DVC Point Charts – Vacation Inflation Insurance

Old Key West DVC resort boat on the water

For years, Walt Disney World Resort guests would be hard-pressed to not come across the company’s conspicuous catchphrase, “Disney’s Best-Kept Secret.” It was a reference of course to the Disney Vacation Club.

What truly is Disney’s ‘Best-Kept Secret,’ however, isn’t the club itself. Rather, it’s “vacation inflation insurance” that comes with the relatively unknown or misunderstood inflation-proof system of the DVC Point Charts.

At a time when raging inflation continues to affect all facets of life from the cost of energy, food, real estate or travel, wouldn’t it be great to have a way to offset some of this inescapable inflation? Perhaps, a place where consumers could actually buy inflation insurance so to speak.

Well, when it comes to the Disney Vacation Club, the club’s flexible points system is precisely that – a hedge against future Disney resort inflation. And it’s all but guaranteed by Disney.

DVC Points System is Proven Vacation Inflation Insurance for Members

A case in point is considering the points chart at Old Key West, the first DVC Resort when Disney began selling the club in October 1991. For instance, when the resort opened the following year, it was 10 or 11 points per weeknight to stay in a Deluxe Studio for the entire month of February, and from May 1-August 31, during what was then called Dream and Magic Seasons.

Three decades later, it’s the same 10-11 points to stay per night in a Deluxe Studio at Old Key West for these exact timeframes, which now go by Travel Periods 3, 4 and 5. To be sure, it’s nowhere near the same price to stay at these same Old Key West rooms if you were not a member and paying cash for the going rack rates.

Indeed, another example of how far inflation has crept into the price of Disney’s Deluxe-Level Resorts is to take a trip back to Oct. 1, 1971, when Disney World/Magic Kingdom Park officially opened and the Polynesian Resort was one of three nearby places to stay. The price of the room on opening day: $29. Today, Polynesian standard view rooms start at $662. Now that’s inflation every non-DVC member wishes they could avoid.

DVC Product Understanding Checklist Details Inflation-Proof Points System

Meanwhile, Disney Vacation Club members using their points to go on vacation since the club started in 1992 never worry about inflation because they’re effectively still using the same 10-11 points to stay per night at Old Key West. The same holds true for Boardwalk, after it opened in 1996, Beach Club and every other DVC Resort that utilizes the same “inflation-proof” point system.

In some respects, DVC is proven vacation inflation insurance – year after year. Why?

The innovative points system Disney created is contractually bound by the following company stipulation found in each resort’s respective “Product Understanding Checklist,” which, in the case of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas states: “The total number of Vacation Points required to use all Vacation Homes during each calendar year through January 31, 2057 can never increase unless more Vacation Homes are added to the plan, except for normal variations which occur in the calendar from year to year.”

Also found in each resort’s Product Understanding Checklist is the continued description of the inflation hedge aspect of DVC points: “Each DVC Resort Vacation Home is assigned a nightly Vacation Point value, which varies depending upon the season of use, location and the size of the Vacation Home and other factors. The number of Vacation Points required to reserve any specific night in a particular Vacation Home may change based on seasonal demand.”

Animal Kingdom Villas

In other words, certain holidays like Easter can fall at different times of the year, causing minor changes to respective resort’s points charts. Or, leap year, is another example when members might notice some of the above aforementioned “normal variations.”

However, minor tweaks notwithstanding, what is important to know about the DVC points system is the fact Disney goes on to provide further vacation inflation insurance by stating: “If Vacation Points for one specific night increase, it will be offset by a decrease on another night or nights, except for normal variations which occur in the calendar from year to year.”

So, just like a see-saw, whatever goes up, must come down; and to be fair, in some cases over the life of the club, Disney actually lowered the nightly number of points it took to stay in  Vacation Homes. Consequently, while some members might have happily welcomed the savings in nightly points usage, some may have noticed a slightly offsetting increase somewhere else on the chart.

What is ‘Reallocation’ and How Does it Support Points-Related Vacation Inflation Insurance?

For members seeking one more measure of assurance about the inflation-proof points system, it’s worth noting one final piece to the Magical points chart puzzle: “Reallocation.”

At least that’s how Disney contractually describes the ability to shuffle points around, meaning, when and if Disney decides to “reallocate” the nightly points rate to stay at a resort, it “cannot exceed 20% per calendar year, except under limited circumstances.”

Basically, if it’s 10 points to stay in a Deluxe Studio at Old Key West during Travel Periods 2 and 3, respectively, the most members can expect Disney to ever increase – or decrease — the nightly rate is by 2 points. Minor DVC membership math in the grand scheme of things, considering the skyrocketing rate of comparable cash stays at Disney hotels, which have increased by as much as 8-10% on an annual basis over the past 50-plus years.

So next time you’re trying to find ways to protect yourself from the rising costs of future Disney vacations, consider Disney Vacation Club because when it comes to arguably the most expensive part of a Disney trip — staying at deluxe-level resorts — the points chart is one built-in, best-kept inflation hedge secret Disney has to offer.

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