DVC vs. other time shares


Apr 28, 2001
When considering DVC did anyone look into other time shares as a solution for locking in family vacation prices? Or were you pretty much 100% sold on Disney from the beginning? I'm wondering how much of a premium DVCers are paying for Disney and what the alternatives are. How does DVC compare to other time shares in terms of flexibility? How easy is it to use your points to stay in a non-DVC resort? What are some of the non-DVC vacations people have taken that were wonderful but not difficult to book?

Thanks for your help!
We own at 2 other Timeshares. One in TN and one in IN (which is on the DVC exchange list). While both are nice resorts in adequate locations, neither can match DVC for quality.

The one in IN is a fixed week TS, which means we own a specific week and can use it ourselves, exchange it or rent it to someone else. We have always exchanged thru RCI, which allows us some flexibilty- still not as much as DVC. We are limited to 7 day stays- no flexibility there. We were able to purchase the week for $500 (yes...hundred) by resale thru the owners association (a growing trend at many sold out resorts). Our annual fee is $310 for the week. We have exchanged easily (we usually request and get our reservation a year in advance) to places like Branson (MO), Williamsburg (VA), Massanutten (VA), Nisswa (MN) and most recently- Marble Hill (GA). Exchaanges thru RCI are $124@ plus membership in RCI.

The other is a "floating" week timeshare- a relatively new concept in TS where older resorts are recognizing the flexible trend of points-based programs like DVC (and others). We must call 1 year in advance to "reserve" our floating week. (We try to reserve a high demand Holiday time), which is then "converted to points in the Amber Vacation Club. Amber has 5 resorts in it's association (one is in Kissimmee, another in Daytona). The points may then be used like our DVC points- for stays as short as 1 day. As with DVC, weekends are prohibitively higher than weeknites and we must pay $25 per visit (after the 1st) for housekeeping. (This is done to compensate for trading the week based ownership- where we pay the maint fee). Since we usually use these points for short stays- often on weekends- we are using more than our "share" of housekeeping services. We can use the points at member resorts 6 months in advance and a year ahead at our home resort.

All 3 systems do work, but it does take some understanding of each system. It's amazing how confused and reluctant "traditional" week-based TS owners are to consider a points based system. Some are downright beligerent about it.

Our preference by far is DVC. The others offer us a nice opportunity to exchange, but our hearts are certainly with DVC!
Initially I would NEVER have looked at a timeshare as IMHO they were just TOO inflexible. Now there are some companies also using the points ideas which is an improvement BUT IMHO your tied into this deal for quite some time, I would prefer to be involved in a deal like DVC where the "main owners" have a vested interest in making sure the resort stays in the condition it was sold and also are not going to sell their interest onto another company. Disney wants DVC back in 2042 and it wants it in good condition, IMHO that certainty is a big plus.

The fact it is on site is a big plus as well, yes you pay a premium BUT there are a lot of benefits to that, after all that is why SO MANY people are happy to pay the premium to stay in a Disney hotel.

By all means go and check out other timeshares before making your final choice, I think that is very wise to do. Many of the other timeshare sales are much more hard line than DVC so I hope you manage to beat them off !!! LOL . They will try ALL SORTS of pressure to get you to sign while your there, Disney do not opperate this way and will give you as long as you want to make the choice, I think this speaks volumes for their confidence in their product. It's a confidence I share.

I'm staying on Disneyland Paris this week using points and it was VERY simple to do. I called MS , asked if they had availability, they said yes and it was booked.
RCI is the largest Timeshare exchange company. Originally, DVC used RCI for exchanges, but switched to II a few years later.

RCI and II almost merged recently (that may still be on the table- I'm not sure).

You can peek at RCI at: <a href="http://www.rci.com">www.rci.com</a>.

Many resorts are affiliated with both RCI and II- so those owners have quite a few options. Many are now also going to large internal exchanges- where owners can easily exchange to resorts within their own network. (Mariott, Fairfield, Sunterra all have this program- as does DVC!)

We also looked into other timeshare - IE RCI. Although they were cheaper than DVC, we didn't like the "MUST STAY A FULL WEEK" thing. We like to break up our vacation thru out the year. 4 days here, 3 days here and then another 2 days here. In addition, the other timeshares made you pick a size (ie 1BR or 2 BR) We like being ablr to mix it up with DVC.
Thanks Vernon! You make an excellent point: the fact that Disney wants DVC back in 2042 (and that Disney will be around in 2042) and that the ownership should be stable relative to other time shares, does provide assurance that the quality of the investment will not deteriorate. That is a very important point I think. Who knows who will be owning much less caring about other time share properties 40 years from now! But if I could get a time share that I liked for $500 like Doc did, I probably wouldn't worry about what would happened to it in 40 years. I guess the point is that time share is risky if it's expensive and NOT Disney!

I don't know why I'm over-thinking this decision. I want to do it and DH has agreed. It's just a question of what will benefit our children more: doing Disney in high style every year or putting the money to some other use? Obviously our decision alone, I just want to be as informed as possible.

