Last week the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) sent out email to it's members announcing that the point charts for 2013 had been released. This is exciting news for owners as it means that they can sit down and really start to plan out their upcoming vacations!
The email announced that this year changes were made to the Bay Lake Tower charts to reflect the "scheduled reassignment of 10 rooms from Theme Park View to Standard View effective Jan. 1, 2013. This shift is based on Member and Guest feedback." There were also changes made to the point allocations at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, for the point required to book at Treehouse Villas. Since their opening in 2009 these villas have proven to very popular and the amount of points needed to book will increase in times of high Member demand. It's important to note that as always "Increases and decreases within these two Resorts' charts keep the total number of Vacation Points for each Resort unchanged" and merely reflect a rearranging of the point totals.
One of the reasons that DVC fits so well into the lives of vacation planners like me is that it sometimes requires a little organization to manage your points and get the most bang for your buck. With the flexible of the Disney Vacation Club you can create the trips that best fit your family at any given time. One year you may choose two or three weekend getaways in a studio, the next year you might plan a family reunion in a Grand Villa. It can all be secured with points that are laid out in easy to use charts. Any way you divide your points, be it "banking and borrowing" from one year to the next, or just using your annual allotment, you have the security of knowing that there will be a room waiting for you already paid for.
Disney Vacation Club members get priority booking at their "Home" resort, which is the resort where they purchased their points. Starting at 11 months out from the date of their vacation, members can make reservations for their home resort. At 7 months out from the date of their vacation, they have the option of making reservations at all other DVC properties. That's 4 whole months of home booking reserved just for that resort's DVC members.
In addition to the Resort Point charts, DVC and the Disney Cruise Line also often independently release the points needed to cruise as soon as itineraries are out for the cruising year. Booking a Disney Cruise on points isn't always the most economical way to use your points, but it guarantees a speed and convenience that I just don't find I have when using cash. Not to mention a few special surprises in your cabin for you from DVC.
There can be a learning curve to using your DVC points, as all the booking rules that you knew when paying with cash go out the window and are replace with new ones. However after you plan a couple of DVC trips, you'll find that using your points can be easier than booking with cash ever was. If you're a fanatic planner you may also delight in a straight forward point charts and flexibility to use your points in a wide varieties of combinations.
Are you DVC? What's your opinion of the 2013 point charts that have been released? Leave a comment below and share with us your favorite thing about the ease of using DVC points!