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Old 04-18-2010, 05:29 PM   #1
dwlover
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Trying to figure out if it's worth it....

Ok, I'm still trying to figure the ins and outs of the DVC membership. I really don't understand what the benefits are of buying into it. Am I missing something? Basically, all you are really getting is a hotel room, correct? That doesn't include meals or tickets? Once you add all that plus the yearly dues we would still wind up paying several thousand for our family of four. I also heard that DVC members cannot take advantage of the free dining offers. Is this true?

I'm not bashing, just questioning and trying to wrap my head around it. We go to DW every fall for a week and I'm just trying to figure out how it would save us money in the long run.

Thanks a bunch for any help you can offer!
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:55 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwlover View Post
Ok, I'm still trying to figure the ins and outs of the DVC membership. I really don't understand what the benefits are of buying into it. Am I missing something? Basically, all you are really getting is a hotel room, correct? That doesn't include meals or tickets? Once you add all that plus the yearly dues we would still wind up paying several thousand for our family of four. I also heard that DVC members cannot take advantage of the free dining offers. Is this true?

I'm not bashing, just questioning and trying to wrap my head around it. We go to DW every fall for a week and I'm just trying to figure out how it would save us money in the long run.

Thanks a bunch for any help you can offer!
Only you can decide if it's worth it for you. IF you normally stay on property in a moderate or higher and go at least every other year, it's likely to be a good value for you. You would lose out on other options like free dining but overall would likely save more than you'd get with other options. Just buy the number of points you'd actually use at DVC and don't buy for exchange options.
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:11 PM   #3
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DVC is pre-paying for your room for many, many years into the future. There currently are discounts on some things, but they could be discontinued at any time. You do NOT get free dining, park ticket packages, or anyhting else like that. If you like going to Disney at least once every two years (banking or borrowing to use double your points every other year), staying on property in Deluxe (or maybe moderate resorts) and/or need more than 1 normal size room you will probably save money in the long run, but it often takes 7-8 years or more to reach the break even point.

After your initial purchase (which can be financed through Disney if you buy from them and want to, but at high interest rates) you have to pay annual maintenance fees (dues) EVERY YEAR, which are likely to increase every year (for inflation essentially) and typically do around 4%.

It is a timeshare that ends between 2042 and 2060, depending on the property.

Hope that helps!

EDIT: I agree with Dean about NOT exchanging; generally not cost effective and it sounds like net savings is important to you.
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:14 PM   #4
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When you take the initial cost of DVC, plus the yearly MF's and compare them to what it would cost you to continue to vacation in WDW on a regular basis, many find that it allows a good deal for the room piece.

Of course, depending on when you go, how often, what type of rooms you are used to getting and your overall budget, it may or may not SAVE you money. It also depends on what and how you define the value of DVC.

For us, we had been spending around $5000 per year to visit WDW. We liked deluxe resorts for our family of 5 (other options were tried--FW cabins and POR--but none compared).

When they built BLT, we looked at the cost to purchase, MF's, and such. If we could buy in and stay within this figure, we knew that DVC was not costing us more and at some point, we would be ahead of the game. In addition, we would now be spending the same kind of money to get a 1 bedroom villa vs. just a typical hotel room.

So, in that respect, we felt we were getting a good deal. We don't miss the free dining deals or waiting and hoping for pin codes (that never came). While we never paid rack rate (except for the times when we changed resorts mid trip), we never got any deals that were fantastic either.

It really is in individual thing and only you can decide if prepaying for your vacations will be worth it in the long run. DH and I will continue to vacation in WDW every year, even as our kids get older, so for us, it was a long term commitment.
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:17 PM   #5
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ahh, sounds like you should do a little more reading before you come to that conclusion. Here's a start, those free meals are not really free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwlover View Post
Ok, I'm still trying to figure the ins and outs of the DVC membership. I really don't understand what the benefits are of buying into it. Am I missing something? Basically, all you are really getting is a hotel room, correct? That doesn't include meals or tickets? Once you add all that plus the yearly dues we would still wind up paying several thousand for our family of four. I also heard that DVC members cannot take advantage of the free dining offers. Is this true?

