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DVC - Disney Vacation Club

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  • DVC - Disney Vacation Club

    Now that we're FI and loosening the purse strings, really looking at DVC since we're Disney people and coming to accept this recurring higher cost consumption device.

    Looking for folk who have entered into DVC and optimal ways in utilizing it.

  • #2
    This is a cut-and-paste from my previous post on this topic:


    We owned DVC points for about 12 years, visiting both the Disney Hilton Head property and various Disney Orlando theme park properties (primarily the Beach Club, walking distance to Epcot). We enjoyed large 2 or 3 BR accommodations and always invited friends or family along. Twice, we used the points to stay in a boutique hotel in downtown Chicago. I even gave points to my radiology partners on two occasions for their personal use.

    After a while, we tired of going to Hilton Head and Disney World, and we sold the points for about 80 cents on the dollar, IIRC. (The Beach Club points, my smaller position, were in high demand and actually appreciated in value.) We enjoyed numerous vacations when the family was young, made some great memories, sold it and moved on.

    I have not tortured the numbers to analyze all of the associated costs, compared to the cost of all of us piling it to a Motel 6 or sleeping in a car in the Disney parking lot, etc., but best I can tell, we had fun, and it did not substantially impede our path to wealth. (Admittedly, we would be in modestly better financial condition if we had instead parked the money in an index fund and spent our vacations at home watching CNBC and staring at our Fidelity statement.)


    • #3
      I didn't do DVC but purchased Orlando timeshares before the age of Airbnb and VRBO. You can easily rent these same properties now.

      I say don't bother with a membership. Do a pay as you go but keep those vacation purse strings looser although that doesn't mean you shouldn't look for a good value on a quality vacation. No Motel 6.



      • #4
        Have never been a DVC member but everyone I know who has lives it. My short answer would be if you love Disney, plan on going anyway, are FI, and can afford it then why not do it?

        Alternatively, we’ve gone the opposite route 3-4 times in the last 6-7 years and been the ones buying points through a third party like David’s Vacation Club. Has worked out very well.


        • #5
          Fellow Disney family here. Have 3 kids all under 4. Bought 2yrs ago at Copper Creek. It’s not gonna make great financial sense, but not terrible either. It’s only terrible if you finance thru Disney, think the APR on interest was in 10-14%range.

          Some things to ponder:
          -For better or worse, you pretty much have to use your points q 2yrs. You can “bank” your pts for this year and have double for the next year. But you can only “bank” points for 1 yr before they expire. Oh and they don’t bank automatically, you have to go to website and do it.
          -There is a resale market, if your kids/you grow tired of or outgrow it.
          -The transfer partners/hotels you can sty with usually aren’t good value compared to using points at Disney properties.
          -You can use pt’s at Aulani and for Disney Cruise, not just at parks.
          -You’re paying for nice/luxury hotels. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to splurge on a nice hotel or relax at one, might not be right for you. Or if you’re a family who’s going to parks all day and will only be in room for sleep/shower, might not be worth it. Just stick to value hotels.
          -You’ll have washer/dryer in room. With kids that’s nice. Also, you have a full kitchen. So you can get groceries and prepare meals, to save some money on meals. Or just to keep shenanigans/tantrums indoors.
          -you get some minor discounts and some exclusive things for being a member or staying on property.
          -Small detail: there’s no maid service daily. Think it works out to q3days maid service. I didn’t know this until first stay. So you just can’t make a complete mess of the place.

          It’s a personal decision. I thought it worked for us. We have small kids, love Disney world, have friends who love Disney land and live in LA, my wife’s from Oahu (so we’ll visit Aulani a few times i’m sure) and love Disney Cruise.


          • #6
            I looked into it at one point, the lock in period is very long. I buy points from DVC Rental Store and David’s Vacation Club. Cheaper than buying direct from Disney and without the ongoing costs of DVC.


            • #7
              happy DVC owner here past 7 years, but we bought on secondary market for $80/pt, about half disney retail cost. Same contracts now are $130-135/pt now and secondary market buyers now have significant booking restrictions I think. I would definitely do the deal we got again, but not sure I'd be a buyer in the current market.


