Are you thinking about booking a DVC rental for your next Disney Vacation? The Disney Vacation Club offers quite an affordable way to save money on their future vacations, there is no doubt about that. Packing up the family and taking them to Disney World or Disneyland is a costly adventure. So if you are like me, I am looking for some serious savings to make the Disney trip more affordable. One of the biggest ways to save is booking a Disney Vacation Club Rental (aka DVC Rental). You can save around 30-50% Off by booking a room by renting DVC points. Here are 9 things I wish I knew before booking a DVC Rental.
9 Fascinating Facts I Wish I Knew Before Booking a DVC Rental
1) Deluxe Resorts Only
If you have booked with Disney before, you know they have three different types of resorts. Value, moderate and deluxe. The Disney Vacation Club Villas are located only at the top tier deluxe resorts. These include all three resorts around the Magic Kingdom (Polynesian, Contemporary & Grand Floridian), Disney Beach Club (my favorite), Boardwalk, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Old Key West & Saratoga Springs.
Over at Disneyland, you have the Grand Californian, and yes you can even book at Disney’s Hawaiian Resort, Disney’s Aulani. Now, for me I love these resorts, they are located close to the parks, the service, pools, and amenities are all top notch. However, if you are someone who is used to staying at a value resort, you might not save much money by booking a DVC Rental, basically, you will be getting upgraded for about the same price (which is pretty awesome too!)
2) Most Amenities are included!
One of the best things about booking a DVC rental is you are treated just the same as if you booked a regular room at the Disney resorts, in fact maybe a little better. Pretty much all of the same amenities that come with a traditional room booking directly through Disney. This includes
- FREE transportation from the airport to Walt Disney World through Disney’s Magical Express (Florida only),
- Magic Bands (Florida)
- Booking Fastpass + 60 days in advance
- Booking dining reservations 180 days in advance,
- The only thing you don’t get is the discounts that come along with being a Disney Vacation Club Member. You can also add a Disney Dining Plan to your reservation.
3) Plan to book far in advance (7-11 months is ideal)
As a Disney Vacation Club Member, I know that booking in advance is key to getting the room that you want since there is a limited supply of rooms. If you know, where you want to stay, the best chance to get a room that you want is booking at least 7 months in advance. The reason is when a Vacation Club Members owns at a certain resort (for example Animal Kingdom Lodge) that owner can book a room for themselves or as a rental 11 months in advance at that resort in which they own and no one else can.
However, once you hit 7 months in advance, every other Disney Vacation Club owner can book at that resort so the inventory goes quickly. So, start planning in advance and find the resort that best suits your needs. To search the available resorts go to disneyworld.com and search Deluxe Villas.
*Pro Tip – Plan to Book 7-11 months in advance
4) These are not your traditional rooms
Deluxe villas are not your traditional hotel room because they are designed to be your “home away from home.” The studios are the closest to a traditional room with a queen bed and pull out couch that converts into a queen bed. By the way, Disney’s pull out couch bed is not one of those terrible springy couch beds. They are quite comfortable. The rooms also include a kitchenette with a mini-fridge and microwave.
Now, if you are lucky enough to stay in a 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom or grand villa. You will enjoy a full kitchen with stove, full-size fridge and all the other traditional kitchen amenities. We buy groceries in advance and make breakfast every morning when we stay in this type of room.
Plus, the best feature a washer and dryer are in your room! You also get a full-size jetted bath and a separate living room area. These rooms are basically like being in a suite in a hotel and are my favorite rooms to stay in.
5) Housekeeping is not like a traditional hotel
Since you are booking a DVC rental, one of the perks that are not included in your stay is daily housekeeping. These rooms are considered a “home away from home” so the housekeeping is not the standard daily cleaning. The way housekeeping works as follows:
On Day 4 – Trash and Towel Service
With this service, Housekeeping will
- Empty the trash and put new liners in the wastebaskets
- Bring fresh bathroom towels
- Replace shampoo, facial soap and bath soap, paper towels, and toilet paper
- Replenish coffee, sugar, and cream
- Replenish dishwashing liquid, dishwasher detergent, sponges, and laundry detergent as applicable
* Pro tip – I have always called and asked for extra towels and other amenities and they have brought them to my room at no additional charge.
