Purchasing a Guaranteed Week

DVC Mike

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Purchasing a "Guaranteed Week"?


Back when it started in 1991, the Disney Vacation Club was different than many timeshares in that instead of selling “fixed weeks” where a person bought a specific week they would be able to use year after year, DVC used a flexible points-based system that may be used in different time increments for vacation stays anytime throughout the year at DVC resorts in a variety of accommodations from studios to three-bedroom villas.

GUARANTEED WEEK OPTION

Beginning with Aulani, and continuing with the Villas at the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, Disney also started selling what they call a “Guaranteed Week”. Some members thought DVC was taking a step backwards. The “Guaranteed Week” option may sound the same as a traditional fixed week timeshare – but it’s not.

GUARANTEED WEEK EXPLAINED

You’re really not giving up any of the flexibility of the typically DVC point purchase by purchasing a guaranteed week. Actually, you’re paying a premium to never have to worry about being able to book your reservation. And, you’re not locking yourself into only going for the week you buy.

The Guaranteed Week option allows an owner to secure a reservation every year during a specific timeshare week, in a specific room size and view, throughout the duration of their DVC ownership. Member Services will automatically book your guaranteed reservation every year – on a priority basis and ahead of other members trying to book at the 11-month window on a first-come, first-served basis.

The reservation is confirmed annually without any phone call or web site booking on the part of the owner. No need to jump online at 8:00 AM ET!

A guaranteed week is for seven consecutive nights beginning from one Sunday to the next Sunday. The timeshare weeks are numbered from 1 to 52 and correspond to the Sundays in the calendar year. Week #1 starts with the first Sunday in each calendar year, while Week #52 starts with the 52nd Sunday in each calendar year. Arrival and departure dates for each guaranteed week will vary from year-to-year.

Besides having a guaranteed reservation, owners of a guaranteed week are exempt from future point re-allocations. DVC members are aware that the number of points required for a specific calendar week's stay often changes due to seasonal adjustments to the points chart. However, the Guaranteed Week purchase secures the accommodation each year regardless of any seasonal adjustments or reallocations. So, they will always get their guaranteed week no matter how the points chart may change.

As mentioned, buyers must pay a premium for a guaranteed week – approximately 10% more than the normal amount of points to book that week.


CAN REGULAR DVC OWNERS GET LOCKED OUT OF A WEEK?

The POS documents state that Guaranteed Week ownership interests will be capped at 35% of any specific Use Day for any specific Vacation Home type. At least 65% of all dates and villa sizes will remain available for booking on points at the resort.

So, DVC can sell no more than 35% of all rooms as Guaranteed Weeks for any single week.
LACK OF FLEXIBILITY?

Where’s the flexibility in this? It sounds like I’m locked into a fixed week?

Nope, the buyer of a guaranteed week can always opt-out of their week each year if they so desire. The guaranteed week reservation will be cancelled and the owner will receive the number of points listed on their deed. These points can be used just like regular points in that you can book any other room/view for any time period or calendar date you want. Basically, you’re now back in the pool of regular DVC members and book on a first-come, first-served basis when making a reservation. If you opt-out, you can bank, borrow or transfer the points (if you don’t opt-out, these activities cannot take place on a guaranteed week).

If you know that you will often vacation during a specific week (perhaps around Christmas or New Years) and you don't want to risk being shut out, the guaranteed week is a viable option. You don't need to "walk" a reservation.

WHAT'S THE DOWNSIDE OF A GUARANTEED WEEK?

So, what are the downsides?

Well, the obvious one is cost. You’re paying a premium.

What if your vacation patterns change? What if you decide you don’t want to go at Christmas (or whatever guaranteed week you purchased)? What if you bought a Standard View Studio and you decide you’d rather stay in a Lake View 2-bedroom? Well, you paid a premium for something that you won’t be able to leverage.

Another downside is you need to purchase enough points for 7 nights, which will tend not to be a small contract. Some members purchase multiple smaller contracts for the flexibility of being able to sell some points without having to sell all of them. It will be much easier to sell four 60-point contracts, than trying to sell a larger 240 point fixed week contract.


Fixed Ownership Interests from the POS:
 

wdrl

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 15, 2009
[QUOTE="DVC Mike, post: 54182491]
WHAT'S THE DOWNSIDE OF A GUARANTEED WEEK?

So, what are the downsides?

Well, the obvious one is cost. You’re paying a premium.

