Five Reasons to Own at Vero Beach and Two Reasons to Look Elsewhere
Deciding which Disney Vacation Club (DVC) property should be your home resort is challenging. So many variables come into play that no two people will evaluate the situation the same. Some members solve the problem by owning at multiple resorts. Not everyone can or would do that, though.
Many first-time buyers are picking the place where they’ll be welcomed home for the next few decades. Nobody wants to get a decision wrong that will last so long. As a way of helping, I’m starting a new series that evaluates reasons why you may want to purchase at a specific DVC property as well as a couple of reasons why you wouldn’t.
I intend to be as honest as possible here. I sincerely believe that all DVC resorts are worthwhile, but none of them is the perfect solution for everyone. Some properties are better for families with small children, others are great for singles and couples, and some skew older. Some aren’t even at a Disney theme park. Let’s start with one of them. Here are five reasons to own at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort and a couple of reasons why you should pick somewhere else. Let’s begin with the shorter list.
The Negatives of Owning at Vero Beach
1. Maintenance Fees
Vero Beach is secretly one of the most expensive places for DVC members to own. Program participants get into the program cheaply thanks to the low purchase prices. Then, they spend every January afterward lamenting the maintenance fees.
Currently, Vero Beach charges $9.48 per point for most owners. There’s an exception for people who owned before 1996, but it’s not going to apply to you. How steep a price is $9.48 per point for maintenance fees? Well, the next most expensive resort charges $8.56 per point. Only two DVC properties have maintenance fees above $7.86. So, the difference is a LOT.
Let’s talk about maintenance fees in practical terms. You’ll pay $948 this year for 100 points. Even without the annual increase in these fees, you’d spend $9,480 in maintenance fees over the next decade. In reality, it’ll be well over $10,000.
The aspect that you should consider carefully with Vero Beach is whether you’re okay with paying more later. In layperson’s terms, it’s like a transaction where you put less money down at the start in exchange for a higher payment over the life of a loan, only we’re talking about a DVC membership, not a loan. So, the price of the DVC contract that you evaluate seems several thousand dollars lower than it actually will be over the life of your membership.
2. The Lack of a Disney Feel
Let’s be realistic. You’re spending a great deal of money to own a DVC contract for many years to come. You want to feel like you’re part of the Disney family. While every cast member’s greeting of “Welcome home!” will provide this feeling, Vero Beach is decidedly less Disney than most of the other participating properties.
The theme here is beachy, but hotel management does what it can to add a Disney vibe. Goofy and Donald host a pirate night sometimes, the hotel’s sitting areas play cartoons on the televisions, and Disney decorations adorn many walls. Beyond that, well, you’re not going to a Disney theme park, the surest sign that you’re on a DVC vacation. It’s certainly a drawback that will matter to some.
The Positives of Owning at Vero Beach
At the time of publication, Vero Beach has 16 contracts listed on this site that are $69 per point or cheaper. Out of the other 14 DVC properties combined, only one contract is available for as little as $69 per point. When you’re shopping in the bargain bin, Vero Beach isn’t just your best bet. It’s really the only game in town.
As I type this, some Vero Beach contracts are priced in the upper 50s. That entry point is the holy grail of DVC membership. At this time, anything under $100 is a pretty good deal, which means that Vero Beach contracts come at a 25-40 percent discount off of regular membership. Vero Beach ownership is undeniably the cheapest way to become a member.
2. The Beach
Do you know how many DVC resorts are directly on the beach? The answer is two, three if you count the man-made sandy parts of Disney’s Beach Club Resort. A fourth property, Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort, includes access to a private beach, but it’s not at the hotel.
In other words, your choices for a beachfront DVC vacation are Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, and Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. Only one of them is in the continental United States. The other one requires quite a bit more flight time for DVC members who don’t live on the West Coast.
Don’t get me wrong. In a vacuum, I choose Hawaii anytime. But Vero Beach is a marvelous fallback option for those of us who can’t fly off to Hawaii whenever we want. It’s a glorious white sand beach that’s only available to hotel guests.
3. The Vero Beach Lifestyle
The beaches of Florida are wildly popular vacation destinations, especially to southerners and others who live on the East Coast. From Destin to Palm Beach to Daytona Beach, these places all exhibit the greatness of beaches as tourist traps.
Vero Beach has primarily escaped that fate. It’s a much more relaxed atmosphere that also skews a bit younger. Children will feel more at home here, and parents won’t stress as much about improper behavior when they show up during Spring Break or the summer. Hollywood never sets its teen sex comedies in Vero Beach for a reason. The place is just too laid back.
When you think of a beach vacation, however, Vero Beach delivers all of the necessary elements. You can swim, surf, or sail here. Most of the popular watersports are available as recreation, and the hotel’s onsite amenities fit the lifestyle, too.
Cast members host a popular campfire singalong sometimes. Vero Beach is also a haven for golf, mini-golf, and tennis. Plus, there’s a spa at the resort! I think of it as similar to Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, only it’s off on its own rather than a part of the Walt Disney World campus.
4. The Turtles
Vero Beach is part of the Treasure Coast, a haven for turtles. This hotel embraces the migratory patterns of these creatures. It hosts many turtle-related activities and other conservation studies/classes. Kids and adults alike can learn about the connection between the beaches here and the turtles that swim up to lay eggs.
I realize that this particular pro is appealing to a specific crowd only, but casual observers will still get a kick out of it during a hotel visit. The Loggerhead Sea Turtles are fearless about humans, as they’ve learned over the years to trust us to protect their nesting grounds.
The turtle walks at this resort have grown so popular over the years that some of the dates are considered peak season and given a nightly/weekly points cost befitting this fact. Whether you want to spend time among the turtles once or turn it into an annual destination, this particular amenity is undoubtedly distinctive.
5. The Combo Vacation
To many DVC members, the idea of a Disney vacation combined with a beach vacation is heaven on Earth. You get the best of both worlds this way. You can spend time in the relaxed setting of an oceanfront vacation. Then, you can head to the Most Magical Place on Earth and ride Space Mountain.
While everyone adores a trip to Walt Disney World, it can be a stressful time, though. You’ll walk a lot and fight the crowds everywhere you go. It’s the downside of vacationing somewhere that hosts more than 100,000 guests each day. Divvying up the trip so that you start or end with a few days at a beach is smart vacationing.