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 you can rent DVC points at Disney World….
First things first:
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We’ve clearly labeled the ones that are, but we wanted to be fully transparent with you because we know how important it is to understand whether somebody recommends something because they are being paid to do so or whether they do it because they truly believe in the product or service.
But we don’t recommend anything – including the services below – unless we use them and believe in them ourselves.
Now, on to how to save some big money!
How to rent DVC points
We go into lots more detail below, but if you’re ready to jump in and rent DVC points, here’s what you do:
- Step 1: Determine how many points you’ll need using a DVC point calculator.
- Step 2: Locate available points to rent (we prefer a company like David’s Vacation Club Rental affiliate link, but you can also rent directly from an owner).
- Step 3: Pay for your points. You’ll likely need to pay for it all at the time of booking, so be prepared to do that.
- Step 4 (optional): Purchase vacation insurance in case you need to cancel your trip, add on the Disney Dining Plan (when available) to your reservation, and/or purchase park tickets, etc.
What is DVC (Disney Vacation Club)?
Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is Disney’s point-based timeshare system. DVC Members pay thousands of dollars to buy points that 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 us.
Which Disney resorts are DVC?
There are 12 DVC locations at Walt Disney World, with lots of them being located adjacent or in the same building as a Deluxe Resort.
The current DVC locations are:
- Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House (located in the same building as Animal Kingdom Lodge) & Kidani Village (in a separate building next to Animal Kingdom Lodge)
- Bay Lake Tower (separate building located at The Contemporary Resort)
- Beach Club Villas (located in the same building as the Beach Club)
- Boardwalk Villas (located in the same building as the Boardwalk Inn)
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Wilderness Lodge (adjacent to Wilderness Lodge)
- Copper Creek Villas at Wilderness Lodge (located in the same building as Wilderness Lodge)
- Grand Floridian Villas (located next to The Grand Floridian)
- Old Key West Resort (DVC resort, not connected with a Deluxe Resort)
- Polynesian Village Resort (located at The Polynesian)
- Riviera Resort (DVC resort, not connected with a Deluxe Resort)
- Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa (DVC resort, not connected with a Deluxe Resort)
Step-by-Step guide to rent DVC points
Let’s say that you’ve been thinking about staying at The Contemporary Resort but wanted to check into Bay Lake Tower (which is right next to it) to see if it is a better option.
Here’s what to do:
Step 1: Determine how many points you’ll need
See how many points you’ll need for your stay. To do that, you will need to consult a DVC point calculator to help you figure it out.
Step 2: Locate available points to rent
You basically have 2 methods of renting Disney Vacation Club points: using a point rental company or booking directly to an owner.
How to book using David’s Vacation Club Rental
The DVC rental company that we use is David’s Vacation Club Rental over at DVCRequest.com (affiliate link).
You’ll usually pay a little more than if you work directly with an owner, but it’s a more secure and professional process.
How to find a private owner to rent DVC points
Another popular option for DVC point rental is to find a DVC owner with points to rent.
There are various ways to do that, but a popular one is to connect with an owner on the DVC Rent/Trade board on the DISboards (which is a huge online forum for Disney fans).
Important note: 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 with 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 $21-$23/point if booking through DVCRequest.com, but it could be a little less if booking directly with an owner.
For example, if you computed in step 1 that you’d need 106 points for your reservation, it could cost $2226.00.
A standard room booked through Disney will often cost 50% more.
Step 4: Add trip insurance, the Disney Dining Plan, park tickets, etc.
Now that you’ve got your points secured, you might want to consider doing the following:
Add trip insurance
If you’ve rented DVC points, we highly recommend that you consider adding on trip insurance, and here’s why:
Because of the way DVC works, if you have to cancel your trip, you likely won’t get your money back.
Purchase the Disney Dining Plan
People that rent DVC points are eligible to purchase the Disney Dining Plan.
Similar to when you book a “regular” room through Disney, every person on the reservation must get the Dining Plan and you can only purchase it for the length of your reservation.
You can typically add the Dining Plan up to 30 days before your arrival but, when you add it, you’ll have to pay for it in its entirety at that time.
Purchase Park Tickets
DVC Point Rental does not include the cost of Park Tickets, so you’ll need to purchase those separately and link them to your My Disney Experience account.
Dedicated Rentals (Save even more money!)
If you’re booking a last-minute trip OR if you are flexible in your travel dates, you can often find great deals by booking a dedicated or secured reservation.
And we do mean there are some great deals out there.
These rentals are for trips that the point owners have already booked but are unable to travel for.
Keep in mind that you won’t be able to change anything about the reservation (including dates, room views, and room sizes), but for flexible travelers, this is a fantastic way to save even a few more bucks on a trip.
How far in advance should you rent DVC points?
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.
Sometimes, however, it is cheaper to book at 7 months out. That’s because at the 7-month mark, DVC owners can book at ANY resort, not just their home resort.
Pros to renting DVC Points
You can save a lot of money
The main pro to renting DVC points is the money you can save. For guests looking to stay at nicer resorts or in larger rooms, DVC point rental is the way to go.
All the same onsite resort benefits as regular guests
Many people looking into renting DVC points worry that their benefits as an on-site guest will go away. This is not the case.
You can still:
- Enjoy all on-site benefits, including on-site transportation
- Add a Disney Dining Plan to your reservation
- Have access to Early Theme Park Entry
Cons to renting DVC Points
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 if you decide to rent DVC points:
Modifications, cancellations, and upgrades are not permitted
This is an important distinction from booking directly with Disney, and something that is more important than ever to keep in mind.
To help cover any issues, if planning anything other than a last-minute getaway, we recommend exploring your travel insurance options.
Oftentimes, the cost of the insurance is minimal compared to the peace of mind it will give you. We like websites like InsureMyTrip.com, which can help you compare a bunch of different policies.
Just make sure you understand exactly what your insurance will and, more importantly, will not cover.
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 a partial payment upfront 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
Unless you choose to decline the service, Disney resorts currently receive light Mousekeeping service (trash, towels, vanity cleaning, etc.) visits every-other-day, but DVC accommodations only receive a visit once or twice during your stay (trash service is now daily, though).
For visits that are 7 or fewer nights, you will get Mousekeeping trash and towel service on day 4. This includes:
- Fresh bathroom towels
- Replacing shampoo, facial soap, and bath soap
- Replenishing facial tissues, paper towels, and toilet paper
- Replenishing coffee, sugar, and cream
- Replenishing dishwashing 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
Of course, all rooms currently receive enhanced cleanings prior to any guest arrivals.
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 (and in some cases, a twin day bed) making it more difficult to fit more than 4 comfortably.
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 is 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.
Let us know in the comments if you have any questions!
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