Disney Vacation Club Members
The Disney Vacation Club is essentially a timeshare scheme, but with one big difference - there is absolutely no hard sell! We have been members for a few years now and love it. Our home resort is Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village. It shares the same resort as Animal Kingdom Lodge, but Kidani was purpose built for the Disney Vacation Club (DVC). We initially bought one lot of points, but after our first trip as members we decided to add on a 2nd contract to give us more points and more options on rooms and resorts. Being a DVC member does have many pros and some cons, and you can read about them below;
- The 'Welcome Home', every time you enter the resort you get greeted with 'welcome home' by the Cast Members. I know it's silly, but it always makes me smile.
- The DVC resorts at Walt Disney World are stunning and there's several to choose between (assuming there is availability at a non-home resort).
- We love the size of the rooms at the DVC resorts, even the deluxe studio doesn't feel cramped with the four of us all in there together. (This will probably change as the kids get older!)
- DVC resorts outside of Walt Disney World. We have used points to stay at Disney's Vero Beach Resort in Florida and we are planning trips to Aulani - a Disney Resort and Spa in Hawaii and Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa. There is also Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort that we would like to visit one day. We can also use our points for trips with Adventures by Disney and on the Disney Cruise Line.
- The World Collection and Concierge Collection. We can use our DVC points to stay at resorts all around the world so long as they have availability. We haven't used this feature yet, but it's nice to know that we can see other parts of the world if we ever fancy a change.
- Member Benefits. There are some perks to being a member, for example the new lounge that is about to be opened at Epcot that is exclusively for DVC members. At the resorts we are able to take advantage of certain activities in Community Hall for free or for a discount and we can hire DVDs for free - great if you have a rainy afternoon or have tired kids that need a break from the parks. We get a discount on most of the merchandise on sale in the parks and resorts, as well as at Disney Stores too, there are discounts available at certain restaurants as well. There are also special events and gatherings open to DVC members only.
They're not really cons, they're more just niggly little things that I wish were different for DVC members given the costs we pay to be members.
- No free dining. I hate this, I wish that Disney would consider giving DVC members free dining as we all spend a lot of money each year to be members. There is an opportunity to save money with a Tables In Wonderland card, but that has it's advantages and disadvantages and we have to buy it before we can use it.
- Mousekeeping. The Disney name for housekeeping. DVC members get reduced housekeeping during their stay. So instead of having beds made and towels changed daily, we get new towels and trash emptied, but no other cleaning, on day 4 of our stay and a full clean on Day 8. I'm all for saving the environment and am happy to not have my towels changed every day, but again given what it costs us to be members, I think it would be nice to at least have our beds made every day.
- Booking non-home resorts. If you want to stay in a resort that isn't your home resort, you have to wait until seven months before you wish to stay there. That's fine, but what bugs me is that you can only book one week at a time. So you book the first week and then have to wait seven days and hope that there is still availability for your second week. I get that the majority of DVC members are American and usually only stay for a week maximum, but for those of us coming from 'Across The Pond' we usually stay for a minimum of two weeks and it's very stressful not knowing if we are going to get the same resort for the second week of our stay.
Like I say, they're not big issues at all, but they are things that would make me feel like I was definitely getting my money's worth.
So why did we become members of the Disney Vacation Club?
We love visiting Walt Disney World and we knew that there would be many more trips there in our future. We were thinking long term to the days when we may have grandchildren and how lovely it would be to take them to Walt Disney World without our children having to worry about the very expensive cost, being members of the DVC means that we can share the points with our children and eliminate the accommodation costs for them. We had always wanted to stay in a deluxe Disney resort but the costs were simply too high and, if we did manage to afford it, it would be a 'once in a lifetime' holiday. By joining the DVC we get to stay in a deluxe resort every time we visit Orlando. The other big selling point for us is that we can use our points to stay in resorts all over the world. If we had only been able to use our points at Walt Disney World then we probably wouldn't have joined, because as much as we love Disney there are many other parts of the world that we want to see too.
Things To consider Before Joining The Disney Vacation Club;
The DVC is a timeshare and therefore you need to think carefully before you join. There is a financial commitment to becoming a member, including Annual Dues that will need to be paid every year. You don't need to buy your DVC membership direct from Disney, there are other companies that sell the points on a 'resale' basis, however these don't have access to the full portfolio of Disney resorts, such as The Concierge Collection and Disney Cruise Line. Where you purchase points from is a personal decision. Don't be rushed into purchasing points. It's very easy while you are on holiday and in the 'Disney Bubble' to get caught up in the excitement and sign up straightaway, but this is a big commitment and should not be entered into without properly thinking about it - we talked about becoming members a whole year before we made the decision to go ahead. We love being Disney Vacation Club members and we are so pleased that we made the decision to join - we can't wait for our next trip to a Disney Resort!
Are you a Disney Vacation Club member? Where is your home resort? We love connecting with other members so why not leave us a comment and say hi!
We do not work for Disney and all thoughts and views are our own.