What Have We Learned From 2021 Annual Dues?

Now that we’ve had a few days to begin to digest the 2021 Disney Vacation Club Annual Dues, I thought it was time to take a deep dive into some of the takeaways that we’ve learned.

First and foremost, to all you out there throwing your pitchforks in the air in a revolt of the increases announced, let’s get a few things straight…

The announcement of 2021 Dues and budget projections is not a reflection of what occurred in 2020 related to the closure and COVID-19. These are estimates that anticipate fully operational year and 2021. As I have stated previously, a failure to expect things to return to some normal level next year would result in owing more for 2021 next year.

During the condo association meeting on December 10th, we will hopefully learn more about how the pandemic and closure affected each resorts operating budget and whether we should expect to see a credit from 2020 applied to our 2021 Annual Dues. Don’t be surprised if they still avoid this discussion at the meeting, and we don’t learn this until the bills come out.

Overall, this year’s 2021 annual dues projections have a 5.02% average increase. While some resorts took more of the brunt than others, across the board, these estimates are what we have learned to expect from Disney Vacation Club over the years. 

Two of the largest contributing factors that increased dues this year were taxes and employee wages. Wage increases have been steadily on the rise since Disney and unions agreed to pay employees at least $15 per hour by 2021.


Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Here are a few other fun and notable takeaways:

  • Own at Animal Kingdom Villas? Those giraffes get hungry and need to eat! Animal Programs for 2021 are estimated to cost almost $3 million.
  • We’ve talked a lot previously about how part of the cost of the Disney Skyliner was rolled into Disney’s Riviera Resort. While we initially assumed this would increase dues at the resort, it seems to be paying off in the opposite direction. Riviera Resort transportation costs are estimated at $3.2 million for 2021. In comparison, Old Key West, which only has the option of buses, is a staggering $9.3 million!  
  • The fees for Member Activities remained relatively stagnant this year, which suggests that DVC plans to continue to offer plenty for members to do at the resorts despite the impacts of COVID.  

All in all, I’m pretty happy with what was announced. However, where I feel DVC failed is the opportunity to frame this with an announcement of a 2020 credit (if there is one). Dropping these estimates with zero explanation was a huge missed opportunity to explain things and address members’ questions and concerns.

Stay tuned for an upcoming episode of ‘The DVC Show‘ where the panel discusses their thoughts on 2021 dues!

We would also love to hear your opinion in the comments below! Will we see a credit towards 2021 from last year’s closures? Are these fair estimates for next year? Let us know!

16 thoughts on “What Have We Learned From 2021 Annual Dues?

  • November 12, 2020 at 11:17 am
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    Agreed that a credit should be on the table. Also – why can’t we have a Zoom members meeting so everyone can participate? Businesses across America have moved to a remote platform – no reason why DVC cannot as well.

    • November 13, 2020 at 10:02 am
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      I am not clear on what has changed with dues increase from previous year.
      In 1995, I took the DVC tour. I was impressed with the Disney resorts and future plans. The overall price was manageable and the sticker price didn’t scare me.
      I didn’t buy because of the dues increase. Disney was open and honest back then and now. The DVC agent told me “the dues increased 5% last year, this year and going to increase next year.”. When I asked “When does dues cap?”, She honestly said “doesn’t cap”.
      From my understanding the annual increases have changed yearly over the last 30 years.

    • November 13, 2020 at 11:12 pm
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      It would totally crash. DVC has not been able to do anything without it crashing and/or locking up.

    • November 17, 2020 at 12:01 pm
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      I whole heartedly agree with you. Especially since Covid, zoom is the way of the future. I live in CA and have 2 properties (RIV, AUL). I would love to attend the meetings via zoom!

  • November 12, 2020 at 11:19 am
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    I have no major issue. However coming from the UK haven’t been able to use this year and with banking/borrowing restrictions sort of screws me over for next year. I would normally book a studio but now have to book a 1 bed just to burn up points for 2021. There’s only 2 of us !

    • November 12, 2020 at 2:41 pm
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      2 of you in a 1 bedroom will feel luxurious, and there’s the advantage of food savings with the full kitchen and several places delivering groceries to the resort. It’ll be a different experience, but the 2 of us love the space and flexibility and I bet you will too.

    • November 12, 2020 at 2:44 pm
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      Had to cancel our May trip and got back our 2020 points and now going from Toronto next September. However, can’t use our 44 points we had from 2018 and will have to roll into RCI points. Not sure how to use them so we’ll have to contact Disney services.