The premium incurred for buying a Guaranteed Week is about 10% more than what a traditional point deed would be to cover the same 7-night period. For example, a 7-night stay in a PVB Lake View studio during early December is 148 points. A Guaranteed Week deed for that same time (week #49) costs 163 points, or 15 points more. At the current price of $165 a point, the GW premium translates into an additional cost of $2,475.

$2,475 is nothing to sneeze at. But, it is a one-time cost, and when it is amortized over the 50 year life of the resort, it comes out to $49.50 a year.

Actually, its not so much the initial one-time premium of 10% that adds to the cost of a Guaranteed Week deed. Its the ongoing yearly Maintenance Fees on the extra points that adds to the cost of a GW deed. In the example above, the 15 extra points that are purchased results in an extra $90.30 in yearly Maintenance Fees paid by the owner, assuming the PVB Maintenance Fee is $6.02 per point.

What if your vacation patterns change? What if you decide you don’t want to go at Christmas (or whatever guaranteed week you purchased)? What if you bought a Standard View Studio and you decide you’d rather stay in a Lake View 2-bedroom? Well, you paid a premium for something that you won’t be able to leverage.

In my opinion, if your vacation patterns change, you are absolutely at no disadvantage by having a Guaranteed Week deed compared to if you bought a traditional points deed. As a GW deed owner, you can opt out of your week and accommodation type each year. When you opt out, you can then use your points any way you wish. You can book a different week, a different accommodation type, or even a different DVC resort. You can even use your points for an exchange into RCI, the Disney Collection, etc. Using my example above, the only limiting factor is the number of points you own: 163 points. In other words, you are in the exact same position that you would be in if you had bought a traditional point deed containing 163 points.

[/QUOTE]

Guaranteed Week sales have not come close to the 35% cap. GW sales at VGF only account for about 4% of total sales. See the following article for more details on GW sales at VGF: http://dvcnews.com/index.php/resorts/grand-floridian/news/2837-a-look-at-guaranteed-week-sales-for-the-grand-floridian.

At PVB, initial GW sales have been at a slightly slower pace than what happened at VGF. Unless things change dramatically in the coming months, it doesn't look like PVB's GW sales will exceed the percentage realized at VGF.
 
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RobbW

To Scope or not to Scope? *THAT* is the question!
Joined
Nov 21, 2010
I assume GW is only an option when buying direct from DVD, right? Resales cannot pay for a GW. Or is there some weird option offered by DVD whereby you can purchase the GW directly from them after the fact?
 
  • Popouri DVC

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2015
    Can you have any contracts converted to guaranteed weeks by Disney? Or do you have to buy brand new ones?
     

    ziravan

    Welcome Home
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2014
    The guarantee is part of the contract. You cannot convert a contract to GW. It must be originally bought as a GW.

    If a GW owner sells, the GW is part of the deed and transfers to the new owner.

    If a new owner within their 10 day recission period (right to cancel) decides to swap their contract for a guaranteed week, they can essentially rescind and repurchase a fixed week. Your guide might not like it, but those are the rules.

    If you're outside your recission period, you're out of luck.
     
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    ziravan

    Welcome Home
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2014
    I own a GW #44 Poly Lake View. It's a 168 point contract.

    To stay there otherwise would cost 153 points.

    We picked week 44 because our vacation time is very flexible and week 44 overlaps Halloween and the first full week of Nov.

    It's during F&W and depending on how the year falls, it's either MNSSHP or MVMCP and rarely, both. Plus, the last weekend is F&W Half Marathon and Jersey week thrown in.

    Should studios at Poly be hard to come by, this will be a busy week. I think studios will be hard to come by once Poly sells out, this is why we hedged our bets with a GW.

    I think studios will be hard to come by because:

    1. It's a monorail resort and studios are typically in demand.

    2. Bungalows make up 25% of points but I doubt most owners buy enough points to routinely stay in them. Because there are no other type of reservations that means there will be more poly owners with points for studios than studios.

    Many people make the argument that poly owners will trade out and that will allow other owners access to the 360 studios. Here's what I think will happen: Poly owners will either trade out or scramble for a studio at 11 months and the bulk of points traded into Poly at 7 months will be other owners trying a day or two at the bungalows. That's where those points will end up because studios will be full.

    If I'm right, the GW is a very smart move.

    If I'm wrong and lake view studios are abundantly avail at 11 months, then I opt out of my GW, re-rent the same reservation for 153 points, and pocket the extra 15 points. NO. BIG. DEAL.
     

    ziravan

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    Joined
    Apr 4, 2014
    image.jpg

    One major benefit of GW:

    Talk of reallocating bungalows down and studios up means little to me. My week is fixed for the entire RTU.

