So, you have joined the Disney Vacation Club. You’ve signed all of your paperwork, made your payment or arranged for financing, and received the most expensive backpack. If you’ve purchased directly from DVC, hopefully, you opted to have the welcome call with the member experience team. Maybe you’ve even booked your welcome home trip.
Now what? Now your mind starts filling with lots of questions. The DISboards and DVC Fan Facebook Group are great resources to get answers. In this article series, I will review some of the most common questions new members ask.
In-Room Coffee Makers
I confess that I am not a coffee drinker, nor is anyone in my immediate family, but it seems like many DVC members are very serious about their coffee. It also is clear from the various discussion boards and groups that having coffee in rooms is critical, so a top question is which kind of coffee maker is in each room type at each resort?
Typically DVC villas offer standard drip-style coffee makers, with certain newer villas at Disney’s Riviera Resort featuring single-serve (k-cup) style brewers.
A popular question and somewhat controversial topic is walking reservations. This is a process in which a member wants to book a resort typically during a low availability period beyond their 11-month booking window. They book the resort as far in advance as possible and then each day remove a day at the beginning of their current reservation and add another day at the end. The process is repeated daily until they end up with the desired days.
For example, if I wanted to secure a reservation for December 20-25, I could book the resort for some time before then. Each day, I would modify my reservation to remove a day at the beginning and add a day at the end, getting me one day closer to the dates I need. I would repeat this process daily until I end up with the desired dates. Some feel this process is unfair, while others argue that the system allows it, so it is perfectly acceptable.
Banking points is the process of moving unused points from the current use year to the next. This typically happens when the member does not intend to use all of their points during the current use year. To prevent losing the points, they bank them to the next year, which adds them to the next use year’s points. Points must be banked by the end of the 8th month of your current use year. For example, I booked all my trips this year and know I will have 23 points remaining unused. I do not want to lose these points, so by the end of my 8th month (July for a December use year), I will bank the points, so they get added to next year’s points, giving me an extra 23 points for next year.
Need One-Time Points
So, you need to book your desired trip(s) but realize you do not quite have enough points. What can you do? There are actually a few options. First, you may be able to borrow points from your next use year. That method will give you the extra points needed this year but will reduce the amount you have for next year. What can you do though, if you don’t want to borrow points from next year?
Another option is to purchase up to 24 one-time use points directly from DVC. Members are permitted to purchase up to 24 one-time use points per use year at a current cost of $19.00, which includes all taxes. Keep in mind that these one-time use points cannot be canceled, refunded, borrowed, transferred, or banked, so you will want to make sure you use them. These points can only be purchased at the 7-month booking time by calling member services.
Members with multiple contracts also can transfer points from one contract to another. Points can also be transferred to another member.
Point transfers have limitations to be aware of, such as being limited to one transfer transaction per membership and use year and transactions are final. Transferred points can be banked, however, banked or borrowed points cannot be transferred. The DVC rules also state that members are prohibited from receiving compensation for engaging in any point transfer.
One other option is to rent an existing reservation from the resale market, such as through the DVCStore.com. In this scenario, a member has an existing reservation but is no longer able to travel. They may not be able to cancel and bank the points, so they will rent the reservation for a set price through a resale broker. Renting a DVC reservation offers the ability to stay in DVC accommodations for a lower price than the standard room rates.
Top of the World Lounge Rules
The Top of the World Lounge located at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is a perk available to all DVC members staying at a Disney-owned hotel at Walt Disney World Resort. Admission may be restricted during certain paid events. Here is a great review of the lounge!
A common question asked by new members is regarding the restrictions and rules for the lounge. At least one person in the traveling party must be a DVC member and show their MagicBand, as well as their DVC membership card. According to the rules, the lounge is reserved for members and their guests who are staying on that member’s reservation. Parking at the resort is only available to those staying at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort or Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Join me in the near future for a continuation of this article as I address another batch of top questions asked by new members!