We are beginning a new series taking a comprehensive look at all of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels. There will be several posts on each resort looking at pools, dining, shopping, and other amenities.
The Beach and Yacht Club Resorts are located along the banks of Crescent Lake, which itself is adjacent to the International Gateway of Epcot. Beach Club is the closest resort to Epcot with Yacht Club attached to the Beach Club at its western end.
There are many transportation options available at the Beach and Yacht Club Resorts. One of the more beneficial traits is that there are several locations within walking distance. Epcot’s International Gateway, which is in World Showcase in between the UK and France pavilions, is a short walk away. If visiting other resorts is of interest, the Boardwalk Inn, Swan, and Dolphin are each very nearby, also along Crescent Lake. The other resorts can be reached by walking along the boardwalk in front of the Beach and Yacht Club that forms a loop with the Boardwalk Inn. Although a longer walk, about three quarters of a mile, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is also accessible via an even and well lit walking path.
A second option for traversing the distance to Epcot and Hollywood Studios is the Friendship Boats. These boats sail from Hollywood Studios to the Swan and Dolphin, Beach and Yacht, Boardwalk, and Epcot, then return along the reverse path. While the boats are not always faster than walking they do save tired feet. The boats can be boarded at the lighthouse that sits at the end of a pier opposite the entrance to the Yacht Club. If you are traveling from the Beach Club to Epcot, walking west to the pier, down the pier, boarding the boat, stopping at the Boardwalk, and sailing back east to the International Gateway will often take longer than simply walking to Epcot.
Should you wish to visit The Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, or Downtown Disney buses are available in front of each resort. The Yacht Club buses are found on the opposite side of the entrance portico from the Lobby. The buses servicing the Beach Club are nearer the parking lot, which are across the entrance portico and over a footbridge. Many buses will stop at both resorts and occasionally another resort such as the Boardwalk on their way to the park.
The final transportation option is to drive your own car. The parking areas for the Beach and Yacht Clubs are almost identical large lots. It is not possible to park near to your room at either resort so you must walk across the small river that runs between the resorts and the parking areas to access your car. Valet parking is also available at both resorts if that is preferable.
For those looking for extra activities, the Beach and Yacht Club Resorts have a multitude of options. Along the boardwalk that runs in front of the resorts, bicycles and boats are both available for rent. Bicycles made exploring the nearby resorts easy for only about $9 per hour and the boats allow for a relaxing journey around Crescent Lake. Small boats can be rented for as little as $24 per half hour or, if you have a party of up to 10, pontoon boats can be found for $42 per half hour.
The Bayside Marina is also where special excursions can be found. An Albatross Treasure Cruise, much like a pirate-themed adventure, will escort children ages 4-10 around Crescent Lake looking for “treasure” for about $28 plus tax. Catch and release fishing trips can also be arranged at the marina as well as cruises that include food and beverage packages. Fishing excursions cost $270 for a two hour tour and $455 for four hours while the specialty cruises have varying prices depending on what type of package is arranged.
Also near the boardwalk in front of the Beach Club is a beach volleyball court and, near the water slide, table tennis, billiards, and foosball tables are found. A tennis court is available at the far end of the Yacht Club for those who are fans of the hardcourt. There is also an arcade and health club on property, although the health club proper is under renovation at this writing and is temporarily in the Beach Club Solarium. For the kids and kids-at-heart there is an arcade on site very near the usual spot of the health club.
On the beach to the east of the waterslide, which is easily found as it is shaped like a sunken ship, is where two very nice nighttime activities are located. At 7pm nightly guests can participate in a Campfire Sing-a-long followed at 8:30pm by a movie on the beach. Both events are complimentary and do not require a reservation.
For those who find the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts romantic enough to commit forever, there is a wedding gazebo situated toward the west end of the Yacht Club. Surrounded by flowers with a view opening toward the lighthouse and lake, there are far less pretty places in which to ‘tie the knot.’