2024 Disney Vacation Club Buying Guide

Our Disney Vacation Club Buying Guide for 2024 covers best & worst home resorts, buying DVC directly vs. resale, how to use points, pros & cons of joining, membership perks & more. We share our story of why we joined, and also answer frequently asked questions. (Updated December 26, 2023.)

Although we are DVC members, we weigh the benefits and drawbacks of joining. In other words, this isn’t a sales pitch for Disney Vacation Club. The fact is, DVC is not right for everyone. So, rather than presenting the kind of emotional and rosy marketing message you’ll hear from a DVC guide trying to make a sale, we’ll present a more balanced perspective here.

Let’s start with a little background. Disney Vacation Club is Disney’s twist on the traditional timeshare concept, and Disney advertises it as a way to save money on future vacations at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and beyond. There are currently 16 Disney Vacation Club resorts, with several more projects in development in both Florida and California.

Speaking of which, it’s probably worth delving into some recent developments before getting down to the basics. The Villas at Disneyland Hotel is the newest Disney Vacation Club resort and the second addition at Disneyland Resort. That tower is a huge addition to the DVC portfolio for the California parks, where Disney Vacation Club is incredibly popular, but also has significant supply constraints at the Grand Californian. We’ve already stayed in the tower–check out our look at the new rooms in the Villas at Disneyland Hotel.

Next up, there are two projects at Walt Disney World. The first of these is the New DVC Tower at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, which is currently under construction and is currently slated to open in late 2024 at Walt Disney World. Based on the incredibly quick pace with which that expansion is being built, there’s no reason to believe it’ll be delayed.

Second, there’s the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – A Disney Vacation Club Resort. Work has not yet started on this, but these are slated to open in Summer 2024–before the Poly tower. The explanation for that is the new cabins being pre-fabricated off-site and installed unit-by-unit, not built on location. So the turnaround time could be a matter of months from start to finish.

Against this backdrop of new developments, Disney Vacation Club Sales Are Slumping. Well, sort of. The tides have been turning and we expect recent trends to continue in 2024. In a nutshell, what you need to know is that direct sales volume increased significantly in the second half of the year and the end result is that 2023 will end up being DVC’s best year ever for direct sales.

Part of this is that Disney Vacation Club has more for sale right now than ever in its history. Disney’s Riviera Resort and Grand Floridian at Walt Disney World, Villas at Disneyland Resort in California, and Aulani in Hawaii all were active properties–and everything but Aulani was still pretty new–this year. So part of it is a numbers game with a lot of different options for a variety of buyers, whether they want a home resort in Florida, California, or Hawaii.

This isn’t to diminish DVC’s success. It has been quite the comeback story in the second half of the year as compared to the first half and late last year. No matter how you try to ‘explain away’ the success–be it with more for sale or better incentives–you’ll still come up short. Direct sales of Disney Vacation Club have improved due to greater demand and other improvements.

Honestly, at this point we’d expect d2024 to once again break this year’s sales record for Disney Vacation Club direct sales. Although Grand Floridian will be off the table (since it sold out), added to the mix will be the Cabins at Fort Wilderness and Polynesian Villas. Both of those are likely to sell incredibly well. Sales for the Poly in particular will be like shooting fish in a barrel–Walt Disney World fans absolutely adore that resort. It’s even more popular than the very popular Grand Floridian.

With more of the Polynesian’s sales likely to fall in 2025 and all of the above-referenced resorts also still being available, our early bet would be that 2025 will also break the record for direct sales. Meaning that we’re talking about 3 consecutive years of record-breaking numbers. Of course, a lot could change between now and then with Disney and the economy as a whole, so we’re probably getting ahead of ourselves!

This isn’t us blindly cheering on Disney Vacation Club and encouraging you to buy now before sales stats get even hotter and prices increase. To the contrary, there has actually been a divergence between direct and resale numbers, and we usually recommend the latter.

The resale market has been on a downward slide since prices peaked in April 2022. There was one stretch when prices declined for 11 consecutive months, but that streak was broken this spring. Nevertheless, prices have continued to trend downward, with a few ups in the general descent. Overall, resale prices are down over 25% from their peak, and there’s no indication they’ve bottomed out yet.

