If you want to save up to 50% on a Disney hotel stay, it doesn’t take a fairy godmother or a magic wand. All it takes is knowing how to rent Disney Vacation Club points.
One of the easiest ways to quickly save a potentially significant amount of money on a Disney vacation — without sacrificing much of anything — is to stay in a Disney Vacation Club villa using rented Disney Vacation Club points.
You can find these villas at Disney resorts such as Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas, Saratoga Springs or even Disney’s Aulani Vacation Club Villas in Hawaii.
The best part? You don’t have to be a Disney Vacation Club owner (or even know one) to rent Disney Vacation Club points and save money on a Disney vacation. There are services that match those looking to rent with those who have points up for renting.
Save up to 50% by renting DVC points
Some pretty big online companies essentially act as the middleman between owners of Disney Vacation Club points and those who want to rent them for a specific trip.
These companies will link Disney Vacation Club point owners with prospective renters so they can spend less money when renting anything from a one-room studio to a three-bedroom villa or even an overwater bungalow.
When you do this, you still get all the perks of staying on-site, such as early entry to the parks each morning and the opportunity to buy individual Lightning Lanes starting at 7 a.m. without paying full Disney prices.
We’ve rented Disney Vacation Club points numerous times in the past to save money on our family’s trips to Disney, both from other Disney Vacation Club owners and from a company called David’s Vacation Club Rentals.
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The name implies a mom-and-pop shop (or at least pop). It is a family-owned business, but the new reality is much more advanced; it has a few dozen team members listed on its site and frequent mentions on almost all Disney-related sites.
Here’s how it works: A Disney Vacation Club owner (Disney’s version of a timeshare) can use their points to book a stay for anyone at one of these resorts:
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas
- Bay Lake Tower At Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Hotel
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
- Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Vero Beach Resort
- Disney’s Hilton Head Resort
If an owner doesn’t plan to use their entire Disney Vacation Club points allotment for the year, they can make some or all of the points available for rent via a service like David’s. David’s Vacation Club Rentals pays a rate to the points owner (often $16 – $18 per point) and then charges more to the renter (often $21 – $23 per point). The company’s profit lies in the difference.
The best way to use David’s Vacation Club Rentals, or any other similar site, is to first familiarize yourself with the Disney Vacation Club points charts; also, familiarize yourself with the online availability search tools to learn how much something costs and whether it is likely to be available on your dates.
Across Disney Vacation Club, rooms start at just 7 points per night and go as high as hundreds of points per night, so there’s a wide spread of points costs.
If you paid $21 per point to rent a room that costs 7 points per night, your costs would be $147 for that night. In fairness, rooms that cost that amount of points are few and far between, but they do exist.
Let’s look at a booking available right now. If you want to stay two nights at Animal Kingdom Lodge in a Kidani Village Studio with a standard view from Dec. 21 – 23, that booking is available for 28 total points. Since that date range is already within seven months, it would cost $21 per point, or $588 total, for the two-night stay if booked with points rented at that rate from David’s Vacation Club. There are no additional taxes or fees due on Disney Vacation Club stays.
If you booked that same room directly from Disney, it’s selling for $589 per night, which is $1,326 for the two-night stay with taxes and fees. That’s more than twice the cost of renting the points.
It’s important to know that some Disney Vacation Club rooms, especially the cheapest ones, can and do sell out well in advance.
You want to book as far in advance as you can. The Disney Vacation Club booking calendar opens 11 months before your check-in date. If you book seven or more months in advance, you may pay a $2 per night “home resort” premium at David’s, as only those owners who own points at a particular resort can make reservations more than seven months in advance. Within seven months, owners can use their points at any of the available DVC resorts (with a few caveats).
Related link: Rent DVC points via David’s Vacation Club
How to use David’s Vacation Club rentals
Once you know where you want to stay and verify there is availability for your dates (here’s the tool I use), it’s time to ask David’s Vacation Club Rentals to make the booking. Note that availability is dynamic, and you don’t want to delay once you know what you want.
To rent using David’s Vacation Club, complete its reservation form and make a $105 deposit that is applied to your final rental price using a Visa, Mastercard or Paypal. (I recommend using a card with no foreign transaction fees since David’s is based in Canada.) If they can’t book what you want, that money is refunded.
Once you submit your request, you wait. It’s not a live availability booking process — it’s manual.
We have waited as little as an hour to be informed via email that our request could be fulfilled. We were then given a link to pay the balance of our reservation (minus the $105 deposit), and then the booking was secured. Within a few more hours, the entire process was complete, and we had a reservation in our names with a Disney confirmation number.
The booking should code as travel, so use a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve that awards a bonus on travel.
This Disney confirmation number you’ll get is a big deal because that’s what you’ll need to link the booking to your Disney account and unlock the perks of staying on the property.
In all of my stays, I have been able to successfully link the reservation to my online Disney account and easily check in under my name. Everything about my stays has been smooth. Once, we lived it up in a three-bedroom Grand Villa within walking distance to The Magic Kingdom for one night, thanks to renting Disney Vacation Club points. You can read our full Disney’s Bay Lake Tower review here.
Most recently, we rented a two-bedroom suite at Disney’s Animal Kingdom via David’s Vacation Club for a total of $840. The two individual bedrooms we would have otherwise needed would have cost more than the points than required to get the whole two-bedroom with the living room and kitchen. That particular resort is inching toward requiring a bit of a renovation to put it on par with some of the resorts more recently spruced up, but that’s true whether you booked with cash or Disney Vacation Club points.
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TARAH CHIEFFI/THE POINTS GUY
Downsides to renting DVC points
My experience and other online reviews show that David’s has the Disney Vacation Club rental process down to a science. However, there are downsides.
First and foremost, cancellations and changes are not permitted. This will be a non-starter for some folks. For others, look into travel insurance or be sure to use a credit card with built-in trip protections that might help you as a method of last resort.
Also, know that stays booked via the Disney Vacation Club do not come with full housekeeping (er, “mousekeeping”) the way that standard hotel rooms would (though only deluxe Disney resorts booked with cash get guaranteed nightly housekeeping).
Rooms booked via Disney Vacation Club get “trash and towel” service on the fourth night. If your stay is more than eight days, you get a full cleaning on the fourth night. Housekeeping also inspects rooms daily and may remove trash during that time.
If you want more housekeeping services, you can pay for additional cleaning at rates that range from $30 for a studio villa to $75 for a three-bedroom villa.
Look for last-minute specials
If you like the idea of renting Disney Vacation Club points to save as much money as possible, keep an eye out for last-minute specials where you can save even more. These reservations tied to a specific resort and date are currently available for as little as $16 per point. This can happen when Disney Vacation Club members have points they really need to rent out as soon as possible or risk letting them expire and go to waste.
I’ve rented from David’s Vacation Club Rentals multiple times since 2018. The site has a prompt online chat option for quick questions during working hours, and I’ve had real success renting DVC points to save money over cash rates at Disney World and beyond.
Read on to continue your Disney vacation planning: