Would you buy DVC if . . .

crisi

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Disney is now in the middle of a huge financial retrenching. They have hemorrhaged money over this year. They will need to go to bare bones operations for some time, while continuing to provide the services to keep income coming in. That will mean keeping theme parks operational, but suspending operations on expenses that cost money - that means loss of perks. It probably means fewer and shorter fireworks shows, fewer refreshes on parades and less cast members in the parades (so shorter ones). It means fewer characters, no more very expensive to run contract with Mears for Magical Express, and a change to EMH to reduce expenses. Every indication is that this is not an aberration - we will have more "once in a lifetime" events - terrorist attacks, pandemics, climate events - that will be incredibly disruptive to the travel industry. They will have to find a new model that keeps the company profitable through these events, and has them banking reserves in good times, or they will no longer have a business. The primary concern of any business is to stay in business.

To do otherwise is like getting a 20% pay cut at your job - and seeing the possibility you might not even have a job in six months - and yet deciding you still need weekly manicures, your HBO Max subscription, the kid's expensive dance lessons, your annual vacation and dining out a few times a week.
 

limace

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 31, 2007
I am definitely thinking I’ll do some offsite stays-I own a very small WDW DVC contract (our primarily place is DL) and was planning to buy an additional contract to expand our every 2-3 year DVC stays. However-I can get a house for $100 a night that’s a quick and easy Uber ride away-I’ll do that instead without on-site perks. We are really bummed about the EMH loss-we like our early mornings in the park.
 

Matty B13

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
With the elimination of ME & Luggage Service and FP, the wife was utterly shocked by these announcements. Our family of 5 will now use to have really easy going vacations, because we didn't have to worry about our transportation & or luggage once we got to the airport to head down to WDW.
I don't think we would have bought in 2016 if these services weren't available because our vacation in 2015 with a new born and a 2 year old at the time would have been a lot more stressful trying to manage all the car seats, stroller, and luggage. This would have been a disaster for us when my parents came with us in 2017 & 2018 because my father after recovering from chemo needed a scooter, but because Disney has made it so easy from the airport to the resort we didn't think twice about including them for our trip.

The FP situation, doesn't give us much hope in having an enjoyable theme park experience, we are not park commandos, we just like to grab our 3 FP rides and any other ones that don't have a wait that is more than 15-20 minutes. I'm sorry I'm not going to wait 60-90 minutes to ride the same ride that I did the year before.

In 2015 if our trip to WDW had not included the services of ME & FP, I really don't think we would have bought into DVC, because our experience would have been much different. We probably would have become once in every 5 to 10 year visitors, not the every year visitors were currently are.

Lemons to lemonade....... our plan currently is to just start renting our points more, and maybe go every other year.
 

gskywalker

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 11, 2012
Disney is now in the middle of a huge financial retrenching. They have hemorrhaged money over this year. They will need to go to bare bones operations for some time, while continuing to provide the services to keep income coming in. That will mean keeping theme parks operational, but suspending operations on expenses that cost money - that means loss of perks. It probably means fewer and shorter fireworks shows, fewer refreshes on parades and less cast members in the parades (so shorter ones). It means fewer characters, no more very expensive to run contract with Mears for Magical Express, and a change to EMH to reduce expenses. Every indication is that this is not an aberration - we will have more "once in a lifetime" events - terrorist attacks, pandemics, climate events - that will be incredibly disruptive to the travel industry. They will have to find a new model that keeps the company profitable through these events, and has them banking reserves in good times, or they will no longer have a business. The primary concern of any business is to stay in business.

To do otherwise is like getting a 20% pay cut at your job - and seeing the possibility you might not even have a job in six months - and yet deciding you still need weekly manicures, your HBO Max subscription, the kid's expensive dance lessons, your annual vacation and dining out a few times a week.
Not a good comparison, the idea of spending on perks is to produce profit not throw money away on something worthless like manicures. Instead it is like getting a pay cut at your job and continuing to devote part of what you bring in to investments to increase your net worth. As is said very often in business, you have to spend money to make money.
 

