DVC - newbie

First time poster - I’ve been in Lines for quite some time. I’m thinking about DVC. I know very little about it but we recently got back from the World and stayed in rented DVC studio at Poly. Needless to say - we loved it.

Now that I’m back I’m seriously thinking about buying into it. I really don’t know where to begin. So here are some questions:

  1. If we pay the contract in full up front, are the only fees annual fees each year and then we’d just need to buy park tickets, food, etc?

  2. If we go with say - Sarasota Springs, how easy is it to book other places 7 months out. Not during holidays or food and wine of course.

  3. Are there any discounts associated with being a DVC member?

  4. Is there an amount of time yearly we’d need to use it to feel like we’ve gotten our money’s worth? Like if we only stay 4 days once a year - is that not enough to justify DVC membership?

  5. Why doesn’t everyone pick Sarasota Spings or Old Key West as their home resort since the buy in price point is so much lower?

  6. I don’t understand the end year thing. So is that when everyone’s contracts are up or is it like 30 years from when each individual buys in?

I have tons more, but I’m scared no one will answer if I keep going, haha! Also - if you all know of any good resources form me to read up on this stuff, please shoot the links my way! :slight_smile:

Mousesavers has a lot of good information for people considering DVC - I think that it covers a lot of your questions. https://www.mousesavers.com/other-disney-vacations/disney-vacation-club/#dvc

I am not a DVC owner, but I did just review the Disney DVC sales pitch/materials and the Mousesavers web page in August. I wasn’t that certain that I would buy in, but, after reading Disney’s sales materials, I was LESS interested in buying in.

I enjoy renting DVC points, but what really took me back was how long it takes to break even vs. purchasing my vacations. It became so long that I immediately wondered if in 10 or 15 or 20 years, I would even care about going to WDW.

Additional truth to be told here. My family is probably not the primary target for such an opportunity. We love WDW, but only go about every 2 - 4 years because there are so many other travel opportunities that we like.

That being said, I was amazed that the Disney DVC promotional materials actually made me LESS likely to purchase a DVC membership. Seeing the costs laid out all in one place, I immediately realized how much cost is associated.

That being said, there are CERTAINLY people for whom it makes more sense than my family. I used to have a friend, back in the stone age (you know, when I was in elementary school), who traveled to WDW every year for a week at spring break and often one or two other times per year. They would probably be good candidates. If you spend 10 nights per year at WDW it is very different.

At any rate, I have nothing to say to help you, I just thought I would add my two cents worth since I just recently looked at the DVC promotional materials and did a little digging.


Mouseowners is a good forum to ask questions and so-on too.

To try and answer some questions fairly briefly:

  1. Yes

  2. It can vary enormously. Certain categories of rooms (for example but not limited to values at AKL, standard view at BLT, studios & 2 beds at GF, Boardwalk area in general at F&W, std at BWI) can be very hard to get without the home resort advantage. SSW and OKW are the resorts that will have most availability at 7 months. Peak time for DVC is Fall to Dec.

  3. There can be but only if you buy direct. Reduced APs, discounts at restaurants (10 to 20 % is typical, up to 30% recently) and shops. Pool hopping to some pools (far fewer and not to any really desireable ones), and access to TOTWL at BLT, plus DVD rental are available to all owners including resale. ALL perks are subject to change at any time.

  4. That is too subjective to call. It would depend how many points you have and how you use them. I am in a massive minority, coming from the UK and using banking and borrowing to come for 2 to 3 weeks every 3 years. Everyone will have a different opinion on this :slight_smile:

  5. Because although lower per point, different resorts require different number of points to book similar accomodation. So you would need far more points for a week at GF studio than at SSR. Also home booking advantage is important for certain resorts, rooms etc. For that reason you should buy where you would be happy to stay.

  6. The end year is when all contracts cease, you have nothing left at that point. We have no idea what will happen then. Will they tear down and rebuild? Offer extensions? That did not prove all that popular at OKW.

You really need to do your homework first. For instance where do you normally stay? If you are happy to stay in value or mods then DVC is probably not for you. If you like daily housekeeping you will have to pay for it.

It is a timeshare and with it comes trade offs. The difference between DVC and most other timeshare is that it holds it 's value. The Right of first refusal on the resale market means DVC can help to maintain the value by stopping really cheap prices! They will buy back any points being offered for sale at “too low” a price. So the resale value holds reasonably. Clearly in a recession this will not be the case, but it goes a long way to help.

I’ll give you an example. We bought direct 7 years ago. We also financed (essentially because we did not have the cash up front and uk banks would not lend for a timeshare purchase under any circumstances). We did luck out with the exchange rate, however … 7 years later our points are worth MORE than the price we paid including the full amount of the loan. Yep, they have risen that much.

I suggest you join a forum like mouseowners and ask lots of questions. Have fun!

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(kidding. it’s a good consideration. even if i can’t imagine it for myself LOL)

I know right? I mean who knows? But 20 years from now, with kids long gone - who KNOWS what I will want to be doing.

Well, here I am 20 years later, my kids are grown and for the most part gone, I am still going to Disney wishing I had invested in DVC when we did go thru the sales pitch when my kids were infants.

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Yes, it’s a crucial decision that you have to make.

For us, the first time we stayed onsite, DH found he was able to completely relax on vacation, for the first time since we had the boys. Being the only driver meant he had always had to be the one driving the hire car, and always be doing whatever the rest of us wanted to do.

The Disney bubble means he can go back to the resort after a couple of hours if he wants to, and the boys and I can carry on in the parks. So it seems likely that DH and I will continue to come into our retirement, whether the boys join us or not. And the boys could come separately too.

Our breakeven point will be at around the 5th vacation, erring on the cautious side. So 15 years for us.

Another factor is whether you can plan ahead. DVC isn’t designed for last minute vacations. It can be done, you just need to be flexible on where and when you come. But it works best if you can plan a year ahead, certainly before the 7 month mark.

Thanks everyone. I’m fairly certain we will wanta to come to Disney after our daughter is grown (she’s 5 now). I’ve been several times and my husband and I did a trip before she was born and he loved it. So I can see us coming back regularly - if we can justify the cost.

As far as planning goes, I’m all for it! Who doesn’t love having a vacation to look forward to 7-11 months out!

I’ll do some digging on the websites mentioned. I appreciate your all’s feedback!

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It is possible to buy any resort direct. DVC will try and steer you to the newer resorts, but if you persist they will usually give in. For a very few the chances are minimal, and for others you may need to wait until they can get the points you want by exercising ROFR on some resale.

The end date for the “older” resorts will be therefore be determined by the resort.