Should you Attend a DVC Presentation?

A column in Forbes asks an interesting question, is it worth the free Fastpasses to sit through a DVC Sales Presentation? They answer appears to be yes, but with caveats. The chief one being – you might actually want to buy into Disney Vacation Club after hearing about how great a deal it is.

We were led to a consultation room with its appropriately Disney styling and we were given the deal. Here’s what it was. Instead of paying for vacations — specifically accommodation — as we currently did, when we booked them, we could pay for them in advance. For either a one time payment or a ‘mortgage’ over 10 years (or it turns out anything in between), we would get 50 years of holidays. Yes, 50! For we who were currently involved in heavy planning of our activities over the next 50 hours, this was quite an adjustment in time horizon.

Having never seriously considered DVC before (I am a local, after all), I thought the whole thing was an interesting read. The best advice is to run the numbers for your own personal vacation habits and see if the savings are worth it. You’re not necessarily locked into vacations at Disney World every year, you can use points to stay at non-Disney destinations or bank points and just travel to Disney every-other year. I know some use it to travel on the Disney Cruise Line. Now you’ve got me really interested.

Anyone out there in the readership become a DVC Member this way?

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14 Responses to Should you Attend a DVC Presentation?

  1. Back in 1997, before kids, we came to Orlando for the 1st time. We spent 2 days doing the “get something for nothing” timeshare presentations. literally 2 days at 2 presentations… for $50 and a free day ticket to Disney. We didn’t buy anything except the teaser come back and experience us next year (from both TS). So we decided to give the DVC presentation a try as well. When we got to the place, the person we talked to was very upfront (and friendly). We heard basically that excerpt from the article and then this little ditty (which sold us): “I can go into more detail and we can move forward with this, or you guys can get back out to the parks… that’s why you’re here, to be in the parks.. I don’t want to waist your time and you certainly don’t want to waist mine.” It was just the low pressure sales/reverse psychology that kept us there. Oh yeah by the way, we HAVE used our points, not once but TWICE for Disney Cruises. In our mind, just from those two cruises, it’s paid for itself. Oh wait, I am supposed to be talking about the presentation… sorry… I take my DVC soapbox wherever I go… even online. :)

    As for the instant fastpasses, they are nice swag… I have a daughter with Autism, so we get a special pass as it is, so we ended up the last time sprinkling some pixie dust on a family that looked like they could use them.

  2. Kristi says:

    We’ve considered it, but we enjoy the free dining which DVCM don’t get to take advantage of.

  3. Gaylin says:

    I have been to a DVC presentation. We actually enjoyed the whole process, tour, the cast member, it was all great. We didn’t buy into DVC and the reason I am glad we didn’t, I broke up with that guy and how would we have split them up? And would I have been stuck dealing with him every year over who had ‘custody’ of the points.

    I would love to be a DVC member, maybe someday.

  4. Stephen says:

    In my opinion listening to a presentation from a cast member for an hour would definitely be better than standing outside in line for an hour (or longer). Next time I go to WDW I would definitely give this a try…

  5. Jeremy says:

    As an annual passholder at TDR, my fiance and I went to a presentation at the end of September last year. We’d done everything else in both parks so many times, the DVC was just another attraction/show to us. They treat you right, the staff was all fantastic, and wow do I want to buy one. Sadly, it’s like buying a car. The price was just too far out of our reach. When we have the money, we will buy one. Not might, will. Great deal, fantastic people. And we didn’t use our fastpasses because we collect fastpasses. These just went into the collection.

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  7. charles says:

    Just remember that once you “drive those points off the lot”, they instantly lose 30% or more of their value.

    DVC used to be different than other timeshares, but in 2011, they decided to restrict owners from reselling their contracts with the same trading options as they have. So if you buy direct, you can trade for Disney cruises and Disney hotels like the Polynesian (although the trades are typically more expensive than simply paying cash.) But if you have a life change like a major illness or divorce and need to sell, the new owner will not have those options and will naturally offer less money as a result.

    According to the Orlando Sentinel, DVC spokeswoman Diane Hancock said that the change aligns Disney with other timeshare operators who impose similar restrictions on resales.

    http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2011-01-18/the-daily-disney/os-disney-vacation-club-20110118_1_disney-vacation-club-time-share-owners-time-shares

    So it’s clear that DVC has decided to be just another timeshare (and you can find hundreds on ebay for $1). The DVC owners needing to sell their contracts are competing with corporate Disney’s direct sales and Disney may decide to strip even more value from their resales at any time. If it comes down to Disney fighting you for a dollar, your odds are not very good.

