So you’re thinking about purchasing Disney Vacation Club? That’s terrific! It really is amazing if you’re a serious Disney fan, and you want to secure your Disney vacations for many years to come.
And I have been where you are…excited and eager to buy-in. You want to be able to own a little part of the dream. You want to be the one that hears “welcome home” every time you arrive at Disney World. You want to know that your Disney vacations are a sure thing for the foreseeable future, and that you are definitely going to Disney World, this year and every year. All of those things are wonderful. But there are some hard truths about Disney Vacation Club that are not a part of the sales pitch you will get from the DVC sales team. Truths that you need to know in order to be sure that your Disney Vacation Club Membership is a source of joy for you and your loved ones, and not something that you end up regretting.
So here are a few things I’ve learned over my years of being a Disney Vacation Club member.
It’s Not a Financial Investment
This is something I hear frequently from people considering buying DVC, “I just can’t get this to make sense as a financial investment.”
You’re right. Because it’s not.
That’s the first thing you need to accept when you are thinking of purchasing. Disney Vacation Club is not a financial investment. It is not a place to put your money if you want to earn more money with it.
DVC isn’t any more of a financial investment than any other vacation you take. If you spend a week in Paris, that’s not a financial investment either. It’s an emotional investment, but that’s a topic for later.
Now, are most DVC owners able to sell their DVC contracts on the resale market after keeping them for several years and make a profit? Yes. In fact, I could make $15.00 more per point over what I paid for my Old Key West contract if I were to sell it today. But that’s a happy accident, not an investment.
Don’t go into DVC with the attitude that it’s a great place to put your money. It’s not. It’s a timeshare.
Dues are Forever
The second thing that a lot of potential members gloss over in the excitement of purchasing DVC is the annual dues.
Most people focus more on the contract’s purchase price and forget to check out what the dues are for their home resort. This is a huge mistake because you will pay dues for the entire length of your contract – as much as fifty years!
This can be a bigger problem when people buy resale because they are often tempted by the lower price per point contracts like Vero Beach and Hilton Head. While those resorts are amazing, and I love them, I wouldn’t purchase there unless I was planning on using my points there because those resorts have the highest dues of all the DVC properties. For 2021, the dues at Vero Beach (for contracts purchased after 1996) are $11.23 per point. By contrast, the dues at the Grand Floridian for 2021 are only $6.81 per point.
So while you may be tempted to buy a contract that has a lower initial purchase price, do the math to make sure it actually saves you money over the entire life of the contract when dues are figured in.
Another factor to consider – dues go up every year. The only question is by how much. What you really need to decide before you purchase is if you can afford the yearly maintenance fees. Disney can bill you monthly for these, and there are lots of tips on DISboards to mitigate the financial hit, but dues are a certainty with any DVC contract, and you need to consider this cost very seriously before you buy.
There’s No Such Thing as Too Much Research
I am constantly amazed at how many people purchase DVC on a whim after one meeting with a sales representative at Disney World.
I get it. I really do. I knew I wanted it before we met with the DVC rep. Touring the model of Bay Lake Tower only made me want it more.
But it’s a huge decision, not to mention a lot of money. Please take all the time you need to think it over. Disney Vacation Club isn’t going anywhere.
At our first DVC tour, I wasn’t aware of the resale market, and how much money that could save me. I had no idea what a use year was. I wasn’t certain how dues worked. The seven and eleven-month booking window thing was confusing. What exactly did “home resort” mean? How many points would we really need for our family? What time of year were we going to travel, and how would that affect my use year?
Seriously, I had more questions than answers.
So I began doing research. I scoured the internet, tracking down every possible shred of information I could find on DVC. I haunted the DISboards and read all the posts on purchasing. I learned about the resale market. I learned the alphabet soup of acronyms for every DVC term you could imagine. I made spreadsheets. I socked away money. I studied until I knew exactly what I wanted in a DVC contract. And then I waited for the perfect contract to be made available on the resale market.
I knew it the day I saw it. We purchased a three hundred point contract (with 300 banked points), with an April use year for $88 per point. It was the easiest real estate transaction of my life. And I knew that every minute I’d spent researching had paid off. I got exactly what I wanted, and I was thrilled.
So stalk the DISboards. Ask questions. Read all the DVC articles on here on DVC Fan. Watch The DVC Show. And take as much time as you need to feel completely comfortable with Disney Vacation Club before you purchase. It’s worth it in the end.
You Will Love It More Than You Can Imagine
This was also a truth that I discovered only after I’d made my purchase and we took our first vacation as DVC members. I knew being a DVC owner would bring me joy – I just had no idea how much joy.
I love everything about Disney Vacation Club. Our Disney vacations have leveled up in a major way. The accommodations are beautiful. The cast members are exceptional at the DVC Resorts. Member Services is outstanding. I could go on and on with the superlatives.
I will sum it up by saying that I truly feel like a member of the Disney family now. I love hearing “welcome home” when I arrive (and all during my stay). I can’t express how much fun it is to know I am going to a Disney resort three times a year now. And most of all, I love the memories that I am making, and the happiness owning DVC brings to my family and the friends I am privileged to share it with.
Learn all there is to learn before you purchase, and then sit back and enjoy everything DVC has to offer you.