No matter where you are in the world and where you are hoping to go, there is always a key factor when it comes to planning a vacation – the cost!

Any trip to Walt Disney World comes with a price tag and that can be one of the very first things to put a person off. From a British perspective, it isn’t just the cost of the hotel, food, theme park tickets et al. There is also the airfare, which can be a terrifying prospect all of its own.

Our reasons aren’t at all magical or pixie dust loaded (unlike the trip where we became DVC Members), but one of the key reasons that DVC works for us, is the financial savings.

Like any DVC owners, you buy into the club because you intend to visit a Disney resort frequently. That was certainly no different for us and I’d go so far as to say that for any Brit that has those intentions, DVC is totally worth a closer look and perhaps essential consideration.

Back when we purchased DVC we pulled together all of the calculations and came to the realisation that if we repeated the trip we were on (14 nights at All Stars Music Resort) eight times, we would have effectively spent the same amount as the DVC Membership offer in front of us. It is worth bearing in mind that our initial maths were all based on the value resort we were staying in at that exact moment. When we looked at the cost of a standard 14 nights at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, the number of visits required to ‘break even’ (excluding annual maintenance fees I hasten to add) dropped significantly, to just below three.

Being totally upfront and honest, I thought I would compare the cost of booking a vacation for the same period of our upcoming DVC reservation. Right now, the cost of booking at AKL (and not Kidani Village I must add), for 14-nights for myself, my husband and our 8-month-old daughter would be in the region of £5,700 ($7,300 based on current exchanges rates). Bearing in mind that is only the cost of the hotel, it is simply outside of our budget for a single trip. Even looking at one of the value resorts would be a tight squeeze. Disney’s All Stars Music Resort is currently selling at £1,790 ($2,310) which while possible, its still quite a chunk of cash, especially when you begin factoring in the flights, the park tickets and dining. Obviously, all of this is based on the current availability and I am aware that the impending opening of Galaxies Edge may be having an impact on both cost and availability but it really does put it all into perspective.

We always knew with 100% certainty that we wanted to return to Walt Disney World and that it would be as frequently as budgets would allow. DVC really opened up that possibility for us and gave us the added bonus that we would be staying in deluxe resorts rather than the value resorts. In addition, we had the same conviction about visiting other Disney Resorts around the world, starting with California. Having the flexibility with points to chose various locations around the world really appealed to us.

A smaller, yet still important reason that DVC works for us, is the booking windows. You may hear many people baulk at the notion of booking a vacation 11 months out, but generally speaking, even outside of DVC, if we are booking a 2-week vacation, over in the United States, it has to be planned that far out. We most definitely would not book flights without having accommodation booked but we like to book flights as soon as they are released to get the best price. The DVC booking window works in our favour here, although less so if we were to chose to stay at a different resort from our ‘home’ Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village.

Don’t get me wrong, we do find ourselves coming across some challenges with DVC, but that is another topic for another time. Ultimately, DVC has given us the ability to revisit our favourite place on Earth far more frequently and in far more wonderful accommodation than we can have ever dreamed of and for us, that is more than enough.

8 thoughts on “Why DVC Works For This Brit

  • Great write up and well done but, also being from the UK I can agree to some point of what your saying and some of what you mentioned depends on how long you own your DVC contract and how often you visit Disney but you have missed some extras we Brits get that your working out does not show or at least we still get but dates are starting to be restrictive, Free Food.

    We have been to Disney every year for the last 10 plus years and sometimes twice in the same year, we love it.

    We looked and did the DVC tour many years ago but when you worked out the cost of the points buying direct I must add and not re-sell, maintenance fees each year it did not work out cheaper to own DVC if you were not going to keep t

    Why i hear you ask.

    The reason why, us Brits were getting offered the free Disney Dinning Plan, when you factored in the costs of DVC points, maintenance and the food it was not a better deal to own, in fact the DVC cast member sat there with me and worked out costs ect and agreed, all the time Disney offered free dinning it was not a better deal to be a DVC member.

    Now if you do not or would not use the free dinning plan and to be honest why would you not, we have eaten at so many of the Disney restaurants over the years that we think there are very few sit down restaurants left that we have not tried, it’s a great perk.

    Also Disney is now starting to only offer free dinning on certain dates and for us this has gone from the dates we love the best visiting Disney which is Halloween.

    Now if your happy not to buy direct from Disney and do re-sell then just throw away what I have just mentioned above as it is by far cheaper to buy re-sell DVC.

    Also surprising how many Brits by there holiday from Travel companies and not directly, you save thousands doing this alone, different story.

