How to Use and Maximize DVC Points for Disney Cruises, Adventures by Disney and Themed Vacation Homes
Many veteran DVC Members are familiar with the concept of taking DVC Points and renting them out, and then using those cash proceeds to pay for a Disney Cruise or Adventures by Disney (ABD) trip if you want to maximize value. In fact, some rental companies, such as DVC Rental Store have taken this a step further and created swap programs for specific cruises and ABD trips.
For those new to this concept of renting points to maximize value, lets do a quick example. Lets say you want to go on the 7-Night Eastern Caribbean Disney Fantasy Cruise leaving 6/1/2019 for 2 adults in an inside stateroom. To book directly through Disney would take 614 points plus a $95 exchange fee, and the cash rate is currently $4,957 (as of 12/16/2018 booking directly through Disney). If you were to take 614 points and rent them out through DVC Rental Store you could receive upwards of $13.50 – $14.50 per point. Using the lower end at $13.50 per point, that would provide a rental income of roughly $8,289, far exceeding the $4,957 to book the cruise on cash, and clearly showing a value advantage of renting points to maximize value vs. using points direct. Additionally, the gap is so wide that even after potential income taxes are taken out you are likely to still come out well ahead.
It becomes obvious very quickly, renting points, and using the cash proceeds for something such as Disney Cruises makes a lot of sense. With that in mind, DVC Rental Store took the concept a step further and created a cruise swap program. So for that same 7-night Fantasy Cruise for 2, that would require 614 points plus a $95 exchange fee, DVC Rental Store offers a direct swap for only 348 points and no exchange fee. For those whose math may be a little rusty, this example is great, because we all know 348 points and no exchange fee is clearly a better deal than 614 points and a $95 exchange fee.
DVC Rental Store also applied the point swap concept for Adventures by Disney. For example, for 2 adults, 2 kids on a 7 day/6 night ABD trip to Costa Rica would take 1,778 points plus a $95 exchange fee. Through DVC Rental Store you can do this same trip, with the same number of guests for just 968 points and no exchange fee.
Taking point rental income and using those proceeds towards a Disney vacation can even be applied to vacation homes. For example, only 6 miles from Disney is perhaps Orlando’s most elite vacation home community, Reunion. In Reunion, there are many highly themed vacation homes with lots of space with numerous amenities. As someone who has also been a big fan of staying on Disney property, I was highly skeptical at first of vacation homes off Disney property. However, after seeing some of these magnificent vacation homes complete with private pools, themed rooms and spacious accommodations I could see the appeal. So much so that I purchased a few of these homes and themed them for amazing vacation experiences.
For some, these homes may be perfect for every vacation, but I believe for some Disney fans these homes may only be right for certain vacations to Orlando as they are not on Disney property. For instance, that trip to Orlando that may include a visit to Universal, SeaWorld or Kennedy Space Center mixed with some rest and relaxation could be the perfect trip to take advantage of a vacation home. Other trips that work well for these vacation homes are ones with many guests, that not even a Grand Villa has the space to accommodate or trips when there is a lack of availability at WDW.
For comparison, if you were traveling in May you could get a preferred 2-bedroom at Saratoga Springs for 7 nights for 303 points. If you were to convert those points to dollars at DVC Rental Store at $13.50 per point, that would be $4,090. With those proceeds, you could get that same week at a nearly 4,000 square foot, 5 bedroom / 5 bathroom themed vacation home that sleeps 16. Be Our Guest Cottage, in May, rents for $495 per night and with all fees included would be just under $3,700 for the week. This home includes themed Super Hero and Princess bedrooms along with a private pool and movie theater; please refer to the pictures below.
While there is no swap program (yet) for vacation homes, the renting your points option for cash is still a real possibility for vacationing at these spectacular vacation homes. To see many vacation home options, please visit Incredible Vacation Homes, a company I am a partner with. Additionally, at these vacation properties you can have in home catering and bartending from Cathee Brady Catering and/or fresh groceries, snacks and beverages from Publix Grogery Delivery. Pictures below are from a couple of other themed homes: