These money-saving tips for renting Disney Vacation Club points will get you Deluxe Resort rooms at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and beyond. DVC rental is safe, easy, and cheaper than standard hotel reservations. It’s also a great way to “test drive” the accommodations before buying a DVC membership. (Updated February 1, 2023.)
Disney Vacation Club (DVC) point rental is the one-time use of a set number of a points to book a Deluxe Villa room at a Disney Vacation Club Resort. It’s an easy process, and you can do this on a person-to-person basis via social media groups, or via one of the established point rental companies that we recommend.
If you’re simply looking for the best way to safely rent DVC points at the lowest prices, our two top recommendations are David’s Vacation Club Rentals(for lowest prices) and DVC Rental Store (for most flexibility). That’s the short and sweet advice for renting DVC points–if you want to know more or compare the options, this post offers info & tips. Disney Vacation Club point rental can be a great way to save big on your 2023 Walt Disney World vacation, but it can be complicated, confusing, and require planning. For that, we’re here to help!
Let’s start with the basics of DVC rental. Here’s how it works: the owner of the points agrees to “rent” the points out to a rentee, and in exchange for payment to the owner of the points, the owner makes a room reservation for the rentee in the rentee’s name. The amount of the payment is determined by the number of points needed for the booking, with a per-point cost being agreed upon by the parties.
For example, if the agreed upon price is $20 per point, and the rentee wants to stay book Animal Kingdom Lodge for December 1-7, that will require 60 points, for a total cost of $1,200. Contrast that with booking directly from DisneyWorld.com, which would cost $2,451.38. That’s over half off by renting DVC points for that Christmas-time stay! As you can see, the big advantage of Disney Vacation Club point rental is saving money over booking directly with Walt Disney World.
Speaking of Christmas 2023, if you want to visit Walt Disney World and rent DVC points for this holiday season, you really need to book ASAP. Above is a look at availability at Saratoga Springs Resort as of February 1, 2023. Wide open availability, which looks pretty good, right?
Not so fast. Below is the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, where rooms are filling up much quicker. This resort along with the Polynesian, BoardWalk, Beach Club, and others in close proximity to Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios always book up over 7 months in advance. In other words, if you’re thinking about renting DVC points for a Christmas 2023 trip and want the best options, you need to book as soon as possible.
For what it’s worth, there’s a reason the holiday season is such a popular time to visit Walt Disney World. You can read more about why we love this time of year, dates & details, what’s happening, and more in our Ultimate Guide to Christmas 2023 at Walt Disney World. Without question, this is the best time to visit Walt Disney World–we highly recommend making reservations immediately so you can get a good resort!
While this is the best time to visit Walt Disney World, it’s just one of many times that Disney Vacation Club Members tend to prefer, which book up quickly as a result. Other popular times of year include all school breaks, holiday weekends, the start of EPCOT festivals, and any ‘cheap’ dates when a lower number of points is required to book rooms.
This brings us to lesson #1 about DVC point rental: book as close to 11 months in advance as possible. It used to be the case that booking at least 7 months in advance was sufficient, but that’s no longer true. In searching for DVC availability, there are few good options for multi-night stays between today and April 2023 for studios or one-bedroom units. Only a scattering of dates at most resorts, with slightly better options for Saratoga Springs and Old Key West.
If you’re looking more last minute, fear not, as there’s another option for availability inside 6 months: confirmed reservations. These are reservations that have already been booked by a Disney Vacation Club Member and are available to be reserved by a guest. Booking a confirmed reservation is quicker and more efficient, but it’s also inflexible. There are no modifications or customized reservations. What you see is what you get.
In the past, confirmed reservations were rare. They were often bargains that were available because a DVC Member had to cancel a trip at the last-minute, and was hoping to recoup some money. In the last few years, confirmed reservations have exploded in popularity and frequency.
Rather than being bargains, they’re often speculative reservations that are booked for the most popular travel times in the most popular room types. Consequently, it’s often the case that confirmed reservations are more expensive than their per-point counterparts.
To be sure, there are still bargains at the absolute last minute and during less-popular travel times, but as hotel availability has become more difficult to book during peak seasons, confirmed reservations have become more popular among DVC Members looking to capitalize. While the amount varies, it’s common for confirmed reservations to charge as much as $25 per point.
In terms of other updates, there’s big benefit of renting Disney Vacation Club points throughout 2023. That’s because guests staying in Walt Disney World resorts have access to a couple of perks. First is Early Theme Park Entry, which gives ALL on-site resort guests a 30-minute head start at any Walt Disney World theme park, every day before normal operating hours begin. Learn more strategy in our Guide to Early Entry at Walt Disney World.
Second, there’s Extended Evening Theme Park Hours. This benefit is exclusively for guests staying at Deluxe Resorts, Deluxe Villas, or other select hotels. This includes Disney Vacation Club resorts and those renting DVC points are eligible. This second perk is incredibly advantageous, as crowds are usually low during these nighttime hours. See our Guide to Extended Evening Hours at Walt Disney Worldfor taking advantage of this perk, eligibility, and more.
