DVC Update: Perks Minimum Increased, Christmas Availability, 2021 Point Surplus
There have been some interesting Disney Vacation Club developments, so we thought we’d cover the latest news from Walt Disney World and beyond in this DVC update. We’ll focus on the most recent restriction, its ramifications, future availability, and whether we think now is a good time to buy–or if you should wait.
The main news is that Disney Vacation Club has increased the number of direct-purchase points an owner must buy to be eligible for Membership Magic perks. To obtain a Disney Vacation Club Membership Card, Members must accumulate a total of at least 125 Vacation Points purchased directly from Disney Vacation Development, Inc.
The eligibility for Membership Magic perks was first introduced four years ago, albeit without a point threshold. That led to many members purchasing via resale and adding on small contracts of 25 or 50 minutes to sidestep the rule. Two years later, a minimum of 75 points was added. Then last year, that was bumped up to 100 points.
DVC Members who purchase the minimum number of points directly from Disney are issued a blue member ID card. This card gives members access to dining, shopping, and Annual Pass discounts. It also allows members to attend the Moonlight Magic after-hours events and visit the Imagination Lounge at EPCOT.
The 125-point minimum applies only to new buyers. None of this is retroactive, meaning that anyone already in possession of a blue membership card is grandfathered in. That’s true regardless of how they purchased their DVC membership or how many points they own.
As for why this is happening, it depends upon who you ask. Disney Vacation Club will tell you that it’s to offer those who purchase directly a “premium advantage.” It also somehow supposedly benefits existing members, as Disney claims that it helps address booking challenges with popular room categories. It theoretically results in fewer small contracts being sold, meaning fewer members competing for the same rooms.
I don’t follow their logic. Even assuming what DVC is contending is true, it doesn’t change the total number of points–just how they’re allocated. You could use tortured logic to advance the argument that those with more points are more likely to book the Polynesian Bungalows (rather than those sitting empty on some nights), but that simply shifts capacity allocations around, and does not change the total supply of points.
Let’s call it what it actually is: a protectionist attempt to reverse the trend of declining direct sales. While numbers have rebounded since bottoming out during Walt Disney World’s closure, fall monthly point sales are still nowhere near their peaks earlier this year and late last.
This change is motivated by Disney’s desire to offer a “premium advantage” to direct buyers or alleviate inventory woes for existing members to the same extent that my love for Country Bear Jamboree is motivated by the color trends or Spirit Jerseys. Which is to say, in no way whatsoever.
Regardless of what Disney might claim, the sole motivation for this–and every other restriction DVC has implemented in the last ~5 years–is to nudge people away from the resale market and towards buying directly from Disney. If a contract bought on the resale market is perceived as inferior or makes potential buyers think they’ll be “second class members,” some of those people will buy direct instead. It’s no longer a purely economic decision or an apples to apples comparison. Disney’s rationale for doing this is that simple.
It’s also worth noting that, contrary to Disney’s claims, this restriction actually hurts current owners. While no one buys with the intent of later having to sell, the reality is that it does happen quite frequently. If this move is successful in pushing people away from the resale market, that means fewer buyers there, and thus, reduced prices if/when you go to sell.
We’re grandfathered in and almost certainly will never sell our membership given that we write a blog covering the Disney parks. To the contrary, we’re likely to purchase more points when the market is right. (Unlike the Dow, the DVC resale market is absolutely one you can time.) Given all of that, we’re the rare, unintended beneficiary of the change: those interested in purchasing via resale who don’t care at all about the lack of perks attached to those contracts.
However, if we were contemplating joining Disney Vacation Club today for the first time, this change would not have the desired effect on us. We enjoy the Membership Magic perks, but no amount of mental gymnastics or fuzzy math would get us to the point that those are worth more than the thousands of dollars we’d save by purchasing via resale. Like anyone else, we are swayed by benefits and status, but the main point of DVC is to save money. That goal is better served buying resale.
With that said, we would absolutely not buy Disney Vacation Club at the moment, whether directly or via resale. As we’ve noted a few times over the last several months, there’s ample reason for the rational buyer to hit the pause button on a new Disney Vacation Club purchase.
