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View Full Version : Tell me the basics (or direct me to where to go!) of buying in!


Jenleephoto
04-29-2012, 10:05 AM
OK, we were on Disney Cruise last week (Dream) and then spent a few days at WDW (stayed at Polynesian). LOVED the cruise! and of course we like Disney World too (but I was very disappointed with the room at Polynesian resort for the $$$ we paid for it!) Been to the timeshare sales pitch, so we know a little bit about buying in. But, we did not buy /do a contract while there. Now that we are home , we are re-considering (had such a great vacation overall and realizing how much $$$$$ we spent and if we could have saved and if so, how!)

I guess I am looking for more specifics from people who have already bought in. For example, do you feel your investment was worth it? Are you happy you did so? We are a family with two young children (5 and 2) and we like Disney but probably would not choose to do a Disney vacation at WDS each and every year. But, probably at least every other while the kids are still under 18 I am guessing. We also really enjoyed our cruise experience and we know we want to definitely want to cruise on Disney again! (on Dream or Fantasy) (but not sure if that is the best value regarding points) Also, we tend to like the higher end resorts and would always want to be staying in those and also within the park itself. So, value for $$$ is it a good investment?

zavandor
04-29-2012, 10:36 AM
You are in the right place! I would suggert you to read at all the threads here on all DVC forums. You'll learn a lot of advantages and disadvantages of buying DVC and above all resale versus direct. I read the forum for more than three months before making an offer for a contract and I think a made a good purchase.
Information is power :)

ELMC
04-29-2012, 11:10 AM
OK, we were on Disney Cruise last week (Dream) and then spent a few days at WDW (stayed at Polynesian). LOVED the cruise! and of course we like Disney World too (but I was very disappointed with the room at Polynesian resort for the $$$ we paid for it!) Been to the timeshare sales pitch, so we know a little bit about buying in. But, we did not buy /do a contract while there. Now that we are home , we are re-considering (had such a great vacation overall and realizing how much $$$$$ we spent and if we could have saved and if so, how!)

I guess I am looking for more specifics from people who have already bought in. For example, do you feel your investment was worth it? Are you happy you did so? We are a family with two young children (5 and 2) and we like Disney but probably would not choose to do a Disney vacation at WDS each and every year. But, probably at least every other while the kids are still under 18 I am guessing. We also really enjoyed our cruise experience and we know we want to definitely want to cruise on Disney again! (on Dream or Fantasy) (but not sure if that is the best value regarding points) Also, we tend to like the higher end resorts and would always want to be staying in those and also within the park itself. So, value for $$$ is it a good investment?

I agree with the previous poster that you can find just about all the information you need by reading these forums.

First off, you did a great thing by resisting the initial temptation to buy and taking the time to do the research. That will definitely pay off for you in the end.

A couple of quick tips to get you started...

If you like to stay in Deluxe resorts, then DVC can be a great way to save money on those accommodations. It's not an investment, per se, but a way of prepaying for your vacations and possibly achieving savings. The best thing for you to do would be to price out what DVC package you would be buying (including buy in costs and yearly maintenance fees) and then compare that to the cost of renting DVC points or booking a reservation direct through Disney. You may or may not want to throw in considerations for time/value of money or opportunity costs, depending on how you view those.

If you only want to go to WDW every other year, then you should buy half the points you need for one stay. The reason for this is that you can bank points from year one and use points from year two. You can also borrow from the year ahead. So you should have enough flexibility for your stay by using these options with half the points.

Finally, one thing you should definitely consider is buying a DVC contract resale. You should spend a decent amount of time investigating all the pros and cons of doing this. Yes, there are some restrictions, but the downside of those restrictions is highly debatable. (Personally, I will only buy resale. But you should figure out what works best for you). The upside of buying resale is that you can save 50% or more on your DVC purchase. That's a big incentive when you are talking about thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.

Good luck in your search. Read all you can, it will definitely have you feeling empowered to make a great decision in no time! :)

KS_Disney_Dad
04-29-2012, 11:38 AM
You'll find that there's no set answer. Everyone's situation is different. If you have a question about your usage, do what we did. We bought resale with a 25 point contract because of having small children. We've since added another 25 contract. We'll see how this goes and when they're older decide if we're still DVCers or not.

