Staying at a Disney World hotel can be pricey, and staying at a Disney Vacation Club Resort can be even more expensive.
You can book a stay at the Vacation Club Resorts directly through Disney and incur those high prices. But there’s actually a special way that you could stay at those resorts for potentially much less, and today we’re sharing all the details with you!
Have you ever heard of renting Disney Vacation Club points to stay at DVC hotels? If you haven’t, then get ready to learn everything you need to know about this special arrangement that could help you stay in a DVC hotel (in Disney World or elsewhere!) and potentially save BIG.
Recently we got the chance to sit down with a representative from David’s Vacation Club Rentals and she answered all of our questions about the rental process. This article is based on our fantastic conversation with that representative as well as the info on the David’s Vacation Club Rentals website.
While there are a variety of ways that you can rent DVC points, we highly recommend that you use our friends at David’s Vacation Club Rentals. They’ve got a wealth of knowledge, are reliable, and can really help you plan your trip. We’ll actually talk a little bit more about David’s Vacation Club Rentals and why we recommend them later in this article. For now, let’s dive into the DVC points rental process and start at the very beginning with a question you might be wondering…what even is the Disney Vacation Club?
What is Disney Vacation Club?
While many may have heard of DVC, they may not be clear on what DVC actually is. As the representative so keenly put it, it’s complicated. DVC is basically a vacation club system through Disney where the member owns points that give them the privilege to stay in certain properties. But, DVC members don’t actually own a unit in a Disney Vacation Club hotel (unlike some other timeshare programs). Instead, as we noted above, the DVC members really just own the points which give them the privilege to stay on property.
The representative from David’s shared that the easiest way is to basically equate it to cash. A member will own a certain number of points, and DVC will specify how many points are needed to rent a room at a DVC hotel for certain nights. The member can then use their points to rent that hotel room.
There are a variety of Disney Vacation Club hotels or villas in Disney World, Disneyland, and even other places like Aulani, where members can use their points.
Do You Have to be a DVC Member to Stay in a DVC Room?
The short answer here is no. You do not need to be a DVC Member to stay in a DVC room. You can book a room at a DVC hotel or DVC villas directly through Disney OR you can rent points.
When you rent points, you’re essentially staying as a guest of the member.
Some of you may be familiar with timeshares that let you stay there for a steep discount if you agree to listen to a timeshare spiel or something like that. If you rent DVC points you do NOT have to attend any kind of timeshare spiel. Instead, you’ll just check-in like a normal guest would and stay in the room as a guest of the DVC member. More on that in a second though.
What Are Some Unique Features and Benefits to DVC Rooms?
You might be wondering why you’d want to stay in a DVC room in the first place, as opposed to just booking a regular Disney hotel room. There are actually quite a few reasons.
The DVC rooms are deluxe villas. That means you’ll get to enjoy furnishings that are generally a little bit more on the higher end. You’ll also get larger square footage in some of these rooms when compared to standard hotel rooms.
And there are special amenities that can make your trip easier and more convenient. In DVC villas that feature 1-2 bedrooms, you’ll find full kitchens, in-room laundry appliances, a large living room, and a dining area. All of these can be huge assets for a larger family.
In DVC studio-sized rooms, you’ll find kitchenettes with a toaster, coffee maker, and small fridge. So, even in just a studio, you could have breakfast in your room each morning and save $50-60 or more.
What Are the Benefits to Renting Points vs. Booking a DVC Room Through Disney?
You can book rooms at DVC hotels directly through Disney, so why should you rent points through a service like David’s instead? Well, first and foremost — renting points can help you save money. The representative from David’s told us that you could rent points and get a room for 30-50% LESS than it would cost you to book the room directly through Disney, especially when it comes to studios.
At the time we spoke, the representative pulled a comparison for a room at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort for 2 kids and 2 adults. Booking through Disney would have cost $5,000. But, the same room (at the time) only cost $2,000 through David’s point rental service! That’s a HUGE difference.
