I’m a Disney Vacation Club member. For me and for my family, the investment has been worth it.
That may not be the case for you.
If you’re considering DVC, you want to be sure to weigh all of the key factors: the cost of DVC (which our DVC points charts can help you navigate), whether just renting DVC points may be the right choice for you, whether there will sufficient DVC availability for the months and resorts you’re going to want, and more.
In this post, we’ll try to help you frame whether DVC will be worth the investment for you and your family.
So is Disney Vacation Club Worth It?
Like many things in life the answer to this question is “it depends”. Whether DVC is worth it is going to require you to consider some very personal factors.
I’m a happy DVC member so you may expect me to answer this with a yes, but DVC isn’t for everyone. A few things to keep in mind:
- How often do you go to Disney?
- Where do you like to stay when you go to Disney World or Disney Land (do you typically stay in premium resorts on site)?
- Can you pay for the DVC membership in full or do you need to finance?
- What is your personal family and vacation situation (are you likely to want to go to Disney World / Land for several years? Maybe you’ll want to gift Disney trips to family over time?)
- What resort are you looking to buy into? Is that a resort you’d want to stay at? Is staying at a specific resort a “deal breaker” for you?
- When do you like to go to Disney?
- How far in advance do you / can you plan your trips to Disney?
These questions are important because there are a number of specific things you want to understand before you decide if you want to look into DVC further:
- Visit Frequency – The way that your DVC points work you can roll them over for one year forward and backwards one year (meaning you can roll points from one year into the next, or grab points from the following year, but you can’t save points for more than a year or pull from more than a year in advance). You can rent / resell DVC points (more on this later) but there’s no guarantee you’ll get full value for your points (particularly when you factor in your annual dues). If you’re not a frequent visitor to Disney World / Land, you likely would be better off paying out of pocket.
Disney World & Disney Land Visits – Generally speaking you want to make sure that you’re planning trips to Disney World and Disney Land specifically, as well. While you do have the option to use your points for things like Disney Cruise Lines, REI, etc. broadly speaking because of the conversion from cash for a trip to DVC points for those experiences (this is generally not true for Disney premium properties, which is why DVC is, in fact, “worth it” for some people) you’ll likely do better financially if you:
- Sell your points on a marketplace (again more specifics on this later)
- Pay cash for that cruise or other experience
- Where You Want to Stay – If you stay off-site or at a lower cost resort when you go to Disney World or Disney Land typically, it’ll be significantly more expensive to get DVC than it would be to take your typical vacation. That said if you go frequently it’ll likely be less expensive than if you were staying on-site at one of the premier resorts. Along those lines if you stay frequently at the premier resorts, you’ll likely save money overall.
- Member Benefits – Purchasing DVC is really too large of an expense and decision to make just on member benefits, but there are some specific perks (merchandise and food discounts, extra magic hours, access to book premium DVC resorts which have their own benefits in terms of park access, etc. – more on these benefits later in the post) which you can weigh in making your decision.
- Member Restrictions – The flip side to member benefits and access to DVC rooms is that you can’t book just any room in the resorts as a DVC member (only specific DVC inventory) – there are a variety of rooms available throughout the resorts and many people find them to be preferable to many of the other room types, but it’s worth noting. Additionally DVC rooms are only cleaned every 4 days without an additional charge. Obviously you’re also limiting yourself from being able to stay off-site or to schedule a vacation outside of the DVC options. You could also take this money and invest in a property, stocks, or another asset that may have more value for you over time. And of course keep in mind: while you can do things like roll your points over for one year or “rent” the points to get cash, you’re effectively forced to take a vacation or make a decision with your points each year, rather than having total optionality with no commitment if you don’t get a DVC membership.
Given that this purchase is for vacations it’s obviously going to be a personal decision, and as you can see there’s a lot to factor in!
DVC Value FAQs
Is Disney Vacation Club a good investment?
No, I wouldn’t consider DVC as a “good investment” in the traditional sense. There is certainly a chance the value of your contract could appreciate, and there are resale and rental options so the asset isn’t illiquid, but it’s likely not the best use of your money if you’re strictly looking to have your funds appreciate over time. That said, if you’re going to Disney regularly anyway, DVC can certainly represent a cost savings for you.
Is DVC financially worth it?
If you’re going to Disney and staying a premium resort at least once a year, there’s a chance DVC will be worth it for your family, but there are lots of other considerations (like whether you can afford to pay all at once or finance, the cost of the dues, the cost of other vacation related expenses like park tickets, flights, etc.)
Is renting DVC points worth it?
Renting DVC points can often represent a significant discount over paying for a standard room at a deluxe Disney resort.
We go into this topic in detail in our post on how to rent DVC points.