As many other reviewers mentioned, getting reservations is a real challenge. After speaking to member services availability even in dvc resorts is limited especially during peak seasons. Disney has the right to keep a certain number of rooms for themselves to book at any time. I have also noticed that while my annual maint. Fees have been going up yet the quality of the rooms is going down. On my last trip there was severe water damage to the rug in my room,refrigerator was caked with rust on the inside and out, latches on the doors were broken or falling off and the hvac system door was covered in dust. Member services of course offered a sincere apology but that doesn't make me feel better about the money 8 send in every year.
I have never regretted buying into the DVC. Have shares at Beach Club and Bay Lake and all are now paid off. Its true that at times it can be hard to get what you want but the trick is to plan what you want in advance and then go for it. Only once in 12 years and 30 plus visits was I unable to get what I wanted and when I wanted it. Most recent trip was last week and when I got to bay lake I was upgraded to park view for free and did not even ask for it. Simple answer think about what you are doing and look at everything on line AND talk to DVC cast member on the phone and don't be afraid to talk to your personal DVC sales person. All can help you get what you want and when you want it.
One thing that needs to change is DVC members should be offered the free meal plans like anyone else. OR in place of that have a special plan for DVC members. Just a thought!
The past two years have been stressful when trying to get reservation. There are never any availability when I look to take trip we live one hour away so we are flexible but still anytime I pick dates no matter how far out there is no availability. I feel disney has over sold their timeshare program The points are basically worthless this year I couldn't get reservation for the last six months so had to lose my points.
I also feel the hotels treat you like second best once they know you are DVC member the paying hotel guest get late checkout or accommodations that are much cleaner.
Save your money just book hotel when you want to go a lot less aggravation and probably at a savings
We will be selling our points because of all this
We have owned DVC points for over 10 years. We bought them when the kids were little since we were going there at least once a year. Our home resort is Saratoga Springs and we love it. We have brought friends and family with us and it has been a great experience. We thought that once the kids got older, they wouldn't want to go to Disney anymore at Christmas but they still love it (the youngest is 20!). We now go 3-4 times a year because our daughter works for DVC now! She interned at Disney (which is a great program for college students) and was offered a full-time job there. To be honest, it is embarassing to hear how some of the members treat the people who work at DVC. They feel they are intitled to everything from fast passes to having their rooms comped.
We feel that the price of our membership has been paid multiple times because of what it would cost us to book a room there. I agree that it is harder to get a room at other resorts with the 7 month booking but Saratoga is fine for us when we can't get Bay Lake.
Bought into the membership in 2012 at Saratoga Springs. Seemed like a great deal. First 2 years, we were able to score rooms, (without transferring rooms mid trip), at the 7 month non-home resort date. We honestly had felt it was the very best decision we ever made for us and our 2 little kids.
Fast forward to present day, tried to book 2 deluxe studios this morning at the 7 month mark for a non-home resort. We were able to get one room booked online at 7 am central time, and then within 2 minutes, days for the week we needed were gone that fast. So, we had to hurry, because you cannot plan ahead with a plan B as you never know what dates are going to change while your booking. (We know this because we were watching it for the last week at all dvc villas). We took the first opening we saw for the first 4 nights of our trip. Now, what do we do about the last 3 days? If all else fails, one of the lesser desired villas should be available, right - even our Home Resort, right? Wrong.
So, we either switch resorts 3 times during the trip, or, I don't even know how I could make it less complicated.
And don't say, "Oh, you can book a regular Disney hotel." Nope, I'm not paying the $90 it costs just to open the option, then 39 points a night, when it is only costing us 18 points a night for a DVC villa. I don't even have the points available for that including borrowed points.
Here's your breakdown:
You are going to average paying $1200 a year - this is including annual dues at a lesser desired villa if you buy in to that one and the breakdown of your flat cost divided by the years you buy into. (When we first started - this was around $1,000).
