How to Rent DVC Points & Stay at Disney Deluxe Resorts For Up To 70% Off!

on February 19, 2018

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Stormalong Bay pool at Disney's Beach Club Resort

Disney’s Beach Club Resort

About five years ago I discovered a way to stay at Disney World Deluxe Resorts for a small fraction of what you’d pay by booking directly through Disney. This strategy has made it possible for our family to stay at places that we never dreamed we’d be able to afford.

I will share how to rent DVC points below in the hopes that your family can experience a stay at one of these amazing resorts, too!

What is DVC?

Giraffe and zebra at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

DVC stands for Disney Vacation Club and is Disney’s version of a vacation ownership program. It is similar to a timeshare in that when someone becomes a DVC member they are purchasing a deeded share of a Disney resort and pay annual dues to help maintain that resort.

But unlike a timeshare, members buy a set amount of “points” that are added to their account each year.

These points can be used to stay at any DVC resort any time of the year. DVC resorts are found in the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland in California, Hawaii, South Carolina and Vero Beach, FL.

Table and chairs at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge 1-bedroom villa

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village

DVC resort rooms are all referred to as “villas” and vary in size from Studio Villas (slightly larger than a standard hotel room) to 3-bedroom Grand Villas. They feature amenities such as full kitchens and whirlpool tubs and sleep from 4 to 12 people.

Studio villa room at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

Studio Villa at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

DVC rooms are definitely a step above any regular resort room you will find at Disney World. DVC resorts are all in the “Deluxe” category at Disney World, which means they have amazing pools, excellent dining options, fitness facilities and more.

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)

The AllEars website has an extensive description of each resort along with pictures of each room type. You can also check out my review of a Standard Studio at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort for an idea of what to expect.

Why Would Someone Rent DVC points? 

Bed at Disney's Beach Club resort

Disney’s Beach Club Studio Villa

When someone buys a DVC membership they receive a set number of points that are deposited into their member account each year. Sometimes they are not able to use all of the points themselves and decide to “rent” these points out 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.

When you rent DVC points you essentially pay a DVC member to use their points for a resort stay for your family. You do NOT have to be a DVC member to rent points. I hope that makes sense!

How Much Does It Cost to Rent DVC Points? 

Flowers at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

The number of points required for a stay in a DVC villa depends on several factors. The main considerations that determine how many points you will need are:

  • What time of year you are going
  • The resort at which you want to stay
  • The size of the villa (Studio through 3-Bedroom)

Here is an example: The point range for an Animal Kingdom Lodge studio villa (which sleeps 4) is between 9 and 28 points, depending on the season.

The current going rate for renting points is between $12-$18 per point, with an average of about $15 per point. So for my studio villa example above, the cost for one night can range from about $100 to $500.

I have rented points for stays at the Animal Kingdom Lodge many times and on average pay $120-$150 per night. Other resorts at which you can get a studio villa room for under $150 include Disney’s Old Key West Resort and Disney’s Boardwalk Resort.

DVC point chart

I frequently use these DVC Point Charts from ResalesDVC to figure out the time of year during which we will visit and the type of villa we want.

A point chart shows the different “seasons” and their corresponding dates. It can seem complicated at first but after you spend a few minutes studying one of the charts it should seem much easier to understand!

Man on balcony at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Enjoying our balcony at Animal Kingdom Lodge

How do I find someone who will rent their points to me?

There are two ways to go about finding a DVC member who you can rent DVC points from. I’ll explain both approaches in detail below.

Rent DVC Points From a Broker

First I’ll describe the easier way to rent DVC points, which is using what is called a points “broker” to arrange your stay.

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 helping people rent DVC points for years.

Request form on DVCbyrequest.com
This is how the process works: first, you submit a reservation request on David’s site. You’ll pay a $112 deposit when you make your reservation request, which is completely 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!

The current going rate to rent DVC points through a broker is $15-$17 per point. This is a bit more than you would pay compared to renting from an owner directly, but it is a much easier process. What you save in time and complexity you pay for in dollars!

One other benefit of renting through a broker is that your trip is eligible for travel insurance. Because of the non-refundable nature of renting DVC points, I strongly suggest getting a quote for travel insurance for your trip of more than two nights. If you are traveling during hurricane season in Florida (generally June through November) then travel insurance is an excellent idea.

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.

Rent DVC Points Directly from an Owner

Screenshot of DVCapp site

The second or DIY way involves renting directly from a DVC owner. The best way to go about this is to use the site DVCapp to check availability and post an offer for renting points (get all of the details in this post).

I have used DVCapp to check availability and find an owner from whom to rent points, and it is by far the easiest way to go!

Screenshot of the MouseOwners Rent/Trade/Transfer Forum

The MouseOwners Rent/Trade/Transfer Forum

Another way to go about finding an owner from whom to rent DVC points is using a forum such as the MouseOwners Rent/Trade/Transfer board. This is the forum I have used many many times and I have never had a bad experience.

How Much Can I Save If I Rent DVC Points?

Lobby of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Kidani Village

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village

Last, just how much can you expect to save by using this approach versus just booking a room directly through Disney? Well, as I already mentioned, these resorts are the most luxurious Disney has to offer and come with a pretty exorbitant price tag.

