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View Full Version : Finally thinking of buying DVC


cktauscher
04-02-2012, 12:32 PM
Hi All,
We never really thought about purchasing DVC. I'm a flight attendant and can usually get airline discounts on disney resorts and we usually go during the off season anyway, since that's when we can normally get on a flight flying "stand by". But last week just for the heck of it and to get a little "disney fix" we went to the DVC sales pitch here at our mall. Loved it! Learned so much, but from reading Disboard and my "liners" app, I think we would buy resale. I have a couple questions that I hope you experts can help us with:)

1. It's our understanding if you buy at least 160 points you can use RCI exchanges to go other places. My husband would like that option (don't know why). But have any of you gone other places than Disney? Is it easy to exchange points and go to say Europe or other places in the US?

2. We really don't or can't plan a vacation more than 7 months out anyway. Sometimes we plan trips a month out and for just 4 or 5 days. How is availablity at different dvc last minute?

Thanks for your input.

lions1995
04-02-2012, 12:41 PM
I have never done an exhange with DVC, but I have done some poking around. From my experience, it does not seem easy to specify a specific location at a specific time. It looks like it may work if one of those (locaiotn / time) is flexible. It may however work great if you have 4 or 5 days to plan. Call them up, see what is available and go.

As for DVC in short planning period, again, location flexibility would be a must. While you can probably always get in SSR or OKW, some of the other resorts would probably be iffy. DVC requires less points at low times, which makes those low times attractive to DVC members. Again, if you are able to just pick up and go when the resort you want is available, it may work out fine.

chalee94
04-02-2012, 01:00 PM
2. We really don't or can't plan a vacation more than 7 months out anyway. Sometimes we plan trips a month out and for just 4 or 5 days. How is availablity at different dvc last minute?

it varies. some have made it work, but IMO, you don't sound like you would be a great candidate for DVC or any timeshare. i think you will find it more frustrating than not.

1. It's our understanding if you buy at least 160 points you can use RCI exchanges to go other places. My husband would like that option (don't know why). But have any of you gone other places than Disney? Is it easy to exchange points and go to say Europe or other places in the US?

if DVC is iffy on short notice, RCI will tend to be worse. those who trade into RCI often plan over a year (sometimes 2) in advance.

also DVC is very expensive upfront and in annual dues...that makes it an extremely poor value as a trader. many of the timeshares in RCI cost $1 upfront on ebay and have annual dues of 50-75% of a DVC resort...you'd be trading a cadillac for a chevy...assuming you were able to find availability.

disneynutz
04-02-2012, 05:05 PM
Based on the information that you provided, IMO you would not be happy with a DVC ownership.

:earsboy: Bill

cktauscher
04-02-2012, 06:37 PM
Thanks for your replies and honesty! You know they make those sales pitches so tempting. With my airline discount at a deluxe, 4 nights is still usually more money than the annual MF of a DVC. We'd look to pay cash for a small resale contract that would cover 4 or 5 nights.

Do you think we aren't good candidates because we like to travel last minute? Is it really that hard to find something available less than 7 months out? DH can get around the fact that it's just for Disney and that RCI isn't going to be a buying point.

We never thought we were candidates either but gee, they look so pretty and we'd love to own a little piece of the magic :wizard: I know we will continue to go to Disney for years to come. But of course we realize this is a big decision and want to make a smart move here and not get caught up in the excitement of it all. What else am I missing? Any additional feedback would be welcomed.
Thanks again!

disneynutz
04-02-2012, 07:16 PM
Thanks for your replies and honesty! You know they make those sales pitches so tempting. With my airline discount at a deluxe, 4 nights is still usually more money than the annual MF of a DVC. We'd look to pay cash for a small resale contract that would cover 4 or 5 nights.

Do you think we aren't good candidates because we like to travel last minute? Is it really that hard to find something available less than 7 months out? DH can get around the fact that it's just for Disney and that RCI isn't going to be a buying point.

We never thought we were candidates either but gee, they look so pretty and we'd love to own a little piece of the magic :wizard: I know we will continue to go to Disney for years to come. But of course we realize this is a big decision and want to make a smart move here and not get caught up in the excitement of it all. What else am I missing? Any additional feedback would be welcomed.
Thanks again!

Since you asked. :goodvibes

DVC is a Disney product that exists to make Disney money.

They make it sound bigger and better than what is to make sales.

The RCI offerings are restricted and can be a challenge to get. RCI has thousands of locations but only 500 or so are available to DVC Members. The points required for non-DVC stays at other resorts are high, the point requirements for DCL are high, DCL availability is also restructed and DCL is more expensive than other cruise lines.

Disney offers these extra locations for advertisements and as a sales tool, IMO they don't want you to use your points there. If they did, they would make it easier for you to get a reservation.

Are you willing to pay thousands of dollars to me if I try to get you a room at WDW? I can't guarantee where you will stay and I don't know for sure if I can get you your requested dates. :scared1:

That's is what you are doing with the DVC if you can't or won't plan ahead and book at your favorite home resort.

