In early April of this year, Disney announced more restrictions to their resale policy to coincide with the changes made in 2011. Following these recent changes to DVC’s resale policy, I was asked to give my opinion on Disney’s newest policy and the current state of the DVC resale market. Below is my broker interview that was featured in an article posted with Theme Park Tourist.
Q: What was your reaction to the announced changes to the DVC program?
My reaction to the DVC removal of member benefits and perks was “not surprised at all” except for the many years it took DVC to finally announce and implement the changes.
Q: As someone whose business depends on DVC’s public perception, did you take the news as positive or negative for your company?
I agree that public perception for DVC is extremely important for the entire industry. I also know that the public’s passion for Disney is very forgiving. There was neither a positive nor negative affect on our company, as this is not the first time DVC has made changes. At that time, most owners reacted negatively, but DVC’s announcement forced owners to examine the true value for becoming a member. The majority understood more clearly and remembered they purchased based on the incredible savings at the “deluxe” resorts compared to renting from Disney.
Q: What’s the general response you’ve received from customers? Have you lost/gained business over this?
As to be expected, the initial response was quite negative. Once the consumers started to understand that the difference in resale prices compared to DVC direct greatly outweighs the incidentals being removed, including the annual pass discounts, it settled down very quickly. We did not have a single purchaser cancel based on the changes.
Q: Moving forward, how do you anticipate the changes to impact your business as well as DVC as a whole?
Going to Disney is an experience many families cherish and remember their entire lives. I’m finding second generation purchasers now popping in to purchase DVC because they want their children to have the same magical childhood they remember. Staying in a DVC resort as a DVC owner is “the only way to go to Disney” regardless of discounts not being offered through incidentals. Disney and DVC are very resilient, and this is already becoming something in the past.
Q: Do you believe Disney behaved appropriately with these changes? And do you have any concerns that they’ll add even stronger restrictions in the future?
Although I understand DVC’s dissemination of the news was very confusing to customers due to the conflicting information being given, I do feel they acted appropriately with the decision to make the changes. As the gap between resale and developer pricing continues to widen, DVC has to have an incentive for buyers to purchase at the higher rates. I do not feel there are any additional restrictions to put into place. The ability to use the DVC resorts with the seven and 11 month booking windows as well as the option to exchange into RCI are the mainstay of the ownerships. The only features left to remove would be the little used Club Cordial and Club Intrawest.