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Old 04-25-2013, 01:21 PM   #1
3littlecuties
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Looking at DVC again

We looked at DVC a few years ago and decided that it wasn't worth it for us. We thought that we would only go to Disney every 3-4 years and then didn't know how much we would go once the kids were grown (kids are now 7, 5, and 2). However, we just went to Disney in Oct 2012 and are considering going again June 2014...so less than two years. We love Disney. It is just pricey. Plus now that our youngest will be 3 by our next trip, we are finding that options are limited for a family of 5.

So is there a way to tell me high level...should we look into this further? Assume that we would go every other year. Assume we are staying deluxe when we go (Cont garden wing or Poly standard). Assume we would like BLT as our home. Assume we can afford to pay cash for initial investment and not finance. Can you tell me high level if we should look into this further again?
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:41 PM   #2
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In your case, I would only consider it if you and your significant other have plans to visit the DVC destinations for years to come after the kids have grown.

If your oldest is 7 now and you plan to visit every-other-year, by the third trip he will be a teenager. Speaking from experience (my oldest just turned 12), traveling at that age gets much more complicated. You can't afford to miss school and travel during slower periods. You will be fighting sports and activity schedules for the entire family. And interests invariably change. In a few years you may find you'd rather spend your vacation dollars toward different sorts of experiences: a cruise, week at the beach or visit to someplace like Washington DC.

It's also worth noting that your family size will require a DVC One Bedroom Villa at a minimum. The 1B has a king-size bed in the master, queen sofabed in the living room and SOME resorts have a twin sleeper chair also in the living room. By the time your kids are 17, 15 and 12, you will probably need a more expensive Two Bedroom villa in order for everyone to sleep comfortably. That means more points or shorter, less frequent trips.

My wife and I still enjoy the whole "Disney" experience. After the kids are grown, I could see us spending 3-4 weeks per year in a DVC Studio rather than the larger villas we get now.

Chances are you could still break even on a DVC purchase if you bought today (resale, paying cash) and held them for just 5 years before selling. But that's merely a break even. The real savings won't begin to manifest themselves until you've owned for 10+ years. If you think DVC has enough to keep you interested for 10+ years, it's worth considering.

But I wouldn't recommend it from the standpoint of "we plan to go for a few more years and maybe DVC will save us some money."

For short-term, infrequent needs considering renting DVC points.
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Last edited by tjkraz; 04-25-2013 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:47 PM   #3
Deb & Bill
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We bought almost 16 years ago and have made 30+ trips to WDW using our points. We had five contracts totalling 500 points, but with increasing DVC maintenance fees, we sold two contracts and now have 325 points which give us a very nice stay in a one bedroom villa each year (or a two bedroom villa every so often). We only use our points for DVC.

You will pay maintenance fees every year (or monthly if you have them deducted from a US bank account). Will it bug you to pay maintenance fees even if you aren't going to WDW that year? Maintenance fees go up each year.

And park admission continues to go up each year. Right now you have two guests 3-9 and two guests 10+. The next time you go you'll be three guests 3-9. The next time you'll have three guests 10+. If you go every other year, an annual pass won't do you any good and that is currently the only park admission that DVC offers a discount on. Will park admission be a problem?

So figure on all the other costs you will incur, like travelling to WDW, food as well as park admission and lodging. So, not only is lodging pricy, so is park admission, dining and transportation.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:21 PM   #4
bighoo93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3littlecuties View Post
We looked at DVC a few years ago and decided that it wasn't worth it for us. We thought that we would only go to Disney every 3-4 years and then didn't know how much we would go once the kids were grown (kids are now 7, 5, and 2). However, we just went to Disney in Oct 2012 and are considering going again June 2014...so less than two years. We love Disney. It is just pricey. Plus now that our youngest will be 3 by our next trip, we are finding that options are limited for a family of 5.

So is there a way to tell me high level...should we look into this further? Assume that we would go every other year. Assume we are staying deluxe when we go (Cont garden wing or Poly standard). Assume we would like BLT as our home. Assume we can afford to pay cash for initial investment and not finance. Can you tell me high level if we should look into this further again?
At a high level, I would absolutely say you should look into this further. Not a knee-jerk decision to buy, but your situation seems quite similar to mine, and I think we were a good candidate case for DVC. If you think there is a decent chance you'll be going every other year, you should be looking into it more.

Our kids are 11, 8, 5 and 2. We plan to go to Disney every other year. We need villa-type rooms, a typical hotel room isn't going to work. And we want to stay on Disney property. We could afford to pay cash for the points, too (resale. Definitely look resale). There is no guarantee what your or your family's preferences will be down the road. A famous guy once said predictions are hard to make, especially about the future. So try to think honestly and objectively about it. Not everyone gets sick of Disney, there are a ton of things to do for all ages, and new ones coming online all the time. Some people say that this has happened, so it is a real possibility, but it isn't the least of a concern in our case.
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:31 AM   #5
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There's no way any of us can predict the future, particularly about whether our kids (and us) will want "more and more" Disney...but for what it's worth--different family demographics, but I was in the exact same spot when my DS was about 7...I elected to just continue paying cash for our Disney trips...

Our frequency increased as my income allowed us to go more often and my DS' love of Disney (and mine) kept increasing, too...

I finally bought in 2006, when DS was in his first year of college--and added on 5 times after my initial purchase...

At our peak, I was going 4-5 times/year (fortunately for me, I have a job that can be done, frequently, from wherever I happen to be)...

Now, DS is in the work world (he finished law school last year), and our frequency is dropping--but our desired accommodations are bigger--we were fine in a studio until recently. Now we're both more comfortable in a 1-BR...

So, I still have all those points, and I'm still using them (I've been borrowed out every year since 2009)...

