Disney in a MinuteDisney Vacation ClubWalt Disney World (FL)

Disney in a Minute: What is Disney Vacation Club?

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We’re here with a series of quick posts, “Disney in a Minute,” bite-sized nuggets of information that can better help you understand a Disney term or planning topic. Enjoy!

Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is Disney’s version of a timeshare program. Unlike traditional timeshares which limit you to using a single resort during a particular calendar week each year, with DVC, owners buy “points” which can be exchanged for stays at a variety of times in Disney hotels in several locations, Disney Cruise Line sailings, Adventures by Disney trips, and for RCI International destinations. While DVC is more flexible than old-school timeshares, there is a lengthy list of rules about when and where you can use your points as well as a variety of “costs” to use your points at different locations and at different times of year.

At Disney resort locations, the rooms that are part of the Disney Vacation Club are typically called “villas.” There are studio villas (essentially regular hotel rooms with some modifications), as well as one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartment-style villas with full kitchen and laundry facilities. These rooms are also available for cash stays by non-DVC members.

The view from a Disney Vacation Club room at the Boulder Ridge section at Disney World’s Wilderness Lodge

There are extensive rules about where and when you can use your points. Members who cannot use their points within a required time period may choose to rent their points to other guests.

Essentially, a Disney Vacation Club purchase is a fractional ownership in real estate for a finite amount of time, typically around 40 years. A DVC purchase is a complicated and expensive transaction that should not be entered into lightly. A bare bones DVC buy-in starts at about $35,000, plus annual dues of about $1,000. Many guests will find that a few multiples of that are needed to meet their family’s needs. That said, if you have the financial wherewithal, are a dedicated fan of the Disney theme parks and resorts, and have the time and inclination to do extensive research into the proposition, DVC could be a nice way to direct your long-term vacation spending.

Have a question about a Disney term that is unfamiliar to you? Suggest it here for an upcoming Disney in a Minute segment.

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Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (now PlanDisney), a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater.

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