View Full Version : Is DVC right for my family?

03-18-2008, 10:26 AM
Hi! I'm just starting to think about--and persuade my husband about--joining DVC, but I'm not sure if it's right for us. We are in our thirties and we have two-year-old and eleven-month old sons. We plan to go to Disney World every other year and somewhere else on the off-years--likely to NASCAR races and ideally to places where we can use DVC points. I've stayed in a few value resorts and would like to work our way up through the resorts, from value on up. We'll probably stay 5 nights per trip. Here's the plan:
2009: Pop Century (I'm hoping you can use DVC points at value resorts.)
2010: non-Disney trip
2011: Caribbean Beach
2012: non-Disney trip
2013: Coronado Springs
2014: non-Disney trip
2015: Disney cruise (Here's a big factor--can you pay for the entire cruise using DVC points?)
2016: non-Disney trip
2017: Animal Kingdom lodge


If I'm crunching the numbers right, it looks like it would take quite a long time to break even! But of course that's using today's resort costs. Thanks for your thoughts! I really appreciate it! Jennifer

03-18-2008, 11:04 AM
For starters, you might want to take a look at this recent thread (http://mousepad.mouseplanet.com/showthread.php?t=93749) started by someone with the same question as you. Take a look at some of the included links, including the cost spreadsheet that is a few posts down. That will really help you from the $$ standpoint.

A few things... and an opinion or two...
- No, you cannot use your points at the Value's. While you can use them at the Moderates, the best use of your points will be to use them at a DVC resort.
- While you can use points outside of DVC, let alone Disney, it is my opinion that if you plan on using your points alternating between DVC and non-DVC stays, you may not get the best overall value for your points. However, it is still a selling point that if you want to stay somewhere else on points, you have that option. In that case, there is a lot of flexibility.
- You can use points for a DCL cruise. However, unless you purchase more than the minimum amount of points, you might have to do some creative banking and borrowing of points to do so. The thing is that some would rather pay cash for a DCL trip with a side trip at WDW using points.

Please feel free to post any additional questions. DVC membership is a great experience but something to really investigate beforehand. I know that we took quite a while before joining and my only regret is not being able to do so sooner.

03-20-2008, 09:17 AM
Hi! Thanks so much for your advice and opinion. I really, truly appreciate it!

03-21-2008, 09:03 PM
Trust me, once you have stayed in a DVC villa, you won't want to go back to a standard hotel room. At times, we stay in the studios, to conserve points, but staying in a one-bedroom villa is wonderful when you have kids. There is a lot more room, you can fix breakfast in your own kitchen, do you laundry for free, right in your villa, and can enjoy the space and privacy that lets some members of the family sleep while others can stay up or get up earlier. If you do decide that DVC is the way to go for your family, you will want to stay in the DVC villas, which are, basically, Deluxe level resorts. If you have not yet taken the tour, see what the DVC villas look like.

03-24-2008, 04:27 AM
We've been DVC members since '95. In my opinion, the points are not economically justified staying outside DVC resorts. I would only use them outside only so you won't lose them. I would recommend getting the bare minimum points and borrow/bank to do DVC stays every other year.

03-31-2008, 01:17 PM
My wife and I have been to Disney many times, staying both on and off site, both DVC and regular WDW hotels. Once we got with DVC we never did use our points for non-DVC sites, though we did consider it.

The first thing I noticed was that it takes more points for non-DVC than for DVC. I asked Disney why and the answer was "maid service". At a DVC hotel you get daily maid service, but at DVC you don't - so you have to make your own beds and clean up your own unit. Now this has never been a big issue to us, but I have been quite surprised to find that this is a deal-breaker for a lot of folks - they HAVE to have daily maid service. So consider that point first of all.

The second thing is trading for non-Disney time shares. Quite frankly, when I looked at this I decide we could do a lot better by either owning a second (non-DVC) unit and trading that or just going with a regular hotel. DVC is just a lot more expensive than most other times shares, so you end up with an expensive trade. A much better solution (to me) is to buy half as many points and use banking/borrowing to go every other year.

Last of all, staying in a condo is a lot different from staying at Disney hotels. Do you like to prepare some of your own meals while on vacation? If not, why bother to have a nice kitchen? For a family, moderate-priced hotels like Port Orleans have food courts which are great for families, but you won't see them around DVC units - mostly it's sit-down restaurants. So if you like to make your own breakfast and maybe pop a pizza in the oven and kick back and pop a couple of beers, a condo is great. But if you only use your room to crash at at night and always eat out, a hotel room might be a much better choice.

In our case, we've done all types and much prefer a DVC condo. But, we also recognize that all people are different and have different life styles and tastes, so one answer does not fit all.