Best Economical DVC Resort To Purchase: Spring 2018

Disney's Aulani

At DVC Resale Market we like to keep an economic Disney Vacation Club Resort (DVC) ranking maintained for our clients as prices, dues, resorts and Disney can change over time.  We started this ranking in the Fall of 2014, and this blog represents our 8th in the series: Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, and Fall 2017.

The chart below provides a long-term economic ranking of Disney Vacation Club resorts to own.  The long-term value considers price, dues and years remaining on the deed to ultimately get to a price per point per year.  This ranking may provide directional information in choosing a resort to own, especially for those Members or potential New Members who are less concerned about home resort priority and more focused on economic savings.

Spring 2018 Changes in DVC Economic Ranking

There was no surprise that Grand Floridian fell in the rankings as the price has risen sharply in the last couple of months in large part driven by Disney’s direct price increase on January 17th.  Surprisingly, despite an even sharper price increase in resale price, Grand Californian is still hanging on to its 8th place ranking on the list.

Disney's Grand Floridian

Copper Creek entered our list for the 1st time.  While it still has a low sample size, typically only having 2-6 active resale listings in the marketplace at any given time, it has now been present in the DVC resale market for more than six months and as a result should be given a ranking.  Despite having the longest deed life, it enters at a ranking of 9th.  This lower ranking is due to price and higher dues.

Disney's Copper Creek at Wilderness Lodge

Which DVC Resort Ranks #1?

The answer to which resort ranks #1 has been the same since we’ve been performing these rankings for the past several years, Saratoga Springs.  With the lowest dues in the network, a below average resale price and 36 years still remaining it is tough to beat on value.  Granted, part of the reason the price remains low is due to the 11 month home resort priority not being a factor for this resort unless you are trying to book the tree-house villas.  Outside of the tree-house accommodations, Saratoga Springs is typically the easiest DVC resort for availability.

Disney's Saratoga Springs


Technically, an Aulani subsidized dues contract would rank ahead of Saratoga Springs with a total cost per point per year of $8.09 vs. $8.64.  However, do to their scarcity, much like Vero Beach subsidized contracts we do not include them in the rankings.  However, we do include Extended Old Key West contracts as they are not as scarce and continue to grow in numbers.  Whenever Disney buys back an Old Key West contract and resells them, they are automatically given an extended 2057 deed expiration date vs. a 2042 end date.  Conversely, whenever a subsidized contract is bought back by Disney, it will no longer be subsidized when resold.

DVC Resort Economical Rankings: Spring 2018

Resort Avg. Cost Per Pt. Years Left Cost Per Pt. Per Year from Price Proposed 2018 Dues Per Pt. Total Cost Per Pt. Per Year Rank: Fall 2017 Rank: Spring 2018 Rank Change 
Saratoga Springs $100 36 $2.78 $5.86 $8.64  1  1   —
Old Key West (Extended) $101 39 $2.59 $6.72 $9.31  3  2   +1
Bay Lake Tower $144 42 $3.43 $5.92 $9.35  2  3    -1
Polynesian $152 48 $3.17 $6.20 $9.37  5  4   +1
Animal Kingdom $110 39 $2.82 $6.76 $9.58  6  5   +1
Grand Floridian $167 46 $3.63 $6.13 $9.76  4  6    -2
Aulani* $107 44 $2.43 $7.54 $9.97  7  7   —
Grand Californian $187 42 $4.45 $5.88 $10.33  8  8   —
Copper Creek $158 50 $3.16 $7.26 $10.42  N/A  9  N/A
Old Key West $93 24 $3.88 $6.72 $10.60  9 10    -1
Hilton Head $81 24 $3.38 $7.72 $11.10 11 11   —
Boulder Ridge $104 24 $4.33 $6.93 $11.26 10 12    -2
Vero Beach** $69 24 $2.88 $8.53 $11.41 12 13    -1
Boardwalk $121 24 $5.04 $6.55 $11.59 13 14    -1
Beach Club $144 24 $6.00 $6.44 $12.44 14 15    -1
 – Average cost per point based on average asking price on March ’18
 – *Aulani with subsidized dues would be at $8.09 for a total cost per pt. per year (dues for 2018 are $5.66/pt.)
– **Vero Beach with subsidized dues would be at $9.59 for a total cost per pt. per year (dues for 2018 are $6.71/pt.)


