DVC vs UK Offers

LJCrozzo

Earning My Ears
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Hello Disboards!
We have just returned from a WDW trip in which we looked into DVC. We have done research on the boards which has been extremely helpful, but thought I would do a post to hopefully get some advice from the experts!

Bit of background:
We traditionally go to Florida every 2 years for a 3 week trip in August (wife is a teacher so we work around the school holidays) with 1 week at Universal & 2 weeks at Disney. We then also do a 1 week trip to Disney in Oct or May half term in the other year between the big trips.

When at Disney we traditionally stay at a Moderate resort with Port Orleans Riverside being our favourite.
Although on the trip we just returned from, we stayed at the Swan & Dolphin (booked before the USA borders opened and got a crazy cheap deal) and we loved the boardwalk area! It was this that got us looking into DVC.

DVC
When looking into DVC, we took the tour of Riviera and priced up a 200 point contract. This would allow us 2 weeks in a Deluxe Studio in August and 1 week in Oct every two years. Currently just the two of us, so a Studio is fine for the foreseeable future.

Buying Riviera Resort direct is currently priced at $201 a point giving a total of $40,200 for 200 points. Then with Disney’s current incentives it’s brings the total down to $190.50 a point for a total of $38,100 (excluding closing costs).

The DVC agent we met said the cost per point is going up to $206 in mid-February before incentives.

Thanks to family we can take a ‘loan’ for the lump sum and then just pay them back the amount. So we would not be financing or have to pay interest on the lump sum up front.

Advice
Naturally we are now doing the sums to see if it would be a worthwhile investment vs regular holiday package bookings.

Using some excellent excel sheets I found on the disboards I have:
  • worked out inflation on dues for the duration of the DVC contract to give me a ‘overall’ cost of the contract. Used 2% inflation rate as that seems to be the average when looking at due rises over the past.
  • Got the rates for paying cash for 2 weeks in August and 1 week in Oct direct from Disney UK in 2022 at Port Orleans. Then using the same inflation excel, got an overall total paying cash for all the holidays we would take for the duration of the DVC contract to 2070. Used 4% inflation rate as that seems to be the average increase for rooms at Port Orleans thanks to PortOrleans.org tracking.
I have used a rate of £1 - $1.35 as that is current rate when comparing dues in $ to hotel prices in £ from Disney UK.

The numbers appear to show that DVC would save us just over £60,000 over the 48 years of the contract to 2070 compared with paying cash for the same number of holidays. Not taking into account discounts on merch and food etc we may get as DVC members.

What I can’t do at the moment is compare to the past deals we got in the UK such as free dining as it is currently not available. However I see a lot of people use deals such as this as a reason why DVC may not be worth it? And as we all know, dining at Disney is not going to be getting any cheaper when paying out of pocket.

Also I know we can’t predict the future, but if the £ to $ goes up from say $1.35 back to around $1.50 then that could also mean DVC would offer even greater savings as the dues would be cheaper that what I have compared to.

If there is advice from fellow Brits that have bought DVC or looked into it similar as above, it would be much appreciated to help inform our decision. Also if my sums above seem about right or if I have made any glaring mistakes?

Thanks all!
 

Woodview

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 29, 2013
As a former owner of a villa on Hwy 27 for 19 years

I would think Long & Hard before investing

Do you really Really wish to travel , to the same place , year after year for the next X years

WE loved going to our villa , , 2 times a year ( 3 weeks at a time ) but after 10 years

we had seen it all . & after 15 years .... even going travelling to both coasts . it was

hard to have the wow factor .

Remember there are Many Many places & Theme Parks , in U.K. & Europe AND Other Parts of U.S.A just as good

& easier to get to than Florida
 

Scottk

Follower of Zurg
Joined
Sep 21, 2009
I have 4 DVC contracts and we have recently holidayed (pre-COVID) every 3 years ago staying for 10 -14 days at DVC resorts. We now stay at 2 bedrooms and are currently travelling as 4 adults, although initially we bought when are children were much younger so travelled more frequently into smaller units.