4luv2cdisney

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 30, 2008
These conversations are all very interesting.

For years, there have been endless threads talking about not buying DVC for the perks but I don't think anyone really thought about Disney stripping away all the perks in general (not just the DVC membership extras). Worse yet, that the parks could be closed indefinitely and Disney doesn't owe us a darn thing. The eye opener is that really, all we have is X # of days in a hotel room (like any other timeshare).

I mean, I would still be upset about all the changes as my former cash paying value / mod resort customer self. But as a DVC member, we are more "stuck".

I'm happy to have the small direct contract that I do. I'm not giving up on Disney completely. But I will be waiting to see how things play out and we are also considering venturing over to the dark side for the first time in many years. (That is the direct result of no APs).

I'm not really a cheapskate when it comes to Disney. I don't have a problem paying for extras if they are truly special and have real value. I'm in the group of crazies that spends $100+ per person to get into a Christmas Party after already having a park ticket for that day and then another ($100?) for the party within the party. (I beilieve I calculated that particular day as costing us at least $1500.) My problem was with the attendance #s. Those events are worth it when attendance it limited and the experience is superior. So, if paying for Mears means we get picked up and whisked away to our resort quickly and the bus is sparkilng clean and we are not packed in like sardines and we don't make 5 stops..... fine. But if we still have to wait 45 minutes, get squished in to max capacity and have to stop at a bunch of resorts..... no way. I accept those conditions as a "free service" not a paid one.

Anyway, I'd just love to be at a DVC sales presentation these days. I'm guessing there is not a mention of the removal of services and do they mention that the beloved AP discount they're trying to entice you with isn't even valid because there is no AP?
 

DVCSunDevil

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
There's been a lot of Disney "magic" removed lately such as the Magic Bands, Fastpass, Magical Disney Express from airport, etc. What if Disney was removing these perks from the casual, once in a lifetime visitor, but instead restored them for DVC only? I know . . . the argument loses water when you consider Disney wants everyone to return time and again, but I just started thinking: what if Disney was really doing all of this to encourage people to purchase the real estate option (DVC) so they were doing all (or some) of this to drive bigger sales transactions? Inherently DVC folks (like myself) always get into the "perks" conversation, and Disney certainly has been building new DVC resorts, so . . . .
It seems like a lot of people are overlooking the benefit of the 30 minute window that will be replacing EMH. Only resort guests will get to do the rope drop in the morning. That window will allow guests to get on rides that are very difficult enjoy after the park opens to everyone. And you will be able to do that at any park you want. That is definitely a "perk" for staying on property, IMO. Is it as good as being in MK for an additional 3 hours at night? Maybe not (my teenage daughters would say definitely not). But it is something. It seems like a good compromise for Disney considering the money they lost from the park side of things during COVID.
 

crisi

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Not a good comparison, the idea of spending on perks is to produce profit not throw money away on something worthless like manicures. Instead it is like getting a pay cut at your job and continuing to devote part of what you bring in to investments to increase your net worth. As is said very often in business, you have to spend money to make money.
Except Disney can't invest in the future willy nilly, they are in danger of being unable to pay their mortgage. Seriously, they are in danger of hitting their debt covenants which will make them unable to borrow more, and potentially push them to bankruptcy. If you are in danger of not paying your mortgage, you don't invest in the stock market OR get manicures. Disney will have to be very selective in their investments over the next several years. They were on a spending spree - new cruise ships, big park changes. Major investments in brands like Marvel and Star Wars. The release of their own streaming service. All that investment was predicated on travel and entertainment revenue being able to pay the bills. They didn't buy cruise ships with cash. They leveraged - and those bills are due even if Disney's park revenue for the year is less than half of what they projected. Some of those investments they will need to see through, contractually. Others have potentially bigger ROI. Perks are, by and large, an expense they can shed.
 