I'm not bashing, just questioning and trying to wrap my head around it. We go to DW every fall for a week and I'm just trying to figure out how it would save us money in the long run.

Thanks a bunch for any help you can offer!
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:23 PM   #6
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We go every fall as well for 10 days. WE had been staying in Values, and bought 210 points last year at AKV. Basically I am the Disney Freak in the family and DH loves Disney but not to the same obsessive degree. We had talked about it for a while. His point would be that he was perfectly happy staying at Pop. I just wanted to feel like I was invested or had ownership in Disney. DVC/the DIS is like my crack so to speak.

So DH agreed to support me in the purchase last year and we got our points for $93, 2008 points and got a reservation at Kidani to replace the one we had already booked at Pop. We were able to reserve 2-SV studions, one for us and one for DH's Mom and Brother. It was fabulous. These rooms would have cost us $7000.00 cash and we would never have been able to afford to stay in those types of accomadations. So we had a lovely little kitchnette, no more hunting an ice machine with a bucket....closer transportation to the gates...wonderful amenities in a quiet, relaxing atmosphere. We finally relized how the "other half" lives.

We will always do a yearly trip to Disney. We look so forward to it. We are early to mid 40s and really don't do "commando" park visits anymore. At my age I was ready for a bit of luxury and possibly the chance of having a terrific second vacation each year. If we purchases our APs this year with the discount we hope to get two trips out of them and save some money. We actually lloked forward to coming back to our resort, having a balcony with chairs and giraffes close by. We actually could sit on a couch and watch TV instead of always having to lay on a bed. The folks around the resort were extrmemly friendly, approachable and entertaining. It was just wonderful and took our Disney trips to a whole new level.

Before you decide not to purchase you should maybe rent some points and just see if the vacation style of DVC fits you and your family. It was excatly what we wanted. It was awesome knowing that it made DH happy, too.
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:25 PM   #7
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We have :)

We bought in 1993 OKW 190 pts the minimum purchase at that time over the next few years added on another 100 pts. We did a 7 night Disney cruise balcony for 2 adults 2 young girls in 1998, stayed at Board Walk villas New Years 1999. We have been many many times at OKW. Just got back yesterday from a week in a two bedroom at Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village, wonderful! Travelocity had this same 2br with savanah view for over $6000. So thats what you get for your money. We used one years points. I paid to extend my OKW points for 15 more years, not that I will be around, but my children and grandchildren will be able to use it until 2050? Its a vacation investment, have it and you will be definitely use it. Always something new, like next year Disney Dream cruise ship and DVC in Oahu in 2012.
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:14 PM   #8
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Bottom line it's a money thing.

You are pre-paying money today to to stay at a DVC resort for as long as you own your contracts or until they expire. You are also paying increasing dues every year for the maintenance and operation of the resorts. You hope that overall you will save money. Most members report that they break even on their purchase in 7 to 10 years.

Disney is selling contracts and locking families into spending money every year at Disney Resorts and Parks for many years to come. Members have very little say on the discounts, rules, point requirements, and vacation seasons. Policies and/or rules are often changed overnight without warning or explanation. There have been problems with the resorts being cleaned and maintained to the Disney standards that we have come to appreciate and expect. Member Services, their computer systems, and their website has continuing problems.

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Old 04-18-2010, 07:25 PM   #9
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Totally worth it for us. Just got back from a week in a 2br boardwalk view at BWV with friends. My niece is thinking of another larger family vacation appx. 18-22 people for next year, and there is a little talk of planning another family vacation with some of DH's family. The last one was with 19 people in a GV, 2br, and 1 br in 2008; that would've cost over $ 18,000 at rack rate or close to $ 11,000 with a 40% passholder discount.
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:00 PM   #10
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If you're retuning to the World this fall, try to go to one of the "pitch" events on property.

They sit you down and really explain the whole DVC thing to you. The Guy went to one last August. They take about an hour, you can ask all the questions you want, and they don't pressure you to commit- it's a HUGE purchase! He was super impressed about how it wasn't an aggressive "hard sell". They even gave FPs for taking the time to go to the DVC Center, and they drive you to and from the Center to whatever destination on property you want.