It's nice to have options going through RCI or II. But as many have indicated, the 'window' in which you are allowed to book can make all of the difference in terms of whether or not you can get the desired accomodations.

Anyone know how easy or difficult it is to get into various other popular places? What kind of advantage do RCI members have over DVC members in terms of making bookings?

Thanks again everyone!
I wouldn't consider joining BOTH exchange companies- that would be over kill, since each one has many options. I don't see dual membership as any advantage- we only use RCI for our exchanges.

The earlier you "bank" your owned week with the exchange company the higher you are placed on the priority list for an exchange.

Other factors are making an early request for the exchange, the relative "value" of your resort ("value" being determined by the rating of the resort and the desirability of the week exchanged). Many timeshares offer red, white and blue weeks. Red is the most desirable time and blue the least desirable (like IN in early March). Most FL timeshares offer only "red" weeks, although many are actually unofficially rated as "pink" due to the resort and time period (like panhandle resorts in Jan).

In general, the earlier you give up your week and request an exchange, the more likely you are to get your reservation. Even with these exchanges, flexibility is sometimes needed. We usually specify a week, but give a list of 10 resorts we'd accept. Specific rooms/buildings within a resort are truly a waste of time- since availability totally depends on what unit has been offered for exchange by its owner.
Actually RCI and II were owned by the same company but anti trust laws forced them to sell one.

I'm not sure that I want to own a 50 y/o timeshare, especially one that's made of wood and based in FL with the weather to contend with.

There are so many variations in timesharing that you must evaluated the options. There are fixed week properties, those that having floating seasons, all type of points based weeks, those with seperate internal trading, those that belong to II, RCI or both.

DVC is for the person that wants to go to WDW most every year and is willing to pay for being on property. It is also best suited for those that want to go various times of the year, need different size accomodations and need/want to stay for times other than 7 days at a time. DVC is not to use for much, if any exchanging and is not suited well to that. Owning DVC and another timeshare(s) can be the best of all worlds though. There are a number of us that own DVC for WDW and own other timeshare for exchanging/using in other places.
We also checked out other timeshares before buying DVC. We were told by the others that we could exchange into DVC anytime we wanted. Not true, since the places we checked were not even on the DVC exchange list! I also know from talking to others who have tried to do that, that it is VERY difficult to get into Disney. We also liked the flexiblity of the points and accommodations. We had at first thought we could save money by going with another timeshare and exchanging every other year. SOOOOOO glad we didn't do that!:eek: We have really enjoyed our DVC, and I am sure we still enjoy it for many years to come. Our kids will take over where we leave off.
Others have answered about the specifics of other timeshares, but we picked DVC for two major reasons.

One is that we fell in love with staying onsite and always wanted to be able to do that. DVC has put accomodations that were previously out of our reach financially well into our reach. I cannot imagine spending rack rate on a 2 bedroom unit at the BW yet we spent 10 nights in one this past January.

The other reason is DVC's flexibility. We haven't had kids yet, so right now staying in a studio for maximum time during the off seasons is perfect for us. When we have small children, we'll upgrade to a 1br. When they get old enough, a 2br (and because we will be dealing with school vacations, only a week out of the year). After that, who knows, but we'll figure it out!

DVC may be expensive compared to other timeshares, but we didn't even think about that aspect of it when we purchased. It's the biggest bargain going when you compare it to the cash cost of staying on property at WDW and that's really what we compared it against.

I recently had to change my plans completely due to a small family emergency. I cancelled and rebooked for a time slot only 6 weeks away. I don't know about the other timeshares but DVC flexilibility sure bailed me out.
My booking was for Vero Beach. I am an OKW owner.
we own DVC plus 3 other timeshares- 2 in Gatlingburg,
TN and one on Sanibel Island,FL. I don't think you can really compare them. I think my DVC is the best value.
the maintenance fee is much lower than my Sanibel.
We are retired and can travel whenever we want. We
own the minimum 150 points and we went to Disney 4 times last year. We usually stay during the week and in a studio. We took our grandchildren to OKW in a two
bedroom for 5 nights another year and it was wonderful. this fall we are staying in a 2 bedroom atBWV. We have belonged to RCI for 17 years and have
gotten some good trades, but you can never depend on it. Our Gatlingburg weeks do not have very good trading power and so most of the trades that we have we made at the nicer resorts have been fairly last minute.

The comments made about the sales staff at most resorts are certainly true. They will tell you anything they think you want to hear. This was definitely not the case at DVC, I guess it sells itself.

Where do you own at Sanibel? I own at Casa Ybel and Sanibel Cottages. Sanibel and DVC - what a combination to own!

We own at Hurricane House on Sanibel. Unfortunately only 1 week. Your resorts are sister resorts to HH. We have stayed at Casa Ybel on trades before. Thought it was great. Been to the Tuesday Margarita parties at the Cottages but have never stayed there. we rent at a small resort for 2 months (the last 2 weeks in January, Feb, and first 2 weeks in March. We always combine these wekks with a few days at Disney.


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