Yes, you can buy a Disney timeshare, but should you?


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Disney Vacation Club is perhaps one of the most popular timeshare brands among families and, of course, Disney adults. The Disney timeshare brand revolutionized vacation ownership as we know it today, offering flexible points-based ownership, special perks and discounts, and beautiful resort properties around the country.


Currently, there are 15 DVC resorts. Each one dazzles owners with various unit sizes, fun amenities for everyone, world-class dining experiences and even character appearances.

What is a Disney Timeshare?

Known as Disney Vacation Club, or DVC for short, Disney timeshares allow Disney lovers and families the ability to own a piece of their favorite resort with priority access to make reservations. Owners can stay in the top Disney resorts in Orlando, California, Hilton Head Island, Hawaii or Vero Beach.


The first Disney Vacation Club property opened its doors in 1991 and has since massively grown with fifteen resorts across the United States. To become a member of the Disney Vacation Club, you can purchase DVC points while on a timeshare presentation or the DVC resale market.

Disney Vacation Club Timeshare Resorts

There are 15 Disney timeshare resorts within the United States, 11 of which are on Walt Disney World property in Orlando. When you buy a Disney timeshare, you select one of the resorts as your “home resort,” which is the property where your ownership deed is.


Your home resort is the property you have priority booking access to, so choosing the one you plan to travel to the most is essential.

15 DVC Home Resorts

  1. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Orlando, Florida
  2. Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas, Ko Olina, Hawai’i – O’ahu, Hawaii
  3. Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort – Orlando, Florida
  4. Disney’s Beach Club Villas – Orlando, Florida
  5. Disney’s BoardWalk Villas – Orlando, Florida
  6. Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – Orlando, Florida
  7. Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – Orlando, Florida
  8. The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel – Anaheim, California
  9. The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort – Orlando, Florida
  10. Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort – Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  11. Disney’s Old Key West Resort – Orlando, Florida
  12. Polynesian Villas & Bungalows – Orlando, Florida
  13. Disney’s Riviera Resort – Orlando, Florida
  14. Saratoga Springs Resort – Orlando, Florida
  15. Disney’s Vero Beach Resort – Vero Beach, Florida

Besides stellar locations, every DVC resort has a unique magical theme that transports guests with each atmosphere. For example, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas is a favorite because it makes guests feel like exploring the savannas on an African safari. With real exotic animals on the property, you can spot giraffes, zebras, flamingos and more.


The newest resort to join the Disney timeshare portfolio is Disney’s Riviera Resort. The theme of the Riviera comes from the inspiration that Walt Disney himself found while he was visiting Europe’s Mediterranean coast. You’ll find grand archways, 20th-century furnishings and various influences of the Mediterranean throughout the property. Of course, the best part of owning a Disney timeshare is using points to stay at any of the resorts and experience each of them.

How Disney Timeshare Works

Disney Vacation Club works by offering points-based ownership, meaning owners receive an annual allotment of points that they can spend like vacation currency. When you purchase a DVC timeshare, your contract indicates how many points you receive every year.


Things like your average party size, the time of year you prefer to travel and which resort you plan to vacation to the most can determine how many points you will need. One of the benefits of DVC is the ability to also bank points that you don’t use for the year into next year’s allotment or borrow points from next year instead.

What is a DVC Use Year?

Every owner is assigned a “Use Year” when purchasing their DVC points. Despite what you may think, DVC Use Year refers to a month, not a year. Your Use Year (UY) is the month in which you receive your annual allotment of points. There are eight Use Years to consider: February, March, April, June, August, September, October and December.


Not every resort offers the same Use Year contracts, but no Use Year is better than the other. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a Use Year that coincides with when you usually travel. Also, it’s best to travel as soon as possible once you enter your Use Year. That is because if you cancel your reservation within 30 days of check-in, your points will go into a holding account. When points enter a holding account, you must spend them by your next Use Year or else they will expire.


