How Many DVC Points Should You Buy?
Here’s the one debate that ALL potential Disney Vacation Club members face. How many DVC Points should you buy? Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when deciding.
Where Do You Plan to Stay?
During a recent episode of DVC Fan, our own Paul Krieger brought up this question. You can watch his response here:
That’s the best approach to this entire discussion. So, I’d strongly encourage you to examine the various DVC Points charts. You won’t need long to realize the discrepancy across the DVC catalog.
Disney charges different DVC Points amounts for the same stay at various resorts. This knowledge will inform your decision, and I can prove this with a quick set of bullet points. Here’s the minimum weekly cost of a weeklong Disney vacation in a Studio at the various DVC resorts:
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – 55/76 (Value vs. Studio)
- Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas – 119
- Bay Lake Tower – 97
- Beach Club – 100
- BoardWalk – 71
- Boulder Ridge – 97
- Copper Creek — 95
- Grand Californian – 129
- Grand Floridian – 120
- Hilton Head Island – 54
- Old Key West – 71
- The Polynesian – 104
- The Riviera – 104
- Saratoga Springs – 73
- Vero Beach – 82
- The Villas at Disneyland Hotel – 97
That DVC Points discrepancy listed above underscores how much where you plan to stay matters. You’ll need to buy more points at the monorail resorts or Aulani than you would at Saratoga Springs or Animal Kingdom Villas. You’ll enjoy the same lovely hotel stay at any of these properties, but some could feasibly cost double the DVC Points for the same week.
How Many DVC Points Can You Afford?
Later in the discussion, Marissa Vallotton summarizes my thought process here. At its core, the DVC program is modular in nature. So, you shouldn’t feel the need to overreach with your initial purchase.
Buy what you can afford right now! You’ll have no need to spend your money on excessive DVC Points with your first contract. Instead, you should view this transaction as dipping your toe into the DVC pool.
You can use these DVC Points to explore and develop a comfort level with the program. As you evaluate various resorts and decide which ones you prefer, you can purchase more DVC Points later. Realistically, the price will have increased a bit by then, as that’s the historical trend for DVC.
However, your salary should increase over time as well. So, the pricing will require about the same percentage of your budget at a later date. In the interim, you can enjoy your DVC membership without feeling stressed that you have overextended financially. Nobody wants that!
How Long Are Your Vacations?
Earlier, I listed the DVC Points cost for weeklong stays at various Studios. Here’s the thing, though. You may not enjoy vacations of that length. Some people prefer three-day weekends, while I know a few DVC members who visit for two weeks or longer.
Obviously, the number of DVC Points you buy will increase/decrease depending on your travel habits. The three-day weekend crowd can comfortably shop for smaller contracts. On the other hand, workaholics struggle to spend that much downtime away from the office.
Of course, you don’t even need to take a vacation to answer this question. A new generation of employees works from home. And your DVC Home Resort IS your home! So, you can use an Aulani hotel room as your office if that’s your preference.
Simply stated, you should decide how many days you intend to spend at Disney annually. Remember that lowballing your estimate is okay. Again, you can always purchase more DVC Points later.
How Large Is Your Traveling Party
Here’s the other main consideration. As a rule, how large is your traveling party? Are you a solo traveler, a member of a couple, or someone with an extended family?
On various Disney visits, I’ve answered yes to all three. In fact, the primary reason I joined DVC was because my brother and his family heavily pushed the idea. We’ve spent several trips with them, and we have another couple who has joined as well.
However, my wife and I are a bit different than most in that we have never shared a room with anyone else. So, we can pick DVC contracts based on Studios. We’ve stayed in Villas, but I always feel a bit guilty when I upgrade.
For some travelers, especially members of large families, a Studio won’t be enough. You’ll need at least a One-Bedroom or maybe even a Two-Bedroom Villa. If that’s the case, you’ll obviously need more DVC Points.
The underlying theme here circles back to the elasticity of the DVC program. No matter what you need, you won’t necessarily find it in a single contract purchase. And that’s okay!
You’ll be a DVC member for decades to come. So, purchase DVC Points with an understanding that you can always buy more later if/when you’re ready!