The other thing the representative from David’s told us is that when renting points, it doesn’t matter how many people are staying in the room with you when it comes to additional costs/fees for additional adults. Of course, rooms have occupancy limits, so you will need to stay within those limits and the number of guests you bring with you will matter for that. But, in terms of fees and costs, whether you’re planning the trip for 2 adults or need to fit a group of 4 adults in the room, you won’t pay extra fees for additional adult guests. You’ll just be paying the flat rate to rent the points. That can be especially beneficial if you’re traveling with a large group as you won’t have to worry about some of those extra fees Disney charges when you are reserving a room for a party that includes additional guests (above an initial 2) that are adults.
By renting points through David’s, you’ll also get access to their team who can provide you with some fantastic customer service. If you have a question about your upcoming stay, you won’t have to wait on hold for a Disney representative on a busy day. Instead, you can call David’s team directly and they can see how to assist you!
Another big perk about renting points is that parking at the hotel and parks is FREE. If you book a room through Disney directly you will have to pay whatever the standard parking rate is for the hotel. But, if you rent points, you’re essentially staying on the property as a guest of the DVC Member. As a guest of a member, you don’t have to pay for parking at the resorts or the park.
What Exactly Happens When You “Rent Points”?
Some of you may be wondering what “renting points” really entails — i.e. where are the points coming from? Well, when you rent points, you’re renting them from a DVC member. Essentially, you’re paying the DVC member per point so they can utilize those points to secure your reservations. The DVC member will remove the points from their account and deposit them with DVC to secure your reservation.
David’s Vacation Club Rentals works closely with the member, but it is the DVC members themselves that secure the reservations.
What Hotels Can You Rent Points For?
When you think of staying in a DVC hotel and renting points you may just be thinking about the DVC resorts in Disney World, but you can actually rent points for a lot of other DVC resorts too through David’s.
In Orlando, you can rent points to stay at any of the following 11 hotels.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas at Jambo House
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas at Kidani Village
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Copper Creek Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
You can also rent points to stay at the DVC resorts in Vero Beach in Florida, Hilton Head in South Carolina, the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa in Disneyland, and even Aulani! The representative from David’s noted that Aulani and Grand Californian are ones where renting points could really help you save some cash, especially when it comes to Aulani given how expensive a trip to Hawaii can be.
How Much Does it Cost to Rent DVC Points?
Alright, you’re ready to rent points to book your room and now you might be wondering — how much will this all cost? Well, it depends. Generally, you’ll either pay $19 per point or $20 per point.
Typically, you’ll pay only $19 per point for all stays booked within 7 months of arrival, or for stays at non-premium resorts for arrivals beyond 7 months. You’ll pay $20 per point for all arrivals beyond 7 months at premium resorts.
You can see the list of premium resorts above where it notes that there is a “home resort booking premium” for those hotels.
How Early Can You Book?
If you like to plan your trips well in advance you might be wondering how early you can rent the points and have the DVC member book your room through David’s Vacation Club Rentals. Well, you can rent points and have the member book the room up to 11 months in advance.
The representative from David’s noted that you can submit the request a little early though. They’ll generally accept requests about 12 months in advance and they’ll place them into a queue. They’ll then reach out and remind the member the day before so that as soon as the 11 month window opens, the member can book the room for you.
How Early SHOULD You Book?
One question is how early can you book, but how early SHOULD you book is an entirely separate matter. The representative from David’s said it’s hard. If you’re looking at a resort that’s really close to a theme park or has access to Disney’s monorail system, those tend to get all booked up about 7-11 months in advance. If you also have something very specific in mind like you want a room at Bay Lake Tower or a studio with a theme park view, those are also things that you’ll want to book 11 months in advance.
If you’re looking for something like a preferred studio at Saratoga Springs Resort where there tends to be more inventory and availability (generally), the representative suggested guests book their rooms about 4-5 months in advance.
Let’s Go Through a Step-By-Step Process for Booking
Wondering what the booking process looks like with David’s Vacation Club Rental? Here’s a step-by-step breakdown.
First, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the different resorts you could rent points for. You’ll find lots of information about these resorts on the David’s Vacation Club Rentals’ site. You can take virtual tours of the rooms on the site to get a full 360-degree view of the various room types. That’ll help you fully understand what type of room you need/want.
