Is Disney Vacation Club worth it? Have you ever thought about buying into the Disney Vacation Club or DVC, but weren’t sure if it was worth the investment?
Let me answer that question for you. YES!… and here’s why.
Disney Vacation Club?
If you’re not sure what it is, Disney Vacation Club, or DVC as it is often called, is Disney’s version of timeshare ownership, except they do it a little bit differently than the traditional timeshares like the one my parents bought into when I was a kid. For a more thorough look at DVC, read our Disney Vacation Club Overview
Is Disney Vacation Club Worth It?
Now, when I first sat down to write this post, I had this plan to stay completely neutral and list all the pros and cons I could find. The real question I kept coming back to was: Are you going to take Disney vacations every year or every couple of years? Because if you are, then DVC makes sense. If not… then it doesn’t.
So the real question is: Are Disney Vacations worth it?
As you might guess, I think the answer to that question is a definite YES!
So, DVC membership is a no-brainer for us.
Why Disney Vacation Club is Worth it.
Saving money is the main reason to buy DVC. We get to stay in Deluxe Resorts for the price of a Moderate or less. When all is said and done after financing and maintenance fees, we’re coming out WAY ahead.
Let’s use our upcoming trip as an example:
6 nights at Disney’s BoardWalk Villas in a 1 Bedroom Villa.
Out of Pocket, that would cost us $638/night for a total of $4300 for the trip. (For comparison, the same stay at the moderate Caribbean Beach Resort is $1600.)
We paid $1,262.72 for this year’s points. Savings: $3,000! And even if we scored a 35% discount on the cash booking, we’d still be ahead about $1,500!
Now, we bought our DVC contract way back in 2007. Prices have almost doubled since then. Our contract bought today would cost us around $30,000. That is a little more than we paid in total once our loan was paid off in 2017.
So, if you can afford to drop $30k on a DVC contract right now, it’s still a deal like ours, especially if you buy one of the newer properties with a longer contract. A Copper Creek Villas contract purchased in 2019 will give you 49 years of points until it expires in 2068. (Our contract only gave us 37 years worth of points)
If you finance, it ends up being closer to $50,000 when all is said and done. And that’s still a deal, just not quite as good, as you’d pay around $2000 on average each year for that $4300 room.
Normally, you’d expect to sacrifice something in order to get the sort of savings we’re seeing with Disney Vacation Club. Many times, to get the best deal, you would have to visit at a particular time of year.
For us, it’s been the complete opposite. Before DVC we typically visited the same time each year to get the most bang for our buck. Since joining Disney Vacation Club, we’ve gone many different times of the year.
We’re still somewhat limited by the school schedule. But we’re definitely not stuck visiting only during the summer anymore. DVC has changed the way we do Disney.
People ask us all the time why we keep going back to Disney World year after year. And our answer is that no two vacations are ever the same. And since joining Disney Vacation Club, that’s even more true.
Prior to DVC, we only stayed at one of the 11 value or moderate Disney Resorts.
With the addition of Disney’s Riviera Resort, there are now 16 Disney Vacation Club Resorts. We love having more options and the fact that we can choose a different resort each trip.
We’ve been able to stay at 10 different Disney Vacation Club Resorts so far. Each resort has its own unique theme and experiences. We’ve even done some split stays to enjoy the best of two different resorts on the same trip. With two beach resorts, we’ve also been able to change things up with non-park vacations that still have that Disney touch.
4. No Pressure
A lot of people love the Disney Dining Plan, even though it may or may not save them money. They love knowing that their meals are paid for and that they can order almost anything on the menu. It’s a load off their mind.
That’s the feeling of being a Disney Vacation Club member. We still have 35 years of vacations that are paid for. Knowing this allows us to look at our Disney vacations differently.
For one thing, it makes it easier to relax and enjoy ourselves. We can really take advantage of all the amazing resorts have to offer. No more commando vacations spending every waking moment in the parks, trying to squeeze every drop of magic from the place.
That peace of mind, coupled with the knowledge that we’re definitely saving money, makes our visits that much more magical.
