We have big news Disney family! Big news! If you haven’t already be sure to head over to our YouTube channel and subscribe to For Love of the Mouse so that you can watch our video announcing this news and know whenever we release a brand new video!
Drum roll please…we have taken the plunge and are now officially Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members! That’s right! After an incredible amount of research, consideration, comparisons and discussion, we can now call Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at Wilderness Lodge home!
We are so excited about this new adventure and for us, this really seals our fate for Disney travel for a very long time because we have cemented that annual pilgrimage to Disney. Truth be told, we will likely continue to travel to Disney multiple times a year but this is incredibly exciting for us and will ensure for us that we will be traveling to Disney properties for many years to come.
So, let’s dive into some DVC details to help you decide if DVC is right for you!
We did an intense amount of research into DVC before taking this step. We talked to our Disney Vacation Club Guide Bernard multiple times, asked him dozens of questions and brought up a lot of scenarios before we took this on. DVC isn’t for everyone. It’s a lot of money, it’s a big commitment and the bottom line is, there is money you are going to spend that you won’t get back. It’s just gone.
So, what is DVC? Disney Vacation Club is a timeshare owned and operated by Disney Vacation Development inc. a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company. You pay an initial purchase price and then every year after you pay an annual fee that gives you an allotment of points to stay when you want, where you want at any of the DVC resorts. You can customize your purchase and your points for what fits your budget and your family needs. The maintenance fees that you can pay either monthly or annually, will increase every year similar to property taxes when you own a house or plot of land.
What are the benefits or purchasing DVC directly through Disney?
- Moonlight Magic throughout the year. Disney is working to have a DVC exclusive Moonlight Magic event every month at one of the parks in WDW.
- Member Tours – Soarin’,
- Member Lounge – Epcot and Top of the World Lounge at Bay Lake Tower.
- Special member pricing for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
- No Block-out dates for stays
- Discounts on Annual Passes
- Dining and merchandise discounts
- And that is just to name a few!!
What are the costs? The initial buy-in when purchasing directly through Disney is 10% of your initial up front cost to purchase. Currently, at the time of this blog being published, the lowest you can buy directly from Disney is 100 points for $18,200. That is $182 a point and you would have to put down at a minimum, $1,820. It is important to remember that no matter how many points you purchase each point is valued at $182 a point.
However, be sure to check special offers when you are ready to but because sometimes the more points you purchase the better the offer. But, be sure to be realistic in terms of your abilities and budget when purchasing.
Maintenance Fees/Yearly Dues:
You can pay these either yearly or monthly. Annual dues can fluctuate, similar to property tax, they are likely to go up every year so be sure to factor that in when looking at purchasing.
Financing is an option. You don’t have to finance. We recommend paying cash if that is an option for you but if you are unable to do so, put as much down as you are able and then pay it off as quickly as possible as Disney interest rates are not ideal. You can also get financing through another financial institution.
What resorts are DVC resorts? Well, there are quite a few and they include resorts at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani in Hawaii, Vero Beach in Florida and Hilton Head.
- Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas, Ko Olina, Hawai`i
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – Our home resort
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
- Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Vero Beach Resort
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
There is also one other resort currently under construction! Disney’s Riviera Resort at Caribbean Beach Resort in Walt Disney World is scheduled to open in 2019 and is the first DVC resort that is being built at a moderate resort. You can read more about this upcoming resort HERE!
You do not have to use your DVC points at one of the above DVC resorts. You can use them on Disney Cruise Line, you can use them at the Disney Collection resorts which are located all over the world and include places like Disneyland Paris and you can use your points at the Concierge Collection resorts which are not Disney owned but have a partnership agreement with Disney where DVC members can use points at these places. There are also World Collection resorts which are located all over the world but are not owned by Disney yet have partnerships with Disney to allow DVC members to use their resorts on DVC points.
In addition, you can use your DVC points at non DVC resorts such as moderate or value resorts at Walt Disney World but be warned, this is not a good use of your points. The cost of using points at these resorts far exceeds the cost of using them at a DVC resort, which is arguable a better resort and is at least a higher end resort than say using them at Pop Century or an All-Star resort. You would do much better to use your points at a DVC resort and pay out of pocket at one of these other resorts should you wish to stay there.
Let’s get to some frequently asked questions regarding DVC.
Are you guaranteed a stay at your home resort or top choice resort for the dates you are wanting to book? No, like many things, the early bird gets the worm. You can book your home resort up to 11 months out from your desired vacation dates. Other DVC resorts can be booked up to 7 months in advance. In order to get your top choice or one of your top choices, book as early as possible.
Can you buy at any DVC resort? No, the only resorts currently available are Aulani and Copper Creek at Wilderness Lodge and coming soon Disney Riviera Resort (at Caribbean Beach). If you are set on having your home resort be one of the other Disney properties, be sure to ask your DVC vacation guide as they will sometimes buy back points from people looking to sell and may have other resorts available.
Are there any block-out dates when looking to use points? No! There are no block-out dates to use your DVC points but be sure, if looking to book the busiest times of year that you do so as early as possible because those dates go fast!
How do you bank and borrow points? You can bank points to the next year if you don’t plan on using them or you can borrow points from next year in order to stay longer or use more points than your yearly allotment. Be sure to keep the dates in mind in which you MUST bank points to the next year or you will lose them. That information will be provided to you by your DVC Vacation Guide. You can bank points for up to three years and the same can be borrowed. But after that, those points must be used or you will lose them and yes, you will still have to pay for them.
Have a DVC question? Leave a comment with your question or head over to our YouTube channel “For Love of the Mouse” and ask us there! We will get your question answered as soon as possible!
That’s it for this post. Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started, with a mouse.