Updates, we’ve got updates! What are we talking about? We’re talking about DVC policy updates as it related to Coronavirus or COVID-19. It’s the information every DVC member has been patiently waiting to learn about. On Friday, April 25, 2020, Disney Vacation Club Senior Vice President, Terri A. Schultz sent out an email to all members announcing the new DVC policy updates and how DVC point usage will be managed amidst COVID-19. Let’s get right into it and breakdown the updates!
By far the number one question from DVC members was, “The trip I booked is canceled due to COVID-19 and my points are expiring, what happens to my points?”. How do we know it was the number one item? It was the first thing addressed in the DVC policy updates. Here is a summary of the update:
- For points associated with the DVC member’s 2019 user year that are set to expire either in April or June 2020, where the member had a reservation booked during the Walt Disney World closure period will be extended for another year. The points will now expire in either April 2021 or June 2021, depending on the member’s use year.
- For points associated with the DVC member’s 2018 use year that were banked and set to expire either in April or June 2020, where the member had a reservation booked during the Walt Disney World closure period will be extended for six months. The points will now expire either in October of 2020 or December of 2020, depending on the member’s use year.
The small print. There is always small print, right? For the changes to expiring points policy to be applied the following conditions have to be met. First, the member’s reservation has to have been canceled either on February 29, 2020 or later. Second, the trip canceled has to have been scheduled for either March 12, 2020, or later.
It should be noted the DVC policy updates as it relates to expiring points are only temporary. Additionally, the changes do not apply to the DVC developer points. DVC developer points are points owned by Disney Vacation Club. For every DVC resort, there is a portion that is retained by the Disney Vacation Club.
The second biggest question from DVC members was, “How will Disney Vacation Club handled room demand?”. As we discussed in our DVC resort options article, which you can find here (a fantastic read if you would like our opinions), DVC resorts usually run at 95% capacity throughout the year. With expiring points being extended for a time period, it creates a strain on the Disney Vacation Club meeting room demand. The DVC policy updates begin to address this area with changes to the borrowing of points. Here are the updates:
- Effective April 25, 2020, members who are looking to borrow points will be limited to only being able to borrow 50% of their next use year’s allotment.
- For vacations booked prior to April 25, 2020, and fall outside the temporary closure period, with points borrowed greater than 50% will be honored.
- For vacations booked prior to April 25, 2020, and are within the temporary closure period, with points borrowed greater than 50% will be automatically canceled and the points returned to the associated use year. The returned points will then fall under the new 50% borrowing points policy.
At the moment, the DVC policy updates related to borrowing points does not have an end date. Disney Vacation Club will continue to monitor inventory demand and look to return the borrowing points policy to is original version, ie borrow up to 100% of your next year’s points, as soon as possible. It should be noted that further adjustments to borrowing points could happen depending on the length of closure and overall demand for resorts.
What about annual dues? With the resorts not open it could be assumed the resource needs to maintain the resort is lower as well. The question is, “Wouldn’t that mean DVC member annual dues should be less as well?”. The DVC policy updates directly address this question as well. According to Disney Vacation Club, they are anticipating lower operating costs during the closure period, however, the unknown is the resource demand when resorts reopen. The policy updates state the following if there is a surplus:
- If there is a surplus in annual dues come mid-December 2020, the Disney Vacation Club will issue a credit for members that will be applied to the member’s 2021 annual dues. The Disney Vacation will not roll the surplus into reserves.
In the DVC Duo house, we believe it is safe to say the resource demand when resorts reopen will be higher than “normal”. In order to keep guests safe we would expect to see an increase in the number of cast members cleaning and maintaining the resorts.
Fair, very fair. When it comes to rolling out these types of DVC policy updates it’s definitely a challenge solve for every situation. In this case, we believe Disney Vacation Club has done a solid job in addressing the member’s concerns and setting up the resorts to meet demand. With Disney Vacation rolling out the policy updates it also leads us to believe they have a rough idea to when Walt Disney World and DVC resorts will be reopening. In order to determine how long to extend the expiration period of point and figure out what percent to limit the borrowing, Disney Vacation Club would need some insight into when reservations could resume. That’s not to say further adjustments will not happen. Well, it looks like it’s time to start making some reservations!
UPDATE: On May 27, 2020, Disney Vacation Club made the following announcements around the reopening of the resorts. Additionally, they made adjustments to the DVC policy updates:
- Hilton Head Resort and Vero Beach Resort will reopen on June 15, 2020
- All Walt Disney World DVC resorts will reopen on June 22, 2020
- Disney’s Grand Californian and Aulani Resort do not have opening dates at this time
The DVC policy updates as it relates to points:
- For points associated with the DVC member’s 2019 user year that are set to expire either in April, June, August, September, and October 2020, where the member had a reservation booked during the Walt Disney World closure period will be extended for another year. The points will now expire in either April 2021, June 2021, August 2021, September 2021 or October 2021, depending on the member’s use year.
- For points associated with the DVC member’s 2018 use year that were banked and set to expire either in April, June, August, September, or October 2020, where the member had a reservation booked during the Walt Disney World closure period the points will now expire November 30, 2020. This will supersede the previous update.
We will continue to update this article as more information become available. Continue to check back for new information.