This news spread very quickly and caught the eye of members such as myself as well as many others whom are considering a Disney Vacation Club membership.
Now, to those who have never heard of DVC, it is Disney’s version of the timeshare concept. I’ve been a member for quite a while now and let me say that it was the best investment I ever made where I am now seeing quite a bit of savings on my Disney vacation lodging. In short, I can stay at Deluxe DVC resort hotels for less than the cost of a value resort. (Mainly referring to what I pay out in annual fees.)
Notice what I said there, though – lodging. Timeshares in general are all about lodging. Prepaying for the lodging, to be exact.
When we purchased our DVC membership (contract) there were a lot of little perks that went along with it. However, it was made clear through research that perks can change or even be taken away over time and should not be the reason one buys a membership. This ended up becoming a very true statement. Things did change over time.
Have these things impacted the main reason for buying into the DVC? No. Not one bit.
The first major change happened several years ago when those buying from the resale market could not use their memberships on items such as the Disney Collection or Disney cruises. This meant that you would be “limited” to DVC resorts or exchanging your points for an RCI reservation. Other than that – your membership was just like any others. For many members, staying at a DVC resort is why they bought into DVC in the first place. Don’t get me wrong – we love the different non-DVC properties and we do stay outside of DVC for at least one night during every trip.
When DVC announced different events for their 25th anniversary, there were some cool things planned. An example of these events was a night at one of the water parks. This would be a free event for members and a very attractive one at that. It is a perk of being a member. It’s also a perk that DVC is now going to restrict. Those purchasing resale from this point on wont be able to attend special events and some other perks designated for DVC members.
At first, even though I bought from DVC and I am not impacted by this, I kinda thought that this was something of a bummer since the resale market is pretty much a better deal than buying from DVC directly. I mean, there are some big savings to be had on the resale market. At the same time, the value of my membership on the resale market is still rather high compared to what I paid for it directly nearly a decade ago. That’s not a bad thing.
Then it goes back to the purpose of having a DVC membership – to save on Disney vacation hotel rooms. We didn’t buy it for giveaways or for special events or for discounts, even though those are nice things to get. We enjoy our stays and we would not trade it in for anything at this point.
Besides… for some of these special events, you have to already be going on vacation during the event dates to actually enjoy those perks. I’m sure that some members may plan getaways because of the events, but something tells me that most people that already booked months ago are not going to change their whole vacation over an event. There are just too many things to realign in order to make that sort of thing happen.
So, using some common sense here for a moment… will this change impact things for current members? No. Will it impact new members looking to become members via the resale market? No, it’s really not going to be a big deal or a deal breaker for the vast majority in that category. Sure, I like to be a part of a good party just like the next person. However, the savings to be had on the resale market is much more satisfying, to be honest.
I would still recommend a prospective member to buy via the resale market. It just makes much more sense. The perks being lost are not ones that will really impact the ability for a member to enjoy their membership. At the same time, I predict that this will not really cause any real changes to the market value within the resale market. (I’m guessing – I don’t have any real way of knowing. Again – gut feeling.)
I think this goes along with the other changes we see going through the Disney brand. I’ve said it before and I think it still makes a good case: people’s reaction to a lot of this will come from the fact that these changes are being piled on top of one another. Perception is reality for some and the perception is that these changes are not all for the better, DVC or not.
For now… simply enjoy the magic that you see while at Disney. The business aspects may change, but don’t let them spoil your fun.