DVC - Good, Bad, & Ugly

Hi! We are in the very early stages of deciding to buy DVC at what is potentially not the best time HA. We are currently here and have a weekend trip planned for Dec but I think realistically we would be looking to buy in 2021.

What’s the best and worst things about DVC? Also resale vs direct? I’m leaning resale because we are Florida residents and can get an AP and 20% discount that way.

If I book at 11 months out and our plans change, is it easy to reschedule without losing points?

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Best things: knowing your accommodations are paid for for the life of the contract; staying deluxe every time; having the option to be in a villa with a full kitchen and laundry; spaaaaaaaace; owning a piece of Disney (however small)

Worst things: often limited availability for last minute travel - may be worse over the next couple of years due to pandemic; addonitis is real

I am a resale member. I do not have the blue card and, for the most part, I don’t care a lick. Especially right now when a lot of blue card perks have been diminished (as they always have the right to do). I do hate feeling like a “second class citizen” but that only lasts a hot minute when I think about how much I saved and how much sooner I was able to purchase - without financing - because I was able to be okay with it.

Rescheduling a trip to within 7 months can be tricky depending on when you’re going and where you prefer to stay (and which accommodation size). As mentioned above, that is probably going to be a bit tougher over the next couple of years due to the pandemic and the glut of points that folks now have to spend going forward. To this point it has been relatively easy to rebook provided you can be flexible.

As is often said when asking members what they regret about membership, I only regret that we didn’t buy in sooner. And I wish that we could have bought more points (but that’s always going to be a thing and I don’t think I’ll ever have enough). I have never run into anyone who wishes they hadn’t bought in, whether by resale or direct. Do it :slight_smile:

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Thank you!! We rented points this time At AKL and it’s been amazing so much better than the values.
Also I should have stated I’m thinking resale becuase I could pay cash sooner rather than financing and that’s important to me.

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…well… yes and no. I wish we had bought in sooner, yes! but right now I’m regretting it cuz of when we bought in. Our home resort still isn’t open, Aulani, and even if it was there is a 14 day quarentine for Hawaii soooo going to go nowhere on the island is pointless. So, the suck of C-19 strikes again!

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That’s an incredibly temporary thing.

This temporary has been dragging on for too long already :wink: Thank you for helping with perspective, reminders are always helpful :two_hearts:

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I would say it’s pretty easy to reschedule without actually losing your points for sure. But within 7 months you’ll definitely need to be flexible with dates and where you want to stay. And do a LOT of research on use-year.

If you think you are going to do lots of stays with short-ish notice, then I would look for a great resale deal at Saratoga Springs or Old Key West. You will probably end up staying at one of those resorts often and I would hate to be paying Poly prices for that. An SSR contract will last longer than most OKW contracts and that could be good/bad depending on your circumstances.

I own resale at SSR and definitely don’t regret it and wish we had more points. If the resale market goes lower I could be talked into adding more. I’m also staying at BWV and BRV in October and have a feeling that one of those resorts might start calling my name. I have never for 30 seconds missed “membership extras” that I don’t have access to. You may be sad about Moonlight Magic if you are local enough to plan trips around those events, but resale savings buys you a lot of Mickey bars to dry your tears.

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Worst things: It’s a timeshare, and a pretty limited one at that. Personally, there are too many things to see and do in this world to lock myself into a single type of vacation for the next 25+ years. Some timeshare companies like Marriott and Hilton have a lot more options of where/how you can use your points, but even then we would be struggling to use the points some years because of where we wanted to go. DVC is even more limited - you have your home resort booking at 11 months, the other resorts at 7 months (if there is availability), and that’s pretty much it. Yes, there is the RCA exchange program, but from all I have read that is not a good value for your points.

Also, if you have to finance the purchase then it is not a good idea for you - pretty much every timeshare guide is in agreement on this.

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I have a blue card and purchased two small direct contracts. For small contracts the resale/direct cost can be closer.

That being said , to me, there are currently no direct benefits. If I was to buy today I would buy resale unless I was looking at a larger CC contract (with incentives the cost savings can be minimal). I would never buy Riviera resale.

As a FL resident you have access to the Gold AP (the benefit I wanted the most and one of the benefits not available ) but you also have access to discounted tickets at times (something that has not been offered since I purchased DVC).

