Discussion in 'DVC-Mousecellaneous' started by jd1374, Nov 27, 2012.
I had to ask we are considering and would like to get opinions.
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Well you could start by reading jockotaco's post just above yours. Otherwise you'll get plenty of input here.
What are your criteria regarding "worth"? What do you hope it will do for you? How do you hope to use it? (etc)
It is an expensive way to vacation if you add in the park admission, dining, transportion there every year (or more often or maybe only every other year). You have to be ready to spend money to visit WDW. DVC only gives you a place to stay while you are there.
And DVC is an expensive way to cruise if you plan on using points to cruise.
VERY true. We spent ~$8500 for our trip in September for a family of six. ~$2800 was for a 2 BR at OKW. The rest was park admission, food, gifts, and transportation. The same trip via DVC points would have saved me about $1800 on the 2 BR villa. That's a nice chunk of savings, but the vacation is still very expensive overall, the lodging just one minority part of the whole.
Sorry, I hate to answer your question with more questions, but "is it worth it" is nearly impossible to answer. Worth is so subjective. DVC has been well worth what I've spent on it - for me. That may not be the case for you, depending on what you're looking to get out of it, and how you plan to use it.
So, I'll ask you this: why are you considering DVC? What do you hope/expect to get from your purchase?
It's hard to say for you without more info. In general terms DVC is ONLY worth it to use the points at DVC resorts for those who value staying on property and generally stay in at least a moderate and can plan ahead 7-11 months. You'll only save money comparing a studio to a deluxe hotel room or a 2 BR comparing to 2 hotel rooms. Otherwise you'll have to determine what the "value" is for you, esp for other situations.
I think it depends on if you are finding that you are a repeat Disney guest or not. If you haven't even been yet then I'd say wait. For us, we found that while planning our 3rd trip (prior to buying) that we were being priced out of the "deluxe" resorts. That is what tipped us to buy. We started out in "deluxe", then went to a "moderate" resort on our 2nd trip and were then finding that we might have to go down to a "value" resort in order to afford to keep going. We didn't like the idea of having to keep downgrading and we knew this wouldn't be our last trip. We liked the "deluxe" feel. So instead of booking a "value" resort for our 3rd trip we bought DVC then planned our next trip. We bought in Dec. of 2006 and in 6 years have now stayed at all of the (open) WDW resorts plus Vero Beach and Hilton Head. We always resort hop to keep each trip different and are hoping to visit VGC and Aulani next summer.
It has been a great purchase for us not to have to worry about paying for a place to stay. As someone else mentioned even having your lodging covered a Disney vacation still isn't cheap (but we don't spend anywhere near as much as that poster did). Our needs are simple. We are a family of 3 and can make due with studios and I continually purchase Disney gift cards between trips with my groceries to apply to our account while we're there so the final bill doesn't hurt so bad. We purchased enough points in the beginning to be able to have 2 weeks a year (in studios) at a DVC resort either in 1 long trip or 2 shorter trips depending on the season & resort. We buy AP's with the DVC discount and plan to get 2 or 3 trips off of them which increases their value.
In summary, you really need to evaluate your vacation habits and planning history. If you're a repeat Disney guest then it will likely be a good decision for the long haul. But DVC is best for long range planners who can plan 7-11 months ahead and utilize the booking window advantages. While we HAVE taken trips booked at about 3-4 months out the availability is definitely less so you have to be open to the idea of taking whatever IS available if you're a last minute planner. It's a timeshare and most timeshares require at least SOME pre-planning. They are not good fits for last minute spur-of-the-moment travelers.
In general, DVC can make sense for people who:
* Expect to visit WDW at least every other year for the foreseeable future.
* Would never ever consider staying in a non-Disney hotel.
* Generally stay in at a mix of Moderate or Deluxe resorts---the more often Deluxe, the better.
For those folks, DVC studio stays will save them money in the long run. Stays in a larger villa probably won't. But, on the other hand, the larger villas have a lot of features and amenities that a regular hotel room will not, and the cost of upgrading to them can be reasonable, for some definitions of reasonable.