Next, you can take a look at the cost calculator on their website. There, you can input your check-in and check-out dates and get estimated costs for various DVC rooms. You can take a look at the cost, point value, and occupancy for each room. That’ll help you get an idea of what the costs may be and help you figure out what your budget will be.
Then, you’ll fill out the reservation request form. You’ll specify your dates of travel, your resort choices, and other information. Keep in mind that you can put up to 4 resort choices if you’d like. If a room is not available at your first resort choice and you’ve listed other options, then they’ll automatically look at the other options to fulfill your request. If you only want to rent points to stay at a room at 1 hotel though, that’s totally fine and you can specify that (and just not list any alternate resort choices).
If you’re unsure of what the room availability may look like for your upcoming trip, you can also reach out to David’s and ask if they are able to check availability in advance. They may not be able to answer your pre-request availability check if they’re too busy looking at paid requests that have already been filled out, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Just keep in mind that availability can change often and may change between the time they check and the time you fill out the form.
After you’ve completed the form, you’ll pay the deposit/partial payment of $133.
Then, David’s will check to see if they can fulfill your request and if there’s availability for the rooms/resorts you’ve requested.
Your Resort and Room is Available
If there is availability for the room/resort (or one of the alternates) you’ve listed, they’ll reach out to the DVC member to secure it.
The representative said that sometimes the members are really quick and will book within 2-3 hours of David’s reaching out to them. Others may take a day or two, but David’s will follow up with them. The representative said that guests can always call and see what stage they’re at in terms of whether the room has been booked or what the situation is.
Once the reservation has been secured by the member, you’ll get an email with a confirmation number and you’ll be able to view your reservation. You’ll then be able to link that reservation to My Disney Experience.
You’ll also get a link to complete the online payment form and pay the remaining balance. The payment for the remaining balance is due within 24 hours of receiving the confirmation that the room has been booked. You’ll also get a rental agreement sent to you — your payment in full of the reservation amount is considered your acceptance of the rental agreement.
Your Requested Room/Resort Isn’t Available
If your request can’t be fulfilled, then David’s will reach out to you with some alternate rooms or resorts that are available to see if you’d like to book any of those. The representative we spoke to said they’ll send guests a HUGE list of everything they could find within the requested dates. If, for example, you request a studio at a particular resort, and that isn’t available but a 1-bedroom room there is, they’ll send you that information so you can review it.
You can then review that list of options and send your response to David’s. If you want to book one of those available rooms, then they’ll take care of that and you’ll essentially follow the same process as above. If your requested rooms aren’t available and you don’t like any of the rooms that are available, then you’ll let them know and they’ll cancel your request and refund that deposit.
Why Do You Have to Pay a Deposit?
As noted above, when you submit your request to book the room, you will need to pay a $133 deposit. Why? The deposit is meant to be a sign of good faith and an indication that you’re ready to book.
Once David’s gets the form, as the representative said, “it’s go time.” They’ll work on checking availability and (if the room/resort is available) reaching out to the DVC member to book the room. In other words, if you place your request and it can be fulfilled, it will be secured by the member, so you’ll want to be sure that you’re ready to book.
If you’re not really confident in terms of what you want to book, then it’s best to wait until you’re sure. Keep in mind though that the deposit does get applied toward your total cost for the room.
Aside from the Confirmation Number, What Other Information Will Guests Get?
Aside from the confirmation number, once your reservation is secured, you’ll also get information about making changes to your reservation, information about the Magical Express (set to end in 2022), and you’ll even get a complimentary MagicBand skin or button!
Last Minute Bookings
What if you’re looking to book your room much closer to when you plan to be in Disney World? If you’re looking to book a room and planning to check-in within 35 days of the booking date, then you’ll actually need to pay the full cost of the room upfront when you put in your request. Because of the complexity of points system, if a member pulls points to secure a room within that close of a time period and then something happens, they may not be able to get those points back to the same use year.
