How to stay in a deluxe hotel for moderate prices by renting DVC points

(Article last updated: April 11, 2016)

There are lots of destinations you can visit where renting a timeshare can be an affordable option.

Disney World has a version of timeshares called Disney Vacation Club where you can rent from the owner and pay less than if you booked the room through Disney.

Here's how it works.

Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is Disney's point-based timeshare system. Owners pay thousands of dollars to buy points which allow them to stay in Deluxe accommodations for the life of their contract.

DVC owners don't always use their points so they are willing to rent them to people like you and me.

There are 9 DVC locations at Walt Disney World, most of them being located adjacent or in the same building as a Deluxe Resort.

The current DVC locations are:

  • Beach Club Villas (located in the same building as the Beach Club)
  • Boardwalk Villas (located in the same building as the Boardwalk Inn)
  • Bay Lake Tower (separate building located at The Contemporary Resort)
  • Animal Kingdom Villas (some located in same building as Animal Kingdom lodge, some in a separate building)
  • Villas at Wilderness Lodge (adjacent to Wilderness Lodge)
  • Old Key West Resort (DVC resort, not connected with a Deluxe Resort)
  • Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa (DVC resort, not connected with a Deluxe Resort)
  • Grand Floridian Villas (located next to The Grand Floridian)
  • Polynesian Village Resort (located at The Polynesian)

How Point Rental works

Let's say that you've been thinking about staying at The Contemporary Resort, but wanted to check into Bay Lake Tower to see if is a better option.

Step 1: See how many points you'll need for your stay. You would need to consult a DVC point calculator to help you figure it out

Step 2: You basically have 2 methods of renting points: using a point rental company or going directly to an owner.

The DVC rental company that I use is DVCRequest.com. You'll usually pay a little more than if you work directly with an owner, but it's a more secure and professional process.

You can also find a DVC owner with points to rent. There are DVC owners posting on message boards to let renters know what they have available. MouseOwners.com, for example, has a large community of renters and owners. To find a DVC owner with points available, go to their Points Available for Rent forum.

Be sure to read the information there about how to find points. Some owners have points with expiration dates that might take place before your trip. Some owners have points tied to specific resorts. Look for an owner that has the number of points you need for your dates and contact them through their message board post to see if they still have them available.

Step 3: Pay for your point rental. Once you find an owner who has the points you need, you'll need to pay for them. You can expect to pay around $12-14/point, although the price varies by owner. For example, if you computed in step 1 that you'd need 102 points for your reservation, it would cost $1,224-1,428.

A standard room booked through Disney will often cost 50% more.

So why wouldn't everyone rent DVC points if it saves so much money?

Wellllll, you may have thought this sounded too good to be true. It isn't too good to be true, but there are always pros and cons with everything.

Here are the cons.

Your agreement is with the DVC owner, not Disney

When you rent points, you are entering an agreement with the owner. That means you are paying the owner and they are responsible for making your reservation. Although the financial agreements of each transaction can differ, your best bet is to pay partial payment up front and then require a reservation confirmation before making your final payment.

You can get references on the owner, see if they've had previous dealings on the message board you're using and/or speak to them on the phone to help you feel more comfortable.

Less frequent visits from Mousekeeping

Disney resorts receive daily Mousekeeping visits but DVC accommodations only receive a visit once or twice during your stay.

For visits that are 7 or fewer night, you will get Mousekeeping trash and towel service on day 4. This includes:

  • Emptying the trash and getting new liners in the wastebaskets
  • Fresh bathroom towels
  • Replacing shampoo, facial soap and bath soap
  • Replenishing facial tissues, paper towels and toilet paper
  • Replenishing coffee, sugar and cream
  • Replenishing diswashing liquid, dishwasher detergent, sponges and laundry detergent as applicable

For stays that include 8 or more nights, you will get a full cleaning from Mousekeeping on day 4 and trash and towel service on day 8. Full cleaning includes:

  • Changing the bed linens
  • Vacuuming and dusting
  • Bathroom cleaning
  • Cleaning the kitchen/ette and washing the dishes

The standard DVC rooms are smaller (but have a kitchenette)

While there are a few different room sizes to choose from, we are comparing the standard rooms in this example. Standard rooms in the hotel resorts include two beds and often include a day bed, comfortably fitting 5 people. The studio DVC rooms include a bed and a pull-out couch, making it more difficult to comfortably fit.

Using our example, the studio rooms at Bay Lake Tower are about 300 square feet. A standard room at The Contemporary is 422 square feet.

The DVC rooms do have a kitchenette which is something the Deluxe Resort rooms don't include.

