Disney Vacation Club's success is at least partly attributable to the flexibility of its point system. However, they also have a solution for buyers wishing to secure the same accommodation year after year.
Disney's Riviera Resort
One of the lesser known features available to DVC buyers is guaranteed week program. Originally debuting with Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas back in 2011, owners who purchase a specific guaranteed week will have a specific villa size and type pre-booked each year at their resort of choice.
As sales reopen for the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, DVC looks to draw greater attention to this program calling it the "Favorite Week."
Favorite Week buyers are required to purchase a number of points roughly equal to the 2023 cost of their week plus an additional 10%. For example, a January Lake View Resort Studio at the Grand Floridian which would normally cost 153 points requires a purchase of 168 DVC points as part of a Favorite Week. The Favorite Week is written into the buyer's contract, and the applicable accommodation is booked on their behalf each year before the room is even made available to other resort owners.
While buying the additional points may seem like a high price to pay for simply guaranteeing an 11-month booking, there are a couple other benefits to the Favorite Week program. First, the prescribed Favorite Week reservation can be cancelled at any time, with the full point value made available for any other DVC usage. In our example above, 168 points must be purchased for the Grand Floridian Favorite Week. That week's reservation can be cancelled in any future year, giving the owner 168 Grand Floridian points which can be used to book that home resort at 11 months and other resorts at 7 months. The Favorite Week points can be banked, borrowed and otherwise managed in compliance with normal DVC usage rules.
The other benefit to the Favorite Week program is that it exempts the owner from any future changes to their specific unit's point charts. When the Grand Floridian's fixed week program debuted back in 2013, a guaranteed Lake View Studio in Week 42 (October) required the purchase of 168 DVC points. As of 2023, that same week and room type booked at 11 months will cost 188 points. Even though the guaranteed week buyer paid a premium as many as 9 years ago, their confirmed week now costs fewer points than other resort owners booking at 11 months.
Guaranteed weeks tend to be popular during cheaper seasons, and in the lower cost rooms like Standard View studios. Owners gain certainty over booking the specific accommodation, without having to compete for reservations at 11 months. In 2018, one guaranteed week promotion targeted runDisney fans who routinely visited during popular event dates.
By contract, no more than 35% of villas for a specific date & type can be sold as guaranteed weeks. With 28 Theme Park View Resort Studios expected to be added to the Grand Floridian, DVC could sell no more than 9 Favorite Week contracts for a Theme Park View studio on each date. While some dates and room types are close to the 35% threshold, it is not believed that any single location has reached that maximum.
The fixed week rights remain with the contract, should the original buyer later sell it to another party. Annual dues are calculated based upon the stated number of points purchased as a guaranteed week.
Favorite Weeks are still offered at all three actively-selling resorts. Links to the resorts' Favorite Week point charts and calendars can be found below:
- Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas
- Disney's Riviera Resort
- Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
No Favorite Week purchase amounts are listed for villas which would cost fewer than 150 points. This appears to be a nod to the 150-point minimum purchase for new buyers. DVC may be willing to sell other unlisted accommodates as Favorite Weeks, provided the buyer acquires enough additional points to reach the required minimum. Contact a DVC salesperson to confirm availability of specific Favorite Week accommodations.