Riv Direct or Poly Resale?

MomOTwins

The Mommy Fairy
Joined
Mar 5, 2018
Okay, have been trying not to clutter up the board with another compare post, but I was literally up half the night stressing about this decision, so would love to hear people's thoughts. We'd be looking to get approximately 150 points, Riviera Direct or Poly Resale with the goal of either 6-7 night stays in a studio or 3-4 nights in a 1-bedroom (splitting the rest of the week with something else nearby like a disney cruise, star wars hotel, or universal). These are the factors I'm considering that make it such a tough call:

Price POLY
This is actually a tougher call than I thought. Poly resale is listing about $7K cheaper, but resale prices seem high at the moment. I'd also generally have to pay all 2021 dues whereas they are prorated for direct, plus direct gets 2020 points thrown in with no dues, so that combined is at least a $1-2K value. And I can just found out from these boards (super helpful) that I can use a credit card for Riviera direct, which knocks 2-3% off as rewards cash.

Poly dues are also lower (about $200 less a year), but i can't help but wonder how long that will be the case. Poly dues went up 4% last year and Riv only went up 1%, so at that rate they would even out in 6 years. Honestly don't know how they set those numbers though. At any rate, I know dues rates are not guaranteed at any resort so wouldn't want to choose based on that alone.

Finally, there's the elephant in the room of resale restrictions--which makes Poly probably a significant better value over the life of the contract assuming we decide to sell at some point (probably, given how long the contracts are--unless our kids want to take it off our hands when they are grown).

So price category is a clear win for Poly.

Point chart/room type
RIV
I was somewhat surprised to see the Poly studio points per night are considerably higher than for Riviera--we almost get a whole extra night at Riviera for the same points, which is nothing to sneeze at! Plus, Riviera gives us the option to book at 1 bedroom at 11 months, whereas with Poly, I could only stay at a 1 bedroom (at one of the other resorts) if we can book it at 7 months, which makes me nervous as the ability to enjoy 1-bedrooms with our larger family (5 of us) was a big draw of DVC for us.

Clear win for Riviera

Which resort do I like better?
RIV
This is so hard. I love the theme and rooms at both resorts. They are probably a tie on transportation too, as Poly has monorail to two parks (or at least I assume it will post-Covid), and Riv has the gondolas (which we love) to two parks. I like the pools better at Poly, but I like the on-site dining better at Riviera. And while Poly is convenient to restaurants at MK resorts, Riviera is convenient to World Showcase if we get hoppers and I could see us doing a lot of dinners there. Gelato and Dole Whip are a draw as well.

So I would say love the resorts equally, but I have to give this category to Riviera for the simple reason that if I buy direct at Riviera, I can stay at Poly, but not vice versa.

Other benefits
RIV
Okay, this one is obvious, but I can only get a blue card if I buy direct. I would use it a ton for discounts as we usually eat at table service restaurants 2-3 times a day, and buy wayyyy more merch than we should. But very unlikely we would buy annual passes (if those are offered in near future) since we just don't visit enough to make it worthwhile. I'd probably enjoy the lounges too but that is pretty non-essential. So I don't know that those benefits really matter all that much to me.

The main thing that concerns me is what happens once all the 2042 resorts' contracts expire. Will that void the arrangement between those resorts and Poly, such that my Poly resale contact would no longer have resort trading privileges with them? Also, just generally, seems "safer" to have blue card status with Disney in case there are other restrictions they concoct for resale owners.

Too long of a post, I know, but that sums up pretty much all my thoughts so after laying out there--what would you do?
 

viper17d

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 16, 2016
Given your family size, if you’re even thinking about staying in a 1 bedroom, I’d definitely think twice about Poly. The studios are very large and comfortable, but would still feel confining with 5. Further, once you stay in a 1 bedroom, it will be really hard to go back to studios.

Is Riviera the only other resort you’re considering? I’ve heard great things about it, but you noted the resale limitations and it’s very different than Poly (theming/location).

I’d definitely say that if Epcot and Hollywood studios are your favorite parks, Riviera makes a ton of sense - and at the end of the day, buy where you want to stay.

If your family favorite is the Magic Kingdom, take another look at BLT (walking distance, but limited theming) and CCV/BRV (amazing theming, boat ride to MK). I’d say GFV, but the points per night there are very hefty.
 

MRO2306

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
I would consider other resorts but if the Blue Card is must, take a look at the prices of other resorts. What i did, i bought a small contract on resale so i can buy direct at members price.

