Disney Vacation Club
This page provides basic information about Disney Vacation Club (DVC), Disney’s timeshare program. As DVCTimeshares.com is an independently owned website, we are able to provide you with unbiased recommendations on the best and most affordable ways to buy, rent, or sell a DVC timeshare. If you have any additional questions that are not answered by the information on this page, please call us at 855-793-8216 for assistance.
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- Introduction to Disney Vacation Club
- How DVC Points Work
- Why Home Resorts Matter
- Banking and Borrowing DVC Points
- Understanding Maintenance Fees
- Health of the Resale Market
Disney Vacation Club was created in 1991 by a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company. Today, it is one of the most successful and popular vacation ownership programs in the world.
DVC is a points-based membership program tied to a deeded real estate interest in a specific Disney Vacation Club resort property (the owner’s Home Resort). All DVC memberships have an expiration date (because of this ownership/membership is often referred to as a contract). For most properties, memberships expire on January 31, 2042. However, for some of the newer DVC resorts, memberships expire at a later date. Memberships at Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa end on January 31, 2054; memberships at Animal Kingdom Villas end on January 31, 2057; memberships at Bay Lake Tower end in 2060; and memberships at Aulani end on January 31, 2062.
There are currently 12 resorts in the DVC network. Eight of these DVC resorts are located at Walt Disney World (Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas, Disney’s Beach Club Villa, Disney’s Boardwalk Villas, Disney’s Old Key West Resort, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa, The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge), one resort is located at Disneyland (The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa) and three other resorts are located in Oahu, Hawaii (Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas), Vero Beach, Florida (Disney’s Vero Beach Resort), and Hilton Head, South Carolina (Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort).
When you purchase a DVC membership (from the developer or on the resale market), you are purchasing vacation club points, which can be used like currency to book/reserve accommodations at any of the DVC resorts. The points system is more flexible than traditional timeshare ownership, because you can book during any week of the year, at any resort, in any size unit (as long as you have enough points to cover your stay).
The number of points required to book at any DVC resort depends on several factors including the resort, the season, the size of the unit, and the length of your stay. Larger units and more popular weeks will increase the number of points required to book accommodations.
When you buy directly from Disney, the minimum number of points you need to buy to qualify for membership is 160; the maximum is 2,000. Smaller groups of points can be purchased on the resale market, however, you will need at least 150 total points to qualify as an active DVC member.
Points are awarded to members annually at the start of each use year through the end of the contract. For DVC owners, the use year does not necessarily line up with the start of a calendar year; rather, the use year starts in whichever month your points become available for use.
Every Disney Vacation Club member has a Home Resort. This is the resort at or through which you purchased your DVC points.
Members enjoy a reservation advantage at their Home Resort and can book up to 11 months in advance of the desired check-in date (while they can only book up to 7 months in advance at other DVC resorts). Prospective buyers should consider which resort they are most likely to want to visit repeatedly when selecting their Home Resort.
It is important to note that when purchasing from Disney directly, not all resorts will be available as Home Resorts at all times. Many DVC Home Resorts are sold out on the retail market, however, they are likely available on the resale market.
A nice feature of Disney Vacation Club’s points program is that members can bank or borrow points from any use year in order to book larger accommodations or a better week at a desired resort. Banking refers to the practice of saving unused points for use in the upcoming use year. Borrowing refers to the practice of using points from future use years in advance. Disney does have rules about when points can be banked or borrowed (has to occur within a certain time frame before the end of any use year), and no more than three years of points can be combined for use in any use year.
An important consideration for any buyer is annual maintenance fees. In addition to the price of purchasing points to become a DVC member, owners are required to pay annual dues. These are paid regardless of whether you buy from the developer or on the secondary market.
Disney can increase annual dues from year to year, though fee increases are subject to a 15% limit. Annual dues are meant to cover operating expenses (including property taxes) of your Home Resort as well as create a reserve for anticipated future operational costs and major refurbishments.
In addition to your annual dues, Disney may charge members special assessments (additional fees) in the event of any unforeseen damages to the resort property (for example, hurricane or fire damage).
Unlike some other timeshare brands, Disney Vacation Club memberships do not depreciate in value as dramatically. However, the market value of DVC memberships on the resale market is tied to the expiration date of the contract itself. As time goes by and fewer years are left on the DVC contracts, you can expect the value of all DVC timeshares to decrease.
Another important thing to know about DVC resales is that Disney Vacation Club regularly exercises its right of first refusal. This means that when an owner is about to sell a DVC membership, Disney has the right to purchase that owner’s timeshare for the same price. This has contributed to higher resale values for DVC, as Disney will buy back any memberships that fall below a certain price threshold.
Want to know more about DVC resales? Click here.