Additionally, this cost per point per year from the chart above can be used to help determine what a DVC Member theoretically pays for a Disney Vacation Club Villa.  For example, let’s say you purchased a Beach Club contract and were going to stay at a Beach Club studio for one night on a weekday in Dream Season during Flower and Garden Season at Epcot.  The amount of points needed for that one night would be 16, and the estimated cost per point per year according to the chart above would be $12.44.  So multiply the number of points needed by the cost per point and the result is 16 x $12.44 or $199/night.

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Disney's Beach Club


  • Vikki Cerbin
    June 14, 2018

    Using your point cost per year, is that number if purchased this year? Is that at the resale price? I purchased OKW resale three years ago and when I calculate the point cost per year using the amount I paid as well as the dues, I’m coming up with a lower figure. Of course, I had 27 years in my contract when I purchased which I’m sure is also contributing to the lower cost. Should I be using the numbers from the price I paid and the years left on the contract when I purchased?

    • Nick Cotton
      June 14, 2018

      Vikki, to compare what you purchased I would use the price you paid, and if you purchased 3 years ago the price was very likely less. However, given you are looking at a snapshot of value now, I would use the current years left vs. the years left at the time of your purchase.

  • Chris
    June 4, 2018

    Hey Nic! Didn’t realize you had been doing these analysis, would have saved me the excel practice about a year ago! Happy to know I made much of the same deductions.
    I see about a 30% spike in resale price over last year, that attributed to Disney paying more on rofr?
    At current pace direct contracts of 75 points will be a potential hold and profit like my 50 contract at AK from 08.

  • Another calculation needed
    May 24, 2018

    I am in some agreement on this, but the calculation I try to maintain is what is the value of my points.

    Example: Using OKW points at Poly is a better deal than using BLT points at Poly. Points needed are the same, point costs are different. Although I think we will need to use our 11 month window for OKW for late Fall of 2019 due to Star Wars.

  • David Poole
    May 15, 2018

    Hi Nick,

    Just want to say I’ve read a load of the blogs and they’re full of very useful information.

    I’m anticipating having my 3rd contract in a row taken at ROFR stage in the coming days, AKL, SSR, SSR. The information you have on here is making me think i should change tactic for my 4th attempt.

    Many thanks

    • Nick Cotton
      May 15, 2018

      Thank you David, I’m glad you’ve found the blogs helpful. Best of luck passing ROFR!

  • Jason
    April 26, 2018

    How do you calculate the average asking price for each resort? For example if there are two listings and one is 100 pts at $100 and the other is 400 pts at $110 do you calculate the average price at $105 or $108? Do you weight the average cost per pt based on the number of pts listed or is it just a straight average per listing?

    • Nick Cotton
      April 26, 2018

      Jason, we use the “average listing price” and not the “weighted average listing price” from We don’t use the weighted as that would have the larger contracts influencing the average unproportionally, where in this case we want each contract to be represented proportionally.

  • Rodney Walsh
    April 15, 2018

    It seems that Vero would be a better buy. You pay about 285 dollars more on 100 points in fees. Your initial price is 3600 more for Saratoga springs. It would take you roughly 12 – 13 years to make up the difference, not accounting for the time value of money. I don’t really want it for more than 20 years anyway. The fee increases can not continue at their current rate over inflation, or none of them will be a good value.

    • Nick Cotton
      April 15, 2018

      Rodney – the focus of this blog is over the long term or life of the Membership, but I completely agree with your point. Vero is an excellent buy right now, especially for anyone not concerned about home resort priority and are thinking in a 12-13 year scope or less. And even in your scope of 20 years, it deserves consideration due to the time value of money.

  • Perren
    April 15, 2018

    Hi Nick,
    Any thoughts on when the Beach Club pricing will come back to earth? I get the low supply, great location and amenities. Do folks realize they are paying a ~44% premium as compared to Saratoga Springs. Maybe there are psychological inflection points at the 20, 15 and 10 year to go marks as folks realize the time remaining value. Also, any idea what happens at the end of the contract? Does Disney offer an extension at a price per point to current owners or just do a completely new offering? Thanks.