The explanations for this are multifaceted, including higher baselines coming out of the pandemic when pent-up demand was high and people were putting stimulus money towards DVC contracts. Think of that as pent-up demand for Disney Vacation Club, which artificially elevated prices in 2021-2022, meaning that what we’re seeing now is a correction or return to normal.

That’s not the entire explanation, though. There has also been an influx of inventory, with an increased number of listings among the various sellers. Part of this likely stems from DVC disillusionment–guest service declined, Annual Pass sales were suspended, and Disney has been embroiled in various controversies and seen its brand reputation decline. All of these are likely contributing factors.

The big one, though, is that Disney has not been exercising its right of first refusal (ROFR) over the past year-plus. For those unfamiliar with the term, ROFR is the option Disney Vacation Club has to step into the shoes of the buyer and purchase the property themselves at the terms agreed upon by the seller and original buyer in resale market transactions. Disney can elect to purchase (or not) during a review of every pending DVC transaction.

With few exceptions, Disney has largely declined to exercise ROFR since September 2022. For those reasons discussed in that ‘slumping sales’ article, Disney Vacation Club pausing ROFR is a big deal. The moral of the story is that 2024 will be a great time to join DVC via resale. The market is currently finding a price floor, and we’d expect resale prices to continue to decrease.

With the Polynesian Villas, Cabins at Fort Wilderness, and likelihood of Reflections Lakeside Lodge after that, we do not expect DVC to resume exercising ROFR to any meaningful degree in 2024. Barring a sudden surge in resale demand (unlikely), this should mean that prices continue to drop.

As with anything, it’s exceedingly difficult to time the market. Given the totality of the circumstances (both with DVC and the broader economy), the coming year might present a golden window of opportunity–much like the Great Recession offered us back when we joined DVC!

In other news, Disney Vacation Club also has released its 2024-2025 DVC Resort Refurbishments & Construction Timeline. That covers what’s happening with the aforementioned towers being built at Disneyland Hotel and the Polynesian, as well as a half-dozen room renovation and expansion projects at other existing resorts.

Disney’s Riviera Resort is the newest DVC resort, having debuted 3 years ago. Its main selling point is a Skyliner station providing gondola access to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Check out our Disney’s Riviera Resort Review for thoughts on the resort as a whole. You should also be aware of the restriction for resale buyers at Disney’s Riviera Resort if you’re considering buying there via the secondary market or directly from Disney.

In addition to that standalone property, there are new Resort Studios at the Grand Floridian. We love these new rooms, which were converted from standard Grand Floridian hotel inventory. They aren’t typical DVC villas, which is a definite drawback for some, but everything from the details to the design to luxuriousness of the new rooms is exceptional. Much better than the ‘old’ GF rooms they replaced!

When it comes to pricing, Disney Vacation Club last increased the base price for all actively-selling resorts from $207 to $217 per point almost one year ago. That number is actually higher for the aforementioned Villas at Disneyland Hotel ($230 per point), but various incentives can reduce that price to around or even below the $217 rate, depending upon how many points are purchased.

Disney Vacation Club has announced another price increase on actively selling properties set to take effect on January 30, 2024. This move is not the least bit surprising–DVC typically increases prices around the start of each calendar year. In any case, here’s how prices will change:

  • Villas at Disneyland Hotel – $239 (previously $230)
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort – $225 (previously $217)
  • Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas in Ko Olina, Hawaii – $225 (previously $217)

Pricing has not yet been released for the Cabins at Fort Wilderness or new tower at the Polynesian. Sales are expected to start for the cabins by Spring 2024 and for the Poly tower by late Summer 2024. New incentives for the above-listed resorts will likely roll out in Winter 2024, too.

As hinted at above, there is an alternative to paying the skyrocketing prices from Disney Vacation Club directly. Since you’re purchasing a real estate interest, DVC can be bought and resold on the secondary market, similar to a house. As of the time of publication, the average per point price is ~$115 (and trending downward). In other words, you can save considerably by purchasing DVC via resale!

This may sound too good to be true, but it is. That’s in large part because the vast majority of buyers have no clue that resale is even an option. Disney relies on an emotional sales pitch, uninformed buyers, and the aforementioned restrictions in an attempt to minimize the resale market. It’s a surprisingly effective strategy (few companies can tug on the heartstrings like Disney!)–so if you’re reading this, you already have a huge advantage over the majority of buyers who don’t do their homework!

