What do you wish you’d known before buying into the Disney Vacation Club? That was the question asked recently by kellensmom in the Owning The Magic forum, the place to ask questions about the Disney Vacation Club on the PassPorter message boards. It set me thinking about what I wish I’d known before we bought in back in 2002. My goodness, it’s tough turning the clock back that far to think about that, let me tell you!
It may sound flippant, but I wish I’d known what a great deal it would be to be a DVC Member, and how that would impact on future vacations. We originally planned to visit Disney once every other year, but suddenly with our points, and our accommodation (more or less!) paid for, it opened up new avenues. Our plans went from travelling once every other year to annually, and sometimes twice a year! Not something I expected to happen… but trust me, once you become a Disney Vacation Club Member, it’s like eating chocolate. It’s so good, you have to get some more, but many members adding on points more than once, and yes we fall into that category as well!
I also wish I’d known how much money it would save us. I think, in truth, I did know that, but it’s very hard to offset that against such a huge original investment, and that’s what put us off buying in for three years. We first looked into the Disney Vacation Club in 1999 on our honeymoon, and knew it was for us, but we just didn’t have the money to hand to purchase at that time. Three years on, and having moved house, and set some money away purely for the purposes of becoming DVC Members, as part of our mortgage, we were finally able to join.
Perhaps something else that we didn’t grasp at the time is how much of a world of vacations really would open up to us. We figured that we’d be coming back to Walt Disney World regularly, which we do, staying in our beloved Beach Club Villas on every visit, but we’ve also sampled every other Disney Vacation Club property at Walt Disney World during the last 10 years. In addition to that, it’s allowed us to experience Disney cruising, something we’d never thought of doing when we originally bought in. However, when we started looking at how to use our points, we decided that would be a great thing to sample-and since then we’ve sailed three more times, with our fourth sailing on the Fantasy planned for later this year.
In addition to that, we’ve been able to enjoy stays at Disneyland in California, and Disneyland Paris on our points, along with nights at the Fairmont in San Francisco, Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, and the Royal Garden Hotel on our doorstep in London. Never in a million years did I think we’d be using our points for such a variety of vacations.
Something else I wish I’d known is how snobby we’d become about room sizes. When we first bought in, we were more than happy to stay in a studio every time we vacationed. Not any longer! Having enjoyed staying in a one-bedroom villa, now we want to do that every time, but of course that’s not always possible, not without extra points! It is such a luxury, with so many additional treats, such as the Jacuzzi hot tub, separate living area, full sized kitchen (not that we ever use it outside of making tea!), washer/dryer (now that does get used), oh and did I mention that Jacuzzi hot tub?! In truth, it’s an indulgence for us, as two people can easily stay in a studio, but heck, it’s a treat to stay in such luxury. Just be wary of getting used to it, as it can be hard to go back to a studio….
You may have noticed that I’ve said absolutely nothing negative in this about being a Disney Vacation Club Member, and there’s a good reason for that. I can’t find one negative reason. I probably sound like a salesperson, but I’m not alone. Talk to any DVC Member, and you’ll probably struggle to get them to come up with any problems they’ve had with their membership. It really is as good as it sounds. This is Disney after all…