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Is the Disney Vacation Club worth it?

by Todd(Brownsburg, IN)

Hello Carl,

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.

Bay Lake Towers

Bay Lake Tower Villas at Walt Disney World
Photo by Jeff_B.

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.)

Comments for Is the Disney Vacation Club worth it?

Jun 08, 2019 Adding to the response of no room service

by: Anonymous

I agree with the original comment. It’s not about WASHING sheets. it’s about making the beds and fresh towels daily. You feel that paying all that hard earned money and making your own room up? Makes no sense.

Plus the booking that was mentioned is so true. I can get a room faster than most people who are DVC members. They only allow for a certain amount of rooms for cub members. And who wants to go to Disney every year for 40 years? There are lots of other places to vacation. Plus all that money and all you get is a room. Nothing else.

Jun 08, 2019 Not Worth it

by: Anonymous

DVC is only for those that only want to go to Disney in their life. When you buy in to DVC you are committed to vacation ONLY at Disney for at least 40 years. I for one don’t want to be limited to where I go on vacation. Even though I do like Disney I like the option of where I want to go each year. There is life outside of Disney.

Apr 03, 2018 adding to the no room service

by: Anonymous

I’ve noticed that being a dvc member is being able to go to stay at a disney resort and be so comfortable to call it your second home. no they do not change your sheets, wash your towels, and vacuum everyday.

Do you really wash your sheets every night? Do you wash your towels after every use? What mess are you making in your room that you probably aren’t in but for when you are sleeping and that hour or so when you are getting ready?

Sure you don’t get pillow mints or new linens every day but do you really need that? All you have to do is make sure your unpacked (which is kinda hard because if this is our “second home” than why aren’t there enough drawers?) and make the bed.

Mar 14, 2018 Compound interest

by: Anonymous

Regarding the $18,000 x 8% = $1442 comment nice vacation comment. Don’t forget compound interest.
After 50 years if you got 8% avg, that $18k turns into $844,229.00

0 years: $18k
10 years: $38k
20 years: $84k
30 years: $181k
40 years: $391k
50 years: $844k

Mar 11, 2018 Let the market pay for your vacation

by: Anonymous

For me it came down to a choice, do I want to give my $18,000 to the Disney vacation club or invest it?

$18,000 x 8% = $1442… that’s the amount of money you’d have (on average) if you put your $18k initial buy-in to work for you in a broad-market index fund (like Vanguard Total Stock Markey ETF… a large portion of which is DIS).

For $1,442, you could have a pretty good vacation.

Nov 17, 2017 You left out

by: Marvin

You should take into consideration that you are tying up your original investment without making any interest on it. It is also doubtful that you will be able to sell it if you wanted for the same price you paid.

What happens in 50 years, do you lose everything?

Aug 26, 2015 No room service

by: Nathan

My family has went Disney many times. last trip the grand parents bought in DVC great free room I will buy tickets and food. After the second day and no room service no fresh towels I was wondering want was going on.

I find out you do not get the same treatment no room service if vacation club member. I called the front desk and paid the $20 a day charge have room service. I don’t want my wife washing towels and vacuum the room while on vacation we are both tired out and just want relax after long day running around with the kids.

Last Christmas we stayed free meal plan nice discount on room. was able book 4 days out wife parents tried 3 months in advance and could not get room with points. So you might not just go any time you want I will keep my money and call until find great deal make it worth it. Feel like its more of we got you so take want we give you.

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