One of the tips Disney experts throw around is “renting DVC points is a great way to save money on Disney World hotels”. Renting DVC (Disney Vacation Club) points has an air of mystique about it that I think is unwarranted. I’ve now had a number of successful experiences renting DVC points and wanted to share a beginner’s guide with you. I found the process extremely easy but definitely see where pitfalls can lie.
Let’s start with some definitions:
- DVC: DVC stands for “Disney Vacation Club”, which is the timeshare portion of Disney Resorts. Rooms range from studios (which are large hotel rooms with a mini-kitchen) to 1-2 bedroom “Villas” (condos) to treehouses and overwater bungalows if you want to get really fancy.
- DVC Points: Simply put, points are the currency used to purchase Disney room reservations. An owner buys into the timeshare and gets a set number of points to use each year.
- DVC Points Rental: When owners have more points than they can use, they can sell individual point reservations (or “rent” the points from their year’s allotment) as they wish.
- Home Resort: The resort at which the member bought their points. Members can use the points at other resorts but have first dibs at rooms in their home resort.
Why would I want to rent DVC points?
Simply put, because you can save a ton of money. More specifically, you can get a room in a deluxe resort (all Vacation Club resorts are deluxe) for about the price of a moderate. You also have the option of getting larger rooms or units with full kitchens and bedrooms while still being on Disney resort property and getting all of the Disney guest benefits.
Why wouldn’t I want to rent DVC points?
The main reason is because most reservations can’t be cancelled once you rent the points. You need to be sure of your plans. Shopping is also a pain as you can’t see real time availability, only members can. Room availability is constantly changing so you might (as I did) have a reservation you have confirmed with the DVC member fall through before they get it booked. If you have your heart set on a specific resort on a specific peak date you’ll probably be disappointed.
You might also still consider staying at a value resort or off-site as you’ll still be cheaper than points rental in most cases. I don’t recommend the All-Star Value resorts but they are the cheapest way to get Disney guest benefits such as extra magic hours and free parking.
How do I rent points?
The site recommended to me by DVC experts I trust is David’s Vacation Club rentals. I especially like the cost and points calculators that let you see what you’re getting into before booking. The number of points needed varies widely by date, resort, and unit size so it’s a lot easier to just plug your info into the calculator. To give you an idea, a studio at Old Key West Resort is 14 points a night weekdays in April but 26 points Christmas week.
Members get first crack at their home resorts so from 7-11 months out you’ll pay more to rent points: Expect around $16/point. You might also see last minute specials less than 2 months out. I’ve seen as low as $11/point but last minute rentals are often only available at Saratoga Springs.
Another option I’ve used is the DIS Forum, which is a bulletin board owners use to list their rentals. Think of it as a classier Craigslist. Members usually have history and offer references, but you are still buying person to person. The part that put my mind at ease is the owner can make the reservation with your name and send you the confirmation email right away. I bought two one night rentals and had the confirmation emails from Disney within 10 minutes on each one. I paid $12.50-$13/point on the board.
Once you get the confirmation number it’s exactly the same as if you booked through any other 3rd party. Just link your reservation in My Disney Experience and you’ll get your magicbands, etc. You can contact Disney’s Magical Express Service directly (866-599-0951) to add it to your reservation.
How much can I save?
Here’s a price comparison of some dates and units. I used Orbitz with a 15% coupon code for my pricing as I found it to be the cheapest. Remember to compare apples to apples: with DVC rental you pay no taxes so you need to use the all-in pricing for hotel rooms. I’ll use studios to compare but remember that studios are bigger than both value and moderate hotel rooms. The size is around the same as a deluxe hotel but you also get a mini-kitchen.
|2/20/18||$224 (OKW, AK)||$144 (All Stars)||$206 (Caribbean Beach)||$426 (Animal Kingdom)|
|8/1/18||$224 (OKW,AK, SS)||$142 (All Stars)||$197 (Caribbean Beach)||$437 (Animal Kingdom)|
Data gathered 10/10/17
The table assumes you’re renting at $16/point and even at that level you’re slightly above moderate and WAY below deluxe. Buy them for less and you’ll save even more.
What did I miss? Have you rented DVC points? Please share your questions and experiences below.
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