pros and cons?

Discussion in 'DVC Member Services' started by 1911, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. 1911

    1911 Mouseketeer

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    as a prospective buyer of dvc I would like to hear from you,the experienced owners. what have been the pros and cons of your ownership experience?
    I understand that every one has different reasons for owning and different likes and dislikes.I am just trying to see if there is some common ground/issues you all agree on.


    (excuse me if this has been covered before,I did a search and did not find what I was looking for.)
     
  2. Deb & Bill

    Deb & Bill DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention

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    You had better understand the rules. If you see villas available on the Disney Reservation Center website, but you can't book any for points and you are mad about that, you don't understand the rules.

    It's a timeshare. Not a hotel.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
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  4. Frederic Civish

    Frederic Civish “I’m just here for the Ears.”

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    Great vacations. Gives you better rooms at a somewhat lower price, but still expensive.
     
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  5. gharter

    gharter DIS Veteran

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    Did you read through the stickies about DVC on this site? There is a huge amount of information about DVC, how it works and answers many questions. Before we purchased, I spent a lot of time reading through it.
    We have 2 contracts and have been very happy. We did our research, so no surprises so far.
    We book at 10-11 months out and have had no problems booking what we wanted.
    Buying resale saved us a lot of money.
     
  6. Frederic Civish

    Frederic Civish “I’m just here for the Ears.”

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    A few cons:

    You can never have enough. You will want to buy more. (Of course, this says you will probably be happy with it.)

    Booking outside your home resort / booking in the 0 to 7 month window has much more limited options than people imagine. It can be done, sometimes.

    It isn’t spontaneous or convenient. The farther in advance that you can plan, the more likely you are to get what you want. 6 months to a year in advance is de rigueur.

    If you REALLY want hard to get resort reservations, you will find yourself getting up at 4 or 5 in the morning, on the exact day 7 months in advance, to get on your computer and make the reservation, and even that doesn’t guaranteee it.

    Did I say it was expensive?

    A few pros:

    All things considered, you do spend a lot of money to buy in, but AFTER that, you do get to stay at Deluxe Resorts for about the same cost per year as it would be for you to stay at a value resort. How do I calculate that. Membership dues. Let’s say your Membership Dues are $7 per point, per year. (I know it isn’t quite that high yet, but it will be.) Lets say it costs you 30 points per night to stay in a Studio room. (Actual cost could be 10 points to 50 points, approximately, per night.) 30 points x $7 fees per point per year = $210.

    IF things go well, there is a good chance you could sell your ownership in the future, and get all your money back, even counting inflation. In which case you would only be “out” the Membership Dues as your actual expense.
     
  7. disneynutz

    disneynutz DIS Veteran DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    You might save money on your room compared to paying cash at the same resort, BUT you end up vacationing more often and for longer as an owner so you probably end up spending more at Disney than before. You have to learn the rules, policies, and learn to accept same even when Disney changes them, often without warning.

    :earsboy: Bill

     
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  8. Dean

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

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    I too feel that understanding what you are and are not getting is majorly important. For DVC to be a reasonable purchase one needs to hold on property stays as worth a premium, be able to plan at least 7 months out (11 mo in some situations), be able to afford it (to me that's pay cash) and be OK with the compromises of a timeshare. I'd spend a few months investigating and if you don't have timeshare AND on property experience I'd rent at least once possibly more in some situations and at least twice if you don't have one or the other experiences. If you decide it's a good fit I'd do some soul searching on # of points, Use Year and home resort. Don't overpay in terms of resort and don't underbuy in terms of points trying to save and match it perfectly. IMO one needs a 10-20% cushion of points in most cases, sometimes more. Consider what could go wrong both with DVC and with your personal situation like pregnancy, job loss, can't get the reservation you want, etc.

    Often the emotions get one to buy the new more expensive resort or buy retail to get the perks that don't make sense in their situations. Time and knowledge will help you get past the emotions and make a more rational decision. If you decide to buy and make your best choice up front and plan long term, but don't plan to buy more than one option until you have used the ownership a couple of years.
     
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  9. Marionnette

    Marionnette Children see magic because they look for it

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    In all honesty, everyone has their own set of pros and cons. And I think that you almost have to become a member to truly understand the way that ownership works. You can educate yourself ahead of time but until you're the one who is dealing with borrowing/banking, points in holding, lack of availability and wait listing, you really only have a small idea of how it all works.

    I agree with buying as many points as you need to take your vacations plus 10%. While it is rare for DVC to change point requirements at a resort, it does happen and then members who purchased "just enough" either have to buy more or they end up in perpetual borrowing mode.