If you make a request within that 35-day check-in window and it can’t be fulfilled though, you will get your money back.
Are There Any Other Costs Guests Should Be Aware Of?
In terms of forms of payment, the representative from David’s shared that you can utilize Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal.
In terms of additional costs, the one thing the representative noted is that they are a Canadian company, so you might get a cross-border fee applied when you pay to rent the points. You’ll want to check with your credit card provider before making the purchase to see what rules apply as some may not apply this cross-border fee.
The Rental Agreement
As noted above, there is a rental agreement that will be sent to you with the completed invoice. Your payment in full of the reservation is considered to be your acceptance of the rental agreement. You can see a sample copy of the rental agreement online on David’s website. Of course, you’ll want to read the rental agreement in full to understand what the terms are.
We asked the representative from David’s what some of the most important terms from the rental agreement are. One specific thing they pointed out is that the rental of the points is a FINAL sale. That’s not for everyone. It really means that you need to be committed to booking the room/resort you’re looking for. This final sale policy is in place because of all the complex DVC points rules regarding expiration, banking, borrowing, etc.
If something goes wrong and for whatever reason you need to change the dates for your trip or something of that nature, the representative said they do their best to work with the guest, but ultimately it’s up to the DVC Member as to whether they’re able to help. Sometimes they’re not able to make changes, so that final sale policy is really something you’ll want to keep in mind.
The other thing the representative talked about is travel insurance. If you’re worried about potentially needing to cancel your reservation or something else impacting the reservation in the future, travel insurance is something you might want to look into. David’s doesn’t sell or offer it, but you can check to see what travel insurance other spots are offering.
Another item they highlighted from the rental agreement is the force majure clause that has been added due to COVID-19. Essentially, the representative noted that if Disney were to close down again, that is something that is out of their control. But, if that were to happen, they will provide a travel credit for up to a year.
The other thing the representative noted is that David’s doesn’t have full control over any of the DVC Members’ financial situation. Something could go wrong on the member’s end and the reservation could get canceled due to issues with their membership or something of that nature. Ultimately, though, your money (as a guest renting points) is guaranteed with David’s. That’s just something to keep in mind.
Is This Points Rental Situation Allowed? Will a Guest Get in Trouble with Disney for Renting Points When They’re Not a DVC Member?
If you’ve never rented points before and never even heard of it, you might be wondering if this is all allowed. In short, yes it’s allowed and no, you won’t get in trouble with Disney for renting points. Again, by renting points you’re essentially staying as the guest of the DVC Member, which is allowed.
Changes, Cancellations, and Modifications
What if you need to change some of the names on the reservation? David’s does require that the lead guest must be the same — that cannot be switched out. But, if you need to switch some of the other names on the reservation, you’ll want to reach out with lots of time. That gives David’s enough time to contact the DVC Member about it, and gives the DVC Member who booked the reservation enough time to go through and make the changes. Ultimately, the Member is the only one who has access to their membership and is the one who can make the changes, so David’s has to rely on them to make those changes.
Again, when it comes to cancellations, there is a final sale policy. If you have an issue, David’s does recommend you reach out to them and they can speak to the member to see if anything can be done. Sometimes, because of points expiring or other issues, they won’t be able to move the dates. But, it doesn’t hurt to ask and see if anything can be done.
What if you want to upgrade your reservation? The Member may not have the points to do that, so it may not be possible. But, again, you’ll want to reach out to David’s to see what information they have and what can be done.
Again, for any other changes (like changing an address or other information), you’ll want to reach out to David’s with ample time.
Renting points can already save you some serious cash, but are there additional ways to save by renting points! First, there are newsletter specials sometimes offered for those who subscribe to the David’s Vacation Club Rentals newsletter. A DVC Member may have points that are due to expire 30-60 days out, so they may authorize David’s to cut the price and half and advertise it through the newsletter. You might be able to score rentals at a discount this way and pay as low as $12.50 per point! These are last-minute and typically for rooms at Saratoga Springs or Old Key West, but if you’re all about the savings they could be just what you’re looking for.
