Should I Purchase the Disney Vacation Club Part 2

As you may remember, last week in Should I purchase DVC? Part 1 I discussed my first meeting with the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) representative.  Though the experience was not positive, I returned in February 2010 to listen to their discussion once more. 

I was whisked away by DVC in their van to the DVC offices.  I waited a few minutes for a representative in a very nice space which included small snacks.  I helped myself to a few cookies and a drink as I waited.  Once I met with the representative, I sat in for a short lecture.  During this lecture, the representative mentioned that he knew I had already seen the presentation.  He went on to tell me that if I had already purchase DVC on my prior meeting with DVC representatives, I would have already PAID for it per the savings I could have had on all of my vacations to Disney World since then.  I requested that he explain how this could be so.  Then he showed me some computer calculations of the average cost of staying in a Deluxe resort multiplied by the 8 years since my last DVC meeting.  Of course, this cost was WELL over the cost of the DVC properties back in 2002 for the amount of points that matched the Deluxe resort stays. 

However, I explained to the representative that I travel VERY often to Disney World and stay using my Annual Pass discount at a Value Resort.  I explained that my average stay was around $60 per night during the timeframes that I stay at these resorts.  Say I stay for 15 nights in a particular year, that is a total cost of $900.  In my talks with the representative, I found that the LEAST expensive number of points needed for a night’s stay is 9 at Old Key West or Animal Kingdom Villas.  At 9 points for 15 nights stay means I would need 135 points.  Say I purchased at Bay Lake Tower (the DVC property with the least expensive annual dues), I computed the annual dues cost per point at $3.78 multiplied by the 135 needed points to get $510.30.  So, that would be a savings for that particular year of $389.70 (My current payout for value $900 less the annual point costs of $510.30). 

A look at the purchase of 135 points means that I would need to pay approximately $13,365 (price per DVC by Resale states $99/point for Bay Lake Tower) for the right to own these points for the next 50 years.  When looking at $13,365 divided by the savings of $389.70 per year I computed 34 years to break even on the purchase.  Now, remember that this computation does NOT include any change in cost per point over the next 50 years or the opportunity cost of having your money tied to Disney for this long of a timeframe or the cost of inflation, etc.  (Can you tell I work with numbers for a living?!?)  On the other hand, this would mean that in years 35 – 50 I would be clearing the savings of $389.70 or a total of $6,235.20. 

Even with this considered, I just do not know if it is a good investment considering that in the end, the property is not YOURS and that by the time I actually have the investment paid off, I will be 70!  I also do not like the fact that in order to only need the 135 points, I would need to travel ONLY in January and October (the least amount of points are needed per the DVC points charts for these months)and stay at Old Key West or Animal Kingdom Villas in a Studio.  I also do not like the fact that I may not be able to get the room type I want for the points I have on hand due to the room type not being available for the timeframe needed.

What I did not consider is how much nicer these resorts are than the Value resorts or the annual pass savings I could receive per year.  But when I travel to Disney World, I typically do not stay in the room that much.  And what if I do not always want to purchase an annual pass?!? 

In the end, I did not purchase DVC.  I just am not SOLD on it yet.  I understand people’s love for it, but am still not convinced it is a match for my family.  So, I will continue to envy those that have purchased:)

8 comments for “Should I Purchase the Disney Vacation Club Part 2

  1. November 15, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Yea. Not an easy decision based on your list of “cons”. To purchase DVC or not seems (IMHO) based on your resorts stays. (And of course can you afford to buy into DVC.) If you are only staying at Values and are not as concerned with resort amenities, then DVC is probably not for you. If you are like us and like Moderates and want more amenities (even if you’re mostly at the parks), then DVC might be for you.

    We hardly ever lounge around the resort. We would rather be at the parks! But we do enjoy wondering around the resort at times. SSR is amazingly beautiful! And at night it’s often neat and relaxing to walk around, hear the activity at the pool…go to Artist Palette for food. DVC tends to be a bit more calmer too. More relaxing vibe. We haven’t stayed ever at Values, but what often people say is that it’s loud and busy with activity. Moderates sometimes are like that too. Which is fine and I like that at times. But DVC resorts seem to have this different vibe. Very upscale. Which is good since it’s considered a Deluxe. 🙂

    Not sure if you knew that you can save money on AP renewals as a DVC member. Something else to consider. When it comes to other discounts (like tours and hard-ticketed events), it seems AP and DVC member discounts are the same. AP though seems to have more discounts for such things a merchandise.

    I think if you’re not sold 100% then you shouldn’t buy. I’m more skeptical and cautious when spending lots of money. I wasn’t sure if DVC would be worth the investment. But after much discussion with my wife, it did seem like a great investment in our vacations – since we go multiple times a year to WDW, though at the time of purchasing into DVC we were only going once a year! 😉 Since purchasing DVC, we go about 4 times a year! LOL Some are short 4-day trips. I am glad we purchased into DVC. We LOVE the resorts and the amenities. And I gotta admit when we stay at Moderates…at times, I feel kinda snobbish that I miss the DVC resort rooms!! rofl

    Sorry if this was too long a response. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on whether to buy DVC or not. It’s not an easy decision for sure!

    • November 15, 2010 at 9:03 pm

      I believe maybe I should have bought DVC when I was younger. Getting a little long in the tooth:) 70 years old before it is paid off! That is crazy for me. I appreciate your comments. I dont think I am out of the running for it, just not sold yet.

  2. November 16, 2010 at 1:30 am

    Your math makes sense to me! I think (like anything Disney related) that you have to look at your way of doing things and see if it makes economic sense. What might makes sense for one person wouldn’t be feasible for another.

    • November 16, 2010 at 2:32 am

      Have you been to listen to the speach? They are very impressive, those DVC cast members!

  3. Lynn
    November 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    I listened to another webcast from the DVC folks last week and it was the most “realistic” presentation I’d heard from them. The way we travel, I don’t know that it fits for us in our budget. It seems to make much more sense for those who take longer trips and stay in the deluxe hotels. We usually stay off site if we need a kitchen because it’s cheapers or value if we’re staying on site. Just a big committment and a lot to think about before making that leap.

    • November 22, 2010 at 7:37 pm

      Where are you finding these webcasts?

  4. December 28, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    I agree with Will, if anyone considering DVC is not 100% convinced then you should not purchase. It was 2 years from the time we first talked about DVC to actually purchasing. For us there were two main points which helped us make our decision.

    First, how we vacation at Disney. We have stayed in the value resorts and if you are just looking for a place to recharge before another full day at the parks they work out great. For us we break our trips up into park and non park days so we will have days we spend almost entirely at the resort so we prefer to stay in deluxe accommodations . We also have a 2 year old who needs to nap so factor in the proximity and monorail access (key for kids sleeping in a stroller since you don’t have to take them out and break down the stroller).

    Second, while we did finance through DVC we have no intention of taking the full 10 years to payoff the loan.

    By taking those two things into consideration our breakeven point shifted to approximately 8 years.

    For us it makes sense we have stayed in several resorts in accommodations of various sizes, studio to a two bedroom. When you consider the two bedroom villas can accommodate 8 people we have been able to bring family along and not had to be in separate rooms. We love being owners and for us it works.

    • December 29, 2010 at 12:06 am

      Maybe if we ever grow up and slow down some, it would be more appropriate. We stayed in the studio and I slept a bit in the pullout couch. Those things are made of foam and are no where near comfortable. In fact, my son (age 4), said, “this bed is not right mom.” And to afford the two bedroom would be pretty expensive. Maybe I will hit the lottery!

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