For Disney lovers who travel to Disney often or want to travel more often, the Disney Vacation Club can seem like a dream come true! For guests looking to join the Disney Vacation Club, it can be an attractive way to say in luxury and get out to Disney more frequently. The Disney Vacation Club Membership offers excellent perks (not just on your Resort stay) and many destinations to choose from.
While becoming a member sounds magical, there are some aspects of membership you will want to know ahead of time. The Disney Vacation Club comes with a hefty price tag, and there are rules and terms with using the DVC you will want to know upfront. So, is Disney Vacation Club worth buying into, or should you pay for the Resort you want to stay without the DVC membership?
What is Disney Vacation Club?
First off, what is the Disney Vacation Club? The Disney Vacation Club often referred to as DVC, is Disney’s version of a Timeshare. You pay an upfront cost for several points to use every year, and you can use those points to book vacations at Disney Vacation Club Resorts. The minimum number of points you can buy to become a DVC Member is 100 points per year, and the maximum number of points you can buy per year is 2,000. With your points, you can choose from the Disney Vacation Club Resorts to stay at for different amounts of time. You can choose to stay at a lower point Resort for a more extended amount of time or choose to stay at a nicer resort, like Disney’s Grand Floridian, for a shorter amount of time. This can be a great way to plan Disney Vacations customized to the type of vacation you are looking for.
The number of points you will need to book a vacation will change depending on many factors. The resort you are staying at, the time of year you travel, and the number of days you travel all will determine how many points your vacation will be to book. When you buy into the DVC, you will pick a home resort. Your home resort will determine what your price will be for points and will also determine what your maintenance fees will be. You will have priority booking at your home resort, which will allow you to make reservations before any other guests. Guests who purchase DVC will have monthly maintenance fees to pay that go to updating and maintenance on the Home Resort they choose.
How Long is a Disney Vacation Club Contract?
Your contract with DVC will be determined by the resort you choose to be your home resort. All Disney Vacation Club Memberships expire, whether you buy directly from Disney or decide to buy points from a third party. Each contract at a resort will end on the same date, regardless of when you purchased them. Most DVC Resorts have a 50-year contract from when they start selling DVC Memberships to that specific Home Resort.
Old Key West will be the first DVC Resort to have the first expiration date. Old Key West did offer extensions to the contract to many of its beginning purchasers that would allow them to extend their contract 15 years at $15 per point. After a few years, they offered extensions to contracts for $25 per point. No one knows if DVC will do this in the future or which resorts they might extend contracts to.
Do Disney Vacation Club Points Expire?
The points you purchase through the Disney Vacation Club allow you to make reservations for your vacation to the DVC Resorts. Every year you will be given a set number of points to make your reservations. When you purchase into DVC, the points you are buying will be available for a year, which DVC calls a “Use Year,” 12 months, you can use your points. It is not the typical January 1st through December 31st, and each contract will be different. You will find out the Use Year when you sign your contract with DVC. You can use the DVC points you are given from the beginning of the Use Year to the end date of the Use Year, after that, your points expire.
So, let’s say your Use Year is from May 1, 2022,to April 30, 2023. You can use your Use Points for the year to book a Disney Vacation Club Room up to April 30, 2023, but on May 1, 2023, if you have not used your points, they will expire. You do not have to wait until your Use Year to book your vacation. You can reserve your vacation seven months ahead of when you want to stay, except at your home resort, where you can book 11 months ahead of time.
How Many Years Can I Bank DVC Points?
One great part of Disney Vacation Club Membership is that you can bank your points. If you know you will not be using your points one year and don’t want them to expire, DVC will allow you to bank your points to the next Use Year. This can be great for families that do not want to go on vacation every year.
It is important to note that banking points can only be banked once. So, you cannot bank points from one Use Year, not use them during the Use Year you banked them to and try to bank them again. Points can only be banked once. Banked points can also not be given to friends or family to use, the DVC Member must use all banked points.
There is a timeframe you must bank points by. DVC Members must bank all their points for the Use Year during the first eight months of their Use Year. They cannot bank their points for the last four months of the Use Year they are trying to bank points for. So, it is essential to plan and plan out when you will use your points and not wait until the last minute to use them. If you do not bank your points and don’t use them by the end of your Use Year, they will expire, and you don’t get those points back.
