How many points do you need to buy for DVC?

Buying into the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) can be a great way to enjoy affordable vacations at Walt Disney World resorts for years to come. But before purchasing a DVC contract, it’s important to understand how many points you’ll need to book your desired Disney vacations.

What is the Disney Vacation Club?

The Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is Disney’s version of a vacation ownership program, also known as a timeshare. When you purchase a DVC contract, you are buying an annual allotment of vacation points that can be used to book stays at DVC resorts.

There are currently 13 DVC properties at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and 3 at the Disneyland Resort in California. These DVC resorts include deluxe hotel accommodations as well as DVC-only resorts.

As a DVC member, you have a home resort where you can book vacations at the 11-month booking window. You can also use your points to stay at any DVC resort at the 7-month booking window.

How many DVC points do I need?

The number of DVC points you need depends on several factors:

  • Where you want to stay – Studios require the fewest points, while Grand Villas require the most
  • When you want to travel – Peak seasons like summer require more points
  • How long you want to stay – More nights require more points
  • How many people are in your travel party – Larger parties need more points

DVC resorts have varying point charts that outline how many points are needed for each unit type during each season. Here are some examples for 2022 point charts:

Disney’s Old Key West Resort Point Chart

Unit Type Season Weekday Weekend
Studio Adventure (Value) 15 17
Studio Magic (Regular) 24 26
Studio Dream (Peak) 30 32
One Bedroom Adventure (Value) 24 28
One Bedroom Magic (Regular) 38 42
One Bedroom Dream (Peak) 48 52

As you can see, a studio during Adventure season on a weekday would cost 15 points per night, while a 1-bedroom during Dream season on a weekend night would cost 52 points.

Disney’s Beach Club Villas

Unit Type Season Weekday Weekend
Studio Adventure (Value) 17 20
Studio Magic (Regular) 28 31
Studio Dream (Peak) 35 38
One Bedroom Adventure (Value) 28 32
One Bedroom Magic (Regular) 44 48
One Bedroom Dream (Peak) 55 59

At Disney’s Beach Club Villas, a Value season studio would cost 17-20 points per night, while a Peak season 1-bedroom would cost 55-59 points per night.

How Many Points for a Typical Disney Vacation?

As a general estimate, here’s how many DVC points you may need for a typical Disney vacation:

  • 4-5 night stay in a Value or Magic season studio: 60-100 points
  • 5-7 night stay in a Value or Magic season 1-bedroom: 150-250 points
  • 5-7 night stay in Magic or Dream season 2-bedroom: 250-400 points
  • 7-10 night stay in a Grand Villa during any season: 500-1,000+ points

These numbers assume two people for a studio, four people for a 1-bedroom, six people for a 2-bedroom, and up to 12 for a Grand Villa. More people will mean more points.

Should I Buy Enough Points for One Trip or Multiple Trips?

When deciding how many DVC points to purchase, you’ll need to decide if you want to buy enough points for:

  • One vacation per year – This approach requires a smaller upfront investment, but limits when you can visit.
  • Multiple vacations per year – Buying more points allows greater flexibility but increases the purchase price.
  • Every vacation – Super fans may choose to own enough points to book all their Disney trips with DVC. This requires a large investment but maximizes savings long-term.

Many DVC experts recommend buying enough points for at least two typical vacations per year. This gives you flexibility in case you want to take a longer trip, stay in a larger accommodation, or visit during peak season.

How Many DVC Points Do I Need for My Specific Vacation Plans?

To determine how many DVC points you need for your specific vacation plans, follow these steps:

  1. Decide when you want to vacation at Disney World each year. Are there specific times that work best for your family?
  2. Determine which DVC resorts you’d like to visit. Do you want to stay at your home resort or other DVC properties?
  3. Choose the accommodation types that suit your group size. Will you need studios, 1-bedrooms, or 2-bedrooms?
  4. Look up the point charts for your desired resorts and travel dates. Add up how many points you’ll need per night.
  5. Multiply by the number of nights you plan to stay. This will tell you the total points needed per vacation.
  6. Determine how many vacations you want to take each year. Multiple this by the points per vacation to get your total yearly points needed.

Let’s look at an example:

  • The Smith family wants to vacation for 5 nights in June and 5 nights in September
  • They hope to alternate between Disney’s Beach Club Villas and Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • They need a studio to fit their family of 3
  • In June, a studio is 30 points per night at Beach Club and 25 points at Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • In September, a studio is 20 points per night at both resorts
  • So for June, they’ll need 150 points (30 x 5 nights) at Beach Club
  • And 125 points (25 x 5 nights) at Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • In September, they’ll need 100 points (20 x 5 nights) at both resorts
  • So their total for one year is 150 + 125 + 100 + 100 = 475 points

With 475 DVC points, the Smith family can take two 5-night summer and fall vacations in DVC studios that fit their needs.

Tips for Optimizing Your DVC Points

Here are some tips to help maximize your DVC points usage:

  • Stay in smaller accommodations like studios and 1-bedrooms which require fewer points
  • Book during Value or Magic seasons instead of Peak seasons
  • Take more trips during cheaper point periods to lower the points per night
  • Split stays between different DVC resorts to take advantage of lowest points
  • Rent out excess points you don’t need to recoup some costs
  • Bank or borrow points to group multiple years of points for a bigger vacation

Buying DVC Points on the Resale Market

Purchasing DVC points directly from Disney comes with perks like access to new DVC properties and discounts on annual dues. However, buying resale DVC points can save you up to 50% off the initial purchase price.

Resale points typically sell for $120-$170 per point, while direct prices range from $155-$245 per point. Buying 150 resale points rather than direct can save you $5,000-$15,000 upfront.

The main trade-off with resale points is you don’t receive perks like annual pass discounts or the ability to book at new DVC resorts. But for many buyers, the huge savings outweigh the benefits of buying direct.

Financing Your DVC Purchase

Since purchasing DVC points requires a large upfront investment, you may consider financing part of your purchase. There are a few financing options to consider:

  • Loans – Some banks offer loans specifically for DVC purchases. You can also use a home equity loan or personal loan.
  • Mortgages – It is possible to take out a mortgage on a DVC contract. This spreads payments out over many years.
  • Seller financing – Some DVC resale companies offer financing from the seller. This carries interest charges but no credit approval.

If you do finance a DVC purchase, experts recommend a 10-year loan term so the loan is paid before your contract expires. Interest rates and terms will vary between financing options.

Closing Costs and Annual Dues

In addition to your upfront DVC purchase price, keep in mind:

  • Closing costs – These fees typically total 6-10% of the purchase price. They cover title insurance, document filing, and other closing-related expenses.
  • Annual dues – Dues pay for operating costs at your home resort. They range from $7-$9 per point, billed each year.

Closing costs are paid once at purchase. Annual dues are ongoing for the life of your DVC contract.

How Many Points Should I Buy?

Choosing the right number of DVC points to buy is a big decision. Here are some final tips:

  • Crunch the numbers for your specific vacation plans using DVC point charts
  • Buy enough points for at least 2 typical vacations per year for flexibility
  • Consider buying more points than you need and renting out excess points to offset costs
  • Purchase resale points to get 50% or more off direct pricing
  • Look into financing if needed to keep payments affordable
  • Account for closing costs and ongoing annual dues in your DVC budget

With careful planning using DVC point charts, you can purchase the perfect amount of points for your vacation needs and get the most value from your investment. Buying DVC points can open the door to years of magical Disney vacations.

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