MICKIMINI

Love the Mouse!
Joined
Sep 6, 2003
It seems like a lot of people are overlooking the benefit of the 30 minute window that will be replacing EMH. Only resort guests will get to do the rope drop in the morning. That window will allow guests to get on rides that are very difficult enjoy after the park opens to everyone. And you will be able to do that at any park you want. That is definitely a "perk" for staying on property, IMO. Is it as good as being in MK for an additional 3 hours at night? Maybe not (my teenage daughters would say definitely not). But it is something. It seems like a good compromise for Disney considering the money they lost from the park side of things during COVID.
Personally, I think it could have been a good perk if it was 60 minutes. 30 minutes is just cheap IMO. I agree that IF only resort guests are allowed in, it will give people a bit of an advantage to get to Kilimanjaro Safari or Soarin or get in line at Starbucks LOL! It may get testy.

It just seems to me that the nickel and diming is turning into one red cent. Disney IMO has terrible timing...
 

4luv2cdisney

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 30, 2008
It seems like a lot of people are overlooking the benefit of the 30 minute window that will be replacing EMH. Only resort guests will get to do the rope drop in the morning. That window will allow guests to get on rides that are very difficult enjoy after the park opens to everyone. And you will be able to do that at any park you want. That is definitely a "perk" for staying on property, IMO. Is it as good as being in MK for an additional 3 hours at night? Maybe not (my teenage daughters would say definitely not). But it is something. It seems like a good compromise for Disney considering the money they lost from the park side of things during COVID.
In 30 minutes will everyone in line even be through the turnstiles? Do we have to start showing up at 7 am? For those of us that are NOT rope droppers, it just sucks a little more. It seems insignificant.

I guess it's better than nothing, but my guess is the trade off will be parks will be closing earlier and there will be an abundance of special events for additional admission if you want to be in the parks past 8 pm. Maybe DVCers will be lucky enough to get $5 off per ticket.

Don't get me wrong, I'll be one of the suckers ponying up the cash for the nightime hours vs taking the free 1/2 hour early entry. If attendance is low enough (as it may be initially), it may be the only park time I pay for though.
 

DVCSunDevil

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
In 30 minutes will everyone in line even be through the turnstiles? Do we have to start showing up at 7 am? For those of us that are NOT rope droppers, it just sucks a little more. It seems insignificant.

I guess it's better than nothing, but my guess is the trade off will be parks will be closing earlier and there will be an abundance of special events for additional admission if you want to be in the parks past 8 pm. Maybe DVCers will be lucky enough to get $5 off per ticket.

Don't get me wrong, I'll be one of the suckers ponying up the cash for the nightime hours vs taking the free 1/2 hour early entry. If attendance is low enough (as it may be initially), it may be the only park time I pay for though.
That's why I said it was a good compromise. I used the word compromise because Disney was going to have to do something. COVID has crushed their parks side of the business. It's the reality. We are lucky WDW is even open right now. There is a balance that needs to take place between keeping the parks open versus what can be offered from an experience standpoint. I think Disney is trying to strike that balance.

These are tough times. I am not going to kill Disney for these decisions.
 

PSwisher

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
I've enjoyed everyone's comments. Most likely, we're all in this together and we shouldn't forget Disney is a company and while a big company, their coffers are not infinite. We want Disney to survive this pandemic so we can get back to the good times.

I still don't regret buying DVC. The discussions we have with folks about the "why" we go so often always centers on one word: SERVICE. Losing the magical extras is difficult, and I hope in time the extras return. Until then, lets hope we can continue to say that the reason we joined DVC was for the service that is provided that may not always be duplicated at other hotel chains.

Thanks all!
 

Sparky984

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Non-starter if I am driving on my trip I am not going to WDW. The world is big enough and the primary reason I will go to WDW every year or at minimum every other year is specifically for not dealing with all the extra junk you have to with other trips.
I really enjoy not having to drive for the whole vacation or take care of luggage. That really puts you in a relaxed vacation mindset.

