My DVC Points
My DVC Points
How to Predict DVC Room Availability
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Can you use points to stay anywhere you want at any time you want? Yes, you can if the room is available. However, that's a big IF! With all of the conversations about buy where you want to stay and the importance of the 11-month booking window, DVC room availability is a huge issue. It takes members a few years to learn the ropes. However, our own Peter Scheidle from the DVC Newscast team also has a site dedicated to solving issues members face. The #1 thing he started with was charting out DVC availability so that members can start to understand general trends of when rooms book out. Episode 162


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What Factors Impact Room Availablity Forecasts:

DVC Help exclusively uses previous member booking patterns in their forecasts. What was available last year? In terms of room bookings, past performance is really the best predictor of future availability. Weather patterns in Florida tend to follow a consistent seasonal trend. Events in Walt Disney World typically follow an annual pattern as well; however, moving a race from the 3rd to the 4th weekend of the month can have a huge impact. DVC uses the point charts to shift demand as well. In 2021, we saw the point costs raise for Food and Wine periods and decrease over the summer. We've seen studios raise in price and 2-bedroom units come down.

DVC availablity charts helps members in two unique ways:

  1. Setting Expectations for Bookings and Point Rentals
  2. Buying and Selling a Home Resort

Availablity and Setting Expectations for Bookings and Point Rentals:

The DVC rules for booking a resort are pretty straightforward. If you own a resort, you can use the points from that resort to book a room 11 months in advance. If you're trying to book a non-home resort, you can only book your room 7 months in advance. That begs two critical questions. How difficult is it to book a resort at 11 or 7 months? The answer varies by resort, room booking category, and time of the year. The primary difference between an owner and a renter is that the owner has 11 months at their home resort(s). A renter has additional to find an owner with an 11-month advantage or has to hope that an owner will book their resort within the 7-month window. Rooms at highly desirable locations often go within seconds of the 7-month opening.

Moving from conventional wisdom to data specific. After you've been a member for a while, you start to realize the most popular times to use DVC points aren't necessarily Christmas and Easter or traditional peak periods. They're still really popular in DVC; however, the most popular times are the cheaper point seasons that occur when schools are in full session: January, September, October, November, and the first two weeks of December. If you'll notice, the thing these periods all have in common is that they're the lower point cost seasons on the DVC Point Charts.

The magic behind the charts at DVCHelp.com is taking actual room availability data from the DVC site and summarizing it into half-month intervals. There's a learning curve to the way data is presented on DVC Help. The four rankings are more than 14 days available, 9-13 days available, 2-8 days or less than 2 days available. Every period is 14-16 days. So to interpret the chart, look at the two-week period where you want to check in to the resort. If your date at 7 months is green, you should be fine. The closer that color gets to the color red, the more likely you will have challenges getting your room. Remember, this is just a forecast, your mileage may vary.

Advice to renters, you may want to familiarize yourself with the availability charts. You have two chances, find an owner 12 months out to book the room during their home resort window, or find another member to rent points at 7 months out who can book this room. Either way, we believe understanding these point charts will help you manage expectations and lead to happier vacation planning.

Using DVC Availablity Charts for Buying and Selling Decisions

One of the major reasons to buy points at a specific resort is to get the 11-month window for booking a room. Some room types at certain times of the year are event difficult at 11 months such as club level at Animal Kingdom Jambo and value rooms in the same resort. There are very few rooms available and millions of points sold to Animal Kingdom owners.

However, if you're a two-bedroom family and you want to go to Beach Club in the summer; the charts show you that you have a pretty good chance of booking Beach Club during the summer. (For the record, the summer heat is the best time to use Storm Along Bay.). However, you can also see that studios are rather difficult to get at 7-months out most of the year. If you're a studio family and you want Beach Club, it may be worth it to purchase Beach Club points.

I ultimately ended up selling my beach club points because our favorite time to go there is in summer and we're a 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom family. My wife is a teacher so we can go any time during the summer. With a couple of months' flexibility, we're certain we could get Beach Club every year. It may not be during a holiday weekend; however, we can find a way to book Beach Club that works for our family.

Our best advice for new members is to understand the point charts and availability take this into consideration when making a purchasing decision. Generally speaking, the cheapest points to use are the ones you already own. However, it's not uncommon to hear people see their resort is selling at an extremely high price point, sell and buy more points at another resort specific for the 11-month window or buying cheaper points or at a resort with cheaper dues, because they understand, there are only certain times a year you need to own a resort to be able to book the resort.



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