A family vacation to Disney is every kid’s biggest dream. Every kid wants to up early in the morning to rush into a park and spend all day riding rides and meeting favorite characters. But as a parent, you know that there’s nothing cheap about a trip to Disney.
That’s where Disney Vacation Club, or DVC, comes in. DVC is a way to help people who spend a lot of time visiting Disney save a little money on their trip.
But what is DVC, exactly? How does using DVC work? Keep reading to find out!
What is DVC?
Essentially, DVC is a timeshare program. It allows you to have partial “ownership” in a resort and use that ownership to book vacations throughout the year.
But unlike a typical timeshare, these properties are a part of Disney’s property. Instead of having a set amount of time each year to stay in your timeshare, you buy DVC points to spend.
It doesn’t just count towards the resorts at one Disney location, either. You can use your points on resorts around the world and cruises as well.
How do DVC Points Work?
When you become a member of the Disney Vacation Club, you buy rental points so you can rent vacation stays at different Disney properties. When you first buy into DVC, you buy a set number of points and select a specific resort to be your “home resort.”
You can buy between 160-2000 points, currently.
The points don’t change from year to year, but you can add more later. You can also borrow them or save them in between years.
The number of points you need for each resort stay depends on a couple of different factors. Some of those factors are:
- Time of year
- Resort of choice
- Location of vacation
- Room size
- Length of stay
Some other factors go into the point value of each stay, but these are the biggest.
What is a Use Year?
The use year is the month when you can start using your points. If you purchased your points in August, your yearly points will be available from August 1 until July 31 of the next year.
How Much Does DVC Membership Cost?
There are a couple of different costs to consider when buying into DVC membership.
The initial purchase can range between $140-$165 per point, depending on the resort you choose as your home resort. You have to buy at least 160 points. DVC often runs different discounts and incentives to make the deal sweeter.
DVC offers different plans to help you pay for your investment. You can finance your DVC membership with 1-, 3-, 5-, 7-, and 10- year plans. Keep in mind that these financing options come with their own fees as well.
You also have dues to pay each year, again depending on the number of points you have and where your home resort is.
There are a few other fees to consider depending on where you purchase your points and how you use them.
What is a Home Resort?
Your home resort is the resort that you bought your initial vacation points for. You can add extra points on for other resorts as well, but you have an advantage at your home resort. You can book your “home resort” stays up to 11 months in advance.
But if you want to book your stay at another DVC resort, you can only start booking 7 months in advance.
This ensures that the folks who bought into their home resort have enough time to book before it becomes available for all DVC members.
What are Banking and Borrowing?
DVC allows you to bank and borrow points from different years. If you don’t use your vacation points for one year, you can use them in the next. There are a few limitations on this, though.
You can’t bank more than three years of points at any one time. Once you’ve banked or borrowed, you can’t return your points to their original year, either.
So, if you want to save up for a big vacation in 2022, you can use 100% of your points from 2021 and bank them for 2022. But you can’t move those points back to 2021 if your vacation plans fall through.
Which Resorts are Part of DVC?
Currently, the following resorts are a part of DVC’s resort list:
- Animal Kingdom Villas
- Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
- Disney’s Old Key West
- Polynesian Villas and Bungalows
- Riviera Resort
- Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa
- Tree House Villas at Saratoga Springs
- Villas at Grand Floridian
You can currently only buy points for Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, Riviera Resort, Copper Creek Villas and Cabins, and Aulani in Hawaii directly from the DVC.
Where Do I Purchase?
You can choose to buy points directly from the DVC or you can buy resale listings from different vendors. Buying from DVC directly gives you the added benefit of incentives and pro-rated annual dues, discounts, or free cruises.
But if you take the time to browse all listings of resale DVC, you may be able to snag points for Old Key West, the BoardWalk Villas, Beach Club Villas, or the Wilderness Lodge Villas. You may also be able to get a good deal on the cost per point if you shop through a resale company.
Use DVC Perks for Your Next Disney Vacation
So, what is DVC? DVC is a vacation rental program that works like a timeshare that you can use to go to any participating DVC resort around the world. It’s a great way for families who spend a lot of time at Disney to save a little money and help make the vacation planning process a lot easier.
It can be expensive, but you can take advantage of financing or discounted prices of DVC resale listings to make it more affordable. DVC makes it so that any family can go to the happiest place on earth!
For more vacation tips and tricks, keep reading!