May 23, 2018

All About Disney Vacation Club!

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Disney post! Since one of my most popular videos so far is all about our Disney Vacation Club Story, I thought I would do a post all about DVC! More informative than a story of how we became members, and if you have any questions you can comment below! I’m am writing everythink I can think of when it comes to Disney Vacation Club, so this post is a bit of a long one! Okay, let’s get started!

All about Disney Vacation Club

What is Disney Vacation Club?

Disney Vacation Club is Disney’s timeshare program. By purchasing points, you are purchasing real estate interest in one of their hotels, not just in Walt Disney World, but all over with locations in California, North Carolina, and of course Florida. By purchasing a certain number of points, you recieve that allotment  each year. You get a “use year” which is the month you recieve your points for the year. For example, ours is October.

Disney Vacation Club is available at the following Resorts:

  • Aulani (Hawaii)
  • Bay Lake Tower
  • Bolder Ridge Villas and Copper  Creek Villas at Wilderness Lodge
  • Jambo House and Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Beach Club
  • Boardwalk
  • Hilton Head (South Carolina)
  • Old Key West
  • Polynesian
  • Saratoga Springs
  • Vero Beach
  • Grand Californian (California)
  • Grand Floridian
  • Riviera Resort (coming in 2019)

Prices vary by resort, but currently through Disney points are in the $170 range. It’s definitely an investment!

How Does it work?

DVC is a bit different than a “normal” timeshare, because you are NOT limited to a specific time of year or resort. You purchase a number of points, and different resorts, room sizes, and different times of year cost different numbers of points. Each year you receive your certain number of points, and the month you receive them is known as your use year. Ours is October. If you purchase multiple contracts, they can have different use years. It makes it a little bit more confusing, but can definitely be done.

You are purchasing a contact that has an expiry date, some of them are 50 years. You can pay up front or finance the purchase, and the only yearly cost is maintenence fees or “annual dues”, were are paid per point. Dues can be around $11 per point, but are slowly increasing and vary by resort. Different resorts are more expensive and less expensive, and the ending year of the contract will play into that. Generally buying directly from Disney is more expensive than buying through the resale market, which I speak of below.

All About Disney Vacation Club

 

What is a home resort?

A home resort is the resort on your contract. You can book vacations at this resort 11 months in advance. For example, ours is Disney’s Polynesian Village. If I were to book a trip right now, I could book a trip starting 11 months from today, at the Polynesian. If I wanted to book at a different resort, I could only book a trip starting 7 months from today. For popular resorts, accommodations might not be available. This is where it becomes important to like you home resort, because in very busy times of the year, you may only be able to stay there.

What type of rooms are available?

DVC rooms are generally referred to as Villas, and are a little bit different than the “normal” rooms at Walt Disney World. You can book to stay in a studio, deluxe studio, 1 bedroom villa, 2 bedroom villa, and 3 bedroom grand villas that sleep up to 12 people. Deluxe studios include a kitchenette, and 1 bedrooms and up have a full kitchen and laundry.

  • Deluxe Studio (sleeps up to 5 people)
  • 1 Bedroom Villa (sleeps up to 5 people)
  • 2 Bedroom Villa (sleeps up to 10 people)
  • 3 Bedroom Villa (sleeps up to 12 people)

Where do I buy?

I speak a little more about this below, but I think you should buy at a resort you would like to stay at. The nice thing is you don’t have to stay there all the time!

Disney is only selling a few resorts directly, and others you may have to go on a waitlist for. Otherwise, you can purchase through the resale market. Because there are only a certain number of rooms at each resort that are DVC specific, resorts sell out.

All About Disney Vacation Club

Buying direct vs. buying resale

There are benefits for buying directly from Disney (which we did), but there is also a resale market that is cheaper. The minimum for buying direct is 75 points currently, and I’ve laid out some of the benefits below. There are a lot of people who buy the minimum number of points directly, and buy larger contracts through resale. I think if we ever added another contract, it would be via the resale market.

benefits of being a member

There are quite a few benefits of being a Disney Vacation Club member. In addition to merchandise and Halloween and Christmas party discounts, there are special Moonlight Magic events at the parks only for members, plus member cruises, as well as the member lounge in the Imagination Pavilion at Epcot! To get the extras, you need to buy direct because you receive a membership card when buying from Disney, not through the resale market. These bonuses could be taken away at any point, but there are some advantages to buying directly through Disney.

The “buy where you want to stay vs. buying where’s cheapest” debate

There’s a bit of a debate within the DVC community, encouraging people to buy where is cheapest, or buy where you want to stay. I see points on each side, and sort of sit in the middle. It’s great to buy where is cheapest because you can really stay at any resort, but I think you should buy where you’d be okay staying, because during busy times of years it may be your only option.

All About Disney Vacation Club

is it worth it?

In my opninon, yes. But you have to use it for it to be worth it. If you generally stay at deluxe resorts, you will save money. If you aren’t going to use it for 10 years or more- rent instead of buying. (more on that below). It is a large investment, and you should do lots of research before buying. I’ve linked some helpful websites at the bottom of the post. 🙂

Banking & Borrowing Points

You can bank points for one year, and borrow one year ahead. You have to banked your points by a certain date to avoid losing them. In our case, we had x number of 2017 points left from our last trip (where we borrowed some points). We had to bank those points by May or use them. We banked them. When booking a vacation outside of the use year for example in November, I had to bank the 2017 points before I could select them to use, otherwise it defaulted to using the 2018 points (which we haven’t technically received yet because we get our allotment in October).

