Goodbye, RCI, and DVC Points Chart Updates
The Disney Vacation Club has just added a new amenity for members, changed its 2023 Points Chart, revealed a Points Chart for a “new” property, and…did something unexpected.
We’ve got plenty of DVC updates to cover today. So let’s get to it.
The Minor Update
Let’s enter on the shallow end of the pool with today’s updates. As you know, Disney Very Merriest After Hours continues through December.
Well, Disney has just added a new amenity for card-carrying DVC members. When you attend the party, you get reserved seating for the fireworks!
Cast members will take you to a spot at the East Garden, where you can watch an unobstructed view of the show.
You must sign up in advance to receive this membership benefit. Here’s the form.
Also, please be aware that each member may bring a maximum of three guests for the seating.
Those of you traveling in larger groups must decide who gets the good seats vs. who sits with the non-DVC rabble!
The Points Chart Update I
DVC also released some new Points Charts this week. One of them clarifies a discussion about Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
As you know, Building #9, Big Pine Key, will convert to a DVC building this summer.
You’ll now find the official Points Chart published on Disney’s media site. Suffice to say that there are some surprises here…and pleasant ones at that.
DVC won’t charge more points for this building than the current Grand Floridian rooms.
The Standard View and Lake View studios start at 16 and 19 points per night and max out at 22 and 28.
However, Big Pine Key will add a new room type to the mix. Like Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, it’ll include some rooms with Theme Park View.
Those studios start at 24 points and max out at 34 points. So, you’ll pay as much as 50 percent more for Theme Park View than Standard View.
The difference between Lake View and Theme Park View isn’t as dramatic, but it’s still 21-26 percent more.
This announcement has caused diehard Disney fans to evaluate Big Pine Key with a critical eye.
Some folks aren’t sure how good Theme Park View could actually be in some of these rooms. So, you should keep that in mind when booking.
The Points Chart Update II
Speaking of that, Disney also announced its 2023 Points Charts, and they confirm a suspicion many of us have had.
The Fall is no longer the off-season at Walt Disney World. I mean, clever DVC members had deduced this long ago. Now, Disney has gotten wise.
You may recall that the 2022 Points Chart garnered the wrong kind of headlines, forcing DVC to make a rare adjustment after the fact.
Disney made some changes for the month of September. If not for those modifications, the entire DVC collection would have charged more in 2022 than in 2021, which is problematic for Disney and DVC members.
Disney’s intention was clear, though. It wanted to update its somewhat outdated Points Charts to reflect current membership trends.
After a year of reflection, DVC came back with a new Points Chart that prices October and November nights higher than ever.
Now, these dates still aren’t unreasonably high. They’re closer to the middle than the top of the Points Charts.
Disney has course-corrected. Now, it has updated Halloween party season and the start of yuletide decorations. But, frankly, that should have happened years ago.
Last Halloween, I spent a week at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. That studio only cost me 130, whereas it’ll be 160 points in 2023.
That’s totally fine. I knew I was getting a deal and figured it would end one day.
Meanwhile, the start of May has joined January as the best time to visit when you want to maximize your points.
You can spend that same week at the Polynesian in January of 2023 for 125 points, and it’s the same price from May 1st through May 14th. So we’re talking about minor changes like that.
As always, staying adaptable remains integral to maximizing your DVC points.
The Shocker Update
Goodbye, RCI. It was nice knowing you, I guess.
Yes, DVC has ditched RCI as its hotel exchange partner after a 13-year partnership.
The move comes as a surprise. RCI recently upped its product offerings when it acquired Alliance Reservations Network in 2019.
RCI is a division of Wyndham Destinations, which may be the sticking point here. The rationale could be as simple as Disney preferring to do business with Marriott instead.
I say this because the new DVC hotel exchange partner is Interval International, which Marriott Vacations Worldwide acquired in 2018.
So, after this much industry consolidation, Disney understandably weighed its options for the future.
Marriott already owns the Swan, Dolphin, and Swan Reserve at Walt Disney World. So there’s likely an element of trust here.
For DVC members, the news seems like a positive. We all know about the intrinsic weaknesses of the RCI exchange system.
Finding something that matched the value of Disney felt like an uphill battle to the point that many of us never used the program.
Hopefully, Interval International will prove much more fruitful. Anecdotally, my brother messaged me the moment Disney announced the news.
One of his favorite non-Disney timeshares is part of the Interval International lineup.
I mention this because they seem to have either a larger footprint or at least one that fits better with the needs of DVC owners.
This story has just gotten started, but I view it as a positive.
If you have any positive or negative Interval International experiences you’d like to share, feel free to pass them along.