Thinking About Purchasing DVC - Any Advice and Opinions Welcome from the DIS Brain Trust

mrsclark

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 16, 2013
I am a longtime Disney fan and DISboard member, but I have only recently started to think that maybe we should become DVC owners as well. I have been reading a lot of threads (including from other perspective buyers, thoughts on lowball offers, and DVC resale prices) and I was hoping that the very knowledgeable people here could weigh in. I found the following list of questions on another thread posted in the comments by @bwvBound and have copied them here and answered them to provide as much background as possible for you all.

  • How often to you intend to visit WDW? What months? How long will you stay?
    • From 2011-2019 we have visited once a year and we also had trips in 2007 and 2009. In the past, we have always gone in September (with the exception of one trip in October with a big family group and one trip in November because of a work obligation). Going forward, we would be interested in traveling January, February, May, or September. We would consider March, April, and October. We would have no intention for the next five years of visiting June-August (we currently have no school age children) and we have no intention of ever really making a trip in November or December. We generally stay 9-10 nights, although I can see us staying anywhere from 7-11 nights.
  • How far in advance will you be able to make firm plans and book the reservation?
    • I think reasonably, we could make plans 11 or 7 months in advance although it makes us somewhat nervous to have to lock-in so soon - this being despite the fact that we have only had to move a planned vacation ONCE in 13 years from September to earlier in the same year in May (I was pregnant and would not be allowed to travel by my doctor in September because it was so close to my due date).
  • How often to you intend to visit other Disney destinations? This includes Hilton Head, Vero, Disneyland, Oahu, Asia locations, Paris, etc. Consider, as you ponder question: How often do you intentions include a DVC location vs a non-DVC location?
    • It is one of my life's goals to visit ALL Disney theme parks worldwide at some point. I am also very interested in Vero Beach and Aulani - not sure about Hilton Head.
  • How often do you intend to do travel completely outside DVC and not involving DVC? (This is just to establish some balance?)
    • We would also like to take a Disney cruise again at some point and we also enjoy road trips to see cultural and historic sights around the USA. We don't travel internationally at this time, BUT I could see us trying out ABD at some point (I know DCL and ABD are both poor uses of DVC points and can only be done if you purchase DVC direct, so we would plan on paying cash).
  • How many of you are traveling?
    • Sometimes, it would just be DH, DS and I (and any future kids we would be lucky enough to have), but we are also interested in bringing our mothers and/or other family members with us - so the party size could range from 3 up to 6, 7, 8, or even 9
  • What size unit will you most often hope to book? What other unit sizes are either acceptable, workable, or likely? Related to this: How many points will you need for your targeted location, unit size and travel dates? How much will this run annually in dues based on your 1st, 2nd, 3rd and last choice DVC properties?
    • Part of the reason I am so interested is because we would most likely want a one-bedroom at a minimum, but would plan to graduate up to a two-bedroom, and maybe sometimes a Grand Villa. Last year on our babymoon, we splurged on a one-bedroom villa at BWV for just the two of us and we LOVED it. We made some meals in the room and had plenty of space - when I wanted to go to sleep, DH could hang out in the living room and watch TV. We paid cash (with a discount) and it was expensive for 10 nights! We wouldn't be interested in studios at this time. I haven't gotten far enough along in the process to determine the exact amount of points we need because I am still trying to figure where we would want to buy. So determining points needed is something I need to dig deeper into.
  • Why DVC vs any other timeshare? Why DVC vs a hotel chain?
    • In our past trips to WDW, we have stayed all Deluxe with the exception of one trip where we stayed at a Cabin at FW (we were in a big family group). We have stayed at AKL x2, BCV x2 (booked through Disney as a cash reservation), BC, YC x2, CR, Treehouse at SSR (booked cash through Disney with a discount) and BWV (again booked through Disney with cash). Because we love deluxe resorts on property, I am interested in DVC as a long-term money-saving idea. I have never had any interest in any timeshare other than Disney.
  • Why own vs rent?
    • I was always wary of renting points because of the cash requirement up front with no possibility for a refund and, so, the need to purchase travel insurance to cover changes. I am especially wary now with all the brokers having problems because of the resort closure. And even with cancel for any reason travel insurance, you would still lose a sizeable portion of your deposit. I like the idea that if we had to cancel as long as we did it before our banking window closed (which I believe is 4 months before the end of your UY??? do I have that right?), we could at least bank the points. I could be doing the math wrong too, but if we plan to use the points for 15-25 years IF we happened to have to cancel one year AND couldn't find anyone to rent them and worst case scenario lost the points, that still would NOT completely ruin the value - maybe I am wrong on that though.
  • Why DVC?
    • Because we love Disney and we love deluxe Disney. Now that we have at least one child (and hopefully will have more), we are especially interested in larger rooms (1-bed, 2-bed, and Grand Villas)
  • How many other Disney resorts have you visited? What were the Pros/Cons for these? Which features would you hope to recreate with DVC or to avoid?
  • etc.
    • In the past, DH and I have preferred Epcot resorts because of the ability to walk to DHS and Epcot, BUT I am thinking with smaller kids, it might be better to own on the monorail, so I have been thinking either BLT or VGF. We loved SSR for the service level, room accommodations (the Treehouse was amazing), the boat to DS and how relaxing it was, but it was quite a journey to the parks and I think with little kits that will be too much. I have never visited OKW and I would consider staying there, but I am concerned about the same issue with the distance to the parks.
My questions for the DVC experts here:
  1. What do you think of my reasoning and justification for buying DVC?
  2. Right now, I am most interested in traveling in January or February or May to avoid the worst of the heat, but once we hit school-age, we will have to shift our vacation time, so do I buy a use year for now - such as Jan or Feb OR do I buy a UY for school and just make it work now?
  3. I think there is good reason to believe that the prices in the reasale market will go down over the next couple of years and would like to get a deal - if they don't, I would be significantly less inclined to buy. Do you EVER see a justification for buying direct? If, for some reason, we decided we wanted to buy at RIV, would that be enough to say we should buy direct to avoid the restrictions?
  4. Please help to me to think through or point to resources where I can calculate the potential cost savings versus just continuing to book discounted rooms through Disney cash.
 