Similar circumstances existed when we bought into DVC back during the Great Recession, and we couldn’t be happier with our decision to take the plunge then. We paid considerably less than today’s prices–or even the costs shortly after we joined and the economy began recovering.

For our part, we’ve been waiting to add-on DVC points for several years now. We are now waiting to see what happens next, with the expectation that mid-to-late 2024 might be the sweet spot. (Even though the tides are already turning, we think the buyer’s market will only get better next year via resale.) This is not to say history will repeat itself completely, or even that DVC is right for you. That’s what we’ll try to help you figure out through the rest of this guide, though!

With the ‘current events’ addressed, let’s turn to the threshold question: whether buying into Disney Vacation Club is actually a good idea for your family? Maybe you’ve recently taken a Disney Vacation Club tour or heard a sales pitch and are now wondering if it’s really as great as that it sounds.

The good news is that saving money with DVC is still possible. The bad news is that it’s not nearly as easy as Disney Vacation Club reps might lead you to believe. From a purely economic perspective, Disney Vacation Club won’t make sense for a lot of people.

Even if it doesn’t make sound fiscal sense, there are other compelling reasons for you to make the purchase. If your main motivation for buying an interest in Disney Vacation Club is to save money, whether it’s a good deal for you depends of your party size, resort tier preference, and how often you’ll visit Walt Disney World.

It’s also worth noting that Disney Vacation Club is a pre-paid vacation plan, which differs slightly from the traditional definition of a timeshare. In the strictest sense, Disney Vacation Club can be viewed as an asset, but not a tangible one. This is an important distinction to some people, but it doesn’t matter to a lot of people.

With that said, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of buying into Disney Vacation Club, and what you should think about before you decide whether to make the purchase…

Is Disney Vacation Club A Good Fit?

Accommodations Preferences – This is the threshold question, because if you’re (voluntarily) a Values and Moderates type person, Disney Vacation Club may never make financial sense for you. However, it can be a difficult question to answer, because it’s tough to anticipate your vacationing habits in the future. If you only roll Deluxe, and anticipate demanding posh accommodations in the future, Disney Vacation Club might be right for you.

Where DVC makes even more sense is for those who have kids or anticipate soon having kids, and are tired of sleeping in the same small quarters with them at a Moderate Resort. Disney Vacation Club, and its one-bedroom units and larger, may be right for you as it gives you the option to separate yourself from the kids at night. If you’re frequently booking the Art of Animation Family Suites, DVC is a great–nicer–alternative. Similarly, if you have to book two or more rooms at a Value or Moderate, it might be for you.

If you are a commando park tourer who primarily books All Star Sports, find the Value Resorts acceptable, and you stay up until all hours of the night and get up for rope drop daily, Disney Vacation Club may not be a good option for you. This is for two reasons.

First, the initial cost of Disney Vacation Club plus the cost of the annual maintenance fees will be higher than the sum of the yearly cost of a room at a Value Resort over the life of the Disney Vacation Club contract. This assumes reasonable price increases and accounts for the time value of money.

Second, because you simply don’t need one of the vacation-home style rooms offered by Disney Vacation Club. If you’re a no-frills or ‘bottom line’ traveler who just wants a place to shower, sleep, and will barely spend any time in your hotel room, it’s highly unlikely that DVC is for you.

With that said, even if you do presently stay at Value Resorts, after one stay at a Disney Vacation Club resort, you may be hooked. For many people, it’s one of those, “I didn’t realize what I was missing until I tried it” scenarios. Our first stay at the BoardWalk Villas definitely made it tough for us to stay in Value accommodations again.

If you’re not sure whether Disney Vacation Club accommodations will be a good fit, rent Disney Vacation Club points. There are a number of sites from which you can rent points, and they offer a cheap way to ‘get your feet wet’ with DVC, so to speak. You can also book Deluxe Villas from Disney directly, although this isn’t as cost-effective.

A final consideration in terms of accommodations: Disney Vacation Club still might not be right for you if you can’t stand the idea of MouseKeeping not cleaning your room daily. To us, this is such a minor, unimportant thing, but it bears mentioning. Conversely, if you like the idea of being able to do your laundry, prepare a meal in your in-room kitchen, or enjoy a whole host of other “home-away-from-home” amenities, Disney Vacation Club may be right for you.

