DVC, for those not in the know, is the Disney Vacation Club. We have been members since our third family visit in 2013. And while we haven’t reached a decade of membership yet, DVC is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year!
I love to travel and even pursued a career in travel so that I could afford the expensive hobby. My first trip abroad was on a tiny little cruise ship to Freeport, Bahamas. Once I got a taste for life outside of my own little bubble, I didn’t want to stop.
My husband also shares my wanderlust, having traveled around the world in the U.S. Air Force. Between the two of us, we’ve hit most continents and traveled to far off places like China, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Sweden, Mexico, and Turks & Caicos.
So why would two travel-loving adults settle for a timeshare at Walt Disney World? Glad you asked.
What is DVC?
Disney Vacation Club is not actually a timeshare. There are no designated weeks or locations. And there’s no high pressure sales tactics (I could regale you with many timeshare horror stories!).
DVC is essentially a points system. You buy into a certain number of points to be used every year by your family. The amount of points you buy is up to you, depending on what level of accommodations you like, how many people are typically in your party, how long you typically stay on a trip to Disney, and when you typically go.
In addition to these decisions, you also designate a “home resort.” There are two primary reasons you have a home resort:
- There are a finite number of club memberships and each one is tied to the capacity of a home resort. Your chosen resort also determines the cost of your membership. This ensures that Disney can’t keep collecting money indefinitely and have a resort always at maximum capacity.
- Your Home Resort is the resort that you can book before anyone else. You can book a room at your Home Resort 11 months in advance. Any other resort is 7 months in advance.
How Much Does DVC Cost?
I wish I had a nice, handy chart to show you exactly how much DVC costs but the costs are extremely variable. As I mentioned above, your cost is dependent upon the number of points you purchase and at what resort.
According to AllEars.net which has a great overview of DVC:
The current price to purchase ownership in the DVC, from the DVC, is $140 – $165 per point (based on the resort) with a 100-point minimum. There are often various incentives offered, usually in the form of a discount. Points for older “sold out” properties, when inventory becomes available, can usually be had for a reduced price. Points can sometimes be purchased through a resale agent for less than the current DVC retail price.
Many people will finance their investment but keep in mind that once your points have been paid for, you still have to pay annual fees to cover the maintenance of the property (this cost also varies by how many points you have and at what property).
We purchased 120 points for our Home Resort, Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House. And although we’re more likely to plan a last minute, spontaneous trip, we try to stay there whenever we can.
What Are the DVC Accommodations Like?
Disney Resorts are classified in three tiers: Value, Moderate, and Deluxe. We’ve stayed in the following locations:
- Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House – Deluxe
- Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village – Deluxe
- Port Orleans Resort – Riverside – Moderate
- Beach and Yacht Club – Deluxe
- Contemporary Resort – Deluxe
- Saratoga Springs Resort – Deluxe Villa
- B Resort & Spa – Disney Springs Resort Area – Moderate
As you can see, we’re a Deluxe kind of family and that’s why DVC makes sense for us. DVC properties are always Deluxe or Deluxe Villas.
If you’re a budget or even moderate family, DVC may not make sense for you, cost-wise.
For my family, we would typically book a Deluxe Studio. My husband and I would take the bed and my son would sleep on the pull-out couch beside the bed. We had a little kitchenette, single bathroom, and got along just fine.
Now that he’s older and we all want a little more privacy, we book a 1-Bedroom Suite which gives us a master bedroom and bathroom, separate living room with a pull-out couch, another full bathroom, and a full kitchen.
We love it because we buy groceries on the way in and eat breakfast in the room and sometimes dinner as well.
Don’t You Get Tired of Going Back to Disney?
Answer: nope. In fact, I wrote a whole article as to Why We Keep Going Back to Disney. If you know, you know.
And while you can roll over your points every year, you have to use them at least every other year. Yes, a mandatory Disney vacation.
Other Benefits of DVC
In addition to that mandatory vacation and deluxe accommodations, we like hearing the Cast Members say Welcome Home whenever we arrive. But there are other more tangible benefits:
- 20% discount at most shops and restaurants (we love this!)
- Discounts on annual passes (this isn’t offered every year)
- 15% discount on most tours
- Access to the Top of the World Lounge at Bay Lake Tower (an excellent fireworks viewing location)
- Access to the Member Lounge at Epcot (free drinks, snacks, and a comfortable place to rest just above Journey into Imagination with Figment)
But the biggest benefit, and here’s where I get a little corny, is that my 3 year old little boy who once marveled upon meeting Sorcerer Mickey during his first trip to Disney is now a teenager who still looks forward to spending a week with his parents.
Celebrating 30 Years of DVC
While we’ve only been members since 2013, the DVC program is celebrating 30 years this year with some of the following activities just for DVC members.
Disney Vacation Club 30th Anniversary Merchandise
Celebrate 30 years in style with customizable Disney Vacation Club 30th Anniversary Merchandise – available now at shopdisney.com/membermarketplace.
Disney Vacation Club Member Lounge – Continues in 2021
We’re pleased to share that the popular Disney Vacation Club Member Lounge, overlooking EPCOT in the park’s Imagination! pavilion, will remain open through 2021. Available for Members with paid admission to EPCOT, the lounge is open daily from noon to 7 p.m. Starting Jan. 31, the lounge will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. This Member benefit offers a convenient and comfortable place to recharge while visiting the theme park. There’s lots of casual seating, complimentary beverages, device-charging stations, Wi-Fi, computer stations, a printer and mounted tablets pre-set to help you access many Disney websites.
Scenic Selfies – Disney Vacation Club 30th Anniversary
Members are invited to take part in a brand-new scavenger hunt across Walt Disney World Resort. In this interactive and informative selfie-collecting quest, Disney Vacation Club Members will discover thematic insights and Disney details that are woven into the storytelling of each of the parks.
Disney Vacation Club 30th Special
This made-for-Members streaming special kicks off the 30th anniversary of Disney Vacation Club and celebrates Membership Magic at home. Viewers will learn about new ways to enjoy their Membership in 2021 and enjoy uplifting entertainment, including inspirational musical performances by stage and screen star Keala Settle (“The Greatest Showman”).
If you’re not a DVC member, you can get a sneak peek here:
Share Your DVC Thoughts!
Are you a fellow DVC member? Share your Home Resort. And share some of your favorite memories!
Thinking about DVC? Ask your questions and maybe I can help!