How DVC Changed Our Vacationing

Prior to 2016, our Disney World vacationing always felt like it was the last. Much like everything in life, you never know when your last time will be your last time until it’s passed. I think that this is also the case for a good amount of us as we start off Walt Disney World vacationing. Yes, we study up on the best resorts to stay in to accommodate our needs, we research and finely tune our dining reservations and are ready to book at the 180-day window armed with our laptop, smartphone, and tablet simultaneously, we may obsessively scour YouTube for our favorite podcasts, we know the best times to go to which parks on which days, and we even know exactly what time the 3 o’clock parade goes by in Frontierland. But the underlying theme for that is that it could all end after the next trip. You always want to get everything in, every last drop of POG juice from your ‘Ohana breakfast, that one last popcorn kernel on the way out of Magic Kingdom, that one last stroll down Main Street before packing your bags and boarding the Tragical Depress, I mean Magical Express, back to MCO. Just one more round of Buzz Lightyear to become the Galactic Hero that mom always told you that you were. But like Tony Stark once said, part of the journey is the end. 

For me, this could have a crushing effect on my anxiety. I loved our trips more than anything, but I would feel stress, anxiety, and remorse if things did not go to plan. Knowing what I know now and sometimes stopping just to take a look around and taking it all in, I see this in a lot of folks in the parks. When you see that seemingly always loving mom or dad blowing up on the kids because they are tired and want to go back to the hotel to swim instead of going on the People Mover that he or she  was sure that they would love. What should be such an exciting trip to enjoy with your family can turn into a firestorm of internal stress and anxiety because you want everything perfect for the ones that you love. Despite all of that, we kept returning to enjoy all of what the parks and resorts have to offer and learn to keep that anxiety and stress just below the surface, making sure that our little ones are feeling that stress free Disney magic, but missing out on that small component for ourselves.

Then came the tour at the Polynesian that changed our Disney World vacationing forever. Once we bought into DVC, it was as if a huge weight was lifted. While nothing is forever, at this point I knew at least for the next 10 years, we were going to come back each year. We didn’t have to book every great restaurant every time, because we were going to be coming back home again. Our annual trips could then turn into multiple times a year. It turned into both family trips and trips that were for just Michele and I. We now have bought three separate contracts (with a fourth on the way) and are able to plan both smaller “long weekend getaways” as a couple now that our boys are getting older, and more adventurous trips that are out of our comfort zone, such as our 2020 trip to Aulani by way of Disneyland (both firsts for us), because we know that our “DVC Home” will always be there and that we will always come back to. We have been able to experience that next level of Disney World vacationing that too few people enjoy. The Disney vacation with little stress and fear of not experiencing every last thing. In my opinion, your Disney Bucket List is most enjoyable to complete when it is a marathon, not a sprint. I used to think that their “Welcome Home” tag line was just another piece of catching Disney marketing. But after a three years of ownership and endless moments of joy with my wife and boys, I finally get it. 

How has DVC Ownership changed your vacation experiences? I would love to hear about it.

7 thoughts on “How DVC Changed Our Vacationing

  • July 9, 2019 at 9:08 am
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    I totally get what you’re saying! My family was the same way. Our first DVC stay was for 9 nights/10 days – and we STILL didn’t do everything we had planned! Since then, we have been back many times, and if we don’t get everything done we wanted to, we leave knowing we’ll be back and will do it then. It makes for a much more relaxing experience. Even the grandkids know they’ll have another chance to ride the attraction we missed.

  • July 9, 2019 at 12:20 pm
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    I feel exactly the same way! We bought in in May after staying offsite for the first, and last, time. Thinking ahead now I have much less stress about seeing it all!

  • July 9, 2019 at 1:11 pm
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    DVC helped us to relax and enjoy our vacations more. Before DVC, we hit the parks at rope drop and stayed until closing. Never wanting to miss a single moment because we never knew when we’d be back. Now, we relax, take a midday break at our resort, and savor all the magic. Knowing we will be back soon, definitely takes the stress away.

  • July 9, 2019 at 2:19 pm
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    Agree 100%!!! We are newer owners (October 2018), but we have been going to Disney pretty regularly since 2015 with kids. Wish we would have purchased sooner! What sold us on it were the multiple short trips my husband and I did in 2016 and 2017 for RunDisney events. Every time we would go to run, I would book a bounce back offer. We were fortunate enough to stay at Saratoga Springs (before we were DVC) in a 1 bedroom villa for a RunDisney event. That was the clincher!! Love the room options with DVC and the ability to do multiple trips in 1 year.

  • July 9, 2019 at 7:14 pm
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    I truly hope you booked a long period of time at Alauni, especially if you decide to sight-see around Oahu. We went in 2017 for my mom’s birthday for a week and STILL didn’t do anything at the resort! Can’t wait to go back there!

  • July 10, 2019 at 9:58 pm
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    We bought into DVC this past spring and we have already been back four times with two more trips planned for Galaxy’s Edge opening and Thanksgiving week. We have been going to WDW ever since our daughter was two and I wish we would have bought in to DVC back then.

    The week we bought DVC we were moving at a frantic pace trying to hit everything we could from magic hour opening to the fireworks and the slow walk out to the buses. After three days we were walking zombies. And we still had three more days before we were heading home. Our last two trips have been so relaxing, we spend time at the pool, we do the resort events and then we head to DMK for fireworks or a late dinner. We get in a few character meet and greets then go back to the resort for more late night pool time. The thoughts of getting the cheapest room possible is gone, no more telling myself “we won’t spend anytime in the room so we shouldn’t care if we are in the back near the vending machines”. DVC has really made my extended weekends easy to plan. Overall we are going to WDW for 22 days total budgeting for food and gas for the car. Yes, it is expensive if you buy a lot of points but if you get the minimum points, you will hate it and feel you are not getting your money’s worth. We will be buying another contract in the next few years, maybe picking up a resell if the price and remaining time is worth it.

    I agree with your assessment of DVC, if you can afford it it is worth it. Even if it feels like a lot, if you add up how much you have already spent or will spend going to Disney then put that against a 250 point DVC contract over fifty years. DVC will beat it every time in the long run. Unless you go once a year then it is not worth it, but for hardcore Disney fans it will be far cheaper over time. I can even give it to my daughter when she has a family.

  • July 17, 2019 at 11:07 pm
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    We have owned since 2009. Due to finances and proximity, we only go to the parks every 3 years or so. We are able to do 2 room suites and not worry about the stress of getting everything in. This past summer we did a non parks, split stay and loved every minute of it. We enjoyed our resorts and actually relaxed, while still soaking in the Disney magic.

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