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"My 2 Cents!"
The DVC and Me
article appeared in the
December 13, 2000, Issue #63 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)
The Disney Vacation Club (DVC) and me.
Is it right for you?
With the holidays swiftly approaching, the warmth of the season always tends to stir up family memories.
Can there be fonder memories of anyone's youth than those of the big family trip? Getting up at the crack of dawn and being stuffed into the old Packard Caribbean meant adventure was on hand in the grandest proportions.
In my family, in the late '50s and early '60s, money was scarce and family vacations were a rarity. "Daycations" were a true treat.
Growing up in the suburbs of New York City, perhaps it was to be a day in the "country" at the Danbury Fair, or the then "far off" Pocono Mountains. In the summer, it could be heading off to Jones Beach. If the bills were paid and we kids were good, Freedomland in the Bronx, or The World's Fair might be the final stop.
It was only on these rare "packed in the Packard" trips, that our family was really, in every sense of the word, your typical family.
As the years and our parents passed, my family, as all families do, went their separate ways and off on adventures of their own. Work and life made our times together fewer and fewer.
Each year as a Christmas present, rather than getting a scarf for Susan, a sweater for Bob, and socks for Michael (although had you ever smelled my big brother's feet, even at age 52, socks are still a good choice), I've planned a family outing of some sort. It was to remind us of the days of being packed off for hours as Brothers and Sisters to the torment of my Parents. These have all been one-day events (Broadway, bus rides to Atlantic City, concerts, or experimental theater) filled with the laughter and ribbing that only growing up together can bring.
Secretly however I have always dreamed of going on that big trip we had all dreamed of as kids, at least ONCE. But it could not happen. The one trip to see *that* castle which appeared every Sunday night on the old RCA, with Tinker Bell flying in front of it.
Sadly, like most of us, my dreams always greatly exceed my wallet.
A presentation during my August trip (to become re-Moused) by the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) changed all that.
I must begin
by saying I had no intentions of purchasing a DVC membership. Walt Disney
World is not my yearly vacation destination. More like a
once every three years pilgrimage, to make sure my ability to be a kid is still intact.
I was just curious to see what it was all about.
DVC is indeed
a unique time-sharing concept, and the presentation a "soft sell".
Rather than purchasing time, you're purchasing "points",
which are exchanged for time and space as you see fit. Not only at the
Disney Properties, but a number of locations around the real world. These
can be "banked and borrowed" from year to year allowing for a total accumulation of three years' points. The membership is deeded and can be willed.
It is at this point you may be regretting not paying more attention to Miss Fuge in math class as a youth. I certainly did when it was explained to me.
was to purchase 150 points for approximately $10,000 plus a $600 annual
maintenance fee (varies with points purchased) that can be paid monthly.
I had already spent that much, if not more on previous visits,
and once again could not foresee that happening again. Oh how foolish these mortals be.
It was not until touring the Boardwalk Villas and reviewing the point chart that suddenly my dream of the "big trip" began to emerge.
Yes I could if I wished, depending on the time of year I visit, spend ten or more days at Walt Disney World each year. Or twenty or more days every two years, or a month every three. Or I could book one unbelievable room for a week every two or three years anywhere on WDW property. To the true mouse ears-wearing Disneyite, this could seem like heaven.
To me, it just seemed like Ten Thousand Dollars. That is, until I stopped thinking of one room, and started thinking of multiple rooms.
Like finally finding the Big "W" in the movie Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World, came the sudden realization it was possible to book four rooms at the Boardwalk Villas for five nights next summer. I could also do the same thing the following year.
Visions of Giant Mice Danced in my head!
It was with this concept, and this concept alone, in mind that "She who must be obeyed" and I joined the Disney Vacation Club
This year for Christmas we will give that "big trip" as a Christmas present to the families we grew up with.
that next summer, I'll be able to enjoy the wonder in my oldest sister
Barbara's eyes (eyes that have always found beauty in even the
smallest living thing) as she explores Animal Kingdom.
It means I will be able to sit next to my big brother Michael (who couldn't drag me on a thrill ride when I was little) after the final drop in Tower of Terror and scream "Again!"
It means that I will be able to see my sister Susan (who has not had a hair out of place in most of her adult life) giggling like a school girl again as she gets soaked in the Kali Rapids.
It means we'll all be able to ride the Walt Disney Railroad and share fond memories of our oldest late brother who spent the fortunes he made as a song writer (in the early days of Rock and Roll), chasing steam engines around the world and buying model trains.
It means for five full days, we'll all get to be kids together again, playing and making fun of each other, like we used to so very long ago in the big white house on Washington Street.
It means their spouses (and mine) will get a peek into the child that became the adult.
Like Peter Pan in the movie "Hook" my brother and sisters will be able to once again find their happy thoughts and fly with joy like we all once did together, so long ago.
It also means that the following year I will get to do it all again, only this time with my wife's siblings.
It also didn't hurt, that when those two years are done, there will be 38 more years' worth of adventures to plan, all which will be paid for within the next four years.
Can you put a price tag on that? To us it seemed like a steal.
Is the Disney Vacation Club right for you?
Check your dreams, it just might be.
On the behalf of Dean J. Swain Tuttle, our mascot Wally The Lemur, and the entire staff of The Zamgwar Institute, I wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah, a joyful Kwanzaa, a super Solstice and a Happy New Year.
May all your holidays be filled with Magic.
Office of Warm Wishes
The Zamgwar Institute
Editor's Note: This story/information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all current rates, information and other details before planning your trip.