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Old 03-09-2013, 03:48 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Gig Harbor, Washington
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Reflections on my first year as a DVC owner

I purchased a resale DVC contract in December 2011 - 200pts at VGC. Got my membership number in February. I thought that a mini trip report of my first year of DVC ownership experience might be helpful for those that are considering this purchase. Before I purchased I did a lot of reading of the DIS DVC boards. Much, if not most, of it was on this sub-forum, but if you are considering purchasing, make sure that you check out the other sub forums as there is useful information about DVC operations/resorts there as well.

Background: Prior to acquiring DVC , I would say that we tried to get to Disneyland twice a year and to WDW every two to three years. While I have stayed at the Disneyland Hotel, we would usually stay offsite at DLR as the price difference was too great for me to justify staying onsite. At WDW, we have stayed offsite and at Pop Century. I wanted to book a moderate but my daughter wanted to stay at AKL or Pop, so we ended up at POP when could not rent at AKV through Davids. I always want to stay onsite in WDW. I did not view DVC as a money saving purchase, but as a way to stay in better lodgings at roughly the same cost. We fly to both DLR and WDW -our trips are not done spur of the moment. The purchase price was acquired through an inheritance. Other than a home mortgage, we had no debt and the annual dues would not pose any financial hardship.

Resale v. Direct: This seemed like a no brainer for me after reading these boards. I just read that direct prices at VGC are going up to $165 a point- I got mine for $88. My first attempt to purchase a contract was ROFRd . The second one went through but with the limitations on resale contracts. As my plan was to use the points at DVC properties, I did not consider this to be a huge disadvantage and thought I could always rent out points if didnt want to use them. My first effort to purchase was through Timeshare Store. Had very good service from them- very prompt. The contract that was successful was through Fidelity. Again I have no complaints about Sharon or Fidelity except for the title company they used on my contract- not a fan of the title company.

Home resort : Because I live on the West coast and visit DLR more frequently, this was not a difficult choice. I wanted the twelve month booking window at VGC. I am sure that I will always be able to find a resort at WDW at the 7 month window. I will say that one of my motivations for buying DVC is that I see Disney heading toward limiting perks to onsite guests. Things are a little different at DLR than WDW, but at DLR it is possible to have an early entry morning even if you are staying off site. I am not sure how long that will last. I will say that there is very limited availability at VCG once the seven month window passes. So if all of your trips to DLR are done with less than six months planning, DVC at VGC is not the best fit for you. In fact, if you cant plan vacations several months in advance, DVC may not work for you. If you only go to WDW and dont care where you stay, then planning several months out isnt as critical.

Use year: I ended up with October. The contract that was ROFRs was for August, which at the time, I would have preferred. I think that this use year also contributed to the ROFR as more people seem to want August use year. If you are trying to get your foot in the door by purchasing resale, you might look at what use years are being ROFRs and which arent for your resort. Be flexible on use year- I looked to something in the back half of the year. Because my points are awarded so late in the calendar year, I sometimes get confused as to what years points I am using, but that is a newbie problem. Of course if you are already a member, I can see that keeping all your points in the same use year might be easier. Since our trips are planned well in advance and we dont cancel them, then I dont think that use year is very critical.

Renting out points through Davids: My contract came with 96 points that would expire at the end of September, 2012. By the time I got into the system, there was nothing open at VGC or Aulani before that date. We were planning a trip to WDW in December and didnt want to go there. So I called up Davids to rent those points out. The points were rented out very quickly and the process went very smoothly. If I had known how quickly the points would be rented, I might have held onto them a little longer to see if any availability would open up at Aulani, but having never rented before, I just didnt know. I thought that I might not get as much $$ per point if I waited.

Aulani- one week in June 2012. I kept watching and was able to piece together a week in two reservations, with one room change. This was a graduation gift for my daughter and her best friend. This trip would not have been possible without DVC. They couldnt rent a car due to their ages, so were at the resort the whole week. She absolutely loved the resort and we are planning on going back together next year.
AKL/Jambo  eight nights in December 2012. We loved this resort although our savannah view studio looked out over a holding pen rather than open savannah. Would go back to AKL in a heartbeat. Loved the peacefulness of the resort and terrific restaurants.
VCG  four nights in Feb-March 2013- Finally a stay at my home resort! Loved the convenience and the room with views of the park. Had my sister in law join me and loved being able to treat her to this stay. Cant wait to return.
Old Key West ten nights in September 2013. I took advantage of the special DVC annual pass deal on our December 2012 trip on the condition that we would take another WDW trip within the year. My daughter wanted to go to WDW when it was really hot as we have travelled there only in early spring and December. I think she is crazy, but the trip is planned. Chose OKW for its point value and because I think that we will be doing a lot of pool time and its grounds look lovely.

Final thoughts: I must admit that I had a moment of panic when my contract passed ROFR, but I think the time between ROFR passage and the point when you are put into the system as a member is the hardest. The cash has been paid, but no benefits yet. Once that period passed, DVC ownership has been nothing but sweet. My interactions with Member Services have been easy and efficient. All of our stays have been wonderful and I have used/ booked up every point until October 2014. Just make sure that you are in the financial position to enjoy DVC ownership and that your travel style fits it.

Last edited by raftislander; 03-09-2013 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:56 PM   #2
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Very helpful..thanks for sharing
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:06 PM   #3

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Thank you for sharing. I think it's working out for you
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:42 PM   #4
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Thanks for sharing! I enjoyed hearing your thoughts on your first year. My contract was recently sent to Disney for ROFR, and I am eagerly waiting the result.

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Old 03-09-2013, 08:16 PM   #5
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Thanks for the insightful post. I am in my second rofr process and the waiting is the hardest part.
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