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DVC is it worth it for guest from the UK?

skipperdan

Member
Original Poster
We are seriously considering buying into DVC. I've read a lot of websites, done all the research and spoken to DVC a lot. I'm just working on my spreadsheet. With the help of a lot of websites I've got the spreadsheet up and running and it looks like we would break even after 4 trips, however, it doesn't include any of the incentives we get as UK guests.

I would love some feedback on this (from the UK or not).

We are a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 under 9's) and we currently (pre-pandemic/pre-children) visit every 2 years. Now that we have children the more space and kitchens really appeal to us. We travel in May or December previously but in about 3 years we will have to travel in UK school holidays August/Easter probably.

I was looking at 150 points from AKL via resale. I can't see any benefit in buying directly from Disney considering we can get a £459 2 week ticket including photopass. This will get us a one-bedroom every other year (just) for 2 weeks to get started. Is that realistic?

If it was just that maths then I would be sold, but typically as a UK guest, we get benefits.
  • Free Dining Plan (dining credit at the moment, but I assume that it will go back to the Dining Plan)
  • Typical $200 voucher
  • Savings for booking flights, hotel and tickets altogether ~ £200
Now, these benefits are not guaranteed but I would be really interested to know if this affected anyone's decision and if you have any feedback on this? With Dining Plan it's almost pushing the time until we start saving money to decades.

I know the US gets free dining for some dates as well, how did this affect your decision to buy, or not buy DVC?
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
One bedrooms at AKL are pretty much always available at 7 months, unless you think you'd be regularly trying to get one of the Value rooms. If you're not tied to Value, you'd probably be better off buying Saratoga Springs resale points and just using them to stay at AKL.
 

LuvtheGoof

Grill Master
Premium Member
We are seriously considering buying into DVC. I've read a lot of websites, done all the research and spoken to DVC a lot. I'm just working on my spreadsheet. With the help of a lot of websites I've got the spreadsheet up and running and it looks like we would break even after 4 trips, however, it doesn't include any of the incentives we get as UK guests.

I would love some feedback on this (from the UK or not).

We are a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 under 9's) and we currently (pre-pandemic/pre-children) visit every 2 years. Now that we have children the more space and kitchens really appeal to us. We travel in May or December previously but in about 3 years we will have to travel in UK school holidays August/Easter probably.

I was looking at 150 points from AKL via resale. I can't see any benefit in buying directly from Disney considering we can get a £459 2 week ticket including photopass. This will get us a one-bedroom every other year (just) for 2 weeks to get started. Is that realistic?

If it was just that maths then I would be sold, but typically as a UK guest, we get benefits.
  • Free Dining Plan (dining credit at the moment, but I assume that it will go back to the Dining Plan)
  • Typical $200 voucher
  • Savings for booking flights, hotel and tickets altogether ~ £200
Now, these benefits are not guaranteed but I would be really interested to know if this affected anyone's decision and if you have any feedback on this? With Dining Plan it's almost pushing the time until we start saving money to decades.

I know the US gets free dining for some dates as well, how did this affect your decision to buy, or not buy DVC?
DVC never gets any kind of free dining. The only option we had was to purchase a TiW card, but that is only for people who buy direct. If you buy resale you will not get any of the discounts on merchandise and dining either, but it seems that people who buy resale don't care about those things anyway.
 

nickys

Premium Member
I was looking at 150 points from AKL via resale. I can't see any benefit in buying directly from Disney considering we can get a £459 2 week ticket including photopass. This will get us a one-bedroom every other year (just) for 2 weeks to get started. Is that realistic?
Going every two years would give you 300 points to use.

For 2 weeks spanning Easter next year, a Value 1-bed would cost 406 points. Value rooms are very, very hard to book even at 11 months. I would budget for a standard room instead, which would be 516 points.

The last 2 weeks of July in a standard 1-bed would be 400 points, a Value 1-bed would be 306 points.

If you plan to travel in July you need to buy 200 points if you want 2 weeks every other year. If you want to go at Easter you’d need just over 250.

Also be aware they can adjust the seasons etc so maybe add 10% to the number of points.

We planned on going every 3 years, but right now we can only borrow 50% of our points which has thrown a wrench in our plans. As has Covid of course. I’d say it’s perfectly possible and may still be right for you, but you need to increase the contract size.

Also make sure you think about the maintenance fees, they will cost you far more than your initial outlay over the lifetime of the contract, whether or not you can go.

the benefits for U.K. guests that you listed only apply to packages. You won’t get any of those through DVC. You’ll be paying full price for dining, no free spending money.
 

skipperdan

Member
Original Poster
DVC never gets any kind of free dining. The only option we had was to purchase a TiW card, but that is only for people who buy direct. If you buy resale you will not get any of the discounts on merchandise and dining either, but it seems that people who buy resale don't care about those things anyway.
Just looking at it and the resale cost is between 50-75% of that from Disney. Considering I won’t be using the biggest perk - discounted annual passes, I’m not sure if I would ever recoup that money ($7500). I’m also struggling to find what discounts on merchandise you get etc? Their website which lists this seems to display nothing.
 

skipperdan

Member
Original Poster
Have you rented points as a trial to see how you like the DVC accommodations?
Unfortunately not, up until 2019 we didn’t have kids so we’re more than happy to have a room in a moderate resort.

