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Disney's Beach Club Resort
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Reviewed October 11, 2008

My family's Disney World vacation and stay at the Beach Club couldn't have happened at a better time. We had been a week without power due to Hurricane Ike. I don't know if I was just happy to be somewhere with working lights and AC, but the Beach Club resort was amazing. I had booked the standard room. Our room was larger than I expected with a nice little balcony. There was a partial view of the lake and Boardwalk from our room (see the photo). The room was clean when we arrived and mousekeeping staff did a fantastic job cleaning the rrom everyday of our stay. Nice little touch with a Mickey shaped towel on the bed when we arrived. All of the staff that I encounted during my stay was informative and very Disney-like with excitement.

The Stormalong Bay pool is definitely the highlight of the hotel. The sand bottom pool was great for my 3 year old who could easily stand and walk across the pool on his own. He is totally obsessed with pirates and was thrilled with the Pirate Ship slide.

The other great benefit to the Boardwalk hotels is the location. It was a 5 minute walk to epcot and a boat ride to Hollywood Studios. The boat was a problem after the Fantasmic show was over. The line was really long. We opted to walk back to the hotel which was about 15 minutes.

The Magic Express transportation to and from the airport was easy. However, they tell you that your luggage should arrive within 3 hours, but it was more like 6 hours! I made sure to pack our swimsuits in a carry-on so we could enjoy the pool that day we arrived.

The only negative to our stay was that there was a water leak in our room on the second day of our stay. The carpet near the bathroom was soaked. The front desk gave us an upgraded room on the same floor when we were required to change rooms. But they were very nice about the situation and sent someone to help us move our luggage. This is the only reason I am giving the hotel a 4 instead of a 5.

Highly recommend this hotel! Absolutely beautiful!

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank houkris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2008

We have stayed at many of Disney World's resorts and The Beach Club is our favorite! the service is wonderful the resort should be in a different class than the others! The pool are amazing! the decor is beautiful and the resort smells of the sea air!

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank seenewthings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2008

I spent a week at Disney’s Beach Club Resort August 14-22, 2008 for a combination family vacation and research as a travel agent for Dream Makers Vacation Services. My first impression of the resort was absolutely beautiful. From the moment we stepped off the Magical Express bus, it was as if we had stepped back in time to a New England beach resort, complete with sandy beach and washed up pirate shipwreck…which we later discovered was the pool slide!

We were instantly greeted by a very courteous cast member who took our name, gave us a quick tour of the lobby – including the cartoon area where the kids could wait while we were checked in. Check in was very quick and they even noticed that it my older son’s birthday was coming up and gave him a “Happy Birthday” button (which he proudly wore the whole week). The concierge took our carry on bags that we had in tow and we were off to Epcot! [With Magical Express, you are sent special luggage tags prior to your trip. Then you check your luggage at your home airport and it is delivered to your room at your Walt Disney World Resort. There is no waiting at baggage claim. If you are traveling with children, the complimentary service will be a highlight of your trip!]

Location

The Beach Club Resort is one of the Epcot resorts at Walt Disney World. It is connected to the Yacht Club and is across the lagoon from The Boardwalk Inn. It is located within walking distance to the World Showcase entrance to Epcot. This alone is one of the greatest perks of this resort! It’s a real treat to be walking back to your resort with the Illuminations Fireworks bursting over you and reflecting in the lagoon.

The Beach Club is considered a Deluxe Resort in Disney’s categories. The resort also has the Beach Club Villas, which are in the Deluxe Villa Resort category.

Cast Members

If you are familiar with Disney, you know that all of the individuals who work there are called Cast Members. The most famous cast member at the Beach Club is Art the Greeter. He is the most pleasant person you will ever meet and greets every guest with a joyous welcome! (picture)

Rooms

There are two parts to the Beach Club Resort and the Beach Club and the Beach Club Villas. We stayed in a Standard View Studio that overlooked the smaller, “quiet” pool. The room was beautifully decorated in soft beach tones and had a queen bed and a sleeper sofa. It also had a mini-kitchen with a refrigerator, microwave, toaster, small sink and kitchen necessities. There was a large vanity area and a separate room with the toilet and shower. The extra space in the studio, which is slightly larger than the standard hotel room, was a real benefit. Our first floor room had a small patio that led right to the walkway to the quiet pool, which we enjoyed several times!