Families can also borrow points from the next Use Year, allowing DVC members to use three years of points to book a vacation. This can be great for families who have large parties, want a more luxurious DVC Resort, or who wish to travel during peak seasons, as those typically cost more points. This is why many Disney Vacation Club Members say DVC is worth it, to use three years of points to take a grand Disney Vacation.
How Do I Sell My Disney Vacation Club Points?
As life happens and circumstances in your life may change, you may decide you don’t want to pay for the DVC Membership anymore. It can be that you are not traveling as often, you need the money from the sale, or you are not using your points as often as you thought you would. DVC Members can sell their membership and points.
To sell your DVC points, posting your DVC Membership for sale with a Real Estate Company can help let people know what you have available for sale. Disney recommends contacting a Licensed Real Estate Broker to help you through this process, and many companies specifically deal with buying Disney Vacation Club Memberships and points. Once you find a buyer, you must submit a contract for sale to Disney Vacation Club to review at least 30 days before closing the contract. Once reviewed, you can close, and all current Dues, fees, and outstanding loan payments will need to be paid at the time of closing. Once you have completed, you must send a copy of the records to DVC Member Administration, and the documents will be changed to show the sale of the DVC Membership. Most companies who regularly work with DVC will already be familiar with the process and can help you sell your membership.
When selling your points, remember you will probably not get back the money you paid for the membership, but you will most likely get a large portion of it back. What you get back depends on many factors, such as which home resort you have and how many points you own.
When selling your points, you also have the option of just selling some of your points and keeping a smaller number of points while keeping your DVC Membership. You can also choose to rent out your points and get paid for the points you rent out. This can help if you know you will not be traveling to Disney for a few years and don’t want the points to expire. Many guests also purchase DVC and rent out their points throughout their membership to help pay off the membership cost and the maintenance fees. This can be an excellent option for those traveling less often or not using all the points they have every year but still want to maintain their membership.
What Are the Perks of Becoming a DVC Member?
Disney Vacation Club Members receive some of the best perks any Disney lover can have! DVC Members get great discounts on things like dining, reservations, and merchandise, along with special events and much more! Here are some of the great perks you will receive if you become a DVC Member:
- 10-20% Discounts on Dining and Merchandise
DVC Members get a 10-20% discount on dining and merchandise and select locations throughout the Disney Theme Parks and Resorts. The amount discounted depends on the selected location.
- Annual Pass and Park Ticket Discounts (Not currently available)
DVC Members save big when buying Disney Annual Passes and Tickets to the parks.
- Member Only Lounge Areas in Selected Parks and Resorts
At select Disney Parks and Resorts, DVC Members can find lounge areas where members can relax and unwind while spending the day at the Disney Parks. They offer complimentary refreshments and charging stations for electronic devices.
- DVC World Collection
Disney Vacation Club is a timeshare and can be exchanged through RCI. With the DVC World Collection, DVC Members can exchange the points they have to stay worldwide through RCI’s timeshare exchange.
- Member Events
Throughout the year, Disney offers special Member-Only events. One great event you will want to check out is the Member Night at Splitsville. During the Member Nights, you can skip the line and enjoy 1.5 hours of bowling and receive an appetizer, entrée, and a special gift.
- DVC Members Check In
DVC Members can check in early to Resorts and the Disney Cruise Line.
Do DVC Members Get Free Dining?
Disney Vacation Club Members do not get to dine for free, but they get some fantastic discounts. They offer special events and lounge areas that only DVC Members can attend, and some of these locations provide complimentary refreshments. The most popular one DVC Members visit is EPCOT’s Imagination Member Lounge. This lounge area in the park offers a place to cool off and have free snacks and drinks. DVC Members can attend special events, and many of the events have food included the DVC Members can have it at no cost.
So, is the Disney Vacation Club worth buying into? It depends on each guest’s preference. If you don’t travel to Disney often and take most of your vacations to places other than Disney, DVC Membership might not be for you. If you will be taking a Disney vacation often and have a chance to enjoy all the perks that are offered with DVC Membership, then yes! The price you would be paying at Disney Resorts would be close to the same as owning at DVC over an extended amount of time. DVC rooms are more updated than standard Disney Resort rooms and have bedrooms and kitchens, making your stay more comfortable. You will have great discounts on your vacations on items such as food and merchandise and special Member-Only events you can attend!
Let us know if the Disney Vacation Club is something you are considering and if it is worth buying into for your Disney family!