Miffy

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 13, 2002
Disclaimer: I do not own DVC. I do, however, go to WDW usually once and sometimes twice a year. I'm going to mention some things that your post doesn't address and that maybe you haven't considered.

Finances. Maybe you have the most secure financial situation possible--loads of money saved, a trust fund, a job or profession that's untouchable by any internal or external event. If that's the case, ignore this section! But if that isn't the case, consider the following:

Do you have the cash for the purchase? Cash you don't need for anything else? Cash you wouldn't miss if it evaporated? Because although in the past DVC has had a great resale rate, no one knows what the future's going to look like. This is a sunk cost, not an investment.

Also, you might have a year or two where you can't actually afford to go to WDW on vacation yet you'd still have to pay your maintenance fees. A few months ago, you might've thought that you'd still be able to rent out your points. But now? Renting out one's points may not be so easy.

How would you feel if you owned DVC right now and you were looking at possibly having points that you'd been planning to use for a vacation this year become worthless because of the timing of your banking? I don't fully understand how these things work, however, I've seen a few posts from owners who've got points they'll never be able to use because of the current closures. Think this'll never happen again? I hope it won't! But this or something else could.

Changing things around. Right now you're used to booking a resort room through WDW. If you change your mind, want something different, want to or have to move around your dates, etc., you can often do it. With a DVC reservation? Not so easy and maybe impossible. I noticed your hesitation about booking at 7 or 11 months. Not an ideal situation for a DVC owner, from everything I've gathered after reading innumerable posts about DVC here.

Also, once you get to your resort, if you don't like the room, the view, the location, the whatever, it's--as I understand it--highly unlikely that you'd be able to change to a different room as DVC resorts are usually operating at or near 100% capacity. Yes, it can be difficult to change a regular resort hotel room if the resort is fully booked, but I've successfully done this several times.

You probably already realize that you won't get daily maid service unless you want to pay extra for it and that using your points for a DVC cruise is not a good use of points. But I'm throwing these things out there anyway.

I'm not posting all this to discourage you from buying DVC, but I do think that these points are worth thinking about before you make such a large purchase. DVC is a luxury purchase. No one needs DVC. I totally get why a lot of people like it and I really get why people who bought in the '90s have gotten terrific value out of their purchases. It is possible that resale prices--assuming you're thinking about buying resale--might dip down far enough in the next few months that this would become the case again.

I'm sure a lot of DVC owners will post about their own criteria for purchasing and perhaps all my considerations are not helpful to you. And I've noticed that once someone gets the DVC bug and has the wherewithal to pay for such a purchase, they're unlikely to back out. It's an emotional purchase, so try to inject even just a bit of reasoned logic into it . . . if possible!
 