We first broached this topic back in the spring–before any resorts had even reopened–in our Disney Vacation Club’s Point Pool Problem commentary. That delved into how one ripple effect of the closure will be reduced room availability once the parks reopened. In short, there’s a surplus of outstanding points flooding the market. At some point once demand picks back up, this will result in a shortage of rooms.
This very much remains an ongoing issue, albeit one we did not foresee the full extent of at the time. For one, we didn’t anticipate Aulani (the single biggest point problem prior to this) staying closed for so long. Even when it does reopen next month, the practical reality is that travel to Oahu is still prohibitive for most members, and that’s even before the possibility that Hawaii’s restrictions tighten back up.
Second, even now with the Disney Vacation Club resorts having reopened at Walt Disney World, fewer members are attempting to use points through early 2021. There are a number of reason this is happening, and it’s a safe bet that owners will continue postponing trips even beyond Spring 2021.
This is borne out by random availability searches we did this morning, with several resorts having a ton of availability for the next three months. Not every resort is as bad as Animal Kingdom Lodge, Old Key West, Polynesian, or Saratoga Springs, but most have availability for roughly half of the holiday season. That’s something that would never happen for Christmas-time this close to travel dates during normal times.
This compounds the problem of points not being used during the closure, and means a disproportionate number of members will be trying to use their points later in 2021 or bank points and try again in 2022. So many members are putting off trips right now, but will be forced to use or lose those points down the road. The room options simply are not going to exist for many of these people, leading to tons of lost points.
Fearing this exact scenario, we’ve already made more bookings than normal for this year (and into early 2021) in an attempt to exhaust next year’s allotment of points before the demand surge. We’ve also repeatedly recommended those reading do the same. It may not seem like much of an issue right now given the ample availability, but the ample availability right now is exactly what’s going to make it such a big issue down the road.
New buyers are going to be faced with these exact same challenges, which is precisely why we don’t recommend buying right now. Stay on the sidelines, watch this all play out from afar, and see what happens next.
It’s probably a stretch to predict that the coming availability woes in 2021 and 2022 will lead to many current Disney Vacation Club members getting fed up and dumping their contracts on the resale market, but that’s certainly a possibility.
Between that and lagging recessionary effects on the economy as a whole, our view is that a wait and see approach is far more pragmatic than jumping at Disney’s current incentive or even taking the plunge via resale.
In the meantime, there’s also the reality that there has never been a better time to rent Disney Vacation Club points from a money-saving perspective. The major rental companies have tons (literally thousands) of confirmed reservations at deep discounts, which further tips the scales in favor of renting v. buying right now.
We aren’t in the market for that either, but if we were, we’d wait until the absolute last minute when discounts are best and cancellation risks are lowest–then book a confirmed reservation. (Given ongoing uncertainty, we’d caution against renting points far in advance right now. A lot of people got burned by the closure; there’s minimal upside and considerable downside to booking far out so long as availability and confirmed reservations are high.)
Ultimately, that’s what you need to know, along with where we stand on all of this. There’s obviously appeal in buying directly from Disney to be a “full” DVC member. There’s also something to be said for instant gratification over waiting to see how things shake out. Part of joining Disney Vacation Club is undeniably the emotional pull.
However, we’d caution against allowing emotions and sentimentality to totally override logic, patience, economics, and a grounded risk assessment. If you join Disney Vacation Club right now, you might end up buying your way into problems and frustration that could be avoided by simply waiting a year or so, and “trying” via the overstocked rental market in the meantime.
Thinking about joining DVC? First be sure to read our Ultimate Guide to Disney Vacation Club. This covers the pros & cons, resale v. direct, how much money you’ll save, and other important things to know before taking the plunge. If you still can’t decide whether membership is right for you, “try before you buy” and rent points from DVC Rental Store. If you are convinced a membership is for you, check out the discounted options at DVC Resale Market. Planning a Walt Disney World trip? For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know.
