You could call it the Mickey Mouse Club, but the membership fee for this one is just a bit pricier.
If you’ve ever taken a Disney vacation, you’ve probably seen the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) advertised more than the new Little Mermaid movie. With serene images of families basking in the sun, Disney presents a convincing case for their exclusive memberships.
It’s no secret that Walt Disney World Vacations can cost a pretty penny, but the DVC promotes benefits for its members that have you asking yourself, “Is it worth it?”
Before making that call, let’s dive into what the DVC is and what’s included in the membership.
Related: Disney Vacation Club Offering Outrageous Deal For First-Time Buyers!
What’s the DVC All About?
In true Disney fashion, the Resorts take a slightly unconventional approach to the typical timeshare. In a timeshare scenario, you pay a set price for partial property ownership. The ultimate perk of having a timeshare is a flexible vacation destination you can visit at certain times of the year. In addition, Resorts offering timeshares allow holders to “swap” their given week at their chosen Resort for a vacation at another Resort within the larger group.
While DVC members partially own Disney property at a “home” Resort, they must cash in points to stay there. A key benefit to DVC membership is the access to other Disney (and even non-Disney) Resorts with the points system, including cruises and international travel.
The rub? Although the Disney website advertises DVC savings “may add up to 50% over the Membership term,” that period could last up to six years or more. The reason behind the long-term points collection starts with the roughly $200 per point price and a minimum requirement of 150 points to get started with DVC. That’s a steep $30,000 just to enroll, which means the DVC is geared toward a specific set of Disney travelers.
Reasons to Join the DVC
With a pricey membership plan and a lengthy commitment ahead, it’s worth joining the DVC if the following circumstances apply to you.
You’re a Frequent Traveler
The DVC points system requires members to use their points at least every other year, so if you’re only planning on a few Disney trips over an extended period, it’s not a great decision for you. Availability and vacation durations play significant roles in using your Disney Vacation Club points. A slow time at Disney (may the force be with you to find one) may allow you to cash in 150 points for a week’s stay at a Disney Resort like the Animal Kingdom Villas. The same vacation package in the peak of summer or Christmastime could run you double the points, so it’s best to invest in a membership if you frequent Disney Resorts.
You Have the Upfront Funds
With closing costs, documentation fees, and pricey points, a DVC membership is justifiable with the funds to pay the fees upfront. If financing the expenses is the only way to get the DVC ball rolling, it’s probably not the best time to enroll. However, seeing the DVC as a worthy investment for decades of Disney vacationing could be worth springing for.
You Have a Preference for Deluxe Disney Resorts
The associated perks with Deluxe Disney Resorts are larger rooms, luxurious amenities, and added Park access. With 15 DVC Resorts and counting, you can access the following as a DVC member:
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas: Jambo House
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas: Kidani Village
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
- Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas in Ko Olina, Hawai’i
- Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort in Hilton Head, South Carolina
- Disney’s Vero Beach Resort
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel
If you’re not keen on these options for their costly reservations, you likely won’t see the value in investing in a DVC membership.
Ultimately, the DVC is designed for Disney enthusiasts who want guaranteed vacations, perks outside the Parks, and Deluxe accommodations. It’s best to get in touch with your finances, future vacation plans, and Disney preferences before taking the Disney Vacation Club membership plunge. Still, it could be ideal for a die-hard Disney traveler.