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Bini2
07-03-2003, 10:22 AM
I have been referred to DVC by several aquaintances and coworkers who have been to different DVC resorts and consistently rave about their vacations.

My question is (in the interest of research),

- Why did you join DVC?
- What have been the positives (and negatives) for you since you have joined?
- Do you have any sage advice to offer to a prospective DVC buyer?

I have 2 children who love Disney, but I want to feel good about my choice before I make it.

Thanks for your help.

Namdnas
07-03-2003, 10:46 AM
Bini,

I'm no sage, having just joined, but I have one DVC experience. I rented points without knowing what I was doing from someone on eBay (it was simply a vacation package that they were selling). It was a 2 bedroom villa and the accomodations far exceeded my expectations. We have two young children and love Disney in every respect. My in-laws felt the same, so I started running the DVC numbers, to see if it made sense. It made sense regardless of the potential return percentages and a like costed room at DVC is much nicer than a comparable Disney resort. Stated another way, for similar rooms, the Disney resort accodations are normally much more expensive. Either way, I think I agree with others on these boards who suggest that you should consider this a pre-paid expense vs. a return producing investment. Once the points are paid off, you won't even notice the maintenance fees each year, and you'll look forward to once again being Welcomed Home.

So, bonuses came out at my company and I plunked mine down on a DVC purchase through Disney, using the Magical Beginnings discount. I don't regret it one bit.

I have been dying to get down there since, and look forward to years worth of memories at Disney with my children, and hopefully their children.

One last piece of advice which is echoed often here. Buy at the property which you plan to stay at most. When you choose your resort, you have to pay those specific maintenance fees, but they're not all too different. On the other hand, you get a 4 month home court advantag on booking reservations where you own. So, if you plan to go at busy times, that might make all the difference as to whether you get your preferences.

Take care

todsue99
07-03-2003, 10:51 AM
First off, welcome to the boards.

We joined DVC for two reasons: 1. We love Disney and like to spend a lot of time there. 2. It was the only way I would spend the money to stay at a high class resort. ie. A two bedroom rack rate is 300 - 700 per nite (someone else might have the exact number) and I would not be able to justify it in my head to spend that much money for a room. Now we are only using points to stay.

I have not really seen any real negatives yet, but I am sure there will be some eventually. The positives are you make your reservations months in advance and gives you time to dream and save for the passes. It gives us a reason to take at least one family vacation every year. It is the best way to experience Disney, you have the feeling of being home or at least an apartment anyway and you are at WDW.

Advice - Make sure you can afford it. It is not cheap and strapping yourself done to join isn't a good idea. Stick around here and ask all the questions you want. Everyone is helpful, but you will not get much negative feedback here. Make sure you buy where you want to stay the most.

I hope this helps.

We love DVC if you can't figure that out.;) ;)

caverill
07-03-2003, 12:26 PM
First off, welcome to the boards. Feel free to ask all the questions you need to. The wealth of information available is wonderful.

We have been DVC owners since 2000. We have made the following trips as DVC memebers; two trips to WDW, one to Vero, and once we traded out to stay at the Grand Hotel.

From our experience, we really see no downside other then the initial cost. I agree that you should not over extend yourself to purchase DVC, since what kind of enjoyment can you have vacationing if you can't afford it.

Here are some general guidelines that I believe will help decide if DVC is right for you.

- DVC is a pre-paid vacation plan, not an investment that will grow.

- DVC does have a breakeven point, but it will be based on your vacationing habits.

- DVC has a lot of flexiablity due to the use of a point system. It is difficult to compare to a "normal" timeshare.

- DVC is best suited for families that like to go to WDW (or VB and HH) on a regular basis, since the program is really targeted at staying at DVC resorts.

- DVC is best suited if you like to stay in a Deluxe on-site hotel when you go to WDW. If you are happy with a moderate or staying off-site, it may not make sense from a cost standpoint.

- You must do something with your points at least every three years. You can bank and barrow, but a some point you either need to use them or rent them out.

- DVC gives you the flexiablity to trade out, but it is not the best use of your points.

If you decide that DVC is for you, here are a couple of other suggestions:

- Purchase points where you want to stay!!!!!!!

- Use year is something to think about, but normally is not that big of a deal.

- You don't get daily housekeeping. Most DVC members don't miss it. In fact, our family likes the fact we don't need to worry about getting out of the room to get it cleaned.

- Purchase the number of points that you need for you normal vactioning habits. You will really never have enough points once you start using them.

Good luck and ask all the questions you need to!

Merilyn
07-03-2003, 04:11 PM
We joined DVC in 1992 when my daughter turned 21. I have no small children. We loved our trip there and wanted to have many years of vacations in a very nice place. We don't stay in the budget motels. Don't get me wrong, that is fine if that is what you want. We wanted a kitchen and all that goes with the nice places. We had stayed there already with cash and then found out about DVC. It is very much a bargain if you like nice places and vacation a lot. We go to WDW almost every year for a week and stay in a GV. It is about 1000 a night now without tax and the increases. That is far below the cost I have put into DVC. I like the ability to go when I want and stay in whatever size accomadations I need. My children, now 29 and 25 still look foward to our trips there and we are all going together this Sept to OKW. It was the best investment we ever made and have added more points 3 times. We now own at VB and OKW. We have traded to NYC, Washington DC, SC, and CA. It is not the best use of points but we like the ability to trade to nice locations that are not at WDW. Hope these board help you and do ask as many questions as you need too. There are many people who are ready to welcome new members and can help you with your decision.

mmmcq
07-03-2003, 04:28 PM
You're smart to use the boards to field some questions before you buy DVC. Most of us just took the plunge without asking!

