Upon bringing our son for his initial visit to Walt Disney World to ring in his first birthday, my husband and I had a visceral feeling that we were going to be buying a DVC contract. We had visited just a few years prior when he proposed and then again later for our honeymoon. Making the commitment just “made sense” for our family as our history with visiting WDW was increasing–and, to be quite honest, we did not require much convincing after visiting the Saratoga Springs DVC Preview Center. We could not have been prouder to walk away with a contract clad in our blue DVC Members tote bag!

Our coveted member’s bag was the icing on the DVC cake.

However, this simply isn’t the case with all families ruminating over the decision of whether or not to purchase a contract. We have had multiple conversations with different friends who are on the fence about diving into ownership, and with that, a myriad of questions–sometimes skeptical–of just how does this “DVC thing” makes sense in the long run of life.

More or less, one of the first questions from pondering members is this: “Yea, it makes sense now–you have a young child, but what happens when he grows up and Disney isn’t his thing anymore?” If only a simplistic answer of “Disney is not just for kids (or Millenials for that matter)” would suffice, it would be an easy answer! But the truth is, most I talk to fail to realize all Walt Disney World has to offer, even for us “young at heart” visitors.

To them, I counter: Did you ever Disney pre-children? And most have. My husband and I traveled to Walt Disney World and enjoyed the parks, dining, shopping, and resorts before we became a family of three. WDW is so much more than an amusement park with rides. It is a state of being that applies to people no matter their age, family size, or anything in between. I can’t stress enough that going to Disney is just as much for our son as it is for ourselves as individuals and a couple. And therein lies my case: Membership is not something you outgrow; if anything, it grows and changes with your family over the years. There is always something inspiring and exciting happening at the parks and resorts that keep us coming back for more. Most recently, the addition of experiences like Moonlight Magic, H20-Glow, Disney Villains After Hours, resort additions and renovations, additions in parks, and the explosion of new dining and shopping at Disney Springs have made our trips even more exciting. Being a DVC owner allows us to delight in these events and additions more frequently than if we were not members, no matter how young (or old) we are.

My husband and I enjoying a celebratory engagement dinner at The Hollywood Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios.

Inevitably, the second question comes quickly: “But don’t you get bored going Disney all the time?” Besides the experiences mentioned previously, there is another fascinating thing that happens when you become a DVC member—you slow down. Suddenly, you no longer dash from Fastpass to dining reservations and back again–and trust me, we have done the rope-drop-and-race to Slinky Dog Dash and barely lived to tell about it!

Ownership is coupled with a flipped mental narration. It’s no longer, “We HAVE to make it to this ride or that table service reservation” because we know it won’t be long before we are back again. You’re suddenly freed from the hustle and bustle so commonly associated with Walt Disney World vacations. You know, the trips people say they need a vacation from when they get home!

With this new sense of calm, we have discovered our want to spend more time at the resorts, which in and of themselves are a vacation. From enjoying a surrey ride, movies and marshmallow roasting beachside, poolside relaxing with a Disney inspired cocktail in hand, and strolling stores and shops in Disney Springs, DVC has opened up a plethora of new avenues that we can walk–instead of race–down.

Enjoying a leisurely boat ride around Crescent Lake at a relaxed, slower pace.

Coming in at a close third is the next question: “Those maintenance fees are for the life of the contract; isn’t that a lot of money?” Again I have a simple answer: How can you put a price tag on the experiences and memories you are making in Walt Disney World’s parks and resorts? Yet, it is not that simple even for us as owners, as we understand more than anyone the monetary commitment. We look at it like this: We strive to vacation at least once or twice a year as a family. According to Forbes magazine, the average American family spends about 10-15% of their yearly household income on vacations. Being a part of the DVC family allows us to vacation one or two times a year in Walt Disney World from New Jersey for below that average. Also, perks that accompany membership like the opportunity to purchase Gold Annual Passes, 20% off most merchandise, and discounts on some events and dining aid in savings as well. As a family, we make traveling and vacationing a priority, so if that requires sacrificing some daily luxuries it is worth it for us because we are gaining so much in the long run.

Nothing sticks in my mind as much as this: When we signed our contract and our newly one-year-old son was crawling at our feet in the office with the DVC Cast Member, my husband and I realized our ownership at Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows would last until 2066. We looked at each other and said, “He will have this until he is 51 years old”.

DVC is more than a way to vacation to us. It is a tradition peppered with second-to-none experiences that only Disney can promise. DVC is like going home, all while building a legacy for our family’s future generations. To that, we cannot put a price tag.

7 thoughts on “Pondering a DVC Commitment​​

  • We purchased our 1st PBV contract in 2015 after 12 trips with our kids. We had been married for 34 years and when we purchased I had the same feeling that our 2 year old granddaughter and any grandchildren to follow (now 4 in total) will be able to use grammy and papa’s DVC until 2066. We subsequently purchased another direct PBV contract and and a resale AKV Contract. We have never looked back and we have never regretted it for one second. We are now planning an October 2020 visit home with both kids and their spouses and 4 grandchildren. We love DVC!

    • We love Disney, particularly the cruises. We purchased a DVC membership on one of our cruises. But, with our family of 5, the annual fees on the membership totaled $15,000 a year. I can rent a 2 bedroom unit at Disney every year for a week for less than the annual dues alone. We canceled the purchase and I have never looked back. We still take a Disney vacation, usually a cruise, every year, again for less than the annual dues

    • A Grandchild did it for us too! We have family 45 minutes from the park but we love to stay on property too. It’s an easy answer for us with DVC and my kids families will get to enjoy on us!

  • This was a great post. It may not make me feel like buying DVC points but certainly like staying for more days at a luxury WDW resort for more days.

  • Your article makes perfect sense because you realized that Disney is not just for kids. You’re DVC will give you years and years of memories long after the kid(s) have grown. We came as kids, parents, and now grandparents. Should have bought years ago!

  • Nice article. Some of these points are so true. It does make Disney trip that much better by slowing down your pace knowing you can and will return soon.

    I do have a comment about some of the tours. Everyone is in such a hurry to know all about it, the behind the scenes information, etc… but I find that that sometimes being so well informed causes one to forget the magic of the place. The wonder that comes from the experience diminishes a bit when you know the exact steps that Disney takes to make things happen. I have friends who admittedly acknowledge that they haven’t been surprised in many a year. I fell sad for them, because the Disney Magic comes from wanting and experiencing the event, place and activity and storing that magic moment away to remember and share with little ones.

    Anyway, I got off topic. The DVC experiences will amaze you. They are expensive, their costs continue for many years, but so will your good times once you slow it down and just plain enjoy!

    • I have no desire to go behind the scenes and take away my magic!

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