If were talking rental cars in Disney I’d have to think we’d end up eating offsite at least sometimes. For example: O’hana - it’s good, it’s fun, it’s close to MK BUT you can’t ever get a reservation easily and it’s expensive. Fogo de Chao is close to Disney property, better than Ohana (sorry) about the same price and reservations are probably not a problem.

We’ve never previously entertained the thought of eating offsite. There are endless resort and park options.
 
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Transferteck

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Probably wouldn't impact me as the "reinstated perks" would only go to top tier DVC owners. I'm post 2016 (but pre 2019), so I'm, I guess, mid tier?

If all of this was removed when I bought DVC, I probably wouldn't have bought it, tbh. I'm not unhappy with my DVC membership, and without DVC we probably wouldn't go to Disney as often as we do, so I know my kids are happy with it. But it is very, very difficult to justify the overinflated cost of staying on Disney property with none of the perks.

If I wasn't DVC, there is no way I'd pay to stay on property now. No fast passes, no dining plan, no ME, no EMH. No reason to pay more for these rooms than a Holiday Inn to be frank.
I’d love to see the Holiday Inns you stay in 🤪
 

MamaBelle4

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 29, 2016
I’d love to see the Holiday Inns you stay in 🤪
I'm not saying the resorts themselves aren't beautiful, but when you get into many of the rooms, they've been scrubbed of personality.

And the amenities aren't too far off - pool, on site (or very near site) food, and a continental breakfast.
 

Eric Smith

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
That is a reference to ME being taken away but it also applies to the Extra Magic Hours, magic bands, luggage service and the Dolphin/Swan have been removed from the internal bus system. For us, while these extras were convenient, they are not the reason we joined DVC.
I get the first three, but why would a DVC owner care if the Swolphin was removed from the bus system?
 

Sandisw

DVC Forums
Moderator
Joined
Nov 15, 2008
Personally, I think it could have been a good perk if it was 60 minutes. 30 minutes is just cheap IMO. I agree that IF only resort guests are allowed in, it will give people a bit of an advantage to get to Kilimanjaro Safari or Soarin or get in line at Starbucks LOL! It may get testy.

It just seems to me that the nickel and diming is turning into one red cent. Disney IMO has terrible timing...
Maybe at some point it will increase to 60? Since they said they wanted it to start later this year, they are starting slow to see how it goes and will increase when more CMs are back?
 

crisi

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
These conversations are all very interesting.

For years, there have been endless threads talking about not buying DVC for the perks but I don't think anyone really thought about Disney stripping away all the perks in general (not just the DVC membership extras). Worse yet, that the parks could be closed indefinitely and Disney doesn't owe us a darn thing. The eye opener is that really, all we have is X # of days in a hotel room (like any other timeshare).

I mean, I would still be upset about all the changes as my former cash paying value / mod resort customer self. But as a DVC member, we are more "stuck".

I'm happy to have the small direct contract that I do. I'm not giving up on Disney completely. But I will be waiting to see how things play out and we are also considering venturing over to the dark side for the first time in many years. (That is the direct result of no APs).

I'm not really a cheapskate when it comes to Disney. I don't have a problem paying for extras if they are truly special and have real value. I'm in the group of crazies that spends $100+ per person to get into a Christmas Party after already having a park ticket for that day and then another ($100?) for the party within the party. (I beilieve I calculated that particular day as costing us at least $1500.) My problem was with the attendance #s. Those events are worth it when attendance it limited and the experience is superior. So, if paying for Mears means we get picked up and whisked away to our resort quickly and the bus is sparkilng clean and we are not packed in like sardines and we don't make 5 stops..... fine. But if we still have to wait 45 minutes, get squished in to max capacity and have to stop at a bunch of resorts..... no way. I accept those conditions as a "free service" not a paid one.

