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This is the ultimate guide for understanding Disney Vacation Club in 2021!
Inside this guide, you’ll find information that will help you to make a decision about whether DVC is right for you.
Ever considered purchasing ownership in the Disney timeshare program known as Disney Vacation Club?
On the surface, understanding the Disney Vacation Club can seem overwhelming and you might be tempted to skip right over all the nitty-gritty details.
We can help break down all this DVC information into bite size facts, to help you decide if Disney Vacation Club is right for you.
Let us start with some simple questions to see if this is even a possibility for you:
- Do you and your family love all things Disney?
- Do you travel at least every two years to Disney resorts or parks?
- Do you want the ability to plan your future vacations on a budget that you can count on year over year?
- Are you able to plan vacations six months to a year in advance?
- Do you like luxury accommodations with “at-home” touches such as kitchens and sitting areas?
If your answer to any of these questions is yes, the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) could be for you.
This Disney DVC timeshare follows the traditional model of deed-able and transferable interest in a “home” timeshare in a Disney-owned resort consisting of Villas.
Now, DVC ownership is not simply a one-time purchase as it will require deeds, closings and a bit of planning to execute and manage.
This Disney timeshare interest carries a commitment of membership for the next 40+ years.
It does help lock in your vacation costs, however, while giving you flexibility to book when and where you like, and allowing you to enjoy all the benefits Disney resorts have to offer.
So, what are the pros and cons of Disney Vacation Club?
Let us dig in a bit more to the details of this membership.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What is the Disney Vacation Club?
- How much does Disney Vacation Club cost?
- How does Disney Vacation Club work?
- Disney Vacation Club Perks
- Disney Vacation Club on Disney Cruise
- How to Get Out of Disney Vacation Club
- Disney Vacation Club Waitlist
- Disney Vacation Club Login
- List of Disney Vacation Club Resorts
What is the Disney Vacation Club?
Disney Vacation Club is a traditional timeshare program, allowing you to buy a real estate interest in a Disney resort.
The first resort opened on December 20, 1991 and was renamed in 1996 to the Disney’s Old Key West Resort. The actual incorporation of Disney Vacation Club occurred in January 17, 1992 and other properties over the years have been added to this portfolio.
Currently there are over 15 properties in existence and that number should grow in the coming years. From Florida to California to Aulani in Hawaii, you find these Disney Vacation Club resorts today.
How much Does Disney Vacation Club cost?
First thing everyone wants to know is Disney Vacation Club cost, and there is a great calculator for you to use to help calculate your exact cost.
IT ALL STARTS WITH “VACATION POINTS”
Disney Vacation Club pricing is based on “vacation points”. To buy your ownership, you are essentially purchasing a set number of vacation points.
You purchase your ownership in a home resort of your choice and then you can use (or “exchange”) those points to stay at other resorts.
For new resorts (such as Copper Creek or Riviera) you are purchasing these points for a time period of 50 years.
Older resorts that still have units for sale will have a different time period. It will vary by resort.
The minimum number of Vacation Points that can be purchased is 100 points per year.
The base program starts at 100 points per year, for 50 years is $188 per point or $18,800 total cost. Once you close on this membership at that rate, each year thereafter to the term of your agreement you then receive 100 points.
These vacation points do carry over and can be borrowed from future years, based on rules laid out in your membership.
There are yearly maintenance fees per point accessed.
Now, that gives you a basic idea but based on which resort you wish to make your home resort, the cost may vary. Utilizing the DVC Points Calculator above will help you determine an exact cost of your DVC membership.
DVC VACATION POINTS COSTS EXPLAINED
The cost of vacation points cannot increase and that part of the membership for reservation purposes is “locked in”, meaning it will be the same cost year over year based on the points you receive, from your original contract for each year.
This helps you budget your vacation costs. The cost for the points is either paid in full at time of purchase, or amortized over the life of a loan you originally take out the finance the DVC points purchase. Just like a house that has a purchase price, while the value of the house increases, the mortgage does not.
That is, the cost of vacation points for someone buying in the future might increase, but your price is locked at time of purchase.
ANNUAL MAINTENANCE FEES EXPLAINED
DVC fees are like HOA or condominium association fees people pay and get assessed at current rates each year.
These fees are assessed (and adjusted) each year and are subject to change and accessed by the vacation point.
As of this writing, the current rate is $5.50 per point. For the standard 100-point package, that is $550 a year.
These fees must be paid yearly at the beginning of the year.
How does Disney Vacation Club work?
You will go through an application, and even closing process to complete your purchase of a Disney Vacation Club membership.
Financing is available from a couple sources to help with budgeting this over 10 years.
Once you buy points, you can use them to book time at either your home resort or other DVC properties.
