DVCNews Debates: Fixed Week
Disney Vacation Club has only offered the Fixed Week purchase option for the newest four of its fourteen properties. The option allows buyers to secure a specific unit size and week every year without any of the uncertainty involved in making reservations. The buyer can cancel their fixed week at any time and receive the points to use for any other booking, and the Fixed Week is guaranteed to be immune from any future point chart adjustments. The primary downside appears to the the requirement to purchase 10% more points than the given week would actually cost if booked through normal means.
Topic: If the Fixed Week option were available at the time of your DVC purchase, would you have given it any serious consideration?
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At the time of our first DVC purchase, no. But as of today, yes, because we like to travel during the cheapest season for DVC members in early December. If I was buying today, it would want us to purchase week 49 at CCV for and then we could enjoy the holiday decor at WL and get in the Christmas mood each year. It would be great to not have to worry about the 11 or 7 month mark for those dates, and the worry that we won't get the reservation we really want.
Scheduled upcoming Disney trips:
11/30/17 - 12/14/17 - Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort
03/01/18 - 03/08/18 - Copper Creek at the Wilderness Lodge
If the Fixed Week option were available at the time of your DVC purchase, would you have given it any serious consideration?
Yes and no.
When we bought in 2009, it was the flexible nature of the DVC traditional point system that made me think we could get maximum use out of becoming members. If a fixed week option was offered for Bay Lake Tower in 2009, I would have turned it down.
However, now that we have been members for several years, I can see the advantages of having a fixed week deed, especially as it is structured the way that DVC sets up its fixed weeks. Every year, fixed week owners can opt out of their fixed week and convert their week to traditional points. When they opt out, they get the full amount of points they purchased, which includes the 10% premium that they initially bought. Basically, the fixed week option will still give the owner the choice of using the points much like the DVC traditional point system.
I think anyone who is considering buying around 118 or more points at Copper Creek AND wants a studio for most visits should seriously consider buying a fixed week. Even if they rarely intend to use their fixed week, they sill have the full complement of points at their disposal.
One advantage of having a fixed week is if Copper Creek turns out to be very popular during parts of the year, it may be difficult to book certain accommodations unless you are ready to book when the 11-month home resort booking window opens. By having a fixed week, you don't have to worry about the 11-month window. In fact, you don't have to worry about competing with others for your reservation because its already booked for you.
Honestly, I see very little benefit from having a fixed week deed. It certainly doesn't seem worth the extra 10% points required. I have never had difficulty getting exactly what I want at my 11-month window (with one exception -- club level studio at AKV for the first week of December). The main benefit seems to be that the process of securing your week reservation is "automatic." However, if you choose to do something else in a given year you still need to remember to cancel/convert and book something else...
Knowing everything I know today, I still would not consider buying a fixed week contract. The minor benefit (for me, at least) would never justify the extra cost.
A fixed week would absolutely not be the right thing for my family. We can't get to Orlando yearly as it is, so it's completely a non-starter.
Theoretically, I could see us using a fixed week in Anaheim, but that is iffy at best. Maybe once the kids are out of the house and have their own families...probably not even then.
[WDW visits: DxL 1/98, VWL 1/03, WL 6/03, VWL 1/08, BWV 1/13, BCV 1/16, POFQ 4/17]
[DL visits: 7/90, 11/93, 11/94, 11/95, 11/96, 6/97, 11/97, 11/99, 12/00, 8/01, 1/06, 2/08, 2/12, 6/14, VGC 7/16, DLH/VGC 1/17]
[Family: me45, wife45, daughter18, son16, son12]
[Races: 2016 WDW 10k, 2017 SW Light Side Rebel Challenge, 2017 SW Dark Side Half]
I can see why some folks would want it, but it carries a price premium (+10% points). Our lives don't generally let us count on taking the same vacation every year and booking at the 11 month mark is not a serious issue.
For us, it's the flexibility that makes DVC great- we can go at different times, in different rooms, even at different resorts. We can bank or borrow. At no point are we really tied down. Fixed weeks, while not completely negating that, definitely work against it.
both my sisters own fixed weeks - one never uses the weeks selected as she trades everything into RCI and the other has gotten the week wrong one year, almost arriving with no where to stay, and has since regretted the week she selected.
DH once expressed an interest in a fixed week but when I look at our DVC history - while close - we've never go the same exact week. When we bought the idea that we could vary the lengths of our vacations without 'losing time' was an incentive. I think if our only option had been fixed weeks we probably - once again - would've walked away.
Janet & Dan
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