The Disney Vacation Club is a points-based timeshare program owned and managed by Disney. The DVC timeshare collection includes eight Disney timeshare resorts located at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL:
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s Boardwalk Villas
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Old Key West
- Bay Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
In addition, there are four other Disney timeshare resorts:
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA
- Disney’s Vero Beach Resort in Vero Beach, FL
- Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas, Ko Olina on the island of Oahu, HI
- Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort on Hilton Head Island, SC
If you purchased your Disney timeshare prior to March 21, 2011, there is no difference between your ownership and one bought directly from Disney.
After March 21, 2011 however, there are three benefits that do not transfer on the resale market:
Aulani Disney timeshare resale buyers are not eligible to use their vacation points to make reservations in the Concierge Collection (hotels), the Disney Collection (cruises) or the Adventurer Collection.
If you’re going to purchase a Disney timeshare resale you get all the other benefits exactly the same which include:
- You can make your reservations up to 11 months in advance at your Home Resort – just like if you bought from the developer.
- You can make reservations up to 7 months in advance at any other Disney timeshare resort.
The Vacation Points you purchase from a Disney timeshare resale can be used for reservations at DVC resorts, for RCI exchanges and Club Intrawest reservations.
You can borrow up to 100% of your points from your upcoming year but you have to use all of those points in this current year. You cannot put any of those unused points back into next years usage. So, if you’re going to borrow points you have to do it in this current year, borrow it from next year and use all the points you borrowed this year.
If you are going to bank your points, you can do that and bank up to 100% of your points into the next year but you have to do that in the first 8 months of your use period of this year and you have to use all your banked points by the end of the next allotment or the next use period.
If you are purchasing a Disney timeshare resale and the anniversary dates vary so that you have two separate accounts (in other words two separate Disney accounts) you can still use those points to make one reservation.
However, if you are going to make a reservation for a single day at a Disney property there’s a minimum of 10 points and you have to draw those points from only one account – you cannot use points from two different accounts for that single day reservation.
What is the Member Getaways program?
The Member Getaways program allows DVC to provide vacation destinations and experiences beyond the Disney Resorts through exchange opportunities. Members who purchase directly from Disney can experience all of the other Disney destinations around the world, as well as non-Disney destinations. There are more than 500 Member Getaways options to choose from worldwide.
What is the Right of First Refusal (ROFR) for Disney Vacation Club timeshare resales?
Disney has a “right of first refusal” (ROFR) policy. ROFR is the option DVC has to purchase any Disney timeshare resale after a sales price has been agreed upon and a contract has been drawn up. Each contract must be forwarded to Disney Vacation Club for review. If the price is too low, Disney exercises their ROFR option and purchase the property themselves at the terms agreed upon by the Seller and original Buyer. DVC then becomes the Buyer.
What are some of the other Member Benefits that do transfer on a Disney timeshare resale?
Disney’s Discounted Annual Pass – DVC membership gives you the option to purchase an annual park pass at a discounted rate. Members receive discounts on Disney’s Annual Pass, Premium Annual Pass, Annual Pass Renewal, and Premium Annual Pass Renewal. Annual passes yield admittance into all four parks, 365 days a year
DVC Members Dining Discounts – There are lots of discount options and a wide selection of choices at and near each resort. Plus, Disney timeshare members can take advantage of dining discounts regardless of whether they’re currently staying at a Disney resort. These discounts vary widely from resort to resort and change slightly year to year.
DVC Members and Pool Hopping – a very unique benefit! This means you can experience pools at most of the DVC resorts, no matter which one you are staying at. There are some restrictions you should be aware of:
When you’re staying at any of the Walt Disney World DVC resorts, you and your guests can use most of the other DVC and Walt Disney World pools, provided they aren’t “at capacity”.
To take advantage of pool hopping, you must have your Key to the World Card on you, and it’s a good idea to check with the resort to see how full your desired pool is prior to going over to the resort. You won’t be able to stay in the pool if it’s full, in order for Disney to accommodate guests of that resort.