We bought in 1999 after spending 10 days offsite in a timeshare condo. We honestly went down to WDW that spring (our 3rd trip in 6 yrs) and said to each other that we thought it would be our last until the baby (then in my tummy) was 5-6. We set out to really enjoy the week in a relaxed fashion.

Well we had such a good week that we started looking around at the timeshare in which we were staying (Westgate Village) and thought we should buy a week. Then we wandered over to the Boardwalk for dinner one night and walked into the DVC office completely unprepared for what we saw.

We went back to our condo that night and really thought about it. We loved the condo offsite, but we had really enjoyed our onsite visit to Caribbean Beach and DVC looked so much better than both. So we went back and joined before we left. And we have never regretted the decision.

It works for us because we are not generally good long range planners. Our lives are just too hectic. We have one family vacation with my husband's clan every 12-18 mos, but for the most part take 1-3 wks on our own each year. Next year my husband will have 5 weeks of vacation. Being part of DVC makes us plan ahead for at least one of our vacations.

And there's no denying it.....we are hooked on WDW. A lot of our friends think we're nuts, but we don't care and neither do our kids. Maybe it keeps us young? Maybe it's all a fantasy world? I'm not sure of all the reasons....but the DVC vacation is as close to perfect as we'll ever get. We do a lot of travelling elsewhere (San Francisco, AZ, MD and MA beaches, etc) but our favorite vacations are at WDW.

We just doubled the number of points that we own and were able to do a trip next week AND book our April vacation for 2004. That will be a record 3 trips in 18 mos....yippee.

I'd be happy to answer any other questions you might have. Best of luck with your decision.

twinmomplus2
07-03-2003, 04:51 PM
I joined DVc in 1999. After a year of enjoying my brothers generosity in giving my kids with his leftover points. then over the Millenium, He was insistent we all bring the kids for New years. You could only book so many rooms for that time period. So we bought mine on the spot. It has worked out well for us as a family. 5 in our immediate family own DVC. 3 boardwalk, and 2 OKW.
Buy where you will most enjoy the atmosphere, I will say both of Our OKW owners only stay there. I and my brother enjoy all the propertys. And with the kids you can not beat the Villa's. all the extra space. The whirlpool. and my fave the washer and dryer!!! You will be happy you bought. I am.

JimC
07-03-2003, 04:52 PM
Welcome. We used this board as our primary information source on DVC and the great tips, comments and analysis provided was of tremendous value. Several other sites were also very helpful. A link to one of them is below.

http://www.mouseplanet.com/dtp/dvc/1_Forward/forward.htm

We bought because we love Disney and enjoy the many offerings that are available to us. Disney is consistently a first rate vacation and we have enjoyed the fine cast members. They really make the experience special. Our decision came when we concluded that even with annual pass room discounts, DVC is a better deal with better accommodations.

The one positive that we had not counted on in joining DVC has been the community they created. Many very interesting people are members. Take these boards for instance. It is a connection to a common interest.

The neagtive is that we did not find a way to afford joining in 1992 when we first looked. Second negative is that it took us ten years to revisit DVC, although we have been regular Disney guests throughout the ten years. We could have afforded it long before we reconsidered.

We bought direct at BCV (Byron is our guide - a patient and first rate gentleman) and resale at OKW (Pat at The Timeshare Store - friendly, professional and efficient).

Good Luck!

anniet
07-03-2003, 06:03 PM
Originally posted by Bini2

My question is (in the interest of research),

- Why did you join DVC?

Because we were visiting Orlando every January for the past 12 years or so. We were staying at Tropical Palms right outside Celebration on 192 and it was great...little cottages, full kitchen, $59 per night. We started going there every year since it was built, but like most places, it's aging and the upkeep was just okay. We figured for a few dollars more over the long run, we'd bite the bullet put out the cash and upgrade our next 40 years of vacations to WDW. Let's face it, nobody knows how to keep property up as well as Disney.

- What have been the positives (and negatives) for you since you have joined?
Well, we only had one visit as DVC members so far. It was this past January and we were able to spend 10 nights in the Wilderness Lodge. We LOVED the lodge and visited for drinks and meals over the years, but felt we could never afford to both stay there AND keep going back to Disney every single year. We were finally able to make that dream come true. Also, as we were leaving DBF told me not to cry and I said "You know, I might be crying if this was a vacation we spent our life's savings on and we had no idea if or when we would ever get to do this again, but I'm not going to cry because I KNOW we will be back here next year!"

Negatives....It was only 10 days.

