So you want to learn more about Disney Vacation Club. Whether you’re already a member or dancing with the idea, there is a lot of basic information to know and some more complex ideas to consider. Disney Vacation Club seems to come with its own vocabulary. You want to understand what you’re reading when doing research to be able to make the best decisions when buying. You also want to be informed so you can get the most out of your contract once you become a member. Because of that, many of these term definitions include examples to help you understand the lingo of the club. These Disney Vacation Club terms and definitions serve as a great starting point or refresher. However, we’ve also stocked this post with tips and tricks to help you make big choices and bring your magical vacation dreams to life. You’ve arrived! All of the terms are capitalized here but most won’t appear that way when you see them or use them in the wild.
Tip: This is an excellent post to share with a friend or family member who might be interested in Disney Vacation Club, or understanding it a bit more, and needs a good starting point.
Disney Vacation Club Terms, Definitions & Tips
If someone is thinking about ‘adding on’ it means they are already a Disney Vacation Club Member and are considering buying more points. Note that this will be a separate contract. There isn’t a way to add points to a contract you already own or sell some points off of a contract if you want to downsize. Resale DVC points are perfect for adding on because you have flexibility when it comes to the amount of points, use year and home resort.
There are a few numbers to consider when buying DVC. First is the amount you pay just one time for the contract. If you’re financing your DVC contract, it will be something you pay monthly. Then the annual dues is the separate fee you’ll pay each year as a DVC member. This includes costs like all kinds of taxes and budgets for maintenance and repairs. The exact amount members pay for annual dues varies because the number is dependent upon how many points the member has and which property is their home resort. The location of some resorts, like beachfront properties, or amenities at the resorts, like a savanna full of wild animals, can up the cost of a member’s annual dues. Annual dues can go up every year or so depending upon what’s going on at the resort, or resorts, a member owns at. Numbers tend to be lower at new resorts but when a refurbishment is coming up, annual dues rise. The proposed numbers for annual dues are shared at the yearly DVC meeting which is held near the end of the year. Members can register to attend in person.
As of January, an example of the cost of annual dues is $7.01 per point for the 2022 at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. That means if a Disney Vacation Club Member has a 100 point contract at the Grand Floridian their annual dues will cost $701.00 for the year.
This phrase refers to the act of saving your DVC points for another time instead of using them the year they were given to you. Members can bank their points to have double the amount for next year’s vacation.
This phrase refers to the act of using DVC points from your next year early. There may be certain limitations on banking or borrowing and dates are important so you don’t let anything expire. In most cases, members will bank or borrow to book their vacation as there is no perfect point amount and point charts change usually change each year.
Disney Vacation Club Members get a digital membership card and the color varies depending on a few things. A blue DVC membership card means the member purchased the required number of points direct from Disney and is eligible for all member perks. More on that below.
This usually refers to the specifics of a person’s membership. For example: They have a contract that’s 200 points at the Grand Floridian. Sometimes this refers to the actual agreement between Disney and a member. DVC contract, DVC membership and DVC points are kind of interchangeable terms all referring to the membership.
In DVC terms, direct refers to buying a Disney Vacation Club membership directly from Disney and not on the resale market.
Disney Vacation Club
Disney Vacation Club, also known as DVC, is the Disney timeshare offering. There are 15 DVC resorts and all are in the United States. Disney Vacation Club members own for a certain length of time depending on when they purchase and memberships can be willed to others. The typical length of a DVC membership is fifty years at a new resort.
Disney Vacation Club Resorts
As of 2022 these are the current Disney Vacation Club properties:
- Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s Boardwalk Villas
- Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
- Disney’s Vero Beach Resort
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
DVC members can book eleven months in advance at their home resort.
You are able to take out a loan to purchase Disney Vacation Club. Financing is available whether you buy direct or resale.
Your DVC home resort is the one you choose to have connected to your membership. Members sometimes say, ‘We own at’ along with their home resort. The DVC booking system is flexible but there is an advantage to staying at your home resort. DVC members are able to book eleven months in advance at their home resort versus seven months out everywhere else.
II or Interval International
Interval International is the current exchange partner of Disney Vacation Club. This company provides the opportunity to trade your DVC points for use at other destinations outside of Disney.
This is almost like a sale on DVC points when purchasing direct from Disney. Though incentives may lower the cost per point and provide savings, the amount doesn’t come close to what you’ll save when buying resale DVC points instead.
These are some of the special perks DVC members receive. Over the last few years, DVC member events have come to a halt. In the past, DVC Members could sign up to enjoy special, park buyout events after the regular operating day. There are also member cruises on Disney Cruise Line.
Member Lounge at Epcot
In the top of the Imagination Pavilion, DVC members enjoying a day at Epcot can stop by for complimentary drinks, snacks, air conditioning and monorail views. A blue membership card is needed for this perk.
Membership is a term used to describe the Disney timeshare. It refers to your contract and/or points. Similar to the wording of the Mickey Mouse Club, Disney Vacation Club owners are said to have a membership and referred to as members.
