Should I Purchase DVC? Part 1

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort at the Walt Di...

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I have absolutely been back and forth with myself on whether I personally believe that purchasing Disney’s Vacation Club (DVC) is a good idea for my family.  As you may know, my family does quite a bit of travel to Walt Disney World and during many of the trips I travel on the inexpensive side and use my annual pass discount available at the value resorts.  However, there is once a year when I travel to Disney World with my husband, a time when I spend a bit more money on the vacation

On the vacation this past February, we spent quite a bit of time in the hotel room at the Caribbean Beach and I began to wonder again about DVC properties and the benefits of ownership.  I had been to the presentation once before when promised fast passes and only an hour’s presentation.  However, when we said we would need to think about the purchase, we were LEFT in the DVC sales person’s office for nearly an hour while the representative “went to speak with his manager”.  While I was interested, I was totally frustrated with the experience as my sister, only about 12 at the time was near tears due to the amount of time lost in the parks!  We returned to the parks four hours later!  Really a bad experience.

But none the less, I went to the presentation again in February 2010.  The rooms were so nice.  Much nicer than those at the Caribbean Beach!  Next week I will discuss the costs and the reasons I again said I would think it over…

17 comments for “Should I Purchase DVC? Part 1

  1. November 8, 2010 at 8:42 am

    What an awful experience for you from that sales rep! I have the nicest guide in the world, she’s at Doorway to Dreams in Schaumburg, IL. I’m looking forward to your next post. DVC has been a huge benefit to my family, I understand that it’s not for everyone though. For me it was an emotional purchase that has paid off big time.

    • November 8, 2010 at 2:09 pm

      Thanks so much for reading Kristen! Would love to hear why it was an emotional purchase for you! Take care!

      • November 8, 2010 at 3:00 pm

        I grew up going to Disney two to three times a year. But then as a young adult and mother, it just didn’t quite work out. I had dreamed of owning since before they even started selling, my aunt and I (she fostered my love for Disney) had talked about it when I was a teen. Through my mid twenties and thirties I went 10 years without a regular trip to Disney. My mom took me twice during that time so that she wouldn’t have to wrangle my daughter, but it was a lot of work and we didn’t do anything for me. Over those years I would plan a trip, every year, and I would start saving for the trip. However somehow something else would always come up and we would have to cancel the trip to pay for the emergency. Car repairs, house repairs, a baby… I was like Carl and Ellie from up. Always dreaming of going, but never quite getting there.

        In July 2008 my husband, our roommate, and I were at Woodfield Mall, where the Doorway to Dreams center is, celebrating my birthday. I was a regular there, stopping in just to look at the rooms and trying to feel a little bit of the magic. I enjoyed showing them off to my husband and dreaming about owning. On this trip I didn’t want to bother our roommate so I didn’t plan on going in. However the roommate thought that was strange, and in we went. I didn’t plan on talking to a guide, but once we got in there the guys wanted to sit down and hear the pitch. They were running a deal where $500 down would buy us in with a minimum purchase of 100 points. I just happened to have a brand new, hadn’t been used credit card in my pocket. The guys did some math and decided that we could afford 160 points, *if* we could get the financing. They ran our credit and much to my surprise, we were approved. Happy Birthday to me!! I shook and cried from happiness, this long time desire was actually coming true. It wasn’t planned, it was spur of the moment, and it was the best thing that we ever did.

        Why was it the best? Because now we go on vacation, there’s no more putting it off for something else. The loan comes out every month and I don’t have to think about “saving” for a hotel. If we don’t go, we lose points, so we always go now. We’ve even added on, and will again in the future. Since February 2009, I’ve been to Disney three times, and I have three trips planned in 2011 alone. I’ve stayed at the Disneyland Hotel, Saratoga Springs, and Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Concierge Floor. So far I’ve used $15,000 worth of room nights, however I’ve only paid $8,400 off on my loan. For me, the program started paying off right away, because we’re going now, and we’ve stayed in much nicer rooms than we would have been able to pay for. I still cry every time they say “Welcome Home”.

        DVC isn’t for everyone though, and if you’re looking at it from purely a cost perspective, it may or may not pay off for you. It’s not really an investment, it’s just pre-paying your hotel. For my family the value is in a better experience, it’s in the details, and the overwhelming joy I feel sharing Disney with people I love. For travelers that are perfectly happy at an all star, and that go regularly anyhow, maybe DVC isn’t worth the money. But if you dream of the concierge, dying to stay on the monorail line, or want to squeek in one more trip a year, make the upgrade.

        This year was the first year that I was able to go to WDW with all three of my children at the same time, we stayed on the concierge floor at AKL. DVC did that for me. Next year, I’m going on a cruise, DVC did that for me too. It’s the best purchase I’ve ever made. I finally have my Paradise Falls.

        • November 8, 2010 at 8:41 pm

          Kristen! What a great write up. I mean you even got UP analogies in there! Impressive! I completely appreciate all of your words. Love that you read and will see you soon at http://dvcmom.blogspot.com!

  2. November 8, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Thanks so much John on the comment! I hope you return tomorrow to the site as well as I discuss DVC in my “Strategies for Paying for that Trip to Disney World! Part 4” article. My followup to this particular article should go up next Monday. Thanks again for the kind words!

