I Got an Exclusive Look at Disney Vacation Club—These Are the 7 Best Benefits

Updated: May 24, 2024

A Disney Vacation Club membership is an investment. Here are the best DVC perks that make it worth it.

As any Disney superfan (I count myself as one!) likely knows, Disney Vacation Club is Disney’s version of a timeshare across its many properties around the United States. So when I was invited to travel along with my husband and two kids as honorary DVC members to Disneyland and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Oahu, I jumped at the chance.

Read on to learn what Disney Vacation Club is, exactly, along with the seven best DVC benefits.

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What is Disney Vacation Club?

I Got An Exclusive Look At Disney Vacation Club These Are The Best 7 BenefitsCourtesy The Walt Disney Company

Before we dive into the perks of a DVC membership, it helps to understand what Disney Vacation Club is. DVC bills itself as “a flexible vacation-ownership program that helps families enjoy the magic of Disney year after year.”

Members get and buy points that can be redeemed for stays at Disney Vacation Club’s resorts, including the two properties where we stayed and 14 others (and counting) spread across Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Disney’s beach resorts in South Carolina and Florida. Depending on the type of membership you buy, you may also be able to redeem points on Disney Cruise Lines, Adventures by Disney and National Geographic Expeditions.

Unlike traditional timeshares, DVC members can travel when they want and to the DVC property of their choice (pending availability). Members can bank points from year to year or borrow points from future years to take a big trip. They also have access to a Vacation Club guide, who will help them plan the best trip for their family.

While membership pricing varies, there’s an initial payment of at least $22,000 along with recurring dues, which are a minimum of $900 annually. The rate goes up depending on room preferences, destination, the size of your group, etc.

What are the DVC benefits?

Now that we’ve explained the Disney Vacation Club basics, let’s explore the perks of DVC membership.

A wider range of room sizes

I Got An Exclusive Look At Disney Vacation Club These Are The Best 7 BenefitsAnne Fritz/Rd.com

One of the top benefits for DVC members is that Disney Vacation Club resorts offer accommodations of various sizes to fit every traveler’s needs. These generally include studios, deluxe studios, one-bedroom villas, two-bedroom villas and even three-bedroom grand villas.

My family stayed at a brand-new property, The Villa at Disneyland Hotel. The hotel, part of the Disneyland Hotel complex, is just a short walk from the Disneyland Monorail that whisks you away to the entrances to the parks. Or, if you’re feeling energetic, skip the monorail and take a brisk 10-minute walk.

Our deluxe studio at the hotel had a charming Princess and the Frog theme, with delightful touches such as a light-up headboard depicting scenes from Tiana’s French Quarter and a bathroom mirror with lily pads and stars etched in the glass. The room had a queen bed and an additional pull-down queen sofa bed, as well as a small kitchenette area with a mini-fridge, sink, coffee maker and microwave. While there wasn’t quite enough room for the four of us to spread out, it was just the right size to serve as our home base in between trips to the park, Downtown Disney and the hotel’s Palette Pool.

My husband and I appreciated the coffee maker for our early morning cups of joe, which we enjoyed in our robes while getting ready for the day. The mini-fridge was perfect for keeping leftovers fresh—my son was thankful he had leftover chicken fingers from lunch to eat as a late-night snack.

I Got An Exclusive Look At Disney Vacation Club These Are The Best 7 BenefitsAnne Fritz/Rd.com

If your group needs more room, you can upgrade to a two-bedroom villa, which sleeps nine, or the luxurious 2,765-square-foot, three-bedroom villa (that’s its Moana-themed bedroom, above), which sleeps up to 12. It has a spectacular terrace, too, which overlooks the hotel complex.

Rooms with more amenities

I Got An Exclusive Look At Disney Vacation Club These Are The Best 7 BenefitsAnne Fritz/Rd.com

One of the advertised perks of being a DVC member is that you have all the “comforts of home,” when you travel. We really felt that at the Aulani in Oahu, Hawaii, where we stayed in a spacious one-bedroom villa with an ocean view. Our suite had a separate bedroom with a king-size bed, a living room area with a queen-size sleeper sofa and pull-down twin bed, and a full kitchen with a fridge, stove, oven, microwave and eat-in area. We all appreciated having the extra space. The kids were able to stay up late watching Bluey on the sleeper sofa—plus, they were happy they didn’t have to share a bed with each other. Meanwhile, my husband and I were delighted to have more quiet time.

