If you’re on the fence about purchasing a Disney Vacation Club ownership or are already a member and just curious if your purchase is truly saving you money then read on. The upfront cost of becoming a Disney Vacation Club owner by purchasing a contract can be a little overwhelming, but with some basic math it’s pretty easy to see how in the long run you can definitely save some money with DVC membership.
Below we’ll calculate the cost savings of your Disney Vacation Club ownership and show you how you are (or soon will be) saving money every time you use DVC membership for your Disney vacations.
The Cost Of DVC Points
Depending on how you buy your membership, the cost of your points can range from $92 per point if you buy resale to $188 per point if you buy direct from Disney. The great thing about DVC is that no matter how you decide to purchase, in the long run you still save money.
When calculating cost savings, we also have to factor in maintenance costs of your DVC ownership which vary depending on the resort you own. Currently, the lowest maintenance fees are $6.81 per point at the Grand Floridian and the highest are at $11.23 at Vero Beach.
General Formula To Find Cost Savings
Initial Purchase Price ÷ Years Left on Contract = Yearly Initial Cost
Yearly Initial Cost ÷ Number of Vacation Points = Annualized Per Point Purchase Cost
Annualized Per Point Cost + Annual Dues Per Point = Total Annualized Per Point Cost
Total Annualized Per Point Cost × Number of Points Needed For Reservation = Total Per Vacation Cost Using DVC
Total Price Paid To Disney for Comparable Reservation (make sure to include taxes) – Total Per Vacation Cost Using DVC = Total Savings
Essentially, you’ll want to figure out how many Vacation Points you need to travel during the time of year you’d like, in the villa size you desire, at the home resort you want to stay in the most. Then annualize the cost of that initial purchase per point based on that resort’s expiration year, and add in annual dues. Finally, compare that price to what you’ve already been paying to stay in Disney hotels. You will easily be able to show yourself the potential savings of becoming a Disney Vacation Club owner as opposed to paying that nightly hotel rate year after year.
Below we’ll use two different scenarios to walk you through applying this math to determine your savings.
Scenario 1 – A Family of Five
- Family of 5 – 2 adults, 3 children
- Travel during high season due to school schedules
- Require a 1 Bedroom at minimum
- Usually stay in Disney value or moderate resort hotels
For this first example, let’s assume you are a family of five: two adults and three children. You prefer to stay in the same room, but don’t want to be too cramped. Normally when you head down to Walt Disney World you stay in those Finding Nemo suites at the Art of Animation. Art of Animation is a value resort, but the family suites in particular are more priced in the moderate resort range. Since you have school aged children you are restricted on when you can travel, so you typically take your vacations during the summer.
Total Calculated Costs without DVC
Room Rate: $432.11 per night x 7 nights
Taking a look at the price for a Finding Nemo family suites at the Art of Animation for one full week in August, even with a current promotion of 25% off, this room will cost you about $3,400 for that one week stay. Note that when looking at Walt Disney World hotels the nightly price advertised does not include tax. So, when doing your own comparisons, be sure to click through all the screens to see the total price, including taxes.
In this example, we will walk you through each and every step to calculate savings, but if you’d like to skip the nitty-gritty details and dry mathematical calculations, we’ve added the the total calculated costs just below.
Rather than paying Disney cash to rent hotel rooms year after year, let’s instead consider purchasing a Disney Vacation Club contract. All Disney Vacation Club resorts are super family friendly, but we especially like Old Key West when considering growing kids as it has a ton of activities to do right at the resort. A week-long stay in an Old Key West one-bedroom villa that sleeps up to five folks during this travel period 4, so most of your summer, will cost you 197 Vacation Points. We will explore booking this trip with a 230 point contract with an Old Key West home resort.
Total Calculated Costs with DVC
Purchase Cost: $22,000 for the purchase of 230 points at Old Key West at $95 per point with 2042 expiration.
Annual Maintenance Cost: $1,922.80 per year ($8.36 per point)
Total Cost of DVC Trip: $2,589.09
Total Annual Cost with 33 Points Left Over: $3,022.80
Total Savings Per Trip: $810 (comparing Deluxe DVC resort to Value resort)
How Did We Arrive At These Numbers?
In Scenario 1, by purchasing DVC, our family of five saved approximately $810 between the 2 example reservations, they have 33 points left over to extend their vacation time, they were able to stay in a Deluxe villa, which is equipped with a full kitchen, rather than a value / moderate, and they were able to skip paying parking fees as all DVC members don’t pay to park at DVC resorts.