  • November 12, 2020 at 12:31 pm
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    Just how many months were the DVC resorts shut down ? What is the amount of the fees collected during this period ? We kept paying our fees, but received nothing in return. If they do not offer us something, I see a huge “Class Action” lawsuit being filed against Disney, DVC, and almost anybody involved. And to be honest, I really do not think they will win, or even come close to winning. Sure, it’s broken down into transportation, security, housekeeping, whatever, but the fact remains, these parts of Disney were in fact charging, and yet not providing the services we were paying for. Covid-19 or not, I see a huge breach of contract in this. In our private lives, if you pay to have your grass cut by a company, do you keep paying them if they stop providing that service ? Of you do not. The same applies here. All services were in fact stopped,and access denied to all owners for months. Yet they continues to collect monies from members. I am 150% certain, there will be no shortage of lawyers willing to jump on this case, for their piece of the pie. The best best for Disney, and DVC, is to get out in front of this situation.But to be honest with all of you, I don’t think they will. And I don’t mean some cheap offer of free “fast passes” next time you visit, or 50% off your next meal or other purchase at the parks.It will have to be substantial or it just won’t work. I think they know litigation is coming down the road, and they’ll have to pay, so they’ll let it dray a couple of years through the courts, and put a little aside into a fund to cove the final settlement when it comes time to pay. And yes, that day will surely arrive.My hope is all of us are here to see that day, and enjoy the reward due us. Or should I say, that we in fact paid for.

    • November 13, 2020 at 6:28 am
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      Membership fees are charged per year, not on a monthly basis. The fact that they let you spread out those payments over each month is merely a convenience to you. Same with your annual points, there is no guarantee that you would be able to use your points in a specific month or months. You still received your annual points, you’re getting what you paid for. I don’t know why you are so certain a lawsuit is forthcoming or would be successful, but your opinion doesn’t seem to be rooted in any actual legal knowledge.

  • November 12, 2020 at 1:04 pm
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    If the logic of the increase is the projected 2021 operational budget, then we should get a credit for 2020 as the resorts were not operational the entire year.

  • November 12, 2020 at 2:07 pm
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    I have no problem with the increases, if we all want cast members to get paid more then we have to back that up and help pay for it.

  • November 12, 2020 at 3:45 pm
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    As always, thank you for the insight. I must say, however, that the increase adds to my ever-growing list of reasons to NOT buy those additional 200 points that I’ve been saving for. I feel badly for those wonderful cast members who sell DVC, but the fault lies with those in the six and seven figure pay scale. While I get that things don’t happen in a vacuum, there appears to be another new negative announced every three weeks, and if the decision-makers at DVC really believe that what happens at the Parks Division is separate from the considerations of the DVC owners, then they have not talked with a member in a LONG time. Basically, the philosophy of less for more seems to have become pervasive throughout the company.

  • November 12, 2020 at 10:03 pm
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    Yes, I’m a bit surprised but not shocked dues are increasing for 2021. When you look ant an operational budget, there are many more line item Yen just wages. You have to figure in all aspects of running a resort. Because of COVID19 many folks are unable to pay their necessities like water, electric and etc. I’m sure Disney has modern ways to fuel there own electric or possibly provide there own water source BUT if not,unfortunately those non paying customers has to be pasted on somehow. Same for food vendors, firework shows, all these companies have struggles this year, so their lose has to be passed by selling to Disney at higher prices which means higher due. It’s all business folks.

  • November 12, 2020 at 10:51 pm
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    I’m not happy 5% is high when cost of living is not matching this increase I don’t know how much more they can push us. Now rooms cost more points eating into my amount which lessen my stay I’m feeling they just keep taking us for granted we’ll keep paying there’s going to get to a point I can’t do this anymore

  • November 13, 2020 at 8:28 am
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    Definitely one unhappy DVC member. The resorts were closed for months, period. Even now that they are open many shops and restaurants are still closed. No matter how you slice it, Disney did not pay into the resorts what they would in a normal, fully operational year and that needs to be reflected in our dues.

  • November 14, 2020 at 1:25 pm
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    I left out an important fact in my reply. The budget presented for any year is just an estimate for expected costs. At the end of the year, actual costs are totaled, a shortage or surplus is determined. The plus, or minus, is factored into the next year’s budget. In almost 30 years as a DVC member, I’ve seen it go both ways. Usually not a big swing either way. However, with the DVC resorts being shut down for several months, I would expect the surplus from last year’s budget would be quite significant. Disney is required, and we are in fact entitled to see this accounting of those expenditures for the year. This is were the problems may occur. If they attempt to pass off a small (3%-5%) reduction for the year, that is when they will get lots of questions. Remember, one month is about 8.5% of the budget for the year. It can be broken down daily if you wish. So you can do the math, and any way you slice it, we should be due some sort of credit. It’s just a matter of how much they are willing to give, without too much of a fight.

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