    Anyway, just thought i would mention this as this does need to be factored into your costs.

    • Were you comparing like for like accommodations when working out cost of Free Dining? I.e. Deluxe

      • To answer the above question, Yes, at the time we were staying in Saratoga springs, we only compared the cost of the hotel with free food against the DVC points costs and buying the same Disney Dinning Plan, 100% like for like, at the time and I must stress at the time we would have needed to have made around 10 plus trips to break even with the DVC costs buying direct and at the time we were unsure if we were going to make that amount of trips plus we had to find the money, now with re-sell that’s a totally different set of working out plus the UK is now starting to see months where you can not get free dinning.

        Please I am not saying the write up is wrong it is a great write up and i can agree with the points raised why it could work for some but not for everyone but I do think a lot of reviews missing important factors for us UK visitors which is the free dinning, it has saved us thousands over the year plus we always buy direct from Disney so our stays are even cheaper, a lot of the UK visitors book through travel agents who mark up Disney prices a lot, yes you get the all in one package deal but if you were to factor this into the workings out then you would need to stay even more times.

        Plus if your one of those people or families who likes to turn up at a travel agent and give them your dates and hotel ad let them take the worry of booking everything the the DVC is not for you, you do have to book your own flights, travel, car hire in the USA if your going to get around outside Disney, travel insurance.

        Do not get me wrong DVC is great, we are going through buying DVC ourselves on re-sell, why you might say, well as we already book everything ourselves this is not an issue for us and as we have already been too many times that we should have brought into DVC a long time ago, we just could not afford the in initial outlay on the points we want or need until now.

        If you have the money and your happy to book all your flight ect yourselves and your going to keep going at least every other year if not more for 10 plus years then for any UK visitor buying DVC on resell will save you money.

      • Hi John and thank you so much for commenting. You are indeed correct, I did miss out the element of Dining Packages/Free Food and I should have mentioned it although I was very much reflecting on why DVC works for us. I should note that on our first trip together​​, before we became DVC members, our trip was not booked directly with Disney. My OH actually booked each element such as our flights, the hotel, our car hire and park tickets separately after shopping around online. This meant that we didn’t get free dining so I could not really add that into the equation for why DVC works for us. As mentioned, we were staying at the All Stars Resort which meant we did not qualify for the Free Dining Packages, those were only available to Moderate or Deluxe resorts (at that time). We did price up those resorts so that we had the option of the Dining Package but the cost changed dramatically and it meant, really, when all is said and done, the dining package came at a greater cost so we chose not to do it.

        In all honesty, neither one of us are particular ‘foodies’ and we don’t eat extravagantly in any sense of the word. The dining packages are rarely something we have considered. On our most recent trip, we did have the ‘Quick Service’ Dining Plan but we ended the vacation with just under 70 credits left over so we did wonder whether we really needed it.

        So all in all, dining really didn’t come into any kind of consideration, for us, when buying into DVC and reflecting on why it works for US as a family, I should have included that fact in the original article. Thanks for flagging it up.

  • DVC has been a great success for us, we have been going to Anaheim from the UK for 15 years and always stayed off property at Airbnb or local hotels.

    Staying at the Grand Californian was not in the slightest bit possible until we purchased DVC resale back in 2014, we now go every 2 years staying at this superb resort.

    I agree that being from the UK planning at 11 months is perfect for us.

    Thank you for your post Markevansleigh.

    • This is one time DVC works well as there is only one hotel in California that you can use DVC with so you can imagine it’s popular with DVC people, California does not work out the same as Florida due to this issue.

  • markevansleigh, thank you for your kind reply, your right it does make a difference where you stay but i think the points difference between DVC and staying in a value Disney hotel would be even bigger, if your happy to stay at places like All Star Resorts or any of the value hotels and do not care much about staying in the Deluxe hotel and villas and you just want a place to crash at night then DVC is not for you, the cost of these low value hotels against the cost per point to have a similar room would not work out worth while, what you pay for with DVC is the luxury of staying in the Deluxe accommodation and all things that come with this, place to crash only then value are great, reference your 70 points you still had on the dinning plan to let you know in case you were not aware which you may well be, you can change up missed quick service and main meals into points to buy treats to take home to give to friends and family members at places like Goofy’s Candy Company in Disney Springs and other Disney gift shops selling sweets as long as you have spare room and weight in your suitcases, one year we had to buy another suitcase due to this issue.

    • Indeed, we basically brought home 70 bags of various Goofy Candy… Some of which we still have, 3 years on!

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