The “perks” are NOT the reason you join
These perks are constantly changing, with some being added and others being removed. But they include discounts on shopping and dining, as well as special experiences like Moonlight Magic.
For us, the best perks are the discounts on Annual Passes and Tables In Wonderland card. Those two have really added to our savings over the years.
The Bottom Line
Disney Vacation Club is a big investment, but it can be worth it. You can save money while enjoying flexibility, variety, peace of mind, and a few special perks along the way. I would serious consider it if:
- You love Disney enough to keep going for the next 20-50 years.
- You Want to Stay in Deluxe Accommodations.
- Will use their DVC points at a DVC Resort at least once every 3 years.
- You get a good deal.
Right now, Disney Vacation Club is still financially worth it, especially if you can put down a large down-payment or pay it all up front. If the cost of the new contracts is too much, you can look into the resale market.
Monday 23rd of August 2021
If you rent out your points every other year, you will pay nothing for maintenance. I have done this for many years now. We bought Beach Club Villas in 2000 and only paid $82 (approx. $13,000) per point with no financing. My contract on the resale market is worth about $23,000 (just checked prices yesterday) and that is with only 21 years left. If I sell my contract today, I would make about $10,000 on my purchase price and most of my vacations have been free since I rented out my points that paid for my maintenance. I realize that model is not going to be the same for new $30,000 contracts, but for those of us who bought years ago, it was a bargain. DVC has saved me thousands in vacation costs especially when we went to Aulani.
Friday 8th of April 2022
@Stacy Collins, how and where do you rent out points?
Wednesday 18th of August 2021
My wife and I are in the midst of deciding on whether or not to do this right now. We're going to front the cash for the points purchase, but that's not what has me concerned. It's the monthly maintenance fees. The DVC rep we spoke to said the monthly maintenance fees would likely rise about 4-6% each year (more than double, maybe even triple the average inflation rate or CPI increase over the past decade).. My wife is a CPA and ran the numbers on this and it turns out that at a 6% average annual increase in fees, the final year of our contract we would be obliged to pay roughly $17,600 in fees alone! This takes our up front purchase of about $34,000 for the points and by the time you factor in 50 years worth of maintenance fees, turns this into a $327,000 life-long investment, most of which is significantly backloaded to be paid during my retirement years.
Change my mind...
ayah ngewe anak sendiri
Sunday 22nd of March 2020
Awesome your article change my mind. Thanks
Friday 28th of February 2020
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Tuesday 9th of July 2019
What happens to the 30K you originally paid? Is there a Time share Time limit whereby it terminates. Do you get the 30K back when it terminates or does the timeshare last forever( as long as DW exists?
You say that you get a $4200 vacation for $2200. I assume the $2200 is the yearly fee? You seem to ignore the 30K that you spend and when the timeshare expires...the 30K is gone.
This to me sounds like a terrible deal....what am I missing here...maybe I dont quite undertstand this??
Tuesday 9th of July 2019
also... just to be thorough. Maintenance fees for other resort contracts may be higher. Copper Creek is about $1.00 more per point than our Saratoga Springs contract, so that would up the maintenance fees for each year.
Tuesday 9th of July 2019
JC, thanks for the question. All DVC contracts are for a set length of time. Each will expire and after that you'd have to extend or purchase another contract.
It looks like my math might have been a little off. But not in the way you'd think. I actually OVER-estimated the cost because I didn't adjust for the length of contract. The $2200 would be if you purchased our contract today and financed it like we did. Our contract expires in 2042.
The 30K that gets paid is the purchase price. You don't get it back and it can end up being more if you finance. The estimated 50k total purchase price after financing divided by the 37 years of our contract = $1351 per year. Then you add the yearly maintenance costs to get the $2200.
Now, that being said... sales of the newer properties have longer contracts than ours. Copper Creek contracts expire in 2068, which means you would get 49 years of points. That would cut the yearly cost of that 50k contract by $330 down to $1870. So it's a better deal than I thought.