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Disney Vacation Club
Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is a vacation timeshare division owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company. The DVC allows anyone the opportunity to buy a real estate interest into a DVC resort. Created in 1991, the DVC was designed to be unlike any timeshare anywhere. DVC owners purchase "points" instead of specific units. These "points" can be used anytime throughout the year, as opposed to specific times found in other timeshare plans. This allows the owner to travel when they want, as long as they want, and where they want within the DVC system, based on the number of points that they have. Unlike many timeshares, the DVC memberships have ending dates, ranging from 2042 thru 2062. Despite owning a "real-estate interest", your purchase is actually deeded, and ownership is over after these dates. As with other timeshares, the DVC also comes with "annual dues", the cost of which is based per point and particular resort owned. These dues are generally due each January. They can be paid in full, or, one can opt to pay them monthly.
When buying into the DVC, guests have had the opportunity to buy into several DVC resorts. Since 1991, many of these resorts have been sold out, however, a few still remain with availability, with new resorts rumored to be on the way. When a guest is ready to make the purchase, they should decide a number of factors: total cost, including cost per point purchased and the cost of annual dues; what resort they would like to have an interest in, and how many points they would like to get. The number of points to purchase usually depends on affordability, and how many points it takes for a particular vacation. The DVC has "points charts", which outline the various resorts, and how many points are required to stay at the resorts. Once a guest has purchased their points, they can use their points at any of the DVC resorts. For their home resort, they can book up to 11 months out. For all other DVC resorts, they can book up to 7 months out. Each year, the members received their annual allotment of points. The time of year these are received is based on the month of purchase. This is known as your "use year". For example, if you purchased your points in September, September becomes your "use year". Each year, you can use your points or bank your points for the following year. The DVC also gives you the option of borrowing points from the following year. for example, if you own 200 points, and you only use 150 points during the year, then you would bank the other 50 for use in the following year. Also, if you own 200 points, and need 25 more for your vacation, then you might borrow points from the following year. The ability to borrow and bank points make the DVC a much more attractive option.
Buying into the DVC is a major financial decision. There is the upfront cost of the purchase, plus the annual dues. In many cases, the purchase price can be financed thru Disney. When considering the overall cost, one must look at several factors: first, what level of resort do you usually stay at? i.e. value, moderate, or deluxe. Second, how long to you stay? Third, how often to you go on vacation to Disney? Last, what time of year do you prefer to go? Many guests travel to Disney World or Disneyland once a year, stay at a deluxe resort, and stay one week at a time in the summer when kids are out of school. The DVC bases the number of points required for a stay on the time of year. If you prefer to travel in the summer, it would require more points than times in the fall, and so on. More often than not, an investment into the DVC usually pays for itself in 7-8 years (which can vary), based on current rack rates.
Next is, "before I buy in, what does the DVC have to offer me?" Let's begin with the resorts. The DVC currently offers several Disney resorts, including three beach resorts - Hilton Head, NC, Vero Beach, FL, and Aulani, HI. They also have Disney's Villas at the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland, Ca. At Walt Disney World, they feature seven resorts,
including Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas, Disney's Beach Club Villas, Disney's Bay Lake Tower, Disney's Boardwalk Villas, Disney's Old Key West, Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, and Disney's Villas at Wilderness Lodge. Members may use their points at any of these resorts, as well as all of Disney's non-DVC resorts, such as the value, moderate, and deluxe resorts at WDW and Disneyland. The DVC resorts offer 3 to 4 different room styles, including deluxe studio room, which include a queen size bed, a hide-away-bed, sink, refrigerator, microwave oven, and more. One bedroom villas include full size kitchens, whirlpool baths, walk-in showers, king-size beds in the master bedroom, and more. Two and three bedroom villas also may feature additional bathrooms, larger family rooms, and more. All villas include washers and dryers as well. Other features at the DVC resorts are common rooms, grills, games, and activities exclusive to DVC members.
Other advantages to becoming a DVC member include various discounts, including discounts on Annual passes, recreation, shopping, tours, and dining. Members may also have discounts to major events, such as Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. Discounts for activities as the beach resorts are also available. At WDW, the DVC also offers its' members an opportunity to attend "Welcome Home Wednesdays", a member exclusive event held each Wednesday featuring games and prizes for members. Members can also book into resorts outside of Disney as well. The DVC works with many of the worlds' finest resorts here in the United States, and abroad. Members can also use their points for Disney cruises as well. The DVC provides points charts for all locations, making it easier for members to plan their next trip. The DVC also provides a members-only web site, where members can request new reservations, view points charts, pay annual dues, check out info on the various resorts, purchase passes, get current DVC news, and more! Another advantage is that the membership can be transferred to other family, such as the kids when they grow up. Members can also sell their DVC interest, as well.
Many guests have become proud owners in the Disney Vacation Club. The DVC, by comparison, is small, and unique, and is recognized world over as one of the finest time share organizations. Members are greeted with "welcome home" each time they check in at a DVC resort, or are spotted by a DVC cast member. The DVC gives members a feeling of being a major part of the Disney Community, with an actual ownership interest in Disney. Combined with value and flexibility, the Disney Vacation Club is a great way to create memories now, and into the future.
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