DVC for Dummies

Does anyone have a good blog post or article that I can read to educate myself on DVC, how it works, and how to determine if it is a good deal for my family? I see blog posts on here about renting points, but we want to look into buying into DVC.

I have found Tom Bricker’s stuff helpful:

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Mousesavers.com has a lot of good info: https://www.mousesavers.com/other-disney-vacations/disney-vacation-club/

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I have checked into many Time sharing plans and their is a reason why they are so pushy when it comes to there sales. Though DVC is a little different because you buy points rather then a specific time share they are not the only one’s that goes this way as they claim. Disney can be a good deal if your family is relatively young and you plan on going at least twice a year. First thing is you must purchase up front a set amount of points which can be quite the expense for a young couple. So the first question is do you have the money or the ability to make payments for the up front investment. Secondly it isn’t just the initial investment but rather you also pay a management fee as well for things like upkeep and such. This can also add to the yearly expense. Now also realize that you only own this timeshare for 40 years before it reverts back to Disney. Yes, that’s a long time but if you planned on keeping it in your family and your families family and so on it will only extend 40 years from date of purchase. Another thing, say you decide you can’t afford to keep it or just want to get rid of it in the future. You cannot sell it for less than what Disney decides it’s worth. In other words they have Right of First Refusal. Now there are many benefits of owning DVC such as discounts and such that Disney gives you. Your can also use your points to stay at places other than DL or WDW. Although this is true, you will not always get the property or time you want just because you own a timeshare. Many times you must settle for property and time available as many others have timeshare points as well. If you understand all this and still feel DVC is right for you and you want to buy and not rent points, it can be a good deal if you love Disney. Make sure you understand the contract and what it is really going to cost you and yours. It’s easy to see yourself on a Disney vacation but before you sign on the dotted line make sure you can afford the costs you will have over time just like buying a home but not for quite as much though it still will add to the monthly bill. There are a number of books out there that explain it better than I so pick one up and read it. Take your time and check it out fully before you decide to buy or not. Hope this helps. Once again I am not saying it’s a bad deal but understand what your getting into.

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Mouseowners is a good site, with both information posts and an active forum where there is plenty of experience and great advice available.

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Thank you all so much! I have a lot of reading to do for sure. If any of you are DVC owners and have thoughts on the investment I would love to hear from you.

From my POV, the most important thing to consider are how you like to vacation at Disney.

  • If you are happy to stay in value or moderate accomodation you will not save anything by buying DVC.

  • If you cannot plan at least 7 months out, and preferably 11 months or more, DVC is less likely to suit. More and more owners mean more people chasing rooms. Other than home resort advantage at 11 months, there is no “right” to be able to book what you want.

  • Think about how often and how long into the future you will go. How long are you likely to want to still go - 10 years, 20 years, 40 years from now? You are buying now for 40+ years of vacations.
    Note: each resort lasts until a specific date. It is not all 40 years, BLT is up in 2060, BCV much earlier.
    If you think you’ll only be interested in going for 10 years it’s probably not worth buying.

For MOST PEOPLE, DVC works best for those who go at least every 2 years and can afford to buy upfront, either direct or resale. The resale market is strong, that’s why DVC holds it’s value, unlike any other timeshare. It’s in Disney’s interests to keep it that way. Which is why if they see someone trying to sell too low, they will snap it up and resell the points themselves, thus keeping the value high.

HOWEVER there are always exceptions to every rule. I am one of them! We go from the UK, once every 3 years. And we financed through Disney. And, having owned for 7 years, we could sell now, get back what we paid, plus what we paid extra to finance, plus 3 years of maintenance fees. That’s what I mean by holding value…

Recent prices are much higher, making resale a good option. At the moment you can buy resale and then do a small add on of 25 points direct to get the member perks. We expect that to rise to 50 points soon for various reasons.

Direct buyers (and those who had already bought pre April 2016) get certain perks, discounts etc. Including the use of points at other Disney resorts, cruises, RCI etc - none of which are a good use of points in general, value wise. However, the discount on APs is probably the best perk. The shopping/food discounts are usually not much better than for APs. DVC also has “in-park” events, like the Pandora previews (and likely Star Wars too) and after hours nights, which are great if you’re able to take advantage of them. In fact many members were able to book a 1 or 2 night stay just to get into Pandora, and I fully expect availability to be nil in the weeks leading up to Star Wars opening for the same reason!

Never buy for the perks though, they could go at any time.

Be aware of the differences between staying in a DVC villa and staying in one of the deluxe resorts. No daily housekeeping for a start. It is a timeshare, not a hotel. We bought in to be able to stay in a villa with a kitchen, washer/dryer and privacy from the kids. If you like the comforts of a hotel, you can pay for extra housekeeping, fresh towels each day etc.


I just read that is changing. Since the new DIS policy is to have someone check on a room once a day, I believe they were going to start offering some form of daily service with DVC - look like it is billed as “daily trash service” which might be less extensive than “housekeeping” in a regular room.

Here’s a link for reference:

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They empty the bins. That’s it! No making of beds, no fresh towels etc. Nothing that the resort guests would get each day, which was my point. :grinning:

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So you have read what Nickysyme has posted and that says a lot about buying via DVC. I am not so sure I agree with just how valuable your investment will be in the future. Timeshares are for sale all over the place. As stated, Disney has the right of First Refusal which means anything below what they consider to be a fair price, they will buy it to keep prices up. Now what does that sound like to you. They would not have to do that if prices are going up as people would not be selling lower than what they paid for it. Now you don’t have to buy a DVC property, you can rent points through different brokers, (Dave’s DVC and even Disney), as an example. You can also rent points direct from a DVC owner. As I stated in the previous post, many timeshare outfits such as Windum resorts are really high pressure. You go to one of their seminars they offer with a incentive to attend, and you will be lucky to get out of there without signing a contract you cannot afford. Maybe you should try going to one before considering DVC. Granted DVC is not quite as bad but they are there to push there properties.