There’s also a dedicated reservations area of David’s site. This part of the site shows reservations that were previously made by DVC Members that, for whatever reason, the DVC Member cannot use anymore. They post the reservation as-is and guests are able to rent the points to book them if they want them.
Again, typically these are available at a discount with some reservations priced as low as $14 per point.
Why Should You Use David’s Vacation Club Rentals Over Other Rental Services?
There are a variety of websites and methods you can use to rent DVC points, so why use David’s? David’s was really one of the first DVC Rental points companies out there and is a pioneer of the industry. They don’t work on sales or commission, so you won’t have to worry about them being pushy or trying to really sell you on something to make more money. When you call in, what you’ll be getting is authentic, genuine advice.
David’s also takes their team members down to Disney World so they can explore some of the DVC villas. That gives them the ability to really share their genuine advice and experience with guests. David’s team is also incredibly accessible. They’re available by phone, live chat, email, and more. They’re ready and able to help you get your questions answered!
But, perhaps most importantly, by booking through David’s you’re going through a process that is secure. If you rent through other sources or try to communicate with members directly, you could send in money and then encounter an issue that causes you to lose those funds and puts your stay in jeopardy. David’s, however, works with DVC owners/members to make sure your room is booked, and if anything goes wrong on the Member’s end, your funds are guaranteed through David’s.
Can You Use Online Check-In, Etc. if You Rent Points? What About Other Perks?
If you rent points to book your stay, you’ll be able to use that confirmation number to link the reservation to My Disney Experience. Then, you’ll be able to utilize Online Check-In just as a traditional hotel guest would be able to. You’ll also be able to make dining reservations, FastPass+ reservations (when available), etc. just as a regular guest would be able to. You’ll also be able to use your phone or MagicBand to open your door if you want.
You’ll also be able to use Magical Express to get to your room (while it is still available), and you’ll fall under the “Resort Guests” category when it comes to Park Pass availability.
What about other perks? DVC Members get access to DVC lounges, etc. so do you get those benefits by renting points? Unfortunately, you do not. You won’t get access to the DVC lounges or be able to use the DVC member discounts.
But, you will get free parking as we discussed above, free laundry services (either in the room or at a laundry center), and since you are considered a hotel guest you will get access to some discounted MagicBands.
Are There Any Cons to Renting Points?
The main con to renting points with David’s is that final sale policy. There’s not a whole lot of flexibility. If you’re the type of person who likes to book something and then shuffle the dates around later or cancel and re-book with future deals, or you’re not sure about what you really want to book — then renting points is probably not for you.
If you’re also the type of person who likes to have FULL control over your vacation plans, renting points might not be a good fit. Ultimately, you and David’s are relying on their communication with the DVC member/owner.
And the truth is that while David’s has had thousands of successful reservations, things can go sideways at times, particularly if a member encounters an issue with their points or something like that. But, the representative from David’s made it a point to note that they are there for the guests booking through them. They have a team that monitors emails at night and are truly there to support guests renting points.
What Does Availability Look Like for DVC Rooms Right Now?
Disney World hotel rooms have been filling up quite a bit this year, particularly as the 50th Anniversary approaches. We asked the representative from David’s what availability is looking like now. When we spoke to them a few weeks ago, they noted that availability goes up and down. For a while, it was sold out through December, but with more resorts opening up some spots have become more available.
The representative told us that they never say “never” until member services does! If you’re looking to stay in one of the resorts, you can even send a pre-request availability check. They may have to say no to that pre-request check if they’ve got too many other paid requests to look at, but they’ll do their best to work with you to see if they can give you an idea of what’s available.
And that’s a look at how you can rent points to stay at DVC hotels potentially for less than what you’d have to pay if you booked directly through Disney! There are a few things to keep in mind, like their final sale policy and more, but if you’re willing to accept those terms, renting points could be the key to staying in your dream spot for less! And we highly recommend that you use David’s to do so — they’re reliable and can help answer all of your questions.
We’ll continue to keep an eye out for more tips and tricks that could help you in your future Disney trips and let you know what we find!
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Have you ever rented DVC points? Tell us about your experience in the comments.