Disney Vacation Club (DVC) FAQ
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What is DVC (Disney Vacation Club)?
The Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is Disney's entry into the Timeshare arena. It allows you to pre-purchasing future vacations locking in today’s prices. Many people find that DVC pays for itself in 7 -10 years. (This is really dependent on an individual’s situation).\
Beyond the initial buy in cost, you will be responsible for yearly maintenance fees per owned point. This cost rises with the actual maintenance costs associated with your owned DVC resort(s). All DVC contracts have an ‘end date’ when ownership will return to Disney. For OKW, BWV, VWL, BCV, Vero and HHI this date is 2042. For SSR this end date is 2054. And for AKV this end date will be 2057.
Not content to follow the status quo, Disney created their own timeshare program that is extremely flexible. Instead of purchasing a particular unit for a certain time period each year, each member receives a yearly allotment of points to be used any way they choose within the boundaries set out by the program.
These points can be used for stays at any of the DVC resorts, in any accommodation type based on availability at time of booking. Point costs of the various units will depend on things such as resort location, unit type, time of year and even the day of the week (Friday and Saturday nights are typically around double the point costs of Sunday – Thursday nights)
What are the DVC resorts? Where are they located?
- Old Key West (OKW) - Description...
- Boardwalk Villas (BWV) - Description...
- Villas at the Wilderness Lodge (VWL) - Description...
- Beach Club Villas (BCV) - Description...
- Saratoga Springs Resort (SSR) - Description...
- Animal Kingdom Villas Resort (AKV) - Description...
- Vero Beach Resort (Vero) - Description...
- Hilton Head Island Resort (HHI) - Description...
How do I know if DVC is right for me?
This is another very personal question that each prospective DVC owner will need to answer for themselves. Some things to consider:
- Do you currently visit WDW at least every other year and enjoy staying in Moderate or Deluxe accommodations?
- Do you want to pre-pay for your WDW vacations, locking in today’s prices?
- Do you intend to stay at a DVC resort much of the time? The best value in using your DVC points is in staying at the DVC resorts.
- Will you be happy at a DVC resort, instead of your current favorite Moderate or Deluxe? If you LOVE the Poly, will you be happy staying at one of the DVC resorts instead?
- Do you want to vacation yearly in larger units (such as one, two, even three bedrooms) with extra amenities such at a full kitchen, washer/dryer, Jacuzzi tub, etc? Owning DVC is the easiest and (over time) most affordable way to attain and enjoy these special units.
What is the best DVC resort (That age old, unanswerable question!)?
OK - sorry. This was a 'trick' question! Many people that are new to DVC ask this very question, and the fact is that there IS no 'best' DVC property.
What's best all depends on what is important to you. Do you like a condo type accommodation with large units and parking outside your door? OKW could be a great fit! Is it all about a location that is walking distance from Epcot? Well, you have a couple choices then - BWV and BCV are right there waiting. So, now you have to weigh the other resort amenities to see which would be your preference!
The only real way to answer this questin is to look at the information about each DVC property and make a list of the features that are important to you and your family. And rest assured that the real answer is that - there is no BAD DVC resort! Each one has features that make it unique and a favorite to many!
How much does it cost to join DVC?
When purchasing directly through Disney a new owner must purchase at least 150 points.
Currently, Disney is selling Saratoga Springs Resort (SSR) at a cost of $101 per point. At full price that means a contract will cost you $14,700 with no incentives. This includes all closing costs, but you will be responsible for pro-rated maintenance fee dues for the portion of the year from your closing date thru the end of December. And now DVC also charges closing costs of approximately $200 on new memberships.
Disney Vacation Club also provides different plans to allow you to finance your purchase through them, and will apply any current incentives to your initial down payment.
How about an example?
On a 150 point contract the total would be $15,150 at $101 per point. Many times Disney runs various incentives that bring down the per point cost.
For this example, we'll assume there is currently an incentive of $8 off per point (or $8 times 150 equals $1200). So, a 20% down payment would be $3,030 from which you would immediately subtract $1,200 making your initial payment to purchase 150 points $1,830. You will also be charged a pro-rated rate on your maintenance fees for that year. This means that if you purchase in September, you are charged Maintenance fees only for the remainder of the year (4 months). Then a full year's worth of Maintenance dues will be billed in January of the following year. And new members will be charged approximately $200 closing costs.
See What is the current Incentive to purchase DVC for current incentives that can reduce this total cost.
What is the current incentive to purchase DVC?
At times the Disney Vacation Club will provide incentives for both new and/or existing members. These are constantly changing and there may even be times where no incentive is available. To determine the exact incentive, if any, it will be necessary to talk to a DVC guide.