EM Lawrence

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
If you are not already familiar with the ROFR thread, I would spend some time getting familiar with it. If/When you do get ready to purchase, it’s good to know what other people are paying so you don’t spend more than you need to.

It sounds like a December UY would work well for you if you plan to travel Jan/Feb/May. Even if you end up traveling over summers down the road, your banking deadline would be the end of July, so you’d have the all of June and July to travel before your banking deadline.

Personally, I would only ever purchase RIV direct, not resale, and then only if they have amazing, can’t resist discounts in the next year due to COVID. Maybe resale at RIV will end up being fine, but I can’t imagine the stress of trying to book and only having that one resort as my option. The only really valuable incentive for buying direct is to get the Gold AP. If you don’t plan to visit more than once a year, it’s probably not useful to you.
 
  • MICKIMINI

    Love the Mouse!
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2003
    Lots of questions there...so let me simplify it. Buy the resort you absolutely love. UY is more important than you think so figure it out. Prices are going down so if you can find it within yourself to wait I think you will save.

    It's all about the money. Cost...assume you pay cash: $100 PP for 100 SSR + $700 MF's and $600 closing or $11,300 to wrap it up. No spreadsheet here, just say you rent a studio at 10 points for 10 nights each year and MF's cost you $700 it will cost you $70 per night per year. Of course, MF's go up, but so does Disney. If a SSR is $350 per night for a studio, well, there is quite a savings there. To go a step further, you are saving $280 per night so your original $11,300 (which does include one year's MF's we have disregarded) divided by $280 = 40.357 nights to pay for that original cash out of your pocket. At 10 nights a year about 4 years. After that, you just pay your MF's each year and enjoy!
     

    bwvBound

    DVC SSR & other timeshare
    Joined
    Feb 5, 2004
    My questions for the DVC experts here:
    1. What do you think of my reasoning and justification for buying DVC?
    2. Right now, I am most interested in traveling in January or February or May to avoid the worst of the heat, but once we hit school-age, we will have to shift our vacation time, so do I buy a use year for now - such as Jan or Feb OR do I buy a UY for school and just make it work now?
    3. I think there is good reason to believe that the prices in the reasale market will go down over the next couple of years and would like to get a deal - if they don't, I would be significantly less inclined to buy. Do you EVER see a justification for buying direct? If, for some reason, we decided we wanted to buy at RIV, would that be enough to say we should buy direct to avoid the restrictions?
    4. Please help to me to think through or point to resources where I can calculate the potential cost savings versus just continuing to book discounted rooms through Disney cash.
    Your question: What do you think of my reasoning and justification for buying DVC?
    Sounds like you are a strong candidate for DVC based on snippets pasted immediately below:
    • Consistent past; frequency of travel. "From 2011-2019 we have visited once a year and we also had trips in 2007 and 2009. "
    • You've experienced several of the resorts; History of staying Deluxe. "We have stayed at AKL x2, BCV x2 (booked through Disney as a cash reservation), BC, YC x2, CR, Treehouse at SSR (booked cash through Disney with a discount) and BWV (again booked through Disney with cash). Because we love deluxe resorts on property, I am interested in DVC as a long-term money-saving idea. I have never had any interest in any timeshare other than Disney."
    • Understand/Accepting the need for advance planning. "we could make plans 11 or 7 months in advance"
      • In that same comment, you have some hesitation ("although it makes us somewhat nervous to have to lock-in so soon"). Do review DVC's Booking, Cancellation and Modification guidelines. I find them to be fairly generous compared to most timeshare ... but check to see if these are workable for you?
    • Intent for larger units; this want/need separates hotels from timeshares. "most likely want a one-bedroom at a minimum, but would plan to graduate up to a two-bedroom, and maybe sometimes a Grand Villa"; "so the party size could range from 3 up to 6, 7, 8, or even 9"
      • Good news: 1BR units are often easier to book than studio units. You'll generally find more flexibility, slightly less competition, when booking 1BR units. That said, all bets are off for the remainder of 2020 and possibly 2021 given the ongoing shutdown and the backlog of points waiting to be spent.
      • DVC includes use of those larger units! Be prepared to book at the earliest windows; use the waitlist; to be persistent. You'll get those units but those first few reservations might be a bit nerve-racking. There is great joy on booking a perfect timeshare stay. It isn't always easy ... but makes for great joy, indeed.
    • You are detail oriented. I can see that from your careful reply. You will be successful in reading all the rules, learning how to play the game and getting what you want/need. Timeshare isn't like hotel. One must learn the game and play the game. The reward, compared to hoteling, are those larger units, like-home amenities, a feeling of ownership and a sense of returning. You'll get it!
    I'll revisit the thread later. Best wishes on your research!
     

