As 2019 comes to a close, I started thinking about some of the changes in DVC over the past year. With DVC, nothing is really guaranteed other than a prepaid stay at a Deluxe Disney resort. Keeping that in mind, there are a few notable changes that we saw in 2019 that may be a sign of where DVC is going in the near future.
More Resale Restrictions
The obvious trend is the increase in deterrents for resale contracts. New resale restrictions were established on January 18, 2019, that prevented resale contracts after that date from being used for stays at any new resorts, starting with Riviera. Moreover, any members who purchase resale Riviera contracts will only be able to use their points at Riviera. This is quite a change to the DVC model since one of its benefits in the past has been the ability to use your points at other Disney resorts.
In addition, there was an increase in the minimum points needed for direct benefits from 75 points to 100 points as of September 17, 2019. This makes it more challenging for members to get perks from small contracts or take a hybrid approach of purchasing the minimum number of points direct and then purchasing the rest of their points resale.
Looming Point Chart Reallocation
The initial 2020 point charts caused controversy since they increased the number of points needed to stay in studios and one-bedrooms, and decreased the number of points needed to stay in larger villas. This change would certainly hurt those with smaller contracts who primarily stay in studios or one-bedrooms, and we were lucky that those charts were rescinded for 2020. Unfortunately, Disney is likely to try this again in the future.
More Cabin/Bungalow-like Villas
With the release of more details on Reflections: A Lakeside Resort (the future DVC resort), it seems like A-frames and treehouses may be the new cabins and bungalows. Disney has no plans to shy away from point-expensive villas that have the potential to trigger a similar scenario currently impacting Copper Creek. That is, the A-frames and treehouses may create a large point pool, but if mostly small contracts are sold, there will be an unbalanced demand for studios. However, this all depends on the number of each villa type at Reflections, and it is still very early. It is also hard to tell the breakdown of villa types since it is not yet known how many units will be DVC and how many will be part of the hotel side.
More Pay to Play Events
In the last year, there have been several special DVC events, such as the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve events at Top of the World Lounge. These offerings were paid events, and as summed up in a previous article, they seem to signal a trend in monetizing Top of the World Lounge. Prior to this year, DVC members at Bay Lake Tower were able to access Top of the World Lounge for free and have a great view for holiday fireworks shows. That may now be a thing of the past.
I realize that a lot of these trends are negative, but what have you noticed over the past year? What are some things that you hope to see from DVC in 2020?