Do you plan on purchasing Disney Vacation Club points in the near future, or are you waiting to see how things shake out? Does the latest perks requirement push you towards direct or resale? If you’re already a DVC member, are you concerned about inventory shortfalls in 2021 and 2022, or do you think our concerns are overblown? Think DVC will try to fix the point pool problem? Any other reasons you would or would not purchase right now? Do you agree or disagree with our advice? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
In true Disney fashion, we will probably see an increase in point allotment for a night stay. Once this is instituted it would address the excess points that are in existence due to Covid. The question is will it become the future norm.
Disney cannot just create points out of thin air, the total number of resort points is set. If a point requirement increases in one area, it must be compensated by decreasing somewhere else. Also, increases/decreases must stay in the same room category. For example, you can’t make studios more expensive by decreasing the one bedroom point requirements.
The only way Disney can, and has, increased the per night minimum, is by building new resorts and allocating the points then.
There’s some debate about the legality of this but so far, this is how it has been interpreted.
DVC could raise the number of points for stays in studios and lower the point requirement in grand villas as long as the total stays the same. Since studios book up first and that’s what most renters want to rent, that might use up points for some guests. And if others have tons of points, they might just book a grand villa for their stay instead of two bedroom villa, again using up more points.
But there are times when even all the villas are booked up, no matter what size they are.
They could add one point per night to both categories of studio at the Polynesian and that could decrease the points per night on the bungalows by 18 points per night. 360 studios, 20 bungalows. People might book more bungalows if they were reduced 18 points per night.
We bought DVC-SSR prebuild of 2nd phase back in 2004. in all the years we have been going to Disney, we have learned to manage our points. We just got back from Disney and we used some of our 2021 points. On another note, we also learned one year, when we had a banking problem. We were able to bank our points into RCI for up to 2 years, of course with a fee. We later used the points towards another timeshare closer to home. We could not use them at Disney.
I love reading about the intricacies of DVC, but this question is totally off topic. Tom, what camera setting do you use to turn ordinary lights into stars, like in the boardwalk photo above? I’m dazzled by your photography!! Lights in my photos always turn into an expanded blurry round blob of white space. I can’t think of any other way to describe it.
“the DVC resale market is absolutely one you can time”
I’m not sure I understand what Tom’s referencing here. Has he talked about this elsewhere or does anyone else have success knowing when points get as cheap as they’re going to get?
Thank you in advance!
There are a few trends that you can reasonably predict. There is typically a larger than typical amount of contracts for sale at the end of the year as owners anticipate the next year’s dues and want to sell before they come due. So prices dip some then. Also, there is typically a decrease in prices as recessions deepen and people just can’t wait to sell any longer.
I have no interest in buying (direct or resale) but it always fascinates me to read articles on how Disney manages DVC. . The fact that Disney has created one of (possibly the only?) successful timeshare program is amazing (success as measured by the ability of owners to use it the way they want, save money, and get rid of it effectively when needed). There is certainly some indications that “using it the way they want” is becoming more strained in the last few years, but so far the complaints seem to be limited. I expect how Disney handles this issue will keep me interested for the foreseeable future. The fact that Disney controls the competition and amenities is a big part of the savings (competition being “deluxe” on site resorts). It is easy to confuse whether the hotels (and DVC) support the parks or the parks support the hotels. Most timeshares just can’t compete in an open market with other options and owners end up with greatly devalued property that is unusable and difficult to get out of. Disney actually established a “drop dead date” on contracts and values (price people are willing to pay) increase over time – there is some interesting math there somewhere. I can’t imagine that keeping up price increases on their deluxe rack rates can work forever but maybe it does? – or maybe just until the contracts expire? And as for getting out – RoFR works great to keep up prices – for short periods. We’ll just have to see if Disney ever hits a point where it isn’t economical anymore. No doubt the ins and outs of DVC are enough to keep we watching (and learning) for years to come.
I totally get this and actually have no problem with it at all. In fact, I’d be in favor of prorating the perks based on the number of points you have.
