on a beautiful vacation to Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. We wouldn’t be planning a trip to Disney World every year. But because we made the purchase, we invested in vacationing as a couple and as a family. That has added it’s weight in gold.
If you have any questions please shoot me an email. It’s a lot of information and the DVC website isn’t all that helpful and the agents can’t tell you very many details over the phone. But be aware, I have a biased opinion. Happy Planning.