    Talk of reclassifying some lake view rooms doesn't concern me. If DVC reclassifies the first floor rooms as 'other than lake view' (bungalow view - and DVC should do this), then lake view rooms will even be more in demand at 11 months because the total number will drop from 72 to 48 or less. My deed isn't just for points though, it's for a GW LAKE VIEW.

    These discussions are academic to me because I'm protected in either case.
     
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    BWV Dreamin

    DIS Veteran
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    Mar 10, 2007
    I wish I could have afforded a GW when first offered at VGF. I like the flexibility of it. It's definitely not like any other timeshare fixed week.
     

    ziravan

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    Apr 4, 2014
    I wish I could have afforded a GW when first offered at VGF. I like the flexibility of it. It's definitely not like any other timeshare fixed week.
    There are many VGF owners that now wish they had studios locked in for December. It wasn't necessarily predictable while VGF was for sell (that booking studios would be a problem even at 11 months) and only became an issue as it sold out.

    DVD will release inventory to stay ahead of owners as a resort sells. It's only at the end of sales that any mismatch between collective owner intent and available inventory becomes apparent.

    With VGF not having an active waitlist, the only GW still avail are for those currently still on the waitlist. Even then, you'd have to be wait listed for enough points for a week plus 10%. My guess is that's exceedingly few people.

    If I were on the waitlist for anywhere near that many points, I'd call my guide and ask if I could change my request to a week 50-52 GW Studio.

    The resale premium on that will be sky high.
     

    ziravan

    Welcome Home
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    Apr 4, 2014
    By the same token, if I were buying Poly (and I did), I'd buy with a Fall GW (and I did). If it turns out that guarantee is needed to secure a reservation, it will absolutely be essential to owner satisfaction to lock in a week and not worry about walking a reservation each year or scrambling at 8 AM at the 11 month window.

    If it turns out that availability is not a problem at 11 months, then opt out each year and no big deal.

    Thing is, you aren't going to know until after its too late. Ask VGF owners...
     

    disneynutz

    DIS Veteran
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Joined
    Dec 11, 2006
    We bought a GW at VGF for early December. We always vacation at WDW in December and the size of VGF made buying a GW a no brainer, the extra cost didn't matter to us, it's more important to stay where you want, when you want, in the category you want.

    :earsboy: Bill
     

    Popouri DVC

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2015
    We bought a GW at VGF for early December. We always vacation at WDW in December and the size of VGF made buying a GW a no brainer, the extra cost didn't matter to us, it's more important to stay where you want, when you want, in the category you want.

    :earsboy: Bill
    I am a VGF owner but a fairly new one (haven't in fact stayed officially in the villas yet, can't wait...) but I know we will always stay at Disney in October, so I would've liked a fixed week. But I didn't know about them, so hopefully we will still get our room at 11 months (helps that we like one bedrooms I hope).
     

    wdrl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 15, 2009
    I am a VGF owner but a fairly new one (haven't in fact stayed officially in the villas yet, can't wait...) but I know we will always stay at Disney in October, so I would've liked a fixed week. But I didn't know about them, so hopefully we will still get our room at 11 months (helps that we like one bedrooms I hope).
    I've read comments from several people who said that the Guaranteed Week option was never mentioned during the DVC sales presentation. I don't know if its because the Guides themselves are not that familiar with how the Guaranteed Week option works, or if there is some disincentive to the Guides for selling a GW deed compared to a traditional points deed. If anything, I would have thought that Guides would love selling GW deeds because they get commissions on an extra 10% worth of points.

    Even on an official DVD website its difficult to get information about the Guaranteed Week option. The DVC Quick Reference Guide shows the current prices and financing (including the incentives for Aulani) and the point charts for the DVC resorts, but it makes no mention of the Guaranteed Week option, or the cost of GW for each week. Note: If you want to browse the DVC Quick Reference Guide, the Username is Welcome and the Password is Home.

    The DVCMember website is also lacking in information about the Guaranteed Week Option. I just spent about 10 minutes on the website trying to find any information on the GW option. I even entered 'Guaranteed Week' in the search field and got one hit, but it was for buying traditional points.

    DVD has sold far fewer Guaranteed Week deeds at VGF and PVB than I expected. VGF's GW deeds account for about at 4% of total points, and PVB is actually on pace for less than that.
     

    coastalhh

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2014
    I understand you have to buy for 7 nights but is it also all or nothing to book 7 nights for your prority fixed week booking?

    In other words I don't think I can purchase fixed week 52 and only use it for 4 nights and bank the other 3 nights points right?

