Taking another look at DVC Ownership

We have looked at buying into DVC several times over the past 10 years, but never pulled the trigger. We have gone on a number of tours and heard the pitches. On this past trip, we met with the DVC rep at the resort. We never wanted to get “locked in” to vacationing at WDW, and yet, we return year after year, and stay in DVC resorts because we like a separate bedroom and kitchen. (Although,we typically book under some sort of discount). We should have done this when our kids were younger, so I’m not sure if it’s wise at this point.

I am overwhelmed when I look at all of the threads in this category. Is there one comprehensive thread or link that can lead me through the analysis? I am pretty aware of all of the positives, what I want to hear about are the negatives, the pitfalls, and what I need to be wary of. (I am a worst-case scenario person.) My DS (22), who thinks like me, asked “And what if Disney goes defunct in 10 years or decides to sell the theme parks?” So, that is kind of who we are. Very risk-averse.

I also would like to know…what is different about buying DVC points for the Riviera? I’ve seen a few posts that discuss that something has changed with this resort coming on board, but Idk what that is? The rep insinuated that it’s only different if you buy resale rather than direct, but I still don’t understand why the Riviera is different? There is a pretty attractive discount still going on right now for this resort.

I would appreciate any advice from you seasoned DVC owners. Also, would you still buy today if your kids were grown? Thanks!

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Obviously, no one expects that kind of thing. BUT, the point is valid…don’t get into something like this if the loss would jeopardize your own financial security.

For us, buying DVC ultimately worked out at resale level in a specific set of circumstances. We did a lot of math. But we also paid it all off immediately, so there is no debt. If Disney were to suddenly go bust, while that would have mean DVC was a terrible loss from an investment standpoint…the fact is, our life would proceed relatively unaffected because we have paid off the contract immediately.

I created a spreadsheet figuring out how many points we would likely need for how often we travel, then figure out what it would cost to rent points versus by DVC, and factor in inflationary costs (Disney inflation!). Ultimately, it worked out that by the time we take our 4th trip, we will have broken even. Fifth trip sort of becomes “free” after that. I also calculate cost of the DVC based on PER TRIP. The longer you go between each trip, the more “expensive” it really is because you are paying more in maintenance fees for the same trip if you go three years between versus 1 or 2.

Riviera is different in that, even if you buy it direct, when you go to sell it, those who buy it will ONLY be allowed to use it at Riviera. So, buying there limits its resale value. When people are going to buy resale DVC contracts, unless they LOVE Riviera, they are more likely to want to buy from a place that gives them more options for booking. WHILE you own Riviera, though, it isn’t really an issue.

You also need to factor in when the contract ends. Boardwalk, for example, I think expire in 2042. Our SSR contract expires in 2054. So, we get another 12 years. There will probably come a time when SSR, we can only use it at SSR…but we are okay with that. But SSR was also cheaper, per point.

Now, there is advice to buy where you love. We LOVE Boardwalk. We wished we could have bought at Boardwalk. But we couldn’t. So, rather than buy where you love, buy with where you will be happy is probably better advice. We will be happy at SSR. But when we can, we’ll book at Boardwalk. If we can’t, we’ll be perfectly fine at SSR. What you don’t want to do is buy someplace you wouldn’t actually want to stay simply because of the price.

Also, look at the maintenance fees, not just point cost. Points are paid for one and done. Maintenance fees will be on-going and increasing every year.


Yeah, we’ve done some analysis that factors in the maintenance fees, which really significantly stretches out the payback period. The whole thing is contingent on our assumptions of how long and how often we are going to keep going. At this point, I can’t count on having grandkids to enjoy it with (although I hope I do someday).

So, this new limitation on Riviera points… is that going to be “the way” going forward with new DVC properties (like the units at GF and the new Poly DVC units?) And, if I understand you correctly, if I buy direct, I will not have a problem using my points in any other resort? Only if I purchased the points through resale, I would be limited to Riviera? If so, then my concern would be more that I might have trouble selling it later because of the restriction on point usage, right?

After our meeting, one of our concerns is that WDW will raise the point values over the years, so that if I buy enough points today for a 1BR Villa, that same number of points might not get me that same type of room in the future. Has that happened to you? The rep was explaining that in total, they can’t raise the point value for the property, but they can change point values between room types and seasons. In the future, what prevents them from shifting the point values from the low demand units/seasons to the high demand units/seasons?


This is true…and you can see it happen between the 2022 and 2023 point charts in some resorts. What Disney does is maybe take some points from the Grand Villas and add them into the studios (or something like that) so that the total number of points distributed is the same, but for any given room/time period could be higher or lower.

This means that, yes, the number of points you might need for the same stay at the same time of year could fluctuate.

Actually, what I’ve noticed is the opposite. The high demand seasons are already higher point values, but this shifts a lot of DVC owners to book during the low season times. This drives up demand for the lower point times…so, Disney reacts by shifting points to the lower point time periods, causing what is higher demand (due to the low points) to become more “expensive” to book.

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Unless you sell it back to DVC and they recycle it and sell it direct

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I believe this is the assumption. Basically, if you buy resale, you will continue to be able to use those points at the original 14, but NOT at the newer DVCs. Our SSR resale points precludes us from ever booking at Riviera. This will likely be the case for any new DVCs as well.

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True. It is a bit of a racket, as my mother used to say!

It was NOT done at the new units at GFV because the new units are part of the same condo association.

It remains to be seen what will happen with any truly new condo associations - and to that point we aren’t yet in the know about whether PolyTower will join Poly or be its own resort like CC and BRV


Hmm, that’s interesting. Other than housekeeping and trash and towel service, what advantages do I have as a “guest” that I won’t have as an owner? How easy is it to cancel /rebook a resort reservation?

By “guest” are you meaning renting points, or booking something directly through Disney?

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So, if I were to resell my Riviera points, the buyer would not just be limited to Riviera, but would be able to book the older properties as well?

No. Only Riviera.

I meant booking through Disney.

I did create this google doc when we bought in 2017 if that might help you. It is old so you will need to make some edits but it might be interesting to see how the prices have actually changed in 5 years to better estimate the future price changes.


Provided there is availability you can modify the heck out of your reservations, up until 30 days in advance of check-in. At that point you can still modify but any excess points go into holding and will expire at the end of your use year. Same goes if you cancel inside of 30 days - all points left from cancelling go into holding as well.

This is why it’s advantageous to buy into a use year that is just before your usual travel time. Example, if you travel in January, December would be the best use year for you. Because you’ll have the points in time to travel in January, but if you have to cancel you have alllllllllllllllllllllll the way until December 31 to use those points which have gone into holding.

Of note, you don’t need to have the points on hand when you book, only on hand when you check in. So if you travel in January you still get to book in February even though you dont get the points until December


I see. Well, if you book through Disney, you don’t get free parking at the resorts. Owners (or those renting) don’t have to pay for resort parking.

Thank you!

I am not trying to derail your thread but god I’m glancing at this…I just paid almost $600/night for a cabin this past March!

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What speaks to you about the Riviera except for the price? I, personally, wouldn’t want to be paying top dollar for no walkable park access. Also, take a look at the point charts. Your dollar does not go as far (even if you get a deal on the points) because you have to USE more points to book a room.


Oh, wow. You’re right! I never actually paid attention to that myself since I wasn’t interested in Riviera (since I can’t book there)…but it is quite a bit more per night, point-wise!