Seaside Style at The Beach Club

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Photo by Deanna Simmons

On my most recent trip I spent a few nights at Disney’s Beach Club Resort.  This is one of WDW’s deluxe hotels and is located in the Epcot area.  I was really excited about my time here since I love staying within walking distance to Epcot!  I find more value in being able to walk to the International Gateway than being on the monorail.  I realize that many people would not agree with that statement, but it is what works best for me and my touring habits.  Aside from the proximity to my favorite, park I was looking forward to experiencing a hotel I had not stayed in yet and the seaside atmosphere.

 

Photo by Deanna Simmons

The decor at the Beach Club is meant to remind guests of summers on the New England Coast.  The cool blues and greens of the resort’s facade create a calming feeling as soon as I pulled up in our car.  Inside, the lobby looks like it has been furnished by a very stylish grandmother welcoming her family to enjoy a cozy summer at the beach.  Small groupings of sofas and chairs make the space feel intimate even though it is quite large.  Again, the light colors and wood tones create a relaxed atmosphere which remind me to slow down a little during a usually chaotic Disney trip.

Our room was lovely and fairly spacious.  It was equipped with two queen beds, a day bed, a flat screen tv, and other standard dressers and nightstands, etc.  The bathroom, like most Disney resorts, was divided into two areas with a double sink outside and the shower and toilet in its own room.  As someone who is usually traveling with friends I appreciate the large area we have to get ready for our day.  We had a standard view so we had a balcony that looked out over the bus stop and parking lot.  It didn’t bother me since we spent so little time in the room, but if you would prefer a more appealing view, you may want to upgrade your room.  My only complaint about our room was that it seemed like a hike to walk to and from the lobby.

Photo by Deanna Simmons

Photo by Carolyn Citro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictured above: the beds in a standard room at the Beach Club and the bathroom’s double sink

Aside from the lovely rooms and decor, there are a few amenities which stand out at the Beach Club.  My friends and I made a point to set aside

Photo by Deanna Simmons

time to enjoy the resort’s pool called Stormalong Bay.  This is more than just a pool; it’s almost like a mini water park!  There are several pools and a large water slide along with lounge chairs galore in this roped off area.  We were able to find several lounge chairs together and spread out to relax.  We all grabbed a drink and hung out for a while before some folks decided to go for a swim.  They had a blast checking out the different areas to float and testing out the water slide.  Kids will absolutely love this pool, especially the area made just for them to splash as well dig in the sand.  Please keep in mind that only guests of the Yacht and Beach Clubs are granted access to Stormalong Bay; you must show resort I.D. and get a bracelet to be admitted.  Guests looking to actually relax on their Disney vacation should dedicate some time to hanging out poolside during their stay.

Photo by Deanna Simmons

Like I’ve already mentioned, guests can walk to Epcot’s International Gateway from the Beach Club.  If you think walking would be too much for your party, you can also take the friendship boat to the park from the dock between the Beach and Yacht Clubs.  These boats also transport guests to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  For the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, water parks, and Downtown Disney folks who do not have their own car can catch a bus at the stop in front of the resort.

There are two table service restaurants, a quick service eatery, and a lounge at this resort for guests to enjoy.  I will write more about the Cape May Cafe next week so I’ll only mention that it serves buffet meals and often receives good reviews from vacationers.  Beaches & Cream can be accessed from outside the resort near the pool.  It has both a table service area and a take away window for ice cream.  They are most well known for their huge ice cream sundaes, but also serve burgers and other savory items.  I enjoyed this restaurant quite a bit when I dined there, but keep in mind the take away window can get very crowded and it may take you a while to get your frozen treat.  The Beach Club Marketplace is the resort’s quick service option and has a take away counter for hot food as well as grab and go options.  This shop offers quite a few options for guests looking for a quick bite.

Although my time at the Beach Club was short, I really enjoyed it.  I love the breezy, beachy atmosphere and the amenities offered here.  As I’ve already mentioned, being close to my favorite park is a major bonus.  Our room was lovely and comfortable and the public areas of the resort were lovely.  Since my stay was during the busy President’s Day week, I thought the price was a bit steep, so I’d avoid a busy time of year in the future.  It is easy to save money on your lodging fees if you can be flexible with your travel dates.  I would certainly stay at the Beach Club again, but I think I’d be more inclined to return to the Boardwalk first since it still remains my favorite Disney resort.

