September 5, 2019 at 10:46 pm #115733
Okay, can someone pretend i’m a small child and explain DVC to me?? because no matter how many times i try to understand it, it doesn’t make sense to me?? so i know you have to buy points, and then you use those points to stay in a nicer resort/room…
but okay so right now it costs $188 per point on the dvc website. you have to buy 100 points at once, which is about $18,000 (not including fees and closing costs.) so if i wanted to stay at the poly right now for 4 nights, at 16 points a night (cheapest option according to DVC website), it would cost me $12,000??? am i missing something??? is DVC really that astronomically priced? what is the point of it when you can stay at the poly in a regular room for a lot less? are you just paying a lot more for a slightly nicer room?
i don’t have any plans of becoming a dvc member anytime soon (or maybe even ever if my math is right) but i just want to be able to understand it lolSeptember 6, 2019 at 6:59 am #115734
Basically those points renew, or bank, each year. So if you purchase the 100 points, you get 100 points in your bank every year instead of one and done. You can use those points each year or save at least a certain number to use for next year, or even “borrow” from the following year to have a longer or higher point room vacation. You can also use those points to stay at other resorts than your home or chosen resort, subject to availability. You are buying a contract that lasts for decades so you have many years to continue to use those points. You can also buy resale from other owners at potentially cheaper, but less time also, and that comes with Disney’s approval. The contract price is not the only expense as you still have annual maintenance dues, I believe set by which resort and how many points you own.
That’s it in a very, very small nutshell. I’m sure I left some important items out but I hope that helps. We have many DVC members here which I’m sure can help more, @starbee, @laprana, @kcboston, @abeach, just to name a few.September 6, 2019 at 7:36 am #115735
@nascfan has it pretty good. I’ll use our DVC membership as an example…
so full disclosure, we purchased a DVC membership in 2008 when points were $86 per point. We bought 100 points to start at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (you always buy at a particular resort and that becomes your “Home Resort”). Later we added 50 more points at the same resort, then another 50 at Bay Lake Tower (then for $99 per point), and then 100 points more at Animal Kingdom Lodge through resale ($75 per point). Resale is cheaper, but has less perks (you can only use points for DVC resorts under resale, whereas ones bought through Disney can be used for other resorts, adventures by Disney and Disney Cruises).
So bottom line, we have 300 points total (200 through Disney and 100 through resale).
We get 250 points every year from now through 2057 for Animal Kingdom, and 50 for Bay Lake Tower every year through 2060. Typically a contract at a recently established DVC resort will last 50 years give or take a few.
With those points we can reserve rooms at ANY DVC resort so long as there is room availability. How many points per reservation will depend on the size of the room, the view the room has, which resort, and what time of year. You could spend anywhere from 9 – 100+ points per night depending on all those factors, but typically our stays range in the 20-50 point per night range.
Points can also be banked to the next year, or borrowed from the next year. So if we only use 100 points in 2019, we can bank the remaining 200 to 2020. If we wanted we could have said we really want to use 450 points in 2019 and then borrowed 150 from 2020 to make that happen. If we didn’t use any in 2019, we could have banked all 300 to 2020 and then in 2020 could have borrowed all 300 from 2021 to spend up to 900 points on something big in 2020.
Lastly, Home resort matters because you can book at your Home resort up to 11 months in advance. You can book anything else 7 months in advance. So if your Home resort is in high demand, that 11 month booking window comes in handy. Your Annual dues which cover maintenance, taxes, and such are assessed based on your home resort and you pay per point on those too. Animal Kingdom Lodge has a high annual dues price because of the animals and savannas. Bay Lake Tower is one of the lowest for dues because it doesn’t have a big footprint. DVC can establish a monthly payment plan on Annual Dues as well as financing for initial buy-in. We pay around $90 on our 300 points every month for annual dues.September 6, 2019 at 10:43 am #115737
To try to summarize: you pay more upfront but then it saves you in the long run.
To keep the math simple, let’s say you buy 100 points at $100/point. You therefore buy into DVC for $10,000 (plus closing costs, etc. but we won’t go into that for the sake of keeping the math simple). Let’s say you buy into DVC in 2019. You’ll start with 100 points in 2019 and you’ll get 100 points every year until 2069. You can stay at any DVC resort in a DVC room. You can’t use your points to stay at Art of Animation for example, because it’s not a DVC resort.
Now after your initial buy-in, you have to pay annual dues each year. Again, let’s keep the math simple and say it’s $5/point for annual dues. You have 100 points, so you’ll pay $500 in annual dues each year.
