I was starting to get pissed.
My sister (whom I ADORE) told me she and her husband were coming to visit! I was giddy with excitement! I was going to be able to use my points when the family was coming to town – which, after all, was part of the justification I used to hoard DVC points. However, she tells me this with three weeks notice (we’re all the same in my family), so I knew it was going to be tough to grab a room this close out, but – undaunted – I went to the member web site and saw what many of us see it seems:
Very little was available, and nothing was available for the full length of stay, with the exception of maybe a cabin at Copper Creek. I love my sister, as I said before, I truly adore her – I’m not getting her a damn cabin though.
So, being the good brother I am, I head over the to the Disney site to see what resorts are available for those dates, and what do I find? The very room I was hoping to book with points, was available for cash!
I thought to myself “what’s up with this”?? Why is it that a “DVC room” isn’t available for a DVC member but it is if I want to shell out several hundred or several thousand dollars? Haven’t I paid enough already? I figured there must be a good explanation, so I turned to our DVC Fan Facebook group and asked them what they thought.
There was much speculation in the responses, but it turns out there’s more than one answer to this. First, Disney (and all timeshare company’s) are required under Florida law to offer a certain number of rooms for cash. Not sure exactly what the reason behind that is, but then again, this is Florida and we have lots of strange laws (the legislature took the brave step of passing a law making it illegal to have sex with porcupines, so there’s that).
Another reason posited by the group was this: When members use their points for things outside DVC (RCI, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, Disney collection, etc), Disney has to take those points and sell them. Even though you may use points for the exchange, those have to turn into real money when DVC makes the arrangements with an outside company. Even when its Disney Cruise Line or Adventures by Disney, they are all treated as separate business units. One business unit needs to pay the other.
There was also speculation that Disney uses the cash from these rooms as a reserve buffer for maintenance fees. If something catastrophic happens (god-forbid), and our maintenance fees aren’t enough to cover it, there has to be money somewhere (again, DVC is part of Disney, but it’s also it’s own business and has to be run that way). I say this in all seriousness – Florida is prone to hurricanes, and the damage they inflict can be devastating. It also occurred to me that without this ‘cash’ for DVC, what would happen to our maintenance fees? How high would they have to go to provide a buffer? Again, I’m relatively new to all this, and perhaps some of you with more knowledge and experience have some insights to share. If you do, please leave a comment below!