    AEA1127

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2015
    My family purchased a contract this year for some of the same reasons as you. Mainly, the fact that we were staying at least 10 nights a year in a deluxe resort. The first year my son was born we went twice in that year for over a week each trip. We now have two kids under 3 and just kept booking trips at the deluxe resorts. We realized that we needed to really consider DVC and we finally bought late last year.

    We'd been staying in the MK resort area and felt that's where we wanted to be so we also were between VGF and BLT. The main pro for BLT was the walk for us. We loved being able to walk back from the MK at night when both kids were asleep and not take them out of the stroller until we were in our room. We ultimately decided to go with VGF though, after we found out about the walking path it became the perfect choice for us. We bought direct, although I'm sure many people would say it wasn't worth it.

    Regarding UY, I'm not an expert by any means but we based it on future trips, not current ones and went with a Dec UY. We love September-December and will continue to book it even though it's riskier for travel (besides December). We said that something big would need to happen to force us to cancel and in that case we'd be ok losing points. This was all before the current world situation, but I still think it's a good use year for us. When we get to a point that the kids can't be pulled out of school we'll adjust our trips to vacation weeks and early summer before the July banking deadline.
     

    mrsclark

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 16, 2013
    Disclaimer: I do not own DVC. I do, however, go to WDW usually once and sometimes twice a year. I'm going to mention some things that your post doesn't address and that maybe you haven't considered.

    Finances. Maybe you have the most secure financial situation possible--loads of money saved, a trust fund, a job or profession that's untouchable by any internal or external event. If that's the case, ignore this section! But if that isn't the case, consider the following:

    Do you have the cash for the purchase? Cash you don't need for anything else? Cash you wouldn't miss if it evaporated? Because although in the past DVC has had a great resale rate, no one knows what the future's going to look like. This is a sunk cost, not an investment.

    Also, you might have a year or two where you can't actually afford to go to WDW on vacation yet you'd still have to pay your maintenance fees. A few months ago, you might've thought that you'd still be able to rent out your points. But now? Renting out one's points may not be so easy.

    How would you feel if you owned DVC right now and you were looking at possibly having points that you'd been planning to use for a vacation this year become worthless because of the timing of your banking? I don't fully understand how these things work, however, I've seen a few posts from owners who've got points they'll never be able to use because of the current closures. Think this'll never happen again? I hope it won't! But this or something else could.

    Changing things around. Right now you're used to booking a resort room through WDW. If you change your mind, want something different, want to or have to move around your dates, etc., you can often do it. With a DVC reservation? Not so easy and maybe impossible. I noticed your hesitation about booking at 7 or 11 months. Not an ideal situation for a DVC owner, from everything I've gathered after reading innumerable posts about DVC here.

    Also, once you get to your resort, if you don't like the room, the view, the location, the whatever, it's--as I understand it--highly unlikely that you'd be able to change to a different room as DVC resorts are usually operating at or near 100% capacity. Yes, it can be difficult to change a regular resort hotel room if the resort is fully booked, but I've successfully done this several times.

    You probably already realize that you won't get daily maid service unless you want to pay extra for it and that using your points for a DVC cruise is not a good use of points. But I'm throwing these things out there anyway.

    I'm not posting all this to discourage you from buying DVC, but I do think that these points are worth thinking about before you make such a large purchase. DVC is a luxury purchase. No one needs DVC. I totally get why a lot of people like it and I really get why people who bought in the '90s have gotten terrific value out of their purchases. It is possible that resale prices--assuming you're thinking about buying resale--might dip down far enough in the next few months that this would become the case again.

