My Disney Vacation Club Story: Jumping In
Five years to this April, we became Disney Vacation Club members. I grew up in a family that visited Disneyland twice a year and, when I started dating my Husband, I got him to drink the Disney juice. We’re die-hard Disney fans to the core. I’m sharing My Disney Vacation Club story because I think it’s important to hear directly from a member before making the investment.
I’m sharing my 100% honest opinions on what we love about DVC and what we wish they’d improve upon. Let’s be honest, it’s a big investment and it has to be magical – because it’s Disney.
Why My Disney Vacation Club Story Can Help You Decide
As a couple, we’ve been visiting Walt Disney World since before having kids. It’s been the perfect vacation destination that only got better once we had kids. Since 2007, it’s been our #1 choice for a quick getaway or long and leisurely trip.
When we got married in 2011, we took our first non-Disney vacation to very popular all-inclusive honeymoon resort destination. While we were there, we dreamed of being at Disney World instead. That’s when we knew we were true fans.
Adding Up The Cost Of Disney Vacations Throughout The Years
In 2014, we officially became Disney Vacation Club members. When we were making the decision about becoming members, we thought of the total cost of our Disney World vacations since starting to go as a couple in 2007.
During that seven year time period, we could’ve paid off the total cost of our Disney Vacation Club contract. Being a DVC Member gives you 50 years “points” per contract. We realized we could’ve purchased so many more vacations for what we paid for in vacation already. That was a big “wow” moment for us.
When we purchased our contract, we were actually paid in full for a “Magic Your Way” vacation at the Polynesian Resort. Disney refunded the $5k cost of that trip and we used it as our down payment for DVC.
In 2014, we purchased the minimum amount of points you could buy – 150 per year at $155 per point. Our home resort is Disney’s Grand Floridian. Annual dues range started at $800 per year and have increased to around $900 per year now. Luckily, it’s a nice tax ride off.
Of course, prices have mostly likely increased since we purchased five years ago. It’s free to look into DVC and tour a Disney World property. It’s definitely worth your time to compile questions and ask them, if you’re seriously considering to buy. We did everything over the phone at home.
There’s Always A Reason To Go Back To Disney
As a Run Disney runner, I always have a reason to keep going back. One of the best parts of a Disney vacation is the fact that it’s impossible to do it all in one trip. I love that Disney is constantly changing, evolving and finding new innovative experiences for guests.
Disney Vacation Club members can book at their home resort 11 months in advance. That means I can grab the best villa before I even register for a Run Disney race. To be completely transparent, there are stipulations to changing a resort reservation if you don’t do it in a timely manner. You might have to use those points sooner rather than “banking them” for a later time. However, that is not an issue for us.
My Disney Vacation Club Tip: Read the fine print and save your contract. You want to use your membership benefits and not let any points go to waste.
Disney Vacation Club Can Grow With Our Family Size
When we purchased our Disney Vacation Club points, we only had our oldest son. It’s really appealing that you can pick a studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom or three-bedroom villa to spend your DVC points on. That meant as our family grew, and our vacation needs changed, our membership would keep up with our changes.
Quite honestly, I’m always impressed with the use of space in any size Disney Vacation Club villa. Sometimes we pick a studio size villa, in September, at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort for a low-point vacation. Other times, we’ve stayed in a two-bedroom villa at Disney’s Grand Floridian (our home resort) and spent a whole year’s worth of points.
Also, since having kids, I love that you can will your contract to your kids. It might be the best gift we ever give them.
We Can Vacation Elsewhere Too
What if we decided not to vacation at Walt Disney World? GASP! Hopefully, it would be to go on a Disney Cruise Line trip or maybe an Adventures by Disney trip. Yet, there’s always the possibility that our family wouldn’t want to visit a Disney property.
If that’s ever the case, members can exchange points for RCI Resorts. It’s part of their “World Collection” and includes hand-selected resorts that DVC partners with to offer members an opportunity to vacation wherever.
What We’d Love For Disney Vacation Club To Improve Upon
I’m sure you’re wondering if there are any cons to being a DVC member. I’ve painted this beautiful picture of being a member, but there’s always room improvement. I’m happy to report that Disney recognizes this and they’re often updating member perks and listening to member requests.
I Wish We Could Purchase The Disney Dining Plan With Points
I might be in the minority when I say this, but I wish we could purchase the Disney Dining Plan with our DVC points. When I’m planning a vacation, it’s something we have to pay out of pocket for. While the villas have full kitchens where many guests have groceries delivered and cook, I prefer to enjoy the dining plan instead. DVC members do not receive a discount on the dining plan either.
It Costs Extra To Opt Out Of Automatic Debit From Your Account
As a writer, my pay days vary. Sometimes I get paid all at once and sometimes it’s stretched out. So I opted out of our monthly payments being automatically debited from my checking account. They charge you an extra 1% for not setting that up. Monthly, that turns out to be roughly $3 extra. Over time, that’s an extra $360 on our 10 year contract. It adds up!
More Availability To Experience Member Perks
On several occasions, I have tried booking member exclusive experiences for our vacations only to be disappointed that they’ve filled up in minutes. The Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic events are extremely popular. You must be online, or on the phone, and ready to book. When you’re paying monthly for a membership and you don’t to experience any of the perks, it’s disappointing.
Regular Annual Pass Discounts
In 2018, we purchased our first Disney Annual Passes and loved the experience. Being an Annual Passholder has it’s own perks, just like DVC. We visited Walt Disney World over five times within the calendar year because we had our passes. We purchased them during DVC’s 20th anniversary offer at a discounted rate.
This year, we looked into renewing our Annual Passes and it was almost $1800 for the family. I’d consider purchasing a second contract, for more points, if we could always have a discounted Annual Pass offer.
I realize that I could be dreaming about a lot of these asks, but I promised to be completely honest with you! If you’re looking at becoming a Disney Vacation Club member, I’d be happy to answer any questions you have. Leave them below in the comments or email me at SavvyMamaLifestyle@gmail.com.
I am not a travel agent, I’m not selling any points and I do not receive any commission. This is just My Disney Vacation Club Story!