- Do you have any sage advice to offer to a prospective DVC buyer?

I have 2 children who love Disney, but I want to feel good about my choice before I make it.

Buy as many points as you can afford up front, because you will be bit with the add-on bug and be kicking yourself when you have to pay a higher price later. And as far as feeling good about purchasing- don't worry you will. I only spent the first night after closing staring at the ceiling thinking "What have I done?" But after that I never looked back. We don't even have kids, but we have 3 nieces and a nephew. We are banking points to bring the families down in 2005. When we tell the five year old she'll be going with us when she just turns eight, she frowns and bats her beautiful big blue eyes and says, "But I want to go when I'm fiiiiiiiiiiiiive!";) :p :) Right now it's giving us wonderful things to look forward to. I am certain at the end of our years it will have given us many wonderful memories. It already has.

lancelotweb
07-03-2003, 06:27 PM
For us, joining DVC got down to a simple fact: we love being in Disney, on Disney property with easy access to everything. Sure we started out with the whole financial analysis, drilled down real deep, found all the pros and cons, but any way we cut it it was a huge cost. You can slice it and dice it any way you like, and I have seen several people on these boards even try to spin it such that you'd save money in the short term. Bottom line is that it is expensive. Now, that does not mean it is not worth it. Is hour house expensive? Yes. But is it worth it? Sure it is. The way we made our final decision was based on our feelings that the time, luxury and convenience we are buying to spend at Disney World is well worth it. I enjoy nothing more than watching my children and my wife in Disney.

sitchu2
07-03-2003, 07:43 PM
Why did we buy DVC?
Because each time we visited, accomadations were about $5000 and it pays for itself in 5-7 years depending on how you use it.

Posatives: Everything no complaints DVC resorts surpassed my expectations (BCV)

Negatives: You are going to want to travel to central florida more then once a year so your travel expenses will increase if you cannot control the urge.

Sage advice Buy where you wish to stay because the 11 month booking window is quite valuable.

Best wishes!

CaptainMidnight
07-03-2003, 08:41 PM
One nice option is to use the information on the links above including the rent/trade board and check out some of the resorts for yourself by renting.

Duchie
07-03-2003, 10:59 PM
Why did we purchase DVC? Because we felt like it offered the most value for our family as it is now, and also was something we would "grow" into. Our kids are small now (6, 5, and 3). Because there are now 5 of us, we will always need to rent at least 2 rooms, or a suite. So when I did the cost comparisons to even one of the budget resorts, it's much more economical for us to own DVC.

As for advice? Read these boards. Often. The folks here are a wealth of knowledge - it's your best resource.

YesDear
07-04-2003, 06:10 AM
Why did I join DVC? Well to begin with you should be able to tell from my screen name that I am good at doing what I am told.!:)

After about 41/2 years of going to every model at every resort every time we went to WDW, and stopping at HH on the way down, DW finally said we were going to do it. Of course I said Yes Dear. See how well trained I am!!!

Seriously though, I have been married to a wonderful beautiful woman since 1980. We have a magnificent son who is 20 and is currently working as a lifeguard at SAB on the College Program. He is the handsome and intelligent one!!! I sound like his mother.

I discovered early in our marriage that DW had an affliction. I do not know the name, but she was not happy unless she was either at WDW or planning a trip to WDW. ( I recently had her DNA checked and confirmed that 5 hidden Mickey's were found)

The bottom line was that in 23 yrs of marriage I had been to WDW over 45 times, DS over 40 and DW more than us. Yes, she would go without us!

We had done Disney about anyway you can. From the GF Grand Plan, to Vistana, to the Hampton Inn on I4. It made sense to own a piece of the Mouse. I think I have already paid for 47/129ths of Spaceship Earth anyway......

The only negative I have seen is trying to keep her from buying more points. We have 150 at OKW and 100 at BCV. Everytime we are there and she dissapears for 10 mins, I place a call to security to track down our DVC rep to make sure she is not with him plotting the next purchase. Imagine my fear when I realized she had him on her speed dial at work! Even DS has gotten into the act. He has mentioned several times that when he gets married will our points be enough for us and his family!!!

I agree with all posters here that this a wonderful resource for info about DVC and Disney. I look at this site like a big family. They share, they love, they fight (DO NOT GO TO THE DEBATE BOARD! It is dangerous there!!! LOL) While you will see alot of discussions and disagreements about what Mickey is and is not doing right, you will see a great love for the mouse.

You said in your post that your 2 kids love Disney. If mom and dad are the same then to me your questions are answered. If Disney is a place the entire family can and will come to for years to come than DVC is the best answer in my mind!!

Oops gotta go!! Yes Dear!!! Right away dear!!! I'll be right there! YES DEAR

disny4ever
07-04-2003, 07:23 AM
the love of Disney. Most grew up on Disney, and if the truth be known..........most of us are still kids and don't want to grow up.

Seriously, for DW and I, Disney World is a place we can go and find something new or different to do each trip. It's a very relaxing, friendly environment, besides Magical !!!! We don't even do the parks like we use to because we know we will be back each year for a long time. Each season is different along with each resort.