You cannot bank points in your holding account and can only use them to make a reservation no more than 60 days in advance. DVC points are valuable, so you don’t want to let them go to waste!


Your Use Year also indicates when your points must be banked by if you choose to do so for the following year. For example, if you plan to bank your points, you must do so within the first eight months of your Use Year.

How Far in Advance Can You Make Reservations at a Disney Timeshare Resort?

Disney timeshare owners can make reservations up to 11 months before check-in at their home resort. That’s why taking the time to choose your home resort is so important! Often, Disney properties sell out fairly quickly, especially during the holiday seasons or spring. So if you’re hoping to make a reservation, say during Christmas week or New Year’s, you should plan to make your reservation in January.


If you plan on staying at a different resort other than your home resort, you only have up to seven months in advance to make reservations. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to make reservations outside your home resort during highly popular seasons, so planning is key.

DVC Contract Expiration Dates

Some may see this as a drawback, but all DVC contracts have an expiration. Every owner that owns points at the BoardWalk resort, for example, will have an expiration date of 1/31/2042. Despite what you may think, it’s not because DVC sells right-to-use (RTU) timeshares. Disney Vacation Club leases land for each resort property from Disney Vacation Development, Inc. Every resort contract has the same expiration date for every owner, making Disney timeshares different from RTU timeshares.


Typically, every resort contract lasts up to 50 years from the time of opening.

Disney timeshare end dates

No one knows what will happen when we approach these expiration dates. Also, Old Key West has two expiration dates listed because, in 2007, Disney gave owners the option to pay to extend their contracts for 15 years.

How Many Disney Timeshare Points Do You Need?

If you go on a Disney timeshare tour, the sales representative can help you best determine how many DVC points you will need. It’s best to research the DVC point charts that Disney releases every year, showing how much each resort costs in points during every season and unit type.


Some things to keep in mind when you are wondering how many DVC points you will need includes:

  • The season you are most likely to travel during every year. High seasons at Walt Disney World resorts include the holiday months, fall, and spring break. If you plan to make reservations during these times, expect to spend more on points.
  • The number of people traveling with you. Larger families will need more space, of course. One of the many benefits of Disney timeshare ownership is the spacious accommodations with multiple bedrooms, fully-equipped kitchens, and even living room areas.
  • The popularity or demand of your home resort. The newer Disney Vacation Club properties tend to be in higher demand than others, so they cost more in points.

How to Buy a Disney Timeshare

If you decide that a Disney timeshare is worth it, you can buy DVC points directly from Disney Vacation Club. At every DVC property, there is usually a desk or kiosk in the main lobby where you can inquire about membership and sign up for a tour.


On a DVC timeshare tour, a sales representative will walk you through how the Disney timeshare program works, how to use DVC points and even let you see inside of a DVC villa on the property. By the end of the presentation, you’ll be able to purchase right away and begin the closing process.

DVC Resales

Some savvy customers or repeat buyers will browse the DVC resale market before purchasing a Disney timeshare directly from DVC. You can find DVC resales for sale at a fraction of the cost instead of retail prices. However, it can take a bit more work on your end to find just what you’re looking for, as well as find a brokerage and title company to assist with the closing process.


Timeshare resales are a bit more complicated than traditional real estate. Before signing contracts, you have to verify all ownership details, find a reputable title company to hold funds in escrow, sign and notarize documents, go through the Right of First Refusal (ROFR) and more.


It’s best to use a licensed real estate brokerage specializing in timeshare resales, especially one that handles DVC resales in particular. You might find DVC points listed on eBay for $1, but once you send the contracts to Disney, they’re more likely to repurchase them during the ROFR review. Various forums online like or are great places to research the best timeshare resale companies or connect with owners looking to sell.

DVC Resale Restrictions

While buying a DVC resale is an excellent idea if you are looking to save some money, there are certain DVC resale restrictions to be aware of. In January 2019, Disney Vacation Club announced a major change to resale buyers.