Okay, now on with the normal DVC point rental tips…
In recent years, renting points has gone from relatively uncommon to a bit more mainstream practice. There are individual owners who rent points because they either aren’t going to be able to use their points or need a way to offset some of the considerable cost of membership, and there are companies that exist solely for the purpose of renting Disney Vacation Club points to savvy Walt Disney World and Disneyland guests.
As indicated above, the two main places to rent Disney Vacation Club points are David’s Vacation Club Rentals and DVC Rental Store. The two are pretty comparable–both are reputable businesses that can be trusted. David’s has one big advantage: lower prices. This makes David’s the better option if you’re simply looking to pay the least money possible.
DVC Rental Store’s biggest strength is flexibility. All reservations include their Stress-Free Cancellation Policy, which basically means paying a little bit more for lower risk. Additionally, they don’t require full payment up front–your balance is due 75 days prior to check in. The obvious advantage here is that you’re not paying in full up front, meaning you can cancel your reservation if you’d prefer to just walk away and not deal with credits.
Speaking of timeframes, it’s generally recommended that you rent DVC points at least 7 months in advance or, ideally, 11 months in advance. These are when the booking windows open for Disney Vacation Club resorts, so you’ll have a higher likelihood of success the earlier you contact one of the rental companies. If you think you’re going to get exactly what you want 5-6 months in advance, think again. Resorts along Magic Kingdom’s monorail loop, EPCOT’s Crescent Lake, and the Skyliner gondola all start booking up more than 7 months in advance.
If you’re flexible on your travel dates, resort, and room preference–or just happen to get lucky with the stars aligning and exactly what you want already being booked–these existing reservations can sometimes be a better option at the very last minute. Otherwise, we highly recommend renting DVC points at least 7 to 11 months in advance.
Although we are Disney Vacation Club owners, we have a relatively low number of points, so we’ve actually rented points ourselves a couple of times in the last few years. In attempting to rent points, we’ve contacted both the point rental businesses and individuals on forums about rental, and have opted to go with the point rental businesses (despite paying a bit more) for simplicity and peace of mind.
How you go about renting Disney Vacation Club points, and whether it’s safe, is probably the most common reader question we’ve received in response to our Disney Vacation Club Buying Guide, so I figured I’d put together this guide based on our experiences and research, along with my thoughts about the pros and cons of each method of renting points.
Let’s start with the pros and cons of renting DVC points in general to determine whether it’s right for you…
Pros & Cons of DVC Point Rental
The biggest benefit of renting Disney Vacation Club points is saving money. The example of Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas above is a good one. If you wanted to book a stay August 19-23 in a value view studio, that’s exactly how many points you’d need, and how much it would cost if you rented points through one of the point renters.
For a stay December 2-6 it would be even cheaper! Other nights throughout the year would cost more, but you get the idea. You couldn’t even stay in a Moderate Resort for the rates you can get by renting Disney Vacation Club points, let alone a Deluxe.
In addition to saving money on hotel rates, another benefit of renting Disney Vacation Club points, for some people, is getting the Disney Dining Plan without purchasing park tickets. Unfortunately, the Disney Dining Plan is temporarily unavailable, but we expect it to return sometime in 2023. (See When Will the Disney Dining Plan Return?)
Speaking of food, the studio rooms feature a kitchenette and one bedrooms and larger have full kitchens. This means it’s easier to prepare full meals than if you’re staying in a standard hotel room. Not something everyone wants to do on vacation, but it’s nice to have the option. This is especially true for breakfast when you want to get out the door quickly, or for late night snacks after the restaurants have closed. To that point, here’s what we recommend for grocery delivery at Walt Disney World.
Similarly, guests staying in Disney Vacation Club units have access to free laundry rooms. Moreover, one-bedroom units or larger have in-room washers and dryers. Laundry is another thing we hate doing on vacation, but having the option in your room is huge, and the convenience of that cannot be overstated.
The biggest downside to renting Disney Vacation Club points is that you don’t have total control over the reservation. Someone else books the reservation for you, and someone else has to make any changes to the reservation for you (such as adding the Disney Dining Plan, once that returns). Disney Vacation Club won’t discuss the reservation with non-members, so even if your name is on it, you’re at the mercy of the person who booked it if you need changes.
Another downside for some guests is that, since the unit rented is a villa and not a hotel room, housekeeping service is not daily. Most stays will only have one visit by Mousekeeping. This isn’t a problem for us, but for some people, not having the full hotel experience might be a fatal blow to renting DVC points.