On Day 8 (if you are lucky enough to stay that long) Full Cleaning Service
- Make your bed and change the bed linens, Vacuum,
- Clean the bathrooms.
- Clean the kitchen/kitchenette and wash the dishes
* Pro Tip – If you need that daily housekeeping, you can ask the front desk how much it costs for your room.
6) Pay No Taxes, Parking & “Resort Fees”
I don’t know if there is anything I dislike more than booking a room online and it looks like a great deal. Then when I head over to check out the rate is so much higher than I booked. First, You have your hotel and tourism taxes (I expect that) but then you have these “resort fees.” This fee used to never exist and I have seen them range from $20-$50 per night.
In addition, you add parking fees and all of a sudden your room is $100 more expensive PER NIGHT! When you book a DVC rental, all these fees disappear, No taxes*, no resort fees, no parking fees (except valet) and you even get free wifi.
At Disney World if you stay under a DVC Rental you also pay no PARKING FEES – Woohoo!
*If you do book Hawaii there is a small tax on your room, due at check-in.
7) Plan to prepay for your rooms.
Because the rooms you are booking are actually owned by Disney Vacation Club Owners, be prepared to pay in full up front for your room. Since you are saving around 50% off this isn’t too bad, but it is still quite a shock at first. The only nice advantage is when you check out of the resort, your room bill will be zero dollars, and that is quite a nice feeling. Also, some of the sites that rent points request a $50 -$75 refundable resort search fee. If your room is available, they apply it to your rental price, but if it is not they refund you the money.
8) It’s a great way to see if you want to own a Vacation Club Membership without the “90-minute presentation”
We have all had those calls and mailers. Check out this great hotel for a great rate and all we ask is for 90 minutes of your time. After that “90-minute presentation” that turns into 3-4 hours, you find yourself regretting getting this great rate. When you book a DVC rental you are booking through one of the owners, so there is no presentation, you get to simply enjoy your vacation. Now, if you are thinking about buying a Disney Vacation club, well then this is a great way to try it out before you buy.
9) How to book a DVC rental?
As a DVC Member, I have both rented points (prior to purchasing) and rented out my points when I wasn’t able to use them. There are a few different sites that are very reputable that I have personally used.
The one I recommend to my friends & family is DVC Request (also known as David’s Vacation Rentals). They are very customer service friendly and will help you with all your booking needs including Dining plans, Magical Express, & More! The rental process is pretty simple and all of the people I have referred, book with them again, unless they end up buying a Disney Vacation Club.
All in all, I personally love Disney Vacation Club and think booking a DVC rental is a great way to save money on your upcoming Disney Vacation and stay at a beautiful property. If you have any more questions about Disney World, Disneyland or Disney’s Aulani. Check out my articles below.
Bonus* – Which Disney Vacation Club Rental and view to Book!
Look, if you are going to book a Disney Vacation Club Rental in Hawaii or Disneyland Resort in California it is easy, you only have one option for each. Aulani & Disney Grand Californian. At Aulani, if you can afford it get the ocean view and ask for a high floor on the Ewa tower overlooking the pool. At Grand Californian, ask for the Theme Park View, it is not guaranteed but it is worth a try and does not cost extra.
Now if you are going to Florida, there are 11, soon to be 12 Disney Vacation Club Resorts. Here is a quick breakdown to help you decide which dvc resort is for you.
- Closest to the Magic Kingdom – Bay Lake Towers, Grand Floridian & Polynesian
- Amazing Magic Kingdom Fireworks – Bay Lake Towers (Must choose Magic Kingdom View)
- Best Pool – Disney’s Beach Club Villas – Animal Kingdom Kidani is pretty good too, but Beach Club is the best!
- Walking distance to Epcot & Hollywood Studios – Beach Club Villas or Boardwalk Villas
- Swankiest – Grand Floridian
- Most Affordable – Saratoga Springs & Old Key West
- Closest to Disney Springs – Saratoga Springs
- Most Unique – Animal Kingdom – Get Savannah View, it is worth it.
Have you stayed in a DVC Rental Before? If yes, which is your favorite Disney Vacation Club Resort? Tell us your questions or in the comments below.
Pin for Later– 9 Fascinating Things I Wish I Knew Before Booking a DVC Rental
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