    • Nick Cotton
      April 15, 2018

      Perren, regarding the the extension opportunity, Disney has only offered it to one resort, Old Key West. They originally offered it in 2007 at $15/pt. (now $25/pt.), and there were not a high percentage of takers. One of the key problems with conversion from my observation was that you were trying to sell something that people didn’t see the benefit of for 35 years. Will Disney offer extensions on the other properties like Beach Club? I would think it is possible, but if the opportunity comes, I would think it would be much closer to the expiration date as that would likely significantly increase the percentage of acceptance.

      Regarding the Beach Club price, I would agree without an extension at some point the years will catch up with it, just like all the DVC Resorts eventually. However, with 24 years remaining at Beach Club, and Disney’s ever increasing occupancy and room rates a break-even with a resale purchase can still easily be achieved in the 5-10 year range. That being said, if you are looking at just the economics of the purchase: price, dues and year left Saratoga Springs will beat Beach Club all day. However, the critical thing a Beach Club owner is getting is the 7-11 Home Resort Booking window at Beach Club and that window is extremely critical at a highly popular resort like Beach Club that has the “wow factor” of Stromalong Bay (and no pool hopping here), the location factor of being walking distance to 2 theme parks and not to mention it only has 282 rooms. If you read those things and shrug your shoulders, then paying the premium for the Beach Club booking window is probably not for you. However, there will be many people that read that and say I want it regardless if Saratoga Springs is a smarter economic purchase as you can easily argue if we are just looking at bank accounts, vacationing in general is not a smart use of your money.

      Additionally, keep in mind the 7-11 booking windows at popular resorts will only become more and more important not less important. As Members continue to join, the most popular resorts will continue to be harder and harder to book within 7 months, but outside of 7 months will remain consistent as new points are not being created from the older resorts.

  • Luke
    April 8, 2018

    Do you have a list of the most difficult DVC resorts to book? I assume the demand of each resort plays into the cost quite a bit?

    • Nick Cotton
      April 8, 2018

      Luke, great question. I would think the best way to measure this would be the number of times Members try to book a reservation at a resort and it is unavailable. DVC would likely be the best source that would be able to track this, but I don’t ever remember them even keeping up with a metric such as that. Rental companies such as DVC Rental Store may have data on this as well. Directionally, many of us that our Members, especially for a number of years get a good idea of which resorts are harder to book. Generally speaking, I would say there are 3 factors that determine the difficulty of booking a resort 1. Location 2. Size 3. Wow Factor. For example, Beach Club hits on all 3, it has a great location next to Epcot and Hollywood Studios, it is small and it has the Stormalong Bay Pool. All these factors contribute to it being one of the hardest DVC Resorts to book. Additionally, the price reflects that. Despite the deed ending in 2042 and the dues not being among the lowest (i.e., $6.44/pt.) it still commonly resells in the 130’s to 140’s per point where as Saratoga Springs with more years left (2054 end date) and lower dues at $5.86/pt. commonly resells in the 90’s per point.

  • Darrell
    March 27, 2018

    Just buy Grand Floridian. It’s the best and will never be topped.

  • VJ
    March 22, 2018

    Noob question – Are all points created equal? If I buy Saratoga as home resort and book in Copper Creek or Polynesian, would it be the same number of points given the $/point is low and maintenance is low.How is the justification for say Copper Creek cost vs. Saratoga or other resorts where there are more people selling?

    • Nick Cotton
      March 22, 2018

      VJ, points are created in equal in terms of usage: meaning if I own 10 points at SSR or 10 points at Poly and a stay requires 10 points and it is available it is all the same. However, ownership of a resort differs with the dues you pay, the years left on the deed and the Home Resort Priority you have (11 vs. 7 month booking window at your Home Resort, which is the resort your points are purchased at). All 3 of those factors are resort dependent.

      • Jay
        March 22, 2018

        Just to add to the OP question, that staying at different resorts can cost different amount points.

        So say you have Old Key West as a home resort but want to stay at Beach Club in a studio for example. OKW can be as little as 76 points for the week up to 152 depending on time of year. Beach Club studio can be from 107 to 181 for the week.

        For us that was a factor in how many points we felt we wanted to get. We wanted to make sure we had enough to be able to stay at any resort at just about any time of year.

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