As certain as the sun rising in the east, there are several people on the fence deciding whether or not to purchase into Disney Vacation Club. To buy or not to buy…..that is the question! Here are some important questions to ask yourself.
~~How often do you go on vacation?
~~When you go to WDW, what level of resorts do you normally stay at?
~~Are you or have you been able to book a Walt Disney World package during the times they offer the dining plan for free?
~~Can you afford the annual dues, which tend to go up every year?
First and foremost, if you normally stay at deluxe resorts when you go to WDW and you normally go to WDW at least every other year (or other vacation location where DVC points can be used), yes! You save money.
The best way to look at Disney Vacation Club is that you are paying for future vacations in advance and not for only vacations at WDW. You’re paying for decades of vacations, which could include cruises, tours, etc.
For my ‘ohana, DVC is a luxury item. We could live without it and definitely save a lot of money by NOT being a member. We never went to Disney with more than 4 people, only went to WDW every other year and stayed at moderate resorts 99% of the time. If you need more than one room to fit the number of people in your vacation party, Disney cannot guarantee the rooms would be together or even in close proximity.
We only bought into DVC, because of a WDW trip we were planning for 10 people. It made mathematical sense to buy into DVC rather than pay $15,000 for 5 nights for a 3-bedroom villa at Animal Kingdom Villas for a one-time, large family vacation. We also figured we can use the points in so many other places in the world, sell the points later, etc. So, instead of saying goodbye to $15,000 for 5 nights, we put it towards an investment knowing we could use it on several trips or possibly get much of that back if we decided to sell the contract.
Now, we are empty nesters. Everyone’s needs change over time. The biggest costs for a Hawaii trip are the stay, food and flight. With DVC, we have secured the stay with something we already own, but that ownership comes with a cost…….The annual dues. Depending on your home resort and the number of points you buy, your annual dues could be a burden. My annual dues went up $200 in the first year. Thankfully, they did not go up much the next year. Depending on how many points you buy, the annual dues could pay for a moderate resort every year. So, if you went to WDW every other year, the two years of annual dues could potentially pay for a stay and theme park tickets or a long stay plus more versus being a DVC owner. BUT, your stay in a deluxe resort is very different from a moderate or value resort. There are different levels with significant price differences for a reason. We do not regret and willingly pay those annual dues without complaining, which have not gone up more than $25 over the last 5 years, because we are not just sleeping and showering in a room. We really do feel at “home” when we stay in a deluxe resort. We book a 1 bedroom villa at a minimum for my husband and I, which can sleep up to 4-5 people. We want the full kitchen, washer/dryer, the extra square footage to move around, etc. We want the extra comfort now.
Another little downside: Once you are DVC and you stay on points, you are not offered the dining plan for free. But, if you are a DVC member, you can pay cash for a room and qualifying number park tickets as if you are not a DVC member, the free dining is offered during qualifying times, but you may be wasting money at that point depending on where you stay. Based on the numbers, it’s not worth paying cash for a room just to receive the free dining. You have the DVC membership, use it. If you think becoming a member is not best for you right now, but want to stay in a deluxe resort, take a look at renting DVC points by clicking here.
I hope this helps! Hakuna Matata!!