The Secret To Saving Money On Your Disney World Hotel, From Someone Who Does Disney A Lot
This will change the way you book Disney World trips.
In one of the most obvious statements ever written, Disney World is expensive. The hotel, the food, the tickets… they all add up to one not-so-magical price tag to stay at the Most Magical Place on Earth.
But I'm about to let you in on a little secret that may change how you book your next Disney World trip. In the past few years, I have stayed at Disney World a lot for my job (and because I'm a Disney adult who unabashedly loves being there). And while I have no qualms about saving some money and staying off Disney World property, when I do stay on property, I save major bucks by using DVC point rentals to stay at expensive Disney World hotels for a whole lot less.
What is DVC point rental?
Instead of paying for the full rack rate of a Disney World hotel, you have the option of staying at some of Disney Vacation Club's accommodations for less by renting DVC points. This basically means that a Disney Vacation Club member is "renting out" points they have paid for but are not planning to use for themselves for the year.
DVC points can be used at any Disney Vacation Club property, including the following:
- Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Bay Lake Tower (at Disney's Contemporary Resort)
- Beach Club Villas (at Disney's Beach Club Resort)
- BoardWalk Villas (at Disney's BoardWalk Inn)
- Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
- Disney's Old Key West Resort
- Disney's Riviera Resort
- Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney's Saratoga Springs
- Boulder Ridge Villas (at Disney's Wilderness Lodge)
- Copper Creek Villas (at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
- Disney's Grand Californian Resort and Spa
- Disneyland Hotel
Other Disney Properties
- Disney's Hilton Head Resort
- Disney's Vero Beach Resort
- Disney's Aulani Resort
They rent out these points using a DVC Point Rental site, which acts as the intermediary between them and you. Several sites specialize in this process, including David's Vacation Club Rentals and DVC Rental Store, among others.
How do DVC point rentals work?
The process for DVC point rentals can depend on which site you use, but they are typically pretty straightforward.
First, you'll want to browse for the dates you want. On the DVC Rental Store, you'll be able to see availability immediately. For David's Vacation Club Rentals, the process is a bit different. You'll be able to check out the cost associated with the dates you want, but you will then need to request availability. To do this, you'll need to pay a $105 deposit and can input your top choices for hotels. If they find your top choices, they will let you know. If not, they will reach out with alternate options and refund you the deposit if they cannot find one.
From there, you can agree to the quote and secure the room. The DVC owner will book the room on your behalf, under your name. Because the reservation will be under your name, you can also link it to your Disney account so that you can make dining reservations or any requests for your room.
Another way to book through Disney Vacation Club rental sites is to use a pre-booked vacation. These are typically rooms that were fully booked using points but, for one reason or another, are not being used anymore. These will require much more flexibility in your schedule, as the dates are already confirmed and cannot be changed, but they are often given at a slightly discounted rate.
What are the pros of DVC point rentals?
There are both pros and cons to renting through DVC rental sites. Far and away, the biggest advantage is the cost savings. You can save a significant amount of money by renting using DVC points compared to booking directly through the Disney World website.
I personally have booked using David's Vacation Club Rentals in the past and was able to book Disney's Polynesian Village Resort for about 40% of the cost it would have been if I had booked directly through the Disney World website.
The other advantage is access to deluxe accommodations. The Disney Vacation Club villas are all at Deluxe Resorts, the most expensive tier of Disney World hotels. Staying at a Deluxe Resort means you'll have access to great restaurants, amenities, and often easier access to the theme parks than at Value or Moderate Resort hotels.
Renting DVC points gives you the benefits of a Disney Vacation Club membership without the commitment. You can rent the points when you need them, but there's no commitment or further payment to stay within the program.
How about the cons of DVC point rentals?
Now, while there are plenty of benefits to booking with a DVC rental site, there are also some disadvantages to consider.
The biggest thing to consider is availability when it comes to booking. Finding availability for the hotel and time you want is far from a guarantee and can be incredibly hard to find during especially busy times of the year. It's much more challenging to book last minute through one of these sites versus booking directly through the Disney World website. You'll need to plan and book well in advance to hopefully secure your preferred dates and location.
You'll also want to consider payment terms and the cancellation policy. Booking through the Disney World website, you have the option to cancel a room-only reservation up to five days in advance with no penalty, and canceling from zero to four days will cost you the deposit.
Booking through a DVC point rental site can be much more strict with cancellations. For example, David's Vacation Club Rentals does not permit cancellations, upgrades, or date modifications for any reason. Because of this, you really only want to book using DVC points if you are confident your vacation is a go (and even then, you will want to consider travel insurance).
One other thing to consider is a lack of daily housekeeping. Disney Vacation Club rooms operate under a different housekeeping schedule than other Disney rooms, so your room may not be cleaned daily.
Overall, renting DVC points can be a great way to save money on your Disney World hotel while getting the benefits of staying at a Deluxe Disney World Resort. However, it's important to consider all factors on whether it's the right choice for you and your group when booking your Disney vacation.