The Secret to Staying in Disney’s Most Expensive Resorts

How many Walt Disney World Resorts have you stayed at? Is it on your bucket list to stay at them all?

Walt Disney World currently has 22 Resorts offering accommodation to Guests young and old. Additionally, the newly-opened Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is also available to stay in – bringing a hefty price tag for the pleasure of doing so!

A lot can influence your choice of Resort, from budget to length of stay, and of course your reason for taking a Disney vacation.

Walt Disney World may be your choice of destination for your annual vacation. You may be visiting to take part in a runDisney event, or wanting to visit EPCOT Park during one of its Festivals. Your visit may also tie in with a cruise with Disney Cruise Line.

With Resorts ranging from Value through to Deluxe, there is a hotel Resort that is suitable for every budget, family, and reason for visiting. But as you begin to tick the Disney Resorts off, you may find that the more expensive Resorts are those that you unintentionally save until last. 

Credit: WDW Live

Deluxe Resorts bring a great deal to a vacation, from larger Guest rooms with their own balcony to a range of activities to offer when Guests aren’t visiting a Disney Park.

They also offer access to modes of Disney Transport other than the Disney Buses, and theming that is second-to-none. These are all factors that contribute to the larger price tag that Deluxe Resorts have.

But there’s another reason why Deluxe Resorts are pricey. Most of them have a part of the Resort that is for the Disney Vacation Club.

What is Disney Vacation Club?

Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is Disney’s equivalent of a timeshare. DVC Members buy points, that guarantee them vacation time in Walt Disney World each year. Members can own anywhere from 100 points to 50,000 Vacation Club points per year.

Their points are linked to a specific Disney Resort, known as their Home Resort. Some Members have more than one Home Resort, depending on the number of points that they own, and the time at which they bought their points. 


Credit: Disney Tips

Disney Vacation Club Resorts at Walt Disney World include (and in order of opening):

  • Old Key West
  • BoardWalk Villas (BoardWalk Inn)
  • Boulder Ridge Villas (Wilderness Lodge)
  • Beach Club Villas (Disney’s Beach Club)
  • Saratoga Springs Resort
  • Animal Kingdom Villas (Animal Kingdom Lodge)
  • Bay Lake Tower (Disney’s Contemporary Resort)
  • Villas at the Grand Floridian
  • Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
  • Copper Creek Villas & Cabins (Wilderness Lodge)
  • Riviera Resort

Copper Creek Cabins, Credit: Disney Tips

DVC also has the following Resorts that have these timeshare rentals, located outside of Walt Disney World:

  • Vero Beach
  • Hilton Head Island
  • Aulani, Hawaii
  • Villas at the Grand Californian (Disneyland Resort)

Credit: Disney

So, you may be wondering why DVC Resorts are relevant? Well, this could be your ticket to staying at some of Disney’s Deluxe Resorts with a smaller price tag than those advertised when planning your Disney vacation in the usual way.

The Secret to Staying at a Deluxe Disney Resort

Here at Disney Tips, we recently rented Disney Vacation Club points, allowing us to stay in Riviera Resort, and BoardWalk Villas – during peak season too!

And we wanted to share this secret with you, to help you stay at the Disney Resort you have always dreamed of staying at!

Points are rented out by Disney Vacation Club Members for a variety of different reasons. Essentially DVC points work in 3-year cycles, where Members can save points for a year and/or borrow from an upcoming year. Regardless of the reason that Members choose to rent their points, it can definitely help non-Members to take advantage of what DVC Resorts have to offer. It can also help you to see if a Disney Vacation Club membership is something you could be interested in purchasing.

DVC Resorts offer rooms ranging from Studios to 3-bedroom villas. They provide ample space for families, as well as facilities such as fully-equipped kitchens, washer/dryers, and whirlpool baths, that you wouldn’t find in regular Disney Resort rooms. Some DVC Resorts also offer unique accommodations such as Treehouses, Bungalows, and Cabins.


Credit: Disney Tips

How to Secure that Deluxe Resort Stay

Renting DVC points is an easy process. There are a number of different sites that offer this service. Here at Disney Tips, we used David’s Vacation Club Rental, and would definitely recommend the service they provide.

Regardless of the service you choose to use, you will be able to search for the Resorts available on the dates you are planning to visit Walt Disney World Resort.

We recommend comparing the prices for each Resort available, as prices can vary based on availability and time of visit. Once you have chosen your Resort, you place your request. At this time, you will likely place a holding deposit. When placing a request, you also have the option to identify a second Resort, which can be considered should your first choice not be available for booking.

Once you have submitted your request, the site will contact DVC Members with the availability that matches it. If booking 11 months ahead of your vacation, DVC Members with the Walt Disney World Resort that you have chosen as their Home Resort will be able to book. If your chosen Resort is not available as a Home Resort, then the booking will only be able to be placed 7 months ahead of your vacation.

This may only affect when you can place a request to rent points. Once your stay is booked,  you’ll receive confirmation and a request for payment. All that’s left to do then is set your Disney vacation countdown!

It’s safe to say that we were really impressed with our experience of renting Disney Vacation Club points. We stayed in a Studio in Riviera Resort, which provided us with a hallway that lead to a kitchenette, and open plan bedroom/living area. Off of the hallway, there was a shower room and bathroom, as well as a closet.

Credit: V Mills

In Disney’s BoardWalk Villas, we secured a stay in a one-bedroom Villa with a DVC rental, which offered us a whole new level of luxury.

A fully-equipped kitchen with a dining area and living area led out onto a balcony overlooking Luna Park Pool. We were also treated to a view of the Hollywood Tower Hotel at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the distance. Separate from the living area, the bedroom featured a king-size bed with a seating area. From the bedroom, a dressing area with closet, vanity unit, and whirlpool bath was accessed, and lead onto a separate shower room with WC and sink. We definitely want to stay in a villa again!

If this level of luxury fits your bill, then look into renting DVC points. We’re sure that you’re about to enter a whole new world of vacationing at a Disney Vacation Club Resort like Animal Kingdom Lodge, Saratoga Springs, Grand Floridian, Disney’s Beach Club, or the Wilderness Lodge.

You may even be persuaded to become a Disney Vacation Club Member yourself!

About Victoria Mills

Victoria is a Disney-loving, tea-drinking, Math teacher from Liverpool, England. Her motto is 'work hard, Disney harder'! Having taken part in the Disney College Program back in 2010, Victoria's love and appreciation for Walt Disney World only grew, and it's the place where she feels most herself - it's home!