The Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is Disney’s time-share-condominium program. DVC resorts (a.k.a. Disney Deluxe Villa [DDV] resorts) at Walt Disney World include Animal Kingdom Villas, Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort, the Beach Club Villas, BoardWalk Villas, Grand Floridian Villas, Old Key West Resort, Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, Treehouse Villas at Saratoga Springs, and Boulder Ridge Villas at Wilderness Lodge.
Each DVC resort offers studios and one- and two-bedroom villas; some resorts also offer three-bedroom villas. (The new Polynesian Village DVC resort is limited to studios and two-bedroom bungalows.) Studios are equipped with kitchenettes, wet bars, and fridges; villas come with full kitchens. Most accommodations have patios or balconies.
DVC members receive a number of points annually that they use to pay for their Disney accommodations. Sometimes members elect to “rent” (sell) their points instead of using them in a given year. Though Disney is not involved in the transaction, it allows DVC members to make these points available to the general public.
The going rental rate for Disney Vacation Club Points is usually in the neighborhood of $14 per point when you deal with members directly; a third-party broker will often charge more for acting as a middleman. Renting a studio for a week during Summer season at Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas currently costs a DVC member 95 points, or $2,753 with tax. If you rented those points at $14 per point, the same studio would cost you $1,330 with tax—more than $1,400 less.
You have two options when renting points: Go through a third-party broker or deal directly with a DVC member. For a fixed-rate of around $16 per point, the folks at David’s Disney Vacation Club Rentals (dvc request.com) will match your request for a specific resort and dates to their available supply. Their per-point rate is a bit higher than if you do the legwork yourself, but they take requests months in advance and notify you as soon as something becomes available; plus, they take credit cards. We’ve used David’s for huge New Year’s Eve events and last-minute trips, and they’re tops.
In addition to David’s, some readers, like this one from St. Louis, have had good results with The DVC Rental Store (dvcrentalstore.com):
We rented DVC points for this trip through the DVC Rental Store, and we had a wonderful experience. Unlike David’s, they don’t make you pay the entire cost upon booking. For our stay at [Boulder Ridge] Villas, we paid just over half what we were planning to pay for the Wilderness Lodge.
When you deal directly with the selling DVC member, you pay him or her directly, such as by certified check (few members take credit cards). The DVC member makes a reservation in your name and pays Disney the requisite number of points. Arrangements vary, but again, the going rate is around $14 per point. Trust is required from both parties. Usually your reservation is documented by a confirmation sent from Disney to the owner and then passed along to you. Though the deal you cut is strictly up to you and the owner, you should always insist on receiving the aforementioned confirmation before making more than a one-night deposit.
We suggest checking online at one of the various Disney discussion boards (such as mouseowners.com) if you’re not picky about where you stay and when you go and you’re willing to put in the effort to ask around. If you’re trying to book a particular resort, especially during a busy time of year, there’s something to be said for the low-hassle approach of a points broker.