If you purchased DVC points on the resale market now, you could only use them to make reservations at DVC properties built before the Riviera Resort. Furthermore, if you purchase Riviera points on the resale market, you can only use those points to make reservations at the Riviera.


DVC also announced that members must now own at least 150 points purchased directly from Disney to be eligible for a Blue Membership Card. A Blue Membership Card is what gives owners access to incredible discounts on dining and shopping, members-only lounges and even booking access to the Disney Cruise Line with DVC points.

Wrap-Up: Is Buying a Disney Timeshare Worth It?

With any timeshare ownership, it’s unwise to consider purchasing for any financial benefits. Timeshares do not usually appreciate. Disney Vacation Club has shown promise on the resale market, with some owners even making a profit. However, making a profit should not be your end goal when you decide to purchase.


Disney lovers, families and frequent travelers consider Disney Vacation Club worth it because they use it every year and reap considerable benefits. However, if you don’t think you’ll make reservations every year, or maybe you aren’t that big of a fan of Disney, it’s probably not a good idea to buy. Some families decide to sell their DVC points on the resale market.


However, Disney timeshare owners love owning a piece of their favorite resorts and experiencing the magic every year. With over 200,000 owners worldwide, it’s easy to see why DVC is one of the best vacation clubs out there.



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Romantic train rides everyone should take at least once


Train travel evokes a sense of wonder and nostalgia often unmatched by other forms of modern transportation. Flying is amazing, but you’re thousands of feet in the sky, far away from the land below. Driving is helpful for stopping as you please, but you’re focused on the road, unable to fully share in the passing scenery.

On a train ride, you simply sit back and enjoy the landscapes as they roll by. It’s a step away from the hustle and bustle of daily life because the experience receives your full attention.

You don’t typically choose to ride a train because it’s the most convenient or affordable option (in many cases it’s not), but because you want a unique and memorable experience.

If you want to enjoy one of these 15 scenic train rides, it will likely take some planning. But it is indeed possible to take your dream trip without creating debt.

After the list of epic rail journeys, we’ve shared a list of money moves you can make in preparation for future train travel. Applying these tips could help you achieve the financial freedom you need to take one of these incredible train rides.


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The Inca Rail First Class train isn’t the only way to make it to Machu Picchu, Peru, but it’s one of the best. Large, comfortable seats and massive windows help you relax and enjoy the ride from the town of Ollantaytambo to the town of Aguas Calientes, at the base of Machu Picchu.

Of course, to even get to this point of your journey, you’ve likely already passed through the ancient Incan capital of Cusco and the beautiful Sacred Valley region.

This train ride helps to build the anticipation even more as one of the final steps before seeing Machu Picchu for yourself. Heading into the Andean jungle while following the Urubamba River is a great precursor to the big event up in the mountains.

In addition, Inca Rail First Class passengers are provided with meal service and drinks during the nearly two-hour train ride.


David Almeida /Wikimedia Commons


Upstate New York is an ideal destination for immersing yourself in beautiful foliage and visiting quaint towns and villages seemingly untouched by time. The Adirondack Mountains provide the perfect backdrop for a train ride along the Adirondack Scenic Railroad.

Choose from one-way or round-trip itineraries between Utica and Thendara (Old Forge) and enjoy train travel through lush forests and over multiple rivers and streams. A one-way journey takes about 2.5 hours, whereas a round trip takes about 4.5 hours. Be sure to include time in your itinerary to visit and explore the Old Forge area if you want a true upstate New York experience.


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If cross-country train trips are your thing, add the California Zephyr ride to your bucket list. This train journey, operated by Amtrak, runs from Chicago, Illinois, to Emeryville (San Francisco), California, and takes more than 50 hours to complete.

The itinerary also includes stops along the way in Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. It’s possible to create a customized itinerary for part of the journey, like jumping on in Denver, Colorado, and getting off in Reno, Nevada.

Many of the scenic highlights include mountain ranges like the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevadas. Near the end of your journey you’ll also be able to see the San Pablo Bay and Carquinez Strait.


