It should come as no surprise to those of us who have been on the DVC scene for a few years that Disney Vacation Development would once again raise the bar for direct benefits. Before I say anything else, I want to say that I empathize with those who now feel like they have been priced out of DVC. Had this happened to us in 2018 before we got grandfathered in, we would have felt priced out as well. I completely understand where you are coming from, and I can understand how this feels like a DVC money grab. Obviously, they do this to get more money from each buyer, which is the main goal. With that said, is there also the possibility that this could be a good thing for us existing members that already have a blue card?
Before we received the official announcement that the minimum buy-in for a blue membership card would be raised from 100 to 125 points, I came across an interesting article in the most recent edition of the Disney Files Magazine. The article was called “Listening Post” and was about addressing member feedback. The topic at hand was that booking the room category and dates we want can be challenging (they’re not lying there). In the response given by Member Experience Vice President Shannon Sakaske, Member Experience Director Leigh Anne Nieman, and Development Director Chris Miller (that’s a lot of people for one article), it addresses what DVC is doing to alleviate this situation. The solutions included member services helping find alternative rooms (perhaps at different resorts at the 7-month window) and assisting with booking split-stays, servicing waitlists, adjusting point charts (which we saw some of last year), and designing future resorts with popular room categories in mind. This last solution is currently being done with the new Disneyland Tower and the many studios it is slated to have built. However, the most interesting answer they gave is addressing booking challenges by increasing the minimum requirement on new point packages. I know this is most likely talking about general buy-in requirements, but the same can be said for blue card buy-ins as well. By increasing minimum point requirements, DVC will gain fewer members and have fewer people vying for the same reservations. While I’m sure this is to justify that they want people to buy more points, equating to spending more money – the theory does benefit existing members.
What does DVC mean by this? Let’s say they have 1,000 points to sell. If the minimum buy-in for those points is 25, there can be a maximum of 40 memberships that purchase those 1,000 points. Some will buy the minimum, and some may buy more, but the potential is there to get 40 members from those points. Now let’s say the minimum buy-in is 125. We can now only have a maximum of 8 members from those 1,000 points. That’s a lot fewer people competing for rooms and can make getting what you want a lot easier.
I posed this theory in the DVC Fan group and got some interesting thoughts that I think I can address – keep in mind these are just my personal beliefs:
Doesn’t adding new resorts defeat the purpose?
Adding new resorts certainly increases membership, but it also increases inventory, so with higher minimum buy-ins, it should hopefully even out.
What about resale contracts? Don’t they affect this?
Resale contracts have already been sold through Disney and are already accounted for in the total member number. Since resellers can’t split their contracts up into smaller point packages, resale is just replacing one member with another, so it doesn’t really affect anything.
Can Disney start buying back smaller contracts and combine them to make larger ones?
Yes, they can. The roadblock Disney hits here is that they typically avoid buying smaller contracts since they elicit a much higher price per point. Disney likes to get points for as cheap as they can to sell back for the most profit. This is just me speculating now, but while repurchasing smaller contracts and combining them could help limit the membership base, I think Disney’s first goal is to make money, so I don’t see this happening.
What is the takeaway here? There is definitely a benefit for our current blue card members with what DVC is doing. The truth is that the higher the minimum buy-in amounts are, especially for new resorts, the easier it will be for us to get the reservations we want, including non-home resorts at the 7-month mark. I’m interested to know your thoughts though. How do you feel about the new increase? Do you think this is a positive or a negative for the DVC community?
11 thoughts on “Are DVC Point Increases Benefitting Existing Members?”
But having more people own the points doesn’t affect the overall number of points. Why does it make a difference to availability whether one person is using, say, 125 pts for a five-night stay vs. 5 people each using 25 pts for a one-night stay each?
Studies that DVC have done show that those with more points would opt for a higher booking category. Additionally, you’ve gone from potentially 5 people fighting for a room at the eleven month mark down to one.