What about you?  Have you stayed at the Beach Club?  Let me know what you thought of your stay there!

Next week I’ll stick with the Beach Club theme when I discuss my character breakfast at the Cape May Cafe!

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Posted on March 23, 2011

31 Responses to “Seaside Style at The Beach Club”

  • maybe someday! sigh….
    lovely article.

    • Thanks, Michele! I bet one day you’ll get to stay here. Keep an eye out for discounts and roommates. These are the ways I save money allowing me to stay at deluxe resorts from time to time. My next trip will be at Pop to keep my budget in check!

  • by Glenn B from Alabama on March 23, 2011, at 9:41 am EST

    Thank you for this article. I enjoyed reading it. Theses types of articles help me 1). Keep that Disney feeling alive and burning as someone who doesn’t get to go often, and 2) feel like I actually know what its like to stay in a deluxe resort–or any resort for that matter that I may never get to stay in.

    • Thanks so much, Glen! I think all of us here at touringplans try to keep the Disney World spirit alive and well between visits even though we go frequently so we’re glad we can help other people do the same. I hope you get to stay somewhere you’ve been dreaming about on your next trip!

  • We stayed at the Beach Club a couple of years ago. We thought it to be an ok resort. The swimming area was great. We were not impressed with the Grab & Go (counter service) or seating. If I were to say here again, I’d pay the extra for club level.

    • Thanks for the insight, Karen. You’re right there isn’t really an area to sit if you get food at the counter service here unless you venture outside. Club level doesn’t sound like such a bad idea :) Thanks for the insight!

  • Love the Beach Club! We are staying there again in April. I agree with the above post….The Marketplace is lacking. But, other than that, It’s wonderful….but I may a little bias since I’m from New England! :-) Thanks, Kristen!

    • I’m glad you like the Beach Club so much! I hope you have a lovely stay in April. That should be prime time to enjoy Stormalong Bay! I think I may be biased toward the Boardwalk since my family has a house on the Jersey Shore so I totally understand! Thanks for reading and for commenting!

  • Being from New England i had never stayed at the Beach Club until recently. So many other resort choices that didn’t look like where i live to try first. But really enjoyed my stay. The best part is how close it is to Epcot & of course Stormalong Bay. Would stay here again and could justify the price more than i can at the MK resorts.

    • Thanks for the comment, Doug! I’m glad you had a good time at the Beach Club. I obviously agree about the value in walking to Epcot. For me, it can’t be beat. I think your awesome roommates must have had some influence on your stay… just saying. Thanks again!

  • I would love to stay at the Beach Club one of these years. Being able to just walk into World Showcase is such a great amenity. Plus, we love the character breakfast at Cape May and after our last trip, we are now fans of Beaches and Cream’s Kitchen Sink. We are a family of 5 with my youngest just turning three, so I am thinking that we may be staying at this hotel on a near future trip! Thanks for the great review!

    • I’ll be discussing Cape May Cafe next week! Being able to walk to Epcot is really great. I’d say I spend a majority of my time in World Showcase so being so close is really priceless to me. I hope your family gets to experience this lovely resort! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • I’ve been debating between Boardwalk and Beach Club. I wasn’t sure how much closer Epcot is to the resort or how much better the pool is at BC vs BW. I’ve been in both lobbys and really like the theme / feel of BW but I wonder about the pool / walking distance factor. What do you think? Ever stay at Boardwalk?

    • The Boardwalk is my favorite resort. They both have their positive attributes. The pool is certainly better at Beach, but there is a fun slide at Boardwalk as well. It is a little bit of a further walk from Boardwalk, but it’s really not so bad. It really just depends on your personal preferences. The Boardwalk feels very homey for me since I spend a lot of time on the Jersey Shore, but I also love the setting at Beach. It’s hard to pick which one to go with, really. I think you’d enjoy either one and should just go with your gut. Let me know how it goes!

  • Thanks for the timely article! My family is going to be staying at the Beach Club in May. I agonized over whether or not I should just go with Boardwalk again since we love it so much, but ultimately chose to try the Beach Club for a new experience. Looks like I won’t be disappointed and neither will my water loving kids!

    • I’d love to hear how it goes with comparison to BW – having that same internal debate :)

    • Oh good! It’s always nice when I match up with someone’s schedule. I love the Boardwalk too, and it still wins out over Beach for me, but that’s just me. I certainly enjoyed the Beach Club and I like experiencing new resorts too. I definitely don’t regret picking it over the Boardwalk. I hope your family has a wonderful stay!