That being said, the current DVC incentive is $10 off per point for Saratoga Springs Resort (SSR). With a current price of $101 per point, this brings the effective cost down to $91 per point. New members need to buy a minimum of 150 points when purchasing directly from Disney. If you plan on financing your purchase directly through DVC, then you can use the entire discount to reduce your initial down payment.
See How much does it cost to join DVC? for an example.
There are really no ‘hidden’ DVC costs. When buying directly through Disney your contract will include everything needed based on the stated cost per point. For example: if you purchase 150 points at SSR for $95 per point, your entire contract will be $14,250 plus any pro rated maintenance fees for that first year. Disney now charges new members a closing fee of approximately $200.
Purchasing resale can be different for each contract. The seller could either cover or pass on closing costs to the buyer. It all depends on the contract and its conditions for sale. You’ll want to consider all costs when computing resale purchases to truly understand your final price per point. Closing costs can really increase the cost per point of small resale contracts.
- OKW, BWV, VWL, BCV, Vero and HHI contracts end in 2042.
- SSR contracts will end in 2054.
- AKV contracts will end in 2057.
I would prefer a different DVC resort than those currently offered. Can I still get it?
There are two ways to do this.
- Talk to your DVC Guide about purchasing at a ‘sold out’ DVC resort. Disney can (and does) buy back contracts, and then resells them to either new or existing members. It is likely you will need to wait for availability of your desired resort and use year. Some DVC guides will 'push' SSR or AKV and say that buying at a sold out resort isn't possible. If your heart is set, make it clear that the only chance at a sale is if the Guide can sell you points at your desired resort. They CAN sell the others, its just that some guides do not want to.
- You can also use the active resale market for your purchase. Since Disney will actively 'buy-back' DVC Contracts if the price is below a certain threshold (which constantly seems to fluctuate a bit), resale prices remain fairly close to buying direct from Disney.
Should I buy resale or direct from Disney?
One of the advantages for buying direct from Disney is the ability to take advantage of the current purchasing incentives and having Disney finance your contract. Your contract will also be in the 'system' quickly when buying directly through Disney. Other than that, the benefits to owning DVC are exactly the same, no matter how you purchase your points.
Disney tends to push the currently selling DVC property (i.e. SSR or AKV). You may have difficulty getting a DVC guide to sell you an initial contract at one of the sold out resorts, but it CAN be done. You would most likely get a better price at a sold out resort going through resale though.
If you go through a reseller, you can purchase at any resort they have in their inventory. This does give a great deal of choice and flexibility of resort, but things like use year and number of points are not selectable like they are when buying direct from Disney. Also, Disney has a 'Right of First Refusal' (ROFR) which can add about 30 days to the process of purchasing a DVC resale. If the price you offer is too low, Disney will most likely purchase that contract out from under you. At this point you would need to start over with another resale.
What is ROFR (Right of First Refusal)?
Right of First Refusal gives Disney the option of buying any contract that comes on the market. The way it works is the seller markets their contract and completes negotiations with a buyer. Before the sale can be concluded, the seller has to notify Disney of the specifics of the sale and allow them to match the deal. If Disney matches the offer, they get the points back, if not, the sale goes forward with the original buyer.
There is a line of thought that this is the mechanism that Disney uses to keep the re-sale value of DVC points up. And it seems that there is a floor below which Disney will not let points be sold. If a prospective buyer keeps an eye on the DVC discussion boards, successful buyers will post from time to time and give an idea of what offers are getting through the ROFR process.
What is the minimum number of points I can buy directly through Disney?
You can buy as few as 25 points from Disney, if you pay cash and already own a contract. If you want to finance through Disney, and already own a contract, you can buy as few as 50 points. If you are just starting out, the minimum initial contract is 150 points.
What is the minimum number of points I can own?
As stated above, the minimum number of points to buy directly through Disney is 150 points. But that is only for the initial contract. If you do an add-on through Disney you can purchase as few as XX points.
There is also the Resale market. Here you can buy into the Disney Vacation Club by purchasing ANY contract that is up for sale. It’s a way to own DVC without the 150 point minimum that Disney direct purchasing requires. For example: say that someone bought an add-on of 50 points to their initial contract, and at some future point decides to sell those 50 points. You could purchase those points (assuming you pass ROFR) and own a DVC contract with only 50 total points owned.
What is the maximum number of points I can own?
Currently, the maximum number of points that one can own at a single DVC resort is 2000 points.
