Disney Vacation Club Planning Guide
What is the Disney Vacation
The Disney Vacation Club is a company, wholly owned by the Disney
Company, that operates as a pseudo-time share operation. The way it
works is this:
- You purchase a number of "vacation points" as a one-time
purchase. The current cost of points is approximately $65/point
with a minimum purchase of 150 points. It is possible to finance
this purchase, and the interest is currently deductible as a Federal
income tax deduction.
- You are also charged an annual dues fee which varies depending
on the number of vacation points that you purchased. Currently
this fee is less than $3.00 per vacation club point held by the
member. One major concern is that this fee has been rising at
a rate 2-3 percentage points above inflation. If that trend doesn't
stop, Disney may very well force some current DVC owners out of
the program. (Note: Old Key West Members had
a decrease in maintenance fees in 1999 and 2000!)
- You receive an additional full allotment of vacation points
each year. You can "spend" them in several ways, or
you can "bank" them to use the following year. Also,
if you need extra vacation points in any given year, you can "borrow"
points from the following year. The fine-print rules for banking
and borrowing are pretty detailed.
- The program ends in the year 2042. As of that year, you will
no longer receive vacation points on an annual basis. This is
why you can't consider buying Vacation Club points a real estate
investment -- you won't own anything at the end of the program.
Advantages of Becoming a Club Member
Membership in the DVC is not an investment, rather it's a pre-paid
vacation program. As long as you think of it from that perspective,
it's easier to understand why one would pay so much money for a
"timeshare" that "disappears" in the year 2042.
The great advantage of the Vacation Club is the flexibility of
the point program. As it is set up, members are able to change the
dates of their trip every year as their schedules and needs change.
There are many point-based time share properties in the world, Disney
didn't invent it. However, in my opinion, Disney certainly selected
the best way to handle it's time share properties.