DIS Contributors only speak to their own experiences as DVC members. They receive no additional compensation or benefits towards DVC ownership so that they may give their honest opinions about price and value.
If you’re like me, you are the exuberant Disney fan in your household. Your spouse might like going to the parks, planning with you, and enjoys sitting down to watch Beauty and the Beast as much as anyone, but they are not watching for every bit of Disney news and, in this case, not immediately sold on the power of Disney Vacation Club.
This is not uncommon and should not be the end of a conversation. With this in mind, here are 4 strategies that you can utilize when pitching DVC to your spouse.
Strategy 1: Treat DVC Like a Business Case
Disney Vacation Club is ultimately a business transaction. Money will change hands and there’s no way around that. You are the one filled with passion and gut feeling that DVC makes sense. Now you have to translate that into making financial sense too by presenting DVC as an investment, because that’s exactly what it is.
Start by breaking down the cost. I recommend taking this over a 15-year period to illustrate the financial sense being a DVC member can make. Here are two examples of the costs associated with buying into DVC. The first example breaks down the costs of buying DVC through Disney and the other over resale. Later, we will be comparing those to the cumulative costs of staying at a Moderate resort and a Value resort for 7-nights 8 different times spread out over 15 years.
Example 1 – Purchase DVC from Disney
Purchasing DVC through Disney feels like the natural move to make. You get added benefits that come along with being a DVC member, such as discounts on food and merchandise, but you also get to call yourself a member and be part of that club. It is also a little more expensive to make the jump.
Buying through Disney will run you $188 per point. If you select Copper Creek for 100 points, your purchase price will be $18,800. Add in your closing costs of $556, your upfront, one-time costs are $19,356.
It’s important not to forget about your annual dues that include maintenance and upkeep services. This will cost you $743 per year. After a 15-year period your annual dues will account for $11,145, for a 15-year grand total of $30,501.
Example 2 – Disney Resale
Alternatively you could go down the DVC resale route and save money, but you give up some of the perks of being a member. Using a recent listing on DVCstore.com** for Saratoga Springs, a 100-point contract was listed for $106 per point for a list price of $10,600, closing costs of $552, and a full sale price of $11,152.
There are, of course, annual dues and those are currently $586 per year for Saratoga Springs. Over a 15-year period those dues will total to $8,790, making an all-in cost of $19,942 over 15 years.
Costs of Staying on Property Without DVC
Now for the comparison costs of staying non-DVC. For these examples, I am assuming you will be visiting Walt Disney World for 7-night stays roughly every two years, rounding up to 8 times over 15 years. Here are the quick cost breakdowns for a Value resort and a Moderate resort:
Value Resort – Art of Animation
7-night stay (2 adults, 2 children) in a standard room: $1,641 or $13,128 over 8 visits
Moderate Resort – Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
7-night stay (2 adults, 2 children) in a standard room: $2,014 or $16,112 over 8 visits
I know these back-of-the-napkin calculations are subject to countless variables such as inflation, change in fees, and potential financing costs not included. But one thing is for sure: your initial cost for your DVC contract will not change because you’ve already paid for it, your points renew annually with just your annual dues owed, and the DVC contract is yours for potentially decades longer than the 15 years projected out.
The reason all of these numbers are important is because your spouse will likely ask about them and you should have some numbers ready. There’s a good chance that if you’re thinking of Disney Vacation Club you’ve stayed at a Value or Moderate resort, meaning your spouse will immediately say, “Why would we pay $20,000 over 15 years when we go every two years and stay at the Art of Animation or Pop Century and that costs less?”
This is a very valid question with two immediate answers. The first being value.
Using the Saratoga Springs resale example above, you could stay in a 1-bedroom villa at that resort for a full week in October for 192 points. This would be less than two years of points assuming you bank one year. That same room, in the same week, would cost your family of four $4,277 for a 7-night stay. That’s considerably more value.
The second answer comes down to flexibility and taking the long-term view.
Strategy 2: Take the Long-Term View
After laying out the numbers in your business case, your spouse might not quite be there yet. They understand it will still cost more than your last trip, but it’s important to take the long view with DVC. Like with your business case, look 10 or 15 years down the road, not just at how many trips you’ll be taking to Walt Disney World, but what your family will be like in the future.
If you have young children and you’ve typically stuck to a single room at a Value resort, this may seem adequate right now. Rest assured, though, your children will get older and things will change.
Those small children grow into teenagers and those teenagers come with expectations of space. Heck, you might want that space! That space could be found in a two-bedroom villa at Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas for a modest 199 points in October. You also have the flexibility to look at other resorts to see what makes sense to your family. That regular studio room at All-Star Sports might not look great when you have two teenage boys snoring three feet from you. The DVC resort point charts show a wide range of options for an aging family with different needs.
Plus, your personal tastes may change down the road. You might want to stay in that 1-bedroom villa once in a while, or you might want to take a big trip with friends and your extended family. The options are endless and Disney Vacation Club gives you more of them down the road.
Strategy 3: Broader Appeal Outside Walt Disney World
Hilton Head, South Carolina; Anaheim, California; O’ahu, Hawaii — It might not seem like it sometimes, but there’s a whole vacation world outside of Central Florida and DVC gives you options to visit some beautiful locations around the world.
When your children get a little older you may want to skip Walt Disney World and make a trip to Hawaii or California. Being a DVC owner gives you the opportunity to travel to Hawaii at a very reasonable points cost that offers tremendous value. Be sure to highlight this to your spouse, especially if you are the die-hard Disney fan in the house.
Strategy 4: Rent DVC Points for a Stay
If your spouse still isn’t sure about investing the money in Disney Vacation Club, try renting points for a stay at a DVC property. It doesn’t even have to be a full trip, perhaps just the last three days of a seven-day trip that can really highlight the differences buying into DVC can make to your vacation.
You could stay three nights at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas for a few hundred dollars by renting points. Or, watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks for three straight nights at Bay Lake Tower for less than $600. There are DVC point rental companies out there who can make this happen and allow you to actually show the level of value and experience offered to DVC owners.
In the end, having a spouse that is hesitant at buying DVC isn’t denying you what you want. They are being cautious and that’s okay! It’s a big purchase and something that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
In so many cases it makes sense both financially and from an experience perspective to go DVC. Do the math, look at your own finances, and really figure out how important traveling to Walt Disney World is to you and your family over the long term.
Have you had these types of conversations within your family? What were your strategies?
*All hotel rates and DVC costs were pulled from the Walt Disney World Resort website and from DVCstore.com on March 25, 2019. They were used as examples and should not be used as verified data points for your own calculations as rates are all subject to change.
**Editor’s note: The Timeshare Store is an official sponsor of The DIS.