Disney Vacation Club members get points that can be used to book vacations and get perks. Is a Disney Vacation Club membership worth it? Read on for our Disney Vacation Club review.
Table of Contents
- Our Review Methodology
- What Is the Disney Vacation Club?
- Our Disney Vacation Club Review: A Summary
- Does a DVC Membership Make Sense for You?
- Who Is it For?
- Disney Vacation Club Vs. Other Options
- Cost and Value
- Benefits of Disney Vacation Club
- Are There Any Drawbacks to Getting a DVC Membership?
- How Does Disney Vacation Club Work?
- Point Charts
- Policies About Unused Points
- How Much Is Disney Vacation Club?
- Cost Overview
- Financing your Disney Vacation Club Membership
- Useful Tips for Calculating the Cost of a DVC Membership
- Key Features of the Disney Vacation Club
- Where Can You Stay With Your DVC Points?
- Flexible DVC Membership Options
- Can You Change or Cancel Your DVC Membership?
- DVC Customer Service and Support: What to Expect
- DVC Membership Extras
- Opting Out: How to Sell Your DVC Membership
- Verdict: Is a Disney Vacation Club Membership Worth It?
- Is the Disney Vacation Club a good investment?
- Is Disney Vacation Club like a timeshare?
- How much does DVC cost per year?
- Disney Vacation Club
Our Review Methodology
Besides using official resources from Disney, we also looked at reviews from members. We wanted to learn more about the different destinations that members can choose from, the cost, and the overall experience with the DVC.
To create our Disney Vacation Club review, we used online reviews, blogs, and social media pages to learn what people think of their DVC membership.
What Is the Disney Vacation Club?
Disney is a giant in the entertainment industry, and also also a major player in the travel industry.
After the Walt Disney Company created its first theme park resort in 1971 (Walt Disney World), the company quickly expanded and now offers an entire family of travel options with DVC resorts, hotels, Disney cruises, and more.
The Disney Vacation Club is Disney’s take on timeshares. As a member, you hold a real estate interest in one of Disney’s properties for a yearly allowance of points. You can redeem these points to book vacations.
Even though you’ll receive a deed for a share of a specific resort, you can use your points to book a stay at any Disney destination. You can even make a reservation for a trip through a partner like Interval International.
Our Disney Vacation Club Review: A Summary
The Disney Vacation Club is a timeshare program. While it’s ostensibly more flexible than traditional timeshares, it still represents an important financial commitment.
One of the first things to ask yourself if you’re thinking about getting a DVC membership is whether you’re ready to make this commitment.
Does a DVC Membership Make Sense for You?
While Disney offers an unparalleled luxury experience and a DVC membership represents a good value for Disney fanatics, it might not make sense for the needs and budget of every family.
Who Is it For?
You should consider how often you can take a vacation and travel.
Disney offers flexible membership options, and you can decide how many annual points you want to purchase.
However, those who will get the most out of their DVC memberships are the ones who can travel regularly, especially those who travel regularly to Disney destinations.
Disney Vacation Club Vs. Other Options
We also recommend taking a close look at your vacation budget.
The internet has transformed the travel industry. With the sites that help you find last-minute deals and apps that act as marketplaces for short-term rentals, it’s easier than ever to explore a wide range of options.
By comparison, a DVC membership can feel restrictive unless you want to experience the travel that has made Disney a successful company in this industry.
Cost and Value
You should also weigh the value of a DVC membership, considering the different costs and unique perks available to members. We’ll discuss these points in our Disney Vacation Club review below.
Benefits of Disney Vacation Club
Looking at a Disney Vacation Club pros and cons will help get a better idea of whether this timeshare program is right for you.
DVC memberships are a popular way of saving on Disney vacations. Here is why:
- DVC membership offers you many choices. You can choose from thousands of destinations and travel anytime you want. Plus, Disney is constantly expanding and building new properties (such as the newest DVC resort, Disney’s Riviera Resort).
- Disney offers flexible DVC membership options. It’s easy to build a customized package that fits your budget and desire how often you want to travel.
- Financing is available if you don’t want to pay upfront for the yearly membership.
- Disney is a top-tier travel company that offers unparalleled vacation experiences. You can always expect Disney to go above and beyond to deliver exceptional service. It’s difficult to find other travel or timeshare companies with the same level of or dedication to customer service.
- You can benefit even more from your membership because of the Disney Vacation Club deals and special offers available to members.
- There is no obligation to redeem your points if you can’t travel. You can roll your points over to the next year or even resell your DVC points through a third-party service. Disney even offered a buyback program during the pandemic for those who could not travel.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Getting a DVC Membership?
There are a few potential drawbacks to consider if you’re thinking about getting a DVC membership:
- There is a dizzying network of destinations and accommodations to choose from. However, the cost might make it difficult to travel outside of this network of DVC properties, which means you could miss out on other travel experiences.
