With Disney Vacation Club membership sales soaring over the last few years, we brought back our expert panel of industry professionals to explain why DVC is more popular than ever. As always, the opinions expressed here are from the individuals, not Theme Park Tourist.
DVC membership has seemingly exploded over the past few years, and the points rental market has similarly experienced dramatic growth. To what do you attribute the success of the program?
Paul Little, The DVC Rental Store: I believe the reason for the dramatic growth of the DVC program and the point rental market is twofold. First, the savings are substantial for both the DVC member and rental guest and cannot be ignored. The cost of a Disney vacation is increasing with ever-increasing ticket prices and new parking fees, among other costs. Guests are looking to experience Disney in ways, such as DVC ownership and rentals, which will allow them to offset some of these costs. The second factor is program exposure and education that helps potential DVC members and renters to understand the program and benefits more clearly. As an example, the DVC Facebook group that we run has 42,000 members. It is a venue where group members can ask questions, get advice, and further understand the benefits of the DVC program and of renting points. This leads to potential DVC members and rental guests being more comfortable with the programs, which translates into new members and rental guests.
Melissa Mullett, David's Vacation Club Rentals: I think that there are a few reasons why there has been an increase in DVC ownership. Firstly, Disney has done a phenomenal job of marketing the "on property Resorts" and the various reasons why you should stay "on property" when vacationing in Disney. A few of the perks of staying on Disney property are as follows: the FastPass+ booking window, 180 + 10-day Advanced Dining Reservations, Extra Magic Hours, Magical Express, etc. I think that the perks that the Disney Vacation Club has introduced have helped sell the product, such as DVC Moonlight Magic, DVC Lounge, discounts on Special Event Tickets, discounts on merchandise, Member Cruises, etc. I think that these additional perks in combination with what you would receive as a guest staying on property is aiding in the sales of DVC Memberships.
The second reason why I think that the DVC ownership has increased is people are preparing for their future. When you are buying a DVC Membership, you pay a one-time purchase price, and some DVC Memberships can last up to 40 years. Thus, with the rising cost of resort stays, it just makes sense to pay the purchase price and be able to plan future trips easily when considering budgets. Lastly, the increase in membership can be attributed to wanting to be a part of the Disney Magic. With all of the new Lands being added (Pandora, Toy Story, Star Wars), I genuinely think that people want to be a part of the excitement. Owning DVC to some people means being able to “Come Home” every year or every few years and being a part of something magical.
ResalesDVC: I attribute the growth to the continued exposure of the product but most importantly, the consumer understanding the value of DVC ownership. It all comes down to affordable vacations, and I think that’s what has really lead to the success of DVC in a time where rates continue to increase at Disney.Kristen Tutas,
Derek DeBoer, DVC Resale Market: I think it's because folks are realizing the power of researching something before making such a big purchase like DVC. I've always said that an educated, well-researched person is the best one to share the magic of membership with. Our company is able to spend time with that families that have done research - or just started to - and make sure that the purchase they’re making just isn't so they “purchase DVC today.”
Our customer service is built around finding the best way to help each family that we come in contact with, whether that's a family looking to join DVC for the first time and finding the best “home resort” for them based on how they vacation, a current member looking to add points to their membership, or someone that has enjoyed their membership and now looking to sell and pass that membership onto another great family.
Families are now able to research all aspects of Disney Vacation Club and see if any differences in purchasing direct v/s with us do matter to them and their family. It's funny, I remember calling DVC back in the late 1990s and asking if they had something called "a website" so I could get more information. I remember looking up my account when I worked for Disney and sure enough there were notes in there that said, "Derek called asking if we had something called a website...which we do not at this time." Times have changed, and for us at the DVC Resale Market it means the consumer has more power in being able to research DVC and all the options they have available to them.