    I'm sure a lot of DVC owners will post about their own criteria for purchasing and perhaps all my considerations are not helpful to you. And I've noticed that once someone gets the DVC bug and has the wherewithal to pay for such a purchase, they're unlikely to back out. It's an emotional purchase, so try to inject even just a bit of reasoned logic into it . . . if possible!
    I should have put this in my original post, but yes we would only do this if we could pay cash (cash we wouldn’t need for anything else) and we would not count on getting any money back (of course it would be nice if he wanted to sell and could at least get some of the value back, but we wouldn’t make a purchase counting on that fact).
     

    mrsclark

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 16, 2013
    Your question: What do you think of my reasoning and justification for buying DVC?
    Sounds like you are a strong candidate for DVC based on snippets pasted immediately below:
    • Consistent past; frequency of travel. "From 2011-2019 we have visited once a year and we also had trips in 2007 and 2009. "
    • You've experienced several of the resorts; History of staying Deluxe. "We have stayed at AKL x2, BCV x2 (booked through Disney as a cash reservation), BC, YC x2, CR, Treehouse at SSR (booked cash through Disney with a discount) and BWV (again booked through Disney with cash). Because we love deluxe resorts on property, I am interested in DVC as a long-term money-saving idea. I have never had any interest in any timeshare other than Disney."
    • Understand/Accepting the need for advance planning. "we could make plans 11 or 7 months in advance"
      • In that same comment, you have some hesitation ("although it makes us somewhat nervous to have to lock-in so soon"). Do review DVC's Booking, Cancellation and Modification guidelines. I find them to be fairly generous compared to most timeshare ... but check to see if these are workable for you?
    • Intent for larger units; this want/need separates hotels from timeshares. "most likely want a one-bedroom at a minimum, but would plan to graduate up to a two-bedroom, and maybe sometimes a Grand Villa"; "so the party size could range from 3 up to 6, 7, 8, or even 9"
      • Good news: 1BR units are often easier to book than studio units. You'll generally find more flexibility, slightly less competition, when booking 1BR units. That said, all bets are off for the remainder of 2020 and possibly 2021 given the ongoing shutdown and the backlog of points waiting to be spent.
      • DVC includes use of those larger units! Be prepared to book at the earliest windows; use the waitlist; to be persistent. You'll get those units but those first few reservations might be a bit nerve-racking. There is great joy on booking a perfect timeshare stay. It isn't always easy ... but makes for great joy, indeed.
    • You are detail oriented. I can see that from your careful reply. You will be successful in reading all the rules, learning how to play the game and getting what you want/need. Timeshare isn't like hotel. One must learn the game and play the game. The reward, compared to hoteling, are those larger units, like-home amenities, a feeling of ownership and a sense of returning. You'll get it!
    I'll revisit the thread later. Best wishes on your research!
    Thanks for you thoughts! And yes I am very detail oriented and love to research, research, research so I think DVC is right up my alley!
     

    mrsclark

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 16, 2013
    My family purchased a contract this year for some of the same reasons as you. Mainly, the fact that we were staying at least 10 nights a year in a deluxe resort. The first year my son was born we went twice in that year for over a week each trip. We now have two kids under 3 and just kept booking trips at the deluxe resorts. We realized that we needed to really consider DVC and we finally bought late last year.

    We'd been staying in the MK resort area and felt that's where we wanted to be so we also were between VGF and BLT. The main pro for BLT was the walk for us. We loved being able to walk back from the MK at night when both kids were asleep and not take them out of the stroller until we were in our room. We ultimately decided to go with VGF though, after we found out about the walking path it became the perfect choice for us. We bought direct, although I'm sure many people would say it wasn't worth it.

    Regarding UY, I'm not an expert by any means but we based it on future trips, not current ones and went with a Dec UY. We love September-December and will continue to book it even though it's riskier for travel (besides December). We said that something big would need to happen to force us to cancel and in that case we'd be ok losing points. This was all before the current world situation, but I still think it's a good use year for us. When we get to a point that the kids can't be pulled out of school we'll adjust our trips to vacation weeks and early summer before the July banking deadline.
    This is exactly the situation we are in - now that it is more than DH and me (we have one little one and will hopefully have more), I am especially interested in the larger rooms with kitchens. I am sure at some point we will also bring our mothers with us too which would make a big room wonderful. I like the idea of VGF because of the monorail access, restaurant access and walking path to MK BUT am going to have to carefully consider the price, of course. I don’t know a ton about BLT but I could see the advantages of buying there. Time to do more research!
     

    ArmyChaplain Matt

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2019
    disclaimer to all: We only went once a year, bought in 2018 at CCV bc it made was a smart move financially, we thought!! 2 years later and 150 point BWV and 160 point SSR contract later, the “break even” went out the window and we just enjoy going!! Do we spend more now, probably, but the memories we have made and will can’t touch the cost!! FYi taking oldest daughter whenever they open for senior year trip, wife and i going on november for food and wine for second time by ourselves, going in january for marathon weekend with sister and the cruise after that, then a big trip planned for 50th!!! all possible bc of DVC but definitely spending more than we would have!!! but don’t regret a thing!!
     

