Disney Vacation Club’s been delivering the ultimate in flexible holidays to their resorts for over 30 years.
In all this time, it’s delivered consistent vacation experiences to its members, regardless of whether they buy points directly or via the resale option. Last year, that all changed.
With the arrival of the new Disney Riviera Resort, DVC’s made some changes to its policies regarding resale contracts.
Let’s investigate these DVC resale restrictions and see how they could impact the future of DVC memberships.
Previous DVC Resale Benefits
Before 19 January 2019, DVC members who bought their contracts via resale brokers could buy points more affordably than the DVC direct prices.
They also enjoyed many of the benefits associated with buying directly from Disney. These included:
- The ability to reserve all the Disney Resorts
- Identical booking, banking, and borrowing windows
- Identical expiration and maintenance
- Free DVD rentals
- Pool hopping between resorts when allowed
- Access to RCI exchanges
These are all aspects that can change, so they shouldn’t occupy your focus when considering buying DVC direct vs resale. It’s more important to consider whether you could sell your contract again if you need to.
When you buy DVC points via resale or directly, you commit to a Home Resort, and this impacts many aspects of your membership, including:
- Your annual dues
- Purchase Price
- The Booking window for that resort
- The price of your points
That’s where the new DVC resale points restrictions can make a difference.
New DVC Resale Restrictions
Since the new 2019 resales restrictions came into effect, those considering the benefits of DVC resale vs direct, have a little more to think about.
When a DVC member decides to sell their contract, they must submit it to DVC for the right of first refusal (ROFR). Disney then permits you to sell it to someone else.
Now, these permissions come back with an added waiver. When you resell your contract, the new owner may only use it at the original 14 Disney Resorts. The new rules include all contracts submitted before the due date.
This excludes new resale members from occupying any new resort developments, including Disney Riviera which opened on 16 December 2019.
In short, if you wanted all the original perks of DVC resale membership regarding resort exchanges, you needed to have your contract signed by both parties before 19 January 2019.
How Does This Impact Resale Membership?
Although these changes are still a topic of much discussion, they don’t have a major impact on people who buy DVC resale points at the existing 14 resorts. The only major difference is that new resale members miss out on visiting Disney Riviera.
While Disney’s reasoning behind this is certainly a long-term plan to push their direct sales, the logic behind this reasoning isn’t clear.
The existing 14 resorts occupy the most sought-after locations of all the resorts, with many of them located adjacent to major theme parks. This makes them more desirable than any new resorts that may (or may not) arise in the future.
In effect, the changes impact only new DVC members who are willing to pay premium DVC direct prices to occupy one extra resort – Disney Riviera.
Riviera offers direct access to Epcot Centre, but so does DVC’s BoardWalk resort, so members aren’t missing out on any major attractions by buying resale points.
Those who want to vacation at Epcot could also book any of the several resorts adjacent to this landmark on a rental basis. While this is a costly endeavor, it’s a lot cheaper than the extra you’ll pay for buying a DVC Riviera membership directly from Disney.
When you buy DVC resale, you can save as much as 70% on your purchase price. Another benefit of resale points is that you could pick up points at one of the 11 Home Resorts that DVC’s already sold out.
What About Riviera Memberships?
The new DVC resale restrictions do have a huge impact on those who were hoping to buy DVC with the Riviera as their home resort. In effect, these new restrictions mean that members will struggle to resell their Riviera points if they want to.
That’s because anyone who purchases Riviera points on the resale market, can’t access the other resorts. It’s too early to tell, but this could have a major impact on Riviera sales.
Although no one buys a DVC membership intending to sell it eventually. In reality, most members do sell their points within 10 years.
In today’s uncertain times, it’s impossible to know whether you’ll still have the means to pay for your membership down the line.
So, those buying Riviera directly from Disney at the outset won’t experience the impact of the new restrictions at first. Yet, if they think ahead, they might consider the difficulties associated with reselling these points down the line.
Once Riviera sales pick up, the outlook might change, but right now, it’s still beneficial to buy your points via resale rather than directly from DVC.
A Brief Glimmer of Hope
During September 2020, new DVC members noticed a change in the ROFR waiver wording that implied the restrictions had changed. The wording clearly stated that resale contracts bought after 2019 could vacation at all 16 existing Disney resorts.
Existing and prospective members alike were all abuzz with the hope that DVC had changed its mind about these new restrictions. Yet, DVC quickly amended this wording back to ’14 resorts’ during October, without comment.
This implies that the change was accidental, but it also reinstates the previous restrictions.
Expand Your Horizons
Is the advent of these unexpected DVC resale restrictions enough to put you off considering a DVC membership? If so, you still have plenty of other vacation options available to you.
You could stick to DVC rentals for a more affordable way to experience the magic of a Disney stay, or focus on entirely different destinations.
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