We bought in 1993, sold in 2005, rebought on secondary market in 2007, sold all points a couple years back. When we initially bought, we HAD to buy 125 points…so that is really no different now. We bought enough for one week at OKW (The Vacation Club) in a 1BR. Eventually adding on more plus at VB reaching 450 pts. When we bought back in, it was a 50pt package…added on to that and ended up with 650 points. About half were grandfathered in to still get “benefits” We were taking our grandkids at that point–no pounding the parks anymore. We didn’t care if we could use the points on a cruise or a trip–not what we bought them for. We wanted cheaper passes for us and a Tables in Wonderland card. Went to a few Magical whatevers…at MK, Typhoon Lagoon, etc. NOTHING worth the double cost of buying full price, IMO, Thru the years we’ve stayed at OKW, BW, BC, WL, SS…we like the resorts we can park close to, so OKW and SS were our faves. More points did not mean we opted for a pricier resort…we just stayed longer or upped our unit size, or visited multiple times.
I find it funny that people are concerned with the increase on the minimum from Disney going up. When we were looking to purchase 10 years ago, the minimum was 160 points. Of course we purchased resale but that isn’t part of this discussion.
You will see comments from me on muliple FB posts that I am a fan of raising the minimum, for the exact example you used. Fewer members vying for the same room types. Nothing to really be done about all the small contracts that already exist, so the resale market will always have inventory.
While there are comments that point requirements were at or above this level historically, keep in mind the sharp inflation that has occurred with price per point. Looking at historical values direct through Disney without incentives, 10 years ago you could purchase at $125 per point equating to $15,000 for a 125 point purchase. Using today’s pricing of approximately $185 per point, the total becomes $23,500, nearly 57% inflation. The combination of the point requirement and the cost per point is what prices many people out. You won’t find many products with the inflation DVC has demonstrated. This likely pushes greater interest in resale because many will question if the blue card justifies the difference. As that occurs, Disney will likely become more aggressive with right of first refusal in an attempt to squeeze that market.
The Disney parks have shown a steady trend of reaching for the top income-bracket consumer and marketing themselves as high-end, luxury destination. (Hello club level rooms at the Grand Floridian for 1K a night, theme park tickets not included.)I think that is the same trend that we are seeing the beginnings of in DVC. They will eventually price out the average consumer, and it will have been done intentionally. For those with a foot already in the door, this may not be a bad thing short term. But it might not be such a great thing for your kids.
“Since resellers can’t split their contracts up into smaller point packages, resale is just replacing one member with another, so it doesn’t really affect anything.”
This is not truly accurate. Many owners (“one member”) can own several contracts that can ask be sold separately. If the contracts are sold to different, unique buyers, multiple members are joining the gray and replacing a single owner.
This is a great point. I wonder if it might even out when current owners also buy resale contracts to add on.
This only would be true if everyone was trying for the same day. Other then that total points drive availability.
None of this really bothers me. We started out this DVC thing when we bought 100 points at Poly (through Disney) the last time it was offered…2016/2017 maybe? Came back to Disney later to buy more points, because, as you know, 100 points doesn’t go very far at Poly. All that was available was Aulani and Copper Creek, I think. We were told that it didn’t matter, that the points could be used at any resort. We weren’t informed that there were caveats to that, because basically they were so excited that somebody came with check in hand, that fine details were skipped over.. We bought 200 at Copper Creek, and when we wanted to use all 300 points at Poly the next time, we were told we couldn’t use the 200 for Copper Creek at Poly at the 11 month window. I know, I know, an assumption was made by me that was never implied by Disney (necessarily). Yes you can Copper Creek points at Poly, and vice versa, but just not at the 11 month window. We just have to take our chances at 6 months at either resort for longer stays. We got screwed over by Covid, like a lott of people and missed out of the chance to stay at the GF for the 4th of July. Since the parks weren’t opened back up yet, we rescheduled to Poly for mid December. We had a bit banked on one resort and borrowed from the other, and were able to throw enough points together to lose our minds and book a bungalow for four days after a DCL cruise that has yet to be canceled. Anyway, we were thinking that we had dodged a bullet since Disney let the dern NBA take over a heap of the GF, only to find out that the Poly is under renovation and there has yet to be any announcement about fireworks. I hear it is a neat thing to watch the fireworks from the bungalows, with the music being piped to the lanai and the electrical water pageant, but it looks like we are getting the short end of the stick on that too. Look, I know these are first world problems, but we are paying a good chunk of money with certain expectations that aren’t being met. What we are experiencing, regardless of points minimums is the lowest common denominator for DVC. The intangibles, all the extra magic,, is gone right now. It is just a timeshare like any other timeshare, and until Covid goes away and all the hysteria that goes with it, justified or not, we best not get our hopes up. Lower your expectations, because the good times may not be over for good, but they are certainly over for now.
Comments are closed.