It’s been a few years since my wife and I have been to Disney World and decided it was time to plan our next trip. Last time we were there went we were joined by our friends Nick and Barbie (who I am sure you know by now if you are reading this). We shared one of the Cabins at Fort Wilderness and had a fabulous trip. When we heard that they were going in December 2014, we decided to all go together.
Left to right: Josh, Jill, Barbie and Nick
This time Nick and Barbie planned on using their DVC points to stay at the Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. We decided to join them there to keep the group together. A quick search for a non-DVC room yielded a total of $2400 ($350/night) for a Woods View Room. There was a slightly cheaper room overlooking the roof/parking/service areas that I did not choose. This was higher than I was hoping to spend on my room and could find no discounts at the time. (I am sure I could find something if I was willing to wait, but Nick was booking the trip 11 months ahead as DVC Villas at the Wilderness Lodge fill up quickly.)
Nick suggested that I look into renting DVC points. Once again the search began. After a little research I found that I would need 91 points to get the time I wanted. I joined message boards and stalked them hourly. Each established forum has a section on selling/renting/trading points. It is both an exciting and dejecting experience. I saw points as low as $8, but not for my resort. I saw points for $11 but not enough to meet my needs. I saw points for $10, but they required me to buy the full amount of 126, which was more than I needed. I saw my room cost fluctuate from $2400 to $750. If only I could make the right connection. I sent emails and personal messages and waited for responses that never came. I was on Big Thunder Mountain and was not enjoying it like I usually do.
Enter David’s Vacation Club Rentals. David’s business is to find DVC members who have extra points going to waste and match them with people like me. Although the site is not the easiest to navigate, he provides everything you need to know about the process. At the time of my booking points were $14. After much deliberation my search came to an end. I put aside the possibility of a cheap $750 stay at Wilderness Lodge and “settled” for a $1300 stay ($1000 less than rack rates).
The process was pretty simple. On David’s site you verify the number of points you need, put in your dates and make a $100 deposit. David’s team then goes to work. DVC members can book their home resort 11 months in advance (7 months for resorts not your home resort). I put my request and paid my deposit 11 months in advance of my trip on Jan 4th. David’s team responded on Jan. 6th with a match and confirmation number. I paid for the remainder of the trip through paypal. On Jan. 7th I received a rental agreement email which I had to read and respond to (replying to this was a signature of sorts). After this I received an email with details on Magical Express and Dining Plan booking details. In total, it was 4 days, 5 emails, and $1300 to book my room for 6 nights at the Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
Not long after I received my Welcome brochure from Disney with my reservation details. Our names were on the brochure. The trick here is that the unknown DVC member books the trip for you and you are essentially their guest. I was relieved to see that at this point and going forward everything is in my name. I signed up to plan our trip online. I ordered our Magic Bands. To my knowledge I will have no need to connect again with David’s DVC Rentals or the anonymous DVC member whose points I am using.
A few extra details:
• If you decide to rent points from a DVC member from a message board there are risks involved. Do your research and get references.
• David’s DVC is more expensive, but he assumes a lot of the risk.
• I have only booked my trip. My David’s Vacation Club Rentals experience will only be complete when I check out with no issues. I will post again in December 2014 when the trip is complete.