Thursday, March 1, 2012

Renting Disney Vacation Club Points - The Way to Get Back to Aulani

After being home for about a week now, I already dream of going back to Hawaii as soon as possible. Seeing as though Aulani came with a steep price tag, I was convinced that this would be a once in a lifetime stay.

I decided to do a bit of research before I gave up entirely. I checked my old and faithful timeshare rental site - RedWeek. Now since Aulani's second phase is not complete yet - which holds a vast majority of DVC properties - and the fact that Aulani did have a few hiccups with being able to sell timeshares at Aulani, the selection on RedWeek was one to none. The only one that I happened to find was about $550 a night - not exactly the money saving option that I was hoping for.

Renting DVC Points can get me back to Stitch in no time!
Then I remembered something from a book that I had read - "The Dark Side of Disney," by Leonard Kinsey (the cover art is deceiving - it's not vile, I promise). There is an unknown world of renting Disney Vacation Club (DVC) points from timeshare owners whose points are about to expire. Great, I thought, but it seemed a bit risky.

I had in fact bombarded a nice couple from Michigan about this very concept in the soaking relaxation tub at the Laniwai spa at Aulani - I know I think my boyfriend was cringing when I started to talk about the "backstage of Disney traveling," while our fingers pruned. They  said they rented points for their stay at Aulani through a renter who only deals with them and their daughter's family. They had nothing but positive experiences with this renter, but he wasn't in the business of accepting me as a client. So, there went any lead I had.

They said that they were able to get a one bedroom rental, with full kitchen, for about $195 a night...ok now my ears perked up.  That was less than half of the rate that we had found. Were they DVC members themselves, I asked? Nope - just really smart vacationers who used this practice at Disneyworld and now in Hawaii, and told us that frankly, they wouldn't vacation any other way.

So, the search began with the words: DVC, Renting Points. There were a few rogue discussion threads through Disboards (a Disney vacation blog) and a site called David's Vacation Club Rentals. This site looked promising. It was very professionally done and outlined all the information one would need - including a must have according to my book - a renter's agreement. David of the site is the middleman with owners who are willing to rent their points. A middle man will raise the cost per point a bit - apparently about $4 a point - which is how the rooms are based. 

For example: on this site one point is $13; you then use the point calculator on the site with where you want to stay, when, and how long ,and it will give you a point value at different resorts for that time. Rentals for deluxe resorts (think Contemporary, Boardwalk, etc.) at Disneyworld for a week started as low as 44 points for the week!!! And this is a vacation rental with multiple beds, full kitchen and washer and dryer!! So for  $572 before tax, you can stay at a deluxe resort, which usually runs anywhere from $350-600 a night. Not bad huh?

There is a caveat that this does not include maid service. Only trash and towel service if you are staying four nights or more. But if you really need to have your room cleaned, you can pay a per diem.

I looked up Aulani for a week and found that we could go again for literally less than half of our previous stay. Hope had once again been restored.

I have yet to use this site to book any Disney stays - but will be reporting on the process once I am able to do so. The best thing about it is that you can use your Paypal account for deposits and final transactions. Paypal's guarantee will all but 100% ensure you that you won't be paying for services you did not receive and your information will not be circulated among vendors.

If anyone has used this site or others like it to rent points, let me know your feedback. At the very least, it's enough to keep my Aulani dream alive!

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