DVC booths are everywhere in Disney World. I had always known that Disney Vacation Club was a timeshare at Disney, but wasn’t sure how it worked. Of course it would be great to own a property at Disney, but I would always just walk by, never dreaming it could one day be a reality. The word “timeshare” can be perceived somewhat skeptically by some. But knowing how Disney executes things, if anyone could do a timeshare right, it would be them. The big question was, did it work like a traditional timeshare? Would you only be able to travel during a specific time of the year?
My hubby and I had some time to kill on our first visit to Disney World together. Knowing how much I love Disney, he suggested we hear what they had to say. There were some free fast passes involved, so we thought…what the heck.
Everything started off good, we had our own private transportation to the Grand Floridian to sit one-on-one with a DVC representative. Surprisingly, he didn’t show a video or do a formal presentation. Instead it was a comfortable conversation, during which, we got a lot of our questions answered. The most surprising aspect was that the meeting did not feel like a sales pitch. He gave us the facts and scenarios of how it would, or would not, be in our best interest depending on budget, availability or preferences.
Disney Vacation Club is a point operated system, in which you purchase the amount of points necessary to meet your desired travel needs. Points per night vary based on resort, room-type, and time of year. The rooms they showed us were the biggest they had with the best views; needless to say, the top of the points spectrum. Everything sounded legitimate and there didn’t seem to be any fishy feeling like I had gotten at other timeshare presentations. Our rep answered all of our questions, and it seemed to make sense for us. We walked away from our meeting and decided to go home and mull it over, outside of the magical Disney bubble.
I am a bit of a skeptic when it comes to spending big money off of a sales pitch, but we couldn’t find anything weird about it and the “horror story” contract problems of other timeshares were not an issue with the DVC contract. The typical sales person will try to create a need for the product they are selling. What our representative told us was, “If you don’t foresee yourself going on vacation at least yearly or every other year, this is not for you!”
The initial investment is large, and it gave me a pit in my stomach for about a week. However, my husband crunched the numbers and for us, it would work to our advantage. If we use our timeshare annually for 10 years, we will see our return on investment.
What we really liked about DVC is you can customize your ownership based on your needs. For our specific needs (type of resort/frequency of visits) we purchased the number of points we would use each trip annually at our home resort. Members can book up to 11 months out at their home resort or 7 months out at all other DVC resorts.
You can check out the DVC point charts by clicking HERE.
Things to keep in mind when you’re trying to decide:
- Annual dues: includes taxes and resort maintenance. These are based on how many points you own at your home resort.
- Points per night vary at each resort depending on the time of year you go.
- It is best to buy DVC if you have the ability to pay cash or mostly cash, otherwise you’ll be paying an astronomical interest rate to finance through Disney.
- There are resale packages available, or you can rent points first to see if it is something you and your family would be interested in purchasing.