In 2018, over 157 million people visited a Disney park. And that number was set to be on a huge trajectory; that is, before the pandemic hit in 2020.
Now that things are getting back to relative normality, Disney’s seeing an increase in visitors again. And some of them just might be you and your family this year!
If so, then you’ll want to take advantage of DVC points.
What are they and how can you benefit from them? Read on to find out more!
What Are DVC Points?
“DVC” stands for “Disney Vacation Club”. Broken down into the simplest terms, DVC is a timeshare.
But before you say “no thanks”, you should know that it doesn’t work like a traditional timeshare! It’s not sleazy at all and in fact, can be a wonderful way for you and your family to stay in nice hotels while on vacation for your Disney trip.
As you might’ve already guessed, you’ll need to use DVC points to stay in certain rooms at particular hotels. Thanks to supply and demand, certain rooms might be more “expensive” during peak vacation times, so you’ll have to “spend” a little more points on the same room you might’ve gotten for “cheaper” during off-peak seasons.
What Can You Use DVC Points On?
When you buy DVC points, you’ll be able to use them at 15 DVC resorts and over 2,600 Disney properties. Not only that, but you can also spend your DVC points at many RCI properties in the world, as they’re Disney’s partner. When you work out the points needed to stay at these places, you’ll see that you’ll benefit from a huge discount.
But did you know that DVC points don’t just earn you spots in hotels? There are so many other perks that come with them!
For instance, the resorts don’t charge you extra if over 2 adults (people over 18) are staying in 1 room. Normally, Disney resorts charge extra for that. Plus, you can get free self-service laundry while regular guests need to pay for it.
Also, you can enjoy discounts on theme park passes, merchandise, and food. In addition, you can buy a dining plan, which regular visitors can only get if they buy a vacation package.
In addition, you’ll get exclusive access to the Imagination Member Lounge at EPCOT. You’ll get to relax, unwind, charge your devices, and enjoy a free beverage and snacks while taking in the amazing view.
Lastly, prior to the pandemic, you’d also get access to Gold annual passes and discounts, as well as access to the Moonlight Magic events. These benefits were suspended in March 2020, but they might return soon.
How to Buy DVC Points
There are actually 2 ways to buy DVC points: direct or resale. The full disclosure here is that while resale DVC points are much cheaper, you do lose some benefits.
If you find that it’s still worth it for you, then by all means, go ahead with resale DVC points, as they’re legit too! Or if you want to combine those points with direct DVC points, that’s a viable option too.
Either way, when you look at DVC points for sale, you need to choose a home resort, which is technically the property you own a share of (hence the timeshare scheme). While you can use points at all qualifying properties, you’ll enjoy additional perks with your home resort, such as bookings that are 11 months ahead of time (for non-home resorts, this number drops to 7).
Once you buy your points, you’ll get a contract that indicates when your ownership ends. Currently, the end dates range from 2042 to 2066.
How Long Do You Have to Use Your Points?
You’ll have an entire year (12 months) to use your DVC points.
If you’re unable to use them up in a year, you can roll them forward to the next year. You have to do so before the 8th month of the use year. If you still can’t use all of the points the next year, then all points are forfeited the following year.
On the other hand, if you use up all your points prematurely, you can also borrow from next year’s points. You can also choose to buy up to 24 “one-time-use” points in a year. Do note that you can’t bank these points.
Can you Sell DVC Points?
No, you aren’t allowed to sell your DVC points. For this reason, we’d suggest that you start small, at least for the first year. Once you see how many points you might use in a year, you can then adjust for the next year’s purchase to better reflect that.
Other Things You Should Know
When you buy DVC points, it’s not just the purchase price you need to cover. There are also DVC annual dues. Because you technically own part of the home resort you’ve chosen, these dues go toward upkeep and maintenance.
Also, as we’ve covered briefly, points for a room can change throughout the year. Not only is this due to peak/off-peak seasons, but it’s also because DVC can reallocate points in their properties. What this means is they can increase and decrease room values according to DVC member demand (the total has to remain the same at the end of the year).
Have Fun at Disneyland
Now that you know how DVC points work, it might be advantageous for you to purchase some before your next trip. This is especially true if you plan to go to Disney parks a lot and can also get great deals with DVC resellers.
So save yourself some money while having fun at Disney parks and staying at nice hotels. More money in your pocket means more trips to Disneyland, after all!
Want more family vacation advice? Then check out our other blogs!