DVC 101: Introduction to DVC

SSRSmallIf you travel to Walt Disney World or Disneyland and are able to see or hear, you probably are familiar with “Disney Vacation Club” from the ubiquitous DVC information booths scattered everywhere, from the DVC channel at each Disney resort, from the video on Disney’s Magical Express, or from the numerous signs on the Disney busses.

If you’ve always wondered what the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is all about, you’ve come to the right place. Perhaps you have wondered whether buying into Disney Vacation Club is actually a good idea for your family. I can’t give a definitive answer to that question that fits everyone, but I can supply you with the information you’ll need to make an informed decision.

You’ll discover that there are compelling reasons to become a DVC member – some financial and some non-economic reasons. No, DVC is not for everyone, but read on to find out if it might be a good fit for your family.

And since I’m not affiliated with Disney in any way, I’ll just give you the honest truth – without looking through the rose-colored glasses of Disney emotion (well, perhaps a bit, as I’m a Disney fan!).

This is a primer and comprehensive introduction on DVC for beginners. It summarizes the key points about DVC and contains links to more detailed information elsewhere for a particular topic. Some topics are covered briefly, and some in more detail.

First, a bit of history…

On December 20, 1991, the “Disney Vacation Club” resort opened on Walt Disney World property. This resort, with its waterfront village of colorful, clapboard-sided vacation villas, created a new type of accommodation. For the first time, guests had access to an on-property resort with multiple bedrooms, several pools, a general store, various children’s play areas and outdoor barbecue grills.

The first members bought ownership in “The Disney Vacation Club” with no guarantee that additional resorts would ever be built.

On October 1, 1995, Disney’s second DVC resort opened in Vero Beach, Florida and on March 6, 1996 their third resort opened on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. In addition, a fourth DVC was under construction at WDW that would become the Boardwalk Resort.

It was now time to give the first DVC resort a unique identity to separate it from the rest. So in January 1996, the name was officially changed to Disney’s Old Key West Resort.

Here we are now with 14 resorts available and certainly more in various stages of design and development. We’ve seen DVC expand to Disneyland and Hawaii.

The most recent DVC additions were at the Grand Floridian Resort, the Polynesian Village Resort, and Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at the Wilderness Lodge -all at Walt Disney World.

Note: Anyone interested in a more detailed history of DVC can read The history of the Disney Vacation Club (DVC).

DVC keeps growing. So what is the reason this “club” is so popular?

For the Disney marketing view of DVC, you can watch the video below. However, I’d suggest you skip below the video to get the unvarnished truth about the DVC program.

It’s best if you read through this sequentially, but if you want to jump to a specific topic:

Introduction to DVC
What is DVC?
How much does it cost to join DVC?
How many points should I buy?
What other costs are there after I buy?
What is a Home Resort?
How difficult is it to book a reservation?
How many DVC resorts are there?
What resorts is DVC selling?
Should I take the DVC tour?
What types of rooms are there?
Does DVC last forever?
What is a Use Year?
Can I own more than one home resort?
Do I have to buy direct from Disney?
Can I sell my DVC?
Can I use my points for other things?
Are there perks?
Are there any cons?
Does it make sense to buy DVC?
Can I rent out my points?
The DVC Product Understanding Checklist