(*******.com/forum/threads/new-direct-purchase-incentives-revealed-for-fall-2020.19511)
 
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emmymac17

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 12, 2020
Hey! I was in a similar dilemma last year and we ended up going with RIV direct for our first contract (we also bought during the huge discounting last year - so ended up getting a very competitive price/point)

The biggest downside of the Poly is lack of room type - even if you plan to use the points to try out other resorts - depending on the time of year you may be 'stuck' at the Poly - which is a wonderful resort - but studio only is a huge downside IMO. We are a young family of three (our little one is only two) but anticipate at least one more kiddo in the future and wanted to plan to stay in one bedrooms for longer stays (planning to add on to eventually be able to support a two bedroom in order to travel with friends/family + anticipating teenagers needing a little more space in the future).

The resale restrictions are annoying at RIV, but we bought in not anticipating selling anytime soon - and a lot will happen over the next 20+ years not to mention...50 years!

We are now looking at similar sized resale contracts (between 150-200) - and are in ROFR on a BLT contract in order to be able to bank points and alternate years between a MK resort and Riviera.

Long story short - don't think you can go wrong with Riviera, but you may want to consider somewhere your points go farther towards a one bedroom with family size.
 

havoc315

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Okay, have been trying not to clutter up the board with another compare post, but I was literally up half the night stressing about this decision, so would love to hear people's thoughts. We'd be looking to get approximately 150 points, Riviera Direct or Poly Resale with the goal of either 6-7 night stays in a studio or 3-4 nights in a 1-bedroom (splitting the rest of the week with something else nearby like a disney cruise, star wars hotel, or universal). These are the factors I'm considering that make it such a tough call:

Price POLY
This is actually a tougher call than I thought. Poly resale is listing about $7K cheaper, but resale prices seem high at the moment. I'd also generally have to pay all 2021 dues whereas they are prorated for direct, plus direct gets 2020 points thrown in with no dues, so that combined is at least a $1-2K value. And I can just found out from these boards (super helpful) that I can use a credit card for Riviera direct, which knocks 2-3% off as rewards cash.

Poly dues are also lower (about $200 less a year), but i can't help but wonder how long that will be the case. Poly dues went up 4% last year and Riv only went up 1%, so at that rate they would even out in 6 years. Honestly don't know how they set those numbers though. At any rate, I know dues rates are not guaranteed at any resort so wouldn't want to choose based on that alone.

Finally, there's the elephant in the room of resale restrictions--which makes Poly probably a significant better value over the life of the contract assuming we decide to sell at some point (probably, given how long the contracts are--unless our kids want to take it off our hands when they are grown).

So price category is a clear win for Poly.

Point chart/room type RIV
I was somewhat surprised to see the Poly studio points per night are considerably higher than for Riviera--we almost get a whole extra night at Riviera for the same points, which is nothing to sneeze at! Plus, Riviera gives us the option to book at 1 bedroom at 11 months, whereas with Poly, I could only stay at a 1 bedroom (at one of the other resorts) if we can book it at 7 months, which makes me nervous as the ability to enjoy 1-bedrooms with our larger family (5 of us) was a big draw of DVC for us.

Clear win for Riviera

Which resort do I like better? RIV
This is so hard. I love the theme and rooms at both resorts. They are probably a tie on transportation too, as Poly has monorail to two parks (or at least I assume it will post-Covid), and Riv has the gondolas (which we love) to two parks. I like the pools better at Poly, but I like the on-site dining better at Riviera. And while Poly is convenient to restaurants at MK resorts, Riviera is convenient to World Showcase if we get hoppers and I could see us doing a lot of dinners there. Gelato and Dole Whip are a draw as well.

So I would say love the resorts equally, but I have to give this category to Riviera for the simple reason that if I buy direct at Riviera, I can stay at Poly, but not vice versa.

Other benefits RIV
Okay, this one is obvious, but I can only get a blue card if I buy direct. I would use it a ton for discounts as we usually eat at table service restaurants 2-3 times a day, and buy wayyyy more merch than we should. But very unlikely we would buy annual passes (if those are offered in near future) since we just don't visit enough to make it worthwhile. I'd probably enjoy the lounges too but that is pretty non-essential. So I don't know that those benefits really matter all that much to me.

The main thing that concerns me is what happens once all the 2042 resorts' contracts expire. Will that void the arrangement between those resorts and Poly, such that my Poly resale contact would no longer have resort trading privileges with them? Also, just generally, seems "safer" to have blue card status with Disney in case there are other restrictions they concoct for resale owners.

