What's the Opposing Argument?
During an email exchange, between myself and Bob Schenck (firstname.lastname@example.org),
we discussed the comparison between the DVC and Vistana, another timeshare
resort in the Orlando area...here is a summary of our email. Bob's
comments are in normal text, mine is bolded:
In a message dated 97-09-04 10:41:52 EDT, you write:
I just read thru your page on the DVC and wanted to comment on
the point system. I've been involved with timeshare at Vistana
since 1985 and can see no comparison between the two. If I bank
my time I have up to 2 years to use it. With the point system
you lose the amount of points you can carry forward as the year
goes by. Why? What happens if something comes up and you can't
take vacation in a particular year? Do you forfeit a certain amount
of points? It doesn't seem fair to me.
What you say is true. Disney set up the system, apparently,
to encourage planning ahead and consistent use of the facilities.
I can't disagree with your assessment....the only thing is, if
I wanted to bye into Disney's Vacation Club, that was the breaks...
All of the time at Vistana is equal so you don't have to pay
more for time of year or what day of the week it is.
The inequality can be considered a plus or a minus. Of course,
you point out the negatives, but the advantage is that each and
every night's stay is valued appropriately so that each member
can choose how to handle their stay. If the Friday and Saturday
night point values were lower, it would simply mean a corresponding
increase in Sunday-Thursday nights....likewise, evening out the
times of the year would indeed result in a decrease for some dates...but
an increase for others.
With floating time at Vistana I can travel whenever I want and
even split my week into two smaller trips if I want to.
I can do that too.
As far as I can see, my timeshare is more flexible, doesn't penalize
my time as the year goes by and doesn't end after a certain amount
The fact that DVC is "on-site" doesn't make that much
of difference when Vistana is only 1 mile away.
Maybe not to you, but I enjoy the "Disney Magic"
and the Disney transportation....not necessarily selling points
unless those things are useful to you (as they are to me).
To each his own....
By the way, I was wondering if I could add a copy of this
discussion to my web site to show folks that DVC may or may not
be right for them? You might have noticed already, that I try
to be evenhanded here. :)
Sure you can add a copy of our discussion to your site and I
commend you for being fair with both sides of the issue. I also
enjoy the "magic" with my family and although we stay
off site we use the Disney transportation as much as possible.
for example, we can have breakfast with the characters at the
Poly and then just hop on the monorail to the Magic Kingdom or
Epcot. We usually buy a park hopper in advance so we don't have
to deal with the ticket center. My opinions are based more on
economics and what i am comfortable with when I travel.
Not to open up another can of worms, but when i look at the room
layouts of the Poly or Contemporary, etc. they appear to be standard
hotel rooms with 2 beds and a bath. If I am going to spend $300+
per night I want a little more than that regardless of location.
You are right about the bottom line, to each his own. Although
I am a Disney fan and will continue to visit WDW for many years
to come I am afraid the real magic is Disney's ability to separate
you from your money and make you feel happy while they are doing
It's discussions like this that are valuable to help other folks
decide on paying up for the DVC or choosing an alternative.
DVC Deeded or Not?
In the rec.arts.disney.parks newsgroup, there have been some rather
heated discussions about the DVC as compared to other timeshare
During one of those debates I made the point (which I still contend
to be the truth) that the DVC is deeded. I have the deed to prove
I'm correct. I won't argue the legal semantics regarding the use
versus the ownership of the property. As I stated on a previous
page, the DVC is indeed a lease-based program. It is deeded, for
tax purposes, but it is clear that the deed is a temporary one (expiring
in the year 2042.)
Other folks, including Peter Sapio (email@example.com) feel that
the DVC can't possibly be deeded if the property remains the property
of the Walt Disney Company. In an extremely well written post, Peter
explained a lot of the comparison issues regarding the DVC versus
other true timeshare alternatives. I include Peter's post with his
permission in it's entirety:
This is what I have been talking about since this thread began!
The people buying into DVC are not getting the whole story or
have little knowledge of the timeshare industry.
