DVC Strategy: Buy DVC Where You Want to Stay? Yes and No!

White staircases with Mickey cutouts in the railings at Old Key West resort that lead to DVC villas.

When it comes to choosing a home resort, we often say you should buy at a property where you want to stay. The home resort priority allows you to book four months before other Disney Vacation Club Members. This can be helpful in getting the specific dates and room type you want. What if that’s not important to you? There are a lot of ways to go about buying DVC. Some vacationers only want to stay at certain resorts while others are up for exploring all there is. The cost is also something many people prioritize in their decision making. Sometimes paying the least for DVC is desired. Other times, the best value overall, even if its more costly initially, is the best fit. Explore this cost friendly DVC strategy for buying points and planning vacations. This is especially something to consider if you already have points and you’re adding on!

More for Less with this DVC Strategy

We’re highlighting two home resort properties in particular this time around. Disney’s Old Key West Resort and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort both offer a great value. Their per point prices are low. It’s possible to purchase many more points on the same budget because of the lower price compared to buying direct or even some other DVC resale contracts. While resale DVC prices fluctuate, both Old Key West and Saratoga Springs continue to offer low buy in, per point prices.

On the resale market, most larger contracts at Old Key West can be found for between $70 and $80 per point while Saratoga is often around $85 to $95. 

Let’s break down the price per point, per year for both Disney’s Old Key West Resort and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. 

We’re also including annual dues but only at today’s rate. Remember they go up a little bit each year.

Also, Disney’s Old Key West Resort is the only property that has more than one deed expiration year. We’re covering both here. The 2057 are a bit less common and can be hard to find contracts on the DVC resale market. The 2042 and 2057 Old Key West contracts are closer in price than you might think considering one offers an additional fifteen years of vacations.

Lower Price DVC Options

Disney Vacation Club ResortYear it opened/ expiresEstimated time on contract as of 2024Number of points on contractDVC resale per point priceDVC resale contract priceDVC resale cost per yearDVC resale cost per point, per yearAnnual dues rate 2024
Disney’s Old Key West Resort1991/204218300$81$24300$1,350$4.50$9.87 x 300 = $2961.00
Disney’s Old Key West Resort1991/205733210$108$22680$687.27$3.27$9.87 x 210 = $2072.70
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa2004/205430300$95$28500$950$3.17$8.14 x 300 = $2442
Examples here are based on real contracts listed for sale in early 2024. Per point prices and points available on any contract may vary.
Beyond the railing of a bridge, a taxi boat cruises away in the Disney's Old Key West Resort waterway.
Beyond the railing of a bridge, a taxi boat cruises away in the Disney’s Old Key West Resort waterway.

Notes about this DVC Strategy

Note that the years left on a contract vary based on how many points are available from the previous owner. Let’s say points were borrowed from 2025 by the previous owner. That would leave one less year, changing the per point, per year prices and value overall. However, other contracts may have points available from the previous use year that were banked. This adds value.

Consider the details of the exact contract you’re interested in and you’ll be able to get the most accurate savings amount.

You may find lower per point, per year prices at resorts like Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and the Polynesian Villas & Bungalows. These have a higher buy in price up front, though they may also have more time left on them before expiring. It just depends if you’re going for lowest cost or best value. The length of a contract will change the overall value. For those looking for just the lowest prices, contract length may not be a priority. 

Pastel buildings on the water at Disney's Old Key West Resort at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
The area near the lobby at Disney’s Old Key West Resort is located on the water.

DVC Resale Old Key West Strategy Example

You can call it a strategy, a plan, whatever works for you. We’re basically going over some different ways you can use the cheapest DVC resale points available. The DVC Resale Experts not only specialize in Disney Vacation Club, our real estate professionals are DVC owners themselves.

A member of the team bought a large contract at Old Key West. Since then, they’ve used those points to stay in a Polynesian bungalow. They also have a weeklong stay at Aulani booked using those points.

Considering resorts like Old Key West and Saratoga Springs can be a great way to get a lot of points for a low purchase price and still have amazing vacations in other resorts.

Here’s how the price difference could look when comparing what they would have paid renting those rooms from Disney.

Comparing Using DVC Points to Renting a Room

It’s no secret that Disney Vacation Club can save you a lot of money on deluxe resort hotel stays. Let’s see exactly how much in one case. These examples are based on prices and point charts in 2025 so your mileage will vary. No discounts, like those with a Disney annual pass, or specials, like seasonal or Florida resident rates, have been considered in the cost of renting a room.

One of our Experts used their points from Disney’s Old Key West Resort at a Polynesian bungalow in early February. We’re pricing out what that stay would cost based on the 2025 point chart.

A row of tan Adirondack chairs sits on sugar white sand facing Polynesian bungalows attached to a dock.
Staying at luxurious villas, like the Polynesian bungalows, becomes much more affordable with lower priced DVC resale points.

