Monday, September 27, 2010

DVC Trades

I was trying to keep this blog updated, at least with minor entries, but the last few weeks have been dry for me. It seems my brain has been too occupied with the political debate (if you want to call it that) going on in this country, as I've been doing some light research on the health care bill (aka ObamaCare) and on federal spending. (I made a couple of blog posts over at my Rambler blog on Journalscape. If anyone's interested, there's a link over there on the left side of your screen.)

So Disney has been fairly far from my mind over the last couple weeks. Until this weekend. We are Disney Vacation Club owners, and one of the main reasons we bought it was because of the potential to trade for weeks at nice properties around the country and world. They have an exchange program with RCI Timeshare properties, but it is something that till now we haven't attempted to utilize.

But this weekend, we started thinking about possible trips for spring break of 2011. So we pulled out our DVC book, and started looking at the locations in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona. There are a few very nice properties listed in that area. So we picked out two or three, and called to see if they could check availability.

No availability at any of the properties we wanted.

So we did the same thing for San Francisco, but this time rather than spending an hour searching the internet for the various resorts and figuring out which ones we'd like to maybe try out, we called first. No availability in the entire state of California for that particular week.

The second agent was much more informative than the first - she let me know that the way most people do this is that they put their names on a "wait list" and wait for someone to give up their week to the exchange program. She said that it usually happens within a couple months. The trouble is, the airfares we were looking at were this price, today! Two weeks ago, they were more. Two weeks from now, who knows what they'll be?

Perhaps this is simply the way this exchange program works, but it was one of their major selling points when we were buying, and though I asked all the questions I could think of before we bought, no one explained that it was likely to be difficult or to take time to actually get trades through. In fact, just the opposite - the guy making the pitch suggested that since Orlando was the number 1 tourist destination in the world, trades were easy to make and happened very quickly. He went through the process, calling DVC and requesting the trade. But he seemed to suggest that it was about the same as using our points to book a vacation at a non-DVC Disney property, except cheaper, points-wise.

I have to say I'm a bit disappointed with the way this worked out. I and my kids really love Disney, but there is more to life and to the world than Disney property vacations. If I knew then what I know now, I probably wouldn't purchase DVC points again...


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