Good luck!

Jenleephoto
04-29-2012, 12:00 PM
I agree with the previous poster that you can find just about all the information you need by reading these forums.

First off, you did a great thing by resisting the initial temptation to buy and taking the time to do the research. That will definitely pay off for you in the end.

A couple of quick tips to get you started...

If you like to stay in Deluxe resorts, then DVC can be a great way to save money on those accommodations. It's not an investment, per se, but a way of prepaying for your vacations and possibly achieving savings. The best thing for you to do would be to price out what DVC package you would be buying (including buy in costs and yearly maintenance fees) and then compare that to the cost of renting DVC points or booking a reservation direct through Disney. You may or may not want to throw in considerations for time/value of money or opportunity costs, depending on how you view those.

If you only want to go to WDW every other year, then you should buy half the points you need for one stay. The reason for this is that you can bank points from year one and use points from year two. You can also borrow from the year ahead. So you should have enough flexibility for your stay by using these options with half the points.

Finally, one thing you should definitely consider is buying a DVC contract resale. You should spend a decent amount of time investigating all the pros and cons of doing this. Yes, there are some restrictions, but the downside of those restrictions is highly debatable. (Personally, I will only buy resale. But you should figure out what works best for you). The upside of buying resale is that you can save 50% or more on your DVC purchase. That's a big incentive when you are talking about thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.

Good luck in your search. Read all you can, it will definitely have you feeling empowered to make a great decision in no time! :)

Great! Thanks so much for the info. We will definitely start reading all we can here about it on the boards. I can't see myself wanting to do A WDW vacation every other year, but I could definitely see myself doing a Disney Cruise (at the very least every )other year, and possibly WDW.
Thanks again!:)

permavac
04-29-2012, 12:05 PM
I agree with the other posters - take your time and do your research. Because you sprang for a room at the Polynesian (and if you will continually stay in deluxe accommodations) it does sound like DVC is something that you should explore. If you haven't stayed at any of the DVC resorts, I would say that would be my first step before actually buying in - unless, like the previous poster mentioned you buy a really small contract (25 to 50 points) just to try it out. My DH and I started with a 25-point contract resale and are in the process of buying more points (via resale). We took 3+ years to buy in again and are adding on at "the place where we love to say". It will be difficult for you to buy where you love if you haven't stayed at any of the DVC villas. That said, many owners have bought in early on without trying a bunch of DVCs and are very happy with their purchase so it's not impossible to choose wisely. Just do your research! Good luck!

Terri

a742246
04-29-2012, 12:09 PM
I would recommend that you rent someone's points first and then tour all the DVC's at WDW.

ELMC
04-29-2012, 12:09 PM
Great! Thanks so much for the info. We will definitely start reading all we can here about it on the boards. I can't see myself wanting to do A WDW vacation every other year, but I could definitely see myself doing a Disney Cruise (at the very least every )other year, and possibly WDW.
Thanks again!:)

You're welcome. In your research you should look out for two things. First, if you're not going to go at least once every three years, whether or not owning DVC is really for you. Second, if using DVC points for a cruise is something you want to do or if you would be better off paying cash. Have fun!

Jenleephoto
04-29-2012, 12:51 PM
You're welcome. In your research you should look out for two things. First, if you're not going to go at least once every three years, whether or not owning DVC is really for you. Second, if using DVC points for a cruise is something you want to do or if you would be better off paying cash. Have fun!

Yes, I can def. imagine we would want to go at least once every three years. Thanks again!

Jenleephoto
04-29-2012, 12:56 PM
I agree with the other posters - take your time and do your research. Because you sprang for a room at the Polynesian (and if you will continually stay in deluxe accommodations) it does sound like DVC is something that you should explore. If you haven't stayed at any of the DVC resorts, I would say that would be my first step before actually buying in - unless, like the previous poster mentioned you buy a really small contract (25 to 50 points) just to try it out. My DH and I started with a 25-point contract resale and are in the process of buying more points (via resale). We took 3+ years to buy in again and are adding on at "the place where we love to say". It will be difficult for you to buy where you love if you haven't stayed at any of the DVC villas. That said, many owners have bought in early on without trying a bunch of DVCs and are very happy with their purchase so it's not impossible to choose wisely. Just do your research! Good luck!

