The Disney Vacation Club, or DVC for short, is a popular timeshare program operated by The Walt Disney Company. 

While timeshares usually have a bad reputation, the DVC can actually save you money if you’re a frequent Walt Disney World visitor and prefer staying at specific resorts.

It all started in 1991 with the Disney Vacation Club Resort, later renamed Disney’s Old Key West Resort. Though, nowadays, the vast majority of resorts offer villas and bungalows where DVC members can stay – you might have even spotted DVC signs inside the parks advertising DVC members-only areas.

But how does the program work? Read on to discover how much it costs to be a DVC member and how renting points instead could save you a serious amount of cash.

The DVC Decoded: How It Works

dvc logo
Disney Vacation Club logo.

Members of the DVC buy Vacation Points, which can be spent on stays at Disney resorts and vacations. Upon joining, members must pick a home resort; this can be one of Walt Disney World’s offerings or a couple of other locations in the U.S.

Picking a home resort is important as DVC members are given an 11-month window to book into this resort and just 7 months for other places. That said, booking a premium resort will require you to purchase more points at the start of the year, so it's worth weighing up where you want to stay frequently.

The Disney property resorts are:

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Kidani Village and Jambo House
  • Bay Lake Tower
  • Beach Club Villas
  • Boardwalk Villas
  • The Grand Floridian Villas
  • Old Key West
  • Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort
  • Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Villas & Cabins
  • Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa Villas (Disneyland CA)
  • Disneyland Hotel Villas (Disneyland CA)
  • Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa (Hawaii)

It’s important to note that DVC members are tied into long contracts, sometimes up to 50 years, so you should make sure you are willing to commit to this before buying into the program. It’s possible to sell your membership, though this is lengthy and akin to selling a property.

DVC Member Benefits

One of the many reasons that people opt to join the DVC is for the member benefits. These do not always work out as better value, but can save some families lots of money.

The full list of benefits can be found here, but it includes things like discounts on tours and activities, exclusive DVC merchandise, and secret lounges hidden throughout the resorts and parks.

How Much is the Disney Vacation Club?

Figuring out exactly how much it costs to become a Disney Vacation Club member can be tricky. After all, members need to buy points which translate into bookings.

Generally, you’ll need to fork out a minimum of 150 points, which works out at around $32,500 as they cost $217 each. If you want to stay in one of the deluxe resorts or have a larger family, purchasing at least 300 points is recommended.

Renting Disney Vacation Club Points

dvc polynesian
Inside a DVC room at Disney's Polynesian Resort. Disney.

If you’re not quite ready to commit to being a fully-fledged DVC member, renting Disney Vacation Club points is a much cheaper option. DVC members rent out their points in return for their monetary value and will make a room reservation on behalf of the rentee. 

While these DVC rental companies are not officially partnered with Disney, there are two top-rated (and legitimate) websites: David’s Vacation Club Rentals and the DVC Rental Store.

Rental prices vary but you’re generally looking at paying $21 per point for non-premium resorts and $23 per point for premium resorts. The non-premium DVC resorts are Disney's Old Key West Resort, Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort, and Disney's Vero Beach Resort – everywhere else falls into the upper category.

Example: Three nights in a one-bedroom villa at Animal Kingdom Lodge during September is roughly 51 points, which equals $1071.

One thing to note is that if you choose to rent DVC points, you will not gain access to the special discounts and lounges. You will also need to purchase park tickets separately, as this is not included in your accommodation costs.

For more information about the Disney Vacation Club, check out the official website.