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The Pacific Surfliner, also operated by Amtrak, offers a stunning train journey along 351 miles of California’s Pacific coastline from San Luis Obispo to San Diego. Take your time to enjoy views of pristine beaches and rolling green hills from the comfort of your reclining seat.

Potential stops to visit along the way include Grover Beach, Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Los Angeles and Anaheim. Each destination has its own range of activities and highlights. The beach is located just two blocks from the Santa Barbara rail station or you could head to the Channel Islands National Park from Oxnard.


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If you’ve seen photos of passengers hanging out of a blue train surrounded by dense, green foliage, you’ve likely seen the Sri Lanka Railways journey from Kandy to Ella in Sri Lanka.

Although it may not be recommended to hang from objects moving at high speeds, you wouldn’t want to miss the views on this train ride between the central city of Kandy and the small southern town of Ella.

The ride takes about seven hours and offers views of tea plantations, green hills, bridges and villages. It’s recommended not to book first class tickets for your itinerary, as you won’t have the experience of mingling with the locals and having open windows.


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The Jacobite steam train is run by West Coast Railways, an independent train operating company based out of Lancashire, England. This train ride takes you on an 84-mile round-trip journey between Fort William and Mallaig in the Scottish Highlands.

The Scottish Highlands are a global destination known for their impressive natural beauty, including striking lochs and windswept hills. However, The Jacobite train in particular is famous for its starring role as The Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films.

For the full magical experience, book a first class “HP” compartment carriage for your own private compartment with a large viewing window. This will help you take in the sights, including the Glenfinnan Viaduct.


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The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, operated by Belmond, offers modern luxury travelers the opportunity to experience a journey reminiscent of famous train rides of the past.

This train can take you through many popular European cities, though it depends on which booking you select. London, England, to Venice, Italy, is a classic route, but you may prefer Paris, France, to Venice or Paris to Verona, Italy.

Whichever route you select, you’ll enjoy panoramic scenes of lush vineyards and mountain landscapes as you travel through Western Europe. You’ll pay more for this luxury experience, but getting to take in the scenery from your own private cabin might be well worth the cost.


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For a shorter train journey with unbelievable views, consider a ride with Snowdon Mountain Railway in Wales. A small diesel carriage takes passengers nearly the whole way up to the summit of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales.

The journey takes about 45 minutes and ends at Clogwyn Station, where you can take time to enjoy the views of Snowdonia National Park. The park is within driving distance of Liverpool, so it could provide a welcome escape from the city if you’re interested.


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The longest running passenger service in New Zealand is ready to give you a taste of everything the North Island has to offer. For a full-day journey, take the Northern Explorer train from Auckland to Wellington, with seven stops in between. Of course, if you’re coming from the South Island, you’d take the train in the opposite direction from Wellington to Auckland.

Highlights on your trip may include spending time in both cities, but also taking in the unique views of New Zealand. Gaze out across the rocky Kapiti Coast, admire the white cliffs above the Rangitikei River, and marvel at the Ruapehu active volcano in the distance. If you have the time, be sure to make a few stops.


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South Korea’s Korail offers a variety of train routes for traversing different parts of the country while enjoying the scenery along the way. The V-Train follows a route through different valleys in a mountainous region of the country between Buncheon and Cheoram.

Three observatory cabins provide ample space to enjoy the passing scenery and there’s a mini cafe if you need refreshment. The V-Train runs at a slower pace than typical transporter trains so you can take your time with sightseeing.


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Japan’s Shinkansen, or bullet train, is an experience in itself with a top speed of nearly 200 mph. But the journey becomes more special when you include sights along the way, such as Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain and an active volcano.

If you’re traveling by train between Tokyo and Kyoto, consider your seating selection so you get the best view of Mount Fuji as you speed by. You want to be on the right side of the train car if you’re coming from Tokyo and the left side if you’re coming from Kyoto. Of course, it’s best to hope for a clear day so the massive mountain is visible.


