Test Drive DVC
When we went to Walt Disney World the first time, I swear every single time I turned around a cast member was giving my kids stickers advertising DVC. And they wore them proudly!
Why Test Drive DVC?
We declined the DVC tour. After all, we were too smart to get taken in by some timeshare scam! But lately….I’ll admit, DVC is incredibly tempting. I’m a little nervous that the suites will feel too much like a rental house, not enough like a resort. On the other hand, putting a large family in a two-bedroom villa would be a lot more comfortable than cramming everybody into a hotel room – even the family suites at the value resorts. So – we’re going to test drive DVC by renting points from a current DVC member. This will let us really see what a DVC vacation is like, before we commit to a long-term relationship.
Two Ways to Rent DVC Points
There are two ways you can rent DVC points. You can make the transaction privately, if you know (and trust!) someone who has already joined DVC. You work out the price and dates with them, they make the reservation in your name, and you’re finished. You should only rent DVC points privately from someone you know and trust. If the DVC member’s dues are not up to date, you could show up at your resort and find out that the reservation has been cancelled. If the person you are dealing with is not particularly organized, or not particularly honest, you would not necessarily know that they hadn’t made the reservation until you arrived at your resort. Not good times! Even when dealing with someone you know, ask for a copy of the reservation confirmation well before your vacation.
You can also go through a DVC broker. There are several reputable companies online that connect DVC owners with people who want to rent points. They charge between $12-$13 per point, and handle the transaction for you. The benefit of this arrangement is that if something does go wrong, the broker will find another DVC owner willing to rent their points to cover your reservation. They make absolutely sure that the DVC owners they work with are up to date on their dues and make the reservations as agreed. It would only take a handful of botched transactions to completely ruin their business.
DVC and the Disney Dining Plan
When you rent DVC points, you don’t purchase a Magic Your Way package, so the dining plan isn’t included in your vacation. However, you can purchase the Disney Dining Plan separately. Most DVC brokers can help you with this, or you can call Disney directly. Keep in mind that DVC villas have a full kitchen, so you may not need the Deluxe Dining Plan. If you eat breakfast in your room, have a quick service lunch, and a table service dinner, the standard dining plan will save you a few hundred dollars.
Is DVC Worth It?
When I did the calculations, renting enough DVC points for a two-bedroom villa cost the same as we would pay to stay at a moderate resort. This did not include special promotions like the Free Dining Plan, which changes the numbers significantly. So – is it worth it to rent DVC points? If you can’t take advantage of one of the Disney discount promotions, or you have a large enough family that you would need two resort rooms, then it probably is cost effective to rent DVC points. We’re going to test drive DVC so we can decide for ourselves, without the sales pressure of the official DVC tour, whether the program is right for us.
What about you? Have you rented DVC points? Any tips or suggestions?