    It would be nice to have that security in booking at popular times but we NEVER go for 7 nights and over 50 years we probably wouldn't do a 7 night trip more than 3 or 4 times.

    We prefer long weekends. So I guess until they sell guaranteed nights (not weeks) we are out of even considering.
     

    KAT4DISNEY

    Glad to be a test subject
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2008
    I understand you have to buy for 7 nights but is it also all or nothing to book 7 nights for your prority fixed week booking?

    In other words I don't think I can purchase fixed week 52 and only use it for 4 nights and bank the other 3 nights points right?

    It would be nice to have that security in booking at popular times but we NEVER go for 7 nights and over 50 years we probably wouldn't do a 7 night trip more than 3 or 4 times.

    We prefer long weekends. So I guess until they sell guaranteed nights (not weeks) we are out of even considering.
    You could cancel the guaranteed week and try and rebook just the nights you want but there would be the possibility you could not get the booking. If done right at 11 months I would believe you would not have an issue at the Poly though. I'm not certain I'd bother the fixed week however if that was your intended use.
     

    pangyal

    #TeamSven
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2014
    This is a timely thread as we are actually just starting the process of buying a fixed week at VGF through resale. The week is perfect for us- it spans Canada Day, which is also our anniversary, and the easiest time of the year for myself, hubby, and the kidlet to get away even a few years from now when school year-end comes with more tests, assignments, etc.

    We really wanted to buy into VGF, and the fixed week option adds a lot of value. FYI we had to ask that the owners opt out of the 2016 reservation in place, as the broker wasn't sure if the pending reservation would block the sale and we didn't want to risk it. When all is said and done, though, with VGF being as hard as it is to book, I'm really glad we found this and moved on it. I lucked out on 3 nights at VGF in February, but it's somewhat stressful trying to waitlist and piece together a holiday there, so I figure even with the 10% premium if we do keep the annual reservation, it is totally worth the money.
     

    wdrl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 15, 2009
    This is a timely thread as we are actually just starting the process of buying a fixed week at VGF through resale.

    FYI we had to ask that the owners opt out of the 2016 reservation in place, as the broker wasn't sure if the pending reservation would block the sale and we didn't want to risk it.
    Congratulations on finding a resale deed that works for you and I hope it goes through quickly.

    I'm confused why your broker thought the pending reservation could possibly block the sale? In traditional deed situations, a pending reservation is cancelled when the deed changes ownership (Aulani is the only DVC resort that offers an exception to this rule); an existing reservation doesn't block a resale transaction from going through. However, Guaranteed Week deeds are different in that they give the owner the right to a specific accommodation during a specific week. That right stays with the deed even if it is sold from one owner to the next.
     

    pangyal

    #TeamSven
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2014
    Congratulations on finding a resale deed that works for you and I hope it goes through quickly.

    I'm confused why your broker thought the pending reservation could possibly block the sale? In traditional deed situations, a pending reservation is cancelled when the deed changes ownership (Aulani is the only DVC resort that offers an exception to this rule); an existing reservation doesn't block a resale transaction from going through. However, Guaranteed Week deeds are different in that they give the owner the right to a specific accommodation during a specific week. That right stays with the deed even if it is sold from one owner to the next.
    He said it was a murky area that they had no personal experience with. He fully gave me the option of leaving the reservation and dealing with any off-chance issues that came up as a result, but since we 100% won't be using the June 2016 reservation, I told him to just have the owners opt out and we would start fresh in 2017. There are banked 2014 points in there too, so I personally preferred to have everything pooled in one use year rather than navigating both banked points and a reservation that I would be cancelling anyway.

    I have a feeling the brokers are all going to be learning as they go as more FW resales start to come on the markets...
     

    KAT4DISNEY

    Glad to be a test subject
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2008
    Congratulations on finding a resale deed that works for you and I hope it goes through quickly.

    I'm confused why your broker thought the pending reservation could possibly block the sale? In traditional deed situations, a pending reservation is cancelled when the deed changes ownership (Aulani is the only DVC resort that offers an exception to this rule); an existing reservation doesn't block a resale transaction from going through. However, Guaranteed Week deeds are different in that they give the owner the right to a specific accommodation during a specific week. That right stays with the deed even if it is sold from one owner to the next.
    In my experience where I intended to use a contract if it didn't sell I had to cancel the reservation. The broker said Disney would not. I was very surprised since I had read it multiple times here that it would be cancelled but I was told no. However, with a guaranteed week I would not expect it to cause any block in the process.
     

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