One major exception to this are the Polynesian Villas Studios which are actually bigger than the Standard Polynesian rooms. It almost always makes more sense to book a Villas Studio than a Standard room. See the graphic below for a comparison.

What is not a problem

Many people looking into renting DVC points worry that their benefits as on on-site guest will go away. This is not the case.

You can still:

  • Enjoy all on-site benefits including Extra Magic Hours and on-site transportation
  • Add a Disney Dining Plan to your reservation
  • Use MagicBands

Booking timeframe

When DVC owners buy into their contract, they specify which resort will be their home resort. They are allowed to book at this resort up to 11 months in advance. That means you can also book up to 11 months in advance if that owner wants to rent their points. During popular times to visit, this can work to your advantage as you secure your room well ahead of time.

This chart from DVCRequest.com can help you see when to book each resort.

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kristen hunger

We have a family of 6. Myself, husband, 8yr old, 6yr old, 4 yrs old and 4 month old. We had decided to stay at Port Orleans Riverside after reading your post on where to stay with large families (thank you)
Now I’m wondering if we should rent points and try to stay somewhere nicer through DVC. However, will we end up spending more to accommodate our family?
Do you recommend just going with our original plan?

LOVE YOUR SITE!!!! It takes all my vacation planning anxiety and turns it into child like excitement!

Val Naylor

Hello!
I’m really interested in DVC, but worried about relinquishing control. Is it possible for the DVC member to cancel your reservation on you? I would rent from the site you suggested, but wonder if this is a possibility. I would hate to driver 15 hours and find out they canceled it on me

Treva Walker

We have made an annual trip to Disney World for the past 7 years. The last 5 of the 7, we have rented DVC points through David’s. We have chosen to go through David’s to insure that our purchase is secure and risk free. Once the points have been paid for and the room is in YOUR name, there are no worries about cancellations. Having a villa has been so much nicer for our family than a standard room. I cannot recommend renting DVC points enough. You can get a room cheaper if you go with a value resort. But you can’t get one of the deluxe resorts at a better rate. The proximity to the parks and the luxury of the resorts make it more than worth it for us.

Jaime

Hi All. Hoping someone could help me out. I rented out DVC point. It went smoothly. However, I wasnt aware that I had to book the dining plan 30 days ahead of my stay with the rental service. Here’s my question. Does anyone know if I can contact Disney directly to add the dining plan now? If so cant it be down up to the week I would be traveling? I stay on 11/5 and would only be able to book the dining plan on 10/31.

Lesley

Tried to use a points broker to rent a villa. Broker said that a villa was available. I said ok I would take it. Then they turned round and said they had to find a member with points before they could confirm. They took two days to get back to me. Then told me that when the member who had the points went to book, the villa had gone and would I like other options.

I asked them if they had a member with points to process the alternative booking.
They said I would have to go to the back of the queue again and wait for a member with points. So a lot of mucking around with this process and ended up with no booking. I I decided to ask for my booking deposit money back from the broker. Would rather pay more and get a confirmed booking direct with a hotel whether it be Disney or non Disney hotel.

Mary Kendall

This is what seems to happening to me right now. First I was told there was availability, then, after I had paid my deposit, there wasn’t for my exact dates. Now we are working on securing a split stay. I’m worried I won’t get anything I wanted, in which case we will likely cancel. I’m all about saving money, but I’m not enjoying this process at all.

Mary Kendall

P.S. I started the whole process about 3 weeks ago and I’m trying to book for November.

Bev

We booked an AKL savannah view room with club level access. We were able to apply a pretty good discount, but I wanted to compare to renting points for a club level room. I was told that for a club level DVC studio, a savannah view could not be confirmed. Any clue why that is?

Heather Holditch

How do fast pass reservations work when booking a room with rented DVC points? Do we still get to book 60 days in advance?

Clare Clouting

I’m doing my research on renting DVC points at the moment. I’ve read a few times that if you don’t rent points and book your accomodation at least 11-7 months in advance then you will probably only get to choose between SSR or OKW. Do you know if this is true during quiet periods like Sept? I’m thinking for making reservations as late as 2-3 months out.
Thanks

Lisa

Just to give you my recent experience, I just booked a studio (5 people) today at the Polynesian through the thedvcshop for September 10 through the 17th. I was told that studios go first so if that’s what you’re looking for I would probably book soon. They still had availability for the poly, the wilderness and the boardwalk, the GF had already sold out. The food and wine festival is starting very early this year, I believe it is Sept 14 th or something, so I imagine that might affect the Epcot resorts. I am paying a fraction of what it would actually cost to stay at the poly and am SO excited.