  3. Andrea C.
    November 8, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Hi Natalie, What an awful experience you had with the presentation! That’s really too bad. I can understand your frustration. My DVC rep is great. She is friendly and is not pressuring us to buying more or anything.

    We purchased DVC in 2008 and are so happy we did. We have two young boys (9, 6) and have traveled to Disney about every year since 2005. What I enjoy most about the DVC resorts is everything is there and the kids don’t have to go to the parks (especially on the days we may need some rest). You get that with all the resorts, I suppose, but the kids areas, the pools, and the restaurants are convenient and fun. Plus, the comfort of the resorts are spectacular. When we go, we spend money on tickets to the park (DVC gives you an annual pass discount which is nice) and dining. It’s cheaper than if we stayed in the deluxe resorts but may be about the same if we stayed in the value resorts.

    DVC works for us because as 2 working parents, it forces us to stop and breath. We realize if we didn’t have this, we may not take vacations as regularly as we do now. Living in Upstate NY, our winters are long, so it’s nice to be able to escape to Florida and Disney.

    We are also using our points for a cruise, and want to stay at their Vero Beach Resort this summer. The flexibility is great.

    Good Luck with your decision. A rumor is prices are increasing come December 1. UGH, right??!!

    • November 8, 2010 at 8:36 pm

      Do prices for the DVCs go up annually? Thanks for sharing your thoughts on DVC!

      • November 8, 2010 at 8:43 pm

        Rates per point do seem to go up at least once a year depending on the Resort. We paid $108 at AKL in 2008, when I added on VGC in March it was $112, and I seem to recall that BLT is nearing $130.

        In addition to that cost, maint. costs vary from resort to resort and also tend to go up a little bit every year, the the contract explains how they cap that.

        • November 9, 2010 at 4:45 pm

          Do the maintenance costs ever increase?

  4. Andrea C.
    November 9, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    I would also add they typically have had some incentives – either a credit towards the down payment, trips, discount towards the price per point, etc – or all three! When I bought in 2008, they had all three.

    What I tend to tell people who ask me, is if you are looking for this as an investment – it’s not, as Kristen mentioned. It does allow for opportunity to travel to places we may not normally go, create memories, and know that we are going to be accommodated in the high standards Disney creates.

    Kristen really said it all! It’s an emotional purchase. The memories we’ve created already are amazing. We’ve done a family reunion to Disney where my kids were able to show my 65 year old Mom the castle for her first time. She teared up, which made me do the same! I look forward to creating more memories as my children grow and have families of their own.

    So glad I’ve found your site. It’s great! Best of luck to you and your decision.

    • November 9, 2010 at 4:49 pm

      I love your story about you mom. Did you go with your mom when you were young? I am very emotionally attached with Disney. I sometimes ponder the uproar that would occur if ever Disney World closed among all of the fans!

      • Andrea C
        November 10, 2010 at 3:37 am

        My first trip to Disney was in 2005, so I never went with my parents to Disney. My Dad hasn’t ever been, either. The family reunion trip was with my husbands family, but I would love to to take my family and get a 2 bedroom (or in my dream a Grand Villa!!).

        I couldn’t agree more about being emotional about Disney. I still get choked up when I experience things there. I’m certainly a kid at heart and I’m glad I’m able to experience and share this with my family both immediate and extended. One reason why I love your site is I’m able to talk to others who love it too!!!

        Could you imagine Disney closing? Wow, hopefully not in my lifetime or ever!!! 🙂

        • November 10, 2010 at 5:20 am

          Thanks for the followup! That is so great that Disney is such an emotional experience for you. It too is for me. I keep wondering if you are in the place you love so much too often, do you start to like it less. I think no:) What it does instead is make me happy because I know I will be right back soon to my favorite place!

          Come to the site often. I try to add a new article everyday. I also am always looking for others that would like to contribute. Oh, there are also sites listed in the links here as well that are excellent Disney sites! Check them out! Take care!

  5. Robert F
    November 9, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    I was on the wall for years. Mostly due to bad credit. After doing the math and figuring the cost it was a no brainer and here is a what we did in one year:
    October 31, 2009 was the date of our first DVC Vacation (after joining 5 days earlier), since that date we have taken 4 trips for a total of 17 nights and have 3 more on the books for another 14 nights in a 2-Bedroom Villa at Bay Lake Towers. After doing the math on our first 17 nights the ‘Rack Rates’ with taxes inlcu…ded would have come to a Grand Total of $8,083.13. Based on the money we paid out for the Points & Annual Dues it comes to total of about $88 per night. Not a bad Savings.

    We have just gotten back from a last minute trip and stayed at Saratoga Springs in a Studio plus we have 2 of our next trips are in 2-Bedroom Villas (1 night in a Grand Villas – Magic Kingdom view) the average to $180 per night but well worth it to get 9 people in one room… and since we don’t have to pay the 12.5% resort tax the savings on just the taxes will be over $2,200 which is nearly enough to cover the Annual Dues.

    • November 9, 2010 at 9:46 pm

      Wow! I want to stay with you. A 2 Bedroom Villa is quite a step up from the Pop Century even if it was just refurbished! Thank you so much for the details! I really appreciate it! And thank you for reading!

  6. November 15, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    i like

  7. July 11, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    i am a dvc member….think we deserve many more perks and discounts than they actually give us.

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