I don’t know about you, but when I’m planning my next Disney trip one of the first things I do is say to myself “how can I save the most money” on this trip?” The answer to that question is often never the same but one way I’ve found to not only save money but also stay Deluxe on a Value budget is by renting Disney Vacation Club (DVC) points.
Did you know that you can stay in DVC Villas without being a DVC member? The process is relatively simple and can save a lot of money on your next trip. We did it and I can’t wait to do it again. Here’s how it works:
You can rent points one of two ways, either from a rental agency or directly from the owner. Finding a place/person to rent from is step one. Next, decide where to stay. The Disney Vacation in properties are currently:
- Beach Club Villas
- Boardwalk Villas
- Bay Lake Tower
- Animal Kingdom Villas (Jambo House and Village)
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Wilderness Lodge
- Copper Creek Villas at Wilderness Lodge
- Old Key West Resort
- Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa
- Grand Floridian Villas
- The Polynesian Village Resort
Once you decide where you’d like to stay, your next step is to determine how much it will cost. To do this you need to find out how many points your desired stay will cost. There are numerous Disney Vacation Club point calculators available online as we have found none to be more accurate than another. Once you know how many points you’ll need, simple math will be required to determine the cost. Different DVC rent agencies will charge different amounts per point so you’ll want to know your cost per point. For example, when we stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge we paid $17/point. Our total stay was 72 points. 72*17=$1224 for a week-long stay. Dividing that out, it worked out to just $174 a night for a Savannah view in Animals Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo House!
Once you know what the cost will be, your next step is to request a reservation.your usually required to pay a deposit at this point with the total amount due at the time your reservation is secured. It’s really just that easy! You can even get a dining plan, though the DVC owner would be the one to set that up rather than doing it through Disney yourself.
We loved our DVC stay, while we were in a studio and didn’t have a kitchen, we still had a sink and a microwave which isn’t an amenity you typically find in Disney Resort Hotels. While we weren’t going to cook four-course meals with a sink and a microwave it made breakfast a breeze. Some oatmeal in the A.M was just the right fuel for a fun day in the parks and we saved a lot of money by not needing to purchase elsewhere. The view too… having breakfast on our balcony with this view:
was an experience I’ll never forget. Here’s a quick photo tour of just what a studio at Animal Kingdom Lodge includes:
With studio Villas like this (essentially converted regular rooms) there is just the kitchenette but other classes of Villa offer multiple bedrooms and full kitchens making them truly a home away from home (and a money savings to because meals can be prepared yourself rather than purchased at a premium price).
As with everything there are pros and cons. No vacation is one size fits all and no booming method should be either. Deciding if this is right for you will take looking at it from all angles.
- Your contract is with the DVC owner, not with Disney.
- Most owners/rental companies require payment when the reservation is made, meaning unlike other booking options payment plans are usually not available.
- Availability can be very limited and flexibility on dates/ resort is needed
- You forego most Mousekeeping services when you book DVC.
These are all definitely important factors to take into consideration when deciding of this method is right for you. I loved my experience at Animal Kingdom Lodge. For us, it was the right choice but again, no vacation is one size fits all and your best fit may be something totally different. Have you booked a Villa before? Let us know how you liked it in the comments.
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