Portrait of smiling kids and parents walking near swimming pool and carrying rubber ring outside hotel during vacation

Disney Vacation Club Cost: Can You Afford It?

Disney World. They say it is the most magical place on earth. And boy, do a lot of people try to get a taste of that magic.

Globally, Disney has 8 of the 10 most visited theme parks. Some of those people save up for a long time to try to have one magical trip, and others cannot get enough of that magic and try to replicate it every year.

This is where the Disney Vacation Club comes in. It allows you to guarantee your place every year.

But, how much does the Disney Vacation Club cost? Is it too expensive for the ordinary person?

This is everything that you need to know.

What Is the Disney Vacation Club?

The Disney Vacation Club is a timeshare program that is owned and operated by Disney for those wanting a little extra magic. It gives you the opportunity to invest partial ownership to some property, and the ability to buy points to use on vacations to Disney properties and other properties involved in the program.

You do this by buying a certain amount of vacation points (at least 25, but up to 4,000), and that affects how much your overall payment is going to be, not only upfront, but for the lifespan of your membership in the club with annual dues.

Disney Vacation Club Cost

This varies depending on how many points you wish to buy. On your initial purchase, the Disney Vacation Club cost per point is $201.

As stated above, you only have to buy 25 points. However, you cannot get Membership Extras unless you buy at least 150 points.

So, if you want those extras at the minimum amount, you would multiply 150 by 201. You would get a total of $30,150 as an upfront cost for those points annually.

Then, there is a closing cost, which is usually between $600-650. Finally, you have annual dues that you will have to pay every year, which start at about $105 per month ($1,260 per year).

All in all, you will have this from anywhere between 20 and 40 years if you really want it, depending on when your specific resort’s terms expire.

Let’s say you get the Boardwalk Villas that expire in about 20 years. You would have to pay at least $1,260 per year for dues, which means you are paying at least over $25,000 total in that lifespan.

So, if you do want to buy a membership, you will have to pay about $56,000 in that stretch just for lodging security, but the benefit is that you have vacations secured for the next 20 years or so.

Flexible Points

A lot of you may be intimidated by the $56,000 number above, but you do not have to be. One way that you can make the most of the points you have is if you take advantage of the flexibility offered.

Let’s say that you buy 150 points that you get to use every year. What the Disney Vacation Club allows you to do is to bank any points that you do not use this year for the next year, and they also allow you to borrow points from next year to use towards this year.

In other words, if you want to mix up your vacations, or even your dates and lodging, you can do so under this system. This can help you save money by dedicating your resources to one big trip or dividing your resources into different sized piles over time.

There are point charts for each property that give you details on how many points it would cost to have a certain room on that property for a certain time of year.

Let’s say you wanted to stay at the Grand Floridian. A standard view room in September would be your cheapest bet, only costing you 119 points.

On the flip side, you have Christmas week and spring break, where a three-bedroom villa would cost as much as 1,431 points.

So, the number of points you would get depends on your style of lodging and the time of year you like to travel. That studio is almost double the points at Christmas at 234, while the three-bedroom villa is just 819 points in September.

Resale Purchases

One other way you can try to save money on a possible Disney Vacation Club membership is with DVC resales. This allows you to buy the ownership of the timeshare from a current owner rather than from Disney directly.

Why is this beneficial? Because, if someone wants to get rid of their plan early, you could potentially buy it for pennies on the dollar.

So, let’s say a Grand Floridian plan had 10 years left on the contract, and instead of buying it for $201 a point, an owner put it up for $150 a point. You would save about $7,500 in this scenario, not to mention all of the years of annual dues that you already skipped.

Most resorts will honor the original owner’s terms, where they can use those points to book at any of the resorts available. However, if you have a Riviera contract, for example, you can only book it on that property.

There is one catch though, which is that Disney technically has the Right of First Refusal. This means they are allowed to buy the contract from the seller instead of you if they so choose, and they have 30 days after the sale between you and the seller to exercise this option.

However, it is unlikely that Disney would take this option, but it is a possibility. Also, some people that will resell may do it for more than the original value of their purchase if it is a popular enough resort.

Join the Disney Vacation Club

There are ways that the Disney Vacation Club cost can be more affordable, despite the intimidating cost for some. Are you ready to pay the cost to join Disney Vacation Club?

Make magical memories today! Read more articles in our Travel section for more relevant travel guides.