My DVC Points
My DVC Points
Master the Magic of DVC Waitlists: Strategies to Secure Your Dream Disney Stay

Chad discusses tips for mastering the DVC waitlist. This is a grassroots podcast, and we're bringing you the best information from the DVC member community.

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  1. What is the DVC Waitlist?
    1. When a member tries to book a room, if all the inventory is already booked, it's an official method for DVC members to be put on a waitlist so that if people cancel their reservations, a member can join a list to be rebooked into that room.
    2. It’s not a thing with rental brokers, but when renting directly from a member, they may be willing to do this for you.
    3. Owners can have 2 waitlists per membership number and Use Year.
    4. We don’t know if this is an automated or manual system.  We’ve heard rumors from those in the know both ways.  My best guess as someone who works on customer service technology for a living is that it’s probably a combination of manual and automated methods.
    5. Remember – hundreds of thousands of DVC members are constantly booking, modifying, and changing their vacation plans. The waitlist is an official process that DVC uses to try to help every member get the room they want on their vacation.
  2. Most Importantly – Plan. You need to know what rooms you want, and you need to try to book this as soon as possible. In the event you cannot get your rooms, you can get an earlier spot on the waitlist.
  3. Strategically Use DVC Room Inventory. The number of available rooms matters. If you compare rooms at Bay Lake Tower, there are 24 standard studios, 18 theme park studios and 105 lake view studios. If you want to stay at Bay Lake Tower, you're better off waitlisting the Lake View rooms. In order for the waitlist to be fulfilled, another member has to cancel a reservation for your dates. You have 105 chances a member will cancel at Lake View room and 18 chances for a member to cancel a Theme Park view. Statistically speaking, the odds are more likely your dates will open up if you have 105 chances.
  4. Walk, Wait and Stalk Method. If walking your reservation fails, the next best thing is what members call “Wait and Stalk.” Get on the waitlist ASAP and stalk the website multiple times a day looking for availability. We've noticed that cancellations happen and rooms become available before the automated or manual waitlist processes happen. If you happen to catch availability, swoop in and book it before the waitlist processes take place.
  5. DVC’s Official Stance vs What Works for Members. DVC's official policy is that you should waitlist your entire stay. If you want 7 nights, you should waitlist all 7 nights in a single request. Practically speaking, members have reported more success booking whatever nights are available and using both waitlists to fill in the gaps. The downside is that this may not work. You could end up with multiple split-stays where you check in and out of resorts multiple times across your 7-night vacation. This drives up costs for all members as DVC membership dues must be paid to have your room cleaned at every checkout. While the fill-in-the-gaps approach may require more effort from housekeeping, statistically speaking, it's a lot easier to find 1-night availability than wait for a consecutive 7 nights to open up in a waitlist. (This is why, practically speaking, members have more success stitching together their vacations). If you have all your nights booked in the same room type, resort, and booking category, you can call member services and ask them to link all of your nights together in a single stay.

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