    It is also getting more difficult to book your non-home resort at 7 months, so owning where you want to stay is very important. Don't buy Vero or HH if you want to stay at WDW. Don't purchase SSR with the expectation of booking AKV value studios or BWV std. view studios on a regular basis. I also agree with those who advocate renting a DVC reservation at the resort(s) you are considering before you make your purchase. I thought that I would love BLT until I stayed there but only found it to be okay. OTOH, I fell in love with both AKV and BWV after just one stay, and I didn't anticipate even liking AKV.

    DVC is a timeshare first and foremost. The villas will not be refurbished as often as the hotel rooms are. Don't expect that well-themed villa to keep those same unique features. I still miss the teacup lamps at BWV.

    As far as my pros and cons - The pros are very much emotional. I know that I can always have a Disney trip in the works. It makes going there often more affordable for us. I also know that I can book resorts in 3 different parts of WDW because I own at AKV, a monorail resort and an Epcot area resort. And I love all 3 of my home resorts. It's also reassuring that DVC holds its value. It could sell my contracts now for more than I paid for them - even the VGF contracts that I purchased last year. The cons would be the competition for villas during DVC's busiest periods, the need to plan more than a year ahead of time so that I know how my points are going to be used this year, and the next and then the year after that, and finally paying my dues in January. Paying the dues is a way to remind me that these trips are not *free*. I prepaid for ownership and continue to pay for it every year. And lastly, the timeshare compromise when it comes to infrequent housekeeping and longer refurb schedule.
     
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  10. peabody58

    peabody58 I'm just a drummer in a R&R Band!!

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    Pro: Able to get both of our two DD/SILs and us together every couple of years for a relatively stress free affordable Family GTG vacation. After 4 family vacations, we have it down to a workable and enjoyable process. i.e., we'll see you all at the TS meals, the rest of the time is yours!

    Con: Using up so many points for a Family GTG Vacation instead of splurging on just the DW and myself. :banana:
     
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  11. bwvBound

    bwvBound DVC SSR & other timeshare

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    DVC since 2004.

    Our PROs:
    • We *love* the space and amenities of the 1BR and larger units. (Having kitchen/laundry was and remains our primary reason for choosing timeshare vs hotels.)
    • Best timeshare on the market if you need Disney locations. (We needed a 1BR unit offering walking distance to WDW Dolphin/Swan/Y&B Conference centers. Buying DVC was the best choice for that requirement.)
    • We've enjoyed the new locations and how the product has grown since our purchase. We use our points at DL (California), WDW, Aulani and Vero Beach. We were thrilled beyond words when the Treehouse Villas were added to our home resort (Saratoga Springs) and enjoy sharing these units occasionally with friends. We've also delighted in spending a long weekend in the new Copper Creek Cabins ... really relaxing, quite beautiful.
    • As ours are 'qualified' points (aka Developer purchased), we've enjoyed the additional, unexpected benefits such as the Member parties, etc.
    • FWIW, we find that the product words "as advertised" for us in booking room reservations using our DVC points. That is, we have a very high success rate booking "what we want, when we want, where we want" -- but that required an investment in learning the system and keeping up with changes.
    • RCI membership is included in our dues and now also offers access to RCI Rental Weeks. I might allow my individual RCI membership, linked to my other timeshares, to expire when my pre-paid membership runs out.
    Our CONs:
    • One can "grow out" of the ownership. Once our primary reason for joining ended, we struggled for a bit on deciding: keep or sell? For now, we are holding on to it but it might undergo eval every 12-18 months going forward.
    • It is a highly specialized, boutique, timeshare based specifically on Disney locations. Thus, it doesn't have as many "in-network" locations as other timeshares. It is what it is.
      Disney's answer to this limitation is the RCI exchange network. That our RCI exchange fees are waived is a big benefit, in my view. The exchange fee waiver is a recent 'perk' and I hope it continues to be renewed! Exchanging might not be the best value ... but better to have the option than not have it.
    • It is expensive. Again, it is what it is and you plan around that known issue.
    • Website can be more glitchy than expected from a big-name company.
    • Patience required ... dealing with the website, call center staff, etc. Sometimes we, as owners, know the system better than the staff ... so we must be patient if needing to rely on staff to resolve a problem.
    • Not having any control or even voice regarding changes. I'm not a fan of some of the recent refurbishments (rather bland and void of theming in my view?) but we have no input. We aren't really 'owners' ... we are 'members.' We are valued, by Disney, as "dues paying units." :-/
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
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  12. kniquy

    kniquy DIS Veteran

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    We have owned since 2015, bought resale, which is something to strongly consider to save money. We bought a smaller contract 120 pts at AKV. We purposely bought small so that with banking or borrowing we could go every other year.

