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DVC Drawbacks?

Discussion in 'Purchasing DVC' started by Himmin, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. Himmin

    Himmin Mouseketeer

    May 6, 2011
    Hi can someone explain any drawbacks they have found with DVC. I know you dont get mouse keeping evey day but other than that are they any downsides to being a dvc member?

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  3. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

    Feb 25, 2002
    Its a huge capital investment up front.

    It isn't nearly as easy to use points places other than Disney than a DVC sales person would lead you to believe.

    Availability can be an issue.

    Room refresh happens on a less aggressive schedule than the CRO resorts - rooms often look a little worn.

    Cancellation policies can be difficult to work with.

    For a timeshare, its fairly expensive.

    Studios (except at OKW) have one queen bed and a pullout couch. VWL and GFV have added a murphy bed. But if you are looking for two real beds in a studio (or for that matter, a one bedroom) your options are limited.

    DVC works best for people who are committed to Disney, who have the cash to pay up front without it creating any sort of hardship, who can plan ahead, and are willing to give up some of the features and flexibility of hotel rooms in exchange for some of the benefits of a timeshare.
  4. chalee94

    chalee94 <font color=green>I thought all sand was ground up

    Aug 14, 2006
    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 with RCI, the best value is staying at the DVC resorts)

    3) DVC not as deluxe as deluxe hotels in some senses (limited housekeeping, sofabeds instead of "real beds", no room service at some DVC resorts)

    4) you prefer stays on weekends as weekend point costs are a little 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.
  5. bwvBound

    bwvBound DVC SSR & other timeshare

    Feb 5, 2004
    Agreeing with posts #2 and #3 and adding: If this is your first timeshare purchase, it might put a big dent in going anywhere else. You can becomes easily caught into a mindset of, "I have DVC. Why would I book somewhere else?" At some point you'll likely get over that mindset ... but it can take a few years.
  6. JimMIA

    JimMIA A little Miami humor...

    Feb 16, 2005
    I'll split my answer into two sections: those drawbacks that apply to most or all timeshares, and those I think are specific to DVC.

    All Timeshares:
    • If you buy from the developer, there is a large initial buyin cost. With DVC, even if you purchase resale, the buyin cost is quite large.

    • The exception to large buyins is purchasing many timeshares, including many very good timeshares, on the resale market for very little. For example, when we bought Wyndham, we paid less than $2,000 including closing and all other fees for the rough equivalent of 600-700 DVC points in terms of what it will buy. [ETA: For comparison purposes, 600 DVC points purchased resale at $60 pp would be $36,000 plus closing costs. That's one example of the savings available.]
    • Any timeshare involves a long-term financial committment for annual expenses, called annual dues by DVC.
    • Exit strategies range from doable to virtually impossible. DVC retains more resale value than most, but you still can't count on getting the bulk of your money out -- especially if you have to sell due to some unanticipated event. The best exit strategy is buy for nothing on eBay and sell for nothing or give it away at the end -- but obviously that's not possible with DVC.
    • Timeshare usage requires considerable advanced planning, regardless of the system used
    • Out-of-system options (cruises, exchanges to other systems, etc.) tend to range from not-as-good value to horrible uses of the timeshare. At a minimum, you are usually getting less valuable accommodations as a tradeoff for a destination you can't get with your home system. (There are some notable exceptions.)
    DVC Specific drawbacks
    • DVC is a VERY limited timeshare system. It has 12 resorts, eight of which are located at Walt Disney World. For the non-WDW DVC destinations, there are other options which are more varied, better located, and less expensive. Several other large systems have literally dozens of resorts in their core system. I'm not familiar with many of the systems, but Wyndham has about 90 resorts in its core system. [ETA: Just did an actual count of the Wyndham Club Plus resorts (the core of the Wyndham system) and there are currently 85 resorts in 51 locations. Possibly owners of other systems can contribute the scope of their systems. DVC currently has 12 (soon to be 13 with Poly) in 5 locations.]
    • Cost-wise, DVC is a very expensive timeshare to own and use. If you compare the dollar cost (acquisition cost amortized + annual dues per point X points required) DVC accommodations are far more expensive than many other options. For example, in December, we got an OKW 2 BR for a full week via a Wyndham/RCI exchange. Our total cost, including almost $300 in RCI and DVC fees, was just under $860. That same reservation using my OKW points [232 points X $7.34 per point ($2 amortized acquisition cost +$5.34 dues)] would have cost us $1,702! Yes, you get onsite convenience, but at a huge premium.
    • DVC's best out-of-system option (RCI) is a very weak Lite version of the real RCI, with only about 600 resorts and none of the very good cash options the real RCI offers. (e.g. next week we check into a one-bedroom for seven nights at Vacation Villages at Parkway in Kissimmee which we got on an RCI Last Call for $303, including all taxes and fees.)
    • Although DVC is a pretty simple timeshare system to use, some of its features are less flexible and less generous than other systems. Here, I'm talking primarily about DVC's cancellation policies and banking/borrowing systems.

