DVCNews Debates: Budget Tightening

DVCNews DebatesDisney Vacation Club has released the annual dues amounts for 2018.  As usual, costs are up with some resorts rising more than 7% over 2017.  Property taxes continue to drive many of the increases, and those figures are largely out of Disney's control.  However, Disney can (and does) seemingly help to soften the blow by reducing operational costs.  It isn't uncommon for resorts to experience slight declines in expenses like housekeeping, front desk, utilities or transportation.    


 Topic:  If Disney wants to reduce costs at DVC resorts, what expenses do you think they should consider reducing / eliminating?
Reader Comments
Re: DVCNews Debates: Budget Tightening -- denlo
2017 Nov 13 10:05:02 AM
Disney Magical Express that has to really up the transportation budget. Of course this will never happen until Disney does away with it for the cash resorts.
Re: DVCNews Debates: Budget Tightening -- wdrl
2017 Nov 13 11:00:17 AM
I can't think of where cuts should be made to the DVC budgets. Every time I think of a reason to cut something, I also think that the savings would be minuscule or it would cut something that a segment of the membership really enjoys. For example,

Pool Parties -- If DVC resorts eliminated the afternoon pool parties, it would save a few dollars on Cast Member salaries. It would also make the pool areas a little more quiet, which would please a number of guests. But I've seen a lot of little kids enjoying themselves at these pool parties. So, is it worth cutting back in this area?

Compensation gifts -- I occasionally read posts from guests who say that they had a problem with their room, or they had a transportation issue, or their MagicBands didn't work properly, etc. To appease the guest, Disney gives them some compensation, such as a cash credit or a free meal. Of course, nothing is 'free' and the compensation is actually being paid by the DVC condo association. I don't know how often these compensatory situations arise, much less how much they cost the DVC membership, so I have no idea how they impact each resort's budgets. But I also think that there are situations where compensation is well deserved, such as when there is a clogged toilet that takes maintenance most of the day to repair. So, is it worth cutting back in this area?

Management Fee -- Fee paid to DVCMC for providing management services to the Association according to the Property Management Agreement. The fee is equal to 12 percent of the total Operating and Reserve Budget exclusive of real estate taxes, transportation fees, and the management fee, itself. I have never compared DVC's management fee to other timeshare operators, so I don't know whether it is high, low, or about average. I also don't know exactly what we receive from Disney in exchange for that fee, but I assume it covers the cost of the Member Services operation, including the online booking system and the DVCMember website. I don't know where we could make cuts in these areas.
Budget Tightening -- delaneyc52
2017 Nov 13 11:23:22 AM
First thing usually done in corporate america is to look at the overhead organizations and either (or both) cut back (nice word for layoffs) or vendor certain organizations. For example, I'm not sure if the Security personnel in Disney are still Disney employees, but if they are, that's one group which could be vendored out. Another (if not already) could be procurement, facilities, maintenance, etc. That's where you get the bang for your dollar. Each employee cost the employer in not only salary, but the benefits they also receive. That being said, the importance is to obviously pick the right vendor and not just the low bidder or you may compromise quality. Case in point, mousekeeping, which in my opinion has had their share of issues.
Budget cutting -- Deb & Bill
2017 Nov 13 12:00:53 PM
If DVC cut little bits out of everything, it would save. One thing that always bothers me is the housekeepers leaving their carts open to any to grab stuff off the cart. Or a guest tips them and they leave handfuls of shampoo, soap, etc. The large dispensers might cut out that extra cost. Eliminate towel animals (I thought they had already done that but still see some from time to time). Guests think the towel animal is a gift to them and they take perfectly good linens home with them. They already cut out free soda by chipping mugs. I do like the idea of cutting way back on the pool parties. We've never used Magical Express, so a smaller charge for that might be worthwhile. Not as much as an independent costs, but still not totally free. I also like cutting out the automatic $200 to a guest who complains. Fix their problem right away and they will be happy. Shoot, we had $50 thrown at us because we had to wait a while at check in when we arrived late at night. We hadn't even said anything about the wait. Yeah, we were tired and wanted to go to bed, but after driving for 14 hours, we weren't going to go to bed right away anyway.

Big one, though, charge guests for the damage they do in the villas. Tell them any damage will be charged to the card they leave on file. If the damage occurred before they arrived, they need to mark it on a form that they turn in by the next morning. Many timeshares do have checksheets that guests mark down any problems in the units. Put a specific number of pool towels in each unit (make them a different color than the bath towels, or a beach towel sized pool towel). Remove the towel bins from the pools. How many guests take these towels to their units to use instead of purchasing a towel pack (and if they purchase the towel pack, charge them for that). Our other timeshares always put towels in the unit (so many towels based on the sleeping spaced in the unit). We can swap them out every few days if we want clean towels. Just take the towels to a staffed laundry area where you swap out your towels. Maybe even eliminate trash and towel service and only offer full cleaning on the same schedule ( on day four for eight nights or more, none for stays of seven nights or less). You take your trash to the trash room. You swap out your towels at the laundry area (and they mark your towels and only give you what you returned). Offer a starter of shampoo, soap, toilet paper ( only enough toilet paper to last at least the seven nights you don't get any service) and you provide your own if you need more. That would eliminate guests taking so much home with them to use in their guest bathrooms (yeah, I've seen that multiple times on various sites).

Timeshares are not hotels and there isn't any need to provide the owner with everything they need for their stay.
Not Magix express -- HughesFamily
2017 Nov 13 12:16:11 PM
denlo wrote:
Disney Magical Express that has to really up the transportation budget. Of course this will never happen until Disney does away with it for the cash resorts.

Magic express I would personally disagree with. it starts and ends my vacation right. I've never had an issue with it. I tried uber once and wouldn't go back. It's an amazing perk and I use it every trip (several times per year) and always look forward to that bus ride.

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