Terri

Yes we are used to staying in deluxe accomodation hotels /resorts wherever we go (we are Marriott Rewards members so we usually look for those since we know they are normally pretty decent), but did find that the polynesian did not seem all that 'deluxe' to us. (ie: fairly old room/decor, etc..) We would not choose to stay there when we go again but I did see photos of the AK villas and the new(er) tower online and those seemed nice. Will def do our research!! thanks!

Cinerama261
04-29-2012, 01:50 PM
Great! Thanks so much for the info. We will definitely start reading all we can here about it on the boards. I can't see myself wanting to do A WDW vacation every other year, but I could definitely see myself doing a Disney Cruise (at the very least every )other year, and possibly WDW.
Thanks again!:)

Another option is an off-site timeshare. They are less in cost than a Disney resort and you can still stay at a DVC resort when you want. I have a timeshare at a resort in Vermont, and have stayed at DVC resorts every year. I use the points I get with my resort to trade for weeks at DVC resorts. If you’re interested let me know and I'll give you more information. You can email me at roland.lataille@sbcglobal.net.

Chuck S
04-29-2012, 02:27 PM
Another option is an off-site timeshare. They are less in cost than a Disney resort and you can still stay at a DVC resort when you want. I have a timeshare at a resort in Vermont, and have stayed at DVC resorts every year. I use the points I get with my resort to trade for weeks at DVC resorts. If you’re interested let me know and I'll give you more information. You can email me at roland.lataille@sbcglobal.net.


Do not count on staying at DVC on a regular basis if you own a different timeshare that trades through RCI. DVC's contract with RCI could be changed or discontinued in the future. It has been changed in the past.

RCI was DVC's original trading service, then it was dropped for Interval International for several years. It then switched back to RCI a few years ago. Also, there isn't ALWAYS availability through RCI for the resort location/time frame/room type you want. Also your trade in time share has to have some good trading power. So while you can save some $, it is far from a sure thing.

If you are looking at not using points for a Disney cruise, but only staying at a DVC resort every two to 3 years, a small resale contract would likely be the best way to go for you. If you do plan on using points to cruise or other non-DVC Disney options, you'll need to buy directly from Disney.

Missyrose
04-29-2012, 02:30 PM
Yes we are used to staying in deluxe accomodation hotels /resorts wherever we go (we are Marriott Rewards members so we usually look for those since we know they are normally pretty decent), but did find that the polynesian did not seem all that 'deluxe' to us. (ie: fairly old room/decor, etc..) We would not choose to stay there when we go again but I did see photos of the AK villas and the new(er) tower online and those seemed nice. Will def do our research!! thanks!

Another thing you may want to research is the differences between a regular deluxe resort room and a DVC villa. DVC villas are meant to be homes away from home with kitchens and washers/dryers in 1-bedroom villas and larger, while studios have a kitchenette and access to laundry facilities.

Resort rooms will have two queen beds, while (all but OKW) DVC studios have a queen and pullout couch.

The DVC villas are owned by DVC owners and refurbs are done using money from our maintenance fees, so refurbs of the hard and soft goods in the villas aren't refreshed as often as their resort counterparts.

The thing you have to know about using points for cruises is it takes a large number of points, which won't jibe with your idea of buying just enough points to go to WDW every other year. And those large numbers of points that the cruises require aren't a very good value, you'd be better off renting your points out and using the cash to pay for the cruise.

And PP is right, you may want to take a quick weekend trip to check out the DVC resorts. It's very different seeing things in person vs. in online photos.

Keep asking questions, lots of really well-versed owners here. :goodvibes

Cinerama261
04-29-2012, 03:58 PM
Do not count on staying at DVC on a regular basis if you own a different timeshare that trades through RCI. DVC's contract with RCI could be changed or discontinued in the future. It has been changed in the past.