Too long of a post, I know, but that sums up pretty much all my thoughts so after laying out there--what would you do?
If you like Riviera better, then Riviera.
As you noted, price is close.

Don't worry about re-sale value, that's overblown. Riviera has been holding up it's re-sale value quite well.
The most important thing is the value of what you're actually getting and using yourself.

Yes, Riviera re-sale restrictions are tighter than Poly -- But resale restrictions apply to both. And with your Poly resale, you're already getting hit with the resale restrictions
You can use your direct Riviera points at Poly, you can't use your resale points at Poly
You can almost certainly use your RIviera points at future resorts including the upcoming Disneyland Tower, not the Poly points.
Can use the Riviera purchase for dining discounts, likely benefits of discounted APs, Moonlight Magic, etc.

And 2042 -- nothing definite but extremely likely that new resorts/contracts will be treated like the Poly. So no, your resale Poly points will likely lose a lot of resorts in 2042. Likely, but not definite, that Riviera direct points could continue to use those resorts. None of this is definite -- it's 21 years away, I wouldn't make the decision based on this. But its something to keep in the back of your mind.

One more benefit of Riviera -- availability of 1-2 bedroom units, not just studios.

If you really preferred Poly, it would be a tougher call. But if you already have a preference for Riviera as a resort, then it's an easy call.
 

Heather07438

WDW Apprentice
Joined
Oct 20, 2015
What is the final price gap?

I think Riviera direct can make good sense for people who are relatively certain they will keep the contract for a long time (decades).

Poly is special in so many ways and not a bad value even at the recently increased price. I remember last summer/fall brokers pushing Poly as a fantastic bargain. In hindsight they were absolutely right.

However, because basically the single room category, a decent amount of the year has 7 month availability. If you’re flexible and determined it’s likely you’ll find trips here over the years. If ranking resorts by ability to get in without owning, Poly ranks higher than average

PVB Standard Studio.jpg



PVB  Lake View Studio.jpg


We’ve haven’t bought yet but have been doing comparisons. Look at the cost difference and break it down by year. The slight increase in cost for RIV might be worth it in your case.
 
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Wedgeout

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 27, 2020
From reading your post, I think RIV is the choice. Get the best direct price per point for what you have budgeted and go for it. Enjoy!
 

princesscinderella

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 27, 2011
I’d buy RIV direct based on your post above. The lack of one/two bedrooms makes Poly a no go for me. You will have your points the next day and if you get a June UY or beyond you get the 2020 points too 😊. Maybe get a fixed week at RIV for a popular time that maybe you would like to go to guarantee a standard studio stay. Even if you never use it a guaranteed reservation is nice to hedge against the RIV resale restrictions.
 

DisneyonMars

Earning My Ears
Joined
Mar 5, 2021
I can relate to the difficult decision!

From your post I think I would buy the 150 RIV direct.

I have a larger family as well, but 4 kids so 6 total. I am currently waiting on ROFR on 270 points for OKW(e) so I would have plenty of points for a 2 bedroom. If we don't all go we could get a 1 bedroom. The advantage of resale I think is less loss if we do decide it is not for us and we sell.

I do find myself wanting to add direct to get the blue card and am debating 125 points direct at AKV, OKW, or now maybe even RIV ( would likely go up to 150 to get the increased incentive). The advantage of the blue card is the discounts, possible AP discount, and ability to use at RIV or newer resorts which we would like to do at times. This would be a contract I would let my kids keep till the end if they want. I know my 14 year old daughter is a huge DIS lover and I can see her continuing to go over her lifetime. I think the perks would be worth it over many years. It also seems like the cost to get the blue card keeps going up. I had looked last summer and am sorry I didn't buy when you only needed 100 points for it. Now I worry that this fall they may increase it further to needing 150 points to get it. In addition the RIV incentives have worsened, so the price is now higher.

At the end of the day both would be good, but I think maybe start with the direct and you could always add some poly in the future if you find you want more points.
 

emmymac17

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 12, 2020
I'll add we were able to book a Poly studio for a week in May at like the 4/5 month mark (I know 2020/2021 is weird, but if you're flexible on travel and want to experience Polynesian I think you'll be able to do it over the years without owning there!)

However, because basically the single room category, a decent amount of the year has 7 month availability. If you’re flexible and determined it’s likely you’ll find trips here over the years. If ranking resorts by ability to get in without owning, Poly ranks higher than average
 

skippytx

Bay Lake Tower
Joined
Aug 24, 2015
Lack of room options at Poly was the deciding factor not to buy there. I originally was going to buy 100 Poly points, but canceled that contract, and we went with BLT resale.

