Disney World DVC Rentals:
How to save a lot of money – and do it safely!
By Stephen Ashley
“How do you get discounts on Disney trips?”
This is a question I get a lot, and it’s a frequent topic of discussion on my Facebook group. The biggest discount I know of can be had by renting a Disney Vacation Club Villa through DVC timeshare owners or resellers. Here are the Disney Vacation Club Villa’s at Disney World that you can do this with, as well as some of the other Disney resorts around the USA that participate:
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
- Disney’s Villas at Grand Floridian
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
- Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
- Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort (South Carolina)
- Disney’s Vero Beach Resort (Vero Beach, Florida)
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa (Disneyland, California)
- Aulani (Oahu in Hawaii)
Amazingly you can cut your resort costs by up to half (give or take a couple percentage points), and you can stay in a Deluxe resort for less than the price of a moderate and only slightly higher than a value resort. Incredible, right?!!!
BUT before you do this… You should know that there are pros & cons, and risks that you should be aware of. You’ll need know how to do this safely. Please read the full article and do your research before you rent DVC points.
First let me tell you more about how this works.
There are three ways for someone isn’t a Disney Vacation Club owner to secure a DVC room:
- Directly through Disney. Although most of the Disney Vacation Club rooms go to DVC owners, Disney rents a number of these rooms to non-DVC owners. Renting from Disney is the most expensive but least risky.
- Direct from the DVC owner. Sometimes people who become Disney Vacation Club owners don’t want to use their vacations themselves. They are permitted by Disney to rent out their own timeshare points. Going directly through a DVC owner can bring the most savings, though I wouldn’t recommend that because it’s the most risky.
- Points Brokers. You can rent through a DVC resale business. They act as a middleman between you and the DVC owner to make the process safe for you. Going through a DVC resale business (as long as it’s a reliable business) gives you a deep discount with less or no risk of losing your money.
WHAT ARE THE ACTUAL DISCOUNTS LIKE?
To show you the potential savings, here are pricing samples taken at the time of writing this article. Please recheck rates if you’re pricing for yourself, since rates tend to rise over time.
I priced the rooms for a week, in three ways. First, going through Disney directly using their rack rates. Second, using a Florida Resident discount. Third, using a Disney points broker. I chose David’s Vacation Club Rentals because after researching, I felt David’s had the best reputation as a points broker. We also chose to become an affiliate with David’s since we felt comfortable sharing this company with our readers.
I’ll also throw in rates at a Disney Moderate level resort so you can compare.
Here are the rates:
|Resort Name||Resort Type||Booked thru Disney or David’s||Price|
|Saratoga Springs Studio – Rack Rate||Deluxe Villa||Disney||$2289|
|Saratoga Springs Studio – Florida Resident Rate||Deluxe Villa||Disney||$1802|
|Saratoga Springs Studio||Deluxe Villa||David’s (Points Broker)||$1064|
|Port Orleans French Quarter||Moderate||Disney||$1,414|
So you save $1225 if you book a Disney Vacation Villa thru David’s Vacation Club Rentals rather than booking by Disney directly.
That’s a 53-54% discount! That’s big money. It’s even less expensive than booking a moderate resort through Disney. You save a good chunk even if you’re comparing to a Florida Resident discount or an annual Passholder rate.
But there are pros and cons to points renting that you should be aware of before you choose this route.
WHO SHOULD RENT DVC POINTS, AND WHO SHOULD NOT?
This is my personal opinion, so be sure to do your own research. I feel that renting DVC points is an great option and a great opportunity for most people. This is provided that someone goes through a reseller with an excellent reputation like David’s Vacation Club Rentals.
Who is this not good for? This would not be right for someone who needs to be able to maintain flexibility to cancel or change their dates.
This is because once you book with David’s or most (if not all) resellers, you won’t be able to change your dates or cancel. In fact David’s suggests that you purchase trip insurance, which I’d highly recommend to everyone.
If that doesn’t bother you, read on to see if this is a good option for you.
HERE’S MORE ABOUT HOW THE DVC POINTS RENTAL PROCESS WORKS:
When you rent points from a Disney Vacation Club owner, the owner checks availability and makes a reservation with Disney in your name. Though the reservation is in your name, you are not allowed to talk to Disney directly about your reservation. The DVC owner must make any special requests, and they must add any other options to your reservation such as Magical Express or a Dining Plan. Also generally speaking you’ll be paying for the entire thing up front, at the time of booking.
