Disney Vacation Club – Is It Right for My Family?

What if we told you, YOU could own a piece of Disney Property? Chances are your ears would perk up and you’d be interested in learning more, right?! Well, here enters Disney Vacation Club, also known as “DVC”. You can, in fact, own a piece (a very, very, very small piece) of Disney Property! DVC is a vacation ownership program (another way of saying “timeshare”) that Disney offers for guests interested in investing in Disney vacations. Purchase a set amount of points and use these points at select DVC resorts for your upcoming stays! Whether you visit Walt Disney World each year, plan to travel the globe, or take a Disney Cruise… you can use these points as payment for your Resort rooms.

So, now that you’ve got the gist of DVC, let’s dive deeper into the question all Disney fans ponder at one point in time or another – Is DVC right for my family? Here are the questions we’ve asked ourselves… our personal outcome falls at the end of the article.


1 – How Much Do You Really Like Disney?

We know you’re a Disney fan or chances are you wouldn’t be reading along with us, right?! So, we are assuming your response to this question is obvious – we LOVE it! That’s awesome because guess what, we love it too! Our recommendation is to spend a good full week vacationing at Disney… maybe a few days during peak season and a few days during the offseason. The key here is to see ALL sides to Walt Disney World. Now, the flip side of this is that with DVC you don’t HAVE to spend vacations at Disney World, Disneyland, a Disney Cruise, or anything with a “Disney” title in it! You can travel to Europe as you’ve always dreamed, Eskimo kiss in Alaska, or finally see a kangaroo in its homeland in Australia! Visit the globe, but never fully be detached from the exceptional Disney service you expect. Important questions to look at as a family here would be:

  • Do you leave a Disney vacation feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation?
  • Do you like Disney enough to involve it in the majority of your future vacations?

2 – Can Your Budget Handle Another Monthly Payment?

This is the not-so-fun part, but it’s time to get real! Your purchase price into Disney Vacation Club varies depending on how many points you decide you need. If you plan to visit often and stay at the deluxe resorts (which cost more points per night), then you need a large sum of points. Every point purchase adds up! Plus, let’s not forget DVC has monthly dues. While these monthly dues can only increase yearly at a small percentage, it is still something that hits your budget for as long as your contract is valid. Ideally, pay for all your points upfront and then plan to make your monthly dues payment. But, realistically, many people need to finance their DVC purchase much like financing a car. This means you’ll have a monthly DVC payment as well as a DVC dues payment. On the flip side, many don’t have a large sum of money sitting in the bank which makes any vacation a tricky one to fork out a payment for resort rooms wherever you decide to go. With DVC, it tends to make payments for future vacations much easier by technically paying on them monthly. Important questions for your family here would be:

  • This is a WANT, not a NEED. How much do we really want this?
  • Can our budget handle another monthly payment?
Inside the Copper Creek Vilas. Photo Credit: Disney

3 – Where Is Your “For Real” Home?

Disney Vacation Members value two little words… “WELCOME HOME”! This is such a wonderful greeting when pulling up to your DVC resort! But, we first need to ask the question, where is your “for real” home? Sure, DVC resorts are located throughout the globe, but the hub of entertainment tends to be right in the Sunshine State’s Walt Disney World. If you live in a distant state or even a different country, you’ll want to be sure travel is factored into DVC decision making. This question also works for the locals. Florida residents, is DVC worth the purchase if you can easily get home after a day at the park? With most DVC purchases happening right on-site at Walt Disney World, it’s easy to get wrapped up in that purchasing moment and forget that travel time (whether home is close or far) should be a factor in the big decision. Questions to ask the family here:

  • How much are you going to spend on travel if making Florida your usual destination?
  • Is the ease of getting to your “for real” home just too easy to pay otherwise?

4 – How Old Are You?

Ok, our mamas told us never to ask that… so you don’t have to really tell us! BUT – age is, in fact, something to be aware of when looking at a Disney Vacation Club purchase. Contract longevity does vary depending on which home resort is purchased and which “deal” is being offered at the current time. Some contacts last 45+ years. Amazing, right?! It’s hard to think about what we’re going to eat for dinner tomorrow, let alone what Disney vacations we think we might be taking 45 years from now. Age is important because the contract you purchase should have the year allotment you are seeking. Are you retired and just looking for a 25-year contract? Or are you a young family needing all the years you can get? Keep in mind, DVC points can be transferred to a selected person. This can be especially reassuring because as morbid as it sounds, we never know when our time will come to an end. The DVC investment can be passed on to those you love so they can enjoy it for years to come! Questions to ask the family:

  • How many years would I feasibly be able to enjoy DVC?
  • Do I have family I’d like to pass this on to?


5 – How Often Do You, Or Your Loved Ones, Vacation?

The worse situation for Disney Vacation Club members is having points, but not being able to use them for one reason or another. After an allotted time frame, points can be lost if not used… and these are points you’ve paid for! So, take a good look at your situation and ask yourself how often you plan on vacationing and if something were to stop you from vacationing, do you have someone that would enjoy taking advantage of your points instead? Plain and simple, DVC is not worth it if you aren’t planning on using it fully. But, if you know you’ll use them or know someone that would, then you shouldn’t have a waste of points situation. This is also where you see rental companies that sell DVC points. People who own the points aren’t able to use them quickly enough and sell them to rental companies that turn around and use your points for someone else’s stay. This is a good option if you were to ever get in a difficult point use situation! Questions to ask the family:

  • Are we committed to regular family vacations on a yearly basis?
  • Do we find value in letting our family or friends use our points to vacation if needed?

The Outcome for OUR Family

What are your thoughts? It’s not an easy decision to be made and shouldn’t be made lightly. Our personal outcome as promised above is yes… we did decide that Disney Vacation Club was right for our family. Our parents first joined and purchased enough points to take a full family of 22 to Walt Disney World regularly. We thought they drank the kool-aid! Honestly, none of us are what we would consider wealthy, so how they were affording this was hard to understand?! As the years went on, we learned, we listened, we explored our own family’s needs, and finally gave final approval to our budget. While living in Florida, we purchased 150 points in 2013 at the home resort, Disney’s Old Key West. Now, living in South Carolina, we purchased 75 more points at the home resort of Copper Creek at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. If anything, we could easily use more if the budget wasn’t a factor! The frequency we use our points is well, ridiculous! We do, however, enjoy taking a family with us and getting them a resort room as a gift which makes our points go faster… but that is just how we prefer to use our points. What sold us was the longevity of our contracts and knowing that our family will be enjoying this for many years to come. Plus, and we can’t stress this enough… it was in the budget and something we knew wouldn’t go to waste!

So… Is DVC right for your family?

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.


Mike & Jamie Sylvester

We are Disney nerds. Two kids at heart who love the magic and the memories of Walt Disney World! We follow all things Disney and have great experiences with being Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, and RunDisney participants. We enjoy the vacations, day trips, weekend getaways and geek out over the planning of such events. From lodging to dining to Fastpasses we have a spreadsheet for every occasion. Mike’s frivolous Disney goal is to acquire as many MagicBands as possible while Jamie’s goal is to experience as many Disney desserts as possible. Usually there isn’t a day that passes without some discussion of the master plan of our next trip to the happiest place on earth. Most people think we’re normal – until they travel to Disney with us. We have been married for 13 years and are blessed with two children - our 8-year-old daughter and soon to be 2-year-old son. As a family we thoroughly enjoy the magic and the memories at Walt Disney World and are here to help others experience the magic as well.
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