  • We stayed at the Beach Club for 13 nights a couple years ago, before, during, and after my daughter’s wedding. It’s home now, never want to stay anywhere else!

  • Love your article! We’ve planned a September trip, and decided to do a split stay — 4 nights at Bay Lake Tower and 5 nights at the Beach Club Villas (DVC members). I’m SO excited about this trip. First half we get to walk to the Magic Kingdom, and then the second half walk to EPCOT. We have a three year old so the convenience of walking will be great. Is Hollywood Studios within walking distance too? Or is that too far for walking?

    • Thanks, Amy! The walk from the Contemporary to MK is great too! You guys are planning it right if you ask me! The walk is doable, but it might be a bit long especially with kids in tow. I’ve done it to and from the Boardwalk and between Epcot several times. Like Tom said, if it’s hot it’s awful. But it is usually faster than taking the boat especially if there is a sizable queue at the end of the day. I’d say its approximately (give or take) a mile from International Gateway to the Studios if that helps you. Thanks so much for the comment and reading! Enjoy your September trip!

  • Thanks for the comparison to BW! We stayed there for the first time last Junes, and loved it. Now, we want to stay at BC, but that probably won’t happen for a couple of years. The dining options and atmosphere at BC definitely seem superior to us, but that’s obviously a YMMV thing.

    To the person who asked about walking to DHS – I would say it is possible, but whether you want to do it depends upon personal preferences and time of year. In June, we did it and it was terrible. In September it likely wouldn’t be so bad. You can typically make better time by walking than by taking the Friendship boats, unless a boat is already at the dock.

    • Hi Tom! Quick service dining is superior at Beach for sure. But there are more table service options at Boardwalk for sure, some of which are pretty darn tasty. And with everything being so close in the Epcot area it’s easy to take a nice stroll over to one of the other resorts to eat if you so desire.

      I’m sure you guys will enjoy the Beach Club when you get to stay there. Be sure sure set aside some time for Stormalong Bay since it is so unique to the Beach and Yacht Clubs. I think Boardwalk will always be my favorite, but I’m willing to be proven wrong.

  • I stayed at the Beach Club in October 2009 for 15 nights and am going back in May this year for 13 nights. Since I am a visitor from the UK, we generally stay for about a fortnight and spend a good chunk of each day relaxing – so the Beach Club was ideal.
     
    I know it’s crazy expensive but with the cost of flights and everything else, I could afford once a year to the Value resorts or every 18 months to a deluxe. For me this is a no-brainer but I do appreciate that the value resorts will suit some.
     
    I agree that the Marketplace is a little sparse in offerings and you have to be a little lucky & clever to get a good room view; on all other measures though I loved it and cannot wait to return in 55 days 8:o)

    • Wow that sounds like a great vacation! I hope you enjoy your upcoming trip as well. I like to mix it up between deluxe resorts and more affordable options since I go to WDW so often. Most of the time when I stay in a value resort I’m only there to sleep anyway. I do find myself forcing myself to hang out at the resort and relax from time to time when I’m paying for fancier digs.

      Have fun on your next trip!

  • by Chris O'Connor on March 27, 2011, at 7:43 am EST

    Great article, Kristen! I love the Boardwalk but have never stayed at the Beach Club nor eaten at any of its restaurants. I will have to do this one of these days!

    How about the Yacht Club? Have you ever stayed there? I’ve always found it curious that Disney sort of lumped these neighboring resorts into one. It seems that many people prefer one to the other.

  • Great story! We have two young kids (4&6) and thought our experience at the Polynesian could never be topped, but after our stay at the Beach Club in February we have a new favorite. The location with a short walk to Epcot is great, the pool amazing, and the room was light and spacious. Cape May was fantastic- both the character breakfast and seafood buffet. we definitely hope to come back again!

  • Thanks so much for the wonderful article. I’m planning a return to WDW for August 2012, and we’re anticipating swtitching to the Beach Club from the Poly. My 11 year old daughter saw a map of Stormalong Bay and spent an entire day saying “I can’t believe the pool has a MAP!”

  • We’re heading to BCV for Labor Day weekend and I cannot wait!! The pool is our main draw, but I am also looking forward to the trappings of a deluxe resort and easy access to Epcot.