NOTE THIS: You are not allowed to take advantage of the free dining when it's offered. And, you are not only competing for rooms with other DVC Members, you are competing for a % of rooms at each resort as the rooms that haven't been "sold" are allowed to be placed in the open cash market by the developer. Which could only mean, they must "sell" each room, multiple times if there are still rooms available to be bought by the NON DVC guests. And if you think they will accommodate you if you need just one room and it isn't DVC available, think again. We had to actually pay cash for a room at another resort because the DVC staff wouldn't let us use our points. (FYI, when we got to the resort - tons of open rooms - and I know cause I asked). B.S.
You need to factor it all before making the investment. Your annual dues will continue to rise, ours already have. The points haven't increased much though. And, if you want a cruise out of it, you better be buying around 300 points to start so that you can bank points.
You will undoubtedly be facing frustration every time you go to book at a non-home resort.
I hope this helps.
We have had a DVC membership since 1998 and we have come to the conclusion that unless you want to spend every vacation at Disney World it is not worth it. We have tried to get into Hilton Head with no luck, we tried using the time share exchange with no luck, most recently we tried to go to the newest resort in Hawaii, again no luck. Once you buy into this, the only option that is available is Florida and usually your home resort. I got so fustrated that I sold my points for the last two years through a third party, which was totally hassle free, and used the money to go elsewhere. When you talk to member services they just tell you sorry there is nothing they can do and they even admit that Disney has oversold their timeshares and it is very difficult to get a reservation into a location besides your home resort or other DW resort. So unless you have very small children and plan on going to Disney every year, spend your hard earned money elsewhere, this timeshare is too expensive to be so restrictive!
I've been with DVC for about 6 years. I've had family holidays at Vero Beach, Old Key West, Saratoga Springs at Disney, and Mount Tremblant in Quebec Canada, as well as a 3 day getaway for 2 to Washington DC. The points are flexible and trade incredibly well. Compare to other time share plans. This is easy for us to do because before buying Disney, we bought elsewhere. Our other property and plan has been nothing but frustration for us. We can't trade for good value, the people managing the trading are not helpful and we can't sell the thing because it has held no value. The Disney brand and approach to customer service is what you're paying for and it is definitely worth it. With our family of 5, holidays can get crazy expensive. While the original outlay for Disney points looks expensive, over time it does pay for itself. Also, there is nothing wrong with buying your points resale, as we have done. It works just as well and doesn't have the big mark up. You get the same 'Welcome Home' when you arrive whether you paid $115 per point from Disney, or $49 per point resale.
Give in to The Mouse. Resistance is Futile.
We have purchased over 1300 points over several years, some through the secondary market. Our resorts are Wilderness, Vero Beach, Bay Lake, Animal kingdom, Aulani, Boardwalk and Old Key West. We have stayed at all of them several times. In the last 16 months, I figured out that we used over 50 days at Disney resorts, mostly for us but also gave about 12 days to friends and family. Assuming an average of about $500 a night, since our two bedroom at Aulani for 15 days would have cost over $2000 a night alone, the 3 bedroom cottage at Vero Beach for three nights would have cost about $700 a night, and 4 nights in a one bedroom club level at Animal Kingdom would have been $600 or more, I would estimate we have gotten well over $30000 in value for these nights and probably more. For about 10000 in maintenance fees, I consider that a good value. Obviously you have to use your points, but we are at Disney at least 3 times a year, so it is totally worth it to us.
I have been coming to Disney for five years. If I had bought the DVC plan, it would have been paid for already. The big Plus is that there are 500 + other locations around the world to visit. And they are covered under the plan also. Great deal for people who like to travel a lot.
We stayed at Bay Lake Tower back in Feb of 2012. We emailed our complaint to DVC and still have never received any response. Why spend all this money by buying Bay Lake before its even built and our poor experiences don't even rate a response. We had a 2 bd kingdom view and a studio lake view across the hall. New guy moves in next door and has a bunch of drunk friends over so we move the studio to another resort the next night because Bay Lake can't move him and would move the studio to another floor after we've been there for 5 nights! Cost us more points and just showed how much being a vacation club members really must count. Even the housekeeping staff told us how people who just complain about a hair on the floor get upgraded but they couldn't do anything for a DVC member. Why pay all this money for this kind of treatment? Btw you have to complain 2 times not just once about a drunk, at Disney World, the family resort!
