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What is the DVC? The Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is the Disney version of a vacation ownership program. It was created in 1991 by Disney Vacation Development, Inc., a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company. Unlike a traditional timeshare where owners buy a specific size unit in a set time of year, the DVC works on a point system giving owners the flexibility to travel when they want, as often as they want, for however long they want, and in whatever size unit they choose. Also, unlike traditional timeshares, your Disney Vacation Club membership ends on January 31, 2042. Membership at the new Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa will end on January 31, 2054. Although you are buying a "real-estate interest" and your purchase is actually deeded, your ownership ceases to exist after these dates. Points? How do the "points" work? When you buy into the Disney Vacation Club, you purchase a set number of "vacation points." The minimum number of points that may be bought in your initial purchase is currently 150. You only buy these points once -- they are then allocated on a yearly basis until the contract's end. For example, if you buy 250 "vacation points" in your initial purchase, you will receive 250 points each year to "spend" on your vacation accommodations. When using your DVC points to reserve accommodations, the time of year, the resort chosen and the size of the unit will determine how many points are necessary. A two-bedroom unit uses more points than a one-bedroom unit. Weekday stays use less points than weekend stays. Booking a week in a studio at the Old Key West Resort in July will use more points (109) than booking that same size unit during January (80). Owners are supplied with easy to understand "point charts" and, with a little planning, points can be stretched a long way. What is a "Use Year"? The "use year" is actually the month of the year when your points become available for use. If you bought your points in an August "use year," your yearly points will be available each year until the end of your contract, from August 1st of one year until July 31st of the next. What does it cost to become a member? Initial purchase: The current price to purchase ownership in the DVC, from the DVC, is $95 per point with a 150-point minimum. Points for all resorts other than Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa, when inventory is available, are $84 per point. Points can sometimes be purchased through a resale agent for less than the current DVC retail price. Closing costs: If buying through the Disney Vacation Club, there are no closing costs. Cost when purchasing through a resale agent varies. Interest: When purchasing through the Disney Vacation Club, financing the cost of membership is an option. The DVC offers one, three, five, seven and 10-year plans. Annual Dues: Annual dues are paid yearly and are based on the amount of points owned. The 2003 fees ranged from $3.49 per point at the Old Key West Resort to $4.37 per point at Vero Beach. Exchange fee: A fee of $90 is charged when booking a vacation through the Member Getaways program, and a fee of $75 is charged when booking the Concierge Collection or the Disney Cruise. What is my "Home Resort"? The "home resort" is the DVC resort at which you bought your vacation points. Once the minimum purchase of 150 points is complete, you may also "add on" points at any other DVC resort. Your home resort advantage is that you can book your stays on this property up to 11 months ahead, as opposed to 7 months ahead for other DVC resorts. Example: If all of your points were purchased at the Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, you can book your stay up to 11 months in advance at this property. If you wanted to stay at Disney's BoardWalk Villas, you would have to wait until 7 months out to book this trip. This five-month "window" allows owners at Disney's BoardWalk Villas to have ample time to book their vacation before it becomes available to all DVC members. What are "Banking" and "Borrowing"? The policy of the DVC is to let you "bank" any unused vacation points into the upcoming use year or "borrow" points from the next use year. No more than three years of points can be combined at any one time. There are time limits on when banking is allowed, and once banked or borrowed, points cannot be returned to their original use year. Example 1: Your use year is February 2004. You would like to book your vacation for December 2003 using more points than you have available in your 2003 use year. You may borrow up to 100% of your February 2004 points for the December 2003 vacation (but you will then not have any points available for your February 2004 use year). Example 2: You are planning a big family reunion in August 2005 and want to reserve a grand villa, using more points than will be available in your contract. You may bank up to 100% of any unused points from the 2004 use year into your 2005 use year for this purpose. Which of the Walt Disney World Resorts are part of the DVC? Currently, Disney's Old Key West, Disney's BoardWalk Villas, the Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge and Disney's Beach Club Villas are DVC properties. Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa, 16 acres of lakefront property at the former Disney Institute, opened in May of 2004 and is the newest DVC property. Points at Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa are the only points available for sale directly from the DVC. (Occasionally, limited inventory is available at the other "sold-out" DVC properties, but this is rare.) Will I be treated any differently when staying as a DVC member rather than a regular Walt Disney World resort guest? The only major difference in your stay as a DVC member is that you will get housekeeping services less frequently. For stays of fewer than eight days, DVC members get a "trash and tidy" day on the fourth day of their stay. For stays of eight days or more, members get a full cleaning on Day 4 and a "trash and tidy" day on Day 8. Additional housekeeping services are available for a fee. Where else can I stay? Just about anywhere! Other DVC properties are Disney's Vero Beach Resort in Florida and Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort in South Carolina. Members can also use their points for a variety of other vacations, including other Walt Disney World resorts, the Disney Cruise Line, resorts in Disneyland in California and Disneyland Paris, and can also trade out to over 350 destinations worldwide through Intervals International. Will I have difficulty getting the dates I want? With a little advance planning, there shouldn't be a problem. If you decide in August that you'd really love to stay in a two-bedroom villa at Disney's BoardWalk Resort during Christmas break, yes! What are the benefits of being a member? Members have access to toll-free vacation planning through "Member Services." Member Services can help with flights, car rentals, room requests and Priority Seating for meals. They are also available to assist in booking "Member Getaway" vacations, to arrange for groceries to be delivered to your room, or to just answer questions. Members have pool-hopping privileges at other Walt Disney World Resorts (excluding the Animal Kingdom Lodge and Stormalong Bay at the Yacht and Beach Club and Beach Club Villas), when pools are not at capacity. Members receive discounts on golf, shopping, and park passes for length of stay. Dining discounts at select restaurants are occasionally offered (usually 10% - 20%), and discounted tickets are available for Disney Quest, Pleasure Island and the water parks. Members receive free valet parking at Disney's BoardWalk Resort, Disney's Beach Club Resort and the Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. Reduced room rates are available at DVC resorts if staying on a cash reservation. The price of your yearly vacation only changes by the increase in annual dues, usually much less than the yearly increase in resort room rates. DVC members receive a 10% discount at the Disney Store. Okay?I've decided this is a good deal for me. How many points do I need? This is a very personal decision, based on your vacation needs and your budget. Will you be vacationing once a year, once every other year, or three times in one year? Do you need a grand villa to fit you and all the grandkids, or are you looking for a comfortable studio for two? What time of the year will you most likely be visiting? What time of the year will you most likely visit in the future? If you are a family of four, looking to book a one-bedroom at the Villas at the Wilderness Lodge for a week every October, 214 points will cover that yearly vacation. If you are a family of four with young children, your vacation needs may change over time. Looking at the point cost for the same unit during school breaks (252 - 270 points) may be a more realistic assessment of your needs. Is there a minimum purchase requirement? Yes, in order to become a Disney Vacation Club Member, you must purchase a minimum of 150 points. Once the minimum purchase is complete, you may "add on" points at either your home resort or at any other DVC resort. The minimum amount of add-on points is 50 points if financing through Disney or 25 points if paying cash.
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