Now suppose you want to stay at the Polynesian this year, for 5 nights and it’s 20 points a night (again, we’re keeping the math simple). You will use your 100 points to get 5 nights and the Poly. In a sense, because you just paid $10,000 for DVC, that cost you $2,000/night. But let’s say you’ve already broken even on your $10,000 investment to buy in. Now you can look at it as if it cost you $100 a night, because all you paid this year was $500 in annual dues and you got 5 nights at the Poly. Everyone else paying cash is spending $400+ a night so you just saved money. The more you go, the more visits you get out of DVC, the cheaper it becomes in a sense to stay on DVC points. BUT, it is of course a large up front cost.
Does that help?September 6, 2019 at 12:50 pm #115739
@nascfan, @rocketear99 and @starbee summed it up very well! It’s basically like an investment in future Disney vacations. While the price of rooms booked on cash goes up every year, the number of points it takes to stay in a DVC room rarely changes. There may be fluctuations as Disney makes changes to the point charts for each resort, but they are minor. Basically, there is a set number of points that it takes to stay in a DVC room for one year. If Disney increases the number of points it takes to stay at a resort on a Saturday night, then they have to decrease the number of points for another night so that it always evens out (just as an example). Like @rocketear99, I bought into DVC in 2008 when it was an amazing bargain. The price per point has increased dramatically since then, and it’s definitely not as much of a bargain up front now. With that said, though, buying into DVC is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I’ve said a million times I wish I had done it sooner! I wouldn’t be able to take the number of trips I take and stay in the resorts I stay in without it. In fact, I’m looking to add on points now through resale!September 6, 2019 at 4:02 pm #115741
OMG thank you guys!! i’m so dumb, i thought you were paying for the points EVERY YEAR. i didn’t realize you just pay one time for the points. that makes so much more sense now haha
September 6, 2019 at 5:06 pm #115743
You’re not dumb. You just didn’t know. And now you’ve learned something new!September 6, 2019 at 5:29 pm #115744
Yeah that would be insane! I think only Oprah could do thatSeptember 7, 2019 at 4:21 pm #115748
seriously though! i was like how could people possibly afford this?????September 11, 2019 at 8:35 am #115796
hubby and i looked into it and couldn’t swallow the annual fees. he and i did a big spreadsheet work up showing how fees are increasing every year, yadda yadda yadda. hubby said it wasn’t worth it and honestly following the math (since we have to fly every time and there are FIVE of us) it doesn’t add up. if we were close enough to drive and it was just us two? probably a very different story.September 11, 2019 at 10:12 am #115798
It’s not for everyone. Especially if you’re military or you like to stay at value resorts.September 11, 2019 at 12:50 pm #115809
seriously though! i was like how could people possibly afford this?????
It is still hard to afford. (I know everyone’s definition of “middle class” is different) But even if you like to stay at Moderates whenever you go, coming up with (or financing) $18,000+ then pay fees every year based on points needed for trips, it would take once a year trippers over five or six years to recoup and actually start to break even (if you don’t factor in airfare and the like).
To me, DVC really was developed to hit a more wealthy audience. And…just my observation, some with the means to do it tend to think that everyone is able to to do what they have done.
I guess what I am saying is…everyone has a different opinion of it.
If I had the means to drop the cash all at once in order to become a member, I would in a heartbeat.September 11, 2019 at 1:10 pm #115810
To me, DVC really was developed to hit a more wealthy audience.
It was a different story back in the day when DVC first started. MUCH more affordable for people and tons of extra benefits! I think they had a different MO back then. These days I would be inclined to agree with you. The price per point when buying direct from Disney is insane and they know it, otherwise they wouldn’t be punishing people who buy re-sale points. But I think that’s Disney’s motive across the board now – appeal only to the elite.September 11, 2019 at 1:24 pm #115812
Absolutely…..See how many buildings are now on property solely for this purpose.September 11, 2019 at 2:54 pm #115813
I totally agree with you, @starbee. When I bought in 11 years ago, it was a bargain and I think it was something that a lot of guests weren’t aware of or didn’t really understand fully. Now that it’s caught on, Disney is taking full advantage of charging a premium for points bought directly from them. I am by no means wealthy, but I do work hard and save for what I have, including my DVC membership. It has worked out incredibly well for me over the years, and I’m glad I got in when I did. I can definitely see how it wouldn’t work so well for a lot of folks who are looking to buy in now.
One thing that drives me crazy when people talk about DVC not being affordable, though, is when they lump in all the other costs of a Disney trip BESIDES the room. People traveling to WDW are going top pay those extra costs – flights, park tickets, food, merchandise, etc. – whether they stay in a DVC room on points or in a regular room on cash. Those things shouldn’t be in consideration when comparing the costs of DVC vs. booking a regular room. And at least with DVC, you get some discounts on some of those extra costs like merchandise, food, and APs.
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