Black Friday makes people totally insane because they feel like they’re cheating the system. Sticking it to the big guy.
The same goes for renting DVC points.
So what can renting DVC points do for you? Mostly it will allow you to strut around the perimeter of your deluxe resort pool and silently giggle at all the sunbathers who paid 50-55% more than you did.
Here’s how to work the system in your favor:
- Reserve as far in advance as possible. You want a hella cheap studio in walking distance to the Magic Kingdom on Christmas day so you don’t have to fold up that damn stroller when boarding the bus eight times? So do the other 100,000 people at the park, but you’ll have a better chance at getting that studio if you book 7 months in advance.
- Be flexible on dates and room types and resort selection. DVC owners get first crack at the reservations at their “home” resort, which means you’ll be dealing with the leftover dates, which means all the cheapest rooms are probably already taken. Some brokers allow you to book at the same time as the home-resort owners (7-11 months in advance), but that access comes with an extra fee. Be open to staying at an easier-to-get resort like Old Key West or Saratoga Springs. Check out this page for a summary of what to book and when.
- Buy travel insurance if you might need to cancel. Booking a hotel room direct with Disney means you can cancel it later on without paying anything. Not so when you rent points through a broker. DVC Rental Store allows you to make a deposit once the reservation is in place. You then make the remainder of your payment 45 days out. Other brokers require a full non-refundable payment to secure your reservation.
Aside from price and the ability to cancel a room, what’s the difference between renting a DVC room and paying Disney for a regular room?
- DVC rooms are structured differently than regular rooms. For example, a regular room at Animal Kingdom has 2 queen-sized beds, while a DVC room has one queen-size bed and a double-size sleeper sofa.
- You get daily room service with a regular room, whereas housekeeping will only service DVC rooms as often.
- When you rent points, you’re not paying Disney. You're paying a broker who then pays the owner of the points.
- If you want to make changes to your reservation, you have to contact the broker, who has to tell the owner to make the change.
Can I add the Disney dining plan when I rent DVC points?
- Yes—just tell your broker to add the Dining plan, and they’ll send a confirmation that the owner added that feature to your reservation. The wonderful thing about this approach is that you can get the dining plan without having to also purchase park tickets through Disney. This allows you to get cheaper tickets from an authorized ticket broker like undercovertourist.com.
Will my reservation appear on the My Disney Experience page and be connected to my tickets?
- Yes, but you have to add your reservation confirmation number manually on that page (instead of having it appear automatically when you book direct). Your broker will send it to you as part of your reservation confirmation. If you buy a dining plan, that will also appear on My Disney Experience when you enter your confirmation number.
How does check-in work? Do I have to bring a fake ID?
- Pretty much like checking into a regular room. You can do online check in 60 days prior to arrival. No fake ID or pretending to be someone else required.
Can I skip the middleman and rent directly from an owner?
- Yes—check out forums like DISBoards.com and MouseOwners.com. A lot of people do this with great success (and with the savings that comes from cutting out the middle man) but I’m too much of a nervous nilly to wholeheartedly suggest it.