RCI was DVC's original trading service, then it was dropped for Interval International for several years. It then switched back to RCI a few years ago. Also, there isn't ALWAYS availability through RCI for the resort location/time frame/room type you want. Also your trade in time share has to have some good trading power. So while you can save some $, it is far from a sure thing.

If you are looking at not using points for a Disney cruise, but only staying at a DVC resort every two to 3 years, a small resale contract would likely be the best way to go for you. If you do plan on using points to cruise or other non-DVC Disney options, you'll need to buy directly from Disney.

Don't know why DVC changed from RCI to Interval International and then back to RCI. Maybe the number of resorts - Interval has about 2600 and RCI has over 6600.

You are correct that you can't always get the location/time frame/room type you want with a off-site resort. But, if you own at one DVC resort you might not get another DVC resort for a specific unit and date you want either. If you have RCI points you don't have to worry about trading power. Depending on when I have logged on to RCI, I have seen all DVC resorts available on some days and a few on other days. RCI receives a new list of DVC resorts available to them every few weeks.

The cost savings are very high. Example:

You would like to buy enough DVC points for a two bedroom at OKW for 7 days for you and your school children during the summer vacation. That would be 296 DVC points and the resale price is $55 a point for $16,280 total.

To stay at OKW in a two bedroom the same 7 days, you would need 115,500 RCI points. You could buy a resort with over 120,000 RCI points a year for about $3500. Your savings would be over $12,000.

Your yearly maintenance cost would be about the same for either resort.

ELMC
04-29-2012, 04:18 PM
Don't know why DVC changed from RCI to Interval International and then back to RCI. Maybe the number of resorts - Interval has about 2600 and RCI has over 6600.

You are correct that you can't always get the location/time frame/room type you want with a off-site resort. But, if you own at one DVC resort you might not get another DVC resort for a specific unit and date you want either. If you have RCI points you don't have to worry about trading power. Depending on when I have logged on to RCI, I have seen all DVC resorts available on some days and a few on other days. RCI receives a new list of DVC resorts available to them every few weeks.

The cost savings are very high. Example:

You would like to buy enough DVC points for a two bedroom at OKW for 7 days for you and your school children during the summer vacation. That would be 296 DVC points and the resale price is $55 a point for $16,280 total.

To stay at OKW in a two bedroom the same 7 days, you would need 115,500 RCI points. You could buy a resort with over 120,000 RCI points a year for about $3500. Your savings would be over $12,000.

Your yearly maintenance cost would be about the same for either resort.

Nobody is doubting the ability to do this and potentially save money. But I think you should be cautious about advocating this as a legitimate and long term option for someone who is looking to vacation at Disney for the next 10-15 years.

I have no doubt that the cost savings you mention are real, but as with any other type of financial situation, the savings come with a good deal of risk. You are saving money because you are willing to accept more risk. Please keep in mind that your advice is based on your personal experience, which may be a small sample of the overall experience that DVC owners have trading using RCI points.

Finally, I think your comparison of availability and flexibility between trading with RCI and booking a non home resort is not a fair one. They're simply not the same thing. Like I said, I understand that you have had success doing this, and I think that's great. I would just be careful advising others to do the same without knowing the particulars of their situation.

Cinerama261
04-29-2012, 04:29 PM
Nobody is doubting the ability to do this and potentially save money. But I think you should be cautious about advocating this as a legitimate and long term option for someone who is looking to vacation at Disney for the next 10-15 years.

I have no doubt that the cost savings you mention are real, but as with any other type of financial situation, the savings come with a good deal of risk. You are saving money because you are willing to accept more risk. Please keep in mind that your advice is based on your personal experience, which may be a small sample of the overall experience that DVC owners have trading using RCI points.

Finally, I think your comparison of availability and flexibility between trading with RCI and booking a non home resort is not a fair one. They're simply not the same thing. Like I said, I understand that you have had success doing this, and I think that's great. I would just be careful advising others to do the same without knowing the particulars of their situation.

Yes, there is no guarantee that DVC will be with RCI the next 15 years. But if it did end, you could always use the extra money you saved to rent DVC points.