Disney Vacation Club changes rules on booking theme park hotel rooms
Published: January 18, 2011 at 9:02 PM
Of course, the change might make it easier for thousands of other fans to visit Walt Disney World and Disneyland, too.
How so? Disney's barring Disney Vacation Club members from using points that they buy from other DVC members to book nights at Walt Disney World and Disneyland hotels. If you want to book at a Disney World or Disneyland hotel, you have to use points that you bought from DVC, Disney's time-share arm. (Though, of course, Disney will never, ever call it that.)
DVC members can continue to use points bought on the secondary market to book DVC properties at Disney World, as well as vacations at non-theme park DVC properties, such as Disney's Vero Beach facility. And they can book at other properties that participate in DVC's time-share exchange network.
But by taking the "regular" hotel rooms out of the DVC pool, Disney will make it harder for members using "after-market" points to book WDW vacations. They'll have to compete with fellow members for only the rooms available at the DVC resorts, while members using Disney-bought points can book either at the DVC properties or the regular Disney World hotels.
Why would people buy points from other DVC members? 'Cause they're cheaper, that's why. With the collapse of the housing bubble, thousands of DVC members not longer have the home equity cash to spend on stuff like DVC vacations. Others have lost jobs or income, cutting into vacation funds. So they try to recoup a few extra bucks selling their leftover points to others.
If you're wondering, Disney can't ban the resale to others of DVC assets like it can theme park tickets, due to various state real estate laws. But it does give itself the right of first refusal on point resales. And it appears to be within its rights to change the terms under which members can use resold points. (Though I wouldn't be surprised to see someone sue.)
Any DVC members want to comment?