I Got An Exclusive Look At Disney Vacation Club These Are The Best 7 BenefitsAnne Fritz/Rd.com

Once again, we used our fridge to store our perishable leftovers, which came in handy when one of the kids needed a snack. We also got milk and cereal for quick breakfasts and a box of mac and cheese for when we didn’t want to spend the time eating lunch at a restaurant.

I Got An Exclusive Look At Disney Vacation Club These Are The Best 7 BenefitsAnne Fritz/Rd.com

Perhaps the best amenity was the in-room washer and dryer. As anyone with children can tell you, kids have a way of getting their clothes dirty even when there’s not a speck of mud in sight. Plus, my son, despite owning three swimsuits, likes to wear his favorite one on repeat. With the washer/dryer, we were able to rinse it and toss it into the dryer so it was ready for him to wear the next day. The resort even provides the laundry detergent.

I Got An Exclusive Look At Disney Vacation Club These Are The Best 7 BenefitsAnne Fritz/Rd.com

Members lounges

I Got An Exclusive Look At Disney Vacation Club These Are The Best 7 BenefitsCourtesy The Walt Disney Company

DVC benefits don’t end when you step outside of your hotel. There are a handful of members-only lounges across the Disney parks and resorts. On our trip to Disneyland, we had the opportunity to visit Disney Vacation Club Star View Station, a member lounge that opened in 2023. It’s situated near the Autopia attraction in Tomorrowland and provides a perfect pit stop for when you need an uncrowded bathroom, a strong Wi-Fi signal, complimentary soda or coffee, or just a comfortable, quiet and cool spot to regroup for a minute. My family loved ogling the themed decor and collectibles, including the S1 Spaceship model that appeared in a 1962 episode of The Magical World of Disney.

The other DVC member lounges are at Disney World: the Top of the World Lounge atop Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and in the glass pyramid at Epcot’s Imagination! Pavilion. Construction on a third member lounge at Disney World is slated to begin later this year.

Other DVC benefits

While we didn’t partake in the experiences listed below on our travels, these are other DVC benefits:

  • Discounts on other Disney experiences. These include entrance to Disney water parks, mini golf, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party and more.
  • Members-only events. This includes sneak peeks at new attractions such at Tiana’s Bayou Adventure; culinary experiences, such as mimosa-tasting and macaron-making; and after-hour parties at the parks. One of the most popular is Moonlight Magic, an exclusive event that happens a few times a year at Disneyland and Disney World. (This year’s were/will be held at Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Typhoon Lagoon and Disneyland’s California Adventure.) Not only is the specific park closed to everyone save DVC members, but there are also rare character experiences, such Bernard and Bianca from The Rescuers and Spiderman, plus vouchers for complimentary treats like Mickey bars. I hear that this event is so popular that members will plan their annual trips around them.
  • Members-only cruises on Disney Cruise Line. In addition to all the regular entertainment and fun on a Disney cruise, on members-only sailings, guests receive special gifts, such as a cookbook, and are treated to exclusive entertainment; past guests hafe included the actors who voice Ashoka from Star Wars and Goofy.
  • A sense of community. When you arrive at a Disney Vacation Club resort, cast members greet you with the signature DVC phrase, a cheery “Welcome home!” Because our DVC experience was limited, I checked with a friend, Julia, who has been a DVC member since 2017. “I am a part of all of the online DVC forums on Facebook. We get information from one another,” she shares. “Also, we have met people at the resort that have become Facebook friends, which is fun. Because we all love Disney, it’s a great way to connect.”

Is DVC worth it?

I Got An Exclusive Look At Disney Vacation Club These Are The Best 7 BenefitsAnne Fritz/Rd.com

Though the initial investment into Disney Vacation Clubs is high, for those who can afford it, DVC membership offers VIP access that you can’t put a price on. Julia agrees: “Eventually, you’ll be staying at amazing resorts for a fraction of the price.” If your family members are Disney fans—like mine!—and you plan on taking regular trips, the answer is a wholehearted yes!

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