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Old 09-10-2020, 06:02 PM   #1
carolina_yankee's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 33,266
Default What was your first exposure to DVC? Why did you buy?

I just shared my story on another thread, which made me curious about how others got hooked into DVC.

For me, in a nutshell, our first trip was Swan, 2nd and 3rd AKL with great discounts, 4th at PO-R. For 5th, we rented points at BWV.

I rented far enough out that when we took our POR stay, we purchased SSR. I could see the handwriting that our future trips were going to moderates unless we owned. While renting was a good intermediate step, I wasn't comfortable that the price would hold and I wanted the flexibility and guarantee of ownership. So, we bought.

It was Friends and Family promotion, so I used the owner we rented from as my referral. Disney sent them a nice little check as a thank you, so they were happy! We ended up becoming owners before we even stayed in our first rental.


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Old 09-10-2020, 06:18 PM   #2
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It was Easter vacation of 2004. We stayed at POR. Loved it by the way. Our first night we went to DTD and my DW wasn't feeling well, so we sat on the bench with our six disney kids. It was the first time we had been there since our honeymoon. First trip for the kids. While she sat there feeling yucky I foolishly strolled over to the DVC kiosk. We spent the next week getting pushed and prodded around packed parks. The kids had a great time and so did we. I knew with six kids we could never afford to keep going back unless we bought. We came home, we discussed, we said no way its crazy. I called Jim McKoy anyway, just to see. I ended up with a 210 point contract at SSR never having seen it.LOL..Dumbest decision I ever made. We haven't regretted it one bit. We are finally in a position to add on more.. I have learned a lot since then. Resale is a beautiful thing and some people love disney and some people hate it and thats ok. We are still in the love category.
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Old 09-10-2020, 06:39 PM   #3
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In 2003 DH wanted to take our kids, then aged twins-4 and DS-6, to Disney. I was not stoked. But relented. He planned it. Off site stay in some dumpy Kissimmee condo for cheap. Packed bagged lunches. Ate dinner as we left the parks at night, at cheaper chain places. Made the kids walk, no stroller. Put up with lots of whining and complaining. Did Universal and SeaWorld thinking it would be a one and done trip. But still managed to have a ton of fun, So much so that we wanted to go back. But be fully immersed in the WDW bubble.

In 2005 we booked POR and got dining plan. Did the full immersive experience and loved it even more. That was a truly magical trip. Knew we just had to stay on site EVERY time and be rid of the driving in to parks, parking and taking trams. That added time and more walking. We also, being a fam of 5, wanted more condo style with a separate master bedroom for us. We walked past DVC booth and I ignored it but DH took notice. When we got home he researched and found Intercot boards and told me we should buy DVC.

At the time we lived in NC and our kids were in year round elementary. We planned to go to WDW every fall intersession (3 week break in late Sept-early Oct). Low crowds and cheaper point cost. We didn't even know about F&W or Halloween party yet. I came into a little inheritance right then so DH said 'lets do it'. We bought 200 OKW resale in May 2006. And booked BWV for Sept 2006 as our 1st DVC trip. And so began our DVC story. Many moves later, many add on contracts and many trips. Now we are downsizing.

Owners since 2006- BWV & CCV
Next trip(s):
Oct 24-Nov 1 HHI (not DVC), Nov 28- Dec 2 VGF&BCV/ Dec 2-12 Palm Coast and 2/12/2022 Odyssey of the Seas Cruise

Last edited by Lamima; 09-11-2020 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 09-10-2020, 06:49 PM   #4
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We've been visiting WDW since '77. We took the 80's off due to economics of home purchases and producing/raising 3 children. The 90's we finally were out of diapers (a priority) and in a place to try WDW with kids - plus our eldest had been asking for 3 years. We went in '92 and '94 and '97 so obviously it worked with the kids. My eldest was part of the College program in '01 and we weren't wowed with any of the DVC locations, which was good because we really couldn't afford DVC. Meanwhile we kept visiting. On a fluke we finally went thru a face-to-face a with DVC guide and walked out with a DVC membership.

We've vacationed lots of places - nationally and internationally - but DVC does it for us. Easy to get to - Easy to Enjoy - fairly effortless. The WS gives us the European, Mexican and Asian flavors. The WDW eateries and DVC venues satisfy our theme variety needs. We've been to the 'real' locations and the 'inspired' location is cleaner.
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Old 09-10-2020, 06:51 PM   #5
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It was spring, 2006...DS was in college and we'd gone to WDW (stayed at the Yacht Club) for Thanksgiving...I'd "moaned" (more than a bit) about how my Disney days were ending, because my DS was grown and once he was out of college that would be the end of trips w/his mother to WDW...DS saw the kiosk in the Beach Club lobby--we had 2-3 hours prior to our dinner reservation--and said "let's check it out." I was totally skeptical...and very anti-timeshare...but we had nothing else that "required" doing so we went over to check it out...they took us to the SSR sales center and we met Tim Grabman (THE BEST guide)...