DVC vs. Renting at a Polynesian Bungalow

For a weeklong stay at a bungalow in early February, the DVC cost is 994 points. Based on our calculations on the 2042 OKW contract up top, that would cost around $3,867 in points. Plus annual dues of $9,810.78 for that amount of points, that cost using DVC would be about $13,678.

It looks like for this same time period, one night at the Polynesian bungalows is a little over $3500 before tax. For seven nights, that leaves guests with a cost of over $25,000 easily. That’s just for one week.

A DVC Member with a 500 point contract at Disney’s Old Key West Resort could bank and borrow to aim to do this luxurious stay every other year. How much would that cost? At around $72 per point, a rough estimate, a contract of that size could cost around $36,000. With Old Key West contracts expiring in 2042, that leaves the opportunity for probably 8 or 9 trips of this kind, splurging every other year, depending on how many points are available on the contract. 

Annual dues are also an important consideration when you price out what’s right for you. At Old Key West those are $9.87 per point in 2024. For larger contracts that’s quite a bit. When compared to room rental rates, though, DVC can be so much more economic. Even more so with resale.

Why this DVC Strategy Works with the Original Fourteen DVC Resorts

Note that this won’t work with all of the Disney Vacation Club resorts if you buy resale. Resale is the way to get the best price on DVC but there are additional restrictions with some resorts. The DVC strategy we’re discussing here works at the original fourteen DVC resorts only. That means most of the resorts at this time. There are only a few this DVC strategy doesn’t apply to.

The list of resorts you can use this DVC strategy with includes: 

Old Key West Resort*

Animal Kingdom Villas*

Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas

Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort*

Beach Club Villas*

BoardWalk Villas*

Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge*

Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge*

The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel

The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort*

Hilton Head Island Resort

Polynesian Villas & Bungalows*

Saratoga Springs Resort*

Vero Beach Resort

*Notes home resort properties at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Basically, Disney’s Riviera Resort and properties built after it are different. You can’t buy resale at any of those and use your points elsewhere. These are newer resorts anyway and while savings with resale is always possible, these aren’t the best priced options.

Pastel buildings at Saratoga Springs resort.
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa also has great prices per point.

DVC Strategy and Pricing

With DVC resale, you have the option to shop around for a loan, not just buy with cash upfront. Using the DVC loan calculator from preferred lender Vacation Club Loans, we’re going over some hypothetical pricing outcomes based on different points and prices. 

Know that per point prices vary greatly and loan amounts vary by individual so this is just an example.

Disney Vacation Club
contract Price
Example 10%
down payment
120 month
monthly payment
84 month
monthly payment
60 month
monthly payment
Disney’s Old Key West Resort$17,500$ 1,750.00$ 225.06
$ 277.19$ 349.55
Disney’s Old Key West Resort$22,680$2,268.00$291.67$ 359.24$ 453.02
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa$28,500$2,850.00$ 366.52$ 451.42$ 569.27
Examples of monthly loan payments do not include annual dues which can be paid monthly or once a year.

Do You Need to Buy DVC Where You Want to Stay? Yes and No!

Using this DVC strategy is best for those who have some flexibility in their schedule. If you want to use your points to stay at another resort, you’ll need to be open to what’s available. That’s exciting for some people! However, if you’re set on visiting at a certain time of year or would like to stay at one specific resort, this may not be a beneficial DVC strategy for you. 

FAQs DVC Strategy

Can you change your DVC home resort?

Once you buy a contract, you are not able to change the home resort on that contract. This is true for both direct and resale buyers. However, it’s possible to sell your contract and choose another that is a better fit. This isn’t just for changing your home resort but for owning more or less points as well.

What’s the benefit of owning DVC at multiple home resorts vs. one home resort?

DVC home resort benefits are the same at all properties. However, the home resort booking advantage may be important in some cases. If you prefer to stay at a certain hotel, it’s probably best to buy there. If you’re up for staying at different properties, things are a little more fun. There are so many great resorts to choose from! Maybe your first contract has enough points for your annual vacation at your favorite home resort. What about a DVC home resort strategy that includes another resort too?

You can open up your options, and stretch your dollars, by having multiple DVC home resorts.

The real benefit is that you can shop DVC for great rates instead of just parking it at one resort. It’s possible your second contract has a better per point price. In this case you can have more points, have your regular home resort, and then adventure out a bit with your additional contract.

How long is DVC?

Disney Vacation Club is usually fifty years long for those who buy when a home resort first debuts. When you purchase at a resort that’s been around for a while, there is less time left on the contract. For example, The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa opened as a home resort in 2013. All contracts at this resort expire in 2064.

DVC Resale Experts Can Help with DVC Strategy

Talk to an Expert about the right home resort DVC strategy for you. 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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