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Old 06-14-2011, 10:55 AM   #1
Wish I could live in Cinderella's Castle!
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DVC - is it worth it?

So we're heading back to the magic this August. I realized that we've suddenly become "those people" who just can't seem to get enough of Disney! Could we take other family trips for less money? Sure! But we just LOVE Disney and LOVE being inside the Disney bubble when we go.

Sooo, I've convinced my dh that we should talk to the DVC people when we're there.

What can you tell me about DVC and whether or not it's worth it for a family of 4 who can't seem to plan their annual family vacation anywhere but on Disney property?!!
me, dh, ds13, dd9
'97, '01, '04 -offsite
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:57 AM   #2
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You may want to go over to the DVC board; this is more for the regular resorts.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:00 AM   #3
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I agree, the DVC board folks will be more than helpful answering any of your questions and we will tell you pros and cons. Of course what you'll hear the most is that alot of us wish we had done it sooner. It is perfect for our family. We love it. The hard part is deciding now on buying directly from Disney at the higher price with more perks, or resale at great prices, but less perks.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:05 AM   #4
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We have been DVC members for 11 years. Our only regret is that we didn't join when the kids were younger. They are now twentysomethings, and one is married. Our love for Disney has only grown stronger over the years. And they still want to go to Disney. DD and DSIL joined shortly after they got engaged. Thankfully he saw the value in DVC because they were planning their honeymoon there.

DVC keeps our family together. Everyone is busy with their careers, but we make plans to meet at Disney for some family time. We have done trips with 3 generations because Disney is a destination for everyone.

We started with the minimum contract and added on over the years, as we realized how much we loved it.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:05 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by n2mm View Post
The hard part is deciding now on buying directly from Disney at the higher price with more perks, or resale at great prices, but less perks.
Or go hybrid, buy the minimum from Disney and stock up on other peoples' resale points...

Or are they discriminating against add-on points?

Wait - don't answer that! -- I'll go on over to the DVC board and look...
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:09 AM   #6
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We bought into DVC in 2008 and LOVE it. We have never regretted the decision. I love having our trips "paid for" in advance. Plus, I love the DVC annual pass discount.

We have used our DVC to treat friends. We have rented out our points. Plus of course, we have been on dozens of trips to the happiest place on earth with our points.

As others have said, it really has been an investment in family time for us.

PM me or others if you have specific questions. I know the DVC members on these boards have been very helpful to me and I'm sure you will find the same helpfulness.

Wishing you pixie dust in your decision.
34 trips...SO FAR! June 1989-Honeymoon! August 2002-CBR & Disney Wonder!! October 2003-offsite October 2004-offsite August 2005-1st FREE dining & WL Jan. 2006-WDW, 2nd Disney cruise & Nick Hotel! May 2006-POP adults only Aug. 2006-POP & 2nd FREE dining! Christmas 2006-POFQ April 2007-Easter at Pop Aug. 2007-3rd Free dining at Pop Sept. 2007-first trip to Disneyland! Feb. 2008- Beach Club, DCL & Pop ~ joined DVC! Sept. 2008 - 4th FREE dining! - POFQ Oct. 2008 - SSR & MNSSHP! Christmas 2008 - All Star Sports & FREE dining! June 2009 - Kidani Village for our 20th anniversary July 4th, 2009 at Pop!Aug. 09 - Pop again! Sept. 2009 - POFQ and 6th FREE dining Halloween 2009 at Kidani June 2010 Kidani for 2 graduations & a marriage proposal.Free dining & Halloween at Pop CenturyChristmas and New Year's 2010 - BCV & AKV Spring break 2011 at Old Key West June 2011 Celebrating 22 years of marriage at Kidani Halloween 2011 at POFQ with FREE dining for the 8th time Disney Cruise on the Dream April 2012 July 2012 at Kidani & Cocoa Beach Kidani & Jambo house club level Christmas 2012 Spring break 2013 offsite Celebrating 24 years of Happily Ever After at OKWChristmas/New Years 2013 with free dining at Coronado SpringsJune 2014 - Beach Club and Disney Fantasy!

10 nights celebrating our empty nest at Kidani!
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:09 AM   #7
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To us it did make sense and we are so happy with our purchase.
Do you stay deluxe? That is where it comes out with the dollar value for us. Would you like to have a kitchen, a bedroom (or two), and in some resorts two bathrooms! It really adds a new level to visiting Disney.
Owning DVC means I know I will be back.

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Old 06-14-2011, 11:26 AM   #8
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here's the basic scoop: DVC works best for people who:

1) go to disney at least every other year
2) prefer to stay onsite at deluxes (or at least moderates)
3) can plan their vacations 10 or 11 months in advance
4) can limit Fri-Sat stays since weekend point costs are a little higher
5) intend to use DVC primarily for staying at a DVC resort at disney (rather than trading out for other timeshares or cruises, etc.)
6) need or prefer larger accommodations than a basic hotel room

OTOH, there are lots of good reasons to balk at buying DVC:

1) thousands of $ upfront plus annual fees require a certain level of financial ability and commitment (and you still need to pay for tickets and travel, etc.)
2) commitment to wdw/fear of wdw burnout (sorta - while you can trade out if you buy direct, the best value is staying at the DVC resorts)
3) DVC not as deluxe as deluxe hotels in some senses (limited housekeeping, sofabeds, no room service at some DVC resorts)
4) you prefer stays on weekends as weekend point costs are higher
5) financing a depreciating (sooner or later) luxury purchase is generally a poor idea
6) you are happy with value hotels/offsite
7) amenities like a kitchen and washer/dryer have no value for you
8) you don't/can't plan vacations 6+ months in advance
9) you enjoy hunting for deals/bargains for each trip

