DVC Inventory Question

Not sure anybody will have inner-working knowledge of DVC and how their inventory (from WDW) works.

Background on my question: I’m not a DVC owner. I own RCI timeshare points - and through DVC/RCI relationship - DVC will make some inventory available to RCI owners to book. Usually, it’s SSR or OKW, I’ve seen some WLV come through, but rarely. Three years ago, this was different - we got a 2BR AKL - but now we’re lucky to get a 1BR SSR.

In any event, we’re booked (currently) at SSR 11/26 to 12/3. My wife is a bit disappointed - wanted to stay at AKL, WL, BC or BW. When I go to the WDW website direct, I can still see 1BR Villas at these resorts available to general public at rack rate.

Back to my question - if a DVC owner came in (at this point) and requested the 1BR from WDW - would they get it? Or - does WDW put some of the villas aside specifically for general public/non DVC owners? Further, what if I (as a non-DVC owner) contacted DVC/RCI and asked them if there was any possibility of them grabbing one of the available 1BR villas for me through my RCI exchange - so I could cancel SSR and get into a different resort? Does this even sound feasible - or am I dreaming?


There are a certain number of the villas set aside for cash paying guests. DVC members can book these on a cash basis and can sometimes get 25% discount, but we would not be able to use points to book them. Those are the villas you can see as available. Your only option is to pay the full rate for them.

Have you considered trying to rent points instead?

As far as I know the room inventories for DVC members and the general public are completely separate, so you can often see DVC rooms available from WDW Reservations when there are none available from DVC Member Services. I don’t know what inventory pool the DVC/RCI rooms are pulled from, but I would think that it would be from the DVC member pool.

Thanks. I feared the “separate inventory” situation would be the case.

The more I was thinking about this - one could make the case that WDW is being silly potentially letting a 1BR at BW, BC or AKL go unused when somebody already staying in a 1BR elsewhere would love to switch resorts … be they DVC owners or not … but (a) they already have DVC owner money, so what does WDW care; and (b) the 1BR’s at BW, BC or AKL can be used as “free upgrades” for honeymooners, anniversaries, etc. in-resort … which makes a big impression.

Re: renting points - I’ll definitely consider that in the future. However, it’s just tough to justify coming in through RCI. If I consider the maintenance I pay on my RCI points, the RCI point insurance and the two transfer fees (RCI and DVC), I’ll be paying just under $800 for the 1BR week at SSR, which would cost me 198 DVC points. BW would be 163, BC would be 207. Therefore, to rent those points from David’s or a comparable place ($14-$17/point) would run me $2,608 to $3,519 for the same week. Even if I went direct through a DVC owner at $11/point (if I could get that) I’d be shelling out $1,798 to $2,277. I’d be staying in a 1BR Villa either way - so end-of-the-day I’d simply have to decide if staying a BW, BC or AKL is worth the additional $1,000-$2,700 vs. the just-under $800 I pay coming in through RCI to the SSR 1BR.

For this year - I’ll stick with SSR. Next year, I may reconsider point rental, though. Thanks again!

You could get a far more in-depth explanation of how the inventories work from others, here or a DVC members’ website. It’s a big debating point. Essentially if there wasn’t the separate inventory then DVC members wouldn’t be able to trade points through Rci, for example. It’s not a great use of points,nor are cruises, from a financial PoV, but to some it’s worth it. As DVC members trade out, that’s when rooms become available to RCI members who want to trade in. But also a certain proportion of rooms is held at each DVC resort for Disney’s own inventory, about 15% is typical I think.

Keep checking, you may get lucky. But you’ll be at Disney and I’m sure your wife would rather be there than not! Good luck.

Yes - don’t get us wrong - we booked SSR because we want to be at Disney first and foremost. Definitely not complaining :slight_smile:

It’s just that SSR isn’t really a kid-oriented/themed resort, while our last trip to AKL was great for him with the décor, the animals, etc. We imagine WL, BC, BW, POLY, etc. would all be great for him, too - and since they’re geared more towards kids (and therefore higher demand) I’m sure that’s why they’re so tough for us to get through RCI exchange-in.