Does it make sense? Is it worth it?
For me, yes to both! I plan ahead, so I've always gotten the resorts I want, when I want. I love staying on Disney property. I certainly didn't buy it with the idea of saving money and it hasn't. I go more often and spend more money but I've enjoyed every moment since I purchased in 2000. I never leave a point on the table and I've resisted the many urges to add on, so the maint. costs fit into my budget! And best of all, I've always got a trip in the works so it gives me something to looks forward to!
Good luck with your decision!
It's 'worth it ' for my family of five. My husband and I would never have considered vacationing the way we do now but because of DVC, it has given us options we would never have taken without it. So not be be corny but DVC has opened a whole new world for us.
It has also taught us to 'plan' for a vacation. Before, we would have thought 3 months in advance for a vacation and would have thought that we were really far out from the travel date. Now, we plan at least 11 months out and are always thinking of how we are going to use our points next.
But 'worth it' money wise? It has made us spend way more money on vacations. If you have the money without having to be creative, I would say it is worth it. But if you have to take a loan, worry about how you will pay the yearly maintenance fees, wonder how you are going to pay for the tickets to get into the parks, etc.... probably not worth it.
Good luck making the decision.
I completely agree with these comments. We love our DVC and go every year. So worth it for us
It is beyond worth it for me. We stayed value and moderate resorts for a long time, knowing we would never be able to stay in a deluxe resort . The cost was just to much for my wallet. But DVC has chaged that for me and my family . Although its not cheap either Buying in at resale made all the difference for us . We love our DVC and wish we had gotten in sooner. Good luck.
Yes! For us it is at least. We were on our 8th trip in 7 years when we realized it made sense for us. We started off-site, then moved to values and then of course moderates so deluxe wasn't too far off. After touring the rooms we fell in love, made the purchase and haven't regretted it for a minute. We tend to travel in off seasons so that makes it even more valuable for us. It also helps that there are only two of us so travelling isn't quite as expensive as it is for some. With DVC the two of us can take a 4 night long weekend trip for $1,000 or less including air, food, etc.
But to me it's the 'added bonuses' that are just as valuable. We're taking my mom with us in December because she's always wanted to see the Christmas decorations. Two of our best friends are joining us for part of our January stay. And we're taking my partners brother and sister in July as a graduation present. So for us a lot of the 'value' comes from the ability to share it with others. Without DVC I don't think we'd ever be able to afford to spend that kind of quality time with friends and family.
The other thing to consider is you will have it for a long time. It is exciting at first, as it's all new.
But then 10 or 15 years later, not as much as when it was new.
As Deb said it can get very expensive. You need to figure transportation costs, tickets, food, souvenirs, and dues for every year, after you get to the point you have broken even on your initial investment.
Hindsight I would only buy enough points to go every other year.
See my post regarding non monetary factors above. Only you can make the choice.
We had gone 8 times in 7 years when we bought. Now that there's 6 of us and we have to stay in a 2BR for us it's totally made sense. We love the deluxe villas - like the idea that we can try different resorts etc.
We were going to WDW anyway and now getting to stay on property all the time is something we've gotten spoiled by. But if you don't LOVE Disney I'm not sure it is worth it.
I stayed at moderates using the AP or Florida resident discount, but the discounted rooms became very hard to find and when free dining began...they disappeared almos completely.
I looked at the value closely. I looked at how much the Disney hotels go up in price every year....mine will never increase except for maintainence fees. When the moderates hit $300 a night and the values $200 a night, my value will be even more.
We do have to pay airfare but always buy annual passes for our 3-4 trips a year. We eat breakfast in our villas and have the option of making lunch or dinner there too. WE don't dine at signatures or V&A and our tables in Wonderland keeps our meal costs down.
It also insures us 35 more years of relaxing Disney vacations!
Darn, another hit and run. We'd like to help people but they have to give out some information to get good information.
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