As someone who has been and plans to visit Walt Disney World at least yearly, Disney Vacation Club (DVC) sounded amazing when I first hear about it years and years ago. I don’t actually remember what year it was when I wanted to find out more about it, but up until that point I had only heard that Disney Vacation Club was Disney’s version of a timeshare. I had a negative perception of timeshares from all of the times that people set up outside of Orlando area convenience stores and such tried to lure us into other timeshare presentations with the promise of free park tickets to Disney and other theme parks. My parents once considered watching the presentation just to get free tickets until they found out it would take 2-3 hours out of one of our vacation days not including the time to get there and come back. They decided it wasn’t worth it, and that was that.
The year I decided I was going to ask about DVC, I saw the information desk in the lobby of whichever value resort we were staying at and made a mental note to come back and talk to someone about it after we came back to the room to rest. So one day during that trip, I took our reusable mugs and headed off to the main building thinking I was going to learn about DVC and then refill our mugs after I was done. When I got to the lobby, there was no one at the DVC information desk. A front desk Cast Member apologized and said someone would be back soon, but after about 15 minutes of walking around the lobby and the gift shop and wherever else I found to explore, I decided I’d just try back the next day.
Well, I actually kept forgetting to go back and look for a DVC Cast Member after that. At this point, I was still in the phase of only coming back to the room for a little rest before going back to the parks until they closed and then of course the DVC info desk was always closed when I thought about it at the end of the night. Once we got home, I turned to Disney related forums to read about other people’s experience with DVC. This was my big mistake. I don’t know why I didn’t contact Disney directly, but I ended up connecting with a couple of people from this one Disney community forum who were more than happy to tell me about DVC and since they said they had talked to someone from Disney and were in the process of buying Disney Vacation Club, I trusted them.
It was at this point that I was told that in order to be a DVC member, you had to pay $10,000 yearly and also buy points to use for the Disney Vacation Club resort room that we wanted to stay in. I would clarify if I was understanding correctly and after both of these people said yes, this is what you do and it’s going to cost a minimum of $10,000 yearly, I tuned out. I thanked them for sharing and then proceeded to tell my mom about this and complain how this was not a deal at all and a horrible timeshare plan.
Staying a week every year at a value resort and buying either a package or doing a room-only reservation plus park hopper tickets separately was waaaaaayyyyyyy cheaper than $10,000 plus whatever buying points would add. (This is NOT how Disney Vacation Club works, by the way.) I don’t know why I didn’t question this. I just decided staying at a deluxe or DVC resort wasn’t worth paying 10k yearly for however many years and I was just fine with the value resorts, thank you very much. I had no clue that I was misinformed and I didn’t look into it further.
A few years later, I remember someone mentioning that the minimum was close to $16,000 and I was like, what? The price clearly goes up every year just like everything else, but who are the people doing this and paying this much yearly for DVC? Part of me was like, I might be missing something, but I didn’t bother to check back into it for a long time.
It wasn’t until one of my friend meet up trips, where I actually stayed in DVC resorts, that I bothered to ask my friend who owned Disney Vacation Club about how it works and the current cost. She ended up taking me and our other friend to talk to one of the DVC representatives. We were already staying at Boulder Ridge (at Wilderness Lodge) so we did a tour of the DVC rooms there and I heard for the first time how Disney Vacation Club membership actually works. Let me just tell you that in that moment, I was kicking myself for having believed someone from a forum rather than talking to someone from Disney directly. I absolutely would have tried to buy into DVC back when the points cost was around $85 per point direct from Disney. It’s a lot higher than that now.
Fast forward to me learning about buying DVC resale. There are a lot of people who decide to sell their Disney Vacation Club contracts and you can purchase them at a big discount versus buying directly from Disney. There are some disadvantages of buying resale, (you miss out on some of teh perks that are included with buying direct) but nothing that would make me want to buy direct and spend more money. You can save a lot of money buying resale if you are fine with the restrictions placed on resale contracts. After doing some research and thinking it over for months, I decided to make an offer on an Old Key West resale contract. I’m currently still in the process and if all goes as planned, I will close in late September.
Tomorrow I’ll share more details about buying resale and where I am in the process. Just when I thought I couldn’t obsess any more about Disney World… I found that I totally can. °O°
I’m so glad that the Boulder Ridge stay helped, but sad that we didn’t think to do it when we stayed at AKL Jambo and Bay Lake Tower.
You had no idea that I didn’t know how DVC worked! But I’m so glad you took us to that DVC tour!