Can You Really Save Hundreds of Dollars Renting Disney Vacation Club Points? We Tested It and Found Out.
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Want to save up to 50% on a Disney hotel stay? It doesn’t take a magic wand, it just takes knowing how to rent some points.
One of the easiest ways to quickly save a potentially significant amount money on a Disney vacation — without sacrificing much of anything — is to stay in a Disney Vacation Club villa using rented Disney Vacation Club points. These villas can be found at Disney resorts such as Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas, Saratoga Springs or even Disney’s Aulani Vacation Club Villas in Hawaii. The best part? You don’t have to be a Disney Vacation Club owner (or even know an owner) to rent Disney Vacation Club points and save money on a Disney World vacation.
Save Up to 50% By Renting DVC Points
There are some pretty big online companies that essentially act as the broker between owners of Disney Vacation Club points and those who want to rent them for a specific trip. These companies will link DVC point owners with prospective renters so they can spend less money when renting anything from a one-room studio to a three-bedroom villa. You still get all of the perks of staying on-site with Disney without paying full Disney prices. (Here’s a look at the difference between a hotel room and a studio villa at Disney’s Polynesian Villa Resort.)
In addition to close proximity to the parks, these on-site perks include: an extended FastPass+ period of 60-days instead of 30 days, access to the Disney Magical Express Bus, Extra Magic Hours in the parks and the gift of never leaving the “Disney Bubble” from the time you arrive until it is time to “see you next time.”
I have rented Disney Vacation Club points numerous times in the past to save money on our family’s trips to Disney, but until recently had always rented from someone I knew personally. But — it was time to branch out and try something different, so we rented Disney Vacation Club points from one of the biggest services out there: David’s Vacation Club Rentals. The name implies a mom-and-pop shop (or at least pop), but the reality is much more advanced with a few dozen team members listed on its site and frequent mentions on almost all sites Disney-related.
Here’s how it works: A Disney Vacation Club owner (Disney’s version of a timeshare) can use their points to book a stay for anyone at one of these resorts:
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas
- Bay Lake Tower At Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s Boardwalk Villas
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Hotel
- Disney’s Riviera Resort (not yet open)
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
- Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Vero Beach Resort
- Disney’s Hilton Head Resort
If an owner doesn’t plan to use their entire DVC points allotment for the year, they can make some or all of the points available for rent via a service like David’s. David’s Vacation Club Rentals pays a rate to the points owner (often $13.50 to $14.50 per point) and then charges more to the renter (often $17 to $18 per point). The company’s profit lies in the difference.
The best way to use David’s Vacation Club Rentals, or any other similar site, is to first familiarize yourself with the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) points charts and the online availability search tools to learn how much something costs and whether it is likely to be available on your dates. Across DVC, rooms start at just 6 points per night and go as high as 227 points per night, so the cost spread is wide.
As an example, a standard studio at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House will cost you 10 or 11 points per night for all of May 2019. If you rent your points via David’s at $17 per point, that means each night would cost you $170 to $187 per night. That’s an all-in price with taxes and resort parking included. A quick check of a Saturday in May showed a standard room at Animal Kingdom Lodge starting at $518 and a standard villa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Jambo House (which is what you could rent with DVC points) was pricing at $488. The savings you can enjoy by staying on rented DVC points is pretty clear when the stars align.
A three-night June stay at Disney’s Aulani in Hawaii costs as few as 57 points (19 per night). At $17 per point, that is $969. If you paid cash, rates are most likely $600 per night for the same dates, or about $1,800. If you can get the availability you want, you can save 50% on your Disney stay in Hawaii by renting points.
It’s important to know that some DVC rooms, especially the cheapest ones, can and do sell out well in advance. You want to book as far in advance as you can. The DVC booking calendar opens 11 months in advance from your date of check-in. If you book seven or more months in advance, you may pay a $1 per night “home resort” premium at David’s as only those owners who own points at a particular resort can make reservations more than seven months in advance. Within seven months, owners can use their points at any of the available DVC resorts.
