One of my best finds in vacationing has been the renting of Disney Vacation Club points. This find has saved our family thousands of dollars every vacation we used it. In some cases, rather than squeezing into a small hotel room, we were able to spread out in a one-bedroom villa with a kitchen. Using DVC points does have some drawbacks. However, if you understand the pros and the cons, it may be right for you.
How Do I Rent Points?
First, we are not Disney Vacation Club Members. However, when we stay at Aulani in Hawaii or sometimes in Disney World, we will stay at Disney Vacation Club Villas. There are a few places to rent Disney Vacation Club Points. There is DVC Rental Store. I have never used this service. I have read that it is reputable but I haven't used it myself. The other place is David's Vacation Club. We have been booking with David's Vacation Club for about 8 years. We usually book the Aulani in Hawaii but most recently, we used it in Disney World. Every booking was very easy and went very smoothly. At Disney World, we had all of the benefits of staying on property (such as early booking for Fast Passes, use of Magic Bands, etc.). When we were having trouble finding a place in Disney World, the team at David's Vacation Club kept looking until they found what we were looking for. I have recommended this to many people and they have all had smooth experiences.
- Gives you more space- Usually, we will rent a one-bedroom villa. There are also studios which are about the same size as hotel rooms. However, we have three children. Having a separate living/eating area and sleeping area is priceless. It gives us all the little bit of space we need from each other to stay happy.
- Full kitchens- The one and two-bedroom villas come with full kitchens. The studios typically have kitchenettes. Not a full kitchen but enough to make quick snacks and cereal for breakfasts. The full kitchens have a full refrigerator/freezer, stove, and cooktop, microwave, etc. Also, it is fully stocked with dishes, cookware, and a dishwasher. True, no one goes on vacation to cook. However, after a week of eating out all of the time, it is nice to just sit down and have a simple meal of chicken and rice. In Disney World, we'll often just get frozen pizza. After a day at the parks, the kids are hungry but aren't really up for going someplace hunting for food. Having the option of making mac and cheese or a frozen pizza is perfect.
- Laundry- Again, no one goes on vacation to do laundry. However, it is so much easier coming home and unpacking clean clothes. Also, when you have kids, stains happen. It is best to just take care of them right away. And finally, even if you never use the laundry machines, you'll feel better just having it available.
- Benefits of a Hotel- With all of the benefits of being in a rental, you still get the benefits of being at a Disney property. You get access to the amazing pools, restaurants, and activities of the resort.
- Cost savings!!!- The biggest benefit for me is the cost savings. A DVC studio, when you rent points can be about half the cost of a regular hotel room. Savings on villas are also astounding. For example, today, a 7 night stay in a one-bedroom villa over Christmas would be $4,830. To rent a one-bedroom villa from Disney directly, the cost is around $6,470. That is a savings of over $1,600. That will pay for your rental car for your trip and then some. Usually, the cost savings are even more. Right now, Aulani is having reopening deals.
- Need to plan in advance- Some properties are really hard to get. For Aulani, I have always had to book 11 months out. At Disney World, I booked around 7 months out. It took the team at David's Vacation Club alot of work to get availability at the Beach Club Villas. I have never been able to get a villa at the Grand Californian in Disneyland or the Grand Floridian in Disney World. Right now, David's Vacation Club has last minute availability. However, that is something new with Covid. If you find a deal, take advantage of it. But typically, you will have to plan far in advance.
- Lack of flexibility- Once you book, you cannot change or cancel your reservation. There may be travel insurance policies you can get to mitigate the risk of unforeseen events. You have to read the policy carefully and make sure it covers what you need it to cover.
- Pay in full- Once you agree to the reservation, you have to pay in full. It is non-refundable.
- No daily maid service- Right now, most hotels aren't providing daily maid service. In DVC rentals, don't expect daily maid service. So you will be making your own beds.
For many, the vacation villa's can save a vacation. It brings the cost down enough so you can splurge on other parts of your vacation. It gives your family the space to spread out or play a silly board game in the living room. However, be smart. Know the type of traveler you are. If you plan your vacations months in advance and don't mind paying in advance, this is for you. Even then, make sure to get insurance. If this year has taught us anything, it is that we always have to be prepared for the unknown.