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The DVC Buying Guide Disney Doesn't Want You to Read

You have flexibility if you don’t want to go to Disney every year

Image: Disney

Have you stayed away from DVC since you don’t want to get locked into visiting the parks each year? One of the strengths of the DVC program is how much flexibility you have with point usage. You don’t have to spend every year at Disney. Your options are much more robust.

First of all, Disney offers a couple of resort options away from Disney theme parks. Disney’s Vero Beach Resort and Disney’s Hilton Head Resort are wonderful choices for folks who need to get some sand under their toes for a while. The Florida and South Carolina properties are both highly regarded but admittedly not convenient for people who live outside the south.

Image: Disney

The dream destination is in Hawaii. Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa is the best resort in the entire state according to Hawaii Magazine. Conde Nast declares it one of the best 15 resorts for summer vacations. If you’ve ever fantasized about a once in a lifetime trip to Hawaii, your DVC points will negate the cost of a hotel stay, cutting the price of a vacation significantly.

DVC points have other uses, too. Let’s say that you don’t plan to travel to a Disney locale for an extended period. Your points don’t have to go to waste. Instead, you can sell them to a rental service or individual. You’ll get at least $11 per point and sometimes as high as $15, depending on the market at the time. Since you only pay a fraction of that amount on annual dues, you’ll actually make money on your DVC points during the years you don’t travel to Disney. You can use that money to mitigate the cost of your actual vacation plans. In other words, DVC points have value that supersedes the program. You can look at this investment as one that applies to all your future vacations, not just the ones at Disney!

The big con…

Image: Disney

Okay, I’ve hyped the positives to the best of my ability. Now, let’s address the dancing pink elephant in the living room. The con of DVC membership is the obvious one. It costs a lot of money. Maybe a few thousand dollars is nothing to you. Maybe it’s not. I’m not in position to say. What I know for certain is that my family feels like our lives are enriched by DVC membership. We were in a financial position where we could spend the money to join, pay it off quickly, and then enjoy the benefits of membership for the rest of our lives. We’re so satisfied with the system that we’ve discussed buying more points on several occasions, and I’m sure that we will at some point…probably more than once.

That’s our feeling on the matter.

Your situation is different and unique to you. When my friends asked me about DVC membership, I told both of them the same thing. I’m not comfortable spending anybody else’s money. The choice of joining is up to the individual. For some people, it makes sense. For others, using those thousands of dollars in other ways is more beneficial.

Image: Disney

What I can say for certain is that each time I write an article like this, someone says, “Ha! I’d join if you spotted me the $25k!” I’m hopeful that you’ve read the above, and it’s allowed you to view the program in a new way, one where you can minimize your investment while maximizing your enjoyment of each vacation from now on in perpetuity. There are ways to hack DVC membership to reduce the cost of ALL your future vacations, not just the DVC ones. It will still cost a few thousand dollars, though. That’s a lot of money to spend on trips you won’t take for years to come. So, please make an informed decision.

If you have additional questions about the program, please leave notes in the comments section. I’ll reply in kind.

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There are 7 comments.

I looked into the DVC many times and took a tour of the Polynesian to see the new building. There are some shady ways that they don't tell you the entire cost and they make it seem like you will be saving money a lot faster than you really are. It's takes about 8 years of consecutive trips until you start to save money on your stay. If you know you will be going to Disney every year for many years to come, it's a great value. I've almost pulled the trigger a couple of times but the biggest downfall for me is how far you need to book in advance if you want to guarantee the hotel that you want. At least a year in advance doesn't really work for me.

One thing to note is that you can finance the cost. Sure 17k seems expensive up front. But with a modest downtime the you can pay less than 200 per month.

We just got into DVC and cut wait to use it. My buddy was bugging me saying that I'm locked into a disney vacation. Yeah but I want a disney vacation and will plan my savings around that.

We are currently looking to purchase DVC at our next trip, this coming March / April. If I am getting your article correctly I can buy the minimum from Disney direct and the add to this number of points from buying resale, and still maintain DVC benefits.
1) Is that correct
2) would I be able to add these points to my direct purchase home resort
Buying direct first adding resale later
Please let me know your thoughts and possible hidden downsides

Hi, did you ever receive a response? I have the same question

Janet I did not get a sufficent answer. I did further research and we did purchase into the Wilderness lodge. We still feel good about this purchase and have 2 vacations already scheduled. If you have any questions I will answer the best that I can

Thank you for the response and congrats on your purchase. Did you purchase directly from DVC or was it resale?

Hi David, great article, thank you. We are in the UK and currently looking into DVC trying to keep a balanced view and not get caught up in the Disney Bubble! I would be interested to know your thoughts on pros/cons of a Uk buyer if you have any. Thanks


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