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Disney Vacation Club Discuss To DVC or not to DVC in the Vacation Planning forums; I'm currently planning two Disney vacations for my family of 4. The first to Disneyland for a week or two February 2011 to coincide with the sailing of the Disney ...
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    d23
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    To DVC or not to DVC

    I'm currently planning two Disney vacations for my family of 4. The first to Disneyland for a week or two February 2011 to coincide with the sailing of the Disney Magic (which we have booked), and the second a trip in early 2012 to the WDW for 3 weeks.

    On previous trips to WDW my family and I have stayed off site, but we want to stay at a Disney resort for our future trips and enjoy the transportation and extra magic hour benefits. Our preferred resorts are the Grand Californian for 2011 and Beach Club for 2012.

    I'm wondering if it makes sense to buy an existing DVC contract rather than try to get a good discount off the rack rate for these two trips. I have been looking at a resale on a Saratoga Springs contract, but I'm unsure about how much I can save over the long term and how big of a contract I would need.

    I have some questions regarding DVC that may help us make up our minds:
    - We plan on staying on-site once a year at least every year for the next 5-10 years, does it make sense to go DVC rather than waiting for sales?
    - Given our current plans I think I need a 100-160 point contract, am I way off?
    - If we usually travel in Feburary/March what "Use Year" should we be looking for?
    - I have heard that some DVC resorts can't guarantee a non-smoking room and my wife is an asthmatic. Has anyone had problems with this?

    I appreciate any advice that anyone has to offer.

    Thanks, d23

  2. #2
    NC_WDW_Daddy's Avatar
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    Re: To DVC or not to DVC

    When I ran the numbers a few years back comparing a vacation home for 11 nights versus a DVC for the same time, I never crossed the point in the graphs where it would be advantageous to be a DVC member. I did not however, look at DVC by Resale and looked only at a straight buy from Disney. A resale option might work well for you, or even renting points.

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    Re: To DVC or not to DVC

    Sometimes you can get great deals with resales because the seller might have points that they haven't used from last year plus the points they get for this year. If you're staying on property at the Beach Club for instance, you'll probably need at least 250 points for a one bedroom villa in Feb/March. To my knowledge, all of the resorts are non-smoking rooms, so I wouldn't worry to much about that. I do know that we've never had to request a non-smoking room at any of the DVC resorts, so that's why I believe they are all non-smoking.

    Good luck. Enjoy your upcoming trips.
    Tina Cole

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    bigthundermicky's Avatar
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    Re: To DVC or not to DVC

    The quantity of points matter for what size of room you want to stay, how long you want to stay and what time of year. I have been a DVC member for about 4 years. When it comes to the money, you DEFINITELY save money. The dollar for dollar $ that you use per night for a regular room vs. DVC may equal today, but your point values never change. In 10 years when rooms at Beach Club are $500/night, the same point values from today apply to then.

    My wife and I spent a week in Maui for 160 points that we traded last November. We love DVC. We just added 60 more points giving our yearly alotment to 220 pts. It gives us the options to take multiple visits per year and to have larger rooms.

    Re-sale vs. purchasing directly through Disney has good and bad points. The good is that you can get the points MUCH cheaper. You can choose any home resort available.( Home resorts can be booked 11 months in advance and all others can be booked 7 months in advance)

    The bad points are that you may assume any debt ( like maintenance fees) from who you are buying them from. You also take over the contract of the who you bought the resale from, which means that your ownership ends whenever their ownership ends. ( Membership usually lasts 55 years from the starting date of the resort)

    We bought DVC from Disney directly and we are extermely happy. Our home resort is AK lodge. You also get discounts on everything from annual passes, restaurants to merchandise and special hard ticketed events for being a member.

    I hope this helps.

    Good luck!

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    Re: To DVC or not to DVC

    Owning a DVC is not in the budget for us, but I have rented points from someone a couple of times and it has worked out great.
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    perrych is offline A-Ticket holder
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    Re: To DVC or not to DVC

    I researched the DVC for my dad who was seriously considering it. Two important considerations: 1) There is a HUGE upfront fee, I think $10000. One couple I know is paying that in installments, but still, that is a lot of money. And that just gets you in the DVC. 2) The yearly costs are pretty expensive, particularly if you fancy staying at a nicer resort like the Contemporary. The amount of points it takes to stay just a couple of times a year for a short weekend trip is amazing - particularly when you compare the costs of points to the cost of a room with discount codes.

    For us, the upfront costs were the biggest factor in us not going. That is, for my family, about TEN trips to Disney (if not more). Also, the points only work at DVC resorts which does limit the resorts you can stay at.

    I understand that you are investing in a more expensive Disney in the future, but my feeling is that if it ever gets THAT expensive, my Disney vacationing would definitely change anyway.

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    Re: To DVC or not to DVC

    Perry, my wife and I only put down $1500 for a down payment for the points we bought. ( We made 2 seperate purchases - the first 160 points and put down $1000, the second $500 for an additional 60 points) The ammount of points you use per night, no matter where you stay is not that many points depending what time of year and what size room. The points are really no more per night @ Bay Lake vs. Saratoga Springs. It is true that it does limit what resorts you can stay at a bit. You can use your points to stay at any resort except for the value resorts.