Let’s use a stay on January 1st, 2019 in a Value Studio Villa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge as an example. If you book this room directly with Disney you would pay a whopping $649 including tax.

If you rented points for $16 per point and used them to book a value studio for 8 points, you would pay $128 including tax. That is an 80% savings compared to Disney’s cost. Normally you can expect to save anywhere from 40% to 80% off of Disney’s prices for similar rooms at these resorts.

Stormalong Bay Pool at Walt Disney World

Stormalong Bay at the Beach Club

I recently stayed one night at Disney’s Beach Club resort in order to do a full resort review (you can read the review here). I found some last-minute points to rent for $10 so my total for that one night was $150. That is a total splurge for me, but when you consider that the same room booked through Disney would cost $470/night, it seems like a bargain!

How difficult is it to find availability for my travel dates? 

Since I started renting DVC points five years ago, it has become more difficult to find availability for dates. My advice is to try to make a reservation as early as possible, ideally 7-11 months before you want to visit.

If you want to travel at very popular dates, I suggest finding someone from whom to rent points before the 11-month booking window opens. I did this recently for my sister, and was glad I did – the resort was entirely booked up a few months later.

Renting DVC points likely won’t work for a trip that is just a few months out. These resorts are very popular and it is difficult to find even a few days in a row at many of them 7 months before traveling.

Will someone run off with my money?

One additional question that I frequently get is something along the lines of… “I have no idea who this person is that I am renting points from. Couldn’t they just cancel my reservation and make off with my money?”

There are a few things that make this highly unlikely. First, you will exchange written communication with this person that creates a binding contract. Next, if you pay via PayPal, your purchase is covered by PayPal’s buyer protection. Plus, Disney people tend to be really nice folks.

I hope this information helps you understand how renting DVC points works. I hope you will find a way to make a stay at one of these amazing resorts a reality for your family!

If you still have questions feel free to leave a comment below or send me a message on The Frugal South’s Facebook page!

How to stay at Disney World resorts for up to 70% off! Rent DVC points to visit Disney World on a budget and have an incredible family vacation. Tips and tricks for saving money on Disney World resort hotels. #disneyworld #familytravel

Save up to 70% off Deluxe Resorts at Walt Disney World when you rent DVC points! Learn all about Disney Vacation Club villa rooms and how to find an owner from whom to rent points. #disneyworld #travel

Destinations in Florida

38 Comments

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  • cher

    Hi,
    How does planning fastpasses work? Does the points owner do them for me or do I get to plan my own as I normally would? How does this work? Also, is it 30 days or 60days in advance for booking them?

    July 1, 2018 at 9:11 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Cher! You plan your own FastPasses and dining and everything else. You’ll get the Disney confirmation number after you book and you link it to your account – it is in all ways your reservation. You get all Disney benefits including 60 FP window, Magical Express, etc.

      July 1, 2018 at 9:21 pm Reply
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    June 13, 2018 at 9:34 pm Reply
  • Natalie

    Hi Leah!
    Last year my family booked a DW resort reservation using my parents’ DVC account. While it was nice not having to pay for the room, we found that we were not able to pay for park passes or a dining plan in increments simply because we were using a DVC account. I know that you are able to do thins when booking a standard DW reservation. The addition of these (with our particular options) cost our family of 5 about $3,500. This was problematic with dining reservations; since we had to wait a while to add a plan, we were late booking reservations.
    Is the same true when you rent DVC points from someone else? Are you booking through their account?

    May 8, 2018 at 3:51 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Yes, you are right, Natalie. When you book a package with Disney, you pay a $200 deposit and then the final payment isn’t due until 30 days before your trip. When you rent DVC points from an individual, you are booking through their account. If you rent from an individual, you may be able to negotiate a payment plan where part if due upfront and part due later (similar to booking through Disney). If you rent through a broker, payment is due in full when your reservation is confirmed. You can make dining reservations without having a dining plan and add it right before your trip (requirement is just 3 days prior) so there’s no need to add the dining plan immediately! For park tickets, you can get discounted tickets from Undercover Tourist and link them to your My Disney Experience Account. I suggest this at least 60 days before your trip so you can get FastPasses. So yes, you are booking through someone’s account, but no, you don’t need to pay for everything right away like you maybe thought.

      May 9, 2018 at 5:41 am Reply
  • Jenn

    Hi again!
    Another question. 😀
    My family is planning to go back to Disney in June of 2022. We are considering renting points from a DVC member so we can get the 3 bedroom villa at Old Key West.
    What is the soonest that someone can book a unit before their stay?

    March 3, 2018 at 12:51 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Jenn! You can book DVC villas 11 months in advance to the day. So if you wanted to check in on June 15th, 2022, you could make the reservation July 15th, 2021.

      March 3, 2018 at 3:29 pm Reply
  • Jenn

    Hi there! Thanks for the advise!
    Do I have to be a DVC member to rent points?

    February 23, 2018 at 9:14 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Jenn! No, you don’t have to be a DVC member to rent points. You’ll still get all of the perks of staying on Disney property that a member would get.

