My suggestion is to sit down and actually write out the numbers. I’m a huge Disney fan. I actually own a timeshare in CA that is not DVC simply because I knew I’d be going there every year (and over the past 20 years, I’ve only missed twice due to pregnancies. )
However, this IS a timeshare and that makes it a huge cost-notice I don’t use the word investment. While I will admit you can potentially rent our your point to get some money back and you can resell your contract, the fact is that you will never make a profit. The best you can hope for is a discount overall to your trip prices.
Keep in mind you are not just paying for the contract-you will have yearly fees and these range based on the location. $7-11/point doesn’t seem like much, until you realize that is every year…and it always goes up. That needs to be figured into the overall cost of your vacation.
I have stayed at CR once with my kids. However, I usually stay at values, so I price the value of DVC against the value resort prices. If you are looking for studios, the value resorts will likely cover your needs…and then some.
Step 1: Compare the type of resort where you would actually pay out of pocket. Determine all the time(s) of year when you travel and the length of stay(s) over the course of one year. Go to the WDW website and price a vacation at that location for those dates (or similar ones if not online right now) with the number of people who would travel in your group.
Step 2: Then, take the price you are paying for the contract and divide that by the number of years left on the contract.
Step 3: Next, find your likely cost of maintenance fees. Look at the DVC fee charts to determine the amount you pay each year per point and multiply that by $1.7, which is an average guesstimate of the overall maintenance fees over the course of the contract. If it has several decades left, you might want to increase that to $2 or more. Then, Take that amount and multiply it by the number of years left on your contract.
Step 4: Add Steps 2 + 3 --this is your total DVC cost over the life of your contract. Divide this by the number of years of your contract and you have the amount you are paying for one year. If you are banking DVC points to use every other year, you would then multiply that 1 year amount by 2 since that is really what your vacations are costing you.
Now, compare the cost of the trip from WDW’s site to the cost after Step 4. If they are close, or Step 4 is less, by all means look into a DVC purchase. For most value resort guests, though, you may be shocked to see just how much you save by booking direct - and that does not take into account the discounts Disney offers online, as well as the AP discount many people could use since they are pass holders. As a result, I book direct every time,. The one time trip to CR actually got discounted so much that it was about the same level in price as a moderate - and we got food. Those discounts often make it more useful NOT to buy DVC, especially on the resale market where you won’t get any of the DVC owner perks.
That being said, if you intend to buy resale, you can start looking now as owners who can’t afford the yearly maintenance fees are starting to sell and I already see prices starting to fall. I predict this pattern will continue as long as our current situation continues.