It’s my understanding that only Animal Kingdom Lodge offers Club level for DVC points. If true, it seems to me that Animal Kingdom Lodge points are the only ones to buy. Am I right?
It’s really hard to book one of those five two bedroom lockoff units. If you book a studio, now there are only four more studios or four more two bedroom units. Once three studios are gone, only two two bedroom villas are left plus three one bedroom units. Owners at AKV “walk” their reservations for a month or more, meaning they start their booking about a month before the date they really want (if they can find it open) and then keep adding a night and dropping a night until they get the nights they really want. It’s not an easy reservation to book.
Plus those units don’t have the best view of the savanna. Only three of the two bedroom units are actually a blocked savanna view with the roof overhang kind of blocking the view. The other two are pool view. So don’t book those villas for the view. Book them for the lounge.
As a family of 5 from Texas that normally would purchase platinum passes, our 100-pt direct DVC contract was a no-brainer given the $2500/year savings with access to the gold pass. Of course, those savings aren’t guaranteed going forward, but I have good faith that during the remaining 37 years of our DVC contract, our blue card will likely provide us with enough value to justify the extra $6,000 it cost over resale, whether via AP discounts or some other avenue. If not, fine – we’re still ahead versus the cost of a cash deluxe resort reservation that we 100% would have booked either way.
One thing I will note is that demand for DVC reservations may not have returned yet not purely because of pandemic concerns/restrictions, but also due to the fact that annual passes are not currently being sold. Many DVC members like to piggy-back two years of trips into a single annual pass, alternating every other year. I predict that once APs are being sold again, there will be an uptick in reservations. After all, who wants to pay thousands of dollars for single-park tickets when the cost cannot be applied toward an AP that would cover next year’s DVC trip?
So I was kinda skimming this article and wanted to get advice. We have 162 DVC points that we need to use by January 31. We could not bank them since we borrowed them last year from this year and didn’t wind up using them. Unfortunately, Disney would not let us bank them for next year and we don’t feel comfortable flying from NJ to use them by January 31 because of covid. Any suggestions on how to get rid of them?
What is your UY? DVC was returning borrowed points to the year they were borrowed from. If you are still four months or more from the end of your UY, you should be able to bank them. Check your Dashboard.
Hi Jessica, we were told the same thing because we didn’t bank UY October 2019 points by May. In June, I specifically asked if I could bank my points since the resorts weren’t open at the time. Member Services said nope, we could roll them into RCI, use them by UY 2020, or lose them. We opted to use them in September. But DVC wasnt going to put them back into 2019 and weren’t going to let us bank them into 2020. After reading the article, our Sept. trip was probably a blessing in disguise.
Would you be interested in renting them?
Bev, we never rented or sold points. How does that work?
Jessica – You and the renter determine a price per point (you tell them how many points their trip will take after you determine it is available. You’d want to make at a minimum the cost per point of your annual fees for those points, but many owners might charge as much as $20 a point for special reservations like Riviera or GFV. They pay you, you make the reservation and put their names on it instead of your name. Then you give them the reservation number so they can enter it into MDE. You can even check out The DIS Rent/Trade Board and read their sticky threads at the top of the page.
Deb – thank for the help! Do you recommend any certain platforms to rent points? Is there a standard for how much to rent points? We own at copper creek and we get 250 points allotted per year but this year we have 162 points left that we need to use by January 31. Any pointers or advice on the best way to rent them?
Jessica – You could check out both DISboards.com or Mouseowners.com since both of those locations have a way to offer points to rent. Be sure to read all the sticky threads at the top of each of those boards before you post anything.
I’ve been watching the resale market since this summer and I’m seeing more and more contracts getting posted and not selling as quickly. I’m only watching Beach club and boardwalk FWIW. We’ve decided to hold off and see what happens with prices. I have a trip in July planned and even if I bought now might not be able to use for those dates at a resort I want so holding off for now makes sense.
You’d need to get so many discounts for so many years to make up for the savings on buying resale that it’s still not worth it to buy direct. I also agree that all of the good locations are already taken so I would have no desire to stay at a new DVC resort. Even Rivera isn’t appealing as it’s the same location as CBR.