This is not a attack on Brian, I only left your sig on your note
so people see how knowledgeable of Disney you are (as most RAD
members know), but your comment leaves me, well shocked. I have
found all your posts and your web page very informative and fair
when it comes to judgment calls. I respect your knowledge in all
that is Disney but this comment concerns me.
When DVC first opened, many people who are knowledgeable in timeshare
flocked the place to actually own at WDW. I was there myself with
checkbook in hand. I thought Disney is going to do it right and
I WANT IN!
They didn't. They brought back things that other resorts stopped
doing because of problems years ago. In the timeshare industry
there are two types of purchases:
1. Ownership - You own the property like a condo with shared
ownership of a unit and all common grounds. The owners vote on
improvements, fee schedules, everything! This ownership is forever
and became known as "deeded" timeshare.
2. Right to use - This type gave the purchaser the right to use
(by points or weeks) a specified amount of resort use for a specified
amount of time. Being that it includes no ownership of property,
there is no voting on anything by members. This is more a membership
than ownership because it expires at a set date and became known
When knowledgeable timeshare people flocked DVC, they were shocked
to see the whole place "leased" and they didn't buy
for lack of a "Deed". Also they did not like being a
DVC "member" but wanted to be an "owner".
They also did not like that they had no say in the resort.
Disney responded by issuing a "deed" of your real estate
interest (not ownership) which is a recorded deed in your interest
in the 60 year lease DVC has on the land from WDW. They changed
all reference to members to the term owners. They announced they
would also take votes and surveys from the "owners".
DVC made a major effort to confuse people in what they were buying.
The "deed" is a recorded interest in a lease. Instead
of being members they now have "lease" owners, but no
property owners. And they take surveys and votes but they are
not bound to even read them!
In the timeshare business they are still referred to as "deeded"
and "leased" types of resorts. Disney has confused the
issue to the point that now when discussing DVC I have to change
terms. What has been traditionally known as "deeded"
becomes "OWNED". "Leased" is still called
"leased". Yes Disney can now offer a deed on it's "leased"
DVC resort, but they don't offer ownership in property like an
"owned" resort does.
This is not a blast against DVC or other "leased" resorts
as they have value. But in checking resale companies the first
thing they will tell you is that if you had two identical units
and one is "owned/deeded" and the other is "leased",
the "owned/deeded" resort would be worth more.
You can't expect there to be the same value in a "leased"
resort that has 60 year of use when new and the same unit 50 years
later when there is only 10 years left. Being that "leased"
units run out they depreciate faster and have a point when they
have no value at expiration.
Think two houses in the same neighborhood, very similar and both
bought for 20K in 1947. One has a "owned" deed, and
the other a 60 year "leased" deed. In 1997 they come
up for sale. The "owned" home is flocked with buyers
at the asking price of $150,000 because these people want to raise
a family here and can even spread the payments over a 30 year
mortgage. The "leased" unit is sitting because new families
past it by because they can only live in it for 10 years. They
can't get a mortgage for more than 10 years from any lender because
it has to be paid off by lease expiration. This place is going
to be a hard sell.
Disney can take all the credit for the new interest by developers
in leased timeshares because as a salesman told me "Most
timeshare developers stopped building leased resorts because the
timeshare buyer had become too knowledgeable to buy them. Disney
proved they could still find buyers who didn't know or didn't
care. If Disney can sell leased stock at the same or higher prices
as deeded (owned) resorts other developers are going to jump on
that immediately." Hilton, and Hyatt are going all leased.
All new Fairfield resorts are going to be leased. Marriott which
has never offered a leased resort is considering or is about to
enter the lease business.
The one thing you won't see these other resorts doing is having
all the leases due the same year. This is a big mistake as history
has proven. Toward the end of the lease, buyers resent paying
for repairs or improvements that will outlive their lease. Spend
$50,000 to repair the pool for only two more years of use? Forget
it! Close it down! Spend $300,000 for new roofs with a 25 year
guarantee when there is only 5 years left? Just patch it! The
resorts tend to go into disrepair and become nearly unusable and
impossible to sell. Most new leased resorts stagger the expiration
date with the sale date, like 60 years from the purchase year.
