We went to Walt Disney World for the first time as a family in November of 2015. On our last day there, we went to Disney Springs for lunch and a little shopping, intending to head home right after ice cream. We had staked out the ice cream parlor we wanted, the kids and hubby were happily playing in the LEGO store, and all I did was leave them for a minute to use the restroom.
No, they didn’t get into mischief; I did.
On my way back from the restroom, I sidled by the Disney Vacation Club kiosk, where a smiling representative spoke to me. I was raised to say “no thank you” to anyone selling anything; to put on my blinders, walk away, or if telephones were involved and I didn’t actually know the person calling, to hang up. I had just quickened my walk when she asked something that got my attention.
Sorry, I don’t remember what it was that she asked. I barely remember the conversation I had with her. I just know that I went to the bathroom, we were about to get ice cream, and the next thing I knew, we were on a tour of Disney Vacation Club model rooms and talking with a DVC guide. Pretty soon, we were signing papers, shaking hands, and becoming full-fledged DVC members.
To be fair, I did just oversimplify the matter. First of all, the DVC weren’t pushy at all. We weren’t hoodwinked into joining, or even into taking the tour to begin with. Even though I consciously meant to rush past the kiosk at Disney Springs, I was interested in the DVC and had already done a bit of homework. We had watched the DVC video several times and I was familiar with how the point system worked. I had listened to podcasts about the DVC and read articles. We weren’t blindsided by something we’d never heard of, nor did we ever feel threatened or pressured.
Moreover, we had just finished sampling the DVC in the form of a test drive. Specifically, on that first vacation, we had stayed at Walt Disney World for 9 glorious days, completely on Disney Vacation Club points. Yep, we stayed on DVC points–they just weren’t ours.
We rented them.
I’m not sure how I became familiar with renting DVC points–whether it was on a podcast or in an article–but when I began looking at the sticker price of hotel rooms at Disney, then comparing those prices to accommodations rented from DVC owners, I was intrigued.
Yes, I was leery, or at least unsure, about renting. After all, we hadn’t been to Walt Disney World at all as a family, I didn’t know diddly squat about the different resorts at the time, and here I was about to put our accommodations for 9 days in the hands of strangers.
So, of course, I researched. I read forums. I listened to more podcasts. I scanned Facebook. I talked to people who go to Disney regularly. And, I learned.
I learned that many of my friends were spending way more than they wanted to on accommodations, mainly because they had to stay in resorts ranging from moderate to deluxe in order to fit the size of their large families. I learned that many people had rented points without being scammed, harmed, or left without a room when they got to Orlando. I learned which DVC rental services were reputable, and which weren’t.
I researched the kinds of resorts that were available to rent with DVC points, and saw that the resorts were all deluxe. No values, no moderates (as yet), just the most luxurious resorts that Disney has to offer.
When I saw the list of deluxe resorts, I nearly closed my browser to go do laundry or something else more appropriate to my life. I mean, deluxe resorts? For us? Bwahaha. Laughable, I say!
Then I saw the prices for renting the points. I did the math and found this:
For 7 nights in early November, a deluxe studio at Boardwalk Villas would cost 107 points. At $17 a point (which is what DVC Rental store charges if the vacation is less than 7 months away and the vacation costs more than 50 points), that’s $1819.
That sounds like a lot of money until you look at regular Disney pricing. A standard view room at the Boardwalk Inn for 7 nights would approximate $3341! That’s almost twice the price of renting.
Now let’s look at moderate Disney resorts. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort averages about $212 in early November. For 7 nights, that’s around $1484. In contrast, Disney’s Old Key West Resort would cost around $1326 for that same week, renting points from the DVC Rental Store.
**Note: I don’t work for the DVC Rental Store, the Disney Vacation Club, or Disney at all. I’m just a little woman with a laptop, typing away about what has worked for my family. We saved money and had a great time! Also, let me note that all prices listed here are just approximates. Your mileage may vary.
We did use the DVC Rental store, as you may have guessed, after researching and researching. Here’s a brief summary of how the rental process worked:
- I filled out the form for a no-obligation quote, in which I chose my travel dates and resort preferences.
- An agent contacted me via email, and dialogue began. I had questions. She had answers.
- The agent searched and found available DVC resorts based on my criteria.
- I chose one of the resorts and wrote back, saying I wanted to move forward.
- I made a $100 security deposit (leap of faith!), which was deducted from the 50% deposit I made when the booking was secured.
- I read over the rental agreement, liked how it sounded, and signed it.
- I deposited the rest of the 50% deposit.
- I paid the rest of the deposit prior to 45 days before my trip.
- I received documentation confirming the rental.
- We went on a seamless trip to Old Key West Resort.
And it really was seamless. In fact the only problem we had on that entire vacation was when we checked in for two nights at the Port Orleans resort (booked directly through Disney). As soon as I had booked the Old Key West Resort through the DVC Rental Store, I received a confirmation number. When I linked that number into the My Disney Experience page…it worked! I had a real, bona fide Disney reservation that was no different than any other. Our names were on the reservation–not the name of the DVC property owner or the DVC Rental Store–and it was just as if we had booked the resort through Disney. Totally seamless.
The rest of course, is history. We loved staying on DVC property and all the perks thereof (like free use of washers/dryers!), we got extra FastPasses from the manager of Olivia’s Cafe, in honor of it being our 1st visit, and we felt totally relaxed at the beautiful, beach-like resort. We haven’t been back to Old Key West, since we’ve been trying out all the other DVC properties, but the kids keep asking to stay there again!
If you want to read more about why we love the DVC so much, check out this article. Hey, when I was looking into Disney travel for the first time, I sought out all the opinions I could find!
Go the distance!