Disney World Vacation Packages vs Disney Vacation Club

A sand castle playground statue at Disney Vacation Club resort Old Key West

Visiting Magic Kingdom is a dream for many people. Walking toward that big castle is something you’ll never forget! If you’ve been many times, getting to experience the different seasons and events at Disney World might be a wish you have. Whether you’re planning your first trip or trying to decide how to visit every year, or as much as possible, there are options to consider. Disney trips cost a lot. The Disney timeshare is one way people balance hotel costs. Comparing Disney World vacation packages vs Disney Vacation Club is one way to decide the best way for you to visit. They each include different things and are priced very differently. Let’s look into what a Disney World vacation package includes compared to Disney Vacation Club.

Disney World Vacation Packages Compared to Disney Vacation Club

What’s included in a Disney World vacation package?

When Disney reopened after the 2020 closure, prices became more and more expensive. Even at times when deals were normally found, there weren’t any. The pent up demand for travel allowed companies from airlines to restaurants to amp up the numbers. We finally started to see prices really get better again with Disney vacation packages for 2023. Disney started to introduce substantial hotel discounts again and announced the return of the Disney Dining Plan. So what does a Disney World vacation package include?

Essentially, a Disney World vacation package can include your hotel stay, park tickets and meals. It’s also possible to book just a resort hotel room and and a dining plan. This is what you might do if you’re an annual passholder. You could also book a Disney World vacation package that includes just a room and Disney Parks tickets. If it suits your plans better, you can just book a hotel room or just buy park tickets. It’s good to know that you can also book the Disney Dining Plan as a Disney Vacation Club Member. However, you can not have a stand alone Disney Dining Plan. You must have a Disney resort reservation, through DVC or just by renting a room, and add a dining plan to that.

Bora Bora Bungalows directional sign at Disney's Polynesian resort with bungalows in the background under a cloudy blue sky
Disney World vacation packages can include a hotel room, park tickets and a dining plan.

Are Disney World vacation packages discounted?

With Disney World vacation packages, different specials are offered throughout the year and prices vary seasonally. Packages can be booked online, by calling Disney or through working with an authorized travel planner. Bundling your tickets, hotel and dining does not automatically qualify you for a discount. It might be more convenient to book and pay for them at the same time but there isn’t a guaranteed lower price simply for bundling. Keep an eye out for specific specials or slower times of year to get the best rate on Disney World vacation packages. 

Disney Dining Plan Returns in 2024

Disney Vacation Club Members are able to add the Disney Dining Plan to their vacations. This is a prepaid program where guests choose a package that suits their needs based on the kinds of restaurants they want to dine at on their trip.  

People love the Disney Dining Plan because of the ease it provides on the trip. It may not necessarily provide an amazing value when compared to what you would pay without it. The dining plan does however help you budget more easily for and on your trip. Prepaying for meal credits lets you plan spending in advance. Having the Disney Dining Plan does not make or guarantee any restaurant reservations for you. You still need to plan ahead and book any restaurant reservations on your own when you add a Disney Dining Plan to your Disney World vacation package.

If it’s been a while since your last visit, you will notice as the meals go by that prices are higher than before. There was a time when a churro was $3.50. Now, regular single churros are more than $5 with specialty and themed churros costing more. 

What does Disney Vacation Club include?

Disney Vacation Club is a timeshare program that allows vacationers to buy Disney hotel stays for many years to come. DVC, as its referred to, does not include tickets to Disney parks or any kind of food on your stay. DVC only includes your hotel stay at a Deluxe tier resort hotel. It’s a long term commitment with great hotel stay prices for many years. There are many perks of staying at Disney hotels that are included with DVC like complimentary parking at your resort and at the theme parks. 

While Disney World vacation packages may get pricier over time, DVC allows you to buy your future deluxe hotel stays at today’s already lower timeshare prices. Even with discounted sales and specials on rooms, it’s hard to match the price of a hotel stay with Disney Vacation Club.

Regal Eagle Burger Meal with fries on a silver tray outdoors next to a Disney Coca Cola red cup. An example of what you might eat with Disney World vacation packages that include the Disney Dining Plan.
Burger and fries from Regal Eagle Smokehouse at Epcot. The Disney Dining Plan can be included in Disney World vacation packages and added to Disney Vacation Club reservations.