I’m trying to get in early so that we can maximise our value for money while the kids are young.
 

LuvtheGoof

Grill Master
Premium Member
Just looking at it and the resale cost is between 50-75% of that from Disney. Considering I won’t be using the biggest perk - discounted annual passes, I’m not sure if I would ever recoup that money ($7500). I’m also struggling to find what discounts on merchandise you get etc? Their website which lists this seems to display nothing.
Well, we no longer receive discounts on annual passes, just the ability to purchase the Sorcerer's Pass instead of having to buy the top tier pass. The dining and merchandise discounts are usually 10%-15% (a few are 20%) depending on the location. You would probably have to buy an awful lot of merchandise and eat a lot of food to recoup the cost.
 

skipperdan

Member
Original Poster
Going every two years would give you 300 points to use.

For 2 weeks spanning Easter next year, a Value 1-bed would cost 406 points. Value rooms are very, very hard to book even at 11 months. I would budget for a standard room instead, which would be 516 points.

The last 2 weeks of July in a standard 1-bed would be 400 points, a Value 1-bed would be 306 points.

If you plan to travel in July you need to buy 200 points if you want 2 weeks every other year. If you want to go at Easter you’d need just over 250.

Also be aware they can adjust the seasons etc so maybe add 10% to the number of points.

We planned on going every 3 years, but right now we can only borrow 50% of our points which has thrown a wrench in our plans. As has Covid of course. I’d say it’s perfectly possible and may still be right for you, but you need to increase the contract size.

Also make sure you think about the maintenance fees, they will cost you far more than your initial outlay over the lifetime of the contract, whether or not you can go.

the benefits for U.K. guests that you listed only apply to packages. You won’t get any of those through DVC. You’ll be paying full price for dining, no free spending money.
Thanks for all the info. The DVC rep told me that 5% of AKL stock is value, but he didn’t think there would be a problem booking value at a 11 month window - that’s why I was looking at AKL.

The UK perks makes this a lot harder because you are right I wouldn’t get any of them (except the tickets). I’m going to go and work out how much the dining plan is worth to us.
 
The DVC rep told me that 5% of AKL stock is value, but he didn’t think there would be a problem booking value at a 11 month window - that’s why I was looking at AKL.

I had to research that stat, because 5% didn't sound right.

There are 10 1-bedroom Values at Jambo, out of a total of 82 1-bedrooms at Jambo only, or ~12%.

However, you're competing against owners of all AKV - Jambo or Kidani - so including Kidani's 168 1-bedrooms, plus Jambo's 82 gives us 250 total, so the 10 Values are only 4% of the 1-bedroom stock. How about that? I wouldn't have guessed it was that high.

The real problem is there are only 10 Value 1-bedrooms. How many AKV owners are there? I don't have that figure, but it's in the hundreds. And how many are trying to book a Value 1-bedroom at any given time? It's definitely more than 10. That's why they're so hard to book.

Studios are even worse, even though there are a possible 18 Values (8 dedicated + 10 lock-off), they're even cheaper and go faster as a result.

I concur with the advice above. If you want AKV 1-bedrooms, Standard and Savanna are available almost entirely year-round at the 7 month mark if you aren't picky about a certain building and category (for example, Jambo 1-bedrooms sometimes book up before the 7 month mark at certain times of the year, but Kidani is pretty open). So buy the cheapest points you can, with the lowest annual dues, and book AKV at 7 months. But if you must have Values, you need to own AKV and book 11 months out right at the 8 AM EST opening mark. And have a backup plan, because more often than not you may not get it.
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
I had to research that stat, because 5% didn't sound right.

There are 10 1-bedroom Values at Jambo, out of a total of 82 1-bedrooms at Jambo only, or ~12%.

However, you're competing against owners of all AKV - Jambo or Kidani - so including Kidani's 168 1-bedrooms, plus Jambo's 82 gives us 250 total, so the 10 Values are only 4% of the 1-bedroom stock. How about that? I wouldn't have guessed it was that high.

The real problem is there are only 10 Value 1-bedrooms. How many AKV owners are there? I don't have that figure, but it's in the hundreds. And how many are trying to book a Value 1-bedroom at any given time? It's definitely more than 10. That's why they're so hard to book.

Studios are even worse, even though there are a possible 18 Values (8 dedicated + 10 lock-off), they're even cheaper and go faster as a result.