    After you buy in you will try other resorts aside from your home resort, which is what we did for our April trip -- it was a split between poly and AKV. This has now created a problem for us because we loved staying at the poly and will likely add on a small contract there.

    You will likely want to buy more points, so it might be best to figure out what room type you want or need, look at the most expensive time of year for that room and buy the points plus 10%. This should give you a cushion that you will be able to travel at any time of the year and not feel like you can't go because you don't have enough points. Davids DVC rental has an excellent tool where you can see at a glance all resorts and room types and points requirements. This is a good place to play with various times of the year and see how the points can change from one season to the next.

    Read up as much as you can on these boards. Even once you have purchased read even more because once you are in it there will be new issues or situations that pop up and usually the answer is here or someone here can answer it for you.
     
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  13. jvalic33

    jvalic33 Mouseketeer

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    Personally these are my opinions and while many may disagree I think what you are looking for is a variety of perspectives:

    PROS
    • DVC forces me to take a vacation each and every year and it gives me something to look forward to. I love the fact that after coming home from Disney and being sad that my trip is over that within 30 days or so I'm ready to start booking my next vacation. So there is a positive to the complaints some individuals may have about having to plan far in advance.
    • I bought direct in 2012 and I did so because I paid cash for a large portion and then financed the rest. While some are very against that, it made it easier for me to not have to drain my cash reserves to do it. At the time AKV was new and it was an anniversary year (best times to buy direct) and they were really pushing 240 points at AKV, but after inquiring, I ended up buying 120 BWV and 120 AKV. It turned out to be the best thing I did for a couple of reasons. 1) Every other year I have been guaranteed 11 months out the opportunity to stay near Epcot for food and wine and every other year I was able to stay at AKV so it enabled me to mix it up if I had trouble getting something different at 7 months out. I later added another 100 BCV points so now I have a rotation of 3 resorts to stay in with an average of close to 300 points each year. That works for my large family because we need a 2 bedroom.
    • I could easily sell my BCV points today and not lose a penny other than the finance charges I paid on a portion and the maintenance fees, however, I have since been to Disney 6 times since that purchase so while maybe some will say I lost money, at this point I had 7 awesome vacations in huge rooms that have spoiled my staying anywhere else. In addition, buy buying the smaller contracts direct (my BCV contracts are 50 points each, I can sell them for about $30 more per point than when I bought them!
    • The perks as a direct buyer while some people rationalize that they are not enough, have always been fun and exciting perks to me. I LOVED the first year they did the DVC member nights in the park, was it a little disorganized, yes, but it was awesome! It happened to fall during one of my stays and I was able to take advantage of it.
    • I enjoyed the extra perks offered at the spa with the special robes, etc.
    • I was going to take advantage of the discount on the Photo Shoot, but didn't have time, but that seems like a cool perk.
    • The kids have done cool activities as DVC members, they love the DVC photo kiosk.
    • We had some AWESOME Annual Pass discounts offered over the years.
    • I love Disney files magazine that keeps us in the loop.
    • We always had wonderful stays, never had issues with the rooms as they were always neat and clean. I think once our shower needed a little sprucing up, but things happen.
    • While I have points at Boardwalk, Animal Kingdom and Beach Club, in the last 5 years we have actually stayed with our points at the Contemporary and Grand Floridian as well as twice at Beach Club, once at Boardwalk and our upcoming trip will be only our second time staying at AKV since owning.
    • My kids really want to do the DVC fishing trip, but while we have been back to Disney so many times, we still can't fit everything in that we want to do. Yes, we definitely relax more and don't run to much of anything unless it's just because we're late in getting our act together, we still don't have enough down time that we have been able to go Bowling or do the DVC fishing trip yet so while I did call in to see about that, by the time I got around to it, it was booked, but it seems really cool.
    • For the first time since owning DVC we decided to skip a year and while we are a bit sad, we really want to bring the kiddies to Europe so I rented a year worth of points with basically 1 hour worth of effort and because of my location with the Epcot properties and Food and Wine, I rented them within I think 2 hours. Anyone who says there is no value in DVC is crazy. I wish I had bought more back then because the price has gone up so significantly that I couldn't imagine buying at this price point, however, I'm sure if you buy now, you'll be in the same boat as me in 7 years and wishing you bought more now as well.
    • Oh we did also use our points in Lake George when we didn't want to travel too far and wanted a summer vacation (we don't like to do Disney in the middle of summer), so I have had 8 trips in the last 6 years.
    CONS
    • The only thing I can really think of is that I do wish they treated us a bit more like regular guests and gave us mousekeeping a bit more often. Other than that, I really don't have any other complaints.
    • It does take pretty decent brain power to juggle 3 sets of points and not lose any over the years and you really really want to make sure you have what you need to stay as often as you want. I think that has been key to keeping me happy!
    My family has had nothing but memorable experiences from all of our trips and it wouldn't have been possible without DVC and the many perks and discounts I have received over the years!
     