    RoseGold

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 21, 2020
    For such a long post, you don't even seem to consider the risks and downsides, which have shown to be substantial. You hold the risk of, say, the parks closing, the hotel closing or getting damaged in a hurricane or whatever.

    The example I used to use is Vero Beach getting flattened in a hurricane, messing up the points and the dues. This is a huge problem because you are responsible for the property, even when getting no benefits. You could be on the hook for a huge amount of money. It messes up all the point allocation, with no clear solution, not unlike today's point issues. I used to think they would at least put you in Art of Animation or something, but nope. Disney has made it very clear that you will not be compensated.

    But today's situation is way worse. What if the pools open at 25% capacity? What if nobody wants to go to Disney at all and this thing is as worthless as every other timeshare? Do you even want to go if it's with masks and taped off sidewalk and no princesses? These things could be rotting like every other theme park in 40 years. This is a huge investment with real risk.

    If the prices keep going down for years, it will be because Disney World or hospitality in general has ongoing issues, which is definitely possible in today's world.

    If you're worried about trip insurance on a small rental, this is MUCH bigger, long term risk.
     

    glamdring269

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 7, 2013
    For such a long post, you don't even seem to consider the risks and downsides, which have shown to be substantial. You hold the risk of, say, the parks closing, the hotel closing or getting damaged in a hurricane or whatever.
    I think this is a massively important aspect that must be considered by any future buyer and even by some current owners. This is one of the reasons we just sold our contract while prices are still in a good spot. Could they stabilize quickly and increase again? Sure. But as of now I'm looking at it as a hedge. We had a 2042 resort and wanted one with a little more expiration but now we can sit on the sidelines and see what happens risk free. Hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

    (Full disclosure: We bought in 2012/13 time frame so our payback period was much faster than most. It's a lot easier to bail when you can look at the numbers and see you basically got paid to go to Disney 4x over the last 7 years.)
     

    Deb & Bill

    DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention
    Joined
    Mar 20, 2000
    If you are considering booking GVs, some of the resorts have very few and some have more. Some have none. SSR tends to be easier to book. OKW requires the fewest points to book, but it can be hard to book at seven months out. BWV is hard to book at fewer than ten months out. We also don't stay in studios other than the OKW studio because it has two real queen beds and we each can have our own (neither of us want to sleep on the sleeper sofa). But the new murphy bed like they are putting in SSR and already put in RIV might be better for sleeping. We bought our first points in 1997 direct from Disney for $50 a point. You won't ever see anything like that again from DVC direct. I can use those nice cheap points at any resort I want to book. I've gotten GFV one bedroom in early May, BLT lake view one bedroom in early May and late January. We've gotten Kidani Village one bedroom a few times (those tend to be easier to book at seven months out). But Fall Frenzy is the hardest time to book at seven months out (mid-Sept through the Marathon in January). Add to that any RunDisney event or holidays.
     

    Eric Smith

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 1, 2017
    For such a long post, you don't even seem to consider the risks and downsides, which have shown to be substantial. You hold the risk of, say, the parks closing, the hotel closing or getting damaged in a hurricane or whatever.

    The example I used to use is Vero Beach getting flattened in a hurricane, messing up the points and the dues. This is a huge problem because you are responsible for the property, even when getting no benefits. You could be on the hook for a huge amount of money. It messes up all the point allocation, with no clear solution, not unlike today's point issues. I used to think they would at least put you in Art of Animation or something, but nope. Disney has made it very clear that you will not be compensated.

    But today's situation is way worse. What if the pools open at 25% capacity? What if nobody wants to go to Disney at all and this thing is as worthless as every other timeshare? Do you even want to go if it's with masks and taped off sidewalk and no princesses? These things could be rotting like every other theme park in 40 years. This is a huge investment with real risk.

    If the prices keep going down for years, it will be because Disney World or hospitality in general has ongoing issues, which is definitely possible in today's world.

    If you're worried about trip insurance on a small rental, this is MUCH bigger, long term risk.
    I think you're overstating a lot of those risks. Yes, the parks are closed now, but this is a once in a century event. Before this, the longest the parks were closed were a few days due to hurricanes. I don't see this as a big long term issue and this might be a good time to buy in as people will probably be shedding contracts over the next few months.

