Disney Vacation Club Resort Booking Tips

Disney's Boardwalk at Sunrise

As DVC owners, we all have one thing in common. We frequently book Disney vacations. As the program grows in popularity, each reservation becomes a bit more competitive. Here are some general DVC booking tips to give you an edge over other members!

Stretch Your Points 

Someone I trust has informed me that the average DVC member owns around 200 points. Spending a week at The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa costs up to 343 DVC Points, depending on when you visit and your preferred room type. You see the problem here.

I travel to Walt Disney World a lot, and I speak from tons of experience when I say that you can stretch your precious DVC Points if you take a smart approach. Consider whether you really want to go during the peak seasons.

I recognize that many of you, especially parents of school-aged children, don’t have as much choice. Still, you should take a few minutes to study the DVC Points Chart at your Home Resort to find potential options. 

Examine the cheapest Travel Periods. It’s easy to do since they’re the ones at the top of the chart. Determine whether any of those dates are feasible. Using the Grand Floridian example, you can legitimately save almost exactly 50 percent of your DVC Points by booking in September. 

For friends with school-aged children, I’ll point out the middle of the chart, which shows early June stays costing 132-192 DVC Points, depending on the view. If your child stays in school longer, the rest of the summer costs 132-204 DVC Points. 

You can spend a full week at Walt Disney World’s most luxurious resort and still have plenty of DVC Points remaining. You simply need to understand how to stretch your points through booking flexibility. 

Decide Before You Book 

I’m quite the DVC evangelist, which means I’ve walked several loved ones through their first attempts at the booking process. Something they all do is an avoidable mistake. 

New members never have a booking plan. In fact, that’s often true of spontaneous members as well. Some guests will simply take whatever is available. 

There’s nothing wrong with this approach, as you’ll enjoy a lovely vacation at any DVC resort. However, you shouldn’t settle here. Instead, you should think about what you really want and make it happen.

Old Key West Main Entrance Sign

Will you be in the room a lot? If so, the view will matter more. You should consider splurging on a room type that ensures a view. Are you a foodie? Then, you should pick a resort with exceptional restaurants on site. Do you dislike buses? Choose a DVC property with excellent logistics.

In short, know what you want before you view the available inventory. Otherwise, you’ll spend part of your vacation regretting that you didn’t plan better. 

Anticipate the Busy Seasons 

Longtime DVC members fondly recall a time when they faced little competition in booking their favorite holidays. We don’t live in that world anymore and haven’t in many years. 

Disney vacations have evolved into a competitive race for the most desirable dates. DVC has baked that fact into its Points Charts. When a specific date costs more points, Disney is telling you that more people will try to book then.

As a recent example at the parks, Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lanes charged their highest prices to date during Easter Week 2023. Importantly, Disney Genie+ sold out earlier than I’d ever tracked, and guests purchased more than 90 percent of available Lightning Lanes. 

You should account for this increased park attendance when you plan your vacation. For example, you should know that all marathon dates will book quickly. The start of a festival will prove nearly as competitive, especially at EPCOT area resorts. 

On such dates, you should have your phone in hand and be ready to book as soon as the system allows you. In fact, just to be safe, you should log in early to avoid any potential delays or mishaps. Disney tech is notorious about causing frustrating login loops. 

Take Full Advantage of Your Home Resort 

This advice feels rudimentary to me, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it to others. Your Home Resort provides an exceptional competitive advantage, You can book here 11 months in advance as opposed to seven months early at all other DVC properties.

This ability explains the popular membership philosophy of, “Book where you want to stay.” You can go a long way in guaranteeing yourself a room with this approach. 

Those tough dates I just discussed, like marathons, festivals, and holidays become much easier to book at the 11-month window. Your primary competitors are solely the other DVC members who also own contracts at this property. You’ve just eliminated more than 90 percent of the competition!

Let’s say you desire special room types at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas (AKV). The 11-month window is likely the only way you’ll book one. They sell out quickly due to lower inventory. When you own at AKV and plan ahead, you can stack the odds to win the lottery!

Animal Kingdom Lodge

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