I concur with the advice above. If you want AKV 1-bedrooms, Standard and Savanna are available almost entirely year-round at the 7 month mark if you aren't picky about a certain building and category (for example, Jambo 1-bedrooms sometimes book up before the 7 month mark at certain times of the year, but Kidani is pretty open). So buy the cheapest points you can, with the lowest annual dues, and book AKV at 7 months. But if you must have Values, you need to own AKV and book 11 months out right at the 8 AM EST opening mark. And have a backup plan, because more often than not you may not get it.
Also worth pointing out that there are no dedicated 2BR at Jambo either, so competing for a 1BR Value is also competing against people booking 2BR Value.
 

nickys

Premium Member
How many AKV owners are there? I don't have that figure, but it's in the hundreds.
There are 15 DVC resorts, and it seems an estimated 220,000 owners. Given that AKL is one of the largest it seems likely there are at least 20,000 AKV owners and likely quite a few thousand more than that.
 
There are 15 DVC resorts, and it seems an estimated 220,000 owners. Given that AKL is one of the largest it seems likely there are at least 20,000 AKV owners and likely quite a few thousand more than that.

Yep, I'm realizing after the fact how silly it was to say "hundreds," considering the sheer size of AKV. It's significantly higher.

Anyway, Value (and by extension Club) = hard to book.
 

skipperdan

Member
Original Poster
I had to research that stat, because 5% didn't sound right.

There are 10 1-bedroom Values at Jambo, out of a total of 82 1-bedrooms at Jambo only, or ~12%.

However, you're competing against owners of all AKV - Jambo or Kidani - so including Kidani's 168 1-bedrooms, plus Jambo's 82 gives us 250 total, so the 10 Values are only 4% of the 1-bedroom stock. How about that? I wouldn't have guessed it was that high.

The real problem is there are only 10 Value 1-bedrooms. How many AKV owners are there? I don't have that figure, but it's in the hundreds. And how many are trying to book a Value 1-bedroom at any given time? It's definitely more than 10. That's why they're so hard to book.

Studios are even worse, even though there are a possible 18 Values (8 dedicated + 10 lock-off), they're even cheaper and go faster as a result.

I concur with the advice above. If you want AKV 1-bedrooms, Standard and Savanna are available almost entirely year-round at the 7 month mark if you aren't picky about a certain building and category (for example, Jambo 1-bedrooms sometimes book up before the 7 month mark at certain times of the year, but Kidani is pretty open). So buy the cheapest points you can, with the lowest annual dues, and book AKV at 7 months. But if you must have Values, you need to own AKV and book 11 months out right at the 8 AM EST opening mark. And have a backup plan, because more often than not you may not get it.
Thanks for the detailed breakdown! I think I'm going to have to update my spreadsheets to go for Standard rooms.

I see lots of people talk about Saratoga as the best value, is it just the lower dues? Room size? Lower points? Price per point?

How much do I need to worry about the lease length (saratoga is 2054)? I'm 35 now, so I will be 68 when this expires. I know it's a depreciating asset, but let's say I want to sell this after 18 years (kids will be grown-up) does anyone have the numbers on how old key west depreciated?

Is Saratogo an easy resell?
 
Thanks for the detailed breakdown! I think I'm going to have to update my spreadsheets to go for Standard rooms.

I see lots of people talk about Saratoga as the best value, is it just the lower dues? Room size? Lower points? Price per point?

How much do I need to worry about the lease length (saratoga is 2054)? I'm 35 now, so I will be 68 when this expires. I know it's a depreciating asset, but let's say I want to sell this after 18 years (kids will be grown-up) does anyone have the numbers on how old key west depreciated?

Is Saratogo an easy resell?

SSR's dues are lower and the buy-in used to be among the lowest, but I think it's gone up. AKV always has higher dues because of animal care, which is a line item that other resorts obviously won't have.

Others can chime in on this, but I think lease length is overrated. You're 35 now. Do you know what your vacation habits will be when you're 68? What about 58? 48? So much can change.

And frankly, OKW, BWV, and BCV, despite expiring in 20 years, continue to appreciate. I think as long as WDW remains a popular destination and O14 resale can still book other O14 resorts, there will always be a resale market. You might have to wait a bit to sell SSR because there are so many contracts out there, but it will sell.
 

pdude81

Well-Known Member
Honestly at these inflated DVC prices I wouldn't do it, even resale, unless you are certain you want to follow this pattern long after your kids have left home. I say this partially because you're not planning to go every year and have to rely on managing banked/borrowed points. The usage there can sometimes be quite tricky. And you are also talking about trying to get Value rooms which are often very very hard to get. This has been the case moreso lately with as it seems many have turned to renting points after covid. There is a shot of getting them if you're quick and watch the availability at the 11 month mark, but you never know how that will go.

I also have trouble with the idea of staying at AKV and not planning for savannah rooms, as they are more plentiful as well as more desired. It will be a few more points a night over standard, but can really be special in the morning or to cap off a physically demanding day in the parks.

Now if SSR is available and cheaper then that will help with costs as you can often get savannah rooms at the 7 month mark. It just seems that the costs have risen so insanely that you'd be better off buying the new property with some sort of discount than to go through the resale process. Given the time involved and the uncertainty it can be nerve racking.
 

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