Shannon

Did you find any reviews on the DVCShop. I’ve found them to be cheap but am having trouble finding any information about them….

Clare Clouting

I went with Davids DVC in the end just based on the testimonials, reviews and other websites that endorsed them. Went ok but I ended up dealing with about 6 or 7 different people which was a bit confusing both sides at times. They don’t line you up with one person which was what I was expecting. Worked out in the end ok though.

Clare Clouting

Thanks for that. We have ended up booking 7 months out which was good because we needed 13 nights and it was hard finding that many nights at one resort that we wanted. We ended up splitting the stay to 1/2 at Bay Lake in a studio and 1/2 at Animal Kingdom Lodge in a studio which I’m actually really excited about now. We did ask about Boardwalk and Beachclub and they were not available. Like you suggested I think this is down to the Food and Wine Festival. So excited as we would never have been able to afford this many nights at a deluxe without renting points. Will check out the Poly while we’re there for sure.

Clare Clouting

Thanks Shannon
Better go and check out your pros and cons of each resort for OKW and SSR then 🙂

Sue Walker

Do you need to purchase a Magic Band when you rent DVC points through DVCRequests.com?

Amanda Sisavatdy

Your magic band will be included just as if you had booked through Disney. We used DVCRentalStore.com on out October trip. Everything was as seamless as when we booked through Disney. I’m so glad we did it. Now we want to buy DVC points.

marryj

How does dvc work with MDE? Will it show up in the app? So I can book dining and fp+ same as if I booked a resort room directly thru Disney? And what about Magical Express Transportation to/from airport?

michelle

Hi! Just wondering about room size. I know you mention that most of the DVC rentals (w/ the exception of the larger, more expensive options) are smaller than the regular Disney Deluxe rooms, however, how do they compare in size to the moderate rooms?
Thanks! 🙂

rebecca

We can stay at the swan for my mothers points and 340.00 for the week. In the long run for us it going to be cheaper ? after we add all the amenities meal plan. park tickets . Basically what do you see as the pros and cons of this choice versus staying at the Caribbean / french qtr or at AOA ? We have a 6 year old .. and want her first trip to be the best !

Kristi Humphrey

I am a frequent Disney traveler but have always made my reservations on the Disney site. My husband and I have already made reservations at the Contemporary for an anniversary celebration but now my uncle has offered to let us use his DVC points (free) to stay at Bay Lake Tower instead. If I take him up on this offer does he have to book our dinning at the time he makes the reservation or can we add it later? Also how do we get park tickets? Can I add them the same as dinning or will I have to purchase them separately? I am a complete control freak and hate having to count on others. I need to make a decision quick so we can make the reservation. Thanks

Jeri

I read on a site somewhere if you rent DVC points for your reservation, that one thing you do not get that DVC members & those that book directly through disney get is wifi access? Do you know if this is true? Just wondering since so much of the planning is done online/my disney experience app. Thanks!

Tracy

While I’ve never rented points (I’m a DVC member), I can say that I don’t believe you’d have a problem with wifi since all you do is accept their terms… not actually log in using a room number or anything like that. Also, my cousins have met me at the resort for lunch before & they all used the wifi for their children & Facebook.

Holly Juza

I just rented points for BLT (1st time on site… So excited!). The DVC Owner I booked through says I can use their perks like; 10% off dining, pool hopping.. Etc. Is this true? It seems to be unclear on the forums. Thanks!

Kel Z.

I’ve been researching renting DVC points, and so far, every website says you can use the transportation system, add dining plans, take advantage of extra magic hours,etc– but all state that renters will NOT receive the discounts like the actual DVC member gets.

I’m curious about this too, because I’ve heard you do not get owner perks when renting (just general Disney perks like transportation and Magic Hours). TIA for any answers! Rebecca

Susan

I’m a DVC member and I know when we want to use the 10% on dining or shopping, we have to show our DVC membership card. Just thought I would mention that. thanks

Crystal

Hello!

We are a family of 6 (kids will be 8, 6, 4 & 4) planning our first Disney trip. Because of the size of our family, I’m thinking a DVC villa might be our best option. We’re interested in renting points, but since it’s our first trip I’d really like to go through an authorized travel agent to plan the logistics of the trip for us (dining and extra activities like Bibbidi Bobbidi boutique). Do you know if the agents can still plan these things for you if you rent points? Thanks!!

Holly

The owners are not travel agents so you would need to book dining ADR, get your tickets, special experiences.. Etc. The only thing they have to do if you want it, is add the Disney Dining Plan to your hotel room. If you want someone to plan everything for you, Travel Agents the way to go.. But if you do everything yourself, most of time, it can save you money.

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