We purchased Bay Lakes membership last year for $45,000. Imposible to get a reservation. However if we book through Travelocity - no problem.
This is my third DVC membership. We never had a problem with reservations when they first started. Apparently they are overselling memberships. I would not rejoin and now trying to sell all memberships.
Hi! I had to write.I'm not that big on discussion forums or blogs however we just came back from our first visit to our 'new home' at Bay Lake Towers and I only have good things to say! We had a 2 bedroom Magic Kingdom view and I jumped up and down with excitement like a 5 year old when we first walked in! Also having 3 bathrooms with 3 teenagers is priceless. This is our 4th WDW trip since 2004 and I wish we had bought into the vacation club when we first inquired about it while staying at the Polynesian in'04. I could go on and on but I truly think you need to go to the presentation and discover for yourself how truly wonderful this can be. If you love Disney than it will be a no -brainer!. One last item if I may,we were thinking of a stay over February school break at Vero Beach. Just wondering what others thought? Thanks!
Well I don't know who DisneyKnowitAll is, but this fool is not a disney know it all! Vacation club is the best thing that disney has to offer! there are a dozen of places to stay in disney world alone! Not to mention you can use the points for the cruise line as well. The flexibility alone is the best, you can bank and borrow points when needed. Disney also has locations outside of disney such as Vero Beach and hilton head and coming soon hawaii!! Oh and i forgot to mention you get the vacation club for 50 years!!!! And the rooms that you stay in with your points are deluxe accomodations that range to $380 a night! you can stay at any vacation club resort at anytime to restrictions and no block out dates! =) But i guess if you want to scrimp and save to stay at the all star low budget resort, or save for years and take one vacation and then never another one again, then don;t get it and pay separate like disney know it all. then fine. but if you want vacations for life with a nice place to stay guaranteed! then Vacation Club is the right choice!!
Not Worth it ............. just better to pay seperate
We saw the booths at our hotel lobby and Hollywood Studios, but on the last day we finally decided to go on the tour at Saratoga Springs. Trust me, check it out, even if you decide not to sign up you get some nice gifts just for going :-)
It makes staying at a deluxe resort affordable. Amazing deal.
all of there are amazing, really makes you feel like your home
All of them are amazing and have a uniqueness i cant explain
every place we have stayed with the vacation club is amazing. Old Key West and Vero Beach are perfect for relaxation, and I love the idea of going to our 'beach house'.
Of all the time shares this is top of the class. There is a no pressure tour to see if it's for you. The different places to stay are endless.It's good to have a places to go year after year.
This has to be the most convenient resort going. You can always park right by tour room. It is also very quiet
We looked into many time shares but none compares. They have it all and being aregular visitor made it that much easier to deside.
GREAT WAY TO FORCE YOURSELF TO TAKE A VACATION.BUT I NOW HAVE 25 TO 30 YEAR OLD KIDS I STILL CAN NOT TAKE A VACATION WITHOUT.WHEN YOU FIRST SEE THE SIGN THAT SAYS "WELCOME HOME" IT SOUNDS A LITTLE HOKEY BUT NOW ALL I HEAR IS WHEN ARE WE GOING HOME, AGAIN AND AGAIN
Disney's Hilton Island Resort occupies it's own little island within an inland waterway. The view across the tidal marshes are beautiful, especially at sunset. The resort is nestled among large oaks draped with spanish moss. The swimming pool contains a large circular waterslide. There is no resturant on-site only a small food service counter (dogs, burgers, snacks), however there is a marina/shopping area with multiple restaurants within walking distance. There is a beach house faclity within a short drive. It's quite nice, with a large food counter, shower facilities and beach rentals, plus a ocean side pool. The rooms are wonderfully themed in a 1920's fishing lodge style. The rooms are also very large and all have large balconies. The staff has the typical Disney courtesy and style. Hilton head Island is a beach/golf/tennis resort type community, so if you are looking for a relaxing vacation, try the Hilton Head Island Resort.