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Disney Just Ruined a DVC Resort That Hasn't Opened Yet. Here's How.

Every couple of years, The Walt Disney Company seems to target its most loyal customers. They modify the rules of the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) to reduce the program’s value even more. It’s a befuddling practice that the company just did again. Here’s how DVC just changed and why it’s terrible for members.

The Rules Change

Image: DisneyDVC members who logged into their accounts on January 7, 2019, were in for a rude awakening. They received this message:

Update to Disney Vacation Club Resort Access for Contracts Not Purchased Directly from Disney

Effective January 19, 2019, only Members who purchase directly from Disney will be able to use their Vacation Points at the 14 existing Disney Vacation Club Resorts or future Resorts—such as Disney’s Riviera Resort or Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge. Resale contracts purchased for the existing 14 Disney Vacation Club Resorts will only be able to exchange Points into those 14 Resorts.

This change does not apply to contracts purchased prior to January 19, 2019. Contracts gifted to family members will continue to have the same Resort access as before the ownership transfer.

The eligibility rules for Membership Extras and RCI access remain unchanged.

The Buena Vista Trading Company Disclosure Guide has been amended accordingly.”

Image: DisneyThe precise wording of this message glosses over the malevolence of the message. From this point forward, anyone who purchases a DVC contract via the resales market will have fewer membership privileges. I mean a LOT fewer in one specific example. Let’s get into the specifics.

A quick overview of the current system

Image: DisneyThe current structure of the DVC program is simple. You buy a set number of DVC points for a few thousand dollars. Each year, you may exchange some or all of these points for a hotel stay at any of Disney’s DVC resorts, all of which are in the Deluxe Tier. As examples, all three monorail resorts, Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Beach Club Villas, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas are DVC properties. The program truly includes the best Disney resorts in America.

A grand total of 14 resorts are currently part of the DVC lineup, and a 15th will join in the fall of 2019. It’s this 15th resort that has become the sticking point. The rule change impacts resales purchases at Disney’s Riviera Resort more than any other property.

Historically, your DVC membership entitles you to hotel stays at all participating properties. Technically, you buy a real estate interest in a single property such as Disney’s Old Key West Resort (OKW). With this purchase, you gain access to all 14 resorts that are currently open. You would use your OKW points to book a room at any participating DVC resort.

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