Is the Disney Vacation Club worth it?
I hope you and the family had a wonderful holiday season. My question has to do with the Disney Vacation Club; I believe I understand the concept, buy points at a set rate now no matter how expensive hotel rates may go up in the future.
We're fairly new to vacationing at Walt Disney World - this year will be our 4th trip and we just love it and can't see not going in the future. A coworker belongs and his family has gone on several of the Disney Adventure Vacations as well as Disney Cruises.
Background on our vacation dollar; we have the Disney Visa that we earn points on and pay off each month so we use it for almost everything; typically we will have $400-$600 racked up in points each year before our trip. Plus, we have been really fortunate that the last three years we've gone when free dining has been offered and this year we are booked for November during a 35% off deal.
We've stayed at Port Orleans Riverside, the Pop Century, Caribbean Beach Resort, and this year we are booked for Port Orleans French Quarter. I can't see us ever staying at a deluxe resort because we are rarely in the room or at the resort - we love the parks and spend most of our time there with the exception of swim time for the man-child.
So, in your humble opinion; is the Disney Vacation Club worth it? I can see us doing a Disney Cruise or Disney Adventure vacation in the future. As always – Thank you for your time and GREAT site!!!!
Dad's if only Answer
Wow, what a great question. I'm still kicking myself for not buying in to the Disney Vacation Club when it was $35.00 per point which included 10 years of tickets.Is the Disney Vacation Club worth it?
Let's do a little math. I picked a random week in July. It's not the highest season for the Disney Vacation Club, but it's up there. One week, Sunday through Sunday, in a 2 bedroom villa at the Bay Lake Towers
during July is 352 points. If it was me, I'd always plan my trips for Sunday through Thursday nights and not pay the extra points for the weekends. Sunday through Thursday is 240 points. We'll go with that as our base. (That's a really good number of DVC points.)
The current price for points at Bay Lake Towers is $112.00 each times 240 is $26,680.00. Ouch. Even if you went with the Disney minimum of 160 points, you'd lay out $17,920.00. Yes, that's a lot of money, but it gives you a room for 50 years or so. The 240 points would actually cost you $553.60 per year. (So far so good.)
Let's just put in here, if you decided on 2 rooms at the Pop Century it would cost you $2,044.00 for the week or $1,252.00 for Sunday through Thursday. So the Disney Vacation Club wins hands down right.
As some semi-famous football guy on ESPN says all the time "not so fast there".
The insidious part of the Disney Vacation Club is the yearly dues. Every year, you pay for upkeep and upgrades and taxes and ... The yearly dues for the Bay Lake Towers are $3.89 per point per year. The first couple of years the dues are pretty low and they go up a bit after all of the units are sold. In fact the average of all the DVC resorts is over $5.00. For ease of the math let's go with the $5.00 number because that's what you'll be paying in a couple of years.
At $5.00 times 240, your annual dues would be $1,200.00. So now we're looking at $1,753.60 per year for the Disney Vacation Club verses $1,252.00 for 2 rooms at the Pop Century. I'm a bit surprised. When I ran those numbers a few years ago, they didn't come out so well. Yes, the Bay Lake Towers rooms are a bit more than the Pop Century rooms, but your not really comparing apples and apples. The 2 bedroom villas have over 1,000 square feet, washer and dryers, and (don't tell Mrs. Mom) kitchens.
Just to throw a kink in to all of this, you can buy used Disney Vacation Club points. Yes, used points. They're a little rusty, and you have to make sure the springs on them are still in good shape (just kidding). Owners are all the time selling points for different reasons. Some of the older resorts have points for sale for as low as $60.00 per point (fees extra). So you could save some money there.
Dad's Bottom Line
So is the Disney Vacation Club worth it? The standard answer has always been, if you vacation at Disney World every year or every other year, and if you stay in a Deluxe Resort then yes it does. I guess we can modify that a bit to if you go to Disney World every year for the next 50 years, then yes. If you go every other year and stay in a Deluxe Resort for the next 50 years, then yes. It's worth it.
However, now that Disney has a Vacation Club Resort on the monorail and one in Hawaii, and one in the Animal Kingdom Lodge, and, and ...
Maybe it's time to look at the Disney Vacation Club again. Hey Mrs. Mom!!!
PS. (If the Bay Lake Towers had been built at the Polynesian, Dad would already have points.)