I couldn't pull the trigger on the spot...so we took the materials Tim gave us (DVC had lots of high-gloss picture books back then) and we looked them over at dinner...we were headed home the next day and DS, who'd been "pushing" me to buy, said, "Mom, I promise I'll go w/you to Disney every year at T-giving"...I said I'd accept that promise (subject to "life"--i.e., a real job when he got out of school) and ok, I'd buy. I did. Ultimately 9 times...the first direct sale and then 8 small direct add-on's over the next few years...

I now know about resale, but still am inclined to buy direct...first I really really really "love" Tim...he's great; second, I buy when I want to do a trip for which I don't have enough points...that has happened 5 times. Third, I buy in small increments (same UY, same titling, so just one m'ship w/lots of add-on's)...the price difference isn't all that huge when you're buying 50-100 points at a time...Plus, I really don't have the patience to do resale...when I decide I want ("need") more points, I generally want/need them NOW...

Like most of us here on the boards, I've had my moments w/DVC...changes that made things "less" than they used to be (some of which actually weren't DVC, altho some were--things like the skinnying-down of the dining plan, or the limit on wait lists)--but there were some really good new things, too--the elimination of charges for internet access, for example; or the provision of free airport transportation via Magical Express...funny how we tend to gloss over the "good" changes but obsess about the "bad" ones...).

I also spent a year or so, after DS graduated from law school and moved out of state, wondering if I'd still go to Disney now that my "Disney buddy" (DS) wasn't going to be readily available anymore...but he is. He's never lost his love for Disney and 3 years ago he married and "converted" his wife--my DIL is now as big a Disney nut as we are. And I've found several other "Disney buddies" too--people who love to go w/me ...and I discovered (years after I first started trying) that I love solo trips, too...I booked at least 4 before I actually took one, though--someone always wound up available to go w/me...I finally got my first (and so far only) solo trip two years ago...since then, I've booked several--but again, someone has always been available to go along, too...now I'm actively trying to figure a time to go on my own...I did love that solo trip...

So, at least for now, I have no "itch" to bail on WDW...I was SO glad to get back (in early August) after the shut-down...we'll see what the future holds, but for now I'm as happy w/Disney as I was when I bought in 14 years ago...
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Old 09-10-2020, 06:51 PM   #6
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I've always loved Disney. When I was a kid/teenager I usually only had the ability to spend one day at the park. I literally dreamed of longer trips and could not wait to get old enough to pay my own way to do so.

My Dad was ex-military and he had the ability to use the SoG property. I often traveled with my parents and I was perfectly happy to stay at SoG with them. Problem is my parents often backed out of plans we would make.

On visit to SoG with my parents, I saw the DVC billboards. At the time my kids were 4 & 5. I begged my husband to go listen to the sales pitch (so we wouldn't be beholden to traveling with my parents). He was very much against buying, but to please his dear wife, DH dutifully went

DH became more interested after he heard the pitch but he wasn't in love with the timeshare idea. We came home from that trip and discussed it over several months. We sat on buying for about 4 months, and our guide called to tell us that price of SSR was going to go up. So, we decided to pull the trigger and bought our first SSR contract direct.

I was really the perfect sucker direct buy candidate for DVD -- Young, had young kids, Disney fanatic, and a husband wanting to make his wife happy

It wasn't until after I bought my first contract that I found MouseOwners and the resale market.

Where I'm Going 2020:
All Personal Travel is Under Construction
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Old 09-10-2020, 06:54 PM   #7
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Family of 5. We were going to our "every few years" Disney family trip on 8/2000. We had stayed in "Dixie Landings" twice and once many moons ago at a Holiday Inn with extended family. This trip coming up, since the kids were getting bigger/older, we needed more room/privacy so we booked at the Embassy Suites in Lake Buena Vista. I knew nothing of DVC. We were never approached and I never approached anyone. I had heard of the Home Away Resorts from brochures only as an option to stay in them like any other Disney resort.

In the meantime, our next big trip was going to be a cruise out of NYC. I say this because for years I used my own envelope savings system. I had saved quiet a few $$ for this cruise.

Before leaving for our August trip, my now very good friend, (she was my son's friend's mom/very good acquaintance at the time), mentioned she had just purchased into the Disney Vacation Club - Boardwalk. She tried to explain it to me. I really did not get it. It sounded like some sort of hotel reward program.

Our last night in Disney, we were waiting to get beeped for Chef Mickey Dinner. I was the one to approach the DVC desk. Listening to the sales guide, things started to click a bit more thinking of my friend. I told her we were leaving the next day early afternoon. She said, no problem, a van can pick you up, do the tour and the van will drop us off again with plenty of time to get to the airport.

