Disney Vacation Club 101

Do you love Disney and go almost every year? Well then the Disney Vacation Club might be for you. You may be wondering, what is the Disney Vacation Club? Well I am here to tell you. Keep reading to learn more about DVC membership. 

What is the DVC?

DVC or Disney Vacation Club, is essentially like a timeshare program operated by Disney. I’ve heard before that Disney doesn’t like to describe DVC as a timeshare program but rather as a program that allows you to purchase a real estate interest in a DVC resort. When you choose which DVC resort you buy into, you also must choose how many points per year you’d like to purchase.

How much does it cost?

Becoming a member of the Disney Vacation Club requires a one time purchase of a real estate interest in your chosen resort (aka your home resort). This cost is usually calculated by the price per point times the number of points you choose. You must also pay a one time closing fee on this. After that, you are only responsible for the annual dues of the property. Right now, DVC points are going for $188 per point. Therefore, if you decided to purchase 75 points at $188 per point, your initial buy in would cost around $14,100, plus any closing costs. 

Which WDW Resorts can I stay at with DVC Membership?

Most of the deluxe resorts on Disney property have DVC areas. These include Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Animal Kingdom Villas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Beach Club Villas at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Boardwalk Villas at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Polynesian Villas and Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, The Villas at Disney’ Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Boulder Creek Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. In addition to these existing deluxe properties with DVC areas, there are also some stand alone DVC resorts. These include Disney’s Old Key West Resort (the OG DVC resort), Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa and the newly opened Disney’s Riviera Resort. Besides these DVC dedicated resorts, you can also use your points in regular resort rooms, but I do believe they are more points. 

What if I don’t want to be limited to WDW?

In addition to using your DVC membership at WDW, you can use it at other places around the country. If you are visiting California, you can use your membership at The Villas at the Grand Californian Hotel in Disneyland. If Hawaii is your thing, be sure to visit Aulani in Oahu, another DVC location. Plus, there are two other resorts, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort in Vero Beach, FL and Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort located in Hilton Head Island, SC, that feature DVC rooms. And you can even use your points on a Disney Cruise, for Adventures by Disney guided tours or with affiliated hotels through the RCI exchange. 

What is a Home Resort?

Disney’s Riviera Resort

When you purchase DVC you are purchasing from a specific location. Disney’s Riviera Resort is the newest property to open for DVC membership. If you purchase from this resort that means it’s your home resort- you are purchasing a real estate interest at Riviera. As a member, you can book your home resort 11 months out from your anticipated arrival date. If you want to book at any other resort, you can do that at 7 months out. 

What are the benefits of joining DVC?

So you may be wondering, what are the benefits of joining the Disney Vacation Club? Well, the benefits are numerous. You receive special discounts on dining, shopping and special events. Plus, DVC members have access to exclusive lounges on Disney property as well as exclusive DVC only events. When you purchase a contract, you are sent a “Membership Card” which allows you to unlock these magical benefits. 

Let’s talk a little bit more about these benefits:

Discounts/Merch

DVC Merchandise

DVC members receive a 10%-20% discount on dining, 10-20% discount on merchandise and discounts for Disney events such as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. DVC members can also purchase exclusive merchandise that allows them to show off their DVC pride.

Lounges

DVC Lounge above Figment

There are two lounges on WDW property exclusive to DVC guests. First up is the lounge in Epcot in the building right above Figment. Here you can relax in the AC while enjoying sodas, water and other drinks. The other lounge is called the Top of the World Lounge located at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Here you have spectacular views of the Magic Kingdom and can enjoy different drinks for purchase. 

Events

A special perk of DVC are the special events for members only. These include the Midnight Magic Events, which allow DVC members to have the parks to themselves. It includes snacks, food and special character meetings. 

Annual Pass Discount

Another perk of being a DVC member is the discount you receive on Annual Passes. The Gold Pass is $699 plus tax and exclusive for DVC members and Florida Residents. Keep in mind this one does have blackout dates. The Platinum Pass is $899 and discounted by about 11% over the regular price, plus it does not have blackout dates. The Platinum Plus Pass is $999 and has a discount of around 15% over the regular price with no blackout dates and gives you access to ESPN World of Sports Complex, the 2 Water Parks and Oak Trail Golf Course. 

What is the difference if you purchase direct through Disney or purchase a resale?

If you’ve done your research about DVC you will find that there are a ton of websites that do resales. While they can totally be legit, Disney has changed their policy recently regarding benefits of resale DVC contracts. Effective January 19th, 2019, any resale contracts purchased in one of the original 14 resorts can only be used in one of those 14 original resorts. You will not be able to use it at Disney’s Riviera or anything new after that. The same goes the other way, if you purchase a Riviera resale or anything new, you will be limited to staying at the resort you purchased at. Also, last year, Disney changed their DVC policy regarding resales and membership benefits. In order to receive the benefits of DVC membership (some listed above), you must purchase direct through Disney. Of course, guests who purchased before the effective date were grandfathered in but anything new will be impacted by this. 

My recommendation is to book through Disney directly and find a DVC agent you are comfortable with. If you are at Disney and decide to do an open house tour or just call you are usually just given someone. I recommend doing some research. Watch YouTube videos, read blog posts, see what agents people liked and recommended and then request or contact them directly. Jen and Scott from Happiest Vlogs shared a DVC video where they did a Riviera DVC Tour and recommended their guide Jason, who is very nice and super helpful. 

If you are looking for more information about DVC, contact Jason Burke, a Disney Vacation Club Guide. Here is his contact information: 

Jason Burke

jason.burke@disney.com

Direct: 407-827-6885

Do you have any other questions regarding the Disney Vacation Club? Let me know in the comments below.

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