Edited to add: I wish I had bought earlier. I still dream of adding AKL points but right now I am just trying to use my yearly banked points. I feel no pressure to use my points. I don’t want to lose them but as an owner I know I will always have a chance to return home.

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I love my Gold AP. One of us got gold and the rest got Silver; to save money. The gold has memory maker attached. The last time we parked, bumped up to premium, the CM gave me a discount on the parking, very nice.

I’ve never been able to convince myself that DVC is worth it.

Tying up thousands (likely tens of thousands) of dollars to lock in a very specific vacation that requires you to spend even more money (tickets, annual maintenance, etc) to enjoy it? No thanks. I’d rather keep my cash and each year determine the vacation that best fits our budget and interests.

Especially right now. I’m hoarding cash like a dragon! Too much uncertainty to commit to long term vacation plans. Plus, that stockpile of unused points from the closure would make me very nervous for the next couple years.

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I was spending about 2k a year in resort stays. Years ago I could find a MVT stay for $250 a night, now a reduced deluxe stay is almost always over $400 a night. The rack rate for my CC studios are usually over $800 a night.

Expenses such as tickets would be the same for people that go to Disney regularly, especially those of us that go more than once a year. A gold AP will save a direct owner $300-400 a year. For a family that savings is well above annual dues.

I will soon be 60. My largest expense for most of my Disney stays (with a Gold AP) is my Resort stay. I know that I can stay at the resorts I love for about $100 a night in annual dues. I also know that my son will have the same opportunity for the next 25-50 years. Or, if he wants to he can rent the points for cash or sell them to purchase something else.

I too am hoarding cash right now but I have never regretted my DVC purchase.

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Thanks all! I guess I should say we would pay cash and have a 5/6 year old. Disney is easy for us because they love it and we can do adult restaurants and not feel like the children are a burden. We have also done trips the last 3 years in a row when we lived 16 hours away we just moved about 7 hours away and so it all seems we’ll be here more. We love it, they love it. Win win.

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We wanted to do it years ago and couldn’t afford it, but this last DVC tour the CM pointed out that I had already paid for it… when I totaled what I had spent in the past two years going to WDW… she was correct. I had already spent the same amount as a DVC mbrshp. SOLD! She was one smart cookie :rofl:

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100% this. We are a family of 5, about to be 6. We will be saving at least $2,500 on APs (as soon as they let us buy them again!!). With or without DVC, we would still be planning to visit enough to need APs. Maybe not every year, but some years. Resale for our AKL contract was about $14,000 cheaper than direct. So, if over the life our contract, we buy APs 6 times, we’ve more than covered that difference. Now, if we lived in FL and could get Gold APs that way, this obviously wouldn’t mean much. But we don’t live in FL and have no intention to in the next 20 years.

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I just bought but I can give you some insight into what I have already learned.

If you think you will usually be booking within the 7 month window, then I agree with the above suggestion to buy SSR or an extended OKW contract. That way you can also buy more points for your money. At 7 months, the availability is often the more expensive stays. Which leads me to the need to buy a few more points than you think you will need, especially if you think you will be traveling over spring break, thanksgiving or Christmas once your kids are in school. If you go during the off season, this isn’t as important.

From a value perspective, I would say that you know your travel style best. If you would always book value resorts after hunting the best price, then your DVC vacations will cost you more than you would otherwise spend. My back of the envelope math put the cost of a studio stay at AKL at roughly $300 a night over the course of the contract, including maintenance fees. The cost of the one bedroom was around $530 a night (and these would be shorter trips). This is a good value, when you consider inflation, if you will continue to go to Disney, and you stay Deluxe.

I will note, as much as my heart belongs to the Boardwalk, I could not buy there because of the shortened contract time. In comparison to AKL the shortened contract makes the “cost” of a studio there roughly $480 and a one bedroom $663. Even if we eventually decide to sell, I would rather be selling a contract with more time on it.

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Sure, if you count the purchase price as sunk cost.

I’m not saying there’s a right answer. Each family has their own risk tolerance. I was just explaining my thought process.

Sales people definitely have their own way of showing the math!

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Right, I am explaining mine. I have prepaid the other $400 a night (2021 rate) . At current costs it is about 5 years to “be ahead”. If you are not a Disney freak, it does not work.

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Your words, not mine :joy:

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