- You can use DVC points to book accommodations, but you’ll have to pay for travel and other expenses out of pocket. Flying to stay at Disney’s Hawaiian resort every year might not be realistic for all.
- Disney offers deals and perks for DVC members, but there are other ways of saving on Disney vacations. It’s easy to find deals online, and you can also buy DVC points from members who are not using them, typically at a discounted rate.
- Unlike other timeshares, there is a significant upfront cost for getting a membership. Disney offers financing, but there are some requirements to meet, and the APR is to consider. We’ll discuss prices and financing below.
- Disney states that the membership extras can change or disappear. You’re making a long-term investment, but there is no guarantee that all the perks that add value to the membership will remain available in the future!
- The system assigns a value to each DVC resort and vacation period. Disney changes its point charts every year, which makes it difficult to predict what kind of stay you’ll be able to book in the future with your points.
- While it’s possible to find some last-minute stays, Disney is not terribly flexible with cancelations. You’ll lose your points if you cancel a trip less than a month in advance. Those who need more flexibility for their travel plans might want to rethink getting a DVC membership.
How Does Disney Vacation Club Work?
Disney Vacation Club members purchase a share of a Disney property. In exchange, Disney assigns a yearly allowance as DVC points. Members also get a real estate deed for the shares they own.
Members can use their points to book vacations. Disney uses point charts to determine the value of the points and how many points a stay will cost. These charts change every year.
While members can get a lot for their points right now, things will probably change in the future as the travel industry continues to recover from public restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Policies About Unused Points
If you’re unable to travel during the year, you can choose to keep your points and use them the following year.
You can also borrow from the next year’s points if you want to book a luxurious stay or stay longer.
How Much Is Disney Vacation Club?
As a DVC member, you’re buying a share of a Disney resort.
The resort you invest in won’t affect your future travel since you can use your points to travel anywhere within the DVC network.
However, the resort you invest in can affect the cost of the membership, which is why it’s important to compare the different options available.
You’ll have to pay different fees if you decide to purchase a membership:
- You’ll have to purchase the number of points you want to get each year. Currently, Disney is offering a rate of $207 per point. There is a minimum of 150 points a year. The points represent the bulk of the initial cost.
- There are closing costs for the real estate deed. These costs vary depending on the resort you choose, but they start at around $600.
- DVC members also have to pay annual dues. These dues cover real estate taxes on your investment. A portion of the annual fees covers the operating costs of the resort you invested in. These dues can vary depending on the resort you invested in, but they start at around $100 a month.
While the points and closing costs are one-time fees, the annual dues will be a recurring fee that you will have to pay for the duration of your contract.
Disney Vacation Club contracts typically last 30 to 40 years, but members often get offers to extend them at a discounted rate.
Financing your Disney Vacation Club Membership
Financing is available if you don’t want to pay for your DVC membership upfront. However, this option comes with strict requirements.
Disney offers ten-year loans through a financing partner. You’ll need a 10% down payment and a credit score of 685 or better. You won’t qualify if you defaulted on a mortgage or if you have low credit.
You should also know that the APR varies from 10 to 18%. The APR you qualify for depends on your credit score and the cost of your membership. The APR corresponds to the range you can expect to pay for a personal loan. However, most personal loans have a much shorter term.
Overall, it’s much more interesting to pay upfront for your DVC membership if you can afford it or even shop around for financing from another source. A personal loan with a shorter term will probably help you save if you go for the financing option.
Useful Tips for Calculating the Cost of a DVC Membership
There are further things to know about costs and financing to help you make an informed decision:
- Disney has a useful online tool that will help you get a quote for your membership based on how many points you want. Use it to compare different scenarios!
- Things have been slow for the travel industry because of COVID-19, which means Disney and other companies are offering great deals. You can get a discount on a DVC membership at the moment. If you’ve been considering this purchase for a while, now is the right time to buy a membership.
- Disney changes its point rate every year. However, once you buy a membership, Disney locks the point rate in for the duration. Even though the value of the points may change when Disney publishes new point charts, you can lock in your point rate before the price potentially jumps up.
- Inflation is another reason to consider a DVC membership. Economists believe the cost of living will increase. Locking in a point rate for your DVC membership now could be interesting.
- While DVC members get extras and perks, travel insurance is not one part of them. You can purchase travel insurance through Disney for $99 a year or go through another seller. Either way, travel insurance is another expense to consider.
Key Features of the Disney Vacation Club
Is Disney Vacation Club worth it? Find out if a DVC membership would make sense for you.
Where Can You Stay With Your DVC Points?
As a DVC member, you’ll get a share in one of the Disney resorts. However, there is no obligation to travel to this resort. You can use your points to book a stay at any Disney resort, such as the Riviera Resort in Florida or the Aulani Resort in Hawaii.
Overall, there are 163 destinations you can book with your points. These destinations include 25 different resorts, hotels, villas, and more. You can also transfer your DVC points to reservation points and book a trip on a Disney cruise line!
There are thousands of options available thanks to partnerships. These partnerships include National Geographic expeditions for those who like adventure and thousands of destinations through Interval International.
