Disney 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?
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.
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.
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.