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For the past five years, I've had the privilege of being the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) expert at Theme Park Tourist. A kind and brilliant man asked me to fill this niche, and I've done my best to make him proud. Something I recently realized, however, is that I've failed in a fundamental way. I've always assumed some knowledge that many readers don't have. I plan to correct that right now. Here's everything you need to know about an actual Disney hotel stay using DVC points.

How to Get Points

Image: DisneyYou have two main options to get DVC points. The most obvious way is to join the Disney Vacation Club. Whether you buy directly through The Walt Disney Company or via resales, you’ll receive a set number of annual points. You will exchange these points for a hotel stay at participating Disney resorts. Generally, these hotels are the nicest ones at the various theme parks and will make you feel like an elite theme park tourist during your stay.

The debate about resales purchase vs. buying through Disney comes down to cost versus amenities. Disney sometimes changes their rules to enhance the perception that you get more through them. Your potential financial savings through resale purchase is in the thousands of dollars, though. You must decide which purchase is most sensible for your family.

Either way, Disney will load your account with points at the start of your Use Year. They’re the magical currency that enables you with a free hotel at Disney during your visits. The downside is that you’re committing a lot of capital.

Image: DisneyThe second choice is to rent DVC points. Even as a DVC member, I’ve employed this tactic several times before. It’s convenient, and there are several reliable vendors for DVC points rental. David’s Vacation Club Rentals and DVC-Rental are occasional contributors to my DVC Roundtables and have glowing reviews (note: neither Theme Park Tourist nor I receive any compensation from anyone listed here, including Disney).

When you rent points, you’re making a one-time investment for a specific trip. It’s similar to booking a regular Disney vacation, only you’ll get to stay at a Deluxe Tier resort for Moderate Tier pricing. As always, there’s a caveat emptor factor. Some points rental purchases go wrong, especially ones involving individuals rather than businesses. Please do plenty of research before spending your hard-earned money.

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