Disney runs deep through many people. More than 157 million people visited Disney theme parks in 2018. That makes them the most popular theme parks in the entire world.
But there are more people who want to go and can’t because of the price. A one-day ticket can cost over 100 dollars, and additional expenses can be very high. The Disney Vacation Club can help with that.
What is the Disney Vacation Club? Is the Disney Vacation Club worth it? How does it work, and how can you earn points through time?
Answer these questions, and you can find the right way to pay for your vacation. Here is your quick guide.
The Basics of Disney Vacation Club
Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is Disney’s vacation timeshare program. The Walt Disney Company runs it as a subsidiary of its parks division.
It functions identically to other timeshare programs. Participants pay money to the club, and they can “own” one of Disney’s resorts.
They enter into a long-term contract that requires yearly fees and other expenses. This lets them book vacations for years at rates that may be lower than the normal costs of going to a park.
Costs for the Club
There are many expenses associated with joining the Club. You have to make a down payment upfront of ten percent of the total cost of your membership.
You can make a higher payment, and you can pay with cash or a credit card. You can also finance your payment akin to a mortgage. The more you pay upfront, the more points you can receive for different resorts.
You choose a particular resort as your “home base.” You must pay annual fees to maintain the resort, regardless of whether you make a stay there. If the base is in very high demand, you may need to make monthly payments.
You must buy at least 100 points. As of this writing, one point costs 195 dollars. Prices may change from year to year depending on demand.
This means that the cheapest membership has a baseline price of 19,500 dollars. This price does not take into account monthly or annual dues.
A Disney Vacation Club membership may not be worth it. If you only plan on going to a resort every now and again, the prices are far too high. If you love Disney and will keep going to parks without your kids, it may be worth the cost.
How You Can Use Club Points
Joining the club guarantees one trip per year, but points can roll over from year to year. You can also ask for next year’s points this year and get a higher-end vacation.
Some resorts cost more points than others. In general, a weekend vacation for two people costs between 30 and 100 points. A weeklong vacation costs between 100 and 200 points.
Members cannot use their points on tickets for Disney parks. They can receive a discount on annual passes just for being members, but there is no function at this point for park entry.
You can sell Disney Vacation Club points for money. You need to view the estimated timeline for DVC resales and find someone willing to buy them.
Your contract with DVC lasts for 50 years. In the event that you cannot fulfill your terms, you can transfer your contract to someone else.
You can book a trip to several resorts all over the world. You can go to one at Disney World or Disneyland, or you can go to another location.
When You Can Use Them
Point values change depending on what time of the year you use them. There are five main seasons.
Adventure Season takes place in January, September, and the first two weeks of December. This is a low-demand season, so that you can expect cheaper rates.
Choice Season takes place in October, all of November except for Thanksgiving Weekend and the eight days before Christmas Eve. Dream Season is the first two weeks of February and all of May. It can also include the first two weeks of June and the last two of August.
You can expect moderate rates and decent demand. You may need to plan ahead a little longer to book your vacation.
Magic Season is the last two weeks of February, all of March, and most of April and June. It can include July, the first two weeks of August, and the Thanksgiving weekend. Demand ramps up during these times, and you will need to pay more points.
Premier Season is the middle portion of April and Christmas week. This is when everyone wants to take a vacation to a Disney resort. You will need to book your accommodations nearly a year in advance and pay very high rates.
What a Disney Vacation Club Member Can Receive
In addition to resort stays, members can receive many perks. Though they cannot use points on park entry, they can receive discounts inside parks. Miniature golf is less expensive, and rentals on amenities are cheaper.
Members can also attend after-hours events in parks. Some are reserved for members only, and they offer free snacks and drinks. Lounges reserved for DVC patrons are in several locations.
The Essentials of DVC
The Disney Vacation Club can offer you a premium and cheap vacation. It is Disney’s official timeshare program. You pick a property and pay fees into it so you can stay at different resorts.
The prices can get rather high. It is a good option for the Disney faithful, but not for people who want occasional visits.
Each resort has its own rates, but most people buy enough points for a one-week vacation. Try to go during low-demand seasons and take advantage of perks.
The quality of your vacations will vary depending on your knowledge. Learn how to book amazing vacations by following our coverage.