So you’ve heard something about ‘the best kept secret’, and you want to know more about it. Well, Disney Vacation Club (DVC to members) is what people are talking about when they say the ‘best kept secret’. Disney Vacation Club is an exclusive club that you can join which will enable you to travel in ways you never might have before. I am a DVC member, along with my mother and honestly, membership has been such an amazing blessing to our family. Before we became members, the thought of a yearly trip with three generations of family would never been possible. Now that we are members, we are able to travel at least once a year for our week long trip and then sometimes smaller trips in between. We are always able to stay in deluxe resorts.
How does it work?
Depending on the time you decide to buy in, you will contact Disney Vacation Club specialists (more on that later!) and they can tell you which properties there are points available to buy into. Where you purchase points is an important part of becoming a member. Wherever you purchase your points, that will become your ‘home resort’.
Why is home resort important?
When you become a member, your home resort allows you to book 11 months in advance at THAT resort. For example, if your home resort is Bay Lake Tower, then at the 11 month window(before your reservation begins), you can only book at Bay Lake Tower. At 7 months, you can then book at any other DVC property.
How many points do I need to buy?
The exact answer will come from a DVC specialist. The minimum number of points that you can buy into depends on what the offer is at the time. In terms of how many you need to buy to be able to travel the way you want depends solely on how you want to use your membership. If you want to travel to Disney World and stay for 2 weeks or you want to go on a cruise, or use your points for a Disney Adventure around the world, you might need to buy a lot of points. At this time, we have 360 points divided between two resorts, Bay Lake Tower and Animal Kingdom Lodge-Jambo House. (Yes, you can do that!) The 360 allows us at least 1 week per year in a 2 bedroom at most resorts.
Are there particular weeks, blackout dates that we cannot use our membership?
No! 🙂 Disney Vacation Club is NOT a timeshare. It is a membership. You will be a deeded property owner and you choose when you want to use your points. If you decide to go to Disney for a day or two, you can. If you want to stay longer than that, you can. If at the last minute you want to stay somewhere, all you do is check online, see if it’s available and you book your trip. (of course, you still need to make sure you are in the proper booking window for where you want to stay and that you have the points)
What if I cannot go one year. What happens to the points?
You can ‘bank” your points which means they go into the next use year.
What is a use year?
When you buy in, your DVC specialist will tell you when your use year begins. On that date every year after (for the life of your contract) you will receive an additional equal amount of points to what you bought initially. Let’s say you bought 360 points in 2013 and your use year was June 1st. Every June 1st, you would get 360 more points. If you chose to ‘bank” your 2013 points into 2014, then in the 2014 use year you would have 720 points to use. There are specific time frames for banking your points and you will need to know when that is-readily available on the member website.
Once we pay in for our points, are there fees every year?
Yes. You will have annual dues which are based on the home resort. The amount of dues per point depends on the resort. This is the ONLY amount that will ever go up and fluctuates with tax rates each year, but it is usually not much.
What is a points chart?
Disney Vacation Club uses a points chart to show how many points each type of room requires for a particular resort and time of year. Points for actual holidays are ALWAYS higher (Thanksgiving and Christmas) for obvious reasons. Stay right before or right after, and they are less.
Do the points change from year to year?
No! 🙂 That is what is so incredibly awesome about DVC membership! The points we used to stay at Kidani Village back in 2010 are the same as this year. The only difference in the point charts will come with the addition of new villas as they are built. (Villas at Grand Floridian are the newest ones!)
What is the length of the contract?
Depends on the resort. A specialist can advise you on that. Ours are for 50 years which means we can pass it down to our children. 🙂
To sum things up…
I can honestly tell you that there have been absolutely no drawbacks or negatives to our membership. Yes, the upfront cost is more, but since we joined in 2008, our membership has paid for itself already. For example, if you look at the Walt Disney World site, the same 2 bedroom lake view room at the brand new Villas at the Grand Floridian that we will be staying at in December goes for $1,300 per night! Times that by 7, you get the idea of how much that is. This year alone, we have stayed at Boardwalk Villas for one week, stayed a few days at Kidani Village and a weekend at Jambo House. In December we go for our first week long Christmas trip. We have borrowed in some points from our 2014 use year for a total of 407 points. Now can you imagine how much it would cost to stay that many nights if we didn’t have a membership? We would NEVER be able to afford it.
But with Disney Vacation Club, once it is paid for and you keep up with the annual dues (which for us are little more than one night at the Floridian), you don’t have to worry about it. You just pick when you want to go and you book it.
How do I find out more about Disney Vacation Club?
That’s the easiest part!
You can choose to contact my Disney Vacation Club Specialist, Jim McCoy. Jim has 15 years of experience with the Disney company and is so wonderful at explaining everything to you. What I love about Jim is he is not going to try and convince you to buy into it. He will simply give you the information, as much as you want, and you make the decision. The whole process can be completed in one phone call! Imagine being able to have the freedom of a Disney trip right at your fingertips! No more trying to get the best price on a resort and you will ALWAYS stay at a deluxe! 🙂
If you choose to contact a specialist, please tell them that Jeanni Cahill has referred you.
To contact Jim, call 1-800-827-7140
To contact via the DVC website : DVC Referral Link
As an added perk, members also get special benefits as a result of being members. They are always listed on the member website. For example, you can show your DVC card for discounts at select places on the property.
What are you waiting for? The time to act is now…especially with the Villas at the Grand Floridian. Prices per point are not guaranteed to stay the same and will only go up at some point. If you’ve been on the fence, hop off and grab them now while the price is lower! And if you do decide to become a member and have been kind enough to refer me, let me know so that I can welcome you to the DVC family! 🙂