Disney Vacation Club membership cards were physical rectangular cards up until 2022. They are now digital and can be found in the My Disney Experience app. The new digital versions are also able to be downloaded which will be especially helpful when sailing on Disney Cruise Line, visiting international Disney Destinations and other places where internet or cell reception may vary.
One of the popular in park DVC member events was Moonlight Magic. In 2020, there was a full slate of Moonlight Magic events planned including nights for members with resort reservations and events for all members. This probably aims to keep it fair so local DVC members don’t always have an advantage in attending. There are a limited number of guests allowed at each Moonlight Magic event. They usually sell out fast. A blue membership card is needed to sign up for this.
Disney Vacation Club uses a point based system. Many timeshares use a week based system, some even have you purchase a particular week of the year. Disney Vacation Club is very flexible in that you can book at different resorts and any time of the year based on availability. You choose the number of points you purchase and that determines how many nights you can book. Note that there are point minimums when purchasing directly from Disney and the amount of points you purchase determines if you receive all the member perks. The current minimum number purchased direct to receive all member perks is 150 points. With the amount you save buying resale vs. direct the member perks aren’t worth it at all. If all of the perks are a must for you, you can always buy the minimum number of points needed from Disney and add on the rest with a resale contract.
These informational diagrams will tell you how many points you’ll need to stay at each resort in a given year. A point chart is updated annually. When you borrow or bank points, the point chart of the year you are booking in is what counts. An example being, if you bank your 2022 points and combine them with your 2023 points to book in 2023, the 2023 point chart is what you’ll go by.
Member perks are something to know about when it comes to Disney Vacation Club. When you buy at least 150 DVC points directly from Disney you get full access to DVC member perks. Note this number changes over time for new members. This includes things like shopping and dining discounts. You may already be receiving discounts like these with your Disney Annual Pass if you have one of those or through your Disney Visa if you are a card holder. Another type of perk is events which are defined here as well.
In my opinion, the best DVC member perk you’ll find is access to Top of the World Lounge. This bar and lounge on top of Bay Lake Tower next to Disney’s Contemporary Resort has exquisite views of the Magic Kingdom area all the time but especially during the fireworks! There are also quite a few delicious things on the small plates menu there. At this time you do not have to buy direct to enjoy this perk but can use your white DVC card to get in. Most likely because it’s a restaurant and not complimentary. This means those who become members by purchasing resale DVC points can visit and enjoy all of the magic at Top of the World Lounge.
RCI or Interval International
RCI is the former exchange partner of Disney Vacation Club. Interval International is the current exchange partner of Disney Vacation Club.
resale DVC points
When someone decides to sell their DVC points, licensed real estate brokers like DVC Resale Experts help them find a buyer, prepare paperwork required and complete the sale. These contracts, memberships and points are referred to as resale DVC points and sell at a much lower rate than buying directly from Disney. The contract is transferred to the buyer and they take over the duration left to use on the membership. Resale DVC points are available at any DVC resort. Members who have any home resort, point value and use year sell for different reasons creating a market with options. If you want to become a Disney Vacation Club Member at the best rate possible, resale DVC points are your best bet.
Renting points is something you can do to try out different resorts before buying Disney Vacation Club. Members rent out their points when they aren’t able to use them, giving others a chance to enjoy a DVC stay.
ROFR or Right of First Refusal
ROFR or Right of First Refusal is a concept in the DVC contract that says Disney has the first pick to purchase back a contract when a member wants to sell. When a contract is being sold and a buyer has agreed on a price with the seller, Disney gets to decide if they will let the sale go through or buy the contract back at that rate. This doesn’t change much for the seller but the buyer will have to seek out a new resale contract. Read more about this in our ROFR DVC Annual Stats.
A Disney Vacation Club Resort is considered sold out when Disney has sold all of the points at that resort. An equation determines how many points are available at each resort and how many memberships can be sold there based on that. The number of points is fixed and the value of your points at your home resort doesn’t change over time.
It’s important to remember you can use your points to book at a resort other than your home resort seven months out. It’s always best to buy where you want to stay so you avoid the disappointment of unavailability for your specific needs.
A timeshare is a long term commitment to vacationing at a certain destination or chain of resorts. You pay up front or finance decades of vacations in most cases. Some timeshares use a system based on weeks. DVC is based on points, deeded and more flexible than other timeshares. The Disney timeshare, called Disney Vacation Club, continues to grow in popularity as more resorts are added and sell out every few years. Unlike other timeshares, DVC sells for a great price on the resale market.
This is when your points become available for the year. There are eight different use years: February, March, April, June, August, September, October and December. Read more about Disney Vacation Club Use Year.
This is the technical term for DVC points. You might see either term. They mean the same thing.There’s more where this came from! DVC Resale Experts has a vast amount of knowledge regarding Disney Vacation Club and enjoys helping clients become members or sell DVC points. Think you might want to sell DVC points? Get in touch today for a free valuation of your DVC membership. Considering buying resale DVC points? View our current resale DVC listings or contact us today.