How you can save hundreds of dollars by renting Disney Vacation Club points
Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest information.
You have a world of choices when it comes to finding the best hotel for you at Disney World.
Those looking for a balance of Disney World perks and reasonable pricing can turn to Disney’s Value and Moderate resort categories. Visitors seeking the ultimate in convenience may enjoy a monorail-linked Deluxe resort, such as Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Contemporary Resort or Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
For families keen on sticking to a tight budget, there are several non-Disney, off-property hotels, too, including options where you can redeem hotel points and the new Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando — Disney Springs Area. You can even camp on Disney property, should you still want the magic of Disney at your lodging without breaking the bank.
However, there's another cost-effective way to book Disney accommodations: through the Disney Vacation Club (DVC). From the process of renting points to the benefits you'll receive when you do, here's everything you need to know about using DVC points for your next Disney vacation.
Related: The best Disney World hotels for your next magical stay
Disney Vacation Club basics
Even if you don't know much about the Disney Vacation Club, perhaps you’ve at least seen the DVC kiosks sprinkled throughout the parks during previous Walt Disney World vacations. The Disney Vacation Club has existed since the early 1990s and is Mickey's version of a timeshare.
You can purchase a DVC membership that is valid for as long as 50 years for a set number of points. DVC memberships are typically constituted of a set number of points that can be used to book DVC properties for yourself — or others — annually for the life of the contract.
While there is some flexibility to roll over points to or borrow points from a future year, in general, Disney Vacation Club members have to use or lose their points each year. However, members who don’t plan on using all their allotted points can rent them out to other vacationers. Regardless of who ultimately uses the points, the owner will owe dues on them every year, so there's certainly an incentive to make sure they don't go to waste.
Related: How much does a Walt Disney World vacation cost?
Why you might want to rent Disney Vacation Club points
You don't have to own points to come out ahead in the DVC equation. In fact, renting Disney Vacation Club points is like eating filet mignon when you paid for a steak sandwich. While the experience varies based on a few factors, you can generally rent DVC points to stay in a Deluxe Disney resort for roughly the same price as booking a Moderate Disney resort.
Booking link: Rent DVC points via TPG’s partner, David’s Vacation Club Rentals
When you book a Disney Vacation Club room, which is usually referred to as a studio or villa, you'll typically enjoy more space along with amenities like a kitchen and laundry machines. You’ll also get the normal perks of staying at a true Disney resort (such as 30-minute early entry to the parks and the ability to purchase individual Lightning Lanes at 7 a.m., among other benefits) because you are at a true Disney resort.
Plus, many Disney Vacation Club properties, including the monorail resorts at Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian Village and the Grand Floridian, are ideally situated for visiting the parks. If you're prioritizing Epcot and Hollywood Studios, consider the DVC rooms at Disney's BoardWalk Inn and Disney's Beach Club Resort. You can even choose Disney's Skyliner-linked Riviera Resort if you're eager to try this mode of resort transportation.
Cash rates for standard rooms at these resorts often hover between $500 and $700 per night. However, using DVC points can greatly reduce your out-of-pocket costs, as bookings are available for 10 to 16 points per night. So, if you rent DVC points for $20 per point, you could use points to reserve a room at one of the above Deluxe Disney resorts for as little as $200 per night.
How much can you save by renting Disney Vacation Club points?
We've established the basics around renting Disney Vacation Club points. Now, it's time to consider some real-world examples to see how much money you can save on a three-night stay.
For the below calculations, we used a rate of $23 per point when renting from David’s Vacation Club Rentals more than seven months out, as that's when availability is the best due to Disney limiting who can book a specific resort with points to those who own points at that resort. Once you look at dates within seven months of your visit, availability begins to shrink since DVC owners can start using their points at other resorts beyond the one they own points at. Because of this, rates from David's Vacation Club Rentals are slightly lower within seven months, averaging around $21 per point.
When considering points rentals from individual owners, we used a benchmark of $20 per rented point. Know, though, that this cost can vary quite a bit.
The following availability was live and bookable as of the time the story was written.
|Dates: Nov. 26-29, 2023||Disney's Polynesian Village Resort||Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas — Jambo House||Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa|
|Studio room via Disney.||$2,403.||$2,335.50.||$2,754.|
|DVC studio at premium prices when renting seven to 11 months out via David’s Vacation Club Rentals.||$1,518 (66 points).||$1,311 (57 points).||$1,794 (78 points).
Note: The standard studio is currently unavailable via DVC on these search dates, but it would have cost $1,518 (66 points).
|DVC studio at average prices when renting via an individual owner.||$1,320 (66 points).||$1,140 (57 points).||$1,560 (78 points).
Note: The standard studio is currently unavailable via DVC on these search dates, but it would have cost $1,320 (66 points).
As you can see, while savings vary, in our examples it is very realistic to save about 40% off paid Disney rates when renting DVC points, even when paying the premium rates charged by a large service.