Anyway, I'd just love to be at a DVC sales presentation these days. I'm guessing there is not a mention of the removal of services and do they mention that the beloved AP discount they're trying to entice you with isn't even valid because there is no AP?
People have thought about all those things. Like they can remove the animals from AKL. Or they can shut down the monorail. Or they can close the theme parks (we talked about that after 9/11). Anyone remember when you could buy something in the parks and it would show up in your room the next day? That went away with 9/11 (that was one of my favorite all time resort guest perks). Really old timers will remember when being a guest at Disney allowed you to use any pool on property. One day valet parking was there and free, the next day charges were appearing on people's room bill. Room requests used to be handled in the order your reservation was made - so if you booked at 8am at 11 months, you had a pretty good chance of getting exactly what you wanted. Old time DVC members remember free park passes.

When (and seriously IF, businesses do go under) Disney is in a more stable financial position, there will be new perks - some old ones will come back, some new ones will be created to drive sales. Right now "keep the ship afloat" is the name of the game - there will be more contracts than the ones with Mears exited. There will be more layoffs. There will be delays in construction.

I'm not saying any of this as a judgement for or against. I loved Magical Express - long transit times and all. Like others, I loved not having to deal with my luggage at MCO - that's the BIG plus - and I hope Disney manages to contract a for fee delivery service for that feature (Lyft works for us for getting people there). We used EMH a lot - not every day every trip, but more often than not (this is not the first financial crisis that has put a hold on EMH - our first trip with kids was post 9/11 and - anyone remember the Character Cavalcade that was supposed to replace what at that time was Early Entry).
 

Pyotr

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 17, 2018
I’m not buying another DVC point until the plexiglass is gone. I had planned on doing an add on contract this year but I will putting that money into my house instead.

No perk could change my mind if the experience sucks.
 

HappyThoughtsTees

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
We live in CA and primarily visit DLR, so some of the perks being discontinued don't really affect us. However, it did make me think about the value of DVC, and if it's still "worth it". We own at VGC, which is ridiculously priced anyway, but the direct access to DCA, proximity to DLR and Downtown Disney are pretty awesome. Don't think I would ever consider the value being diminished due to some perks being removed. I'm sad for the WDW crowd that the ME is ending, there are a lot of families with young children who will have to find alternative transportation, and that's not easy. Not o mention individuals with mobility issues
Fingers crossed the vaccine rollout goes faster and we can all get back to visiting the parks we love in a safer way.
 

20000LeaguesUnderTheSea

Earning My Ears
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Ok, I'll be the Pollyana here. I just bought in 125 direct points and have 2 contracts in ROFR (363 total). I've been wanting to be a member for 2 decades, and only now can I afford it. I've stayed on property and off-property....and for me...it makes a HUGE difference. When I stayed outside the bubble, it showed. Yes I enjoyed the parks, but I did not feel that I was living Disney 100%. True I saved tons of money on hotel and meals, but it just wasn't the same. I even stayed in the Lake Buena Vista area (somewhat in the bubble)...and the traffic in and out of the hotel was a major pain. Then having to deal with driving into the parks, self-parking, etc. I can only expect that to be worse with ME eliminated. I get the same feeling when I stay on property at Universal, there is just something special about staying on property and not having a car. I think it boils down to personal preference and the budget of each family...but for the Disney lovers...staying on property (if you can afford it) makes all the difference. DVC prices will continue to rise, inflation is real....and A LOT can happen by the time these deeds expire. We're in the middle of the pandemic...Disney is bleeding major money right now (despite the stock prize). They spent a gazillion dollars on Galaxy's Edge at the 2 parks, just finished the Riviera....and the ROI will not be there for a WHILE. While the decisions they are making are unpopular, they are being responsible to their shareholders. Lot of uncertainty right now, and they have no clue when Park revenue will return to pre-pandemic levels....which funds many of the expenses (ie perks) that have been eliminated. I have come to accept the fact that Disney is not what is once was (in terms of service). I think part of that is Disney (too big for its own good and putting $ above experience), part of that is the massive crows, and part of that what I call the continued degradation of human culture (which impacts both employees and who attends the parks). That said I'm ecstatic that I'm finally a DVC owner....I'll save a ton on accommodations vs what I was spending before onsite...and that makes it worth it for me. I have faith that Disney will do what is right when the time comes as it relates to the perks.
 

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