There are some Walt Disney World resort pools that do not allow pool hopping:
- Bay Cove Pool at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- The Uzima Pool and the Samawati Springs Pool at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club’s Stormalong Bay Pool
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas’ leisure pool
- All pools at Disney’s Art of Animation
Even the pools that do allow hopping have some “block-out dates” during which they cannot be used by anyone other than current resort guests. These dates change from year to year so always check with the
Disney Vacation Club Perks and Freebies – Disney extends several free DVC perks to members. Each resort has something different to offer. These benefits are subject to change.
Discounts on Excursions & Tours – Disney timeshare resale owners enjoy exciting discounts off various tours and excursions and change periodically, so be sure to call and ask what discounts are available at the Disney timeshare resort where you will be vacationing.
DVC Discounts on Recreation and Entertainment – These discounts range from 20% off golf lessons at Walt Disney World courses to free educational and entertainment programs for kids, available at most resorts.
Disney Visa Rewards Program – The Disney Visa Rewards Program offers exciting perks, as well as a convenient method of payment to eligible Disney Vacation Club timeshare members. Rewards can be earned on theme park tickets, movie tickets, dining and grocery expenses and more and then redeemed towards your annual dues!
What are some of the other the advantages to buying a Disney timeshare resale versus buying from Disney direct?
The first and possibly the most important advantage is you can save money buying a Disney timeshare resale on the secondary market.
On some Disney timeshare resales you can pay lower maintenance fees. Old Key West, Bay Lake Towers and Saratoga Springs currently have the lowest Disney Vacation Club dues.
Disney may be “sold out” of inventory at the DVC resort you are interested in purchasing.
Disney requires purchasers to buy a minimum of 160 points. On the timeshare resale market you can buy add-on packages of less than 160 points as a first time buyer or even an existing owner. If the 160 points exceeds your budget, you may be able to find 70 points as an example on the resale market and become a Disney Vacation Club Member.
How do I know how many points I’m going to need for my DVC ownership?
Each resort has its own individual points chart which will show you the dates, seasons, views and accommodations at that resort and the number of points required to vacation there throughout the year.
Now for an explanation of the DVC Home Resort and Use Year:
There are two factors that affect your Disney Vacation Club ownership – they are home resorts and use years.
HOME RESORT – As a Disney Vacation Club owner you can use your DVC points to reserve time at any of the DVC resorts, but your membership is tied to a real estate investment at your home resort. Home resorts are typically selected based on the resort owners feel they are more likely to visit most often. Owners can reserve time at their home resort during a “priority booking window” BEFORE reservations open up to other DVC members each year.
The home resort is also important because all Disney Vacation Club memberships have an expiration date – unlike other vacation clubs. The expiration date is always January 31st, but the year varies with the Disney Vacation Club home resort. Regardless of when you purchased and whether you purchased retail or a DVC timeshare resale, your membership will expire at the date specified by your home resort. An extension may be offered at the time of expiration of your membership but Disney is not contractually obligated to offer you an extension.
USE YEAR – As a Disney Vacation Club member, you are allotted a set number of points that are redeemable within a given use year. Note that Disney only offers the following use years: February, March, April, June, August, September, October and December. How does that work? If you have an April use year, this simply means your 12 month use period for a given year begins in April. Use years cannot be changed but they really don’t have much bearing on your membership anyway and only affect members in the planning and canceling of reservations.
How far in advance can I make my reservations?
You can make your reservations up to 11 months in advance at your home resort and up to 7 months in advance at any of the other Disney timeshare resorts.
What’s so important about my Home Resort?
There are two factors to consider when choosing your home resort:
Maintenance fees vary from resort to resort with some being significantly lower than others. Old Key West, Bay Lake Towers and Saratoga Springs currently have the lowest Disney Vacation Club dues.
If you typically like to travel during “peak” periods (holidays, Spring Break, summer vacations, etc.), you should probably plan to make your reservations more than 7 months in advance and you will want to purchase at the resort you prefer to stay in. If however, you make your travel plans in less than 7 months in advance or travel during the slower seasons, then you might want to consider purchasing a Disney timeshare resale which gets you the best price with a low maintenance fee.
How do DVC points work?
