Having a Disney Vacation Club Membership can be life changing. Knowing you can go to Disney at least once every other year, getting to stay in Deluxe resorts, and being part of the special members only benefits are some of the few ways that having a DVC membership can change your experience. But how do you know it’s right for you and your family? Purchasing a membership is not something you should dive right into. Here are four questions to ask yourself when deciding if this membership is right for you.
4. Do you understand what a membership is and does?
A Disney Vacation Club (DVC) membership is a timeshare program that Disney is a part of. Upon signing up, you choose a home resort (based on what Disney has to offer if you are buying direct, or what is available based on buying resale) and you essentially own a “piece” of that property for a certain number of years, based on what your contract says. You can book your home resort at 11 months out from travel date, or another of the deluxe resorts at 7 months out from your travel date. You are allotted a certain number of points each year to use towards your resort stay. If you choose to not use your points in a certain year, you can “bank” them, which forwards them into the next year to use. If you don’t have enough points to use, you can “borrow” them from the next year. For example, I have 100 points to use each year. This year, I am spending 106 points on my stay at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Villas and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village. I had to borrow 6 points from next year to use. This leaves me with 94 points to use for the 2016 year. Make sense? Keep in mind that certain restrictions apply, but that is essentially how it works. DVC members can also get discounts and perks on park tickets, events, shopping and food.
3. How often do you travel to Disney?
Now that you understand basically how it works, consider how often you travel to Disney or wish to travel to Disney. This membership is GREAT for people who go to Disney at least once a year, or would like to go once every two or three years. You can break up the points however you would like to during the year. If you want to spend a few long weekends in Disney using your number of points, you can do that! If you want to plan a big trip with more than just your immediate family, you can bank and borrow points to make it happen! If you want to have an indulgent vacation with just your significant other, you can do that! For example, I am banking my 2015 points and borrowing from 2017 so that I can have an amazing honeymoon in Disney by indulging in one bedroom villas for the duration of my stay. If you wanted to do something similar, or need a bigger room for your family and friends, you can do that as long as it fits within the scope of your points!
2. Is it fiscally responsible for you and your family?
Purchasing a DVC membership isn’t as easy as signing up at one of their many kiosks located throughout the parks. Keep in mind that this is something you are purchasing, and it does cost you a good chunk of change to buy into. If you are purchasing directly from Disney, a credit check will be done and you must pay a down payment including closing costs before they can continue on with approving you. If you are buying resale, you will have to pay for the contract in full. The amount that you pay is based on the number of points that you buy. I bought 100 points, which is the least amount of points you can buy into directly from Disney, and ended up paying over $2000 as a down payment with closing costs, and I finance the rest on a month to month basis. Once you pay off the balance, you will only be responsible for your annual dues each year, which vary from resort to resort. This isn’t meant to scare or deter anyone!! It is simply an example so you have an idea on what to expect. Keep in mind that the DVC club works as a timeshare, where it gives you a place to stay based on the number of points that you have. It does not give you free parks tickets or free food, although you can get discounts on them. In addition to paying for your membership, you do still have to buy park tickets, food, special event tickets, etc. If you can afford to do this at least once every three years then this definitely might be a great option for you and your family!
1. Do you want to make Disney memories year after year?
The whole reason I bought a DVC membership was not only so that my fiancé and I enjoy trips for ourselves each year, but so we can bring our family and friends along with us and make unforgettable memories along the way. Disney is magical! If you didn’t think so, you wouldn’t consider buying a membership. Think of the laughter, the fun, and the love that will be spread year after year as grandparents find their inner child and your children see that dreams really do come true. This is just a taste of what DVC is and what it can do or you, but if you can afford it, plan to go to Disney at least once every two to three years, and want to make ever lasting memories with your family and friends, then DVC may be right for you!
You may also like: Disney Vacation Club – 5 Things You Should Know
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