              • #8
                Thank for replies -  secondary market all the way:  debating on Grand Californian ($175/pp) vs Homebasing it at Aulani for ~90-110 depending on subsidized fees or not with longer contract too.

                Did anyone find renting points easier instead?

                --definitely like nicer hotels.  This would be a significant change in hotel staying as we typical do points and upgrades, but the static very nice hotel and location is very enticing to us as we do less rope drop to close days than before and would welcome the respite afternoons/easy access.


                • #9
                  Kicking around the idea of renting points more. Those using Dave's rental easy to get dates requested and timeline...especially closer in 1-3 months?

                  I'm wondering if we should try a small contract then buy rental transfers for the close in open days that pop up . The break even us roughly 10 years and most contracts are.about 30 year right now


                  • #10
                    How are you planning on using the points?

                    If just park vacations, would you consider club 33 or alternately VIP concierge?




                    • #11
                      Club 33 is the bomb! My wife has a patient who is a member. She was able to get us in for breakfast/brunch. Totally cool experience.

                      Unless our net worth increased substantially, I don’t think I’d pay to be a member, but it’s pretty cool to know someone who is.


                      • #12

                        Kicking around the idea of renting points more. Those using Dave’s rental site….how easy to get dates requested and timeline…especially closer in 1-3 months?

                        I’m wondering if we should try a small contract then buy rental transfers for the close in open days that pop up . The break even us roughly 10 years and most contracts are.about 30 year right now
                        Click to expand...

                        The trouble would be booking your initial reservation. You have to have the points available at initial booking. Which you may not have with a small contract. Then if you try to add on with rented points when closer, there may or may not be rooms available.

                        Number of points you’ll want to buy would depend on frequency you plan to go, and number of points you’d need for whenever and wherever you plan to stay. The points charts are available.

                        If your anticipated vacation were 300 points for a week but you only planned to go every third year you would only need 100 points because you can bank and borrow to get 300 points available every third year.


                        • #13
                          Club 33 is THE Bomb.  We had the opportunity to go about 10 years ago and it was quite memorable.   Even a casual Disney person would appreciate it.   They opened up the membership ~2012 and if we were in SD, we probably would have jumped at that insane splurge.  But that's just dining, not accommodations.

                          The way we visit Disney is both intermittent  ~5 visits a year 1-2days at time (disneyland) and 1weekers to Disneyworld every 4-5 years.  We may actually INCREASE our WDW visits with launching the kids and enjoy festivals there where having on-site hotels really make a nice thing to have.

                          We're aging and don't do the Rope drop and until you drop drop at closing anymore --- and take those mid-day naps and down times at the resort are becoming a lot more appealing and affordable splurge for us as we loosen the spending habits toward retirement.   Gotta retire to something, right?   Disney retirement

                          The unknown is the close in one-two night availability that may pop up to grab quickly and then plan a quick jump up to disneyland on those days --- that's what I wonder is available and the difficulty of booking those stays.   I don't mind getting up early daily to check the availability as I'm an early riser and can make it my routine 5min check.  Without access to the DVC site, hard to gauge that at all.



                          • #14
                            Hmm.  A colleague is in 33 and he gets all kinds of other offers.  He went to the pre opening of Star Wars and says they get early admission when they visit and other opportunities like better fast passes.   I will query him more specifically and report back.  It may take a while because i don’t necessarily see him often.

                            What about just paying for the concierge service as needed?


                            • #15
                              There are a lot of disney regulars out there.  I am in NY and I know people who go twice a year every year to WDW.

                              I went a few times as a kid and once as an adult when I was in FL for another reason we went to Universal for 1 day.  We did both parks open to close and did pretty much everything we would want to fit in.  It was just me and my wife and we were mid 20s and no kids.  It was completely exhausting.  Now in my 30s with 4 kids I could not fathom how hard a major vacation like that would be.

                              My wife and I have no desire to go until we are done with diapers and naps.  So basically when the youngest is 4-5.  Our oldest will only be 9-10 so I think the magic will still be there.

                              What ages did others bring kids?  Any regrets?

                              Also did anyone bring other family along for help?  I feel that would make matters worse but we have family expressing an interest.