Help! How Many DVC Points Do I Need?

Jill Robbins Avatar

Young girl with bucket hat in front of Mickey Mouse ear balloons at Disney World
Photo courtesy of Disney/Courtney Kiefer, Photographer

Thinking about joining the Disney Vacation Club? If you’re even semi-serious about purchasing a piece of Disney’s owned and operated timeshare, then you’ll want to answer the question “How many DVC points do I need?” BEFORE you attend a sales presentation.

How many DVC points do I need?

I’ve been a Disney Vacation Club member since 2018. While my husband and I are (mostly) happy with our decision to own a little piece of Disney and vacation there regularly, one of the things I wished we’d have been better informed on was how many points to purchase. Let my experience help guide you in determining how many DVC points you need. The answer will be different for every buyer. Here’s some information to help you make the best decision for your family.

Bay Lake Tower at Disney World's Contemporary Resort, a participating Disney Vacation Club property
Bay Lake Tower is the DVC resort at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Photo courtesy of Disney

Do I have to decide how many DVC points to buy right away?

Short answer, yes. The amount of DVC points you need is tied to how often you’ll vacation and what type of accommodations you’ll want to stay in. In general, the Disney Vacation Club is a flexible program but how many points you’re allocated each year is a binding one so it’s important to know how many you’ll think you’ll need before you get serious about ownership.

Your advisor or representative – the person giving you the sales presentation and explaining how the DVC works – can help you decide the number of points you need and talk through different scenarios with you. Keep in mind that this person’s job is to sell and that the more you buy, the more they make. DVC presentations are pretty low-stress and your salesperson will likely not be super pushy but don’t lose sight of the fact that DVC presentations are sales pitches.

You probably wouldn’t walk into a car dealership and get the person on the sales floor to answer your question – “How much should I spend on a new car?” Keep that analogy in mind when talking to your Disney DVC advisor.

My husband and I bought 175 points in 2018. Our price was approximately $35,000. We made a large down payment and financed a portion of our purchase. As with any large purchase, you’ll have options for financing. You’ll have more/better options if you have good credit. We have nearly perfect credit but while we were waiting for our credit report to come back, our DVC rep mentioned there were options for people with less-than-perfect credit.

Overwater bungalow at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
DVC points won’t go as far if you want to rent a Grand Villa or an overwater bungalow at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Photo courtesy of Disney

The basics of DVC points

Each night in a DVC Deluxe Villa costs a certain number of points. The DVC releases its points chart annually so you can get an at-a-glance look at what it will cost to stay at each property throughout the calendar year. A three-bedroom villa requires more per-night points than a studio. Some times of the year are more expensive than others and some resorts need more points than others. In general, newer resorts or properties that are considered more luxe will use more points per night. You’ll need more points to stay at the Grand Floridian than you will need to stay at Old Key West.

While I haven’t stayed at all of the DVC resorts, I have stayed at several and I’ve found little variance in the rooms and resort amenities. But, in general, newer and more coveted properties will require more points.

Here’s where I’ve stayed:

  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (both Jambo House and Kidani Village)
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Bungalows

Why buy into the Disney Vacation Club

The idea of prepaying our vacations and being able to stay in a specific room type was appealing to us. We enjoy staying in the villas, which give us a more homelike atmosphere and a larger room size.

SheBuysTravel Tip: While DVC points can be used at certain non-Disney properties, if you’re not super interested in regular Disney theme park vacations (meaning you want to go every year, year after year), then DVC membership probably isn’t right for you. If you still want to stay in one of these ultra-luxurious Disney resorts, you can try renting DVC points.

How did we decide on the amount of points we needed?

We’re a family of four – my husband and I plus our two sons who are currently in middle school. At the time of purchase, our goal was to purchase enough points to go on vacation at Walt Disney World for one week each year. The number of points we purchased – 175 – was enough to give us seven nights per year* in a one-bedroom villa.