If you’ll be upset when other people can pay cash for a room and get a discount or get “free” dining thrown in, then DVC is not for you.

also be aware that if you think you might keep DVC for 6-8 years and then sell it down the road, it may have little to no value as DVC has begun cutting perks that transfer when you sell your contract. resale contracts no longer qualify to trade for cruises and wdw hotels like the GF...(but those trades tend to be a poor value anyway.)

remember that it's not a "membership" so much as a long-term real estate lease commitment with continuing costs. while you can stay in studios that are similar to hotel rooms (only OKW has 2 queen beds, though, and all the rest have 1 queen + 1 pullout sofabed), DVC is a better value if you want to spread out and get a 1BR villa or larger...

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Old 06-14-2011, 11:28 AM   #9
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Yes it is worth it

We were a lot like you. We went 4 years in a row at a cost of about 3500-4000 bucks as we liked the wilderness lodge and akl. When we finally took the tour and discussion with dvs (secret is not so much a secret anymore) my DW and I looked at eachother and said we could have already had this paid off with our first 4 trips! The one think that would be a concern of mine now is airfare and food but we would still do it. DVC is still selling BLT, AK and Aulani. I would talk and make an appointment next time down to talk to dvc. I would request to go to blt, ak and hawaii (just kidding) but blt and ak for sure. We purchased BLT thinking we would get the room overlooking MK but have not been able to get in and we had a really bad experience with the rooms at blt but everyone is different. It has been well worth our money. I think you would find it worth yours as well.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:52 AM   #10
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challee94---Your list is great! I have looked into the DVC a couple of times over the last 7 or 8 years. The two things that have just held me back are #6 and #9 on your balk list-- my family loves POP, and I love to look for deals! I just have not reached a point where it looks like the value of the DVC will pay for itself. I must say, though, that as our financial situation improves and it is more possible for us to go to Disney more than just every 3-4 years, the benefits of the DVC might start to look better and better
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:17 PM   #11
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We considered it, but then realized, "why buy when you can rent?" We found a great, reliable DVC owner who rents us points and makes all the reservations and arrangements for us every time we want to go.

Soarin' is borin'

December 2013- Boardwalk Villas; October 2012- Saratoga Springs; October 2011- Saratoga Springs; December 2009- Saratoga Springs April 2009- Boardwalk Villas; October 2008- Boardwalk Villas; July 2008- Dolphin; December 2007- Animal Kingdom Lodge; April 2007- AllStar Music, Saratoga Springs, Pop Century; Oct 2006- AllStar Sports, BWV, POFQ; July 2005- Vero, Boardwalk Inn; Oct 2004- Contemporary Tower; Feb 2004- Coronado Springs; Dec 2003- Radisson Resort Parkway; Oct 2002- Best Western Lake Cecile; Apr 1994- Delta Resort
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:33 PM   #12
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This is a great question for the DVC-Mousecellaneous board; I'll move it over there.
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:53 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by chalee94 View Post
also be aware that if you think you might keep DVC for 6-8 years and then sell it down the road, it may have little to no value as DVC has begun cutting perks that transfer when you sell your contract. resale contracts no longer qualify to trade for cruises and wdw hotels like the GF...(but those trades tend to be a poor value anyway.)

I would counter this and say that if you bought resale right now, this argument would not hold true. If I bought 200 BWV @ $50 right now, I would pay $10,000. In 8 years I could have 8 weeks in a 1BR, the rack rate would be $25k or more. I would have spent $18k on purchase and MF's, but could probably sell for $25-$30pp, bringing me back $5000-$6000. So I'd have spent $12,000-$13,000, or approx 50% or more off rack rate.

Very loose numbers (didn't include closing costs, selling commission...etc, but also didn't include tax on cash rooms). Point being, WDW is the best place to use the points anyway, so buying direct is a risky proposition that, to me, is hardly worth the cost difference.

To the OP, I would say that we just bought in and I would definitely refer to the rest of Chalee's list of pros/cons. We have two young girls, we found ourselves going repeatedly over the past few years and were spending $3000-$5000 on rooms alone.

If you buy resale, you can get a great deal right now and the "lost perks" have very little value anyway. If you want to take a cruise, put the thousands you save buying resale towards it.
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:02 PM   #14
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We're happy we bought!

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Old 06-14-2011, 02:03 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dopey420 View Post
"why buy when you can rent?"
to answer your (rhetorical, i know) question:

*because it's cheaper to own over the long term
*because you control the reservation as an owner but not as a renter

which is why i bought instead of renting. i didn't like the loss of control when i rented - 99% of all rentals go off without a hitch but all it takes is one reservation where you can't get in touch with the owner to adjust the reservation, or if you have trouble confirming that the reservation exists...there's a value in ownership there for some of us.

and even renting at $10 per pt, i could cover my $5 per pt annual dues + a proportion of my original upfront costs with room to spare. the owners who rent out points-based reservations aren't typically losing money on the deal.

but it's true that if you burn out on wdw as a renter, you can walk away with no further obligation...so in your situation, it certainly might be better to rent. it just depends...

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