    So if you are committed to yearly trips to WDW and conclude that DVC is for you after doing some homework (independently of the DVC sales staff), I’d recommend buying in as cheaply as possible. The value of trades for Disney cruises and hotels is much lower than the hit you will take if/when you eventually need to sell. Take a look at the point charts for cruises yourself – but remember that while the number of points needed to book each entire DVC resort for the entire year can never change over the 50 year contract period, the number of points needed to trade out for cruises and such is renegotiated every year and can change significantly over time.

    (Also, while you can use points to stay at non-Disney destinations through a timeshare exchange company – true whether you buy direct or resale – the best financial value of DVC is in using the points at DVC resorts.)

    I never attended a presentation – I just read a lot of opinions from current owners on message boards (both positives and negatives) before buying in to DVC. I’ve enjoyed my DVC stays greatly – from castle views at Bay Lake Tower to savanna views at Jambo House. But their new adversarial policy toward owners needing to sell makes me wary of recommending DVC to friends. (I’ll admit that if the new policy has been a contributing factor to lower resale prices, it does make buying a resale contract more tempting for me.)

    But if you do attend a presentation, don’t be dazzled by the glossy pictures and talk of “500 destinations.” Remember that the Disney salespeople are not looking out for your interests – they are trying to sell you a product. They may not point out a number of areas where DVC would be a bad fit for you.

    Do your homework.

  8. Ed says:

    I have been to two presentations. The cast members have been great, polite, helpful and did not “pressure” us into any decisions. We (my wife and I) love being members of DVC. It has helped us plan on taking a vacation. We have enjoyed the flexibility of DVC. I recommend DVC to everyone.

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  10. Whit says:

    We did it back in the day when the freebie was lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s. I don’t remember what we ate, but DVC is still the best buy we’ve ever made. Comment not sponsored.

  11. Jim says:

    I have been a DVC member since 1996 and highly recommend membership if you plan on using it at any of the DVC properties here in Florida including Vero Beach, at Disneyland, Hawaii and Hilton Head. Once you leave the DVC family of properties your membership looses value quickly. Allow me to explain. I can stay in studio accomodations at the Beach Club for a week in January, September or the first two weeks of December for 107 points. I can have up to four people in my room for that total number of points. That room at the Beach Club would probably rent for $350 per night during that period for a total of $2450 plus taxes. I see this as a great dollar to point value. During that same period a seven day Disney cruise in a similar size room would cost between 150 and 165 points PER PERSON. You would be using over 300 points for two people that would have a cash value at Disney worth over $6000. Not a good value. You would be better off to rent your timeshare to someone else at Disney for cash and take the money and pay cash for the crusie. You would come out on the better end of the deal. We looked at using our points in New York. Did it once. Big mistake. A single room with no frills, but a nice clean hotel is 85 points per night. No comparison to 15 points per night at the WDW DVC properties. Don’t get me wrong. We love our membership. As Floridians we make 4 of 5 three night trips per year and value these short get aways but you are throwing your points away using outside the DVC family of resorts.

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  13. Derek Force says:

    I bought a used DVC in 2009 so that I could have a home base at my absolute favorite resort Beach Club. (its all about location). I saved thousands of dollars over buying a new DVC, which was only being offered for Saratoga Springs, Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Bay Lake Tower. I am grandfathered into the old rules, so the changes they made to resale in 2011 does not affect me. I am looking to add more points and will again look to resale. I have no intention of using points on a cruise or staying at the Poly, nor will I ever stay in the concierge or take an overseas Disney Adventure.
    My mother attended a DVC presentation and loved having the fast passes, she even went back later in the trip and they stocked them up again. In the end, she bought her 300 points used at Beach Club and saved over $5000 for the same deal they were offering at Saratoga Springs.
    Part of the allure of a DVC is the high resale value. If Disney takes this value away, less people will purchase one.

  14. Brian Gill says:

    We have been members since 2006 and have added on three times. We were fully aware of resale and we asked our sales presenter that direct question. We couldn’t believe that there was no hesitation by Gerry Castello ( we wish he didn’t take early retirement) to discuss all our options and he was able to get us back dated points so we could offset the price difference from resale to buying direct. Sometimes you meet true professionals who genuinely want you to be an satisfied customer. If you buy from Disney your chances of getting a cast member who will care about you are much greater than the resale salespeople who can sell disney Marriott or whatever they get the biggest commission on

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