Reflecting on Buying DVC 11 years ago at 23 years old

In the summer of ’08, I just had completed my Master’s degree and my soon-to-be husband and I were finishing our plans for our upcoming November wedding.  We decided to take a spontaneous trip to Disney World to relax.  This was our 2nd trip together to WDW and we stayed at All Star Music.  After an amazing weekend, we were waiting in the lobby for the Magical Express.  We stopped at the DVC table just to pass the time.  This random trip with this random moment changed our lives forever.  After much debate and phone calls with our DVC guide, we decided to purchase 160 points at Animal Kingdom Lodge for $100 a point.  Our first automatic payment came out on our wedding day November 15, 2008, a happy coincidence.  This was a huge financial and personal investment for us.  We decided that having the ability to travel was a priority for the rest of our lives and our future children’s lives.

DVC seemed too good to be true; it allowed us to be able to afford vacations that we only dreamed about.  We jumped in with both feet to make our Disney trips a priority in our marriage.  This was the time that we could be together, not just on the trips but the planning stages.  We became and still are obsessed with picking which resorts to stay at, then picking what parks and dining to do.   The DVC loan payment and dues every month were a big chunk of our monthly budget which lead us to make changes in other areas of our lives.  Disney trips were a priority so whatever we could do to afford them was done.  We started driving from New Jersey when our first child was born to save on airfare.  We buy annual passes every other year and try to get 3 trips out of them.  We bring as many groceries as we can and cook as often as we can in the room.  We try to go when the DVC points per night are lower to get the most out of our points per year.  We worked hard to pay off our DVC loan 3 years early right around the time we welcomed our second child.

After our third child was born, we decided that it was time to add on more points.  Money was even tighter than it was when we first brought DVC but the DVC vacations became such an important part of our lives.  It became important family time, even the 20 hour drive each way from NJ.  It was our time to connect as a family.  We decided on 100 points at Saratoga Springs for $135 a point.  We chose Saratoga Springs for the lower dues.  It became more important than ever to save money wherever we could to be able to travel to Disney as often as we can.  Many of our peer’s priorities were not the same and they had a hard time understanding that our priorities were different.  We did not want a big fancy house or cars; we decided to focus on experiences as a family.  DVC allowed us to do this.

I am reflecting on how much that spontaneous trip 11 years ago has shaped my family.  We are currently planning our 18th DVC trip for this summer.  We are staying for 10 days (split stay with Boardwalk and Animal Kingdom) celebrating my daughter’s 5th birthday.  That decision 11 years ago is allowing us to give our children an amazing trip that we could not afford without DVC.  But this isn’t the first or the last trip like this that we can give them thanks to DVC.  Many people said buying DVC at 23 years old was not the smartest decision financially.  What many of them failed to see is the unmeasurable value it has given me and my family over the years and in years to come.

12 thoughts on “Reflecting on Buying DVC 11 years ago at 23 years old

  • July 8, 2019 at 10:53 am

    Absolutely Agree. I bought my DVC in 1995 and it is THE BEST DECISION I MADE FOR ME SND MY FAMILY!!!

  • July 8, 2019 at 11:16 am

    I love your story and even tho it somewhat matches my own, I was much older than you when I first purchased. It has now been 13 years and I have never regretted a minute of that 13 years.
    We love our DVC!

  • July 8, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Yes Yes 2004 SSR although I never stay at SSR. Love my DVC just can not get enough.

  • July 8, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    Never really though about it as a young parent. But with two married daughters and grandchildren arriving I’m glad I made the resale purchase in 2016 for the Wilderness lodge. The deed also includes our daughters so when we are no longer here it’s still there’s until 2042. We’ve used it 4 times already and it is so worth it! You made a smart decision.

  • July 8, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    Great story, great choice. My wife and I bought our points 20 years ago. We live 2 hours away and love all the flexibility DVC provides. Our family memories with our children and grandchildren to DVC propertues are Priceless!!

  • July 8, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    Bruh you can buy DVC points cheaper than that from individuals each year and never have the huge initial payment and get honestly better deals then directly from DVC. I totally get going to Disney regularly, but this is a very very expensive way to do it loo

  • July 9, 2019 at 8:33 am

    Wonderful story and so nice to read about someone buying young when they’re children can appreciate all the wonder and magic of Magic Kingdom. I also like how you shared your decision to finance. We too financed and were told constantly what a terrible wrong decision. Yet it let us afford a month in WDW for certainly the rest of our life span (as we bought much later than in life) for the current 4 or 5 day CRO hotel stay in the save venues we enjoy.

  • July 9, 2019 at 9:21 am

    People said and still say we are crazy as well. So many people prioritize material things and if it makes them happy I’m all for it. For me it has always been and will always be about experiences and family, and dvc has helped me to share those experiences with my extended family. It give me great joy when our trips with our family come up in conversation as some of our best memories, that’s way more valuable than some material possession to me!

  • July 9, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    We bought our DVC points in 2007 while visiting Disneyland in California. At first we were a little apprehensive, but soon began to realize how much fun we would have with our soon to be born two granddaughters. Since then we added three grandsons and another granddaughter. What a wonderful way to enjoy vacations! When our family started to grow, we decided we needed more points. From our 200 point purchase in 2007, we have grown to 650 points! The best thing we have ever done!!!!!

  • July 9, 2019 at 10:57 pm

    I’m a DVC member and I recommend it to anyone, we spend a week at the mandarin oriental in our nation’s capital. Way out of our price range. And have been to kidani village 11 times, savanna view a must see no savanna view same.the staff at kidani are spectacular.

  • July 15, 2019 at 8:45 am

    My only regret is not buying in earlier! Congratulations to you for recognizing the value at such a young age.

  • July 20, 2019 at 9:03 am

    We are 3 years in and couldn’t agree more. This financial commitment will allow us to share the Disney Magic with our family and friends for years to come.

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