So, it would have been a wise financial decision for me to buy considerably sooner than 2006--but who knew?

Same will be true for you, but it could happen for you as it did for us--by me, that makes it at least worth exploring the finances of the decision--

Good luck!
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:57 AM   #6
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We just bought our first resale. It seems like Disney hotel rates went up this year (along with DVC prices) & are especially expensive if available during peek season. This is even at passholder rates.We really like the convenience of staying on site. I enjoy planning my trips ahead of time & knowing I have the points available to go. It was getting frustrating constantly having to shop for a hotel & lately not finding any good deals. Needless to say, we are excited to start using our points.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:30 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by NoleFan View Post
We just bought our first resale. It seems like Disney hotel rates went up this year (along with DVC prices) & are especially expensive if available during peek season. This is even at passholder rates.We really like the convenience of staying on site. I enjoy planning my trips ahead of time & knowing I have the points available to go. It was getting frustrating constantly having to shop for a hotel & lately not finding any good deals. Needless to say, we are excited to start using our points.
Agreed. The recent rack rate increases and reduction in discount rates from 40% to 30% steered us out of the "promotion code" game and into DVC.

We bought 150 BWV points in two contracts. It's not enough to cover our typical trip (9 nights in a 1BR villa in low season), but it qualifies us for so many other discounts and perks that it was really a no-brainer.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:30 AM   #8
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I say it's definitely worth looking into further and may very well be right for your family.

We bought in 2006 when our kids were 9, 7 and 7. We have made 5 trips to WDW, 1 trip to VB and 1 trip to HH/OKW (non-park) in the 7 years we've owned...MIL and FIL have made 3 trips using our points and SIL made a trip on our points as well as some friends who rented from us...so 12 trips (5-9 nights each) on our points. In 2012 we added HH points and this March we added AKV points...we have a trip booked for Dec for us, MIL and FIL and SIL. We are now adding on more HH points to do a nice trip there next summer. I see us continuing to use our DVC even as the kids (who are now 16, 14 and 14) age. My other SIL also owns and her kids are 20, 18 and 15 and they still go to WDW every summer and in Dec (which seems to now be a biennial thing) with us. That SIL hopes to use her points someday to go to Aulani as do we. SIL also hopes to have enough points to do a month or so every winter in retirement. We hope to live in FL in a few years (once the kids are done with HS) and will let our adult children use our points.

For now the cycle we seemed to have fallen into is: 2 (5-6 night) trips to WDW one year with APs and then a beach trip the following year...wash, rinse, repeat. Last year was VB, this year was AP year and next year will be HH.

I do agree that it has become more difficult to find time to vacation now that the kids are older and more intense with school and sports (my girls play year round club softball). That's what got us into doing 2 shorter trips the year we have APs...this Jan, for semester break, we did 5 nights at BCV and in Dec, for Xmas break, we'll do 5 nights at AKV. Last summer we did 4 nights at VB followed by 2 nights at Universal Hard Rock in August- the week before school started back (and in between softball seasons). You will be able to find ways to make it work. Good luck in your research and decision making!
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjkraz View Post
If your oldest is 7 now and you plan to visit every-other-year, by the third trip he will be a teenager. Speaking from experience (my oldest just turned 12), traveling at that age gets much more complicated. You can't afford to miss school and travel during slower periods. You will be fighting sports and activity schedules for the entire family. And interests invariably change. In a few years you may find you'd rather spend your vacation dollars toward different sorts of experiences: a cruise, week at the beach or visit to someplace like Washington DC.
Tim nailed a point that I think a lot of us don't think about when the kids are younger -- our babies grow up, and as they do, their interests change.

We bought DVC when DD was barely 3. We loved everything about Disney and so did she. She was the ultimate Disney Princess in the best sense of the word (except for that one little 2 y/o meltdown where Cinderella lost her slipper at Epcot) We went 2-3 times a year (just a boring 4-hour drive from Miami), and our DVC ownership was held in a family trust also used by my two adult daughters and their families.

Today, DD is 11 and an ice princess (figure skater). She still loves all things Disney, but she's more into Disney On Ice. Our entire schedules revolve around lessons, practice, skate camps, power, dance, and off-ice conditioning classes and 5-6 competitions a year...most of which involve traveling.

Earlier this month, we competed in the Florida Open competition in Orlando. This was during her spring break and when I asked if she wanted to go up a few days early and do Disney, she said she'd rather stay in Miami and practice. Her events were on Friday and Sunday, and when I asked if she wanted to go to WDW on Saturday, she said she'd rather watch the other girls skate. We did minigolf instead of WDW, and had a ball. Never a mention of WDW from her.

Last year's vacations were to Cape Cod and the Gatlinburg area (Smoky Mountains NP). The previous year, WDW for 5 days and Washington DC/Shenandoah NP for a week. The next couple of years will probably be major western national parks trips.

When you have multiple kids, that problem is simply multiplied -- each kid has their interests and they focus on them in a way that is different from our childhood experiences. What was "play" for us becomes a passion that consumes all their time, thought, and energy.

For that reason, I would think long and hard about buying a timeshare that is best used in only one place...no matter how "Magical" that place may be.
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:21 PM   #10
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In your case, I would only consider it if you and your significant other have plans to visit the DVC destinations for years to come after the kids have grown.
This is a great point. Our yearly family trips to Disney began in 1997 but we have only been members since 2010 and our kids were 13 and 16 when we bought. Our DS loves Disney our DD can take it or leave it. With DS in college and working and sports schedules for DD it only gets more difficult to find travel dates. However since we have bought DVC DH and I have been able to take Disney trips on our own and some trips now involve family and friends that wasn't possible before DVC. We hope to take our grandkids someday but if it only ends up DH and I in the years to come who visit WDW we will be more than okay with that.

Good luck with your decision
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