We also went to one of the regional events, though I don't know how often these happen. This one was in Long Island, NY and pitched DVC ~again~, but emphasizing the Adventures by Disney and the worldwide vacations, as well as the upcoming Hawaii resort. The Guy thought long and hard about it, because he was paying with cash and didn't want to take out any loans or mortgages.

He also went on boards (like this one! hee hee) and really thought about how much he would really use the points. We go twice a year and he really likes to go for anything above Value. He's also REALLY looking forward to the new resort in Hawaii.

Don't hesitate to do your homework. When the Guy finally sat down and bought into Bay Lake Tower, the DVC person was so impressed with how prepared (coughOBSESSEDcough) he was with everything.
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:45 PM   #11
Danamy
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maybe this will help

The way I tried to look at it is that I will be paying the same # of points today that I will 30 years from now. So what you pay per point today is it, Its the people 15 or 20 years from now that pay more per point for the same # of points for the same reservation that you previously paid XXX # of dollars for.
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwlover View Post
Ok, I'm still trying to figure the ins and outs of the DVC membership. I really don't understand what the benefits are of buying into it. Am I missing something? Basically, all you are really getting is a hotel room, correct? That doesn't include meals or tickets? Once you add all that plus the yearly dues we would still wind up paying several thousand for our family of four. I also heard that DVC members cannot take advantage of the free dining offers. Is this true?

I'm not bashing, just questioning and trying to wrap my head around it. We go to DW every fall for a week and I'm just trying to figure out how it would save us money in the long run.

Thanks a bunch for any help you can offer!
It really depends on where you are staying in my opinion. If you are renting villas at the Beach Club or the Boardwalk then I am thinking you need to join DVC asap as it will pay for itself quickly. If you are staying off property, staying in RV at Fort Wilderness Campground, renting a house, or etc. than DVC might not be for you.

For those that vacation a certain way DVC makes complete sense, however, the product is not for every vacationer. If you have never explored DVC then I would take a tour next time in Orlando or call and do a phone presentation with a DVC guide. In my opinion, that way you will truly know if DVC is for you or not. Then in 5 years when you pass a DVC booth at the Magic Kingdom you can either say 1) DVC was the best thing we ever did or 2) We looked into DVC but found it was not for us.

Best of luck to you.

Jason
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:18 PM   #13
babster462
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DVC is one of the best things we ever did and we just wish we would have done it sooner. We take 3 trips to WDW a year and we would never be able to do that without DVC. 1 trip every year we take the whole family and the other 2 trips and just for my husband and me. We usually go for long weekends and in off-peak times in order to stretch our points. We have annual passes so all we pay for on our trips is airfare and food. I love being able to stay in the nicer resorts and I LOVE knowing that anytime I need to get away for a weekend, I have a "home" to go to. Now we never have to have that debate- can we afford to go on vacation this year or not? We will continue to go until we are too old to travel and then our kids will continue to enjoy it until 2057 with their families!!
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:22 PM   #14
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Yes, you still have to add on theme park tickets and dining with DVC. But, what we found with DVC is that once we joined, we did not go to the theme parks everyday. Now that we know we will go to Disney twice a year, or alternate one of those with a trip to the beach at Hilton Head or Vero Beach, we can do a theme park one day, spend a day at the resort the next day, eat at the resort restaurants, travel around on the boat, monorail, go to DTD, etc. We vacationed there several years before buying into DVC and know that we will be doing so for the next 40 years. DVC is worth it for us. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:37 PM   #15
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totally worth it. joined in 1994 and have added on 4 times as my family grew. I've lost so much in the stock market and in 401K's -- at least my DVC is paid for and I just pay the monthly fees. My kids are spoiled --going 2-3 times annually. and this will be honeymoon points one day -- then time with grandkids. I researched a lot and if you like to travel, yet like to have one place to call "home" -- that you know every inch of the place and it's truly relaxing, then do it. my parents bought a timeshare at The Atlantis in the Bahamas. they didn't understand why I bought a timeshare until they bought theirs. It's good to be familiar and comfortable on a vacation. You KNOW you'll relax and have a good time. Good luck!
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