This article is
meant to be a general overview and primer for the Disney Vacation Club
(DVC) Points system, additionally there is an entire DVC discussion
forum on TUG for additional questions here: Disney
Disney has Timeshares?
will attempt to explain the DVC points system as best I can.
Any omissions or mistakes are mine and I apologize for them.
Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is the Walt Disney
timeshare operation. Originally centered on Walt Disney World in
Orlando, Fla, it has expanded by opening new
non-theme park resorts elsewhere in the US and indeed internationally These resorts are:
Grand Californian Hotel and Spa (DV10)
Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Bay Lake Tower/Contemporary Resort
Hilton Head Island Resort (DV04)
Vero Beach Resort (RD07)
Key West (RD05)
Boardwalk Villas (RD03)
Wilderness Lodge Villas (RD08)
Saratoga Springs Resort (RD06)
Animal Kingdom Villas (DV01)
Villas at Polynesian (under construction)
order to become a member of DVC you need to buy points at one of the
above resorts. The current minimum is 160 points and points currently
are $106.00 each, although seasonal marketing discounts might reduce
this. Yearly maintenance fees range from about $4-$6 per point
depending upon the resort, although this figure is liable to increase
over time. Generally speaking resorts which are presently for sale have
artificially low maintenance fees, as they are subsidized by Disney.
OKW tends to have the lowest fees of the WDW resorts which are not
presently on sale, largely because it has fewer elevators than the
other resorts and elevators require annual maintenance and are
relatively expensive. The non-WDW resorts operate in different labor
markets to the relatively cheap market that is WDW Orlando and so
maintenance fees there can be higher.
Using your Points
you buy your initial allotment of points you purchase a RTU real estate
interest in a specific DVC property. Depending on the property or
contract purchased this will have an end date ranging from say 2042 to
2056 or beyond. This is your home resort. You are given a use year at
this time and what this is, is the Month in which your points are
replenished each year. My use year is December, each December 1 st
my yearly allotment of points are placed into my account.
people are confused by use years. The principal significance of a use
year is that if you need to cancel a planned trip at short notice, if
your use year falls shortly thereafter your options as to what you can
with your points are limited. So, if say you tend to vacation in
November each year, the best use year for you would be an October or
September use year, as if you had to cancel your planned November trip
at short notice, you would still have 10 or 11 months in which to
re-use those points. If,
your use year was December, you might only have weeks in which to
reschedule your trip or you could lose those points.
With these points I can reserve a stay at any DVC resort of my
choosing, for as little as one night. The only limitation to this is
when you can book. They call it a booking window. The resort that you
own at is your "Home" resort. You may book at your home resort 11
months from your check in date. You may book any other resort from 7
months of your check in date. Some people do book 1 day at a time to
get the most sought after room accommodations and season. I did this
once to secure a 3br Grand Villa at OKW.
Where to Buy
Disney Points are readily available on the Resale market through a
variety of sites, and while they do hold their value quite well (in
comparison to average Timeshare resale prices), a great deal can be
saved in buying resale if you do your research and you can expect to
save between 5 and 40 dollars a point when buying resale! There
variety of brokers who specialize in DVC points, and mouseowners
regularly has points for trade/rent/etc on their forums. Just
as with any Timeshare purchase, a little research and digging can save
you a fortune!
Note that buying resale does come with some
restrictions, specifically access to resorts contained in the Concierge
Collection, the Disney Collection, or the Adventurer Collection.
You can however use your Resale purchased points for reservations
at all DVC resorts, as well as for all RCI Exchanges.
As a Disney Vacation Club Member,
occasionally you may find yourself in need of just few extra vacation
points in order to book that perfect dream vacation. Previously, this
required borrowing vacation points from a future use year, but very
recently a new alternative was introduced. They're called "one-time-use"
vacation points and are available for a fee of $15 ($13.33 plus $1.67
tax) per vacation point. Availability of one-time-use vacation points
may be limited or suspended from time to time, and the fee is subject to
- One-time-use vacation points are vacation points
available for Disney Vacation Club Members to use as an alternative to
borrowing vacation points from the following use year's allotment.
- You can obtain a maximum of 24 one-time-use vacation points once per use year per membership.
- A maximum of 24 one-time-use vacation points are processed in a single transaction, not multiple transactions.
Room Sizes and Seasons
sizes and occupancy levels vary between the resorts. Each size room has
a different point schedule, and each resort has a different point
schedule as well; with smaller rooms costing the least amount of
points. Some resorts also afford different points rates to identically
sized rooms with different views.
There is another factor that determines point costs, and
is the season in which you travel. There are 5 point seasons with each
season costing more points for the different size accommodations. They
are; Adventure Season (off-season), Choice Season (still off but not as
much), Dream Season (a more preferred time to go), Magic Season
(summertime and high demand warm months) and Premier Season (Christmas
and Easter). This is a general breakdown of the seasons. This breakdown
changes somewhat from resort to resort. You'll need to compare the
resort schedules to fully understand the seasons and when they actually
Another thing to note is that point costs per night are less
from Sunday through Thursday during all seasons and they are more on
Friday and Saturday. This was done to discourage people from only using
weekend I guess..
Banking and Borrowing Points
owners adopt a once every 3 year usage strategy – initially at least.
This means that you bank/use/borrow to vacation in the middle year of a
3 year cycle. This is explained more below.
I get my points on December 1st in Year 1. I can bank these points for
use in the following use year (Year 2). I can also borrow my Year 3 use
year points into my Year 2 use year. This would allow me the use of 3
years of points in Year 2 (Year 1’s which I have previously banked,
Year 3’s which I have borrowed, and Year 2’s which I am entitled to
banked or borrowed, points can not be returned to their original use
year. Points can only be banked for 1 year or borrowed from 1 year
ahead (e.g. in the above example I could borrow Year 3’s points into
Year 2 but not into Year 1). Points can expire if not used or banked by
the deadlines. Points cannot be re-banked.
Exchanges and other
uses for points
The best value of DVC
points is to use them to stay at DVC Resorts. Should you have surplus
points there is an active market in renting DVC points. Whilst in
my opinion exchanging your points as set out below does not
best value use of DVC points, it might be the best option for
some so you should make your own assessment as it might
suit your individual
Exchanges: DVC trades through RCI. You are not an RCI
member but Disney
is (which limits you to the selection of RCI resorts, and doesnt allow
you access to the deeply discounted rental site and Last Calls). .
You call DVC member services and tell them where you want
to trade for an RCI resort listed in the catalog provided with
your membership, and for a fee your request search is begun. You can
not transfer your points back into the DVC resort system once you move
them into an RCI search or any of the other trade outs listed below.
Trade value is based on the Points Schedule/Charts you can view here: DVC Points Chart
option allows you to reserve as little as 1
night in some of the finest hotels/resorts in the country. There is an
exchange fee payable. You can stay at places like; The Plaza NY,NY, The
Jefferson in DC, The Grand Hotel, Mich., Keystone,Co, and
looking I see The Dorchester and Royal Garden, both in London. These
are some very nice places. (not available to resale buyers)
World of Disney Resorts.
You may also exchange your points for most of the Disney owned
resorts at WDW, 2 at Disneyland Ca., and 4 at Disneyland
Cruise Line. You can book a cruise with your DVC points.
Adventure travel. You
can book various trips and tours, in the US and overseas.
have been very happy with our purchase of DVC. The best value of your
points is within the DVC resort system. Choosing a home resort is
important to gain the advantage of the 11 month booking window. Buy
you want to stay is what most DVCers
It seems complicated but once you understand the system,
an easy and fair one for all members to work within.
If you have more questions or want to search topics, be sure to
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