With restrictions relaxing and things getting more and more back to normal in our world, many Disney Vacation Club members are planning their first trip back to the magic. However, many are encountering continued restrictions affecting member booking, specifically the 50 percent borrowing rule.
For those unfamiliar with this rule, due to anticipated availability issues, DVC limited point borrowing for all members back in April 2020. This change, which is still in effect, allows members to only borrow up to 50% of their future use year points per contract instead of the previous norm of 100%.
Today, I thought we would take a look at the impact this restriction is having and when we may see these rules return to normal!
Availability Issues Continue
One glance at DVC Resort availability will give you a quick understanding of why the 50% borrowing restriction is still in place.
Availability even within the 7-11 month booking window continues to be extremely limited, indicating that many members have points to travel with and want to use them.
A common misconception is that now that restrictions are loosening and capacity is increasing; more Disney Vacation Club rooms will be available to book. While I wish this were true, Disney was required to make all DVC inventory available from the moment these resorts reopened as a timeshare property. The only way they could have avoided this would have been by using their inventory of points to block rooms, which I promise you – they would not waste their points on that!
Personally, I think we will continue to see these availability issues continue for the next 12-18 months. Don’t shoot the messenger!
Analyzing The Effects of Borrowing Restrictions
A little over a month ago, we asked our DVC Fan Community several questions to gain insight into what issues may be impacting the decision to continue this borrowing restriction. Here are a few key takeaways from that poll:
- 48% of those surveyed have banked points as a result of the pandemic and resort closure.
- 18% remain unable to travel due to local or international travel bans.
- While 53.6% of Members have returned to the parks and resorts, the remaining members are looking to travel to a Disney Vacation Club Resort during the second half of this year.
- 53% of owners feel negatively impacted by the fifty percent borrowing restriction.
- 30% of owners find themselves booking high levels of accommodations due to having more available points.
International Travel Restrictions Continue to Plague Members
No matter how many restrictions are relaxed or removed, the ability to travel internationally remains more complex than ever before. This continues to impact DVC Members abroad and represents many points that continue to go unused.
As of several weeks ago, Disney Vacation Club was offering courtesy point extensions on a case-by-case basis to international owners with distressed points expiring soon. While it is great to hear that DVC is considerate of these travel issues, these extensions also mean more points that are continuing to weigh down an already congested system.
When will the 50% Borrowing Restriction Disappear?
While I wish I had a crystal ball and could tell you exactly when the fifty percent borrowing restriction would disappear, there are just too many moving parts and too many unknowns.
What’s my guess? If I were a betting man, I would put my money on May 1st, 2022. I know that is incredibly specific, but it is significant when we look at the next few years.
First, May 1st, 2022, puts us well beyond the expiration date of many points that were negatively impacted and banked due to the pandemic.
Second, this date is the 11-month mark for April 1st, 2023, which, if my calculations are correct, should mark the end of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.
These factors are significant drivers of the availability problems Disney Vacation Club hopes to avoid with the fifty-percent rule.
We would love to hear your thoughts as well! When do you think DVC will relax the borrowing restrictions? What other factors may be at play? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
(Update: Thanks to Ryan Smith in the comments for pointing out that my original 11-Month math was off a smidge. Remember kids: Math is Hard!! Lol)