Photo Credit: Dennis Brown, NDU 5

I am often asked by many friends how to get the best deal on buying in to the Disney Vacation Club. Over the past year I have become a huge proponent of buying DVC points through the secondary (resale) market and in fact bought my first resale contract this past winter.

Recently Disney changed their policy on the sale of DVC contracts on the secondary market. Under the new policy, members who purchase from anyone other than Disney, on or after March 21, 2011, will not be eligible to use their DVC points to make reservations in the Concierge Collection, the Disney Collection or the Adventurer Collection. Those Vacation Points will instead be valid only for reservations at Disney Vacation Club resorts, as well as for RCI® exchanges, Club Cordial and Club Intrawest.

Now the question at hand is–what does all this actually mean to you?

Resale contracts will see no change in the actual DVC ownership properties and relevant trades through the RCI program—the trade-in that gives you access to the several hundred vacations spots around the world. You will lose the ability to book at non-DVC hotels run by Disney, Disney Cruise Line and the Adventures by Disney with your DVC points.

At the end of the day I see little real world loss here. Using points to book at non-DVC resorts on property at Disney World and Disneyland are not the best use of your DVC points. The Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruise options for points are ASTRONOMICAL!

As an example–Our Oct 13 DCL 3-day cruise would cost us 253 points, more than our annual allotment, but cost us only $1800. Assuming a standard DVC rental price of $10 a point, using my points for the cruise would cost me $700!

For thirty fewer points I can get a week stay in a one bedroom savanna view at Animal Kingdom Lodge. A studio savanna view with cash would cost $3,100… A much better value for my points.

The cheapest Adventure by Disney trip would cost my family over 1,600 DVC points for a five-day trip—or nearly $16,000 if you wanted to rent the points on the DVC rental market. The cost to pay cash for the trip would be about $9,000.

So what’s the best strategy to employ for using your points in the new system to book non-DVC Disney trips? Rent them out at $10 a point and apply the cash you get to your Disney Cruise or Adventures by Disney trip. You’d see a much better return!

The only real loss here is the ability to use points for the non-US Disney theme parks, but how often will one stay at those? I think the savings from buying a 200 point contract on resale will more than make up the difference in hotel costs for that once-in-a-lifetime trip to Disneyland Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong or China (when it opens). And again, you can always rent out your points and apply the cash to your trip.

Contributed by: Rob Whitney (NDD#107) Rob is the DDL Disney Vacation Club Blogger. He is also the creator of Disney Family Man.


  1. We bought through resale, and even though we made our purchases before the change, it wouldn’t really have bothered us at all, and we still may buy more points via resale in the future. It’s still a great deal!

  2. Absolutely agree with there being more value in using your points at DVC resorts or through RCI, but I DO wish they would have left that choice in my hands.

    I understand that they want to control the resale of their properties, but by allowing cheaper secondary market sales, they get people on property that might not have been able to afford it otherwise (this is assuming that DVC’s prices are any different for a resold contract; don’t know if they do that or just roll the points back into the system “as new” for sale on new contracts).

    In any case, not a show-stopper for us. Great article!

    – John

  3. People buy DVC points for many reasons, not all include trying to get the best value out of the points. As an owner who uses her DVC points for the convenience and accessibility, as well as having my hotel room pre-paid, buying retail would now limit my choices. I could no longer book a weekend escape at a posh Chicago hotel when I need to. The “posh” would have to be replaced with an RCI room. Also the Disneyland Hotel is one of my favorites of all Disney Lodging, and with the current remodeling it should be a spectacular choice for years into the future. The “best” strategy for using DVC points is always the strategy that works best for each family, and sometimes that includes booking where resale can no longer go.

    Though I had considered adding on points through resale, the value for my family and how we travel has been diminished. I’ll just keep buying from the Mouse. 😀

  4. What if you are given the Timeshare from a family member? Do you still loose the right to book outside the disney properties?

What do you think?

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