The single easiest way to save thousands on a Disney World vacation is to rent DVC (Disney Vacation Club) points for a stay at a Disney Deluxe resort hotel. My family has been doing this for years and it allows us to visit Disney World often, even on a limited budget!
In this post, I’ll walk you through how to book your Disney World vacation with a DVC points broker, which is by far the simplest way to go about renting DVC points. I’ve had lots of readers ask me if this is too good to be true, but I promise it is the real deal!
Why Rent DVC Points?
Disney Vacation Club is basically Disney’s version of a “timeshare”. People who are DVC owners buy a share of a Disney resort and pay annual dues on their share.
In return, they get a set amount of DVC points each year that can be exchanged for a stay at any DVC resort. Sometimes owners aren’t able to use all of their points for the year, so they decide to “rent” the points to others.
A DVC owner can make a reservation with their points in anyone’s name, even if the people on the reservation are not DVC members themselves.
Renting points is essentially paying a DVC member to use their points for a resort stay for your family.
The benefit of renting points for a stay in a Disney resort versus paying Disney directly to stay at their resort is huge cost savings!
You’ll still get ALL the benefits of staying at a Disney-owned resort and pay only a fraction of what you’d pay Disney directly.
For example, you can stay in a DVC room at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge for starting at $144 per night with David’s Vacation Rentals, my recommended source for renting points. This same room can cost up to $656 per night during the same time of year when you book through Disney.
That’s savings of over $500 per night or $3,000 over the course of a six-night stay! You can expect to save at least 50% off the cost of your Disney World resort stay when you rent DVC points, and sometimes much more.
Next, I’ll show you the easiest way to book your vacation with rented DVC points, then how to select a resort and dates for your stay.
Why Use A Points Broker?
In this post about renting DVC points, I shared several different ways to go about finding someone who will rent points to you for your vacation.
You can try to DIY this which will save you some money but takes a significant investment of time and extensive knowledge. Or, you can pay only slightly more and have a DVC points broker handle everything for you!
Points brokers are companies that help DVC owners rent their extra points to interested parties. I strongly suggest using David’s Vacation Rentals, my recommended points broker. They have an excellent reputation and have been specializing in DVC rentals for years.
This is how the process works: first, you submit a reservation request on David’s site. This requires that you have your preferred dates and resorts narrowed down already, which I’ll show you how to do in a minute.
You will pay a $112 deposit when you make your reservation request, which is refunded to you if David’s is not able to secure a reservation for your dates and resort.
David’s handles finding someone with the right points, for the right resort, who is willing to rent at the quoted price. They also handle the rental agreement and making the reservation. Basically, they do all of the hard work for you!
If they are able to find availability at a resort that works for you, they will send you a rental agreement and the remaining balance is due with the return of the rental agreement. And then you are set!
The reservation will be made in your name and you will get the Disney confirmation number that you can use to link the reservation to your My Disney Experience account.
Then you’ll have access to all the perks of staying at a Disney resort, such as Magical Express airport transfers, free MagicBands, a 60-day priority FastPass booking window, and more!
While David’s does not give refunds if you need to cancel, they will allow you to change the names on the reservation (with the exception of the lead person) and add people to the reservation as needed.
Because of the non-refundable nature of renting DVC points, I strongly suggest getting travel insurance for your trip of more than two nights.
I recommend using Aardvark Compare to shop around for the most affordable travel insurance. They can potentially save you thousands of dollars if something goes haywire related to your trip.
How To Pick Your Travel Dates
If you have some flexibility with your possible travel dates you can save substantial money on your trip.
Disney charges significantly more for its hotel rooms during high-demand seasons, and DVC is no different. The cost to stay in a DVC villa varies quite a bit depending on what time of year you visit.
The two most affordable times of year to visit are during what DVC calls “Adventure Season” and “Choice Season”. Here are the dates for these seasons in 2018:
- Adventure Season: January 1-31, September 1-30, and December 1-14
- Choice Season (slightly more): October 1 – November 20, November 24-30, and December 15-23
Luckily, many of these dates fall within the most recommended times to visit Disney that I share in this post! My personal favorite time to visit is the beginning of November, which falls into DVC’s Choice Season.
These will allow you to compare the cost (in points) between different times of year at the same resort. Or you can compare different resorts for the same time of year to help you decide where to stay.
How To Select a Resort and Room
These are the nine DVC resorts at Walt Disney World in Florida:
- Animals Kingdom Lodge Villas (Jambo House & Kidani Village)
- Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort
- Beach Club Villas
- Boardwalk Villas
- Grand Floridian Villas
- Old Key West Resort
- Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
- Saratoga Springs Resort
- Wilderness Lodge Villas (Copper Creek & Boulder Ridge)
DVC resorts are all in the “Deluxe” category at Disney World, which means they have amazing pools, excellent dining options, and more.
DVC rooms are definitely a step above any regular resort hotel room you will find at Disney World! They are larger than standard rooms and have home-like amenities such as full kitchens, living rooms, and more.
The DVC rooms are referred to as “villas” and they can sleep from 4 to 12 people. They include Studio, One-Bedroom, Two-Bedroom, and Three-Bedroom Grand Villas.
Picking the right resort and villa for your travel party can be daunting. Here are some of my general tips:
- Studio Villas can sleep up to five and are by far the most cost-effective option. If you are trying to stay on a limited budget, Studio Villas are the way to go.
- The resorts with the most affordable Studio Villas are Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Boardwalk, Old Key West, and Saratoga Springs.
- The resorts closest to the Magic Kingdom are the Polynesian, Bay Lake Towers at the Contemporary, the Grand Floridian, and Wilderness Lodge. If you are going to be spending a LOT of time at the Magic Kingdom, these resorts are most convenient.
- Most Studio Villas have one queen bed and a pull-out couch. The pull-out bed is only recommended for kids, as it isn’t very comfortable for adults. Old Key West studios are the exception – they have two queen beds.
- These are the DVC resorts with Studio villas that can sleep five (thanks to a single Murphy bed): Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Boardwalk, Beach Club, and Boulder Ridge Villas at Wilderness Lodge. The Studio villas at other resort only sleep four.
- If you are traveling with a group, try sharing the cost of a two-bedroom villa. It will be slightly more than booking two separate Studio Villas, but you will get a huge living room and full kitchen in which to cook meals.
My family’s favorite DVC resort is Animal Kingdom Lodge. We love the atmosphere there and it is one of the most affordable resorts. You can read my full review here! Or check out my review of a Studio Villa at the Polynesian, our second favorite resort here.
I hope this post helped you understand the process of renting DVC points from my recommended points broker, David’s Vacation Rentals. It truly is the easiest way to save the most money on a Disney World vacation!
If you have any questions about the process, please leave a comment below or send me a private message on The Frugal South’s Facebook page!