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  14. 1911

    1911 Mouseketeer

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    yes, I am looking for a variety of perspectives from seasoned owners who have had time dealing with the system and the "honeymoon" phase has passed.
    do you feel disney treats dvc owners as lesser guests than cash customers? like "we already got your money so you don't matter now?"
     
  15. Dean

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

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    Clearly the answer is yes but it's only in limited areas. The other question is do they treat resale buyers as lesser guests than retail buyers and the answer is exactly the same, yes but only in fringe areas not related to core usage IMO. This is one of the areas I include when I say one needs to be OK with the compromises of a timeshare. Some areas that one to mind for the timeshare vs cash is for room upgrades, another is resort upkeep is clearly different and slightly less. For resale vs retail it centers on access to add on things like the EPCOT lounge, DCL using points, member events and discounts.
     
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  16. disneynutz

    disneynutz DIS Veteran DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    I think at any company they will treat different customers differently. At a drive through restaurant, the drive through takes priority because transaction times are recorded. At DVC in several areas direct buyers take priority. At the resorts cash guests tend to take priority in some areas. At BWV we had a room issue a few years ago and engineering told us that we would have to move to a different room. He sent us to the front desk for the room change, the front desk CM started to move us to the new room when they noticed that we were DVC. They went into the back room and returned to tell us that policy kept them from moving us.

    :earsboy: Bill

     
  17. DenLo

    DenLo DIS Veteran

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    CON: I agree on this comment wholeheartedly. Before you realize it you find yourself wanting to vacation at Disney more and more until you spend every holiday and vacation day at WDW. Of course to do this you have to succumb to addonitis where every few years you buy more DVC points. You'll miss out on all those other wished for vacations to a beach hotel in the Caribbean or Mexico. You can do Hawaii with your DVC points since there is a resort on Oahu. You won't be driving to the shore, lake or a National Park because Disney is calling you. Because booking a DVC vacation is so easy, you don't want to mess with an exchange through RCI, the Disney Collection or the Concierge Collection.

    PRO:
    • Aulani on Oahu is the best DVC resort IMHO.
    • You will have the best couple, friends or family vacations.
    • After being a DVC member for a few years you will finally discover it is not necessary to spend the entire day each day of your trip at the parks.
    • Doing the parks commando style is no longer necessary. Why? Because you can do those rides next trip and spend some time at the resort, relaxing at the pool, doing a tour or wine tasting, dine at a signature restaurant, eat at another non Disney restaurant, enjoy all the activities at the resort and more.
    • Go to Universal, AKA the dark side, for a couple of days which will make you realize your Disney tickets aren't that expensive.
    • And you can exchange your points through one of the three exchanges above.
     
  18. jvalic33

    jvalic33 Mouseketeer

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    do you feel disney treats dvc owners as lesser guests than cash customers? like "we already got your money so you don't matter now?"[/QUOTE]

    Not really. Just the mousekeeping part.

    In many ways I think they go out of their way to make us feel special by giving us the various perks that they really don't have to give us. I've been an owner for 6 years and so far each year SOMETHING has come out for us to take advantage of. It may not be the same each year, but that's what makes it new and exciting. Some people complain that the discount isn't the same or the party dates don't fall during their trips, but it is what it is and I have usually found a way to take advantage of some perk. If it were the same each and every year it wouldn't be special or exciting. I'm a happy DVC owner and for now, I don't really have much to complain about. I think it was the greatest thing ever and even if in a few years we don't LOVE it any more, I don't foresee having any problem selling it and I will have had years of phenomenal vacations behind me.
     
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  19. bwvBound

    bwvBound DVC SSR & other timeshare

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    Only if your points are either direct or grandfathered. New resale accounts will be limited to RCI (of those three choices).

    (Of course, you knew that ... I was adding this as clarification for the OP.)
     
  20. bwvBound

    bwvBound DVC SSR & other timeshare

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    YES! Room conditions vary ... but getting moved to a "ready room" if the one you've been assigned isn't fully clean or functional can prove difficult. Most of our visits require an extra visit from Engineering to perform repairs on items broken by prior guests, simply worn out or poorly designed/installed (in the case of our Copper Creek Cabin visit, Jan 2018, where the main door wouldn't close properly or lock; or our Aulani visit, Sept 2011, to find the dishwasher had never been hooked up).

    One such story from our BWV visit with a badly trashed room: https://www.disboards.com/threads/bwv-truly-feels-like-home.3229039/
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
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  21. bwvBound

    bwvBound DVC SSR & other timeshare

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