For our last trip (which we had 9 people in 4 rooms) we used all of our 2015 points from the current use year, used out 2016 points that we would receive before our trip in November, and borrowed points from 2017.

 

All About Disney Vacation Club

A Note on RCI & Cruises.

Disney has partnered with RCI, meaning you can stay in locations around the World, and you can also use points for Disney cruises. But it’s not a very wise use of points- you would be better off getting money for your points through renting, and paying cash for the vacation.

Try before you buy

Rent point through a company. You still get rooms cheaper than booking through Disney, and can get a feel for the accommodations! We intended to do this but failed. I would suggest using a company like David’s Vacation Club Rentals (linked at the bottom of the post) or another broker, instead of finding someone on the internet. You are essentially paying someone to use their points, and they make the reservation for you. A broker helps to protect you!

Booking online is easy!

I may have booked a trip using points recently, (although it may not be to where you are thinking), and it was easy! Just like booking a hotel, it just took a little bit to make sure I was booking using the correct points. You can also call to make reservations, but you obviously have to be a member to do so. We booked our first trip over the phone.

 

If you’d rather listen to me talk than read all of the information above, check out the video below!

Helpful Links

Disney Vacation Club Website

Mouse Owners

David’s Vacation Club Rentals

DVC Resale Market

There are also booths in the parks and resorts for more information. If you book a tour while at Walt Disney World, you may get free FastPasses or other incentives!

 

Questions?

If you have any questions about Disney Vacation Club, comment below and I will do my best to answer them!

Thank you for reading!

 

Kelsey
April 25, 2018

My 9th Trip to Walt Disney World! (November 2016)

Hello everyone, I hope you are well! Welcome to the last Disney Trip Recap! I’ve actually already done a trip recap for this trip (because I was blogging at that point), but I thought it would be fun to revisit this trip about a year and a half later, to see how I remember that trip! I’m going to be sharing everything I still remember from that trip in the video below, and breaking down the main points in bullet form below that. Let’s get started!

 

The video

The basics

  • November 2016
  • 1st stay as Disney Vacation Club members
  • 1st stay at The Polynesian
  • Ethan and I got engaged!
  • 9 of us on the trip: Me, Ethan, my Mom, my Dad, my sister, her support worker Megan, Ethan’s Mom, Ethan’s Dad, and Ethan’s brother
  • ate at Crystal Palace, Teppan Edo, Tusker House, Be Our Guest, O’hana, Kona Cafe, and Beaches And Cream
  • went to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for the first time!
  • I planned the entire trip!
  • met up with my friend Hayley which was so much fun!
  • First time vlogging in the parks
  • First visit during the holiday season!
  • had a “resort day” the day we went to the Christmas Party- and I would highly recommend!
  • first time using the DAS System

Previous Trip Recaps

My 1st Trip to Walt Disney World (May 1997)

My 2nd Trip to Walt Disney World (May 2007)

My 3rd Trip to Walt Disney World (January 2008)

My 4th Trip to Walt Disney World (April/May 2009)

My 5th Trip to Walt Disney World (October 2011)

My 6th Trip to Walt Disney World (May 2012)

My 7th Trip to Walt Disney World (May 2013)

My 8th Trip to Walt Disney World (February 2015)

My 9th Trip to Walt Disney World (you’re here!)

Are there any Disney related posts you’d like to see on the blog? Let me know in the comments!

 

Thank you so much for joining me today! And for following this post and video series! I feel like I’ve been writing these posts forever, and I hope you’re ready to see some new Disney related content coming your way!

Kelsey
April 11, 2018

My 8th Trip to Walt Disney World! (February 2015)

Hello friends, I hope you are well! Welcome back to another Disney trip recap! Today I am sharing everything I can remember from my 8th trip to Walt Disney World! From what I learned, to my favourite moments, I’m sharing it all! I will share a video below, and the main points of our trip below the video. Okay, let’s get started!

 

The Basics of the trip

  • first trip with DSLR’s
  • February 2015
  • was hot and got colder during the week
  • stayed at Caribbean Beach
  • went to Epcot on Ethan’s Birthday!
  • Ethan’s first time seeing Illuminations: reflections of Earth
  • ate at Via Napoli, 50’s Prime Time Diner, California Grill and Raglan Road
  • not on the dining plan- tried to keep track of food expenses
  • “worst” trip (more of an explanation in the video)
  • I was struggling with anxiety (final semester of college is so much fun!)
  • flights were a problem- Ethan didn’t have a seat on the first flight
  • we were given the wrong room number 🙁
  • saw the Train Station opening show for the first time!
  • Keys to the Kingdom tour (I would HIGHLY recommend it!)
  • saw Festival of Fantasy for the first time
  • first time on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • first time on Splash Mountain at night!
  • I learned that not every trip is going to be “magical”

 

Other posts in the Disney trip Recap Series:

My 1st Trip to Walt Disney World (May 1997)

My 2nd Trip to Walt Disney World (May 2007)

My 3rd Trip to Walt Disney World (January/February 2008)

My 4th Trip to Walt Disney World (April/May 2009)

My 5th Trip to Walt Disney World (October 2011)

My 6th Trip to Walt Disney World (May 2012)

My 7th Trip to Walt Disney World (May 2013)

My 8th Trip to Walt Disney World (you’re here!)

My 9th Trip to Walt Disney World (coming soon!)

Thank you so much for joining me as I shared another Disney Trip Recap! There’s only one more left, and maybe an announcement in the future? But it might not be to a location you’d expect! 😀

Kelsey