Advance Planning – If you can’t regularly plan your vacations 7 months or more in advance, and Saratoga Springs Resort and Old Key West Resort, which are typically the two resorts that fill up last, aren’t acceptable resorts to you, then Disney Vacation Club may not be right for you.

During various times of year, popular Disney Vacation Club resorts fill up quickly. In fact, during the Christmas season, it can be difficult to get even Saratoga and Old Key West inside of 7 months. If you can plan more than 7 months in advance, DVC is probably a good fit.

One thing we recommend doing before buying into Disney Vacation Club is doing some sample Disney Vacation Club availability searches to get an idea of how far in advance you’d need to book to secure the resort you want. This can also be helpful in determining which home resort is right for you.

Disney Vacationing Frequency – Thanks to the banking and borrowing system, it isn’t necessary to take a Disney vacation every year. However, to make DVC a pragmatic option, you pretty much must visit WDW or DLR once every two or three years.

Using DVC points for non-DVC vacations offers terrible value. Since many DVC contracts expire in 2054 (contracts for Disney’s Riviera Resort will expire on January 31, 2070), you better hope the Mouse won’t break your heart anytime soon. Although if he does, selling your contract on the resale market is an option, and thanks to Disney’s Right of First Refusal, contracts retain a somewhat inflated value on the resale market.

Even this isn’t a hard rule. A lot of Disney Vacation Club owners who aren’t able to use their annual allotment of points safely rent them out through point-rental businesses. Rather than using the exchanges for other vacations, you will always come out ahead by renting out your Disney Vacation Club points and paying out of pocket for whatever the other thing is. The amount owners can make through point rental is usually more than enough to pay for accommodations elsewhere!

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Interval International & Point Exchanges – Disney Vacation Club touts the ability of members to use Interval International exchanges for access to thousands of resorts in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Caribbean, and beyond, with a portfolio including resorts from Marriott, Sheraton, Hyatt, and Westin.

In addition, DVC Members are able to use their points for National Geographic Expeditions, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, and even stays at Shanghai Disney Resort. These options are great…in theory. However, in actuality, trading DVC points into these exchanges is not a smart use of points. Let me repeat that again because this is pretty much the opposite of what you’ll hear from DVC reps: don’t use Disney Vacation Club points anywhere but at DVC resorts.

We won’t belabor the point too much here since this is something covered in exhaustive detail in our Best & Worst Uses of Disney Vacation Club Points, but using DVC points on any of the various “Collections” or anything other than DVC is a bad idea. Being able to use points elsewhere is an illusory Membership Extra–a selling point touted by salespeople that has no actual value. Always has been, always will be.

This applies even to other Disney destination. You should never use Disney Vacation Club points for Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, the international parks, etc. Simply put, using DVC points at non-DVC resorts is also a poor use of points. If you buy into Disney Vacation Club thinking that you might cash-in your Disney Vacation Club points for any of these options every once in a while, you are going to have a difficult time getting adequate value out of your membership.

One reader recently emailed me, indicating that she saved $15,000 by canceling her direct purchase at the Polynesian Bungalows and instead purchasing the same number of points via resale after reading this article. $15,000. That’s a serious amount of money, especially given that one of the main reasons DVC reps are able to convince people to purchase directly from Disney is the “perk” of using the points on Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, or otherwise outside of the Disney Vacation Club resorts. It’s not an actual perk if you shouldn’t or won’t use it. Save the money and pass on the value-less perk.

Actual Membership Perks – Disney Vacation Club Members get discounts on Annual Passes for Walt Disney World. There are several Members-Only DVC pins, events, a small magazine mailed to members, and other offerings throughout the year as well. In our Top 10 Disney Vacation Club Member Perks post, we discuss all of our favorites.

One perk not mentioned in that article is free parking. Walt Disney World now charges regular guests for parking. However, Disney Vacation Club members will not pay for parking at Deluxe Villa Resorts, regardless of whether they booked with points or cash. That’s a potential savings of $24/night for guests who drive, so it’s a pretty big benefit.

It is important to note that none of these perks are contractual rights, so Disney is free to terminate or reduce these benefits at any time. A “Membership Magic” promotion runs from time to time that gives Disney Vacation Club members discounts on Disneyland and Walt Disney World Annual Passes. Disney Vacation Club members may also purchase a Tables in Wonderland card or the Disney Dining Plan, the latter of which returns in 2024!