:earsboy: Bill

cktauscher
04-02-2012, 07:57 PM
Thanks Bill! Very helpful and well put.

Deb & Bill
04-02-2012, 08:04 PM
Based on the information that you provided, IMO you would not be happy with a DVC ownership.

:earsboy: Bill

I'll second what Bill said. For these reasons -
1. There are very few slow times for DVC. Thus you can't wait until a month or two out to book DVC. Unless you want one night here, one night there, another night there, etc.

2. Trading out is not all it is cracked up to be. You get your best stay with DVC points at DVC resorts. Anything else is not cost efficient or effective. You especially can't get RCI resorts a month or two out. You are more likely to get them one to two years out. Plus DVC can change the company they trade with on a whim. All you are guaranteed with DVC is DVC.

I think a DVC membership would just frustrate you.

You may want to look into another timeshare, if you really want a timeshare, and see if it trades with DVC. So you can go to DVC at times, but, again, you won't be doing it at a week out. You'll be planning seven or more months out.

Missyrose
04-02-2012, 08:51 PM
Why don't you spend the next year or two renting DVC points to see if when you plan trips will work with DVC? That way you get to figure out which resort should be your home and you'll also see the how limited you are when you're booking window is shorter.

Just a thought.

chalee94
04-03-2012, 09:56 AM
Do you think we aren't good candidates because we like to travel last minute? Is it really that hard to find something available less than 7 months out?

at 7 months out, you should typically be able to find something (more commonly at larger resorts like SSR, but it can definitely vary widely). waitlisting is also a good option at 7 months out if what you want is not available (although i have had waitlists that never came through.)

but you mentioned sometimes planning a trip 1 month out and that is asking for problems.

DVC pts are "perishable." they are good for 1 year ("use year"). you can bank them forward one year if you need to, but at the end of that new use year, if you don't use them for a reservation during that period, they will expire and be worthless. so it would be a waste of money to buy into DVC and wind up losing pts if you are not able to use them before they expire. (a lot of DVC owners book at 10-11 months out to avoid that risk.)

i'm a little more conservative than some, as i don't want people buying in with an unrealistic idea of being able to book anything they want at 4 months out. but some owners have been lucky to book what they wanted on short notice so it can work out. (other owners have posted that DVC stinks because they can never find availability at 5-6 months out and then they decide to sell and leave the DVC forums.)

you pay your money and take your chances. but if you can book at 10-11 months out and love your home resort, your likelihood of enjoying your DVC ownership goes way up.

We never thought we were candidates either but gee, they look so pretty and we'd love to own a little piece of the magic :wizard: I know we will continue to go to Disney for years to come. But of course we realize this is a big decision and want to make a smart move here and not get caught up in the excitement of it all.

good job taking the time to do your homework.

a lot of people let the pixie dust get in their eyes and don't research what they are getting into. that can lead to serious disappointment.

you are smart to put aside the magic for a minute and approach this as if you were spending many tens of thousands of dollars on a long-term commitment to a real estate interest (which you are.)

cktauscher
04-03-2012, 03:40 PM
Thanks everyone for all your ideas! Definitely somethings to think about and more research to do. :-)

RobOnDisney
04-03-2012, 03:58 PM
The last minute piece also depends on how big your family is. We are now in the "need two-bedroom" category, which makes it a little tougher. I've tried three or four times to plan a weekend DVC trip out with less than a month and only succeeded once.

The thing about DVC you need to realize is the points are developed in such a way that there should never be a 'slow time' for last minute DVC trips. If done right DVC rooms should almost always be occupied. If a room sits empty it is generally because the points were not used at all and wasted by the owners-- any RCI or DCL trades usually get flipped by Disney into inventory and sold as cash rooms.

Deb & Bill
04-03-2012, 07:42 PM
...If a room sits empty it is generally because the points were not used at all and wasted by the owners-- any RCI or DCL trades usually get flipped by Disney into inventory and sold as cash rooms.

Actually, if a room sits empty, it is usually because Disney wasn't able to sell it and get funds to pay the cost of the trade that represents those points. RCI trades go to RCI for what they are offering.

ELMC
04-03-2012, 10:48 PM
We never thought we were candidates either but gee, they look so pretty and we'd love to own a little piece of the magic :wizard:

It's so tempting to look at it that way, but please know that unless you buy shares of Disney stock, you do not own a piece of the magic. By purchasing DVC you are owning the right to pay to stay at the magic ahead of everyone else. Sorry if that sounds jaded.

But of course we realize this is a big decision and want to make a smart move here and not get caught up in the excitement of it all.

You said it all right there.

taaren
04-05-2012, 09:58 PM
Have to add my $0.02, as someone who has been flying standby for a quarter of a century. My mom works for a major airline, and until about 15 years ago my dad worked for a large hotel chain (figures, we live in Hawaii, right?). So we got used to free vacations, always taking advantage of last minute offers.