Thanks for the great write up! Like Drew and Mallory1984, I’m not really in the market for DVC right now but I really like reading about it. Tom (and other commenters), I’m not quite sure the right way to phrase this, but how do they “make” new points at existing DVC resorts so that people can buy them new? I am sure they don’t manage to sell all of them on their initial offering so there’s some floating around… I don’t think they deflate the points (although if I’m wrong please correct me!). Are the “new” points all from contracts bought back under right of first refusal? Do they have another buyback program? Are points ever “repossessed” (outside of the like 2042ish expiration dates)? Is there any tradeoff between resorts? (Like, I assume they don’t sell more points than can be redeemed total across resorts, but do they sell more of the higher demand resorts… Like if Resorts A and B each have 1 million points of annual capacity, can they sell 1.2 million points of A and 0.8 million of B?) Anyone want to recommend some further reading links?
ROFR….They buy back contracts that are put up for sale based on price and demand……For every DVC contract, Disney has the right of first refusal, meaning they can buy it from the seller as the agreed upon price
If Disney makes it taboo to buy resales and prices drop significantly with Disney having First Right Of Refusal it could work out great for Disney buying them back on the cheap. Disney would be all but to happy to buy them back ant a reduced rate!
I am waiting it next recession to buy again I have owned new from Disney and have bought 2 other contracts and have sold them over the years. I bought when they dropped after 2008-09 market crash and sold in 2015. Actually made money on them!!
My husband is 100% against us ever buying DVC. I’m way more interested, but your posts always do a good job of walking me back from that interest (that and our in-person DVC tour was a complete and utter disaster, including a chauvinistic DVC agent and then when we tried to complain–because he was so utterly out of line–DVC ignored us). Justifying a DVC purchase–rather than a rental or even just staying at a moderate–would take a lot of gymnastics for us, and we always come out spending more on DVC than we would on just renting points or booking on our own. So, we continue to pass on it.
All of which is to say, it’s helpful to see clear analyses of all that’s going on in that market, and even as a non-DVC owner whose desire for it will always be aspirational, I find it helpful to read!
So… A couple of things…
Agreed the protectionist policy actually devalues resale opportunity… Which wasn’t such an issue pre internet popularity. But with the blooming of an easy resale channel… That has democratized the process to disney’s disadvantage.
Hawaii… We were excited a the reopening of Aulani til we researched travel and realized that any old covid test does not qualify you from the q’tine restriction. There is a specific test required from specific suppliers. And because this is for discretionary and not diagnostic purposes….your health plan won’t cover it. Essentially a trip to Aulani will cost you $139 per person for anyone 12 years and older. This is going to depress demand even further for a while. User beware before you book
Strongly agree on both counts.
Depending upon how long Hawaii maintains its restrictions (and I think it’s possible the state will until 2022), I’m worried about low bookings at Aulani only exacerbating that existing problem for Walt Disney World. That could stretch this point pool problem even further into the future.
I can understand raising the minimum purchase for direct benefits. Back when GFV opened, they were letting people buy 25 or 50 points directly for an initial purchase. Unless that owner later on purchased another larger contract at GFV either direct or resale, those tiny point initial purchases were not going to get that new owner much of a stay unless they booked OKW at seven months out in Sept, Dec, Jan. I think the same issue happened at Copper Creek when so many people bought enough points for a studio stay, but when it came to booking that studio, none were available because of the large number of points tied up in the Cascade Cabins. If nobody books those cabins, that is a lot of points fighting from seven + months out to get a villa there. When they go to book another resort at seven months out, they could be shut out again. That give a lot of people griping about DVC which DVC doesn’t want.
It’s kind of like the original purchase being somewhere around 225 points. That gave those owners plenty of points for maybe even two stays per year. When we bought the original purchase was 160, but we bought 175 so we could always book a one bedroom villa for a week. With single point cost being so high now compared to what we paid in 1997, it’s hard for a young couple to buy into DVC and get a substantial number of points to be able to book something that works for them other than one of the few studios.