These Membership Perks are no longer available to those who purchase their contracts via the resale market. Unlike the restriction on using the non-DVC resort collections mentioned above, this is potentially a big deal. If you intend upon purchasing Annual Passes with the DVC discount, this can eliminate a $100-200 per person, per year savings. In our post covering the “new math” for buying Disney Vacation Club direct v. resale, we analyze prospective buyers should do given this change.

Hard Economics

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It’s important to note from the outset that all of the monetary considerations below assume that you are purchasing Disney Vacation Club via the resale market. This is the ‘best case scenario’ and definitely the way to buy into DVC given the presently high prices direct from Disney. The incentives Disney offers for direct-from-Disney DVC purchases rarely make sense.

If you are savvy with your money and saving it is your paramount concern, you should almost always purchase from the resale market. Before making a purchase, you crunch the numbers to determine what your vacation costs would be for the next 40 years if you do purchase DVC and if you don’t.

Since these numbers will vary widely for everyone researching the matter (based on party size, at which type of resort you’d prefer to stay, etc.), it’s difficult for me to offer sample calculations here. Instead, I’ll offer a few important considerations to make sure you take into account when doing the math.

Total Cost – When you’re looking at DVC, it’s tempting to just consider the initial, total purchase price and not pay much attention to Maintenance Fees. This is a mistake, as Maintenance Fees end up costing more over time at every resort, and can make a significant difference when comparing resorts.

We highly recommend using figuring out the total cost of DVC over the life of your contract, which is pretty easy thanks to DVC Pro Plan’s free calculator. Then do similar math for your current room expenses. However, this is not where your calculations should end, due to two very important things (see below) that the calculator overlooks…

Financing Disney Vacation Club – Not factored into the calculator is financing. Whether you have to finance Disney Vacation Club is an incredibly important question and definitely shouldn’t be glossed over. If you have to finance your Disney Vacation Club purchase, a lot of potential savings are wiped out by the interest you pay on the purchase.

Interest will vary from purchaser to purchaser, but it’s a very important consideration. Unless the intangible reasons that will be discussed below strongly apply to you, we usually advise anyone considering a purchase of Disney Vacation Club who would have to finance it NOT to make the purchase.

Time Value of Money – Another thing unaccounted for by the calculator. If you don’t have to finance your purchase, Disney Vacation Club should look a lot more appealing, but there still is a pitfall. In doing the math, time value of money is the most frequently overlooked aspect of any equation when people are crunching the numbers on Disney Vacation Club. Time-value of money is the principle that money at the present time is worth more than the same amount in the future due to its earning capacity over the course of time.

To illustrate this principle, imagine you have $1 today. If you invest that dollar today in something with a 6% yearly rate of return, and let it sit for 20 years, at the end of that 20 year period, that dollar is worth $3.21. Since you’re paying for all of your future Disney Vacation Club vacations up front as opposed to when they are incurred, large portions of the initial investment in Disney Vacation Club could be invested in other ways (with a similar return on investment rate, if not better) if you were instead paying for your room each year as you vacationed.

The calculations here can be pretty complex given that you can’t take that entire initial investment and perform a time value of money calculation on it to determine what it would be worth in 10, 20, or even 40 years, as you would be paying out portions of that initial investment each year for your hotel stays.

That said, by even doing rough math here, you should get a pretty good idea of the “actual” cost of Disney Vacation Club. Now, if you have suitcases full of one-hundred dollar bills sitting under your bed that you wouldn’t invest anyway, maybe this is not a consideration for you. Use this Time Value of Money (TVM) Calculator to see how it makes a difference.

Home Resort – If you’re interested in maximizing the economics of Disney Vacation Club, it’s very wise to purchase a contract with a home resort that expires in 2054 or later. When we first started crunching numbers over a decade ago, Saratoga Springs Resort was the very clear winner.

The arguments in favor of Saratoga Springs Resort are threefold. First, it frequently has the lowest per-point cost of any of the Walt Disney World-based resorts. Second, even when other resorts are lower in per-point costs, they’re higher in per-point maintenance costs, which is more important than the initial cost-difference.