      Don't get me wrong, I think DVC is a very good timeshare and has many benefits for people who want to vacation at WDW on a regular basis for years to come. But OP asked for drawbacks, not benefits.
  7. diznyfan4life

    diznyfan4life Earning My Ears

    Jun 6, 2014
    I believe it's a matter of opinion. It has it's pros and cons in my eyes. ( more cons now a days) I have three DVC contracts and will not buy into it anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love Disney, just using DVC has become increasingly harder over the years. I think my chief complaint is, you cannot ever get into any resort sometimes even booking within the 11 or 7 month window. I think it is mostly due to members renting their points out. The other complaint that I have noticed from members are that the dues definitely go up every year. To be fair to DVC, they let you know this before anyone buys their timeshare. They are not allowed to raise the points per night at the DVC resorts but they have been changing the seasons, which raises/ changes the point values for the most popular times of the year. Also, like other people posted, it's hard to use or convert the points for anything other than DVC resorts ( so you are kind of stuck at WDW) unless you have a ridiculous amount of points to spend for Adventures by Disney or the Disney Cruise. The last thing is the benefits for being a member has decreased quite a bit over the years.
    Like anything else, what might be an interest or good investment for you, might not be for someone else or vise versa. Just my opinion talking to members over the years as well as using my points. :)
  8. Granny

    Granny Yeah, I'm a guy

    Jul 25, 2001
    For most DVC owners, I believe this is an upside to DVC. I know it is for us, in fact we declined the trash & towel service during our last stay.

    Only pointing this out because some peoples reasons for buying DVC are the exact same reasons other people don't want to buy DVC. Ultimately, you'll want to decide what works best for you. If you plan on visiting WDW at least every other year for the next few decades, and love to stay on-site, then DVC could be perfect for you.

    Otherwise, you may be better to rent points for reservations when you want to stay in DVC accommodations. Kind of the joy of the experience without any responsibility for annual dues, etc.
  9. Dean

    Dean DIS Veteran<br><a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis

    Aug 19, 1999
    Since others have given far more specifics, buying DVC only makes sense if you can afford it (no consumer debt, pay cash), value staying on property enough to pay the extra, only plan to use DVC points for DVC resort options, can plan at least 7 months out, no negative that are a deal breaker and have enough information and experience to evaluate the above.
  10. magicaldisney

    magicaldisney DIS Veteran

    Sep 8, 2005
    I was just going to say this exact thing. For us, not having daily housekeeping is a major plus. Not having someone come into your room everyday is a nicer thing than you might think. Especially for those of us who like to sleep in and visit the parks into the late evenings.
  11. Dean

    Dean DIS Veteran<br><a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis

    Aug 19, 1999
    We very much prefer not having housekeeping, it's one of the reasons we enjoy timeshares so much. However, housekeeping is an inherent cost and should be an inherent savings when it's not done daily.
  12. ncurley

    ncurley Earning My Ears

    Feb 11, 2014
    According to the David's DVC rental website you CAN pay for housekeeping or fresh towels if you really miss those amenities, but it is pricey ($30 per cleaning for a studio and price increases to $75 for a grand villa). You get free trash and towel service on day 4 of your visit but you can pay extra for that also ($15 studio up to $30 for a GV). So if you really miss that amenity you can pay to have it. I might pay extra for cleaning every 3-4 nights. Or I might splurge on a nice dinner or souvenir instead! My kids would miss the towel animals from mouse keeping though I am not sure it is worth $30-$75 per cleaning.
  13. Dean

    Dean DIS Veteran<br><a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis

    Aug 19, 1999
    Additional Housekeeping Service Daily Rates:

    Full Cleaning Service for Deluxe Studio - $30 per day requested
    Full Cleaning Service for 1-Bedroom Villa - $45 per day requested
    Full Cleaning Service for 2-Bedroom Villa - $60 per day requested
    Full Cleaning Service for 3-Bedroom Grand Villa - $75 per day requested

    Additional Trash & Towel Service Daily Rates:

