Are you considering purchasing a Disney Vacation Club membership for your family? If so you likely have burning, important questions that need answers.
Well look no further, this comprehensive guide is everything you need to know about Disney Vacation Club and what it means to be a member.
What Is Disney Vacation Club?
Most simply explained, Disney Vacation Club, or DVC, is a vacation timeshare program. It is owned and operated by Disney Vacation Development INC.
If you are unfamiliar with the concept, timeshares allow you to purchase, and therefore “own,” vacation resort property. Since you own it you are able to book vacations there year-round.
Disney Vacation Club is unique in it is Disney resorts and you’re a member of the DVC. The DVC is a point rental-style timeshare. You make an initial purchase of points, and then you use those points to vacation at various Disney resorts.
For the best perks, you should buy these points directly from Disney. Though there are various ways to purchase points, such as buying the rest of someone’s membership or through a reseller.
The first Vacation Club Resort was opened on December 20th, 1991. Originally called “The Disney Vacation Club Resort,” it is now known as Disney’s Old Key West Resort.
In the past thirty years, it has grown to include more than 220,000 club members.
How Does Disney Vacation Club Work?
Members of Disney Vacation Club buy rental points, and at a later date, you then spend those points on perks and parts of your vacation.
To start, your initial purchase of points is a minimum of 100 up to 2,000. You then get that amount of points annually, unless you choose to add more later.
Not only can you add more points if you’d like. You can also borrow points from the next year.
The DVC points program allows for some extreme flexibility. For instance, you can vacation at a different Disney resort or cruise line every year. Or save up points one year then borrow from the next year to have one huge vacation this year.
Point costs vary from resort to resort. The size of the room, Time of year, and length of stay will also affect the number of points needed for your vacation.
How Much Does Disney Vacation Club Cost?
By purchasing a Disney Vacation Club membership, you are essentially buying your family’s vacations for the next 50 years. This is a major investment and commands careful thought. This works similarly to a timeshare home, which would could in handy when visiting the Disney Vacation Club. However, a good timeshare cancellation company can help you get out of your contract and avoid the consequences of a timeshare repossession, whereas exiting a vacation club membership is slightly different.
There’s no getting around it, a DVC is expensive. Between the down payment, annual maintenance fees, and potential monthly fees, a DVC purchase is akin to buying a new car.
Though Disney urges you to make the entire purchase at once, they do offer financing with 10% of the total cost down payment required.
In fact, it is very similar to buying a house. Even including closing costs, which currently start at $587 and increase with the room size and number of points.
As of 2020, the cost of one point is $195. This means, not including the annual fees and closing costs, The minimum DVC membership will run you $19,500.
Something to consider when thinking about paying the entire membership at once.
Financing is always an option, you will be paying month to month like any mortgage or property payment. Just don’t forget to factor in the annual fees, they usually increase 4%-6% every year and currently start at about $70-$80 a month.
A necessary cost as they cover things like maintenance.
Disney Vacation Club Price Example
So what do these numbers look like in a practical sense? Let us see a for instance using current Disney DVC prices at Disneys Rivera Resort.
As of this article’s writing, Disneys’ price per point is $201.00. So your one-time costs for a realistic 150 points start at $30,150.00.
Added to that are your closing costs of $809.22, again per Disney. Meaning your one-time total is $30,209.00.
Alternatively, you could finance at $427.25 per month for a 10-year loan with a 10% down payment.
Finally, once you add in the $104.88 a month in annual costs you should have an accurate picture of the total expense.
Benefits of a Disney Vacation Club Membership.
Now that we’ve gone over the cost, see some of the benefits and VIP perks that come from all that moola.
Obviously, as a Disney Vacation Club member, you are privy to certain discounts. Your discounts are on more than annual passes, they also count towards food and beverage purchases as well as merchandise goodies.
Beyond that, you can get discounted access to golfing and shopping. As well as discounted tickets to some water parks and Disney Quest.
You can still book a Disney Dining Plan, which will save you money in the park without a discount. However, you can also take advantage of your resort rooms’ full-size kitchen.
One fantastic perk is the possibility of having groceries delivered straight to your villa. So you can save that money entirely by making “home-cooked” meals right in your own kitchen.
After that, you have access to DVC members-only lounges, which are currently available in two parks. And members are also granted pool-hopping privileges.
This means, except for Animal Kingdom Lodge and Stormalong Bay, you and your guests may “hop” to the pools at resorts you are not currently staying at.
Not so Magical Points of DVC Membership
First and foremost, you cannot talk about the downsides of a Disney Vacation Club Membership, without talking about the high price tag. Because it is without a doubt, a very large financial decision.
But less obviously are just the average facts of life. Will you and your family want to only vacation at Disney resorts? On top of the exorbitant cost of membership, as it is, you still have to pay for parking, park tickets, some food, and beverage costs, and a number of other fees. The fact is, that if you’re only going to be visiting the Orlando Disney resort every couple of years then it may be more cost-effective for you to explore more hotels in Orlando with similar amenities to Disney’s.
And again, only Disney for every vacation for fifty years can become tiring and tedious. Though there are many places to book, even some worldwide locations, getting to them is sometimes not easy or affordable.
So, Is a Disney Vacation Club Membership Worth It?
There is no easy answer to this question. There are plenty of perks and pluses, but again at a very high price.
The benefits are best if you go through Disney, but there is an option to buy you Disney Vacation Club membership through resale.
Through an experienced resale agent, you have the ability to buy and sell Disney Vacation Club resale. Even if you do not own a Disney Vacation Club membership, you can still book these rooms!
A resale agent can even help you with Disney Vacation Club rentals. Renting unused points of other families can be a much more affordable option.
If you and your family are ready for a Disney VIP experience, perhaps without that VIP price, browse the resale listings for your Disney Vacation today.