About a year ago, we decided to join the Disney Vacation Club. This decision was years in the making (see my 2012 post debating the issue). In the end, here are the things that mattered most to us:
- Proximity to the parks. Magic Kingdom is, by far, our favorite park. Hence, our DVC “home resort” is Bay Lake Tower, the only resort that is walking distance to MK. Our secondary home resort, where we have a smaller DVC contract, is Boardwalk Villas. This resort is walking distance from both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Why is choosing the right home resort so important? You can book your home resort 11 months before the start of your vacation. You can book other DVC resorts 7 months before your trip. With DVC villas in high demand (and showing no sign of slowing down any time soon), it’s important to have that home resort advantage.
- Staying at a deluxe resort for a fraction of the deluxe price. Disney deluxe resorts are crazy expensive. For example, a room (not a suite) at the Contemporary starts at $393 per night. A 1-bedroom suite at Bay Lake Tower (the DVC property attached to the Contemporary Resort) starts at $655 per night. So, for a 6-night stay, the room is a minimum of $2358, and the suite is at least $3930. If I take my initial DVC investment, divide it by the number of years on my contract, and add in the yearly maintenance fees, that comes to $1558/year. I have enough “points” on my DVC contract to get a 1-bedroom suite at Bay Lake Tower for six nights, with a few points left over to use the following year. This is far less than the $3930 rack rate. Furthermore, it’s less than the $1800 or so we were paying for a 6-night stay at All-Star Music family suites (a Disney value resort).
- An awesome excuse to keep going back to Disney, over and over and over! Yup, I’ll admit it: Disney World is my absolute favorite place. Now that we own a piece of it (at least until our Bay Lake Tower contract expires in 2060), we have to keep going back in order to get our money’s worth. And if circumstances prevent us from going, our family or friends can use our membership that year. The way I see it, that’s a win for everybody!
I’m fairly new to the DVC lifestyle, but if you have any questions, I’d be happy to do my best to help.