During the intervening years, a number of other resorts have opened that are more expensive but have even later expiration dates. Disney’s Riviera Resort and the Villas at Disneyland Hotel expire in 2070 and 2074, respectively. That’s 16 and 20 more years than Saratoga Springs at this point, so amortizing those higher up-front costs over the life of the contract can mean they end up being cheaper on a per year basis.

So in other words–don’t overlook expiration dates. Some of the oldest Disney Vacation Club resorts have less than 20 years of life now, and those are (finally) starting to come down in price as a result. At the other end of the spectrum, many newer resorts have 30-50 years, which is pretty lengthy by comparison.

You should never overlook maintenance fee costs, as over time, you will pay more in maintenance fees than the actual contract cost itself. That $.20 to $2 difference per point in maintenance fees may not seem like much now, but over time, it really adds up. It may be tempting to buy at Aulani, Hilton Head, or Vero Beach, but consider the maintenance fees before doing that.

You also need to keep in mind that your home resort is where you have an 11-month window. This is of no value whatsoever at Saratoga Springs, whereas it’s incredibly valuable at any of the monorail loop or EPCOT-area resorts.

Copper Creek at Wilderness Lodge, Grand Floridian, and Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary all hit this ‘sweet spot’ of desirable location, lower maintenance fees, and longer contract durations (later expiration dates). While these are not the cheapest contracts on the resale market, the price premiums are not bad considering all of the above. (They are better than, for example, the Polynesian or Grand Californian.)

Although we opted for Saratoga Springs Resort as our home resort when we purchased Disney Vacation Club, things have changed since then. If we were doing it all over again, we’d probably buy at the Grand Floridian, BLT, or Copper Creek. In fact, that’s precisely our plan–to target one of those three resorts–the next time we add-0n.

Locking In Your Vacation Costs – One of the huge benefits of Disney Vacation Club is locking in prices for future vacations. In other words, you know up front what your vacations will cost for the next forty years or so (depending on the expiration date of your DVC contract).

This is something you can’t accurately predict without DVC, but one thing you can predict is that room prices directly from Disney will increase. In fact, since we purchased Disney Vacation Club–and even since we first published this article–rack rates at Walt Disney World have skyrocketed, far outpacing Disney Vacation Club maintenance fees.

Depending on how dramatically these prices increase, you could realize significant savings by purchasing Disney Vacation Club. When performing your calculations, make sure to account for this yearly increase in room rates you’d be paying if booking a room from Disney each year rather than using your DVC membership.

Non-Economic Considerations

Okay, I wrote up a lot of “stuff” above, and it’s funny to think that one sentence can wipe away all of that, but it very well might. That sentence is, “will owning Disney Vacation Club increase my quality of life?” If the answer to this question is yes, all of the economic considerations in the world may very well be meaningless. It may be a good idea to purchase DVC anyway.

If things, such as the “Welcome Home” doormats, Disney Files Magazine showing up in your mailbox, going to bed at night knowing your vacations are partially paid in advance for the next 40-some years, the “forced vacation” aspect, owning a piece of the Magic, or being able to share trips with friends and family in awesome and unique accommodations are a big deal to you or will make you happier, then you might want to disregard everything I’ve written above.

As with everything in life, “happiness” is that ace-up-the-sleeve trump card that can render everything else meaningless. Quite simply, you can’t put a price tag on happiness and peace of mind.

Try Before You Buy!

We highly recommend trying Disney Vacation Club before you buy to see if it’s right for you. You can either do this by booking a Deluxe Villa directly from Disney or by renting Disney Vacation Club points. We highly recommend renting Disney Vacation Club points, as you will save considerably over booking directly from Disney (typical savings over even a discounted Deluxe Villa price are around 50%) and you will get the true “Owner” experience.

Check out our Guide to Renting Disney Vacation Club Points if you want more information about the process! For renting points, there are a few options. The most popular and least expensive option is renting points from David’s Vacation Club Rentals, which specializes in DVC points rentals.

This is actually another place where you might want to stop and do the math. Not to see if renting is cheaper than booking through Disney (it unquestionably is), but to see if renting Disney Vacation Club points for all of your trips is a better option than buying Disney Vacation Club points. We know a lot of people who go this route year in and year out because it provides great savings without locking them into an actual contract. It is something to give serious thought, and you might be surprised just how attractive renting, rather than buying, can be!

I Want To Purchase DVC, What’s Next?