Be on the lookout for existing reservation listings as well, as these can get you additional savings. For example, we've seen reservations for as little as $15 per point in the "DVC Guests" section of David's site. You'll find them within the "Dedicated Reservations for Rent" option of the drop-down menu.
Related: 10 ways to save money on a trip to Disney World
How to rent Disney Vacation Club points
Now that you’ve seen how significant the savings can be, even on a three-night stay, you may be wondering how to actually rent Disney Vacation Club points.
Once you check DVC availability — which you can do by logging in to a Disney Vacation Club member account or speaking directly to DVC — and familiarize yourself with the DVC points charts, the process is fairly straightforward, though it will vary depending on whether you use a professional service like David's Vacation Club Rentals or rent directly from a DVC owner.
Renting Disney Vacation Club points from a service
As mentioned, you can rent DVC points from David’s Vacation Club Rentals or another professional service.
To make a DVC rental booking with David's Vacation Club, hit the "Reserve Now" button and begin filling out your desired travel dates, resort and room type. You can select a number of resorts you'd consider accepting or only one resort if you are set on staying at a particular property. Use a site that shows DVC availability, such as this one, before completing this step to ensure there's space at your preferred resort(s) before getting too far along in the rental booking process.
Once you've submitted the basics, you'll need to pay a $105 deposit that goes toward the price of your rental in the event it is secured. This will initiate the search. Be sure to use a credit card that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees, as this service is based in Canada.
If the resort and room type you are looking for are available, you will be asked to pay for the rental minus your $105 deposit. If there is no availability, you'll either receive alternate options or a refund of your deposit.
Assuming all goes well and you've secured and fully paid for a rental, you will get a confirmation number you can link to your My Disney Experience account. This final step is so you can access all the benefits of staying on Disney property.
David's has been around for a long time, and we’ve had good experiences with this service. You’ll pay a premium by renting through a service instead of booking directly with an individual, but what you’ll spend is still usually less than if you try to rent a DVC villa directly from Walt Disney World. As an added bonus, you'll have the protection of renting via an established brand.
Renting Disney Vacation Club points from an owner
You can also rent points directly from a Disney Vacation Club owner. The price an individual DVC owner will charge is generally less than what you’ll get from a larger service, and prices often go down as the points' expiration date approaches.
If you want to rent via an individual owner, keep the following tips in mind:
- Search for individual DVC owners through a platform like Disboards. This popular Disney message board has a forum specifically for people looking to rent out their points. Because Disboards only allows active members or those who pay a fee to list points a limited number of times per year, it’s harder for scammers to post points available to rent.
- Join a DVC Facebook group like DVC Disney Vacation Club Points Rental to find more reputable rental options.
- Do your research before renting points. If you’ve identified a potential person you want to rent points from, Google their name or ask around in a related Facebook group for experiences. See if you can track them down on social media, and don’t hesitate to ask them for references from past renters. You can also see if they are truly an owner at one of the Disney World resorts by doing an online search through the Orange County Comptroller.
- Pay for your DVC rental with a credit card that offers some level of purchase protection.
- Consider buying a travel insurance policy that covers a potential cancellation outside of your control, such as for a medical issue. Some DVC rental sites offer a paid insurance plan via a partner as well. No matter how you rent, be aware that these are less flexible reservations than ones made directly with Disney.
Should you rent Disney Vacation Club points?
Every family’s decision on where to stay and how to best pay for that lodging will be as unique as their Walt Disney World vacation. If someone tells you that you absolutely should (or shouldn’t) rent Disney Vacation Club points, go find another source of information. As with many things in life, it all depends.
We like to start by checking prices and availability directly with Disney. If you find a good enough deal via that route that you’re happy with, that may be the best option for you, especially if you put a premium on flexibility. That's because big-name rental sites like David’s Vacation Club Rentals do not permit changes to bookings or issue refunds should your plans change.
Also spot-check prices and availability at traditional points properties like the Walt Disney World Swan, Dolphin and Swan Reserve resorts. These Marriott-affiliated hotels are on Disney property and walkable from Epcot and Hollywood Studios but aren't true Disney hotels, so sometimes they have better pricing.
If you decide these options are not best for you, then the DVC rental route may be the way to go. Generally, DVC rooms are worth considering if the savings are substantial or make it possible to significantly upgrade your experience.
For example, we recently rented points via David's Vacation Club Rentals and reserved a two-bedroom, three-bathroom suite at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge for $840 (or 40 points at $21 per point). This massive suite, which also has a full kitchen and a separate living room, would've cost more than $1,300 had we booked directly with Disney.
Related: How to use points to buy Disney tickets
While you’ll need to do your own research to ensure you’re comfortable with the process, whether you choose a DVC rental broker or an individual owner, we can assure you that you’ll find some of the best lodging at Disney World available through the Disney Vacation Club.
From spreading out above the ground in a Treehouse Villa at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa to catching the Magic Kingdom fireworks from a private hot tub at the Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, some of our families’ most coveted Disney memories have come from these Disney Vacation Club resorts.
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