Polynesian has a similar problem, but not nearly as bad as Copper Creek since it has something like 350 or 360 studios, plus the 20 bungalows. The bungalows eat up a lot of points and many owners just don’t own enough to book that bungalow for more than a night or two.
The bungalows and cabins sitting unused are definitely an issue, but people aren’t more likely to book them if they buy 125 points instead of 25 or 50. Those units are a non-starter for low-point members regardless.
The long-term availability issue for DVC resorts at Walt Disney World is going to exist regardless of these incremental restrictions: there are too many outstanding Aulani points those owners are trying to use in Florida.
Tom: Bungalows wouldn’t be able to be booked by someone only having 125 points, but they could get a one bedroom at another resort. Plus all the points not being used because of covid, However, that might just a temporary problem of about a year or two.
Another problem might be the owners who want to rent out their points instead of using them because of covid and not being able to get a broker to take them. The brokers have so many reservations not being used right now, even a fire sale prices.
Madison: Yep, they are still limiting borrowed points to 50%.
Are DVC members still capped at borrowing up to 50% of next year’s points? Seems like they should let members who want to “pre-spend” their points go ahead to reduce demand later.
We rented DVC points 1 1/2 years out for this past Sept 2020 trip for 2 studios for Animal Kingdom Lodge. Due to the virus one of the couples wasn’t comfortable going so we opt out of one of the studios before the final payment. I was able to opt out since i had insurance but I was still out money due to their tier refund. I was also given the option of paying in full and see if they can resell in order to get my full payment back minus the insurance cost. I went with the safe bet and opt out and lossing a little over $400
What I was surprised though – i watch their website to see post my reservation under discounted confirmed reservations. And, they did and they had it listed for more than my original cost. And, of course they sold it.
They made money off this reversation and I’m out money.
I did buy into Riviera with their bigger summer incentives.. probably because I’m vacation-starved.
But as to the motivation and effects of the minimum point increase, and potential cost savings of direct, you hit a few key points but also missed a few key points:
1 — Of course the total number of circulating points aren’t affected. But by pushing people towards bigger contracts, it could theoretically encourage more booking for larger villas, and thereby alleviate some of the excessive demand for studios.
2 — Of course it’s about increasing Disney’s profit. There will always be buyers who are “sold” after the DVC presentation but want a “minimum” purchase. So Disney is now selling those people 125 points instead of 100.
But you missed a big potential cost savings for *some* buyers of direct: You already living in Florida and you and Sarah are just 2 people. Assuming they ever bring back all the types of APs and AP discounts… Remember that DVC buyers can qualify for a reduced rate Gold Pass. Without the blue card, an out-of-state DVC member couldn’t get a Gold Pass at all. So you and Sarah are likely taking your regular AP discount of $300 per person, or $600 per year total.
But for a family of four living out of state, planning an average of 2 trips per year…
Instead of paying for four full price annual passes, they can buy 4 goldpasses…
That’s a savings of $528 per person at initial purchase and $380 per person for renewals.
For a family of 4.. that’s a $16,000 savings over 10 years.
So, for out-of-state purchasers who intend to buy a gold pass….. The savings can be significant by purchasing direct.
And of course, the biggest perk of buying direction is the non-calculable subjective value: Having access to all current and future resorts. (Though it might be a long time before there are new DVC resorts built, with Reflections possibly cancelled and the DVC Tower at Disneyland an unknown).
1) I didn’t miss this, I dismissed it out of hand, saying it required tortured logic.
2) Could be wrong, but I don’t think this will really change that. Incentives, point needs, and budgets seem to be effective drivers there.
3) I absolutely did miss the Gold Pass discount–very fair point!
4) Disneyland is a totally different ball of wax, which we’ve touched upon in other recent DVC posts. I’d absolutely buy directly there if I wanted to stay at that property on a regular basis. However, from a practical perspective, I don’t see how buying directly at Riviera will help with that since (like VGC) it’ll likely fill up at the 11 month mark. I also don’t see any future WDW resorts moving the needle, though. All of the best locations at Walt Disney World already have resorts. Whatever comes in the future will be consolation prize/compromise locations. (In my opinion, of course.)