It’s important to note, the 1 bedrooms at Old West are approximately 942 square feet, while the Art of Animation Finding Nemo Family Suites are about 565 square feet.
Plus, once you become an owner note that your initial purchase price is never going to change. That price you paid per point to become a Disney Vacation Club owner is not subject to inflation a like hotel rates are.
Although past status certainly indicates that Disney Vacation Club annual dues do rise a bit each year, historically it’s around 3% or so, we can also see that historically DVC annual dues do not tend to increase nearly as much as the rates of hotel prices. Any way you slice this example you certainly are saving some money staying in a one bedroom at Old Key West compared to those Finding Nemo family suites over at the Art of Animation.
Scenario 2 – A Flexible Couple
- Travel Party of 2
- Love staying at Disney’s Deluxe Resorts
- Can travel anytime throughout the year, often in early December time frame
- Want to be close to the Theme Parks
Next, let’s do a fairly different example: say your travel party is you and your partner, and your jobs are pretty flexible you can basically travel whenever you want. You prefer to stay in deluxe resorts and enjoy walkability to the theme parks. let’s take a look at what we consider one of the best times to head down to Walt Disney World: early December.
If you wait until after Thanksgiving but before Christmas the crowds are going to be low, but the parks will be all lit up in their holiday magic! Because you like quick access to theme parks, let’s do comparison within the Beach Club, which is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from EPCOT, and also you can walk to Hollywood Studios. Plus who doesn’t love the Stormalong Bay pool complex?
One week in a hotel room at the Beach Club resort in early December with a water view room will cost you around $5,800 this year. Standard view rooms typically cost $100 less per night than a water view room, so if you were to book a standard view room instead the total cost for that would be around $5,000. Let’s use the lower cost of these two view options.
Room Rate: $731.57 (average rate in early December) per night x 7 nights
At the Beach Club Villas, which will comfortably accommodate two of you, it will cost 107 points for a week in early December.
December 1st through 14th is contained in travel period 2. If you have flexibility with your travel dates this is a very economical time to head down to Walt Disney World. If you need 107 points for a week-long stay, consider a 120-point contract.
Total Calculated Costs with DVC
Purchase Cost: $17,400 for the purchase of 120 points at Beach Club Villas at $145 per point with 2042 expiration.
Annual Maintenance Cost: $892.80 per year ($7.44 per point)
Total Cost of DVC Trip: $1,571.83
Total Annual Cost with 13 Points Left Over: $1,762.80
Total Savings Per Comparable Trip: $3,489.33
How Did We Arrive At These Numbers?
We’ll go through this example much quicker now that you have a feel for how the math works.
107 points for that week-long early December stay in a Beach Club studio will then cost you $1,542.45; compared to the hotel rate of about $5,000 for that standard view room, you’re easily saving over $3,000 every trip. Even accounting for all 120 Vacation Points you buy in that contract, instead of just the 107 you’re planning on using for this week-long stay, that total cost comes to under $1,800.
This is still much less than that hotel rate you’d be paying. Over the 20 years remaining on this contract, you could easily save $60,000 or more compared to paying for hotels. And while we can’t predict the future, historical data definitely indicates that hotel prices will continue to rise at a rate faster than those of annual dues.
This $60,000 of lifetime contract savings assumes that the hotel rate and annual dues will scale equally, but there’s a decent chance that nightly hotel rates will continue to increase faster than annual dues. Therefore, as a DVC owner compared to paying those hotel rates, you could end up saving even more than $60,000 over the next 20 years. Plus there’s other little fun perks of being a DVC owner, like free parking, that you don’t have access to when you’re booking the standard nightly hotel rates.
Let’s Wrap This Up!
The above calculations are based on purchasing a DVC contract on the resale market at current resale values. Resale prices at DVC Shop can save buyers anywhere from 10-45% off direct pricing. Check DVC Shop’s resale listings for the most up-to-date pricing.
As you can see, in the long run, the cost savings of Disney Vacation Club ownerships are huge. Additionally, staying at DVC also means you’ll receive amenities like kitchen and laundry facilities which you would not normally receive in a resort hotel. If you’re considering purchasing a DVC contract we recommend taking the time to examine your family’s travel habits, check the point charts, and crunch the numbers.
DVC Shop has friendly and informative representatives available 7 days a week to answer any questions you might have while making your decision, so feel free to contact us any time through our contact form and we’ll have one of our licensed Real Estate Agents reply to your inquiry.
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