I’d love to understand more on how DVC exchanges into RCI get RCI their DVC inventory. It’s not like DVC owners own “weeks” - so when a DVC owner exchanges into RCI, how do DVC/RCI decide what RCI now has available to them (resort, week)? Does RCI basically get to own exchanged DVC points at the home resort of the exchanging owner? Or does DVC say “good for you RCI, you own points - but we’re giving them to you to use at SSR”? How it works doesn’t really matter, of course, this question is purely for intellectual curiosity purposes …

Thanks again for all the responses thus far!

SSR is great for adults in the party though. Quieter than a lot of resorts and you can walk to Disney Springs which is wayyy different than it was two years ago. It’s now filled with amazing places to eat and shop.

I’m also an RCI member (well technically my parents are but I’m listed as an account user). I currently have a stay at OKW booked in January - this will be my 2nd time staying there through RCI. I feel your pain cause I too would like to be able to book into one of the other resorts but SSR and OKW are generally the only ones available. And yes you are right, it didn’t use to be as difficult to book the other resorts. I stalk the site regularly hoping to grab AKL, WL, etc. I’ve seen many listings become available and then disappear literally within 3 minutes.

From talking to folks at RCI, they have zero control over the inventory of DVC listings available. RCI puts them up when Disney tells them they can. I’ve seen them do a huge dump of a ton of resorts with a ton of options for dates, but also dates trickling here and there - I believe this is sometimes from people canceling so the dates became available again. But no, you can’t call RCI and tell them you see a certain unit available on Disney’s site, so you’d like RCI to book it for you. I wish it worked that way.

Like you, I’m hard pressed to pay to stay at another resort when I can get a week at OKW or SSR for a $250 booking fee. I mean, that’s nuts - I’m essentially paying $35 a night for a 1 BR unit. Especially for me who’s not the primary account holder - so I don’t even pay the RCI yearly fees. I think I also have to pay a “resort fee” (or something like that) when I check in, but still insignificant to what I could be paying.

The crazy thing is I would actually prefer one of the studios units at OKW because it’s me and one of my friends going. So we’d rather have 2 real beds instead of one of us sleeping in the bedroom and one of us sleeping on the pull-out in the living room. RCI never has studio units though, so it’s impossible to book that way. But, I’ll never complain cause the cost savings is unbeatable.

Now, because I’m only paying $250, I’m willing to lose that non-refundable booking fee should something else became available. So I continue to stalk the website - if I see something else, I’ll cancel OKW and book the new listing.

Have you used the Ongoing Search feature? That’s another reason you don’t see listings as often. If someone has an ongoing search setup, they’re given the option to book before the listing is made public on the RCI site. I can’t use this feature since I’m not the primary account holder.

Great response - and funny - I, too, am “spawn of an RCI owner.” My parents are the real owners, I just use their account, too! HAHAHA! Difference is - I’m required to pay their maintenance fee (pro-rated) for any points I use. So - the SSR 1BR for the week I’ll be there is 41,000 RCI points - just under half of their points - so I owe them $350 for the annual maintenance on those 41000 points, $250 for the exchange fee, $$ for the guest certificate and then, since they’re really not my points, I also pony up $60 for the points protection (to protect their points in case of cancellation). Add to that $95 from DVC upon check in and you get to my $800-ish figure, still a deal!!!

Ongoing Search - yeah - we had one in place for over 1 year. We actually removed OKW/SSR from the search at one point because it’s all that popped up, and I was getting annoyed constantly having to decline the search result. Instead, what I did (don’t laugh) - every single day for 1 full calendar year, I looked at what RCI had available on the Quick Search Results and recorded the results in a spreadsheet. If a 1BR unit was found (example) at SSR the week of 11/12-11/19, I recorded the date it first appeared - and later - the date it disappeared. It gave me an idea of which weeks are the most-prevalently available vs. the ones that don’t appear often. I can use this in future years to figure out whether a week I’m targeting should include SSR in the ongoing search, or whether I can just grab an SSR 1BR unit later if I want it.