Whilst Riviera is a great resort the resale restrictions will severely impact your ability to sell it when and if your taste and lifestyle changes. Advantages of DVC for long stays are best experienced with 1 or 2 bedroom which give you more space and a full kitchen and washer dryer over a standard hotel room or studio. Once you stay in one of these units it's incredibly hard to stay in a smaller unit. In terms of savings, I think your calculations are massively overstated - you can rent points for $10/$12 more than the annual dues right now, and a studio in Riviera or BCV is about 120 points a week - creating a saving right now of say $1200 a week, with a resale contract setting you back about $30,000 for 200 points, maybe another $10k+ if you buy direct. I would use the points rental market as a comparison rather than rack rates. The only way you will gain financially is if you assume you will get a big chunk of that initial investment back when you exit, which has been the case historically for DVC, but few other timeshares return anything at all, let alone original investment. You also miss out on all the incentives (which have disappeared right now) such as free dining that don't get offered to DVC.

What you do get is price certainty of fantastic high-quality vacations, but you have to tie up a fair chunk of cash, pay increasing dues every year and are largely locked into a regular cycle of vacations at Disney. If you assume you will break-even I would suggest any upside would be a bonus, but don't bank on it at all given all of the uncertainty that is to come over the next 20 years, not only generally but for you personally. You have to be prepared to plan a long way out as DVC simply doesn't work well for late notice vacations given availability issues, which may suit you now, but this may not always be the case.

I would also encourage you to look at resale if you haven't done so as you will be saving a fair amount of money, and perhaps look at other resorts with an easier resale. Most of the direct sale benefits are of extremely limited use for overseas visitors and probably don't justify the premium, which is sizable.

7-month availability for August is generally pretty good for 1-bedrooms around the boardwalk lake (and elsewhere) and not horrendous for studios (although the Tower studios at Riviera can be tough even at the 11-month window and will become more so as sales continue there).

Personally, I would be tempted to look at a cheaper resale as your first contract (if you like it, I can guarantee it won't be your last), probably away from Boardwalk given contract expiry dates of resorts there (maybe BLT or even OKW extended) and then experience Riviera and some of the other resorts as well, which you are bound to do over the years. I have been able to stay at Boardwalk/Beach Club most vacations, despite not owning at either BCV or BLT and right now Riviera availability at 7 months is good for every size from a preferred view studio to a grand villa, as is availability at Boardwalk.


Feel free to PM if you would like me to do an example search for next summer.
 

Japy

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 8, 2021
Everything above is very good advice. The worst thing on riviera is as above - if you end up selling on your contract to someone else the buyer will only be able to stay at riviera which reduces the value of your resale.
 

Ruttangel

UK DVC
Joined
Jun 21, 2013
I had a booking for last 2 weeks of Aug 2019, see image below. Ignoring tickets cost was £5.9k.

637240

Since then we've bought DVC and are going Aug 2022 for same 2 weeks. The total points are 316 and that works out as £2,800 using https://www.dvcresalemarket.com/blog/best-economical-dvc-resorts-to-purchase-fall-2021/ for $12.2pp (£9pp). We got them much cheaper but that is going rate now.
So that leaves £3.1k to spend on dining to break even.
I hope this helps, I'm guessing a non Club Level room would have similar results

ETA: wow £7.7k for a club level room now up 30% from. 2019. Disney really chasing those lost sales past 2 years
 
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Tony

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 28, 2005
Your inflation estimates are miles out.

Our dues at the end of 2011 for our 160 point BLT contract were $518. At the end of 2021 they were $1095.

This is critical because if you adjust your rate (you say inflation is 2% - it's not!) by just 1%, over the 48 year life of the contract this will have a massive effect. So by changing this number you can effectively make the outcome suit your narrative.

Things that have caught me out..
1) DVC changed the number of points required for our target dates
2) DVC cancelled the lower season which used to start mid-August
3) The pandemic underlines the risk of having an asset like this overseas
4) DVC have changed the borrowing rules so our plan of pushing the trips to every 3 years as the kids got older has taken a hit
5) Renting out points is now more complicated in terms of tax and no protection against pandemic like colsures

Things I didn't consider
6) The idea of renting points when I needed them
7) Buying resale based on going for the lowest possible dues payment.

Now we bought just before that slew of free dining & park pass options arrived for the UK. That has also left a bad taste as I think we might have done better using that rather than the points. I'm not sure if that will come back as quickly though.

We have however been lucky as the DVC points have appreciated a lot and the pound has weakened against the dollar. I could walk away now with a £4k profit just on the points, having paid out about £5k in dues but had 5 holidays where we previously paid cash for a DVC villa - so this is a like for like comparison and 2BRs in the premium places must be getting on for $2k a night now which is well beyond my means.

