The word “timeshare” usually sends chills up your spine. Oftentimes it is associated with sitting through a film and listening to a sales pitch and, more importantly, timeshares are associated with losing money. For the most part, timeshares are not a great investment because they don’t increase in value or accrue interest. However, Disney timeshares seem to be the one exception.
About Disney Timeshares
Disney timeshares, also known as the Disney Vacation Club, has been looked upon favorably by vacationers and investors alike. Although timeshares don’t normally increase in value, the Disney timeshares have the opportunity to do so. This is because Disney is constantly adding new attractions and expanding their properties.
The first Disney Vacation Club property opened in December 1991. Over the next 15 years, Disney continued to open new vacation properties in Florida, California and Hawaii.
To become a member of the club you have to make a one-time purchase of real estate in one of the Disney Vacation Club Resorts. So, how much do Disney timeshares cost?
Disney Timeshares: The Cost
Depending on the size of your family and the desired length of your vacation, you can control the cost of your Disney timeshare. The cost of each individual membership varies depending on how many nights you’d like to stay, how large of a room you need and what season you’d like to vacation during.
The Disney Vacation Club is managed with a points system instead of talking about cash. (You’ll notice Disney does this a lot with Magic Bands and other park merchandise and it is a great way to get people to spend money, so be wary.) You can buy between 100 and 250 points for each year’s vacation. Stays vary from one night to more than 11 nights a year and have time available during every season of the year, including the holiday season. If you’d like to have a longer vacation or more accommodations on your trip, you can borrow points from the following year, too! So, you’re always able to book the vacation you want. But how much do you pay for said points?
Depending on your needs, the price for a Disney timeshare can range from $17,600 and more than $39,600. To get an idea of what this cash gets you, here’s a breakdown:
- 100-124 points (starting at $17,600) will get you between a one and six-night stay at one of the Vacation Club Resorts.** You can book which resort you’d like and most deals leave you with remaining points for future stays.
- 225-250 points (starting at $39,600) gets you between a two and 10-night stay. Almost all of these plans leave you with additional points for future trips or additional accommodations (meal plan, passes, etc.).
**It should be noted that Disney Vacation Club points can be used on Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney or Concierge Collection luxury hotel group unless they are purchased by a re-seller.
Between those, there are different point categories (each spanning 25 points), each slightly more expensive than the last with different options. Keep in mind, Disney Vacation Club members are required to put at least 10 percent down on the timeshare. You also may not be able to qualify for a financing option if your credit isn’t great. You’ll also pay between $250 and $500 in closing costs on the deal.
Memberships are sold as a ground lease or a term-for-years and cannot be sold in Nebraska. Disney also includes a Right of First Refusal clause within their membership contracts. If you default on your timeshare, Disney uses a nonjudicial foreclosure process. However, the company does have two approved resale companies, Fidelity and Vacatia, if you find you are no longer able to afford or no longer want your Disney timeshare.
Disney Timeshares Resale Value
Having the option to resell a timeshare is great but doesn’t often happen in a way that leaves the seller on top. It seems, however, that Disney timeshares are a bit different. In May 2016, Sharket, a market research company, issued a resale value list with Disney at the top, meaning Disney timeshares are fairly easy to resell. They not only maintain their value but, oftentimes, they even increase in value as the parks grow.
As previously stated, Disney has two companies it recommends for the timeshare resale (Fidelity and Vacatia). Timeshare owners can also go through licensed brokers to sell their Disney Vacation Club membership. What is unique about Disney timeshares is that around 4.4 percent of the resale accounts that come up are purchased by Disney itself. So, some members don’t have to wait for an individual buyer to become interested.
So, in the grand scheme of things, Disney timeshares have a pretty good resale value. But should you purchase a Disney Vacation Club membership?
Should You Buy a Disney Timeshare?
Obviously, buying a timeshare is a big decision. It is something that you will have to pay for years for. Or, if you have the cash up front, you will be spending tens of thousands of dollars on an annual vacation. For some, this may be worth it and, as stated above, Disney timeshares have great value. However, there are some things you may want to consider before buying a Disney Vacation Club membership:
- You’ll still have to travel there once a year. While your vacation stay and other activities will be covered, you will still have to pay to travel to Disney at least once a year. Of course, you’ll have time to plan so you can probably get cheaper airfare but it is still an added cost of the timeshare.
- It’s still expensive. Even though Disney’s Vacation Club seems like a good deal, you are still spending $17,600 minimum. That is the price of a new car for some or even a down payment for a home.
- You will have to pay maintenance fees (and they are high). The average Vacation Club member pays between $40 and $50 for every 100 points owned on the timeshare for maintenance. This pays for maintenance on the properties and beautification processes.
- Disney needs to be a yearly destination for it to be worth it. This is pretty simple. If you don’t love Disney World, don’t buy a Disney timeshare. Once you buy a Disney Vacation Club membership you will have to vacation once a year at Disney (or you’ll waste your money).
- The Disney Vacation Club doesn’t include other parks. Disney, as you may know, has a plethora of other parks. For instance, in Florida, Disney World has two water parks, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot all located on the property as well. However, the DVC membership will only include Disney World (no other theme parks).
- No spontaneous trip taking can be had as a member of the Disney Vacation Club. If you’re a last-minute planner or like to take spontaneous trips, don’t go the timeshare route. You’ll be better off saving up and paying for a different vacation every year.
No matter what it is, buying a timeshare or putting money into the stock market, you always need to research something before putting your money into it. Disney timeshares may be worth it for some and not for others. Be sure to take all the pieces of information into consideration before plunging into a big purchase like this. If you’d like more information about Disney Vacation Club, you can order a free DVD or watch an intro video online.
Have more information or an experience with Disney timeshares? Let us know in the comments!
Photos: Marc Levin