    I don't want to sound like the poster boy for DVC, but my wife and I absoultely love it and are very satisfied with our purchase and feel that we really got value for our money.

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    d23
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    Re: To DVC or not to DVC

    Thank you to everyone for your advice. It has been very helpful!!!

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    Re: To DVC or not to DVC

    perrych-Some corrections.

    As another poster already pointed out, you do not need to put down $10k up front.

    Also, depending on when you go, short weekend trips are NOT all outrageous....not at all. It depends on what size villa you want, and what time of year it is. Bigger villas are more points, and peak times are more points. When our family bought in the early 90s, my mom bought the minimum number of points you can buy (we've since added on several times). That purchase was largely based on her considering how they could be used. With that minimum number of points we could stay in a studio for like 3 weeks during the slowest season, or a grand villa for 2 nights during the busiest season. It all depends on when you plan to travel and what size room you want. There have been several years where our family took multiple trips down to WDW on our years points with points left over at year end.

    And, points do NOT only work at DVC resorts...points can also be used at most Disney hotels (not to mention trading out of disney altogether if you want to go someplace else) - the exception is if there's a DVC at that hotel. So we can use points to stay at Yacht Club, but not Beach Club because there are Villas at Beach Club -you'd stay in Villas there. Its more EXPENSIVE to use points at hotels (for instance we're pricing out Boardwalk Villas vs Yacht club for after the WDW radio cruise next year...its 80 for a Boardwalk Villa Studio, around 100 for a 1 bedroom, and like 170 something for a standard view room at Yacht Club). Points can also be used for the DCL (we regularly bank or borrow and use 2 years worth of points towards a Deluxe Veranda Stateroom on DCL) and Adventures By Disney.
    Last edited by shelbell77; 07-15-2010 at 06:00 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Re: To DVC or not to DVC

    Best money I ever spent... bought in 1994 before kids were born.... it literally is 2/3 off the room rate you'd spend. We now have 4 kids (party of 6) and trust me, we would need 2 hotel rooms for every stay. We rent a 2BR, kitchen with island, we cook in the room (saves money), drive our car (saves money), use the children's activity centers for free (saves money), washer and dryer ( saves me time when I get home ... everything comes home clean and my kids get to go about 2 times a year..... their friends are a little jealous and don't understand. we buy passes every other year (to save money). the off years we explore the resorts and pool hop. the "on" years we exploit the parks till we are exhausted. Yes, we don't go to the beach ... except on the off years, we head to Daytona or Cocoa Beach for some fun. My kid are spoiled and I love it
    cindymouse6
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    Re: To DVC or not to DVC

    Our DVC points have paid for themselves over and over and over again!! We have 5 kids age 15-5 and we have visited Disney every year for over a decade. With such a large group the condos have saved my sanity - I always spend the last night packing suitcases with CLEAN clothes!! And we have the kitchen - 7 meals out every night even for just a long weekend gets pricey. The convienence of being on-site especially when the kids were younger we could never put a price on. The hubs could stay out with the big kids and I could go crash at the condo with the little ones.

    Our points also afford our family and friends great vacations. In the last year alone we sent a couple on their honeymoon, my brother took his boys for the first time, and my sister-in-law leaves in two weeks to take her young brood. These are young families who wouldn't otherwise be able to make the trip if we weren't able to give them lodging. We have friends who own a timeshare down the road from Disney - Westgate Lakes....we borrowed their place ONCE.....we had to pay $250 and HAD to sit through a sales pitch....anyone who borrows our points just gets a vacation!!

    I love DVC!
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    Re: To DVC or not to DVC

    Kandjad, you put it brilliantly! I've done the same ... especially when Disney gave free passes (from 1994-1999) for entire length of stay, I sent a family of 6, a single mom with her daughter who had never been, and lots of family. We have honeymoons paid for for all 4 kids since you can use points for hotels at Disney or trade out for Conceirge locations, etc. I know Dave Ramsey and lots of financial people object to timeshares, but because DVC is so different, it totally makes sense. A friend of mine just joined AKL, got a 2BR Savannah view, took his family and the front desk told him that room is $1300 cash ... he would never have afforded that on a cash basis.... but DVC is like paying 1/3 of the price... can't say enough good about it in less than 5 years, he will have paid for the 50year membership. not too bad....
    cindymouse6
    DVC members Old Key West, Beach Club, Bay Lake Towers
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  13. #13
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    Re: To DVC or not to DVC

    We bought into the WL in 2001. We have already added up what the trips would have cost staying at a deluxe resort and come out way ahead. We have 150 points and are able to go once a year. Depending on where you want to stay and when you want to go, points are very cost effective. We are leaving next week for WDW, staying in a one bedroom at OKW and my points used were 83 for a 3 night/4day stay. To pay that would have cost more than I would have wanted to spend, and I still have points left over for next year. Plus I got my AP at a discounted price. I think DVC is the best way to go for folks who like to go once or maybe even twice a year. You just have to know how to budget your points Happy planning!

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