This is done by going to disneyvacationclub.disney.go.com and using the official DVC system.
Reservations will look much like traditional booking sites, where you search based on availability and points required.
YOU CAN “BANK” YOUR POINTS
Should you decide one year not to take a vacation, you can login and bank your points for the following year.
YOU CAN “BORROW” FROM YOUR POINTS
In other cases, if you decide to take a vacation at a higher point-based resort than your home resort (or even take a Disney Cruise) you can borrow from future points also.
YOU CAN STAY AT MANY DIFFERENT RESORTS
In addition to the Disney Vacation Club resorts, you can use your points to book vacations at many other Disney destinations, such as Disney resorts in Orlando, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, even Disney Cruise (see below). Also, you may exchange your points for other non-Disney resorts around the globe through DVC partners (such as RCI).
Disney Vacation Club Perks
An important consideration that can help further offset the cost of this membership is the Disney Vacation Club perks.
IMPORTANT: if you are buying a membership from third parties and not Disney direct, these benefits are not included.
WHAT ARE SOME DISNEY VACATION CLUB PERKS?
For membership bought directly through Disney, discounts on dining, shopping, tours, unique events and even annual passes to parks are part of the benefits package.
Added park hours, park hopping and even transportation benefits in places such as Orlando are available. These benefits continue to change and evolve year over year.
In 2021, a small sampling of these benefits include:
- Discount on “Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps” guided tour
- 2021 Pro Bowl Week access tickets
- Ticket discount at Aerophile – The World Leader in Balloon Flight
- 10-20% off Disney dining & Disney merchandise discounts at resorts and parks
Depending on what you wish to partake in during your vacation, always checking the membership benefit area as you book for added value items to your vacation for members only.
DISNEY FILES MAGAZINE
Members receive the Disney Files Magazine with insider information on current future events, resorts and changing entertainment in the magical world of Disney. This information is provided periodically to members to help with future planning of vacations, to locales or events that the public may not be aware of yet.
Disney Vacation Club on Disney Cruise
Yes, Disney Vacation Club members can use reservation points to book a Disney Cruise.
While a Disney Cruise is not technically a DVC resort property, it can still be booked using Disney Vacation Points.
DVC members can also take advantage of special perks on Disney Cruise. For example, sometimes DVC discounts make it cheaper to sail. Also, there are special parties and celebrations while onboard, specifically for the DVC. You can also save on photography packages, spa services and shopping sprees with special discounts.
How to Get Out of Disney Vacation Club
As lives evolve and change, there might come a time that you wish to get out of your contract.
You do have the option to put your DVC ownership up for sale. Disney, however, has the first right of refusal, which allows them to buy your membership for the originating rates and conditions. If they do not choose this choice, you can list your membership for sale and there are specialty resellers to help with this process.
Another choice is to rent out excess points.
This means that as a membership holder you can receive cash for your unused points. The renter gets to stay at a Disney resort at your current rate (instead of booking direct through Disney).
Another choice is to transfer points to another DVC member. There are strict rules on this, however, so research it carefully.
Disney Vacation Club Waitlist
Another reward of Disney Vacation Club is the waitlist choice for your prime reservation.
For instance, you go to book your vacation and notice that there is no availability for the exact room type or location you are wishing to stay.
You can add yourself to the DVC waitlist for this combination. Basically you’re telling Disney, “If my desired room category comes available, please book me for that instead of my current reservation.”
If a cancellation occurs, you will automatically be booked using your membership.
What happens if time passes and it does not look like you will get your room?
You can manage waitlist options in your member section of your account. This can include changing, editing or even cancelling requests.
Disney Vacation Club Login
Everyone has real time access to all things Disney Vacation Club without the inconvenience of telephone wait lines.
When you need your DVC login, visit the membership website HERE and simply access the “My DVC” on the top menu. From here, you get dashboard access to see reservations, points, help with banking points, vacation book tools and so much more.
You can manage this anytime and from anywhere.
List of Disney Vacation Club Resorts
There are great resorts as part of the Disney Vacation Club, including:
- Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas, Ko Olina, Hawai`i
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
- Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Vero Beach Resort
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
As mentioned above though, this does not include other Concierge and Disney collection options as part of your membership. The possibilities for where to go on your next vacation are endless.
Phew! We did our best to break down everything Disney Vacation Club for you here. The DVC being a timeshare model. What are the costs for the membership, more rewards and even how to exit if that time should come? How to access your login via the website once your membership closing is completed, and you have full membership access. Finally, giving you a list of all the resorts you might choose to call your home away from home. Now, all that is left is for that pros and cons list you have been jotting down to help you make the final decision.
So…what questions do you have about Disney Vacation Club?
Post them in the comments below and we’ll do our best to answer.