Home Resort – If saving money is the impetus behind the purchase, and you’ve crunched the numbers and think it can be done, this is a no-brainer—you buy into Saratoga Springs via resale.

If money is a concern, but you have a definite resort preference, you should buy where you want to stay. If you won’t be happy unless you are able to stay at the Beach Club Villas every trip, you should purchase points there. This is especially true with the popular and small resorts, such as the Beach Club Villas, which are difficult to book at the 7 months mark throughout much of the year.

At the bare minimum, your home resort should be somewhere you wouldn’t mind staying—because you just might have to stay there during busier seasons where other resorts are booked at the 7 month mark. If you are not sure which resort might be the one you want to call “home,” read our article ranking the Disney Vacation Club resorts.

Start Watching The Resale Listings – There are several sites that can assist you in purchasing Disney Vacation Club via the resale market. The most popular ones include ResalesDVC.com, DVC Resale Market, The Timeshare Store, and DVCByResale.com, and I’ve mostly heard positives about each.

Figure out what you want, whether your contract needs to be ‘loaded’ and start making reasonable offers on contracts. Another resource to use for searching Disney Vacation Club resale listings is DVCFinder.com. It’s basically a search engine of active listings on the main DVC resale sites.

Research, Research, Research! – This post is aimed at whether you should buy Disney Vacation Club. Once you’ve made the decision, you need to understand various aspects of ownership. With regard to those things, this post barely scratches the surface. You might have seen passing references to the “7 month window” above. Do you know what that is? Do you understand terms such as “banking,” “borrowing,” “ROFR,” or “use year,” just to name a few terms?

Disney Vacation Club practically has its own lexicon, and it’s important to fully understand the product before you buy. I spent two years reading and posting on the MouseOwners.com forums before we made our purchase. It’s worth hanging around there or the other sites mentioned above before making a purchase. The members there can impart far more wisdom on you than I ever can. Many of them are true experts.

Our Story

We are Disney Vacation Club owners, and the economics work well for us even though we don’t have a larger party or a demand for always staying in Deluxe Resorts. We save money with DVC, but more importantly, owning makes us happy, which is the paramount consideration. We reviewed these same factors when contemplating a DVC purchase. Ultimately, we decided it was right for us. After doing the math every which way, we determined that buying a Saratoga Springs Resort contract was what we needed.

Our circumstances were a bit different than the norm, though. For our honeymoon, we wanted to stay at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, or Disney’s Beach Club Resort. Unfortunately, for the busy summer season, we couldn’t get much of a discount on any of these rooms. We found that if we purchased a modest contract, we could bank & borrow enough points to use for our 10-day honeymoon. In comparison to paying out of pocket for a stay at the BoardWalk for our honeymoon, buying the DVC contract outright on the resale market provided a very short break-even number of years.

With the math working out well, it was an easy decision, as the hotel stay would have no residual value, whereas the DVC contract would be useful for years. Plus, as Annual Passholders, the DVC membership would save us over $250 per year total for our Disneyland and Walt Disney World APs, which comes close to covering our dues. On top of that, we have access to a variety of member perks including lounges, special events, and more. Those are all hardly make or break, but they’re nice bonuses that make us feel valued as members.

While our touring style of staying out late and getting up early doesn’t really necessitate DVC accommodations presently, but we won’t keep up this pace forever. When we slow down, I’m sure the amenities DVC offers will be vital. In the meantime, we still enjoy the nicer room and resort every once in a while. The math worked for us, and so too did it increase our happiness. There are few pieces of mail I look forward to more than the Disney Files magazine, and hearing “Welcome Home” from the Cast Member at the front desk of our resort gives me an ear-to-ear grin every time. It may not work for everyone, but it certainly works for us. Hopefully this guide helps you determine whether it works for you!

Looking to plan a trip using your Disney Vacation Club points? Make sure to read our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide and Disneyland Trip Planning Guide. We also have an Aulani Trip Planning Guide for those of you using your points in Hawaii! For updates on Disney Parks including the latest news, discount information, and tips, sign up for our free newsletter!

Your Thoughts?

A lot of you reading this are probably either members who stumbled upon it while looking for Disney Vacation Club content, or prospective buyers weighing their purchase? What do you all think about Disney Vacation Club? Owners, are you happy with your purchase? Potential owners, how does this article impact your decision to buy? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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