If you're still able to fly last minute with your spouse, that's great ... lately it seems like most of the time stand-by has become a more difficult option with the airline mergers and right-sizing of planes (we also have friends who work for other major airlines, and they are saying the same thing ... unless one is riding jump seat its getting really unpredictable to standby in the last year or two out of the major markets, especially to MCO). So for us, after we bought DVC, and my mom owns a Marriott timeshare, we just plan 11-12 months in advance for those vacations and buy tickets for those and work the frequent flyer system. Then for our 'other' vacations we wing it, when we're okay with getting there a few days later if we can't get on this flight or the next one, or are staying with friends or in a hotel on a rate with no cancellation fees. Its been less painful than I thought to adjust to planning firm trips and buying plane tickets, but that just might be us ...

Not saying that DVC is for you, but if your airline is one of the ones merging and standing by with family is getting more difficult, you might want to consider that the whole planned vacation thing might not be a terrible idea.

ToddyLu
04-05-2012, 11:02 PM
:) Do your due deliginece as PP have suggested. DVCNews and Passporter guide to DVC are also good resources. Then if you still want to try it, rent. Then if you like renting buy a small 50 point contract and with banking and borrowing you would have 150 points to use at one time. Many folks start with less than that. Again it is the planning out that is more difficult for you. You would have to settle for "where ever" you could get. That might be a studio at AKV instead of the Lake view studio at BLT. I wouldn't want to stay at BLT even though the location is fantastic. See, DVC has changed the way we "do" Disney. We are finding that our home resort is so comfy that if we don't make it to a park, OK. Never would have thought that, but it happened. I think it works best for the true Disney Planner--does that mean you wouldn't benefit or enjoy it, no....you just need to be dang sure you understand what you are buying so you can use it the best way.

I work with a physician who always tells me before a trip "man you and Todd really know how to use your DVC--you seem to get so much out of it compared to other couples I know who have a timeshare". That is becasue we plan a year out for our fall useage and at least 7 months out for the Spring. It take some amount of coordination to get the most out of it. It is expensive but it is worth it when you know what to expect.

You can still enjoy Disney your usual way. DVC doesn't make you love Disney more or less it simply changes your accomodations.

DVC changes your trip to Disney like a Corvette changes your drive to work. Is it necessary, no. Is it expensive but fun, absolutely.

MEK
04-06-2012, 10:01 AM
To the OP - most of the replies here seem to say you are NOT a good candidate for DVC and I'm not sure if I necessarily agree.

Maybe I missed this, but are you ever able to preplan vacations? In other words, how often do you plan a vacation over 7 months in advance. If you do have that ability on occasion and you wish to preplan SOME Disney vacations, than a DVC contract is not a bad idea.

You also mentioned that you are considering resale - OKW and SSR contracts are always on the resale market and you would often be able to get stays there under 7 months when you could not preplan.

The on line booking tool makes it much easier to plan a last minute trip. So I did a hypothetical check.

For example, lets say you want to book a studio at the AKL April 29th - May 3rd. Right now both AKL savannah at kidani and jambo are available. Of course, so is SSR. I didn't check any of the other resorts. So - my point is - there ARE places available to stay last minute. This is under a month. However, you need to know there might not be or won't be during peak times. If you can be flexible and roll with it, then its definitely doable. I mean - you are posing the question to a bunch of uber planners here on the DIS boards. Of course, most of the opinions are not going to favor last minute planning.

As far as the RCI trade - I personally (except for a few resorts) think this is a bad use of points. I have never traded but I have looked at the point costs for a bunch of RCI resorts on the East Coast and it doesn't seem like a fair trade for the number of points I am using when I compare rack rates on the RCI resort versus a Disney resort. That's not to say I won't ever trade, but I may do better renting my DVC points and using that $ towards an RCI stay.

I have had DVC since 08 and this June I will be staying at the last on my list of East Coast DVC resorts. I booked a lot of these stays at 7 months out. I have enjoyed every resort I have stayed in. They all have so much to offer.

Keep doing your research and hopefully you will make the right decision for you. Do be aware of use year and banking rules as was already suggested.

CarolMN
04-06-2012, 11:35 AM
Many times of the year, you can get a reservation a few months prior to arrival or even last minute. It happens, you just can't count on it.

Those who are successful getting reservations closer (than 11 or 7 months) to arrival date will tell you that you need to be very flexible about where you are willing to stay, the unit size and you may have to piece a stay together by moving between resorts or villa types.

Sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don't.

While you are thinking about purchasing, keep an eye on our Rent/Trade Board. (http://www.disboards.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&daysprune=30&f=29) Occasionally, you will see confirmed reservations for rent. Owners are allowed to offer confirmed reservations once they get with 30 days of arrival. Many times, these will go for a good price. If you are fairly flexible about when you can go, that may work for you.

Good luck with your decision. :)