      February 24, 2018 at 5:56 am Reply
  • Cheryl

    In looking at the DVC chart example contained in your post I’m confused about the points listed. For example Adventure Seasoon S-Th for 2 bedroom villa 28 points. Does that mean that it is 28 points per night or total for S-Th?

    February 9, 2018 at 6:09 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Cheryl! The charts show the points per night. So the 2-bedroom is 28 points per night on those days of the week during the dates shown for that season.

      February 11, 2018 at 11:21 am Reply
  • Beks

    When you do it this way, does it matter how many people are in the room? I was thinking a studio for probably no more than 2-4 adults, but I didn’t see a place to put the number of guests.

    This was VERY informative. Thanks!

    January 25, 2018 at 4:06 pm Reply
    • Leah

      All studio villas can have up to 4 adults and some can have 5. However, most studios have one queen bed and a pull-out couch which, in my experience, is NOT comfortable for an adult. The exception is Old Key West, which has studios with 2 queen beds. Hope that helps!

      January 25, 2018 at 4:12 pm Reply
  • Erin from My Fantasy Bands

    Hi, Leah. Thank you for all the amazing niformation here! We are planning a trip for December 2017. When renting DVC vacation points, are you paying all of your room rate up front? I usually book with a travel agent and make payments using my Disney Vacation Account, and I have until 45 days prior to check-in to have our entire package paid for.

    Also, when you rent someone’s DVC space, do you still get MagicBands and are you still eligible for adding the dining plan to your package? Thank you for all your knowledge!

    March 16, 2017 at 2:12 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Erin! First, it depends on who you end up renting points from if payment in full is required. Most individuals I’ve rented from have an option to pay 50% at the time of booking and then then other 50% 60 days before check-in. And yes, you get MagicBands, Magical Express, and can even add a dining plan to your stay on rented points. After you book you’ll get your Disney confirmation number from the owner, and you can then link the reservation to your My Disney Experience account. The owner can set up adding a dining plan for you. Good luck!

      March 16, 2017 at 8:13 pm Reply
  • Monica

    Leah,
    I want to book a trip to Disney next year (2018 summer). These resorts using DVC points are they close to the parks? I’ll be traveling with 2 small kids and am thinking about the ease of getting to the parks. The free dining Disney offered last year, is that coming back? I’m very confused at what the best options are with being on a budget and going to Disney.

    February 7, 2017 at 3:38 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Monica! Planning a Disney trip can be very overwhelming. The DVC resorts are very close to the theme parks, in fact some of them are the closest you can possibly stay to the parks. We never know for sure if Free Dining is going to return, but even if it does it has historically never been offered during the busy summer months. I think the best resorts for you to check out (and try to rent DVC points for the stay!) would be The Polynesian, Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary, the Villas at the Grand Floridian, the Beach Club or the Boardwalk. They are all within easy reach of one or more park. They are also all crazy expensive when you book through Disney but you can stay for much cheaper if you rent DVC points!

      February 7, 2017 at 5:03 pm Reply
  • Heidi

    Do you still get to use the Magical Express if you book your room this way?

    February 3, 2017 at 8:09 am Reply
  • Sandra

    Can you take advantage of free dining plans if renting points?

    January 23, 2017 at 10:48 am Reply
    • Leah

      No, you can’t take advantage of free dining, but you CAN add the Dining Plan to your reservation out of pocket.

      January 23, 2017 at 3:01 pm Reply
  • Leah Heinrich

    Hi Leah, I tried to join the Rent/Transfer board you suggested but they said I didn’t meet their requirements and denied my request to join. Is there a secret to joining?

    January 5, 2017 at 10:21 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Leah! I joined many years ago (6+) so I’m not sure what is going on. I looked over the site and saw that they don’t allow emails from certain domains, such as Hotmail. But I couldn’t find any other reason that wouldn’t accept your request to join. Could you try again with another email address or contact the admin of the board? Sorry I can’t be of more help. P.S. Great name 😉

      January 7, 2017 at 7:40 am Reply
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    November 6, 2016 at 4:06 pm Reply
  • Heather

    Leah,
    Can points be utilized during summer months or are they specific to the “seasons” listed on the sample chart?
    Thank you

    September 11, 2016 at 11:53 pm Reply
  • Krista

    Can I purchase the meal plan if using DVC villa? And what about tickets? Does disney discount them for staying on site?

    August 7, 2016 at 9:44 pm Reply
  • Ivy

    Would this still be a significant savings if I need to still buy 6 day park hopper tickets & pay for dining? Do you think if Disney is offering free dining, that I should try to book a moderate resort package instead?

    July 15, 2016 at 2:13 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Ivy! In my experience, Free Dining at a Moderate would be cheaper overall than renting DVC points for a stay. But they are surprisingly close, depending of course on where you stay and how many people you have in a room. The Free Dining promotion just ended a week ago, but look for it to come around again next spring!

      July 16, 2016 at 6:48 am Reply
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    June 28, 2016 at 2:43 pm Reply
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    January 19, 2016 at 3:52 pm Reply
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