The one-bedroom villas have a living room, kitchen, eating area, washer/dryer, a split bathroom and, of course, a bedroom. The split bathrooms have the toilet and shower split from the bathtub. There’s typically a vanity and sink in each part of the bathroom. This is convenient when multiple people are getting ready for the day.

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Our kids sleep on the pull-out couch in the living room and we can close the door to our bedroom. There are TVs in both the bedroom and the living room. Our kids can stay up late and watch TV when we go to sleep early. The split bathroom feature allows them to use the toilet without coming through our bedroom. This is a great privacy feature. The downside is my kids have to stow their bed and their stuff every day so we have room to move about.

If you have a larger family and need more space or want to vacation more days during the year you’ll need more points. How many points you’ll need for a stay at Walt Disney World will vary based on the time of year. Your points will go further in February than during Thanksgiving and Christmas week when everyone wants to visit.

Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Our home resort is Copper Creek Villas. We purchased enough points to give our family of four a one-week vacation annually. Photo courtesy of Disney/Rafael Tongol, photographer

Adjusting or adding DVC points

As our kids get older, they prefer more privacy and there may be a time when they want to bring friends on vacation. My husband and I have talked about buying additional points to give us enough to upgrade to a two-bedroom DVC villa each time we go on a Disney vacation. So far, we haven’t done it.

It’s easy to add DVC points, also known as “buying more.” You can attend a sales presentation at one of the Disney Parks or resorts or on board a Disney Cruise. You can also buy online or over the phone without attending a presentation. If you’re an established DVC member and want to add points, odds are you’ll be able to purchase what you want with minimal assistance from Disney.

If you purchase additional points after buying your initial allocation, the additional points may be tied to a resort other than your initial home resort. When you initially buy into the DVC you’ll be assigned a home resort based on what is available. When we initially bought in, we had the choice between Copper Creek at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Aulani in Hawaii. If we were to purchase additional points now, those Disney Vacation Club points might be tied to a different home resort. This would give us two home resorts and two sets of points to manage. You will get a separate DVC contract for the add-on points.

While it’s an easy transaction to buy additional DVC points, you cannot reduce the amount of points you have so make sure you’re not buying more points than you’ll use year after year. You can gift or carry your unused points over to another use year. In general, you’ll want to make sure you’re able to use the number of points you agree to purchase.

How much does the DVC cost?

We bought 175 points in 2018 and the price was approximately $35,000. We also pay annual dues of about $1,000 which we pay to the Walt Disney Company in monthly increments. You have some options on how you pay including pay all at once or pay over time and use financing.

The more points you buy, the more you’ll pay. Our points cost $182 per point in 2018. We asked one of the cast members about buying additional points during our December 2022 trip to Walt Disney World in Florida. We were told the new price per point is $230.

Buying DVC resale points

You can buy just about anything secondhand, including DVC points. While the DVC does not handle resales, they do have a section on their site that provides some basics. Many companies out there facilitate resale contracts.

While you might get a better deal on DVC points by getting them on the DVC resale market, make sure you read the fine print carefully before moving forward. In most cases, certain member benefits might not carry over to the new owner.

Family on sand during an Adventures by Disney trip
You can also use your DVC points on Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruises. Photo courtesy of Disney

Where can I use my DVC points?

So far, we’ve used our Disney Vacation Club Membership at Walt Disney World because that is where our home resort is. We’ve used our points on other Disney Vacation Club Resorts and villas outside of our home resort. We can also use our points for stays at Disneyland, (the Grand Californian is still on our bucket list), at Aulani in Hawaii, Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruises. You can also use DVC points at Disney’s Vero Beach resort and Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort.

Most experiences outside of Walt Disney World resorts are going to use more points than we have allocated every year. The DVC system has ways to bank and borrow points to allow you to book those one-of-a-kind trips. I wouldn’t overbuy on points to have enough for those special trips. You likely won’t be taking them year after year. Buy enough points to take your anticipated Disney family vacation every year or every other year.

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