The final downside is cancellation and refund policies. While it’s possible to purchase travel insurance for DVC point rentals, the cancellation policies are not nearly as forgiving as booking directly via Disney. This is because of the strict policies surrounding DVC point usage. In the event of hurricane or some other ‘Act of God’ scenario, the member who is renting out the points may not be able to reuse them if the guest cancels.
You’ll find no shortage of negative reviews online about the major rental companies following the closure of Walt Disney World for this very reason. While some guests were accommodated with future bookings or travel credits, a lot of people who wanted cash refunds were denied. We’ve explained the why of this in DVC’s Point Pool Problem; the short version is the supply of unused outstanding points exceeds room availability by several millions of points. Someone is going to be left holding the bag, and it’s not going to be Disney.
The good news on this front is that it has resulted in some policy reforms by the rental companies. DVC Rental Store now offers a stress-free cancellation policy that issues you a credit you can use toward a future DVC rental in the event of cancellation. You can utilize these credits up to two years from your original travel dates.
We recommend paying close attention to contract when renting, and making sure you’re not agreeing to terms that would not create an undue burden if you need to cancel, because there are no cash refunds. Part of the reason DVC renting saves so much money is that it comes with compromise–there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Whether DVC rental is right for you comes down to your personal risk v. reward assessment.
How To Rent?
If you’re convinced that renting Disney Vacation Club points is right for you, the next question is who to use. There are a couple popular choices here, including the DVC Rental Store and David’s Vacation Club Rentals. The advantages to renting through them are that both are accredited by the Better Business Bureau, both have a team that does this as its full-time business, and both have a sterling reputation. The other upside to renting from the DVC Rental Store or David’s is convenience.
They have “home resort” inventory for every Disney Vacation Club resort. This means that if you want a popular resort, you can book with him at the 11 month mark. If you want a hard-to-book resort and plan on booking through an individual, you need to do so 11 months out and find an owner who has the resort you want as a home resort. That can make the whole process of booking person-to-person more time consuming and tedious.
Compounding that challenge, most of the forums that previously facilitated person-to-person point rental have closed, with the exception of the Disboards one. However, several Facebook and other social media groups have popped up in their place. If you have friends who are DVC members that are willing to rent out their points to you, that’s another route, too.
The downside to renting from strangers is that you have no guarantee that you aren’t going to be ripped off, or that the owner will be available to assist you if something goes wrong with the reservation. You’ll have a bit of uneasiness until the moment at the check-in desk that your reservation pulls up. Basically, it comes down to how risk averse you are and how much more you can save by going through an individual.
For what it’s worth, in my time researching rentals, I heard of very few instances of people being ripped off by individuals on the forums or social media. It does happen, but it seems to be very, very infrequent. When we rent in the future, I’m not sure how we’ll do it. It largely depends upon prices.
If it’s a short weekend trip and the David’s Disney Vacation Club Rentals is charging ~$23/point versus $20/point from an individual, I can’t see going the person-to-person to say what will amount to $30 or less. The possibility that we could be scrambling at the last minute to find an alternate hotel room for such a short trip wouldn’t be worth it. Given how significantly Disney has increased their prices in the last few years, these rentals are still a good deal.
I’d prefer to just pay the bit extra for the peace of mind. If it were a 10-day trip in a Grand Villa, I’d probably be more likely to go through an individual because the savings are greater, but then I’d be concerned that such a big purchase were risky. I really don’t know what I’d do, it’s a tough call.
If we did end up going through an individual, I would do a few things to protect myself as best I could. First, I wouldn’t rent from any new members or individuals with only a handful of posts. I’d want someone with an established reputation on the forums. Second, I’d ask for references. Third, I’d pay with an American Express credit card rather than any other form of payment.
Which DVC Resort?
Finally, you need to figure out which Disney Vacation Club Resort is right for you. We’ve stayed at every single DVC resort at Walt Disney World, most several times. It’s tough to declare a definitive “best” Disney Vacation Club resort, as each has its pros & cons, and is a good option depending upon your priorities.
We have a post that Ranks the Disney Vacation Club Resorts at Walt Disney World and shares the strengths and weaknesses of each. To be honest, though, we love just about all of them. That list does give you a good basis in terms of theme, location, amenities, and other things to consider that will help you make an informed decision, though!
Ultimately, Disney Vacation Club point rentals is a great way to save tons of money without making the long term commitment to joining. If you’re currently booking Moderate or Deluxe Resorts directly from Disney, it’s definitely something to consider. Most of the time, renting Disney Vacation Club points will be cheaper than booking a Moderate, and it will ALWAYS be cheaper than booking a Deluxe (even with the best discounts!).
Renting from individuals is the best way to maximize your savings, and renting from the DVC Rental Store or David’s Vacation Club Rentals is the safest way to rent–plus they’re full service companies with great customer service that can help you through the process and answer all of your questions!
Do you agree or disagree with our recommendations for renting DVC points? Any firsthand experiences you care to share? Which DVC resorts do you recommend for a first-timer renter? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!