Banking DVC Points and Borrowing DVC Points:
- Points from one use year may be banked into the next as long as you do so within the first 8 months of the current use year.
- Borrowing points from the next use year can occur, but only when you’re making a reservation that requires more points than you have available in the current use year.
- Using banked points and borrowing DVC points from a future use year can be done in tandem, but no more than 3 years of points can be used at one time.
- All banking and borrowing of DVC points is irreversible.
Can I transfer DVC Points?
- Members have the option to transfer DVC points to another member. As with banking and borrowing, all transfers are final. The request for a transfer of DVC points requires written confirmation.
- Banked and borrowed DVC points are not eligible to be transferred.
- Both parties involved in the transfer of DVC points must be up-to-date on their annual DVC dues and can only conduct one transfer per use year.
- Transferred DVC points are subject to the usage parameters of the transferring party. Use year and home resort restrictions governing the old holder of DVC points will apply to the new holder of the transferred DVC points. In addition, DVC points purchased on the timeshare resale market will be restricted, post-transfer, to use in the same manner they were before the transfer.
- If you are buying on the timeshare resale market and the first allotment of DVC points transferred to you is from the original owner’s next use year, you may not borrow said points into the current use year.
One time use of DVC Points:
If you need extra points but don’t want to borrow or transfer them, DVC gives owners the option to purchase up to 24 additional DVC points, once in a use year. The purchase needs to occur at the time you’re making the reservation that required additional DVC points and be within a 7 month window of the desired check-in date.
Rates are subject to change for this option.
You will not be able to cancel or refund your purchase of one-time use points, nor will you be able to transfer, bank or borrow them.
NOTE: If you are unable to make your trip and your reservation must be canceled – the one-time use points will expire at the end of your typical use year.
You know you can save a lot of money by purchasing a DVC timeshare resale on the secondary market, but there are ongoing annual dues and fees also associated with Disney timeshare ownership that should be taken into consideration when purchasing a Disney timeshare resale.
When you purchase a DVC timeshare resale, all dues will be current at closing. Disney Vacation Club bills all owners in December for the next year’s dues which are payable by January 15 regardless of the use year you own which is the month Disney puts the points into your account. You have the option to pay your dues annually by credit card or check. You also have the option to pay in monthly installments by setting up your automatic checking account deduction payment plan with DVC for 12 months – interest free. DVC makes paying the annual dues manageable for everyone.
Where does the annual dues money get spent?
Generally, annual dues are applied to the following areas (and some additional areas) which include:
- Operating expenses such as housekeeping, Front Desk services, maintenance, utilities, transportation (if applicable)
- Administrative expenses for management and reservations services, insurance, member mailings
- Refurbishment expenses for updating and maintaining interiors, exteriors, common areas
- Real estate taxes for property taxes due to government agencies where your home resort is located
- To view the Disney Vacation Club 2017 Annual Dues, click on: Disney Vacation Club 2017 Annual Dues
- A recap of how DVC’s fees are calculated, when they are paid and when they are due:
- DVC maintenance fees are calculated based on the calendar year, not your use year.
Disney Vacation Club annual dues are estimated in advance, and owners pay in advance. This means that on each statement, you’ll see adjustments for the previous year where you may be credited for an over payment or charged for unforeseen or underestimated expenses.
Statements are made available every year by mid-December, and your DVC fees are due in full by January 15th (unless you’ve arranged to pay monthly).
Buying a Disney timeshare resale on the secondary market is much less expensive than purchasing direct from the developer because of the fact that the developer incurs marketing costs that are passed on to the consumer. It is the developer who sets the price on the retail market. On the secondary market of timeshare resale, prices are determined by individuals and current market conditions.
A timeshare interval should be purchased for enjoyment. The purchase of a Disney timeshare resale ensures that you will be able to vacation and spend quality time with your family and friends each year. You might want to think of it as vacation insurance for all your future vacations!
You may view a video regarding Disney Vacation Club – What you don’t get on resale below:
In addition, you may view a video regarding Disney Aulani Vacation Club – What you don’t get on resale:
Syed Sarmad, Principal Broker for Advantage Vacation