First let's do an apples-to-apples comparison. An owner with 160 DVC points can spend 9 consecutive nights in a Deluxe Studio Villa with a Savanna View at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas during Dream Season. (Note there are actually two cheaper seasons than Dream and cheaper room classes than the Savanna View.)
In 2012, the Rack Rate for one night in a Savanna View Deluxe Studio during Dream season is $485 plus 12.5% resort tax or $512 per night. But since discounts are commonly available today, let's discount that rate 25% and take it down to $384 including tax per night.
Let's assume that as a cash guest one would make identical 9-night stays each year. Below is a table which shows the total out-of-pocket costs for DVC members vs. cash guests:
|DVC Owner||Cash Guest|
In the illustration above, by the year 2019--just 8 years into the DVC purchase--the total amount spent as a cash guest has already exceeded the amount spent as a DVC member for the same accommodations. By the 11th year of ownership, the DVC member has already saved over $12,000 compared to the cash guest. Since ownership at Animal Kingdom Villas runs into 2057, those savings will continue to accumulate for another 25 years.
Here are some assumptions made in this analysis:
- The DVC initial purchase amount plus first year annual dues are reflected in 2012. From 2013forward only the DVC dues are listed.
- DVC purchase is noted at $130 per point.
- DVC dues noted at $5.44 per point in 2012.
- Cash room rate for a Savanna View Deluxe Studio in May 2012 is $485 plus 12.5% tax.
- 25% discount was applied to Rack Rates.
- A 3% annual increase has been noted for both cash room rates and DVC dues.
- Interest paid on a loan to finance the DVC purchase is not reflected.
It is very, very important to note that the results will vary depending upon the resort, room size, view / room class, season and even days of week of the stay. Consult the DVC Points Charts for complete details.
So, DVC really CAN save money--a LOT of money. However, there are still a number of issues any sensible individual should consider before taking the plunge, for example:
- Do you really want to commit to visiting a Disney theme park every year? Don't forget to project the added expense of park tickets, transportation, food and souvenirs. DVC just gets you the room!
- Are you prepared to commit to staying at one of the DVC resorts every single year? Using points at a resort like the Polynesian is feasible but not very practical given the added cost.
- If you would have to finance, consider how interest payments will extend the breakeven point.
- If you would normally stay at a Value or Moderate resort, comparing DVC to Deluxe Studio room rates is not exactly apples-to-apples for your situation. Consider that instead of saving money, you may end up paying similar dollars for a higher quality resort stay.
- Similarly, if you intend to use points for a One Bedroom or larger villa, consider that DVC is very unlikely to save you any real dollars (when compared to the cash price of a standard Deluxe guest room) but may be a vehicle for improving the quality of the stay.