-As to California availability — At some point, the addition of new rooms will open up availability for WDW DVC people. Remember the Grand Californian actually has very few DVC rooms. The addition of the DVC tower will be a huge increase in supply. And unlike WDW DVC, Disneyland guests tend to go more on weekends and more for shorter trips.
If demand remains so great that DVC tower can only be booked by home resort owners, that leads us to..
– Future resorts: Yes, all the prime locations are taking at WDW. But, expect even more development in California….. And as to future in Florida..
-While it’s not all that soon, 2042 will result in lots of great “new” WDW DVC properties. Resorts like BWV and BCV will become “new” again in 2042, likely with the restrictions.
So buying resale, looking at a 25-year-window (granted, that’s a pretty big window):
You already can’t stay at Riviera.
Won’t be able to stay at DVC Tower in California and potentially other future California development..
While Reflections appears off the table for now, it likely will return eventually.
And by 2042… you won’t be able to stay in Hilton Head, Boardwalk, Beach Club,Vero Beach, Boulder Ridge.
Now, I admit, I wouldn’t let 2042 be a major impact in 2020/2021 decision making. But as years progress towards that date, resale will become less and less attractive. This is Disney’s plan — over time, the resale restrictions will become more and more unappealing, allowing them to push people to direct without having to offer more expensive blue card perks.
For now, the Gold Pass is the biggest financial incentive for some buyers to get a blue card.
I’m not in the market for DVC, but I thought that was an impressive and especially clear analysis for anyone who is.
We bought DVC resale in 2014. The first thing I remember reading was your DVC guide. We were completely cost savings motivated (well, ok, I may have been a teensy bit emotionally motivated). Knowing that were were family who would always need at least a 2br villa if we wanted to stay on property and that we’d want to visit every 2-3 years, we bought a resale Saratoga Springs contract with enough points to stay in a 2br for 7-10 days every other year. We were totally fine with the resale restrictions in place at the time and consider ourselves very fortunate to have purchased when we did. We live in the Northeast, so we can’t really plan to use our points anytime soon due to school and state quarantine requirements.
We have been planning a big January 2022 trip. We usually like to do a split stay, half at SSR or OKW and half at a more points costly resort that we’d like to experience. This may not be so easy for that trip because a) I’m expecting that they will continue to limit borrowing to help with their demand issues, and b) availability at the 7 month window is likely to be very poor, even if we have enough points! My current plan is to book the full stay at Saratoga as soon as the 11 month window opens, and see what might be available at 7 months and take it from there. Thankfully we have grown to really love Saratoga and hope that the refurb will be completely finished by the time we go.
At least you’re trying to stay at the two least popular WDW resorts during a relatively unpopular month (unless you’re thinking of doing Marathon Weekend). That may help tip the scales in your favor!
I have spent way too much time crunching numbers and reading about DVC to confirm (and reconfirm) that it doesn’t make sense for our family, and it won’t save me money. Even though I have no intention of buying for some strange reason I still find it interesting to follow DVC.
I don’t get the approach of raising the barrier to entry/making things more expensive as sales fall. To your point, I’m sure it’s to discourage resale…but it seems like a very counter intuitive move to me.
If I lived within a 3ish hour drive and could pull of last minute trips I would be really into renting points right now. That approach is just too high risk for me (long term planner category) given the pandemic and potential for having to cancel last minute.
“If I lived within a 3ish hour drive and could pull of last minute trips I would be really into renting points right now. That approach is just too high risk for me (long term planner category) given the pandemic and potential for having to cancel last minute.”
I think that’s a fair assessment.
DVC definitely is not for everyone, which is becoming increasingly true as prices increase.
If we had not moved from NW Louisiana, we probably would have eventually sold our points. But now being three hours away, we can do four night trips several times a year. Our biggest expense turns out to be boarding our dog.