    Trash & Towel Service for Deluxe Studio - $15 per day requested
    Trash & Towel service for 1-Bedroom Villa - $20 per day requested
    Trash & Towel service for 2-Bedroom Villa - $25 per day requested
    Trash & Towel service for 3-Bedroom Grand Villa - $35 per day requested

    Pay As You Play

    With Pay As You Play service, you'll be provided with the following amenities free of charge at the start of your stay. After that, you may purchase more amenities for the following fees (fees are subject to change):

    Toiletries Package, $5 - 1 facial soap, 1 bath soap, 1 shampoo, 1 conditioner, 1 shower gel
    Coffee Package, $3 - 1 package of coffee, 8 sugars, 8 creamers, 8 artificial sweeteners
    Towel Package, $6 - 4 bath towels, 2 hand towels, 4 washcloths, 1 bath mat
    Laundry Detergent (only in 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom Vacation Homes), $1 - 1 box
  14. DVCcurious

    DVCcurious Mouseketeer

    Apr 18, 2013
    Or you could just take them from the maid carts and not pay anything.

    Not that I've done that before.

    But to answer the OP's question here is my "biggest downside" to DVC membership:

    I have a 4 year old and a 2 year old and they drove me nuts last January so we've decided we're not going back until the summer of 2016.

    So we have like 400 points that we need to "use or lose" (banked 2013 pts and 2014 pts).

    So we're renting them and getting paid 11.25 per point (like $4500)

    So the downside is we have to go through the rental process (which really only took a few hours to make reservations).

    But the upside is we're getting $4500 (minus dues of $2400 so we're netting about $2100) and we don't have to take our rambunctious children back to WDW until we think we can handle it!
  15. JimMIA

    JimMIA A little Miami humor...

    Feb 16, 2005
    Just bumping for new readers
  16. bakerworld

    bakerworld DIS Veteran

    May 24, 2010
    Still need to 'get there', buy food and park tickets once you're 'there'. Basically you're eliminating the part of the 'package' that is usually the most discounted already.

    Our relatives thought DVC was a 'package' but it's not - personally, when the kids were in the picture staying at moderates wasn't an issue. As an older adult sans kids I want to be able to walk to the park and walk home - DVC helps us do in an affordable way - may be it's just affordable because we're buying 3 less park tickets.:lmao:
  17. JimC

    JimC DVC Co-Moderator Moderator

    Dec 12, 2002
    Off topic posts deleted. Please stay on topic.
  18. CdnKayDee

    CdnKayDee Kim & Danelle

    Jan 18, 2009
    Here are some be aware of. DVC perks can change and are for members only not for just anyone using your points. Also the point charts can also change. Disney can shift points around at each resort based on demand from previous years. Disney is held to a max points per year for each resort but can allocate points as seen fit. Disney holds all the points at resorts that are not sold they can then use these points to upgrade guests from other resorts ie allstars or people from RCI come in. So book ahead. Here is the biggest be aware of. Many DVC members us included wish we had just bought 25 more points.
  19. Disney-Kim

    Disney-Kim DIS Veteran

    Aug 17, 1999
    I agree on all the drawbacks. really its a financial commitment and you have to decide if that is ok with your life....and finances.

    Here is why we bought if it helps you...

    We had been to WDW 10 times by the time we bought in 2003...went 6 more times before we sold in 2009 due to financial downturn. We were an every year visitor for 16 trips...that is some commitment but we were nuts ;)

    We have been to WDW 4 more times since we sold and we always stay deluxe...so now at this point when our financial picture has changed we are venturing back in because we know we wil go to WDW at least every year and the years we don't will be Dland and Hawaii...and we want a place to go in our retirement as well...so it made sense for us now at age 47 to buy again and a cash purchase resale made a huge difference in the way we look at it.

    We don't have kids but will take family members on our trips

    hope this helps. I really think you have to visit a lot and stay deluxe to make it worth it. In the long run it works out when you are spending $3000 per trip for just the room as we have in the past for deluxes:goodvibes
  20. bakerworld

    bakerworld DIS Veteran

    May 24, 2010
    Drawback ... I enjoy housekeeping, altho I've quickly gotten use to not having it, I do think the rooms that are serviced daily are cleaner, broken items are replaced more quickly and maintenance issues addressed. I think people tend to abuse something that they don't feel the replacement pinch directly and as the rooms are only serviced once or twice a week issues are missed, forgotten and left to wait.

    Largely, the rooms are OK but the textiles are worn and stained which I never found in a hotel room - not even at the moderates (never stayed at a value).

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