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

What’s different now?

Image: DisneyUnder the new rules, anyone who buys a resale contract from this point forward has certain limitations. From now on, when you purchase an ownership interest in one of the original 14 properties, you may only exchange DVC points for a stay at one of these hotels.

Conversely, should you buy a resales contract at the Riviera, you may only exchange DVC points for a stay there! The belief is that when Disney introduces Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge in 2022, it will have the same constraints. I should stress that the change only applies to resales contracts, though.

In other words, prior to 2019, your ownership interest at Old Key West came with the option to exchange your DVC points anywhere. That’s no longer true. Your OKW points are still good at any of the original 14 resorts. You cannot use them at the Riviera Resort, though. 

Image: DisneyThe change seems subtle, but it’s insidious. Disney has created a divide between original owners and direct DVC members vs. future resales buyers. Anyone who bought a resales contract prior to January 19, 2019, gets grandfathered in. The people who buy via resales after that are cut off in a strange way.

Should members want a contract at the Riviera or Reflections, their purchase comes with a strange operating cost. These future buyers won’t have the option to stay at one of the original 14 resorts. Realistically, those are the properties with the best locations.

If you believe the maxim that real estate is location, location, location, Disney’s already added their strongest properties to the DVC program. Future members won’t get to stay at these resorts.

Image: DisneyConversely, anyone who buys via resales for one of the original 14 DVC properties is cut off from staying at the new ones. Due to this rules change, guests must choose. That wasn’t true during the first 18 years of DVC membership.

At the moment, the choice isn’t difficult. Riviera will be the only DVC resort with this constraint until 2022. By buying an ownership interest here, you’re choosing between staying at one DVC property or the other 14. Who would pick the one?

This philosophy underscores the oddity of Disney’s decision. In the short term, they’ve added a huge negative to a potential points purchase at the Riviera. Even members who buy direct will worry, as the resales market for the Riviera is automatically damaged by the new DVC rule.

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