After booking a stay at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, you may receive an offer in the mail to take a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) tour during your trip in exchange for a gift card, Fastpass+ selections, or some other offer. DVC is Disney’s timeshare division and includes the Deluxe Villas at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, in addition to resorts in Hawaii, Hilton Head and Vero Beach. You may also receive an offer in your room during your stay. Are the incentives offered by Disney worth the time that it will take to participate in the tour?
The DVC tour includes pick-up from, and drop off to, anywhere on Disney property. I was staying at Port Orleans Riverside for four nights with my mom. I wanted to maximize this transportation option, so I chose the day that I planned to visit The Grand Floridian. That eliminated my need to navigate the traditional Disney transportation system, which can be time consuming when traveling from resort to resort.
The tours typically take 60-90 minutes, not including transportation time. My tour time was 9:00 at Saratoga Springs, and the van picked me up at 8:40. I had a few minutes to enjoy the hospitality lounge and look around. There was a Kids Clubhouse where families could drop off their children for the duration of the tour. It began promptly at the specified time with a 5 minute video to start. All participants viewed the video together before being assigned an agent. My agent was upfront with me about the fact that many guests book these tours for the incentives with no interest in purchasing DVC. He asked my intentions so that neither one of us wasted our time. I could receive my free gifts immediately and be on my way if I desired. I appreciated the candor, although I was interested in the tour.
My agent provided a detailed explanation of the program, including how it would work with a sample vacation. Every cost was clearly outlined and all of my questions were answered. Once we finished discussing the financials and logistics, we toured the Community Hall and sample villas from Aulani, the Polynesian, and Copper Creek. The tour completed at a lounge area with ice cream service. This is where I was given my incentives, which included a $50 Disney gift card and 3 Fastpass+ credits to be used any time during my stay, with a few restrictions.
Overall, this was a great experience. As a Disney fan that is interested in purchasing DVC in the future, I felt this was well worth my time. I expected the polished sales pitch but I was impressed with the fact that it was not a hard sell. The information was presented in a clear manner and the rest was up to me. I appreciated the special touches such as the pastries and beverages upon arrival, the beautiful decor in the waiting area, and the personal chauffeur. On the other hand, if this had been a vacation with my husband and kids, I would likely only do it if we were staying a whole week or were ready to make a decision on the purchase immediately.
Disney Vacation Club is a unique concept compared to most other timeshare opportunities. While plenty of information can be found online about purchasing an interest, the tour is a wonderful way to have it all clearly explained with a few bonuses thrown in. Your vacation time is valuable. Use it wisely.