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!