Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking a lot about how much it costs to become a Disney Vacation Club Member these days.
Part of that is down to the latest announcement that prices will be increasing again for anyone who wants to buy points in either Bay Lake Tower or Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas. If you’re going to be buying points after 15 July, you’re looking at $165 for Bay Lake Tower, and $135 for Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas, another $5 on the price, compared to the present rates.
I have to say I was surprised by the latest move, especially given how many price rises there have been recently for Disney Vacation Club points. As Tim points out in his article, it’s the third increase in just six months. In the current economic climate, it’s not what I expected Disney to be doing, but I guess it says something for how well sales must be going. That’s born out by Tim’s details of monthly sales for May 2012. My goodness, I never thought I’d be seeing headlines about the “highest number of point sales in a month” for almost two years.
Personally, I’m annoyed about the price rises (and I’m sure I’m not the only one!), as I’d really like to add on another few points at Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas. However, until some money comes through to pay for it, it’s not going to happen, and in the meantime, I’ve been watching those prices go up and up. If only the exchange rate was going up at a similar rate to offset the increase, but sadly it isn’t. I guess I’m going to need to either stump up more money than I originally planned, or think very carefully about the addition of more points.
And, let’s be honest, the Disney Vacation Club almost have you over a virtual barrel. If you now want to go down the cheaper route of resale, then you have restrictions on you, with those points only now available to use for Disney Vacation Club resorts, RCI exchanges, Club Cordial or Club Intrawest. Since March 2011, resale points can no longer be used for Disney cruises, Adventures by Disney or for stays at any of the international Disney parks. As we like to use our points for both cruising, and sometimes visits to Disneyland Paris, resale isn’t an option for us.
However, I can’t help but think that the price rises also have something to do with the latest project in the works – the Grand Floridian Villas. There’s already speculation in the Owning the Magic forum of the PassPorter boards about how much the Grand Floridian Villas points will start selling for, and I have no doubt that the price increase, particularly at Bay Lake Tower, is starting to pave the way for a much higher introductory price than we’ve seen before.
Of course, Disney Vacation Club points have always increased, like most things, although there are often discounts, and special offers to be had. I was fascinated to find a DVC Price History on Mousesavers. When we first bought in, back in 2002, we’d have paid $84 a point, although I do remember there being a discount off that price. Although the chart stops in 2006, that’s roughly the time period when we purchased most of our points, so it was really interesting to see how much we would’ve paid. Of course, at the time whenever we added points, we always thought the price was expensive! With today’s prices, somehow they suddenly don’t look that bad!
It’s also interesting, now that the Disney Vacation Club is more than 20 years old, to look at the rate of price increases over that time. Comparing December 1992 to December 2002, prices rose from $56 a point to $84 a point, a 50% increase. If we now look at July 2002, and compare it to the prices that will be in effect from next month, we can see that prices 10 years ago were $80, while from 15 July, the most expensive points will be $165. That’s an increase of 106%, showing just how much faster prices are rising now. I dread to think how much we’ll be looking at paying by 2022….
So how do you feel about the recent price rises? Are you thinking about buying into the Disney Vacation Club for the first time, and have the price increases made you think again or consider going the resale route? If you’re an existing Member, would you add more points at the new rates, and are you thinking of investing in the Grand Floridian Villas at whatever price they may be?