Renting points for a DVC room is a great way to save money if you want to stay in a deluxe resort, have more than 4 people in your vacation party, want a kitchen, washer/dryer, etc. Each location has a cost in points based on time of year, location, view and type of room.
In case some of you don't know, Disney Vacation Club is something people buy into. You can find all of the details of membership in First Time Disney Vacation Club Buyer's Guide. Some members buy it as an investment. Most people buy it for their own use to stay at over 500 locations throughout the world including cruises and Adventures by Disney. The points are most commonly used at Walt Disney World. All locations are deluxe resorts, but most DVC locations are separate from where guests who book rooms directly with Disney. The DVC rooms have more amenities than the standard rooms in the resort.
- Cost: In an effort to compare apples to apples, I'll provide an example of 4 adults at the Animal Kingdom Lodge versus a studio at DVC Animal Kingdom Jambo or Kidani. Jambo is part of the lodge, but Kidani is a separate building. For 5 nights at Animal Kingdom Lodge in a room with 2 queen beds and savanna view, the total with tax is $3,268.14 as of the time this article was published in 2016. For the same 5 nights at Animal Kingdom Jambo in a deluxe studio and savanna view, which also has a balcony and a kitchenette, you need 85 points. For the sake of this example, I will use a standard point price of $15, which was the going rate at the time this article was published. The actual point price could be slightly more or less. The total cost is $1,275. You save almost $2,000 and the rooms are better!
- Dining Plan: If you rent points, you are still able to buy the Disney Dining Plan. Downside: If you go to Disney and buy park tickets during the time they offer free DDP, the dining plan is not free when you rent points for DVC. But, as it stands right now, the cost of the regular dining plan is around $630 for 2 adults for 5 nights according to the 2016 DDP rates. So, if you use the example above, you save almost $2,000 by renting points and the dining plan would cost $1,260 for the 4 adults. It looks like renting the points and buying the dining plan is still the money saver plus the DVC room is better! With the kitchenette, you can save money by eating breakfast and/or other meals in your room.
- Rooms: Besides the differences between basic rooms I specified above, the DVC bedroom villas are something everyone should experience. I love the washer/dryer, full kitchen, multi bathrooms (depends on the bedroom villas) and whirlpool tub in the master bedroom. The one-bedroom villa sleep 5 people, but my husband and I book a one-bedroom even when it's just the two of us. We went with friends last year. Only 4 people, but because it's 2 couples, we opted to book a 2-bedroom so everyone is comfortable during our stay. A couple with young kids can easily stay in one room, but depending on the dynamics of the vacation party, you may opt for something different. Example: our vacation party is only 4 people, but if we booked a one-bedroom, one couple would be sleeping on a pullout couch in the living room and, most likely, we will all share one bathroom. (Two resorts have 2 bathrooms in the 1-bedroom villa.) My husband and I wanted to be able to walk out into the kitchen without intruding on our friends' personal space, which is why we paid for a 2-bedroom villa for 4 people. You need to remember that Disney states that rooms sleep up to so many people, but the dynamics of the guests may not allow 2 people in the same bed. Example: A two-bedroom villa sleeps 8 or 9 (depending on resort). This would be one king size bed for 2 people in one bedroom, 4 people in 2 queen size beds in the 2nd bedroom, 2 people on the pull-out couch in the living room and one person on the sleeper chair in the same living room. As I said, depending on dynamics of the vacation party, that may not work. You may want to consider a 3-bedroom villa, which is what we did with 9 people on our last trip even though the 3-bedroom villa sleeps 12 people.
Only downside I noticed with renting points is that you can't make your own changes on your reservation, which is a very minimal issue. All changes and/or additions need to be done by the rental store/owner of points. Rest assure, you will receive all necessary information to run your reservation on your "My Disney Experience". So, if that's good for you along with saving money and staying in a truly magical resort, renting DVC points is the way to go. It was a very seamless process. Want some help or have some questions? Let me know!