By Aulani Diva
When you first think of some of the Disney resort villas at Walt Disney World you may assume they are extreme in pricing and only for the wealthy. That’s what I thought when I used to stay off site at hotels in the Walt Disney World and Disneyland areas. One visit to a Disney Vacation Club cast member changed everything as far as my perspective went.
If you are like me and love Disney and travel to Disney at least once a year (whether it be California, Florida or Hawaii) then the Disney Vacation Club could be something you are missing out on. We bought our “home” resort at the Disney Aulani in Hawaii. It is a newer resort and therefore being newer and in Hawaii it was more money than other DVC resorts. BUT it meant it would be easier to sell as it was newer and also we could get a reservation there 11 months out. If you are a DVC member you can book your home resort 11 months out or any other DVC resort 7 months out. This is to allow home resort guests the first opportunity to book. While I won’t get in to the particulars of it, I will tell you that every time we have gone to book Disney Aulani at 11 months we have always gotten the exact villa we wanted (1 bedroom ocean view). We have also booked Disney’s Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort in Walt Disney World, 7 months out and got our preferred lake view 1 bedroom suite. Also, we secured a studio room at Disney’s Grand Californian 7 months out.
The amount we spent on our Disney Vacation Club points at Disney’s Aulani that lasts us a lifetime and beyond (left to our family) is equivalent to the trips I mentioned above. So that was 2 trips to Aulani, 1 trip to Bay Lake and 1 trip to Grand Californian at Disneyland. If we paid normal rates for those trips it would equal our DVC club cost. But instead we can now take trips for the rest of our life to Disney and continue to stay in accommodation at these same resorts or similar and only pay an annual maintenance fee. So after seeing this work for us over the last few years I have no doubt in my mind that the Disney Vacation Club is absolutely the way to go.
Apart from cost, DVC members get to stay in amazing villas, can use points to book Disney cruises and can also trade in the RCI timeshare program and stay at non Disney resorts around the world. DVC members get 10% off at a lot of amazing restaurants in Walt Disney World, Disneyland and Downtown Disney. Also a lot of stores in all 3 locations give 10% off of merchandise. Members also get pool hopping privileges, Top of the World Lounge Access at Bay Lake Towers in Disneyworld, 35% off golf at the Walt Disney Resort golf course and 20% off a Disneyland guided tour.
There are so many benefits financial and otherwise to owning a Disney Vacation Club membership and my family is so very glad we made the decision to do it. We love walking in to a Disney resort and hearing “Welcome Home”