What I'd suggest you do to get a better comparison is look over a 10 year horizon, not a 48 year one. Work on the basis you can sell the points in 10 years for what you bought them today, so you're giving up that money to disney for a decade, paying $x in dues which will double over the time frame. Then look at how any change in the resale value will impact your outcome. I think that will be a more balanced way of looking at this.
 

Ruttangel

UK DVC
Joined
Jun 21, 2013
Now we bought just before that slew of free dining & park pass options arrived for the UK. That has also left a bad taste as I think we might have done better using that rather than the points. I'm not sure if that will come back as quickly though.
Sounds like you’ve done really well to me, the free dining often came with increased room costs, can’t imagine you’d be anywhere near better off.
 

Tony

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 28, 2005
Sounds like you’ve done really well to me, the free dining often came with increased room costs, can’t imagine you’d be anywhere near better off.
We were paying top price when renting DVC Villas for cash, so I'm not so sure. They certainly weren't available at the 40% discounts we saw for deluxe resort rooms without free dining.

With the benefit of hindsight, we have been lucky on the significant appreciation of the points and the depreciation of the Pound against the US Dollar, but right now I could probably do without the millstone of points. We had to bring forward our 2022 trip and that caused a headache in terms of booking at short notice, something that would have been less of an issue if we had a true free choice. Also if the pace of dues increases continues like this, by the time our contract expires (likely after I expire to be honest...) the annual payment will be in the region of $16k.
 

Tony

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 28, 2005
So Tony Is my advice in Post 2 worth thinking about for future investors ?

Whilst yes to an extent, buying 6 weeks somewhere is a *huge* commitment, especially for someone travelling from the UK. DVC gives you the flexibility to travel every 2-3 years without needing to sell points and unlike other timeshares the resale price seems to rise, rather than the place becoming a liability to shift. What that means is that the trip I've got booked at Easter (have just checked the pricing) would run at $13k in cash. Stressing 2 points - I wouldn't be in a position to pay that now and fly over in the comfy seats, and historically we used to rent villas in cash by the night from Disney so I am making a like for like comparison.

I also agree with you wholeheartedly that there are many places in the world you should visit, which is again why we just spend part of one holiday every 2-3 years in Disney. We'll couple that with something more exciting, especially now the kids are older - did a cruise to Cuba in '18, a week in Costa Rica in '16 and so on, then intersperse that with trips to Europe and Asia.

That's a very different approach to spending every possible bit of your vacation time in Orlando as you're committing that your mindset will never change, the destination will never change and that the process of you getting from A to B will never change - at least not adversely.

I can dress up my numbers to make it look like I've had a return on the investment that would impress many a stock picker, but that's 1) silly and 2) been reliant on a lot of luck. However if the original poster runs their numbers on a 10 year horizon, I believe they can likely make a far more balanced assessment - my gut feel is if done impartially it should come out about even and any perceived saving is from you making an emotional trade with a 5ft tall mouse... Remember, if this was free money, Disney would have already upped the prices.

Just to add, if you can save £12 a month into a FTSE100 tracker, over the next 48 years, using average returns, that would be worth £60,000. So perhaps that's another consideration - for a £12 month "premium" you get the the flexibility to holiday wherever you want, hassle free, yet come out with the same financial outcome. And it's easy to imagine how you could save a lot more than £144 a year on a trip if you don't *have* to go to Disney.
 
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Robbie Cottam

DIS Veteran
DVC Gold
Joined
Jun 15, 2015
If you are going to go to Disney anyway …. Then you are going to make out in the long run. We have all seen the great deals at the swan during covid…. I also saw 600 a night in December plus resort fee….

The dinning plan when and if it ever comes back. The annual pass if and when it ever comes back help save a little money. If you buy direct you get a discount on food… I think 10 percent… now neither of those moves the needle enough with two people, to justify purchasing DVC but if you do it’s like a nice little bonus.

Seems like you enjoy Central Florida, but will you in 10,20,30 years ?
That is something you and wife have to answer….

If and when you need a bigger room ie have kids you can add points.

not sure what deal they have in the UK…
Do they have them ever year…

lots of personal decisions to make but if you think you will use it it can be a lot of fun
 


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