I definitely think my family should try renting points first and then make a decision about DVC. Seems odd not to test out the product if we can before we buy. I appreciate your perspective on this!

Thank you so much for this thorough feedback. You have given me a lot to consider. I’m glad to hear that you feel this has been a good investment for your family. I honestly don’t know if we will be able to swing a trip to Disney as often as we need to to make it worth our while. Definitely something I need to consider and crunch numbers on.

Great Idea! Try before you jump.:rofl:

VRegarding ROFR …

Many people have tried to work out which listings Disney will likely ROFR on. The answer is - there is no answer! There is no rhyme or reason to it.

Now obviously if the price is really low, they will buy it, not just “to keep prices high”, but because they can get the points at a steal and resell them direct for much more! Clearly if resale prices fall, more people will buy or, more likely, people will buy more. (There are members with over 1000 points, who keep adding on). Either way Disney can’t lose.

But mainly they seem to excercise ROFR in order to get points back, maybe because they have a waiting list or because they want some points for a particular use Year. I saw someone say they thought they wouldn’t need a whole stack of points for all resorts, because if it becomes too easy to buy a small direct purchase at any resort, for any use Year, no one would buy the new resorts. As it is, they will obviously push the new resorts, they get more money.

*** To be clear, do not buy DVC as an investment. ***

We didn’t, it just so happens that we bought at a great time, the exchange rate was fab too. It’s nice to know we could sell and get our money back if we have to. We won’t really break even until we’re on our 6th stay. That’s based on what like for like accomodation would cost us for each trip. Everyone’s break even point will be different, depending on how you use your points.

May people will point out that if you’re in the US, in the long run, you will save nothing - because you’ll go more often so end up spending more on park tickets and travel. :joy: Only the accomodation is “free”, and even then it isn’t because of the maintenance fees.

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Hi Gnatjo- I am not a DVC owner, but someone who went every year as a child and goes 3-4 times per year now and started renting DVC points through David’s. So I thought I would contribute my thoughts.

First thought…my parents should have bought in when DVC started in the 90’s, they just figured we wouldn’t keep going back, but we did. Now that would have been a great investment!

Now that I go 3-4 times a year, mostly for runDisney events and MNSSHP and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas parties, I rent points. I would never consider buying in, as long as this option is available. I choose to go through David’s for the convenience and certainly that a broker provides (and I’ve also heard DVC Rental Store is good too). I get all of the benefits without the money up front or maintenance fees. I do pay a bit of penalty to Davids, since they get a cut, so I am not paying point for point, but I still save anywhere from 30-50% off of Disney direct prices. This also works for me as I don’t want daily housekeeping, I only want to stay at deluxe (particularly BLT and BCV) and I go at off-peak times.

I just wanted to add another perspective to the thoughtful remarks that Nickysyme and DocHopper had stated previously. The argument for owning vs renting will almost always work out in the favor of renting and until Disney caps renting or gets rid of that completely, I would never buy in.

Good luck with the research and I love Tom and Sarah Bricker’s Disney Tourist Blog, so definitely check out those links above. Give renting a test drive or two and certainly schedule a DVC tour, you’ll get fast passes or a gift card, so it will be worth your time. Just don’t jump until you are sure - like 40 years worth of Disney sure.

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Hi. We just bought a few months ago via resale and then did an add-on thru Disney. When I started researching I thought DVCinfo.com was the most helpful since it’s well organized and detailed. The difference between direct vs resale is pretty huge in convenience (direct) and cost (resale). For us we feel it’s very worth it and if you can do cash and resale the value can stack-up much quicker. I also did some DVC research on my podcasts. There is a good DVC podcast out there. If you have any regulars you like, they may have a “DVC 101” episode in their library. Good luck in your research journey. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Which specific DVC podcast was most helpful to you? I’m only aware of Top of the World.

I found a couple episodes on Welcome Home Podcast that I downloaded. It was one on DVC basics then another on resale. I have so many I listen to, that I didn’t need another and just wanted a quick listen. I honestly liked those couple so I kept listening and it’s one of my favorite podcasts now.

Thank you all so much for your advice and resources. I’ve spent some time looking through the web resources and wanted to make sure I wasn’t misunderstanding the initial buy-in. From reading through the DVCInfo site, it seems like you pay an initial amount per point and then get access to those points each year. So, for instance, if the average point cost is $175/point and I want 100 points per year, then my initial cost is $17,500. I can then use those 100 points at my home resort if I book at least 11 months in advance or try to use those points at other DVC resorts at 7 months in advance. In addition to the initial cost, I will pay an annual maintenance fee per point that can be paid in a lump sum or monthly. Does this sound correct or am I off base?

I’m also wondering how many points most families buy? If we are planning to go once a year for at least a week, I don’t think 100 will be enough.

Thank you again for your guidance.

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You can see the 2019 Points Charts here.

I haven’t bought in either, but I’m also doing a lot of research.

We have a family of 6 and our kids often get off from school for a week in October for Fall break.
Because of that, I’m pricing out 2 bedroom villas during “Choice Season.”

The best deals I’ve found are at AKL. I can do a trip a year for 213-229 points a year, OR 107-115 points a year if I plan to go every other year.

Consequently, the DVC Resale store has an app and I get an alert on my phone any time a new listing goes up for 100 - 200 points at $110 a point or lower. I’ve found it helpful.

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