This year, Disney Vacation Club celebrates its 30th anniversary. The club started way back in 1991 with the opening of the Old Key West Resort in Orlando.
Since then, DVC’s provided millions of guests with exceptional getaways thanks to its diverse range of vacation products.
Did you know, non-members can also enjoy these magical experiences? Find out how here.
How Do DVC Points Work?
When members sign up with Disney Vacation Club, they buy Disney Vacation points instead of a traditional timeshare week. These points allow them to occupy any of the club’s resorts on a like-for-like basis.
That means, people who own a week at Old Key West can stay at any of the DVC resorts with the same or lower rating as OKW.
The more points they own, the longer they can stay. They can buy additional points at any time, or sell their Disney Vacation Club points via these DVC listings or another agent.
Members pay upfront for however many points they want. Then, they’re allocated the same number of points annually during the anniversary month of their membership.
They can save up their points for up to three years if they’re planning a special vacation, but if they don’t use each annual allocation within three years, they lose those points.
That’s where DVC rentals come in. Instead of using their points, members may rent their points to members of the public. This way they get money in exchange for points that might expire, and non-members get to enjoy the magic of Disney too.
How to Rent DVC Points?
It’s easy to rent DVC points. You simply request the accommodation you want directly from the owner via one of the forums, or with an intermediary.
Next, the owner contacts DVC’s reservations office to request your space, and if it’s available, book it on your behalf. Once you’ve paid the agreed fee, the resort issues a guest certificate in your name.
The question is, is it better to try a DVC rental, or book your vacation directly with the resort?
Is Renting DVC Points Worth It?
Renting DVC points is simple enough, but it does have certain T&Cs. Savvy vacationers should take time to investigate the pros and cons of this service before they hand over their hard-earned cash.
These are the major considerations:
It’s Cheaper to Rent DVC Points
In many cases, it’s almost 50% cheaper to rent DVC points than to do your reservations directly through Disney. That’s because DVC owners only have to cover the costs of their annual membership fees, which cover only a portion of the resort’s costs.
You’ll pay a little more if you book your accommodation with a broker, but you’ll enjoy a lot more peace of mind than you will when renting from a stranger.
Also, these agents usually allow you to pay a portion of the costs upfront as a deposit, so you don’t need to pay the full amount all at once.
You also get free parking when you rent DVC points since DVC members pay for parking as part of their annual fees. This can save you up to $24 per night of your stay.
When you rent DVC points you can buy the Disney Dining Plan from an authorized broker without buying park tickets. Depending on how many people are traveling with you, this can amount to a considerable saving.
DVC villas come with kitchenettes too, so you can save on food costs by cooking your own meals. This is especially handy if you have small children or fussy eaters in your group.
You can also do laundry in-house, so that’s another thing you won’t pay extra for.
One Temporary Benefit
Nowadays, DVC rentals are literally the only way to go. Disney’s hotels are all still closed and only expected to open on an undisclosed date later this year.
DVC’s timeshare villas already reopened last summer. That means fewer crowds if you choose to travel now.
Drawbacks of Renting DVC Points
The biggest hassle associated with renting points is that you aren’t in total control of your booking. You must rely on other people to reserve the accommodation you want.
There’s always the chance of a misunderstanding along the way causing them to book the wrong dates or the wrong resort. There’s also limited availability at all the best resorts, so you might not get your first choice every time.
If you book directly with a member, you’ll pay cheaper prices per point, but you never know if they’re scam artists or not. There are unscrupulous people out there, posing as DVC members, who’ll take your money and run.
Fortunately, these incidences are extremely rare.
One way around this is to book on one of the reputable Disney Vacation club member forums and to avoid doing business with ‘new owners’. You can save a lot of money this way, especially if you come across an owner who’s desperate to get even a little money in return for their expiring points.
Another drawback associated with owner bookings is losing your money if you need to cancel your booking. Although brokers have revisited their cancellation policies in recent times, owners aren’t obliged to refund you if you have to cancel.
Some people dislike DVC rentals because they don’t offer the full hotel experience, but that’s only a matter of preference. For instance, Mousekeeping only visits the Disney villas once a week.
Explore Your Vacation Options
Many thousands of vacationers have enjoyed unforgettable holidays via DVC points rentals. You can enjoy yourself at 13 glorious Disney properties, each with its own charms, at a fraction of the cost of booking them directly.
For many, the opportunity to enjoy these world-class experiences far outweighs any drawbacks associated with them. For others, nothing beats the original Disney hotel portfolio when it comes to exceptional experiences.
If Disney’s not your cup of tea at all, please browse our travel pages for more inspiration.