There is an aura that surrounds Disney Vacation Club membership. Or is it, ownership? It actually seems quite literally both. To say you are a DVC member is pretty incredible but it also comes with a pretty incredible price.
I am not a DVC member but I wish I was. Not that it really gets me anything really special if we are being honest. Buying into the DVC programs makes you an owner of one week at your specific Disney Resort that you buy into. Of course, you can swap that week for another resort and for a different week but it all basically works the same.
In a nutshell? The abbreviated version of what all those DVC kiosks at Disney World parks are going to sell you? Here it is.
You buy "points" that will cost you anywhere from $199.00 or more. How many points you buy determines how many points you are allocated each calendar year. Each stay at a Disney Resort hotel will cost you "X" amount of points that typically equate to what your yearly allocation is.
Speaking with many DVC members, they have about a week's worth of vacation points to spend each year. For example, if you purchase 100 vacation points from "Hotel X" for $217.00 you would pay $21,000.00 for what is likely going to be a 5 to 7 day stay depending on the time of year and resort.
Now, to make it a little more expensive, you pay annual dues for each point you own. This is for maintanance and housekeeping. You can't avoid it and you could pay anywhere from $8.00 to $11.00 per point each year dues alone.
It should be noted that while DVC membership/ownership comes with all kinds of discounts, they do not include an Annual Pass membership but does give you a cheaper rate for the pass you select. There are discounts on merchandise as well as food and drink but it is still a rich man's game.
My wife and I came very close to purchasing ownership in DVC but ultimately we couldn't justify the expense or wanted to take on the 10-year loan to pay it off. A year later, we fell into the trap of timeshare ownership with Diamond Resorts.
I would recommend that if you are looking to purchase a DVC, ask yourself several questions beforehand. Are you strictly looking for Disney or a vacation option? There are other timeshares you can consider and while they may not come with a discounted admission or annual pass option, they can provide you with plenty of other vacation options in the Orlando and Disney World area.
I go to Disney World at least four times a year and each time I go I use my timeshare. I may not have direct access to a Disney World park but it's a quick 10 minute drive most of the time to get there and that isn't all that bad.
For more information on DVC, visit their website or for at least some instant perks, talk to a DVC agent at one of the Disney parks.