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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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Comments

Disney doing whats good for Disney at the expense of dvc purchasers who may have fallen on hard times. Why should people be demonized for selling something they bought anyway

I think there is a solid work-around for this... just buy direct from Disney. I mean if you can’t afford it, then you can’t afford it and I hope you enjoy Art of Animation. If you are going into DVC with the ideas of selling, then you’ve got it all wrong. The amount of money saved buying resale over buying direct is not that big of a difference. Because, over the lifetime of your contract, the vast majority of money spend will come from the dues. Dues are the same whether you buy direct or resale or if it’s willed to you. Run the numbers.

If you buy Riviera directly from Disney you still get to stay there or any other DVC resort, assuming rooms are available. This only effects those who purchase after market

Disney isn't "devaluing" long term customers initially. Actually, they are benefiting. If you have a contract prior to 1/19/19, you can (for the time) access every DVC resort with your points. You bought Hilton Head at $50/point? guess what, you actually are better than the new guy at Riveria who bouht at $192 a point. You can both access the same properties, but they are paying 4x the cost for it.

They ARE hurting the people who want to use DVC as a monetary investment, compared to a vacation one. How long do people hold onto their contracts? usually long enough for their kids to enjoy the vacations. But once they get "out of the Disney age" you could always flip the DVC and break even, maybe even make money, depending on the market. So really, this makes it so potential buyers have a strong vested interest in staying on property. And this is what I think Disney wants.

They want the family that will be back year after year. Sure the hotel is "free", but with that, you need food. You are at the parks, so you are buying tickets/APs. You are going to be a "superfan" So you'll be taking part in the hard ticket events. Doing backstage tours. Maybe even paying for a VIP Guided park tour. And then the souvenirs.
All that does add up. They are looking for the long term investment.

From that, Disney wants resales done, or at least done through them. You can buy a resale contract through Disney, but as you said, it's more than on any of the other resale sites. Is it worth it to buy Riveria on resale at $100/ point and only ever be able to stay there, or buy on Resale from Disney at $175, but stay at ANY DVC Property. Disney wants that money.

So really, the 2n'd class owner will be "New Resort Resale Owners" New onwers get all the perks. Legacy onwers still get the perks of "New" ownership. Resale "legacy" owners still have a better value than any of the DVC2.0 resale owners.

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out for Disney. They may either have to change the rules, or offer new DVC at a lower cost/point to get people to bite. But then if the new price is say $150/point, and people were paying $175-192 for Poly, Wilderness Lodge..etc. that could stractch the legacy owners.

No idea why the shock for resales. They have been minimizing resales for years through limiting benefits. If you buy directly from Disney you don't have a problem. If you don't, you got it at a discount and with proper research you know what you are getting into. They didn't ruin it for all DVC members, they changed it for resale DVC members.

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