This means that if it takes 7 years to sell the resort out, the
expiration dates stagger over 7 years. As units are defaulted,
the developer can resell the space with a full 60 year use and
further stagger the expiration dates. Disney chose to go with
the drop dead date. Will OKW follow the same problems? Probably
not. I trust Disney to not let it happen. They will continue to
spend the owners money right up to the last day, to keep the resort
top notch. If you refuse to buy those 25 year roofs with only
5 years left, well then you just forfeit the last 5 years of your
use. LEASE TERMINATED. They get your space back 5 years earlier
at no cost. I believe the defaults will begin about 10 years before
expiration and Disney will acquire most of the resort through
default before expiration. Whatever happens, no one in the timeshare
industry ever thought they would see this tactic come back but
Disney revived it.
Many have seen my posts on the on-site vs. off-site debate and
I enjoy hearing both sides of this and any other debate. I have
learned more about both sides by really listening to both. I now
firmly believe the answer to the on-site vs. off-site debate and
the DVC or not DVC or off-site timeshare is ..............YOUR
PREFERENCE! No one can tell you which is better or worse, just
pros and cons to each.
Why go through this whole post to just say that? Because it bothers
me when people that have never stayed off-site say on-site is
the right answer or even people that have never stayed on-site
to say it isn't worth the cost. If you haven't explored both,
you can't make a fair comparison. It is the same with DVC. Many
just blow off the people raising points opposed to DVC as "bull"
when they never looked into other timeshares or the industry.
If you understand both products and then make an informed choice,
NO ONE, can refute your decision as being the right decision for
My concern is when decisions are made without a complete understanding
of the product/service or the alternatives. The actions of DVC
to cloud the issues with lease deeds, terms like "owners",
or taking votes that mean nothing, only make the matter worse.
If DVC can stand on it's own merits, than why confuse the buyers?
DVC is a leased unit good for a set number of years but it is
on-site. Owned off-site resorts are forever but are off-site,
forever. Each person can make their own decision from there.
Oh and one last thing to those who say by the expiration, the
resort won't be worth anything. Don't count on it! Disney will
keep it in top shape as their reputation is on the line and they
will take the resort back in defaults before they let it slide.
Besides, look at the original Disney resorts, all turning 25 this
year! The Contemporary got a new convention center less than 5
years ago! Not a bad investment into a resort that was over 20
years old at the time. The Poly is 25 also and not a day goes
by in this group that someone doesn't declare it the best resort
on-site. If you don't want to believe anything else in this post,
believe this...when the OKW lease expires, it will be in top shape
and still running, along with the Poly and the Contemporary which
will be even 20 years older than OKW.
In a followup post, Pete wrote,
Thanks for the follow-ups and email regarding my post. All were
positive, including those from DVC owners. I will take this that
the post was fair to all sides.
I know people (including many on this group) that know the difference
and made the choice to buy DVC. I have always wished them the
best of luck and told them not to forget me when they get a 3brd
I chose to buy off-site but guess what? I picked a different
resort over Vistana! (Editor's Note: Vistana is an off-site resort
that is one of DVC's main competitor's for timeshare purchases
in the WDW area. Vistana was mentioned prominently during the
RADP discussions.) Personally I prefer smaller resorts. I bought
and trade (as much as possible) to resorts with 100 units or less.
I like the closeness of being able to meet the people there and
walk to the pool from ANY unit. Having gone with friends that
were staying at Vistana, we spent a lot of time there but they
had to drive to get to the closest pool, of which Vistana has
many. The place was fantastic but I did not feel comfortable.
Isn't that what it is all about?
So it comes down to what decision is best for the person. It
is easy to find an argument against anything. Should I attack
Vistana? I couldn't recommend it from my perspective but it is
a great resort, close to WDW, and probably right for many people.