The Disney Vacation Club Properties at Walt Disney World are some of the most luxurious and beautiful resorts available. Especially if you have a big party, the units with up to three bedrooms allow you to stay on Disney property with extra room that isn’t otherwise easily available.
Many people decide to make the investment and purchase an ownership interest in the Disney Vacation Club (also known as DVC). However, maybe you aren’t ready or interested in purchasing a DVC ownership. Perhaps you don’t visit Disney World frequently (and why not?!?!), or maybe you don’t want to tie up your money today and in the future with the purchase price and maintenance fees.
Is there a way to enjoy the luxury of a DVC resort without the long-term financial commitment? Fortunately, there is a little known way to do just that.
Points Come, Point Go
Each year, DVC owners get a certain allocation of points based on their original purchase. They use these points to book their DVC villas, which cost a different number of points based on the size, location, and time of year. Owners can bank (save) the points for the next year or borrow them from next year.
However (this is the key part), the DVC points do expire. Rather than let the points expire and go to waste, which would be shame, some DVC owners will rent their points out.
Renting DVC Points
You can actually call Disney directly and book DVC rooms just as you would book a standard hotel room. This class of room is known as a Disney Deluxe Villa. However, the prices are sky high.
If you rent points from a DVC member, you can expect to pay about half as much as you would directly from Disney. Wow!
In fact, this is part of the equation on how Disney proves the “savings” that come with DVC membership: comparing the cost of booking these DVC property room as standard hotel rooms at very expensive rates vs. booking them using DVC points, but I digress…
Pros of Renting DVC Points
We already mentioned the biggest one: cost. Compared to standard room rates, you can really get a bargain using rented DVC points. That one “pro” is enough to make it worth your while if you are looking for a large room on Disney property.
Cons of Renting DVC Points
While you definitely can save money, there are some important considerations.
- There are complex rules for making changes after a reservation is set. You should assume that once the reservation is made, you can’t change it.
- You don’t get the full maid service (affectionately known as “MouseKeeping”) when staying at the DVC rate. Instead of a full daily cleaning, you get fresh towels and trash removal on the 4th day, and you get a complete cleaning on the 8th day. If the frequency of cleaning is important, you can pay for extra cleaning services.
- Perhaps most important is that only the DVC owner can make the reservation with his or her points. Plus, Disney will only deal with the owner and not with you as a renter. If you are renting the points, you are trusting that the owner has the points available and will indeed make the reservation on your behalf. In fact, DVC Representatives have cautioned people that if the DVC owner books the room, he or she can take the room if they decide to even, if you’ve already checked! That would leave you without a reservation.
While many people have had many good experiences renting points directly from DVC members, there have been stories of people getting ripped off.
Here are some things you can do to protect yourself when renting directly from a DVC member:
- Check the references of the DVC owner – talk with other people to whom they have rented points.
- Check the Orange County Comptroller’s website to verify that the person really is a DVC owner.
- Make a written agreement with the DVC owner to make sure everything is clearly spelled out.
- Pay with a credit card so that you have some type of protection from your credit card company. You can arrange to make payment to the DVC owner via PayPal and your card.
Alternatively, you can use “points brokers” who will set up the agreement between you as the renter and the DVC owner, and in many cases, will even guarantee the transaction.
Do you like the idea of renting points to stay at a Disney Vacation Club property?