The partnership with Interval International adds considerable value to the DVC membership. It’s a brand owned by Marriott with a presence in 80 countries with 3,200 properties.
Overall, there is an impressive range of destinations and experiences to choose from for DVC members. If you’ve ever booked a Disney vacation, you will know the luxury accommodation, entertainment options, and family experience you can expect.
Flexible DVC Membership Options
One downside of getting a timeshare is that it can feel restrictive. Owners have to travel to the same destination and typically get the timeshare during a specific time frame each year.
The Disney Vacation Club completely reinvents the concept of the timeshare and offers a much more flexible experience. Plus, you can build a customized membership depending on how many points you want to get.
To give you an idea of what members typically get, you can book a one-week stay for two at a studio in a resort for 150 points. If you have 250 points to spend, you can get five nights in a villa.
Members can purchase a few additional points once a year for an additional fee, but you can’t change your membership to increase or lower your membership points.
Can You Change or Cancel Your DVC Membership?
Flexibility is an issue, though. If you need to cancel or change a stay you booked, you will lose your DVC points unless you make the changes at least a month in advance.
There is also a lack of flexibility for changing your membership. It’s a real estate deed that you won’t be able to change until you have paid it in full if you used financing. You might also have to pay your annual dues for the current year before you can make any changes.
Disney will let you update your information on the deed or add an adult child as a beneficiary. However, you won’t be able to cancel your membership before the end of the contract you signed.
DVC Customer Service and Support: What to Expect
One of the great things about the Disney Vacation Club is the quality of the support you can expect.
There is an online portal for managing your membership, making payments, booking vacations, and more. Checking your points balance and using Disney Vacation Club points is easy.
Plus, you can get outstanding customer support from Disney. A designated customer service department handles issues related to the DVC for sales, accounting, member services, and more.
Overall, the quality of the support and customer service offered is one reason to consider getting a DVC membership.
DVC Membership Extras
There is more to consider when weighing the pros and cons of getting a DVC membership. Members have access to many perks and extras that add value to the membership.
There is, for instance, a lounge for DVC members-only at EPCOT in Walt Disney World. You can also stay after hours in some theme parks, get discounts on dining in parks and resorts, save on Disney items and merch, and book Disney experiences at a discounted rate.
The perks and extras available can vary from one resort to another, and Disney regularly adds and removes discounts and extras. These membership extras are something that adds value and can help you save.
Opting Out: How to Sell Your DVC Membership
Annoyingly, Disney doesn’t offer much flexibility with changing or canceling your membership. If you want to opt-out of your DVC membership, your best bet is to resell it.
The good news is that there is a market for reselling DVC points and DVC memberships, and you can get help from companies that specialize in offering this service. However, Disney will have to review and approve the transaction.
Keep in mind that a Disney Vacation Club membership is a long-term commitment.
Yes, there is a lack of flexibility. But keeping the membership for 30 to 40 years means you’ll be able to enjoy staying at Disney resorts with your grandchildren or let your adult children use your membership.
Here are our ratings for the Disney Vacation Club:
- Value: 4.5/5
- Cost: 4/5
- Service: 5/5
- Flexibility: 3.5/5
Verdict: Is a Disney Vacation Club Membership Worth It?
We think the DVC is superior to any other timeshare program because you get access to a vast selection of destinations and accommodations. You’ll get your money’s worth with the wide range of experiences that Disney offers and with the membership perks.
However, it’s imperative to consider the cost of a DVC membership and compare it to other options. There are now countless websites and apps you can use to save when booking a vacation.
Overall, we think a DVC membership is a worthwhile option for those who want the Disney experience and can travel at least once a year.
Here are a few more things to know about the Disney Vacation Club.
Is the Disney Vacation Club a good investment?
The Disney Vacation Club can help you save on future vacations. As a member, you’ll hold a real estate deed for a share of a Disney resort and get a yearly allowance of points you can redeem to book vacations.
It’s a great way to save if you book luxury vacations regularly through Disney or other travel companies. But you won’t get dividends or other returns on your investment.
This means it’s not a good option if you’re looking for a financial product that would give you exposure to real estate or the travel industry.
Yes, and no. The DVC is a timeshare program because members purchase a share of a Disney resort and get a real estate deed for their share.
However, the DVC differs from traditional timeshare programs because you don’t have to book a stay at the resort you invested in. Instead, you’ll get points you can redeem to book vacations anywhere through the DVC network.
How much does DVC cost per year?
There is an upfront cost that covers your points and the closing costs of the real estate transactions. Members also have to pay annual dues starting at $100 a month.
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Disney Vacation ClubVaries
- Can use points to book at any Disney resort
- Flexible membership options
- Quality customer Service
- Have access to many perks
- Lack of flexibility for changing membership
- Significant upfront cost for getting a membership
- Membership extras can change or disappear
- Disney changes its point charts every year
- Not flexible with cancelations
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