The maximum is 5000 points for a member that owns at multiple DVC resorts, with 2000 as the upper limit at any one of the owned DVC resorts.
How many points should I buy?
How many points to buy will depend on your desired vacation needs. You will have to determine things such as:
- Unit Type (Studio, One Bedroom, Two Bedroom or Three Bedroom)
- Which DVC resort best fits your own personal preferences.
- How many trips do I plan on making each year? Every two years? Three? For example, if you are only going every couple years then you could buy half the points and utilize banking and borrowing to take a trip once every two years.
- What time of year do you wish to visit? Point costs per unit vary over the course of the year and even the day of the week. Use our Point Charts or our DVC Points Calculator to help you try various scenarios.
Is there a difference between buying resale and direct from Disney from a tax stand point?
If you finance your purchase through Disney Vacation Club, the interest that you pay may be tax deductible as it is a "mortgage" and may be deducted from your taxes as a second home (note: refer to your own tax accountant or the IRS website for specifics on taking this deduction).
If you chose to purchase through either a resale or Disney, you can also finance using a home equity loan in which interest may also be deductible.
If you do not have home equity that can be used, you would have to obtain a personal loan in order to purchase through a reseller (in which case interest is not deductible). Thus, in this case, purchasing through Disney may make more sense if you are interested in the tax deduction.
What is a DVC resale company?
A DVC resale company is a company that sells existing Disney Vacation Club contracts that the previous owners have put on the market. A good DVC Resale company will be well versed in the intricacies of exactly how the Disney Vacation Club works. This will include:
- helping you understand how DVC works and being able to answer any questions you might have about your possible DVC Contract purchase.
- understanding the current DVC market, including the ‘going rate’ for Disney’s ROFR (Right of First Refusal). This will help you figure out how much to offer while still reducing the likelihood that Disney will buy the contract themselves.
Tagrel.com is lucky enough to have DVCByResale.com as a site sponsor. Shontell Crawford will be glad to answer any questions you might have about the resale process (buying or selling). Visit her site to check out all her current resales.
What are Maintenance Fees?
Maintenance fees are the annual costs members pay to provide the usual services at the resort. Things like; landscaping, housekeeping, grounds maintenance, lifeguards, etc. fall into this category. These fees are charged per point for the number of points you own on the 1st of the year.
Fees can be paid in one of two ways: All at once at the beginning of the year with a check or credit card Monthly via automatic deduction from your checking account, and no extra charge for spreading it out.
The choice is up to you.
What are the current Maintenance Fees?
Here are the current 2009 fees along with the 2004 - 2008 fees for reference. All numbers are in US dollars per point owned.
How much do Maintenance Fees rise each year?
This number varies depending on the level of maintenance needed for each of the resorts, the typical raise is about 3% - 5%. But there have been years when the fees went down! Not often, but it has happened.
What is 'use year'? How do I pick the best 'use year' for me?
What are points and how are they used?
Do I have to buy a certain unit and/or week for my Disney vacations?
No, the DVC is catagorized as a "Floating Timeshare" and as such members have the flexibility of choosing the size unit and the time that best fit their needs. This is one of the great advantages to the DVC over traditional timeshares.
What are the unit sizes available at the various DVC resorts?
- Old Key West Resort - Studio, 1 Bedroom, 2 Bedroom and 3 Bedroom Grand Villa units.
- Vero Beach Resort - Inn Room (Garden View), Inn Room (Ocean View), Studio, 1 Bedroom, 2 Bedroom and 3 Bedroom Beach Cottage units.
- Hilton Head Island Resort - Studio, 1 Bedroom, 2 Bedroom and 3 Bedroom Grand Villa units.
- Boardwalk Villas - Studio, 1 Bedroom, 2 Bedroom and 3 Bedroom Grand Villa units. (Standard, Preferred or Boardwalk view for all except Grand Villas which are all Boardwalk View)
- Villas at the Wilderness Lodge - Studio, 1 Bedroom and 2 Bedroom units.
- Beach Club Villas - Studio, 1 Bedroom and 2 Bedroom units.
- Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa - Studio, 1 Bedroom, 2 Bedroom and 3 Bedroom Grand Villa units.
- Animal Kingdom Villas - Studio, 1 Bedroom, 2 Bedroom and 3 Bedroom Grand Villa units.
When did each DVC resort open?
- Old Key West Resort - Opened as the Disney Vacation Club on December 20, 1991
- Vero Beach Resort - Opened on October 1, 1995
- Hilton Head Island Resort - Opened on March 1, 1996
- Boardwalk Villas - Opened on July 1, 1996
- Villas at the Wilderness Lodge - Opened on November 15, 2000
- Beach Club Villas - Opened on July 1, 2002
- Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa - Opened on May 27, 2004
- Animal Kingdom Villas - Currently in pre-sales to members only. Not yet open
What is renting DVC points?
