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

Why did Disney change the rules?

Image: DisneyYou may wonder why this rules change only applies to resales. The answer is simple. Disney receives no money from resales purchases. Conversely, a buyer receives the same primary benefit of DVC membership from resales ownership. They get that ability to stay at Disney’s Deluxe resorts for “free,” using only their DVC points.

Disney must discourage potential customers from using the resales market whenever possible. Otherwise, they’d lose out on a tremendous amount of business. After all, Disney charges MUCH more for the same points purchased directly.

At the time of publication, a direct ownership interest in DVC costs roughly $50 more per point and sometimes much more. You’ll pay thousands of dollars more for a direct contract than one bought on the resales market. Savvy shoppers know that buying directly borders on a waste of money.

Disney changes the DVC program rules on occasion to alter this perception. They provide more benefits to direct members while eliminating them for resales buyers. It’s annoying and causes the latter group to feel like second-class citizens in the DVC program.

Does Disney have something else in mind?

Image: DisneySome speculation suggests that the Riviera and Reflections could become part of a new group, a kind of DVC 2.0. While I believe people are getting ahead of themselves on this point, I’ll quickly explain the concept.

Many timeshares have changed over time, devaluing the membership benefits of longtime members. They’ve created a second class of their timeshare program, preventing early joiners from benefiting from the introduction of newer resorts. It’s a shady practice, the kind that gives timeshares such a terrible reputation.

Over the years, Disney has eschewed any and all connections to standard timeshares. Their sales agents aren’t even allowed to describe DVC as a timeshare due to the negative stigma attached to that word. Hopefully, the fears of a DVC 2.0 are unfounded for this reason.

Image: DisneyOtherwise, Disney’s done precisely what low-class timeshares are prone to do, reducing the quality of membership for long-term members. It’s something to watch carefully in the coming months and years. We likely won’t know for sure until Reflections opens in 2022.

In the interim, this is a terrible look for Disney. They’ve just damaged the perceived DVC value of the Riviera before it even opens. They’ve also left a sour taste in the mouths of hundreds of thousands of DVC members, many of whom purchased via direct resales.

Disney’s gambit is a dangerous one that actively alienates loyal customers. It seems like an unforced error to me, something that looks good on a spreadsheet but has no positive outcome for a business.

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