FAQ Orlando

Tougher to resell a Disney vacation membership

Disney Key West Resort Mickey castle by pool

Old Key West, Disney's first DVC resort, recently added a Mickey sandcastle slide

In a move announced yesterday, Disney Vacation Club (DVC) owners who want to sell their unit will find it slightly more difficult after Disney tinkered with the resale rules. From Disney’s perspective, a direct DVC sale – from the company to a buyer – nets more money than a resale, which means a current DVC owner is selling an existing contract to a new owner.

To increase the appeal of a direct sale, Disney changed the rules regarding “points.” Under the new rules, a direct buyer may use points (pseudo-money concept with the amount of points an owner receives each year based on the worth of his DVC unit) for any product in the points program, which includes cruises and guided tours. Resale owners, however, may use their points only for a stay in one of the 11 Disney-owned properties or hotels, or through a private points vendor, RCI.

What’s the point?
DVC owners tend to love Disney. Anyone who commits to a Disney vacation for perhaps 50 years has a soft spot for the company and its entertainment. By taking away cruise and tour options, the company gives buyers one more reason to buy directly rather than through resale, which is almost always a cheaper option.

Disney has imposed rules on resales since the beginning of DVC, including the right to repurchase contracts, so that type of control isn’t new. The tougher restriction on points is.

Why now?
Disney is a master at maximizing profit – that’s both a criticism and a compliment. But DVC stumbled hard during the recession. As more DVC owners lost jobs and homes, the number of DVC resales listed on the market surged, and supply more than outstripped demand. That hurt not only the owners trying to sell their unit, but also the Disney company as it marketed new contracts. The current rule change should at least partially boost direct company profits but at the expense of current owners who wish to sell their investment.

Read more about the Disney Vacation Club.

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