By Clever Diva
You’ve seen the DVC kiosks in the parks, at the resorts, and at Downtown Disney. The kiosks are cleverly themed to the area in which they are located, and they display colorful pictures of people clearly having a great time.
The kiosks are staffed with friendly people who will chat with you, and even give your kids a ribbon of stickers. After a little while, they will invite you to take a tour of the Disney Vacation Club.
Uh-oh, you think, a timeshare presentation! Beware! High Pressure Sales People who don’t take No for an answer! They drive you to the destination – you’ll never be able to get back!
But, don’t worry – it’s Disney. And like so many things Disney, it will be fine. It’s important to know what to expect, and it can be quite a pleasant experience. My advice, if you’d like to learn a little more about the Disney Vacation Club, take the tour. But, don’t buy until you have some time to really explore all the information pertaining to the purchase of a this type of timeshare. At the kiosk, it’s likely that you’ll be offered an incentive to take the tour. It can be a Disney gift card, extra Fast Passes, or an item. This changes all the time.
The friendly person at the kiosk will happily arrange a time for you to meet with a guide (the salesperson you’ll be assigned to) at the models at the Sarasota Springs resort. You don’t have to go that day, so pick a time that works for you, and they will usually accommodate you. I like to go at the hottest part of the day, because it’s a great break in your day. On the assigned day, at the assigned time and place, a DVC minivan will pick you up. If you are picked up at a park, this is usually where the cabs are located. Ask any Cast Member at the entrance, and they will direct you.
Once you arrive at the models, you’ll be warmly greeted and given name tags. If you have children with you, they’ll be invited to stay at the adjoining Kids Club, at no charge. This is the same type of club that you’ll pay $25 per hour at many deluxe resorts. My kids were a little nervous at first, but loved the Kids Club. If you prefer, the kids can stay with you. Then, you’ll be invited in a lounge that has cold drinks, coffee, and cookies, etc. , all presented beautifully. Then, you’ll meet your guide.
The guide will try to gauge how much you already know about the Disney Vacation Club. Then, he’ll try to educate you as to how it all works, and answer any questions you may have. Usually, you’ll also be offered a couple of books that show off each of the resorts and details of the point system.
Next, it’s time to see the models. At this time, there are full-sized models of the Villas at the Grand Floridian and Aulani, which is located in Hawaii. The models are the resorts that Disney is actively selling at the time. But, all existing resorts can be bought directly from Disney or in the DVC resale market. The models are amazing, and you’ll feel transported to the resort, even though you are still in Sarasota Springs. Even the balconies are fully built out, with backdrops that show a Hawaiian view!
Each model shows a two bedroom lock-off floor plan. But, since a two bedroom lock-off villa is essentially a one bedroom unit connected to a studio unit, you can easily see what a studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom look like. There are no models for the three bedroom villas. You’ll be allowed to wander through the models, opening closets and drawers, and getting a real feel for what it would be like to vacation in the villas. Your guide will remain with you to answer any questions or concerns. And yes, your guide will gently attempt to “close you ” with the goal of you buying a DVC ownership right then and there. They will offer to book your next vacation, with your new DVC contract, before you leave that afternoon, and they will likely get you anything you want, even if it appears sold-out to the public. But, there is no heavy pressure, and you can easily decline by saying you want to think it over after your vacation.
If you do decide to buy at that moment, you’ll then proceed with the paperwork. Otherwise, you’ll receive the incentive you were offered at the kiosk, and pick-up your kids. For the final touch, you’ll go to an ice cream parlor, that is for the exclusive use of the DVC models, and invited to order what you like, and enjoy it at one of the tables. Then, the DVC van will take you back, although you do not have to return to the original pick-up spot. My family wanted to return to the International Showcase, but the van cannot drop off there. So, we were dropped off at the Boardwalk Resort, and we walked into Epcot.
Purchasing a DVC contract is a big decision, and is a fairly large financial commitment. But, visiting the DVC models is not, and it is a very enjoyable experience. So, if you have a couple of hours, and are a little curious, take the tour. But, don’t buy until your truly understand all your options, including different resorts and buying direct versus resale. You aren’t limited to just the resorts that Disney is promoting. Disney can sell you a contract for any resort, although it may involve a waiting list. Also, many contracts are available from owners who like to sell their investment in the Disney Vacation Club. This is known as resale, and the initial costs are usually less than purchasing directly from Disney. There are restrictions on resale contracts, so you need to educate yourself before purchasing.
You also might want to start by ordering the free DVC DVD from Disney. It’s a good introduction to the world Disney timeshares. And fun to watch!