Ok, now that we’ve lured you into our blog with our Disney rhetoric we’re going to tell you why we love the Disney Vacation Club (DVC). We are not timeshare solicitors. We do not get any kickbacks from Disney. We just want to share with other people how DVC has made our lives so much more “magical”. It absolutely changed how we travel and has given us opportunities to travel that we otherwise could not have afforded.
DVC is not a typical timeshare. There are no set weeks to use your points, there are no set resorts that you must stay at. You buy a contract which guarantees you however many points you chose to buy for 50 years. You can finance the contract, it is not an upfront purchase. You then use those points to book any resort you want, whenever you want. The contracts are sold through Disney, and you buy points at a “home resort” – for example, Disney’s Copper Creek Villas are on sale now. This gives you preferential booking – you may book at your home resort up to 11 months in advance but does not require you to only stay at that resort. You may book as early as 7 months prior to your travel at all other Disney Vacation Club resorts. You could also use your points to book at other Disney hotels, though the point value is much higher for these rooms.
Nate and I “own” points at the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and Saratoga Springs. We almost always stay at Saratoga Springs but have stayed at Bay Lake Towers (Contemporary), Kidani Village (Animal Kingdom), Yacht Club (Hotel), Old Key West, and will be staying at The Boardwalk on our next trip all with our points from our “home resort”.
Why do we stay at Saratoga? Easy – it has the best gym, it’s on Lake Buena Vista golf course, it’s got a great running trail, the buses run frequently, and you can walk to Disney Springs which allows lots of travel options. Plus I think Artist Palette is one of the better hotel quick serves and there’s tons of pools.
Each hotel has different point values for their rooms and that varies depending on time of year, size of room, resort, etc. Sort of like regular hotels – you won’t get a suite at the Hilton for the same price as a Holiday Inn Express. For example, a room at Grand Floridian may “cost” you 45 points a night but you could stay at Saratoga for 17 points for the same night. This tends to be related to resort age and size. The high roller rooms are the Polynesian Villas, Grand Floridian, and Copper Creek Cabins.
You can bank and borrow a years worth of points. This is a great feature. It means that if you want, you can triple the amount of points you have for any given trip. Say you want to take your extended family down (be sure to check out my “Destressing Disney” blog about group travel before you do!) – great, you will have plenty of points for everyone to have their own room or maybe you want to get a 2-3 bedroom suite! It gives you flexibility. Or, say you want to really live large and book at Grand Floridian – go for it!
You can combine different hotel stays in the same trip. Say you want to do 3 days at the Polynesian Villas but only then have enough points left for rooms at Old Key West for the rest of your stay – no problem! As long as the room is available, it’s yours!
In a nutshell, owning DVC forces you to take a vacation every year. You pay up front for 50 years of lodging. If you do the math on the average Disney hotel price – you can see this is a money saver!
The options are not just Disney World though! In upcoming blogs we’ll share information other non-Disney World resorts you can stay at along with how you can trade off your points to visit the world! So far, we have been to Northern California, Southern California, and Sedona Arizona. We can’t wait to plan our next trade off trip – maybe Banff National Forest or Montana – who knows? Stay tuned to find out!