Considering DVC (long post)

Hello all! I’m a very frequent poster in Chat, but have not posted here in the forum very often. This is a long post, and I would appreciate feedback from both the pro and con side of purchasing DVC.

DH and I went on a DVC tour this past weekend. I have two teens, and we upgraded to AP on what was our 20th anniversary vacation last March. We have had a fantastically fun “year of Disney.” Our AP is about to expire and we probably will take a year long break from WDW. Although to be honest this makes me very sad.

I am strongly in favor of purchasing DVC. DH was a hard no until we went on the tour, and now he is a soft no. Before the tour he would not even let me talk to him about it because he heard the words timeshare and kind of freaked out. After the tour he has begun thinking of it as “joining a country club.” You pay a hefty initiation fee and then monthly fees to maintain your membership. He is still disinclined, but I am in full research mode to see if I can convince him that this makes sense for us. He actually loves Disney, he just pretends that he does not, and he is very fiscally conservative so big purchases must be considered very carefully before they are made. For me the emotional side is strong, but it also has to make sense financially or it will not happen.

A few points: we would either pay cash or self-finance (we have the ability to borrow money from ourselves and pay ourselves the interest instead of paying someone else interest.) Most likely we would pay cash for a small contract (100-125 points) and see how it goes before deciding whether to add on. The maintenance fees would not be a financial hardship and would not prevent us from taking other types of vacations on occasion if we chose to do so.

DH always wants to stay Deluxe. Always. He would be grumpy at a Moderate. I am not picky, but I want us to go to WDW as a family or as a couple so Deluxe it will need to be.

We always stay on site. I would not consider staying offsite. I have family that lives about an hour away and we can suck it up and drive back and forth from their house for free rather than pay for offsite. (By the way, I don’t really like doing this. To me the best part of WDW is the immersion in the bubble and blocking out the real world while I’m there.)

My idea is to go for a full week every other year as a family, so I’m eyeing an initial purchase that would be roughly half the point cost of a 1 BR. This would be perfect for our needs right now and likely for he next 10 years. We can stay studio too, but for stays longer than 3-4 nights, I would appreciate the privacy of a bedroom separate from the teens. At minimum, any studio we stay in would need to sleep 5, because DS and DD do not share a bed. In 5 years we will be empty nesters and can stay either studio or 1 BR as we prefer.

DH and I are both in our 40’s. I am thinking of this as a purchase that will allow us a week away on vacation at least every other year for much less than it would cost to purchase a true vacation home. DH has a very stressful job and I have a hard time convincing him to take vacations, but for his own health he NEEDS to take vacations. My goal is to force him to relax. I love the parks, but also love the idea of just lounging at the resort pool with drinks in hand, eating at some nice restaurants and soaking in that Disney ambiance. We actually spent a good part of our past weekend there just walking around and enjoying the details of the parks. The rides themselves are not that important to DH, but the resorts and theming themselves are very enjoyable.

Now for the hard part…what to purchase, if we decide to do so. DH has a strong preference for Poly and always has and likely always will. We were offered Riviera and while it was beautiful and I would enjoy staying there, I do not want to purchase there because of the resale restrictions. We were also offered SSR, which of course makes great sense financially. I would be fine with staying there, but I don’t want to ONLY stay there or ALWAYS stay there. I seem to see lots of post that give the impression it is hard to book at the 7 month window at other resorts, so I am concerned about buying SSR for financial reasons and then feeling like I am missing out on other resorts.

I am also very conflicted about purchasing direct vs. resale. I am worried that in the future, Disney will build many more DVC resorts that can book at the original 14 plus all the newer ones, but with resale I would only have the option of the original 14, thus creating more competition for those 14 resorts at the 7 month mark and essentially locking me in to only SSR. Hope that makes sense.

The other big perk that seems to matter is the discounted AP. I do find that very appealing. I can get a Gold AP by using my family member’s mailing address for a financial statement, but this feels like cheating. It could also change at any time, if family members move. I’m not above gaming the system/cheating, whatever you want to call it. But honestly that feels kind of icky.

Other than securing that blue card for the unknown changes that may come in the future, and having access to discounted AP, the rest of the direct perks don’t mean very much to me.

I would love input/opinions on whether it makes sense to pursue a direct purchase of 100 points at SSR, then add on enough to points in resale to SSR so that I can stay in a 1 BR villa at other locations. (I’m not in a hurry, so resale taking time is not a problem.)

Or should I just purchase those same 100 direct and resale points at Poly because DH would ALWAYS be happy to stay there no matter what, giving us the option to stay at a studio there or a 1 BR elsewhere?

Or is DVC not a good option for my family?

Sorry this is so long. I’m bound to have many other questions. But I’ve seen lots of helpful and friendly responses to other people who have questions here and I’m kind of thinking out loud about all of this. Can you help me think it through? Thanks Liners!

I have not purchased DVC, but to me it sounds like you’re being very thorough and I’m sure you will make the right decision.

1 Like

When I was looking into DVC, I put together a spreadsheet, and then compared it to the cost for renting points, every other year. There were so many moving parts, it was hard to be certain of anything. But for us, renting continues to make more sense, especially because DH is like yours - hesitant to get into anything for that long.


I think you should reconsider your direct vs resale thoughts firsts. I think it is a valid concern that as the original resorts expire, that list will shrink and the resorts you cannot book will increase. BUT, a Gold AP does not have value if you travel every other year.