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Do you dream of viewing and crossing the incredible Alps landscape from the comfort of a train car? If so, consider the Bernina Express, by the Swiss Rhaetian Railway company, to bring your dreams to life. The train journey begins in Chur, Switzerland, and ends in Tirano, Italy.

Along the way you’ll cross 196 bridges and pass through 55 tunnels, all while enjoying pristine alpine landscapes and panoramic views. Highlights include multiple viaducts, views of glaciers, and passing the highest point of the journey at 2,253 meters (about 7,400 feet) above sea level. The full journey takes about four hours.


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If you’re exploring the Scandinavian lands of Norway, take the opportunity to travel from Bergen to Oslo by train on the Bergen Railway. This train ride takes about seven hours, has 22 stops, and passes through 180 tunnels. In addition, you’ll see plenty of amazing scenery, including potential views of forests, lakes, mountains, fjords, rivers and waterfalls.

For an additional boost of pleasant views, get off the train at the Myrdal stop and take another train to Flåm. This side adventure has been called one of the top 10 train journeys in Europe, as well as the best train journey in the world.


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The Rocky Mountaineer is a Canadian company that offers three rail journeys in Canada and will soon offer one U.S. rail journey as well (coming August 2021). The most popular route is from Vancouver to Banff/Lake Louise. This ride takes you through the Spiral Tunnels, next to mountains and past stunning lakes.

If you want to break up the trip, book a package deal that includes overnight stays along the way. This can help you enjoy the journey more by spending time in the beautiful provinces of British Columbia and Alberta.


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African safaris aren’t limited to lodges and vehicles with four-wheel drive. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can opt for a scenic train ride with Rovos Rail in South Africa instead. You’ll have different itineraries to choose from, but the Cape Town to Pretoria option is likely one of the most epic.

This ride is an 11-day journey that includes an ostrich farm visit, a boat cruise, multiple game drives, city tours and more. In addition, your private sleeper coach makes it easy to enjoy the South African landscapes as you pass by, including the beaches, lakes, and rolling hills of the famous Garden Route.


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Train travel can often be expensive, especially if you have to factor in flying to another country and then booking your train tickets. Fortunately, you have options to reduce your train travel costs, including using credit cards.

Here are a few tips to help you save money on train travel.


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Many of the best travel credit cards offer rewards for travel purchases, which often includes train tickets. Using the right credit card for booking train travel could net you valuable rewards you can use for future travel redemptions such as flights or hotel stays.

In addition, if you’re taking a flight or staying in a hotel as part of your train journey, having a credit card with specific perks or benefits can be helpful. Airport lounge access or complimentary elite status at a hotel or could help you save money on parts of your itinerary or simply have a more enjoyable adventure.


Using specific credit cards to book train tickets, like an Amtrak credit card, can help you earn points and reduce overall travel costs. If you want to save up for a train trip, though, many of the best cashback credit cards offer better rewards on everyday purchases.

You also have the option to earn points from partnerships with train companies. For example, Amtrak partners with hotel, retail, and car rental companies to provide everyday ways to earn points you can put toward future train tickets.




If you’re already planning to travel to another country or city and have an open itinerary, consider taking a train instead of a flight if geography allows. This will put the money you save from not flying straight into an enjoyable train journey.


The train’s concession or restaurant area can be tempting, but you’ll likely save money if you bring your own food and drinks. Be sure to check ahead of time what the restrictions are for food and beverages on any train ride, as some companies may not allow you to bring your own.




If you’re putting together travel plans, remember to include train travel as an option. Not every train ride will be the same, but it could be a fun opportunity to switch up your typical routine and have a new experience. You’re especially likely to have a memorable trip if you include one of the exciting rail journeys mentioned above.

Keep in mind that train travel doesn’t have to be financially overwhelming if you’re prepared for what to expect. It may be less expensive to travel by train in certain countries, but you have to get to those countries first. So earning points or miles now to cover your flight and hotel expenses could leave more room in your budget for the train rides you want to take.


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