Renting DVC points is the action of finding a DVC member that is not going to use their point allocation for the year and 'renting' their points for your use. The DVC member will have to make the reservation for you if you are not a member (see the next FAQ) or transfer the points into your account if you are a member (See the transfer FAQ)
How do I rent DVC points for an upcoming stay?
Renting DVC points is accomplished by finding a DVC member that has excess points for the year and making the arrangements for the member to 'rent' their Use Year allocation, or some part of it, to you. This will cost you a set dollar amount per point for the privelege, but the value is really great. You will need to determine the number of points required for the length of stay and type of room you want (I would recommend the point calculator here on Tagrel's site as it gives you the points for all resorts for your vacation). The next step is finding a member with the necessary points that is willing to rent, for this I would recommend the Rent/Trade board over on the DIS site. There are always a number of members looking to rent their points. Once this connection is made, and the financial arrangements taken care of, the member will make the reservation and send the confirmation to the renter. Because of the rules of the DVC, the member is the only one that can make a reservation with their points. All that is left is to have a great time!
Something to be noted is that this is a transaction between two private parties, and as such, requires a level of trust on both sides. While all of the parties are, understandably, filled with the Disney spirit, it is a financial transaction and should be treated as one.
How do I rent my DVC points to others?
Can I transfer Points to/from another DVC member?
Yes, points can be transferred from member to member as long as both members are current on fees and payments. members are allowed only one transfer in or out of their account per use year.
How do point transfers work?
Point transfers are accomplished by the owning member contacting Member Services and requesting that a number of points be transferred from their account into another member's account. The owning member will need to have the receiving member's account number available, or arrange for a three way call with Member Services. This is actually a very easy transaction to accomplish.
What is Banking DVC Points?
Banking points is the action of saving your points from one Use Year for the following Use Year. This flexibility lets you have a longer vacation, a bigger unit, or multiple vacations in a year than you would be able to do with your standard yearly allocation. The Banking transaction is done by contacting Member Services and directing them to bank a number of points for the year. With the launching of the new Member Web Site, you can also do this on-line. This is a non-reversible transaction and there are deadlines for banking a percentage of your yearly allocation. The limits are: 100% at 6 Months, 50% at 9 months, 25% at 10 months and 0% after that.
What is Borrowing DVC Points?
Borrowing DVC points is a way to give you even more flexibility in your vacation planning than you already have. You are allowed to borrow up to 100% of your points from the next use year for a vacation this year. This, effectively, gives you twice the number of points for either extra rooms or a longer stay than you could do with a single years points. Go ahead and bring family along with you, or just stay that extra week and have a great time!
We travel to Disney yearly - How do I convince my other half DVC is right for us?
The one question that comes to mind when answering this question is what sort of accommodations do you normally stay in?
If you normally stay in a Disney Deluxe Resort, then you will find the DVC to be a great money saver. Even if you regularly stay in moderate resorts, DVC can save a family (depending on when they travel) quite a lot in the long run.
Here’s one way to estimate your DVC cost for a trip versus simply paying cash on a resort room. Basically, you want to figure out what the “per point” cost is for the year of your trip.
- A purchase of 150 DVC points at the current prices, beginning in 2006, and not including special offers or discounts that Disney may offer resort guests).
- $14,700 = cost to purchase 150 SSR points (current prices are $98 per point)
Calculating Per Point Cost
$2.04/pp = actual cost of points per year ($14,700 divided by 48 years = $306.25 divided by 150 points)
$3.94/pp = estimated cost of 2006 maintenance fees (current price $3.83 plus est. 3% increase) Total 2006 per point cost = $5.98
(For an apples to apples comparison, let’s assume you can use your points towards a studio at the Beach Club Villas.)
One week in Beach Club Villas Studio in May (Dream Season) = 123 points = $735.54 (123 X $5.98)
One week in Beach Club Resort in May (Standard Room) = $334 X 7 nights = $2,338.00 (not including taxes)!
Even if you were to get an AP discount for your room, you are still saving close to $1,000! You can use this formula for other resort comparisons by using our Point Charts or our DVC Points Calculator to help you try various scenarios.
Each year, you can expect the maintenance fees to go up about 3-5%; however, room rates also increase fairly regularly as well. For someone who visits DVC annually, this gives some peace of mind that your rate will not fluctuate a whole lot. :)