    I think there is a legitimate concern about hurricanes with Vero and Hilton Head. Those resorts are on the coast and are at a much higher risk than the WDW resorts. I don't think Aulani faces much rick from catastrophic storms.

    I think any capacity reduction matters which are put in place due to COVID won't last longer than a year which is a relatively short amount of time on a DVC contract. For the OP, they would likely only be in place for one trip. It's a less than ideal situation, but not the end of the world. I don't think Disney World is going to end up "rotting" in 40 years.

    If Disney does start dropping prices on the normal resort side, that could make DVC less of a deal over the short term. I would expect these measures to only last a couple years until tourism picks back up.
     

    Eric Smith

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 1, 2017
    My questions for the DVC experts here:
    1. What do you think of my reasoning and justification for buying DVC?
    2. Right now, I am most interested in traveling in January or February or May to avoid the worst of the heat, but once we hit school-age, we will have to shift our vacation time, so do I buy a use year for now - such as Jan or Feb OR do I buy a UY for school and just make it work now?
    3. I think there is good reason to believe that the prices in the reasale market will go down over the next couple of years and would like to get a deal - if they don't, I would be significantly less inclined to buy. Do you EVER see a justification for buying direct? If, for some reason, we decided we wanted to buy at RIV, would that be enough to say we should buy direct to avoid the restrictions?
    4. Please help to me to think through or point to resources where I can calculate the potential cost savings versus just continuing to book discounted rooms through Disney cash.
    Here is how I would answer your questions:

    What do you think of my reasoning and justification for buying DVC?

    I think your reasoning and justification make sense. I don't think DVC really makes sense for anyone who isn't traveling to WDW at least once a year. Since you were mostly staying at DVC resorts and Deluxe Resorts before, DVC should save you a decent amount of money.

    Right now, I am most interested in traveling in January or February or May to avoid the worst of the heat, but once we hit school-age, we will have to shift our vacation time, so do I buy a use year for now - such as Jan or Feb OR do I buy a UY for school and just make it work now?

    When do you think you would be traveling once your kid is in school? Would you be traveling during the summer or would you still be looking at winter/spring? I'd probably recommend going with a fall use year, maybe even December. However, I'm probably not the best person to give you advice on this

    I think there is good reason to believe that the prices in the reasale market will go down over the next couple of years and would like to get a deal - if they don't, I would be significantly less inclined to buy. Do you EVER see a justification for buying direct? If, for some reason, we decided we wanted to buy at RIV, would that be enough to say we should buy direct to avoid the restrictions?

    I think prices are likely to go down over the next 6 months or so, but it's not really a sure thing. You may also see Disney start buying back a bunch of contracts on ROFR if prices drop too much. There's a lot of uncertainty here and I wouldn't make your decision based on prices dropping.

    The only justification for buying direct in my mind is the discount on Annual Passes (assuming you don't live in Florida). None of the other perks even come close to making up the price difference between direct and resale. For example, we bought an AKL contract at $103 per point back in December. The direct cost for AKL at that time was $186 per point. Buying resale saved us just over $22,500. In reality, buying direct allowed us to get more points.

    Riviera is a tough call. Right now, the resale restrictions aren't a big deal because there are plenty of other resorts that people can stay at with resale. After 2042 though, that won't be the case since Saratoga, BCV, BWV and OKW will not longer be "original resorts". I'm assuming that OKW will fall in to that group even though they offered the extension a while back. After 2042, it might be more difficult to stay other places than your home resort if you buy resale. Riviera also has higher maintenance costs than all other WDW DVC resorts due to the Skyliner station. Make sure to take the maintenance costs at the resorts in to account when you're doing your comparisons.

    Riviera also has the resale restrictions when/if you try to sell it. In case you are unaware, if you try to sell your Riviera resort contract via resale, the person who buys it from you can only stay at Riviera. There haven't been many Riviera contracts that have been listed for resale, but this restriction could make a Riviera contract more difficult to sell. Personally, I see this as a huge issue and deal breaker.

    Please help to me to think through or point to resources where I can calculate the potential cost savings versus just continuing to book discounted rooms through Disney cash.

    It's not really a resource, but I just made a spreadsheet to try to figure out what costs would be if we kept vacationing the same way we did before DVC and then comparing that to an estimated cost of the DVC contract over time. I didn't take inflation in to account so it basically broke down to dividing the initial buy in cost by the amount of years left on the contract and then adding that number to the maintenance cost on the points. That gave me the "true" cost per point (using that term very loosely) and then I multiplied by the amount of points it would cost to do equivalent vacations to cash stays. In your situation, I think you would see fairly significant savings. However, be aware that if you buy DVC, you probably will want to vacation at WDW more often than you do now....at least that's how it has worked for us.