Why Disney Vacation Club is Different

Members love Disney Vacation Club for many different reasons. One of the biggest differences between DVC and other timeshares is the resale value. When researching, you will find that there is a demand for DVC contracts on the resale market. It’s no surprise really with Walt Disney World Resort being one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world.

The accommodations are another reason people love Disney Vacation Club. The hotels at Disney destinations are truly part of what makes the experience so special. DVC rooms might have a full kitchen for you to use on your stay. One bedroom villas provide privacy and more space for your group. Three bedroom villas can sleep more than ten people, providing home like accommodations. 

Those times mentioned above when there are deals at Disney are unpredictable. Disney Vacation Club allows you to know exactly what you’ll spend on your hotel stays. The one unknown variable with the Disney timeshare is DVC maintenance fees. Even those are somewhat predictable. We can look at the historical DVC annual dues by resort to get an idea for how much these might go up in time. However, when you buy your hotels stays upfront with DVC, you know about what you’re paying for your stay each year because you paid in advance. This is different from waiting for the annual Disney World vacation packages to release and seeing how prices look. 

Promise Yourself You’ll Travel with DVC

Sometimes the commitment alone is a great reason to become a Member. If travel hasn’t always been a priority in your schedule and you want to change that, joining Disney Vacation Club can help. DVC can help you plan for the long term. A Member is allotted their points at the same time every year. This specific time is called your Use Year. For example, if you buy a 150 point contract and have a February use year, every February for the duration of your contract, your new points become available to book with. 

Disney World Disney Vacation Club Resorts

When you book a Disney World vacation package, it’s possible to stay at any Disney World resort hotel with availability. With DVC, Members only book at deluxe tier resorts. These are the crown jewels of Disney hotels. DVC home resort deluxe properties provide the best amenities to Members like spas and recreation rentals like boats. Also good to know, when you buy a Disney Vacation Club Membership, you’re able to decide when you visit each year. Let’s take a look at all of the Disney World Disney Vacation Club resorts.

Disney Vacation Club Resorts are deluxe resorts and have the best amenities.

Disney World Vacation Packages vs Disney Vacation Club Pricing

The Disney Vacation Club resorts that are being actively sold by Disney in 2023 are priced at $217 per point. The number of points you will need depends on where you want to stay, when you want to stay and how long you want to stay for. A 100 to 200 point contract would suit many travelers. It’s possible to take advantage of buy more, save more incentives when they are offered at Disney Vacation Club. There may be other discounts you’re eligible for and you can talk to a Disney Vacation Club Guide about that. 

Shopping for a DVC resale contract is easier than ever. You’re one click away from seeing what DVC resale listings are available right now and how much they’re going for. This is one area where resale beats buying directly from Disney. It’s possible to buy at resorts that don’t have prices listed on the Disney Vacation Club website but you need to inquire about prices for each property.

A family of four can easily spend can easily spend $10,000 on a Walt Disney World vacation. How much does a Disney vacation cost? The price can vary greatly depending on the time of year you choose to visit, where you eat, how many days you go and where you stay. 

DVC Resale Experts Can Help with Dream Disney Vacations

DVC Resale Experts is a licensed real estate broker with a team that specializes in resale DVC. Whether you’re adding on points, buying or selling Disney Vacation Club, the Experts can help you find the right price to place a bid with or list your contract for. Our independent, licensed real estate agents are former Disney Vacation Club Guides. They have decades of pixie dusted experience selling DVC and delight in providing excellent service to their clients. The Experts have seen it all and are happy to answer your questions throughout the process.

DVC resale prices can pleasantly surprise Members interested in selling DVC. See our resale DVC listings for a look at real time availability and pricing. Ready to sell DVC? Get in touch for a complimentary valuation of your specific contract today. There may be someone waiting on our Buyer Wish List for a contract just like yours.

Disney Blogger Nicole and Disney CEO Bob Iger

Sparkly Nicole

Nicole is a native Floridian who attended the University of Central Florida and decided to call the land of theme parks home. She’s been sharing magical tips, tricks and Orlando travel and tourism favorites online for over a decade.

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