Disney Vacation Club
The Disney Vacation Club (DVC) ... it sounds like something everyone should join, right? But then again maybe not. The club is not for everyone, but if you fit the profile, joining might save you a bunch of money on your Walt Disney World Vacations for the next 50 years.
The concept of the DVC is simple. Pay for your vacation villa one time and use it for the next 50 years (or so). Yes, it's a bit more complicated than that in practice, but the general idea is to have a vacation home for a long, long time.
Disney Vacation Club - Bay Lake Towers Resort
Photo by Jeff_B.
At Walt Disney World
Over the last few years, Disney has vastly expanded the number of DVC hotels at Walt Disney World. Most of the newest hotels are part of the Club.
Animal Kingdom Villas
Step out on your balcony and see animals. What a concept. This is one of the best loved hotels anywhere. Both the Kidani Village and Jambo house have suites for rent. Look around anywhere and you'd think you were right on the African Savannah.
Beach Club Villas
The Beach Club Villas are located on the Crescent Lake beach in the Disney Boardwalk area. The Villas are modeled after resorts in the Cape May NJ area from the early 1900's. The Beach Club is located just behind Epcot and it's an easy walk to the park.
Bay Lake Towers
This is the newest Disney Vacation Club resort located at the Contemporary Resort. The all suite hotel is tied to the Contemporary via a walkway. Some of the best views of the Magic Kingdom are from the towers. (Dad and Mrs. Mom will be on one of those rooms in October.)
The Boardwalk. The home of evening entertainment at Disney World. The Boardwalk Villas are right in the heart of the action. The Boardwalk is just a quick walk or boat ride to Epcot and from Disney Hollywood Studios.
Old Key West
The Old Key West Resort is the original Disney Vacation Club property. In fact it was initially called the Disney Vacation Club. The biggest rooms on the property are located in a highly relaxing atmosphere. Take a trip to the Keys, you'll never forget.
Saratoga Springs Resort
Saratoga Springs is a northern styled racetrack resort. You'd almost expect a jockey to be walking his horse right on main street. Also in Saratoga Springs are the most innovative villas around. If you stay in Disney's Treehouse Villas you actually sleep 14 feet above the ground.
Wilderness Lodge Villas
The Wilderness Lodge Villas may be the most relaxing of the Disney Vacation Club Resorts. Set in the quiet, serene woods just a short boat ride from the Magic Kingdom the Wilderness Lodge Villas the Lodge has a Northwest US look and feel.
A few years ago Disney started expanding the Disney Vacation Club. Years ago they built a resorts in Florida ad North Carolina. In the last couple of years they've started expanding again and they've opened new resorts at Disneyland and in Hawaii.
Vero Beach Resort
Vero Beach Florida is a lovely beach community. The resort has a private beach, pool and a couple of nice restaurants. The resort is about 120 miles from Walt Disney World and is a great place for a few days of rest and beach time before or after your Disney World Vacation.
Hilton Head Island Resort
Hilton Head South Carolina is one of the premier vacation destinations in the country. The Hilton Head Island Resort is located in Hilton Head Broad Creek area. The Resort is full of activities for children of all ages and the beach goes on and on and on and on ....
The Villas at the Grand Californian Resort and Spa
It only took 16 years for the Disney Vacation Club to come to Disneyland but they finally did. The Grand Californian became the Disneyland Flagship Resort in 2001. The Villas opened in 2007.
Aloha. What could be better than a Disney vacation in Hawaii. Aulani is the newest Disney Vacation Club Resort. It's located in Ko Olina, Hawaii (across the island from Honolulu). It's truly a vacation in paradise.
(This might actually be better than the Polynesian Resort)
HOW DOES IT WORK
The Disney Vacation Club is unique in the timeshare world. It doesn't work on a "week" system, it works on a point system. You buy points in one of the resorts which becomes your home resort. Those points are used for making villa reservations at DVC resorts. Points can be borrowed or banked to expand the number of points available.
Points can be used for a variety of other Disney Vacations. You can book a Disney Cruise, you can go on one of the great new Adventures by Disney or even book a room at one of the Monorail Hotels.
You get a yearly allotment of points that have to be used or are lost. These points can be "banked" for one year. If the points aren't used or banked, they are gone.
WHAT DOES IT COST
Different home resorts are priced differently. Currently Disney Vacation Club points are priced from $80 to $150 depending on the home resort. For example the brand new Bay Lake Tower Villas are $150 per point. The minimum point purchase from Disney for a new owner is 160 points. If you already own DVC points you can "add on" points at any time.
Buying from Disney is not always the best way. You can buy "used" points. There are several locations that resell contracts. "Used" points sell at a substantial discount. There are also resale websites you can buy points from, such as a relatively new site called DVCtimeshares.com which is quickly becoming popular. They offer points at a fraction of Disney costs which allows buyers to receive a larger amount of points per dollar. The site also has many resources available to help explain the benefits of resale. Click the button below to visit DVCTimeshares.com and learn more about purchasing points on the secondary Disney market.
One great way to save money on a Disney Vacation is to rent Disney Vacation Club points. Sometimes DVC owners will "rent" points that they can't use that will be lost. You and the owner enter into an agreement where the owner makes a reservation for you and you pay them or "rent" their points. Renting normally costs from $9 to $15 per point.
This can make for substantial savings over the cost of renting points from Disney. There are a couple of real good places where you can rent points. We recommend David over at David's Vacation Rentals.
WHO SHOULD JOIN
The Club is not for everyone. It's very expensive but if you meet the following criteria you should look in to it.
If you do all of the following...
- I go to Walt Disney World every year or every other year
- I always stay in a Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort
- I plan to go on Disney Vacations for the next 20 years or more
If that describes you then the Disney Vacation Club just might be for you. The next question is can you afford it? If you have to borrow money to pay for membership the savings you get from being a member is greatly reduced.
Disney Vacation Club home page
Dad's Bottom Line
The Disney Vacation Club is one of the fastest growing parts of the Disney empire. It's one of the best timeshare programs out there especially for Disney lovers.