I mentioned in previous posts about the cost benefits of renting Disney Vacation Club points. Before you go in and rent for yourself, I want to explain all that goes along with it, because it is a VERY different experience from making resort reservations through Disney. I have only rented through a company that brokers the deal between you (the renter) and the DVC member, so that’s what I’ll be focusing on in this post. It is possible to rent individual to individual, but I will admit I don’t have any experience with that type of transaction.
First, for those unaware of the Disney Vacation Club, it’s Disney’s version of a timeshare. You buy a certain number of points, and then are able to use them at any DVC resort in Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, Aulani, Hilton Head in South Carolina and Vero Beach. The current DVC resorts are:
In Walt Disney World-
- Bay Lake Tower At Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s Boardwalk Villas
- The Villas At Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Hotel
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows
In Disneyland Resort –
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel
In Hawaii –
- Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa
In South Carolina –
- Hilton Head Island
In Florida, off property –
- Vero Beach
The amount of points need will vary by resort, room type and time of year. Using a cost & points calculator like the one found at www.dvcrequest.com can be a very helpful tool when planning for your vacation.
Once you know when you are going on your trip, you can submit an on-line reservation form. At time of reservation, you will be asked for a down payment of around $100. This is not a reservation fee, but will be applied toward your rental once it’s all sorted. If the reservation falls through, the money will be refunded to you.
Now, here’s the first con. You don’t really get to choose your resort. You choose your top three options (or less if you’re determined to stay in a certain resort) and the company will reach out to DVC owners in their system and broker a deal for you in one of the resorts you selected. In my last transaction, I didn’t get my top choice (non-Savannah view room at AKL) but was given my second choice (Savannah view room).
Once the reservation is secured, you must then pay the balance in full. To me, this is truly the only downside to renting points. You aren’t able to be on a payment plan, the balance is due in full within 48 hours of booking or you lose your room.
Once everything is booked, you will have the option of adding the Disney Dining Plan. These, too, must be paid in full at the time of reservation. Note, that renting DVC points does not allow you to participate in Free Dining promotions, as Disney requires you to book a complete vacation package through them to be eligible.
You are also given the option of adding Magical Express services to your DVC rental so long as you do so within 30 days of your check-in date.
As with all other Disney packages, you are eligible to begin choosing your Fastpass+ reservations at the 60 day mark (as opposed to 30 days) since you are vacationing on Disney property. And, of course, you are able to book Advanced Dining Reservations up to 180 days in advance.
Because this is not a package, you are adding all parts of your Disney vacation a la cart, meaning you will be adding tickets, dining plan, and resort stay separately to the same vacation. It can be a little tricky, but a message to me, or a call to Disney can fix it right up. I have not had difficulty adding tickets to my reservation in My Disney Experience, but that app can be touchy at times.
A couple of other things to note about staying in DVC property. You are not eligible for daily room cleaning, but you can request extra towels, linens, etc as needed. On the plus side, the rooms are slightly larger AND you get a minifridge, microwave and toaster in room!
I thoroughly enjoyed this process myself. Because of the amount of trips we have taken lately, and how my husband constantly reminds me that “Dave [Ramsey] would not approve”, I am always looking for great deals for Disney. I know that I would never have been able to afford a Deluxe resort at regular Disney prices, so renting DVC just made sense for me. Does it sound like it would for you?