With DVC, every point is precious. To me, the more vacation days that I can get out of my points, the better. Call me a “point miser,” but I like to stretch them as far as possible, and I know I am not alone. Sure, you can try to visit during the cheaper travel periods or book the standard villas instead of preferred villas, but what else can you do to stretch your points? Well, here are a few ways to get more out of your points:
Stay at the Older DVC Resorts
When you compare points charts from resort to resort, you’ll notice that they are often lower for older resorts like Old Key West, BoardWalk, Beach Club, Boulder Ridge, Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Saratoga Springs compared to newer resorts like Riviera, the Polynesian, Bay Lake Tower, and the Grand Floridian. For example, you’ll see that a Boardwalk View or Garden/Pool View one-bedroom villa at the BoardWalk is 234 points for a week in May 2022. By contrast, a one-bedroom villa in the equivalent Preferred View category at Riviera (the newer of the two Epcot resorts) is 328 points for the same week. Likewise, a night in a grand villa at Old Key West starts at 46 points a night, whereas a night in a grand villa at Bay Lake Tower starts at 83 points a night.
Perhaps the one exception to this trend in points charts is Copper Creek since its chart was designed to be more in line with its older Wilderness Lodge neighbor, Boulder Ridge.
Go for Split Stays
Along the lines of the tip above, split stays can help you mix a high-point resort with a lower-point one. For instance, booking a split stay with Saratoga Springs and the Grand Floridian will save you some points compared to only staying at the Grand Floridian for the duration of your trip. This way, you can still stay at some of the point-hungry resorts but stretch your points a bit further.
For Larger Parties, Check Which Combinations of Villas Are a Better Value
If you are traveling with extended family or have a larger group, you may automatically look at larger accommodations due to capacity. However, sometimes it can be worth comparing the cost of 2 studios. Looking at the Beach Club, a two-bedroom villa in January 2022 would go for 278 points for the week. If you did 2 studios instead, it would be 214 points for the same week. Yes, you would forgo the kitchen and washer/dryer, but the flip side is that you’ll gain a little privacy.
In other cases, sometimes it pays to go for the larger villa. For instance, if you had a party of 8 at Copper Creek, you could book 2 one-bedroom villas since each of them can sleep up to 4 guests. This route would be 74 points a night in March 2022 (37 points for each two-bedroom). By contrast, a two-bedroom villa that can sleep up to 8 guests costs 50 points a night for the same time period, which is a significant savings in points per night.
Book Sunday to Thursday
Fridays and Saturdays always cost more points than Sundays through Thursdays. This is probably the method that I follow the most, especially for our shorter trips. As a bonus, the parks and Disney Springs tend to be less crowded on the weekdays than the weekends.
Don’t Forget About Non-WDW DVC Resorts
I have only used my DVC points for Walt Disney World so far, but one day I’d like to check out Vero Beach and Hilton Head. Since these are also older resorts, they have very reasonable points charts too. If you are looking for a more laid-back vacation and open to traveling during the off-season, a deluxe inn room at Vero Beach starts at 10 points a night in 2022, and a studio at Hilton Head starts at 6 points a night in 2022.
Fellow point misers, I’d love to know: how do you make the most of your DVC points?