Disney Vacation Club Files Fewer Liens in 2020 and Changes Resale Waiver that Could Affect Disney’s Riviera Resort

The COVID-19 pandemic affects more than reduced traffic and a drop in sales at Walt Disney World Resort. Disney Vacation Club has issued far fewer liens this past year than it has in the previous four years. Is COVID-19 to blame? Other changes have also affected DVC members, though rather quietly. The language of the Right of First Refusal waiver underwent some editing. The waiver may have removed Disney’s Riviera Resort from certain exclusions. Let’s dive deeper to see how things may be changing at Disney Vacation Club.

Fewer Liens in 2020

The Disney Vacation Club Management Company has issued only 100 liens against members for nonpayment this year. The previous year saw 2,406 liens filed, and the lowest number filed in the past four years was only 987. Also, Disney filed all 100 liens before its shutdown in March. The difference is striking.

Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Most believe that so few liens resulted from the economic effects of the pandemic. With travel restrictions introduced, businesses forced to close, and rising unemployment shrinking disposable income for many, Walt Disney World received the brunt of a near economic meltdown. Layoffs and furloughs became a part of Disney. The financial hit that both American and international travelers experienced impacted Disney’s bottom line.

Despite Disney’s opening, many DVC owners have hesitated to return. Reduced operating hours, mask and social distancing policies, absent character interactions, and event cancellations such as Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, parades, shows, and fireworks may have caused DVC members to stay away. Others simply might not be able to afford a vacation at this time.

As a result, a rise in defaults for non-payment of mortgages or annual dues should be expected. So how do we explain the reduction in liens?

Though Disney usually files liens in large batches over a short period of time, they haven’t in 2020. Perhaps understaffing might be an issue, causing delays in filing. If this is the case, then we may expect more liens to be filed in the upcoming months when staffing increases.

DVC Resale Waiver Changes

At the time when Disney’s Riviera Resort opened for membership, the policy for the resale of points allowed buyers to use those points at any Disney Vacation Club resort if they were purchased from DVC. On January 19, 2019, the Right of First Refusal waiver stated, in effect, that if you didn’t purchase points directly from DVC, you could only use those points for the existing 14 DVC resorts, but not for Disney’s Riviera Resort or future resorts.

Disney’s Riviera Resort

Basically, you could only book a room at Disney’s Riviera Resort using points from the non-DVC resale market if you bought Riviera Resort points. Disney probably created this policy to drive direct sales to Disney Vacation Club. The result kept buyers in the resale market away from Disney’s Riviera Resort, because buying points for a single resort reduced choice.

The change arrived subtly and without announcement. Though still dated January 19, 2019, the Right of First Refusal waiver removed Disney’s Riviera Resort from the statement and expanded the existing resorts to 16 for those that could be freely booked with resale points not purchased directly from DVC.

Though this does not confirm that Disney’s Riviera Resort has been lumped in with the 14 existing resorts mentioned in the original waiver, it does suggest that this could be the case.

Check back with us regularly to see how this story progresses. We’ll keep you updated.

What do you think about the change in the Right of First Refusal waiver? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

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1 year ago

They have since corrected the language back on the ROFR waivers.

W. Gallup
W. Gallup
1 year ago

Not the case as of this morning. My contract was a resale and I only see 14 locations to choose from, Riveria is not shown.

1 year ago

This: Reduced operating hours, mask and social distancing policies, absent character interactions, and event cancellations

This is EXACTLY the reason why we cancelled our October OKW vacation. Spot on analysis from the author.