(for more complete information on the Disney Vacation Club CLICK HERE and check out the MouseSavers.com article)
The Disney Vacation Club (DVC) can potentially be a great opportunity to save on Disney themed and other vacations. The following is a little information to introduce you to it:
What is the DVC?
The Disney Vacation Club is a time-share program. The program is based on a points system, which you can use at Disney resorts, the Disney cruise line, the DVC, and more.
According to MouseSavers.com it is most cost effective to only use the points for Walt Disney World Resort & to stay at a DVC resort at least every other year.
Where can I go with the DVC?
Right now resorts are located at Walt Disney World, Vero Beach, Florida, and Hilton Head, South Carolina. In 2009 there will be a resort at Disneyland in California, and in 2011 in Oahu, Hawaii.
The Walt Disney World DVC has six resorts. They are studios, 1 and 2 bedroom villas, and 3 bedroom grand villas. All of these rooms are nicer than their regular hotel equivalents, often with kitchens, living rooms, whirlpool tubs and more.
One benefit is the discount savings on annual passes (CLICK HERE for details).
Many join the DVC to be sure and have the resort space they want every year for consistent vacation planning. If you have the resources to pay the dues and up-front investment costs, it seems to me you are mostly buying convenience.
Other benefits include you don't pay extra for having more than one person stay in a room, you qualify for other discounts such as restaurants, and you may be able to deduct the property tax portion of your dues.
Is it Worth It?
That is somewhat of a subjective question. From a strictly cost perspective the people at MouseSavers.com have put together the math for us to show when it is and is not worth it to join.
Here it is directly from their article:
In the following scenarios, DVC purchase beats investing the money (buy-in amount plus annual fees) and paying cash for your annual vacations:
You vacation for 10 nights every year in a Deluxe resort or DVC studio at full "rack rates." In this scenario, you'll start saving money after 9 years or less of DVC ownership. In fact, if this is your vacation style, DVC is still a good deal even if you would only stay those 10 nights in a DVC resort every other year and throw away 50% of your points (though it will take longer to break even -- about 19 years).
You stay 10 nights at a Deluxe resort each year, with a 30% discount (approx. 15 years to break even).
You vacation for 10 nights each year at a Moderate resort, paying full "rack rates" (approx. 20 years to break even).
You rent 150 points from a DVC owner each year, starting at $10 a point, for at least the next 25 years.
DVC purchase is not cost-effective in the following scenarios:
You vacation 7 nights per year at a Moderate resort, paying full "rack rates."
You vacation 10 nights per year at a Moderate resort, with a 35% discount.
You rent 150 points per year from a DVC owner, starting at $10 a point, but you only do this 2 years out of every 3.
The cost of dues does not appear to present a financial hardship based on your current expectations.
You vacation at Walt Disney World frequently: ideally at least once every two years.
You plan to continue staying at Disney World far enough into the future to make the membership at least break even.
You prefer to stay in Deluxe or DVC accommodations and/or you stay a long time (10 days or more per year).
You are able to plan your vacations well in advance -- ideally 7 to 11 months out.
The best idea is to buy through a referral, as your referrer will basically get enough points for a free vacation.
Otherwise you can search Google, or check out DVCNews.com for news and purchase information.
Again, if you are considering signing up for the Disney Vacation Club, I STRONGLY recommend checking out the MouseSavers.com article (CLICK HERE).
Disney Vacation Club