Fast forward, we did the tour and it all made sense by then. We were told we could use points for cruising too and this made me think instead of cruising out of NYC, we can go on a Disney cruise. They were selling OKW & BWV. We did not buy on site. We came home with a nice bag full of papers. Talked to my friend again at home. She gave me her canvas bag from Disney and let me go through all of her papers. I faxed a ton of question to my guide, Linda (retired now). She was nice, no pressure. We decided to purchase 200 points at OKW. Had I known how much we would love the BW area, we would have purchased there, but who knew then. No regrets though. We used part of the "cruise fund" money to purchase (bought all cash).

Not long after, we purchased 60 more OKW points. We then bought 150 BCV pre-opening and another 50 BCV points not long after that.

We have been good for many years. I have been tempted to buy more here and there and most recently put in a few offers. Now, I am good again. I bought my son 100 SSR points 8 years ago and a few years later my other son 75 SSR points. They use some of mine here and there too. My daughter uses some too.

We do want to start traveling more now that we are empty nesters. We want to do lot's of non-Disney related travel. We had three trips planned this year that were scratched because of COVID (Alaska/cruisetour was the big one). Our 460 points are good for hubby and I (and sometimes my kids) to get our Disney fix for now.

Here we are 20 years later. 8 DCL cruises. Have done Hilton Head, Vero Beach and traded to the Royal Sands. We have brought family and friends. My daughter was in the College Program. She also got married in Disney. It is a big part of our lives but there is a whole big world out there and we want to start traveling with friends too to other places. We have done lot's of non-Disney trips over the years but we are ready for more now.

Okay, did not think it would be this long
October - 2020 - BCV - F&W
February/March - 2021 - OKW & Disney VBR

Last edited by AnnaS; 09-11-2020 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 09-10-2020, 08:38 PM   #8
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Went to WDW the first time in the fall of 1973 with our oldest son, we were down in Florida visiting my aunt. We decided to stay 3 nights at WDW at the Contemporary as we were driving home, remember paying under $50 a night with tax for the room. Even though there only was MK to go to, when the trip was over we were hooked on WDW. Since that time we have been going almost every year. Fast forward to the 90’s and the beginning of DVC, at that time we were probably the best candidate to buy into DVC as they started selling. We looked at it when they started to sell and thought it was a great idea, but we had one major problem with buying at that time, our family grew by two more kids and the first 2 were getting ready to start college and the 3rd not far behind. We decided to put it on the back burner for the time being. We still went at that time to WDW, but were staying at mostly the All-Star resorts and eating elcheapo as much as we could. Fast forward again to 2009 and everyone out of college (yippee) we were at WDW on a trip and decided to do a tour. Everyone was still as I call it a Disney nut. One son was married and his wife loved Disney with the rest of us. After the tour we wanted to think about it and not rush into buying, also it was the tail end of the recession. After we came home we relooked overall the info we got from the tour and decided we would buy. One last thing I wanted to do was research it a little bit on the internet. Luckily I did, because I found the Mouseowner site and learned about resale!!! We bought our first contract resale in 2010 at OKW for $50 a point. Since then our family has grown by 2 grandchildren and a son-in-law. As the family has grown we have added on 4 more times to our contracts (some small and direct because could not find resale), all grandfathered in for all benefits. Only one son has out grown Disney except for special trips for special occasions. Before I put them on our deeds I asked the kids if they wanted to be on them so it will be easy to go when I can’t and they both said yes. They know about the maintenance fees and know it is still a good bargain if that is all they have to pay for the room part of the trips. We still go every year as a family and now that we are empty nesters and retired we sneak away once in awhile to just go and relax.
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Old 09-10-2020, 09:32 PM   #9
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Not quite sure of the year, but I’m thinking it was in 2013. I had always wondered about DVC and we happened to be in EPCOT when my DH and I stopped for a cup of coffee between Canada and England. I broached the subject of checking out DVC, reasoning that I wanted to be able to take my future grandchildren to DW someday. We visited the DVC office the next day, found Mouseowners when we got home and the rest is history.
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:53 PM   #10
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Just realized this month is our 11 year DVC anniversary. 2009.

We were staying at POFQ on a family trip with our youngest DD, her husband and his parents during “free-dining”. DD and her DH had explored buying into DVC the year before and were now ready to purchase. We rode along with them in the red van to the preview center and took the tour. After getting a very soft sell from the guide, all I needed were some solid facts and figures, we both bought 210 points at BLT. Signed the papers on our departure day.

Funny thing is we booked the bounce back offer at POFQ for the next year because it was what we were used to doing. Of course we canceled that and stayed in a 2 bedroom at BLT instead. Difference was night and day and we were hooked.

Bought 100 more at BLT in 2010 and in the subsequent years 160 each at BCV and SSR.
Visitor Since '75 owner since '09
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