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Old 01-31-2015, 08:56 AM   #1
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Arrow Purchasing a "Guaranteed Week"? 📅

Back when it started in 1991, the Disney Vacation Club was different than many timeshares in that instead of selling “fixed weeks” where a person bought a specific week they would be able to use year after year, DVC used a flexible points-based system that may be used in different time increments for vacation stays anytime throughout the year at DVC resorts in a variety of accommodations from studios to three-bedroom villas.

GUARANTEED WEEK OPTION

Beginning with Aulani, and continuing with the Villas at the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, Disney also started selling what they call a “Guaranteed Week”. Some members thought DVC was taking a step backwards. The “Guaranteed Week” option may sound the same as a traditional fixed week timeshare – but it’s not.


GUARANTEED WEEK EXPLAINED

You’re really not giving up any of the flexibility of the typically DVC point purchase by purchasing a guaranteed week. Actually, you’re paying a premium to never have to worry about being able to book your reservation. And, you’re not locking yourself into only going for the week you buy.

The Guaranteed Week option allows an owner to secure a reservation every year during a specific timeshare week, in a specific room size and view, throughout the duration of their DVC ownership. Member Services will automatically book your guaranteed reservation every year – on a priority basis and ahead of other members trying to book at the 11-month window on a first-come, first-served basis.

The reservation is confirmed annually without any phone call or web site booking on the part of the owner. No need to jump online at 8:00 AM ET!

A guaranteed week is for seven consecutive nights beginning from one Sunday to the next Sunday. The timeshare weeks are numbered from 1 to 52 and correspond to the Sundays in the calendar year. Week #1 starts with the first Sunday in each calendar year, while Week #52 starts with the 52nd Sunday in each calendar year. Arrival and departure dates for each guaranteed week will vary from year-to-year.

Besides having a guaranteed reservation, owners of a guaranteed week are exempt from future point re-allocations. DVC members are aware that the number of points required for a specific calendar week's stay often changes due to seasonal adjustments to the points chart. However, the Guaranteed Week purchase secures the accommodation each year regardless of any seasonal adjustments or reallocations. So, they will always get their guaranteed week no matter how the points chart may change.

As mentioned, buyers must pay a premium for a guaranteed week – approximately 10% more than the normal amount of points to book that week.


CAN REGULAR DVC OWNERS GET LOCKED OUT OF A WEEK?

The POS documents state that Guaranteed Week ownership interests will be capped at 35% of any specific Use Day for any specific Vacation Home type. At least 65% of all dates and villa sizes will remain available for booking on points at the resort.

So, DVC can sell no more than 35% of all rooms as Guaranteed Weeks for any single week.


LACK OF FLEXIBILITY?

Where’s the flexibility in this? It sounds like I’m locked into a fixed week?

Nope, the buyer of a guaranteed week can always opt-out of their week each year if they so desire. The guaranteed week reservation will be cancelled and the owner will receive the number of points listed on their deed. These points can be used just like regular points in that you can book any other room/view for any time period or calendar date you want. Basically, you’re now back in the pool of regular DVC members and book on a first-come, first-served basis when making a reservation. If you opt-out, you can bank, borrow or transfer the points (if you don’t opt-out, these activities cannot take place on a guaranteed week).

If you know that you will often vacation during a specific week (perhaps around Christmas or New Years) and you don't want to risk being shut out, the guaranteed week is a viable option. You don't need to "walk" a reservation.


WHAT'S THE DOWNSIDE OF A GUARANTEED WEEK?

So, what are the downsides?

Well, the obvious one is cost. You’re paying a premium.

What if your vacation patterns change? What if you decide you don’t want to go at Christmas (or whatever guaranteed week you purchased)? What if you bought a Standard View Studio and you decide you’d rather stay in a Lake View 2-bedroom? Well, you paid a premium for something that you won’t be able to leverage.

Another downside is you need to purchase enough points for 7 nights, which will tend not to be a small contract. Some members purchase multiple smaller contracts for the flexibility of being able to sell some points without having to sell all of them. It will be much easier to sell four 60-point contracts, than trying to sell a larger 240 point fixed week contract.

Last edited by DVC Information; 06-23-2015 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 01-31-2015, 09:09 AM   #2
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One thing Guaranteed Weeks owners need to know is that the Rent / Trade board classified ads section of MouseOwners places some restrictions on Guaranteed Weeks:

  • Guaranteed Weeks may not be offered for rent
  • Guaranteed Weeks may be offered for trade (my fixed week for your fixed week)
  • Guaranteed Weeks may be converted to points and offered for rent in accordance with existing guidelines.
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Old 01-31-2015, 09:33 AM   #3
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I wouldn't for two reasons:

1) I can not guarantee I'll travel anywhere the same week every year.
2) I highly doubt I can buy a fixed week for a HA room. The resort would have to build HA rooms just for fixed weeks. They don't build that many to begin with. The number of HA accommodations is a small fraction of the entire resort, dictated by law.
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Old 01-31-2015, 09:40 AM   #4
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We actually already have owned fixed week timeshare, not Disney of course for years.

We have visited Florida the same two weeks for the past 40 years, so the decision to purchase fixed weeks was a no brainier for us. In addition to the fixed weeks we use DVC to supplement the fixed weeks or to add flexibility every year.

So if Disney had offered fixed weeeks years ago we would have already purchased it.

As already mentioned, the beauty of fixed weeks is if you know that you will be using the same type of accommodation for the same period year after year, you don't need to do anything other than show up.
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Old 01-31-2015, 09:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broganmc View Post

2) I highly doubt I can buy a fixed week for a HA room. The resort would have to build HA rooms just for fixed weeks. They don't build that many to begin with. The number of HA accommodations is a small fraction of the entire resort, dictated by law.
Wondering if you would consider a purchase if you COULD guarantee the HA option you prefer.

Even if you can't be sure you'd go the same week every year, you'd still be able to opt out and use the points. Would be a moot point for the Poly if you want or need a 1 bedroom, though.

Just curious and you obviously can choose to ignore the question.
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Old 01-31-2015, 10:34 AM   #6
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We considered doing this before I realized that Christmas doesn't fall in the same calendar week every year... about half the time we'd miss Christmas day, so we just bought a regular contract.

I wish you could buy fixed days, not weeks... but now I'm just dreaming.
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Old 01-31-2015, 01:20 PM   #7
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There are two reasons I don't buy a guaranteed week.

First, I don't go at times when it's difficult to book what I want. I always get the room I want at 11-months (so why pay more for a guarantee?).

Second, I'd rather purchase multiple smaller contracts for the flexibility of being able to sell some points without having to sell all of them.
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Old 01-31-2015, 01:29 PM   #8
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Would I consider it?
Sure.
Would I pay the $ DVD is asking?
Probably not as I rarely stay a full week in the same place.
I normally stay at WDW for 4-5 days at a time, and my home resorts are set up so that I have the flexibility of MK area, Epcot/HS area, and AK area.
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Old 01-31-2015, 01:39 PM   #9
JerseyAmy
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I'd consider it on a resale- but at a resort I really like. However, BWV and AKL never had that option. So, what I want wouldn't even exist!
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Old 01-31-2015, 01:46 PM   #10
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I would consider it if we traveled the same time every year and it was a popular time. For example, if we knew we would always spend a week in December at VGF, I would absolutely pay the premium for it.

I would also make sure to buy this at new resorts during the initial promotional period because the only time I have seen direct prices go down is when there is some type of disaster such as the Great Recession.
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