Disclosure: I was compensated for this post but all opinions are completely my own.
I am excited to share an amazing tool for planning a Disney World vacation with you today – DVCapp. While I have used this site for years, the recently-added features have made it my go-to resource for planning trips to Disney!
As you likely know, I am a huge fan of Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resorts such as Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge. One of my top money-saving tips for Disney World travel is to rent points from an owner for stays at DVC resorts (read all about how to save up to 70% by renting points in this post).
In this post, I’ll walk you through how to use the DVCapp website to research and find the best DVC resort for you, check availability at DVC resorts, and connect with an owner from whom you can rent points for a stay!
Researching DVC Resorts
After you create a free DVCapp account and verify your email, you can select the “View Floor Plans” link on your account homepage to research DVC resorts.
From there you can choose from the 14 different DVC resorts found in Disney World and beyond.
When you select a resort you’ll be able to see the floor plans and layout of each type of villa. This is incredibly helpful for deciding which resort and room type will be the best fit for your family!
You can see the sleeping arrangements, such as pullout couches and Murphy beds, as well as the number and location of bathrooms (very important, of course).
As I already mentioned, you’ll need to create a free account to use DVCapp. After you verify your email, you will be asked to enter DVC credentials for one-time verification.
If you don’t want to or can’t enter your credentials (more on this later), you also have the option of upgrading to a paid PRO membership.
A DVCapp PRO membership costs $7.99 for 3 months and allows you to search availability for DVC resorts, get email/text message updates when your saved searches become available, and connect with owners to rent points.
Availability at DVC resorts changes frequently (and sometimes maddeningly) so the ability to get updates via text is totally worth the $2.67 price tag per month for me!
If you aren’t happy with your PRO Membership you can cancel at any time and get a full refund. You can also easily turn off the auto-renewal feature at any time if you decide you no longer want the service. I keep my membership active because it represents such an incredible value for a few dollars each month!
Searching Availability at DVC Resorts
DVCapp was designed as a tool for DVC owners to easily and quickly check availability at DVC resorts. The DVC website is notoriously clunky, so the creator of DVCapp made a light and fast tool for checking availability across all resorts at once.
You can search across multiple resorts for up to a 2-week period, which makes it easy to plan if your dates are flexible.
Here is a sample of the results from a search I did for availability for a studio villa at Animal Kingdom Lodge for next May. Rooms that are available are in green and those that aren’t are in red.
Not surprisingly, Value and Concierge studios are already booked, but I can see that standard and savanna view studios are still available at both Jambo House and Kidani Village for my dates!
Renting Points from An Owner
Lastly, the newest feature of DVCapp is the ability to connect with an owner for renting points. When you find a villa that is available for the length of your search, you will see the “Book it” options at the top of that column in your search results.
After you click it you will be taken to a screen where you can customize a rental offer. You can select how much you are willing to pay for the stay and post your offer for free.
As I mentioned, DVCapp is intended for DVC members. However, a PRO membership can be a good option if you are unable to enter DVC membership credentials. If you are a former DVC owner, or just someone who loves to rents points for stays at DVC resorts to save money, you can use this service to connect with owners willing to rent you points for your stay.
This can be a money-saving alternative to using a broker to search availability and secure an owner for a rental. You can potentially save $2-4 per point this way, which can add up to HUNDREDS of dollars saved on a vacation.
After you connect with an owner, you can set up a contract that outlines a change and cancellation policy, payment plan, etc.
In summary, DVCapp is an affordable and easy-to-use tool for researching DVC resorts, checking availability, and connecting with an owner for renting points. I have found it invaluable in planning our many stays at DVC resorts.
If you have any questions about DVCapp, you can leave a comment on this post or send me a message via The Frugal South’s Facebook page!