THERE ARE RISKS WHEN YOU GO DIRECTLY THROUGH AN OWNER. Here’s what you need to consider:
Here are some of the risks, and info on how a good company like David’s Vacation Club Rentals helps remove the risk to you:
- Scammers – Look around the web and you’ll see that there are unscrupulous people posing as DVC owners, taking money and then not actually making the reservations. There are some scammers out there. When you’re going directly through a DVC owner, there’s little or no protection for you if this happens.
How to remove that risk: The only way to protect yourself from this is by using a resale company such as David’s that absorbs all the risk and gives a 100% money back guarantee.
- The DVC owner could default on their dues. If they do, they’d lose their good membership standing and your reservation would be cancelled by Disney. Not only could you could lose your reservation, you could lose your money if the owner doesn’t refund it.
How can you protect yourself? I spoke with a rep named Emily at David’s Vacation Club Rentals about this. I asked if they protect their customers from this happening. She let me know that there’s no way to know if someone won’t pay their dues after you’ve booked. Here’s what she said:
“We don’t have access to the DVC member’s membership so we aren’t able to verify 100% that their dues are all paid which is why we have the money back guarantee… Since members are ultimately the ones who are in control of the reservations we do also guarantee that if, on the very rare occasion, something does happen to their reservation we will try to find alternate accommodations and if there is nothing that works for the guest at the very least we will refund their payment so that they don’t lose money on the reservation.”
- Availability of the DVC Owner. When you rent DVC points, you’re not permitted to contact Disney yourself to make a change or addition to your reservation. If you have any kind of need or problem with your reservation, you will be dependent on the availability of your DVC owner. If something goes wrong and you need to reach them, they may or may not be accessible.
How can you remove this risk? With a good DVC reseller like David’s, you know you can reach someone there every day of the week between 9 am to 5:30 pm eastern time.
DO YOU STILL WANT TO GO DIRECTLY THROUGH A DVC OWNER TO RENT POINTS?
I see that some websites say that you can go through individual owners provided you do your research. Personally I wouldn’t want to risk it. You’re talking about a lot of money and your precious vacation time. What recourse do you have if your DVC owner doesn’t do right by you? Will you sue them and take them to small claims court? Assuming you could find them, it’s unlikely that anyone would want to go through this. Especially if the owner is in a different state.
If you pay with a credit card that has a good history of protecting its clients like American Express or Discover, you could dispute the charge if needed. This can take months to complete, and it could require you to write a report, talk to the credit card’s investigator, etc. It’s still a hassle with no guarantee you’ll get your money back.
If all of this doesn’t dissuade you, and you still want to rent directly from a DVC owner, here are links to sites where DVC owners list their points for rent:
To reduce your risk, I’d only deal with owners that clearly have a long history of reliability on the site you’re working from. I’d avoid anyone who is newer.
Here’s more about why out of the DVC points rental companies, we chose as our affiliate DAVID’S VACATION CLUB RENTALS.
After doing a lot of research, we felt most confident in David’s. Here’s why:
- Trust – They currently have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. I noticed that they had a clean and positive business reputation. It seems to me that they’re widely respected and trusted. The Better Business Bureau gives David’s an A+ rating.
- Safety with a 100% Money Back Guarantee. They remove the risk of losing your money with a 100% money back guarantee. Personally I wouldn’t be willing to risk that much money to trust an owner that I’ve never met and don’t know personally. Even people I know personally and have trusted have surprised me over the years, so I’d definitely go where I know my money is safe.
- They do everything with a legal, binding contract. Everything is spelled out in advance, so you know what to expect, and you’re protected by the contract. It’s call clear and easy to understand.
- Easy access and communication. Your DVC member may or may not make themselves available to you. Personally I don’t want to be in a position where I have to chase someone down. As I mentioned above, you know you can reach someone there every day of the week between 9 am to 5:30 pm eastern time. I was told that they also monitor calls after hours so if there’s a problem you can leave a message and they’ll get back to you.
- Easier process. There are no unknowns and surprises in the process. There’s nothing to try to work out or negotiate. Plus when you need David’s to take care of something like setting up Magical Express, making special room requests or adding the dining plan, you can be sure they’ll take care of it. You don’t have to chase them to get them to do it.
Visit the David’s Vacation Club Rentals site to get started, to check dates, availability and prices.
And remember, whatever you do, please do your research first. You do this at your own risk, so it’s a personal choice! To save a lot of money, are you willing to take a little risk, a lot of risk, or no risk at all? That’s up to you.
The beautiful top image photo was used with permission from: My Disney POV Photos
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