At about 80 days to our desired check-in, we added SSR back to the Ongoing Search. It hit 4 days later. We took it, and then I created a new Ongoing search for just WL, AKL, BLT, BC and BW. If something hits on that (doubtful, but you never know) I’ll cancel SSR and take it. It takes 7-10 days for DVC’s RCI department to key in the RCI reservation into the DVC system - so I’ll cancel that ongoing search 3 weeks before my trip and resign to be at SSR.

Based on my spreadsheet, the average lead time in terms of when a week appears available to RCI owners is 50-60 days (Magic), 60-70 days (Dream), and 70-100 days (Choice/Adventure). I never noticed any weeks available for what DVC considered Premier - which didn’t surprise me.

The longest lead time I’ve seen for the entire year was 182 days - it happened ONCE out of over 600 total resort week hits I saw/recorded. Over 150-days less than 20 of those 600+ hits! This means we’re stuck getting ADR’s at 180-days from each individual day on our trip, vs 180+10 days (from check-in). That sort of stinks, too …

Unless you use the old switcheroo lol. Book a ten day room only at a value resort. Pay the one nights rate as the deposit. Book all of your ADR’s at 180+10,and then 11 days later cancel your resort reservation, get back your deposit in full, and keep all of your ADR’s.

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and you see … this is why I love you people :smile:

I had this idea earlier but wasn’t sure if the ADRs would be cancelled when I cancelled the RO reservation. Further, if I can’t get my DVC resort confirmation code until inside 60 days, I’d need to leave the value resort on until 30 days from my last park day before I cancel it and switch.

Just to be sure this would still work when also considering FPP+ reservations at 60+ days, the deposit gets refunded if cancelled 7+ days out, right? And FPP+ wouldn’t be lost if I changed resort confirmation codes in the MDE account? If so - then this would totally work.

Yes, this works - any ADRs within 180 days stay on your account. You can even get more tricky and make the bogus reservation start 10 days before your actual stay to get full availability on day 1. But we don’t talk about this trick…

I currently have all my ADR’s scheduled for Jan. If I cancel the room reservation, at this point I won’t lose all my ADRs right? I just want to be sure because I was able to get literally every restaurant and time that I wanted (which has never happened before!), so I don’t want to mess any of that up.

Wow! I am so impressed with your research! Let me ask you… have you noticed any specific time of day that listings tend to go up? Or do you find it to be completely random?

One thing to consider, if your parents will allow it, is have them add you to the account. Both my sister and I were added to my parent’s account as “authorized users” or some similar verbiage. Doing that enables you to not have to pay for a guest certificate. Technically they still issue a guest certificate but it just doesn’t cost anything. It also enables you to contact RCI yourself to make reservations without having to go through your parents.

Not sure if you rent a car or not, but have you used RCI for car rentals? I’ve gotten ridiculous deals on car rentals in Orlando. Last trip I got a mustang convertible for $200 (taxes and fees included) for 7 days. Just booked a “full size” yesterday for $154 for 8 days.

Nope you won’t lose anything. The only time you would lose an ADR is if you booked at 180 + some days with reservation and cancelled the reservation before those extra days were within the standard 180.

It’s actually 5 days. thought there isn’t really any reason to wait once you’re in the 30 day window of your real checkout date.

Thanks! Does the same work with FFP? If I booked FFP at the 60 day window but then cancel my room reservation say 25 days before arrival, will I be able to keep my FFP?
Booking with RCI always makes me nervous that when I make changes I lose everything since I’m using a 3rd party for my room reservation.

It does. As long as you’re within 30 days of your last fpp reservation they’ll stick.

I only checked the available units 1st thing each morning - so I have no analysis on time-of-day. Just day-to-day. Usually checked around 6:30am.

I’ll talk to my father about the “authorized user” - I’m all about saving some money! That would be awesome!

Car - no - we haven’t rented yet but it’s nice to know there are such great deals in case we change our minds on that!