How the Disney Vacation Club Works

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Did you know that Orlando is the 4th most visited city in the US? Of those 4.5 million people flooding the sunshine state each year, it’s safe to say that most of those visitors are spending time at Disney World.

Disney World is one of the top attractions on the planet. So there’s a good reason why you are your family is itching to plan your next Disney vacation.

But if you’re a Disney fanatic, it’s time to consider joining the Disney Vacation Club (DVC). How does Disney Vacation Club work? 

It’s a unique timeshare program that provides you with points each year to spend how you want, on your Disney vacation.

Keep reading below to learn all about this fantastic program, and to see if DVC is right for you. 

What is Disney Vacation Club?

So what is DVC? It’s a type of timeshare program. But it’s not like those old-school timeshare programs of decades past.

Traditional timeshares are inflexible and aren’t designed for today’s modern family. When you bought into one of them, you owned a share of the property.

And with that, you were able to stay at that property for one week a year. But it had to be the same property, and the same week, each year. So you would have to take the exact same vacation each year with no way to shake it up.

The Disney Vacation Club flips the traditional timeshare model on its head. It’s completely flexible and allows you to create your own Disney vacation each year. 

You can take one massive vacation, or you can take numerous smaller trips, staying at different properties, and enjoying different parks every time you go.

How Does Disney Vacation Club Work?

So how does the program work, and what makes it unique among vacation clubs?

It operates on a point system. When you buy a DVC membership, you’ll receive a set number of DVC points each year. You can then use those points to book stays at Disney Resorts, as well as entrance tickets to various Disney parks.

You can book any dates you want, allowing you to take a trip when it works for your family. One year might be a summer vacation. Another year, it might be a birthday trip for your child in February. 

Different resorts require a different number of points per stay. Different types of rooms will cost more than others. And certain times of the year will require more points than others.

For example, Christmas time and Spring break are the most expensive times to book a Disney vacation using your points, since these timeframes are the busiest.

Points really give you the option to create your own vacation. You book the best resort, in the most luxurious suite, during the busiest season, for two or three nights using your points.

Or you can book a weeklong stay during the shoulder season, in a basic room, making your points stretch a little further. 

Signing Up for DVC

To get started with DVC, you’ll need to buy a membership. You’ll choose a contract, either directly from Disney, or on the resale market.

The contract will have an upfront cost, annual dues to pay, and a set number of points per year. This DVC buying process isn’t as hard as you think, but it’s a long-term contract.

If you want to end your contract early, you’ll need to work with a professional to sell it on the resale market. 

Choosing Your Home Resort

When you are joining DVC and looking for a contract, the biggest decision to make is your home resort. Each DVC contract is tied to the home resort, with some being in higher demand than others.

At your home resort, you’ll get the best redemption rates. And you’ll also get an 11-month advance booking window, as opposed to seven months for other resorts. There are 15 resorts around the US to choose from as your home resort, with most being in Orlando. 

The 11-month window is very important for booking high-demand properties during busy seasons, like Christmas or Spring Break. 

Accumulating and Using Points

Each year, you’ll receive your annual allotment of points. Your contract will determine which month your year actually starts, as it’s not based on calendar years.

Say you receive 100 points per year. You can use all 100 points in that year. Or, you can roll points over to the next year. You’ll need to use them that year, however, or they’ll expire.

You can also borrow points from the next year. So if you have 100 points this year, but you want to spend more, you can borrow some or all of your points from the upcoming year.

Following our example, if you play your cards right, you could use 3x your annual points in one year, by saving points from the previous year and borrowing from the upcoming year. So you could have 450 points at your disposal and go all out with the vacation of a lifetime. 

Is Disney Vacation Club Worth It?

Disney Vacation Club isn’t cheap. But neither are Disney vacations on their own.

However, by becoming a DVC member, the price of your Disney vacation goes down over time. If you plan to take Disney vacations every year for the foreseeable future, then becoming a member is probably the best option.

You’re going to lock in your points schedule for the coming years, keeping your redemption rate the same, even as cash prices rise for resorts and park tickets.

If you dream of taking Christmas or Spring Break trips to Disney with your family, being a DVC member is the best way to make that happen.

And if you like the thought of making your points stretch as far as possible, a DVC membership can provide you with many days of Disney magic every year. 

The Program for Disney Superfans

So how does Disney Vacation Club work? It’s a unique timeshare program that provides you with points every year, to spend when and how you want, on a vacation that works for your family.

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