How to Use David’s Vacation Club Rentals
Once you know where you want to stay, and have verified that there is availability for your dates, it’s time to ask David’s Vacation Club Rentals to make the booking. Note that availability is dynamic and you don’t want to delay once you know what you want.
To rent using David’s Vacation Club, complete its Reservation Form and make a $119 deposit that is applied to your final rental price using a Visa, Mastercard or Paypal. (I recommend using a card with no foreign transaction fees since David’s is based in Canada.) If it can’t book what you want, that money is refunded.
There is one caveat when booking with David’s: With the exception of some last-minute sales that can be for as little as one night, the minimum rental is 44 points. Via our Animal Kingdom example above, that would mean renting for four to five nights in May in the least expensive room type. You can choose to only have them check/book one resort, or list alternates in case your first choice is not available.
Once you submit your request, you wait. In our case, we only had to wait about an hour to be informed via email that our request could be fulfilled. We were given a link to pay the balance of our reservation (minus the $119 deposit) and then the booking was secured. Within a few more hours, the entire process was complete and we had a reservation in our names with a Disney confirmation number. The booking should code as travel, so use a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve to earn three points per dollar on travel.
This Disney confirmation number is a big deal because this is how you can get your Disney FastPass+ advance ride reservations, setup the Magical Express Bus, order your Disney MagicBands, etc. Sometimes when you book Disney resort stays through third-parties (like Priceline), getting that Disney confirmation number can be hard to almost impossible. Thankfully, David’s provided that all-important magical number straight away.
The same day the reservation was booked, David’s emailed a rental agreement, as well as separate info on Disney Dining plans and setting up the Magical Express Bus.
I didn’t have any additional contact with David’s — but that’s because everything on the booking worked just fine. I was able to link the reservation to my online Disney account, check-in under my name went perfectly and everything about the stay was smooth. We got to live it up in a three-bedroom Grand Villa within walking distance to Magic Kingdom for one night thanks to renting Disney Vacation Club points. (Read our full Disney’s Bay Lake Tower review here.)
Downsides to Renting DVC Points
My experience and other online reviews show that David’s has the DVC rental process down to a science. However, there are downsides. First and foremost, cancellations and changes are not permitted. This will be a non-starter for some folks. For others, look into travel insurance or be sure and use a credit card with built-in trip protections that might help you as a method of last resort.
Also know that stays booked via the Disney Vacation Club do not come with full housekeeping (er, “mousekeeping”) the way that standard hotel rooms would. Rooms booked via DVC get “trash and towel” service on the fourth night. If your stay is more than eight days, you get a full cleaning on the fourth night. Housekeeping also inspects rooms daily and may remove trash during that time. If you want more housekeeping services, you can pay for additional cleaning at rates that vary from $30 for a studio villa to $75 for a three-bedroom villa.
Look for Last-Minute Specials
If you like the idea of renting DVC points to save money, keep an eye out for last-minute specials where you can save even more. I’ve seen points go for as little as $11 per point during these last-minute specials. Other times, the last-minute rates may still be $17 per point, but you can get your hands on otherwise hard to book reservations if the fixed dates work for you.
Want a two-bedroom on-property official Disney resort booking for up to eight people (with a kitchen) over Memorial Day weekend for less than $400 per night? This last-minute booking available via David’s is how to do it.
This was my first time using David’s Vacation Club Rentals, but it won’t be my last. The site has a prompt online chat option for quick questions and our booking process with the company couldn’t have been better. There are also other similar options out there we haven’t tested yet, such as the DVC Rental Store.
Read on to continue your Disney vacation planning:
- How to Save Money at Disney World
- How to Use Points to Buy Disney Tickets
- Ultimate Guide to Walt Disney World
- The Week We’d Never Visit Disney World
- Things Families Should Know About Disneyland
- Skip the Lines: Early Morning Toy Story Land Package
- Guide to Disney Water Parks
- Dine With the Evil Queen at Disney’s Artist Point
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