Alright friends, this may be the most valuable piece of information you get concerning your DVC membership. Whether you are already a DVC member and have a home resort, or you are in the process of deciding which resort to make your home DVC resort – this is a must read for you! Your DVC home resort is going to impact your wallet, time, and overall experience at Disney!
How Your DVC Resort Impacts Your Wallet Up Front
It’s obvious when you look at different resorts right up front, they have different costs per point that you are paying for – so the immediate way a home resort is going to impact your wallet is the initial cost of the contract. You can find the latest prices per point at each resort here.
One thing we see a lot of members doing is looking at the initial up-front cost of a resort and saying, ‘let’s spend as little as possible to get into Disney Vacation Club’, so they purchase Saratoga or Old Key West Resort contracts. Their plan is to get into a resort that costs less right up front and then they can book into other places once they hit the 0-7 window. This game plan only works if other members are not utilizing their 7-11 month window at their own home resort (keep reading for more on this).
How Your DVC Resort Impacts Your Wallet Long Term
Before you buy, you will want to check out the long term costs on your resort – also known as the annual member dues which you will pay year after year. I highly suggest reading DVC Resale Market’s Proposed 2019 DVC Annual Dues. Side note, if you currently looking to buy, they have a wealth of knowledge concerning where the market is month by month, and can help you even further in making an educated decision.
How Your DVC Resort Impacts Your Wallet Covertly
You can lose a lot of money if you are unaware of using your 7-11 month window in booking your home resort. This is the main perk of having a “home resort”. You can book that resort before anyone who doesn’t own at that resort.
Say you are a DVC member who bought at a premium resort, and you want to book your trip about 4 months out. Chances are your home resort is all booked up by now. You paid high dollar for premium points. Premium points you can no longer use. It’s vital to book early and at your home resort so that you get what you paid for in the beginning.
Let’s look at a breakdown. Let’s say Boardwalk was your home resort. The average price per point for a Boardwalk DVC contract directly from Disney is $190/point. But you didn’t book that Boardwalk in the 7-11 month booking window. When you checked out reservations in the 0-7 month window, the only place available was Saratoga Springs, which typically sells for $160/point directly from Disney. You paid for a premium contract, yet you’re forced to stay in a non-premium resort. To put it bluntly, that’s a waste of money. There’s nothing wrong with Saratoga Springs, but if you’re going to pay for a premium resort, you get the most bang for your buck by staying there.
What if you are spontaneous and don’t like booking so far in advance? It still pays off to book your home resort at a 7-11 month window. You can always cancel your booking and book something else you would rather do if you see it come available later. At the seven month window frame, any DVC member can book a reservation anywhere that is available. Therefore, it doesn’t really matter that you paid more for a certain resort, if someone else just swipes that room before you get to it.
If you are already a member, and you have a highly sought after home resort, then you need to be intentional about booking in that 7-11 month window! Set it up as a recurring vacation planning month in your annual schedule!
How your Home Resort can Impact Your Wallet in a Good Way
As we just learned, if you want to keep the value of your money, you have to plan…and if you want to add to your wallet, then you will need to plan even more. Here are two strategies you can use to add a few benjamins to your wallet:
- If you buy at a premium resort, you will be able to rent those points faster and make more cash than if you had a non-premium resort. We show you how to rent points and turn it into cash in this blog!
- The extra bonus is in deciding 7-11 months from your use year if you will be using those points or renting them. If you will be renting, you want to rent in the 7-11 month time frame as DVC Rental Store will pay $16 a point (they pay the most) at a premium resort in the 7-11 month window. Any points at a non-premium resort or in the 0-6 month window are only $14.50 a point.
- If you want to make the most money, you could buy more points than you need at a premium resort, knowing that it is a highly sought after resort, you can then rent the extra points and build your wallet along the way! Think of it as an investment or side hustle.
How your Home Resort can Affect Your Experience
Location, location, location. You hear that all the time in business. Location matters. Well, in my opinion, location matters for your home resort too! Bay Lake, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian are all located close to Magic Kingdom; while Boardwalk & Beach Club are located close to Epcot. Vero Beach & Hilton Head are located close to the beach.
If you are a parent with small children, you know nap-time is almost as vital as water, so why not choose a resort that is close to the park you will spend most of your time visiting? You can easily leave the park, take some naps, come back refreshed and ready for more excitement! If you rather spend time at the beach, and only want a day at Disney, then check out Vero Beach instead of one of the resorts around Disney.
It’s not only about location though, it also comes down to how you want your home away from home to feel. Each Resort has its own theme and feel to it! Do you want to wake up with safari animals right out your window? Do you want a resort that has excellent restaurant options? Maybe it’s the pool that matters to you? Check out the different resorts here.
What Questions Should We Ask When Choosing a Home Resort?
Does Location matter to us? If so, where are we going to spend the majority of our time?
Does the atmosphere matter to us? If so, should we trial a few of the resorts before we decide where to buy? Here is a great way to trial resorts and get DVC Member perks without being a DVC Member.
Are we spontaneous and flexible? Happy with wherever we stay? If so, maybe we should buy at a lower resort and at the last minute before each trip see what is available for us to reserve.
Are we willing to pay more up front for a premium resort, and then rent the points out and benefit financially later?
These questions are extremely valuable to uncovering what you desire long-term in your Disney experience. I suggest you get everyone who will be impacted by this decision together to have input – make it fun – celebrate planning where you want your home resort to be. It is after all – your home away from home! 🙂