I'd probably go RIV in your shoes.

Just a note about dues, usually new resorts have flat dues for the first 3 years or so (look at CCV for example) before they start going up annually. They tend to overestimate at first, and then can always offer a credit later on.
 

Sandisw

DVC Forums
Moderator
Joined
Nov 15, 2008
DVC is just too much money, IMO, to save money by buying your second choice resort,

If you love RIV, then spend the extra now and know you can stay at Poly when you want most of the time. You can’t do it the other way,

As someone who also loves RIV, and bought BLT this summer resale, not thinking it would be a big deal having restricted points, it is. It is the only thing I have done with DVC I regret. I should have spent the extra to just buy the 100 points at RIV. Or, bought only 75 BLT direct vs the 100 I did for a few extra.

As already mentioned, resale value for RIV is holding up pretty decent considering it’s so restricted. But, one should buy based on what you will get out of it when you have it and not on a hypothetical loss in value down the road.
 

Jack_Sparrow_NJ

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 10, 2018
It really is a tough decision. I own at the RIV but I really like Poly too. You have to buy where you would be happiest staying. It’s too big of a commitment to go with your second choice. You should go with the RIV
 

princesscinderella

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 27, 2011
I also want to add if you do buy at RIV see if they will give you two 75 point contracts instead of 150 that way if you want to downsize you can and smaller contracts sell easier in resale. It a bit extra cost ($300 approximately) upfront but worth it later on.
 

MomOTwins

The Mommy Fairy
Joined
Mar 5, 2018
Oh my gosh! So many helpful posts already. I love this board.:figment:

It definitely feels like the consensus is for Riv, which makes me happy because I was definitely worried if we bought Poly resale and couldn't stay at Riv I'd regret it like @Sandisw said. Just couldn't shake my anxiety about overpaying for Riv (really wish we had gotten in on those 2020 incentives), but at the end of the day, it is not a huge price difference.

The fact that so many people have pointed out the importance of the 1-bedroom option at riviera is really what seems like the strongest case for Riviera. We aren't really prepared just yet to buy enough points for a whole week in a 1-bedroom each year, but every other year, or a shorter stay split with a beach airbnb, sounds like a great vacation to me. Plus who knows, we could maybe add on as time goes on if we really love it. We toured a 1 bedroom on our last trip and my eyes were popping out of my head! Those rooms really do look amazing and as the kids get older, that extra space will be even more important.

I’d definitely say that if Epcot and Hollywood studios are your favorite parks, Riviera makes a ton of sense - and at the end of the day, buy where you want to stay.

If your family favorite is the Magic Kingdom, take another look at BLT (walking distance, but limited theming) and CCV/BRV (amazing theming, boat ride to MK). I’d say GFV, but the points per night there are very hefty.
Epcot is our favorite resort by a long shot, so assuming the Epcot monorail comes back, Riviera and Poly would both be convenient. MK and HS are probably tied for second favorite, so that doesn't help us in our decision.

Theming is also really important to our whole family--I get that Riv and Poly have different themes but I actually like both just as much and my kids interestingly enough prefer Riviera. As a result, we pretty much ruled out BLT due to not loving the theme. GFV is a resort we love and have stayed at twice for short stays, but as you suspected the price and point cost was just hard to justify. We do love WL, but find it disappointing you need splurge on a two-bedroom villa or squeeze into a BRV 5 to have beds for 5. If either of the WL DVCs had a 1-bedroom with beds for 5, tor if they had a larger studio with two bathroom areas like Poly/Riv, that'd be a no brainer for us. If during the upcoming remodel at BRV they add an extra bed that would be awesome, but seems risky to gamble on that.

We are now looking at similar sized resale contracts (between 150-200) - and are in ROFR on a BLT contract in order to be able to bank points and alternate years between a MK resort and Riviera.
The usual answer is buy both...... and get resale first as easier to match UY
I like how you two think ;) I definitely have a secret hope that I'll be able to persuade DH to go for a second contract or at least add on points in a few years so we can do longer 1-bedroom stays, but he wants to give us some flexibility to do a mix of Disney and non-Disney vacations, so we are keeping the contract small for now.

And 2042 -- nothing definite but extremely likely that new resorts/contracts will be treated like the Poly. So no, your resale Poly points will likely lose a lot of resorts in 2042. Likely, but not definite, that Riviera direct points could continue to use those resorts. None of this is definite -- it's 21 years away, I wouldn't make the decision based on this. But its something to keep in the back of your mind.
That would be the worst. If 2042 rolls around and having resale points at Poly mean we couldn't use our points at other resorts, the Poly is nice, but that would take away a lot of the value of the points for us (no post-retirement trips to an Epcot area DVC resort for food and wine) and make it harder to resell.

However, because basically the single room category, a decent amount of the year has 7 month availability. If you’re flexible and determined it’s likely you’ll find trips here over the years. If ranking resorts by ability to get in without owning, Poly ranks higher than average
I'll add we were able to book a Poly studio for a week in May at like the 4/5 month mark (I know 2020/2021 is weird, but if you're flexible on travel and want to experience Polynesian I think you'll be able to do it over the years without owning there!)
That's good to know. Even if it gets harder at the 7 month mark, we may still have luck with booking a night or two pre-cruise at the Poly since shorter stays are often easier to book, and since Poly is such a good resort for a non-park stay. That also wouldn't deplete our points so much as a full week at the Poly, leaving us with enough points for a second short stay somewhere else to do the parks later in the year.
 

havoc315

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
That would be the worst. If 2042 rolls around and having resale points at Poly mean we couldn't use our points at other resorts, the Poly is nice, but that would take away a lot of the value of the points for us (no post-retirement trips to an Epcot area DVC resort for food and wine) and make it harder to resell.
That's why the re-sale restriction on Riviera is overstated. Right now, it looks huge -- You can use re-sale points at 13 out of the 14 resorts. Riviera... just 1 out of 14, so it looks like a huge difference.

But come the 2040's... it's likely to be:
Riviera and all direct points... 20/20 resorts (or however many there are)
Riviera re-sale -- 1/20 resorts
Poly re-sale 7/20 resorts
And re-sale at 13/20 resorts will be 1-resort only, just like Riviera.
Suddenly... re-sale is pretty darn restricted everywhere.

So for anyone thinking they are likely to own 20+ years, the re-sale restrictions aren't really going to factor into the pricing of Riviera any more than any place else.
 

sethschroeder

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
Finally, there's the elephant in the room of resale restrictions--which makes Poly probably a significant better value over the life of the contract assuming we decide to sell at some point
I am in the minority but count me out on resale pricing not looking different in 2042 after a large portion of Epcot/MK resorts expire and there is no incentive for a BLT/VGF/CCV owner to book at any other resort. Is the BLT owner really going to want to switch at 7 months over to SSR or OKW?

I think people are too caught up in now and don't realize a big event will occur in 20 years time that will change how people view proximity of parks for resale purchase. (Example would half the SSR owners here buy if they could only stay at SSR/OKW/AKV).

Point chart/room type RIV
I would say POLY is winner for Studios on the concept that it is much much easier to get a studio there since its the only room category. I am not saying RIV will be "hard" but it is unlikely to long term be as easy as POLY. Although the point requirement per night is worse.....

The big benefit of RIV in this category is flexibility of room type.
 

havoc315

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
I would say POLY is winner for Studios on the concept that it is much much easier to get a studio there since its the only room category. I am not saying RIV will be "hard" but it is unlikely to long term be as easy as POLY. Although the point requirement per night is worse.....
Excellent point, although that cuts against Poly in the sense that Poly studios are pretty easy to get at 7 months, where Riviera (and other resorts) are much harder to get the studios at 7 months.
 

RoseGold

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
I think Riviera direct can make good sense for people who are relatively certain they will keep the contract for a long time (decades).
I agree with this. If you plan to sell, I'd go Poly no brainer.

One distinction is that Poly (at least pre-Covid) has heavy rental demand. It's why I initially bought there. I knew it would be easy to rent out a couple years at high rates if I decided I wanted to skip a couple years. Covid has showing that buying to rent it out is not smart, but there you go. Poly has a supply of cash buyers who actually pay $800/night to stay in the building across the path.

I also think it's worth considering that RIV resale is going to create a new class of buyer caught in the hotel like the Beast's staff. No one knows what that will do to availability, but I'm guessing it won't help studio availability. Studios are already tight, and it's like 40% declared with minimal resale right now.

I also disagree with your thoughts on transportation. Poly has the charming boat to MK, which I LOVE and also a walking path to MK now. RIV has only the gondolas (which shut in rain) and buses. People here act like the VGF walking path is really long, but I think it's a lovely walk and will totally do it.
 

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