    Here are a couple questions that you haven't talked about:

    1. Are you going to have to finance your DVC purchase or do you have funds on hand to buy it outright? If you're going to finance, your break even on DVC will be later.
    2. Are you ok with staying at one resort for the majority of your stays or do you want to be able to hop around? If you want to be able to hop around, you'll need to make sure that you have enough points to reserve a one bedroom.

    Lastly, I'd recommend listening to the DIS: Unplugged DVC podcast, especially the early ones. They provide a lot of good information for people who are considering buying DVC. I'd also recommend listening to their podcasts about the resort(s) that you're looking at. They bring up a lot of good pros and cons about each resort. I'd also recommend going on the DVC tour the next time you go on property. We did that last time out in Disneyland. The guide gave us a lot of good information and we got free fastpasses and some vouchers for food in the parks.
     

    RoseGold

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 21, 2020
    I think you're overstating a lot of those risks. Yes, the parks are closed now, but this is a once in a century event. Before this, the longest the parks were closed were a few days due to hurricanes. I don't see this as a big long term issue and this might be a good time to buy in as people will probably be shedding contracts over the next few months.
    We have no idea whether this is a once in a century event or not. I can tell you all the parks from my childhood are completely closed and broke except Disney, and none of them shut down three months. Is Disney THAT magical? Can it compete with whatever happens or whatever new entertainment comes? 40 years is a long time, and the reality is risk is there.

    Even if it's not this virus, this ownership is risk. There are plenty of other risks. Owners and potential owners need to make the decisions best for them, but they need to consider risk.
     

    Eric Smith

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 1, 2017
    We have no idea whether this is a once in a century event or not. I can tell you all the parks from my childhood are completely closed and broke except Disney, and none of them shut down three months. Is Disney THAT magical? Can it compete with whatever happens or whatever new entertainment comes? 40 years is a long time, and the reality is risk is there.

    Even if it's not this virus, this ownership is risk. There are plenty of other risks. Owners and potential owners need to make the decisions best for them, but they need to consider risk.
    The risk of WDW closing over the next 40 years in nearly zero. I'm not sure how old you are, but there are plenty of parks that have been open longer than WDW has. To name a few, there's Cedar Point, Knott's Berry Farm, Silver Dollar City, Holiday World, Magic Mountain...the list goes on. WDW is backed by one of the largest companies in the country, it's not likely to go anywhere.
     

    RoseGold

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 21, 2020
    The risk of WDW closing over the next 40 years in nearly zero. I'm not sure how old you are, but there are plenty of parks that have been open longer than WDW has. To name a few, there's Cedar Point, Knott's Berry Farm, Silver Dollar City, Holiday World, Magic Mountain...the list goes on. WDW is backed by one of the largest companies in the country, it's not likely to go anywhere.
    WDW doesn't have to close to be real risk. We have no idea what the future holds. I always assumed I could sell or rent out my DVC, that wasn't true for spring break. And maybe in the future that won't be true. Maybe Disney isn't cool anymore and everyone wants to do whatever the new thing is. 40 years is a long time, and who knows what any of this will look like then.

    I think plenty of people are not happy at how they got burned on DVC in this situation and how Disney handled entire hotels of displaced guests. Having trusted the Disney experience and all, I was actually surprised they we have been treated so poorly with so little communication. A rental or hotel room would certainly be less risk.

    I'm not doom and gloom, I own quite a few points and might buy more soon. But I think a post this thorough deserves to at least consider the downsides.
     

    jlb727

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 13, 2019
    If I could go back in time to a year ago, I would tell myself not to buy DVC. At first with this whole situation I understood and I was really optimistic, but as time goes by with no substantive communication from DVC and my Welcome Home trip getting cancelled twice with no idea about when I could reschedule it, I’m regretting my purchase more and more. Several friends have asked me about it. Before about late April, I was pretty upbeat. Now, I’d tell them not to buy. That’s my advice to you, OP.
     

    Connect

    Disney News and Updates





    SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DAILY EMAIL
    Subscribe and never miss out on Disney News, Deals and Updates.





    Subscribe to the DVCstore.com
    mailing list!

    BUY DVC


    SELL DVC


    DVC POINT CHARTS


    DIS PODCASTS




    Top