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What is the Difference between Disney Vacation Club and a Disney Timeshare?

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Posted on November 11, 2022

The magic of Disney has captivated families for generations, with parents handing down their love for the Magic Kingdom down to their children, and their children’s children, for decades. One of the best ways to enjoy the wonder of Disney World and Disneyland is at a Disney Vacation Club resort, but what is the difference between Disney Vacation Club vs a Disney timeshare?

Disney Vacation Club is the points-based membership program where members use points to vacation at resorts that are part of the DVC network. Most of these resorts are attached to the iconic Disney World theme park complex in Orlando, with another in the shadow of Disneyland in southern California and others in Hawaii, Hilton Head and Vero Beach, Florida.

Members stay in timeshare units within the Disney Vacation Club resorts, which is why it is often referred to as a Disney timeshare. Many of these units are larger than a standard hotel room with upgraded amenities like kitchens and spacious living areas. However, there is a big difference between the two terms, Disney Vacation Club vs Disney timeshare, and it comes down to the way the points are originally purchased.

What is a Disney Timeshare?

what is a disney timeshare

The term Disney timeshare may describe the unit within the resort, but the term is actually used more broadly by existing owners who understand how the resale market operates. It represents the option for owners to buy Disney timeshare resales here on the secondary market and save considerable money compared to buying directly from Disney.

Unfortunately, many owners find out too late about the significant money that can be saved by purchasing a Disney timeshare on the resale market. They are normally introduced to the program by a sales consultant at a Disney Vacation Club resort, who then sells them points at much higher prices than on the resale market.

After becoming an owner, they understand more about what is a Disney timeshare when they learn about the secondary market, which is where owners often purchase additional points in order to stay in larger units at specific times of the year. The more points owned, the more flexibility an owner has to vacation at the time they want to, in the unit of their choice.

The primary benefit of a Disney timeshare is the cost savings, which can add up to thousands of dollars. We’ll get into more of the cost specifics below, but some DVC resorts can have point value savings as much as $100 per point compared to what is charged through Disney. Considering Disney sells a minimum package of 150 points, that’s potentially $15,000 in savings just by buying Disney timeshare resale points.       

Disney timeshare resale owners stay in the same DVC resorts as members buying through Disney, with the larger units with separate bedrooms, kitchens, living and dining areas and the convenience of being located on Disney property. There’s nothing like walking from your unit to hop onto the monorail to get to Epcot or the Magic Kingdom.

Buying a Disney timeshare is as simple as searching for your favorite DVC resort through our search bar, searching the timeshares for sale for that resort and making an inquiry. You are buying from an existing owner, but our licensed agents will negotiate on behalf of the seller, handle the paperwork and deposits and send the agreement to closing.

Keep in kind that there are some benefits that do not apply when buying on the resale market, such as discounts on merchandising, dining or using points for a Disney cruise. These benefits are only available when purchasing directly from Disney but considering the thousands of dollars saved by buying resale, most members are okay with it. 

What is the Disney Vacation Club?

what is disney vacation club

As we mentioned earlier, Disney Vacation Club is the name of the program where members purchase points to be used to vacation in DVC resorts. Points are a real estate interest deeded to a specific resort, and members buy through Disney sales teams at the resort, which is then considered your home resort within the Disney Vacation Club network.

Members are given an early booking window at their home resort for priority booking to use their points to vacation. Disney Vacation Club members have exclusive access to bookings at their Home Resort from eleven months to, and including, eight months before their preferred check-in day at the resort. The priority is for a reservation of up to seven consecutive nights after the requested check-in date.

Points can also be used at other Disney Vacation Club resorts within the network in addition to the home resort. The resorts within the DVC system are:

One area to keep in mind involves Disney's Riviera Resort. Club members who purchased points directly from Disney that are deeded to Riviera Resort can use those points at any DVC resort in addition to Riviera Resort. Members who bought Riviera Resort resale points can only use them at Riviera and not at other Disney Vacation Club resort, although there may be an option through exchange provider Interval International.

Club members who purchased points from Disney also have benefits such as discounts on theme park tickets, dining and shopping discounts, and using points toward Disney Cruise Line cruises. However, ask yourself whether the extra thousands of dollars spent purchasing from Disney rather than through the resale market are worth it for these benefits? 

Breaking Down the Money: How Much is a Disney Timeshare?

how much is a disney timeshare

This is the really good part, since buyers wondering how much is a Disney timeshare will see resale prices as much as 50 percent lower than prices charged at the resorts. Because of the point system used by Disney, prices are usually broken down by price per point, with points at some resorts more expensive than at other resorts.

You will usually see resale sellers listing an allotment of points, say, 150 points for sale at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. You will want to divide the asking price by the points to determine the per point price for those points. Then, compare the price to the price charged through Disney to see how much you can save by purchasing a Disney timeshare resale.

You may see that a Disney resort is considered a sold-out resort, but there are always points that can be bought at these resorts. In the case of Old Key West resort, Disney’s price is $200 per point and expected to hit $205 per point later this year. With resale prices at $115-125 per point, that’s thousands of dollars back into your pocket.

Average resale savings for Disney timeshares reportedly range from $40 per point for Grand Floridian to $104 per point in savings for Disney Beach Club.

A big reason that resale prices are better is because buyers are purchasing direct from owners. Resort prices have marketing costs and sales commissions baked into their prices - costs which do not factor into resale prices. Those savings are passed onto buyers, but keep in mind that buyers often pay the closing costs on the resale market.

Breaking Down the Money: How Much is a Disney Vacation Club?

how much is a disney vacation club

Buying Disney Vacation Club points directly from Disney is definitely the more expensive of the two options, even though resale prices hold their value better than just about any vacation ownership product on the market.

The Disney marketing program is extensive, with Disney leveraging the magic of the kingdom to attract fans to the DVC resorts. Recouping those marketing costs and paying out sales commissions is a major part of the pricing structure, with those costs making up as much as 50 percent of the resort retail price.

The per point prices below reflect anticipated Disney prices increases which are expected to take effect in December 2022:

  • Animal Kingdom ($210)
  • Aulani ($217)     
  • Bay Lake Tower ($275)
  • Beach Club ($275)
  • Boardwalk ($240)
  • Boulder Ridge ($215)
  • Copper Creek ($250)     
  • Grand Californian ($320)     
  • Grand Floridian ($217)     
  • Hilton Head ($165)     
  • Old Key West ($205)
  • Polynesian ($250)
  • Riviera Resort ($217)     
  • Saratoga Springs ($205)     
  • Vero Beach ($150)

Much of the difference in point values comes down to the location and age of the resort as well as the demand for a specific resort. For instance, Grand Californian is the most expensive but also the most exclusive since it is the only Disney Vacation Club resort at Disneyland in California.

The prices above do not include incentive discounts that Disney periodically offers for new buyers, but even with incentive prices the resale prices are still better than through the resorts.

How Long does DVC Membership Last?