Is Disney Vacation Club a Timeshare?
A Contract End Date
One of the biggest differentiators for DVC is the contract end date. Most traditional timeshare contracts go on in perpetuity. While that may initially sound great to always have a vacation spot, this also means that the annual dues (maintenance fees) continue forever as well, which can become a burden. This is particularly true if a contract is passed down to someone who may not want that contract forever, especially as annual dues increase over time.
With DVC, the longest contract length is 50 years. This is the amount of time on the contract if you happen to purchase when the DVC resort first opens. Several DVC resorts have an end date of January 31, 2042, which is only 18 years away. While you can pass down your DVC contract to someone else, it’s also good to know that they will not be stuck paying for that contract forever.
In a traditional timeshare, you pick a specific week of the year to stay in the same accommodation each year. By contrast, DVC offers much more flexibility with its points system. Each DVC contract has a set number of points that you can use to stay at various resorts. The amount of points you spend depends on the resort, room type, and time of year that you travel, which gives you the freedom to change things up every year if you want to.
Should you prefer the more traditional timeshare model, DVC offers an option for that called favorite or “fixed” weeks. With favorite weeks, you select the week that you would like to vacation every year in a specific size accommodation at a certain resort. Even with favorite weeks, DVC members have the option of exchanging their week that year for its equivalent point value instead if they wish to stay elsewhere.
Price and Contract Value
Like many other Disney products, DVC contracts tend to cost more than the average timeshare. An average DVC contract can easily go for $30,000, whereas the average price of a traditional timeshare as of 2019 was about $23,000. The flip side of this price difference is that DVC contracts retain their value better than other timeshare contracts.
With Disney’s Right of First Refusal process, Disney can prop up the value of DVC contracts on the resale market. So, while many other timeshares are resold for pennies on the dollar, DVC contracts better retain their value over time, and some actually increase in value. A quick look at the average contract prices shows that DVC contracts still go for an average of $125 per point on the resale market.
Moreover, there is a healthy demand for DVC contracts on the resale market, so it is easy to sell your contract should you no longer want it. When considering “Is Disney Vacation Club a Timeshare?”, this element alone is a huge contrast to many other typical timeshare contracts that are difficult to get out of.
Disney portrays DVC as more of a club than a timeshare product. With that in mind, they sometimes offer special perks to qualified members, such as discounts, after-hours events, holiday events, or access to lounges. Just note that perks can come and go over time since none of them are guaranteed within the terms of a DVC contract.
The bottom line is that DVC is indeed a timeshare but is unique in its structure, flexibility, and retained value. For Disney fans who stay at Disney Deluxe Resorts at least every other year, there is no better timeshare out there. If you have questions about DVC, contact the knowledgeable team at DVC Resale Market, which has over 200 years of combined direct DVC experience.