When considering direct keep in mind that Poly does not have one bedrooms. I am an owner that wants my points to stretch as far as possible. I love GFV, but will never buy there because, quite honestly, I am too cheep. I want my points to buy me multiple long weekends.

1 Like

This was my conclusion as well. Renting points and going when we truly want to go makes a lot more sense than paying a giant upfront contract that only “pays off” if we predict the future accurately.

Given how much Disney continues to change the experience (building more and more hotels = more crowded, more competition for 60 day FPs since they’ve added “offsite” resorts, etc)…I can’t guarantee that a WDW vacation will be definitely what I want to do in 10/15+ years. Or if I want to do WDW, that the onsite Deluxe/DVC is the right fit for a particular trip.

1 Like

Renting points can save you money, for now, on a studio. The rental companies will continue to raise the rates (now $20?) and it will still save you 40% over Disney rack rates but there is an interesting thread on MouseOwners this week. With the higher rental rates a two bedroom cash is cheaper than a rental in many cases if you can get an AP discount. Even without a discount, you can no longer say at $20 a point that a DVC rental is cheaper than a moderate (with a discount usually).

Disney cash prices will increase. Many owners are charging a premium for lower point rentals…I think when I realized that the MVT Labor Day rates are now almost $400 a night, I knew these costs will not slow down for now.

I’m going to answer in slightly fragmented sentences as I read through your post. I’ve been a DVC member since 2007. I own at AKL and Riviera

For this reason alone I recommend buying DVC. The savings over the life of the contract will be substantial.

To your point of buying at Saratoga - you’re right, buy where you want to stay. The ability to book at the 7 month window depends greatly on the time of year and type of room. Sept - Dec are super busy and studios are the most difficult to get. Saratoga will generally not be hard to get at 7 months, so you can always stay there on occasion if you want - the spa is a great on-site perk.

The discounted AP is fantastic, however if you’re only planning on going every other year, then it’s a mute point. Will you really go every other year?

If I were doing it all over again, with your circumstances, I would buy 100 direct at Poly and add on resale at Poly with the same use year. 100 points will not be enough. Compare the cost of the contract divided by the number of years remaining, plus the annual maintenance fees as “annual vacation expense” and add that to the cost of actually going, including flight, food and park tickets. Is that total more than you would spend in a year paying out of pocket? In my experience, once we became DVC members we vacationed much more often. Previously we were every other year people. Once we had DVC we go annually as a family and the last 4 years have made a second or third trip as a couple. Realistically estimate how often you will go, at what time of year and in what accommodations to calculate how many points you’ll actually need, and compare costs after that. Good luck and ask all the questions - it’s a big decision!

I think that’s the crux of the matter…the advantage of DVC is not what it can give you NOW, but what it will give you several years down the road when prices have gone up, but you only have to pay the annual dues.

Of course, the economy is flying high right now, driving some of the price increases, so in a few years as the economy likely cools, price increases will slow down as well…but then, it is a cycle.

I think the big question, then, is if you feel that you will continue to want to visit Disney 10-20 years from now…that’s when it really pays off to buy.

I agree if Poly works to buy a direct and resale. Although I would buy the resale first since Disney should be able to match the use year. Poly is a great resale buy right now. Lower point cost, lots of years, rarely ROFR by Disney. It does not meet the 1 bedroom requirement. I would rent a weekend there before I bought.

The Poly is the one resort where almost all the studios connect.

So although there aren’t any 1-beds, two connecting studios would still give the separate sleeping rooms. I guess it depends how much @HibiscusHuny wants the kitchen and washer/dryer. The laundry is free, although obviously not nearly as convenient.

Of course, as the kids get older all you need do is tell them firmly that they are not to return until after 10pm and put the security latch on the door! :grin:

1 Like

Yeah but that goes back to me being cheap. Each studio for a weekend in December would be 35 points (December 5-7 2020) or 70 points for two nights! A week (Saturday to Saturday starting the 5th) is 118 for each studio so 236 for two. I picked that week as a low point week.


I like to play with points so I have two apps: DVC Planner and D Point. I think maybe if I took the time to learn how to use it DVC Planner might work best for multiple contracts but I love D Point. I suggest @HibiscusHuny you look to see how many points a trip will take at different resorts, room types , time of year.

This is a great suggestion Principal! I will look into the apps!

Poly does look like a good deal for resale right now, but direct: OUCH! We were told $245 pp for direct by our Guide. My conclusion is that they really did not want to sell Poly direct right now!

1 Like

How do you feel about split stays?

I actually like the idea of split stays. I think each resort has unique advantages. Part of the reason I’m torn about where to buy is because I really do want to stay at a variety of places. I love AKL, BWV, and Poly. I assume I would like BRV based on location and pool. I think BLT has some appeal as well.


Why not consider buying at two resorts? Poly if it will keep DH happy, and then add on elsewhere. The only issue is getting matching use-years.

1 Like

I agree! Poly resale and a cheaper direct? Maybe even AKL?

1 Like

Part of my strategy with this is actually to force DH to vacation more. If I can get him to take this leap, he will insist on “getting his money’s worth.” He honestly needs to get away from work and relax more and its like pulling teeth to get him to take time off of work. Extended family members own a beach house that we have the use of on occasion, but sometimes he relaxes there and sometimes he does not (family politics sometimes get in the way of actually relaxing. Sigh.) He always relaxes at WDW.


I’m going to give this some serious thought. I don’t know why it I did not occur to me before! :slight_smile:

1 Like