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

Posted in Disney World, Frugal Travel
on October 22, 2019

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Disney's Beach Club Villas and pool

Disney’s Beach Club Villas

Years ago I learned how to rent DVC points and stay at Disney World Deluxe resorts for up to 70% off. This has made it possible for our family to stay in places that we never dreamed we’d be able to afford!

In this post, I’ll share everything you need to know about DVC rental (either from a broker such as David’s Vacation Rentals or by finding an owner yourself) in the hopes that your family can experience a stay at one of these amazing resorts, too.

What Are DVC Points?

bed and couch in Saratoga Springs resort Studio Villa

Deluxe Studio Villa at Saratoga Springs Resort

DVC stands for Disney Vacation Club and is Disney’s 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 that help maintain the resort.

But unlike a timeshare, DVC members buy a set amount of “points” that are added to their account each year. These points can be used to stay at any Disney Vacation Club resort any time of the year.

Giraffe and zebra at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

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. 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 ten 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
  • Riviera Resort (opening December 2019)
  • Saratoga Springs Resort
  • Wilderness Lodge Villas (Copper Creek & Boulder Ridge)

Can You Rent DVC Points? 

Studio villa room at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

Studio Villa at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

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!

The easiest way to rent points from a DVC owner is through David’s Vacation Rentals. They handle everything for you and you’ll still save hundreds (or thousands) on your Disney vacation. Read on to get all of the details. 

Do I Still Get Disney Benefits If I Rent DVC Points?

This is the question I get asked the most about DVC rental (well right after “Is this too good to be true???”)

And I’m happy to report the answer is YES! You get all of the same benefits of staying at a Disney resort when you rent DVC points that you do when you book directly with Disney (more, in fact). 

After you rent DVC points for your stay, you will get a Disney confirmation number that you connect to your My Disney Experience account.

With this confirmation number you will get:

  • Free Disney Magic Bands for everyone on your reservation
  • Free Disney Magical Express transportation to/from the airport
  • Priority FastPass window of 60 days
  • Ability to add a Disney Dining Plan to your reservation if you want
  • Free parking at your resort (this is an extra perk of renting DVC points and will save you $24 per night!)

So you won’t miss out on anything by renting DVC points – you’ll just pay less because you are in-the-know and are willing to do a little bit of extra work.

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 $14-$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 $120 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 to rent disney vacation club points

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 much does a DVC point cost?

The going rate for DVC rentals is between $14 – $18 per point. You can sometimes find points for cheaper, but that is becoming rare.

How much you pay per point will depend on where you are renting the points from. On to your options for where to rent DVC points!

How do I find a DVC owner 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.

The Easiest Way – Rent DVC Points From a Broker

dvc broker availability calendar - how to rent dvc points

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 with DVC rentals for many years!

This is how the process works: first, submit a reservation request on David’s site.

You’ll pay a $119 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 Disney Vacation Club points through a broker is $17 – $18 per point. This is maybe a dollar or two more per point than you would pay compared to renting from an owner directly, but it is a much easier process.


One other benefit of renting DVC points 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 Travel Guard’s “cancel for any reason” policies . If you aren’t completely satisfied you can get a full refund within 10 days of booking.

Rent DVC Points Directly from an Owner

Screenshot of DVCapp site - how to rent dvc points

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.

Is It Cheaper to Rent DVC Points?

Lobby of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Kidani Village

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village

A DVC rental will always be cheaper than paying for the same room directly with Disney.

Just how much can you expect to save by using this approach versus just booking a room 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!

 

Stormalong Bay Pool at Walt Disney World

Stormalong Bay at the Beach Club

This was rather an extreme example but normally you can expect to save anywhere from 40% to 70% off of Disney’s prices for similar rooms at these resorts.

I normally pay between $150 – $250 for a studio villa at resorts where a room through Disney will cost at least $400 per night. 

How much does a DVC point cost? 

The range for the cost of DVC points is generally from $14 – $18 per point. You will pay between $17 – $18 when you use a broker to arrange your stay, but you won’t have to deal with any of the confusing details or put yourself at risk. 

If you rent directly from an individual, you can expect to pay between $14 – $17 per point. The low end of this price range is usually just for last minute rentals, so I wouldn’t expect to pay $14 per point for a week vacation that you are booking 11 months in advance. 

What Are The Cons of Renting DVC Points?

old key west studio villa

Old Key West Studio Villa

While there are clearly many pros to renting DVC points, there are also some downsides. 

The downsides are:

  • You must be ready to pay the entire amount upfront
  • There are no cancellations (though changes may be possible) so travel insurance is recommended
  • You won’t get daily housekeeping, but trash and towel service on night four (full housekeeping for stays longer than eight nights) 

When you make a reservation through a DVC broker or through an individual, the standard is to pay the whole amount upfront. You can pay via credit card either way. 

Sometimes an owner is willing to work with a down payment and the balance due 60 days before arrival, but that depends on the individual.

Due to the nature of DVC points in general there are no cancellations. But I have had luck changing the dates of my trip, such as at the last minute due to a hurricane. 

I strongly suggest getting travel insurance for a trip with rental points which you can only get when you rent through a broker such as David’s. Unfortunately trips arranged through an individual won’t usually qualify for insurance. 

And last, you won’t receive daily housekeeping when you stay on points. You will get trash and towel service on the fourth night of your stay and a full cleaning on the seventh night. 

If you need anything from “Mousekeeping” at any point during your stay (such as soap, toilet paper, or even more towels) you can call from your room phone and someone will bring the items to your room. 

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

fireworks at night over cinderella's castle

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.

Can you get the dining plan if you rent DVC points? 

Yes, you can absolutely add a dining plan to your reservation if you rent Disney Vacation Club points!

When you use a broker you would usually pay for this during your original booking. What’s nice is that you can pay for it with a Disney gift card that you got at a discount, saving you even more off the cost of the dining plan.

Get my advice on buying discount Disney gift cards here and my Disney Dining Plan tips and tricks here for further reading. 

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.

You can check out my review of a Standard Studio at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort for an idea of what to expect in a DVC studio villa.

I hope this information helps you understand how DVC rental 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 join the discussion in my free private Facebook group – The Budget Mouse!

Check out these related posts:

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

  • 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
  • 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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