Pool

Another highlight of staying at the Beach Club and Yacht Club is admission to Stormalong Bay. Stormalong Bay is the largest sand bottomed pool in the world. The bottom of the pool is layered with wonderful, soft sand that is brought in from Arizona! The water complex includes a lazy river, with a gentle current that allows you swim along. Water tubes can be rented at an extra charge. There is a zero entry area with a sand beach that never gets deeper than a couple feet for the younger members.

There are several hot tubs tucked away in the rocks surround the pool. There is even a current pool, where you can go around and around in a small area pushed along by the current. By far, the most amazing part of Stormalong Bay is the Pirate Slide. (picture). To enter the slide, you actually leave the pool area and take a quick walk across the walkway leading to Epcot. This two minute walk leads you the steps of the pirate ship. Once you climb the first set of steps, you will discover another small, shallow pool, complete with a small slide for the younger adventurers in the family. For those who are a little more adventurous, you begin the climb up another staircase, to a spiral staircase that takes you to the top of the Pirate Ship’s lookout. This is the top of the slide. You start by going through a long enclosed tube that shoots you right over top of that walkway you just crossed and then come out only to wind your way through the shipwreck and the “havoc” of rocks it created on the “beach”. It is a really cool slide!

When entering the Stormalong Bay area you will be asked to show your room key and be given a wristband. This pool is very popular and the cast members do a great job at making sure that it is enjoyed by the guests who are staying at the Beach and Yacht clubs.

Water Sports

The Beach Club Resort is located on a lake that connects Epcot with the Epcot Resorts and then Hollywood Studios. Just out in front of the Yacht Club is Bayside Marina, a water craft rental station. There you can rent a pontoon boat, canopy boat or even a Mercury Water Mouse or book a specialty cruise!

Dining

There are many dining options located both in the Beach Club resort, the Yacht Club, the Boardwalk Inn and the boardwalk area outside it and of course Epcot is just minutes away.

One of the most famous eateries at the Beach Club is a small soda shop, called Beaches and Cream. (picture) Known for its sandwiches and burgers, but mostly for its AMAZING ice cream concoctions, seats are in high demand! We had a 45 minute wait one evening, but it proved to be well worth it. [It doesn’t hurt that the Lafferty Place Arcade is right next door. There were lots of parents enjoying quiet conversation while waiting for Beaches and Cream tables while the kids were having a blast in the Arcade!] The décor of the shop is everything you would expect from a soda shop done right: gleaming counter top, small tables, smiling servers and shiny glasses just waiting to be filled with yummy ice cream. We all ordered large sundaes and they were fantastic. I had a “No Way Jose” that was chocolate ice cream with peanut butter sauce, hot fudge, chocolate chunks and lots of whipped cream! We even got to witness several families ordering what is called the “kitchen sink”. It actually comes in a small sink. It has a mound of ice cream scoops, loads of toppings, whipped cream, sprinkles, sauces and cherries…and as many spoons as you need.

Other restaurants at the Beach Club include:

Beach Club Grill – Clam Bake/Seafood buffet at night, Character Breakfast Buffet in the morning, located just off the main Beach Club Lobby

Hurricane Hannah’s – Burgers and Sandwiches located by the pool

Marketplace – small snack items, made to order breakfast sandwiches (my husband thought these were great), made to order granola parfaits (which were delicious and my personal favorite) and various other staples. Located in the lobby

Room Service is available to all resort rooms.

There are several excellent dining choices at the Yacht Club as well, but more about that in my next review!

Sandcastle Club

Disney is a great place for families, there is no doubt! However, there are times in every family vacation, where everyone (read..parents and kids) could use a little space! We decided to check out the Sandcastle Club for our two boys for an evening. We checked them in at 6 pm., upon which we were introduced to all of the cast members who would be supervising the children that evening. The Club area looked like something out of every kid’s biggest dream. There was one whole wall of arcade games and gaming systems – with very appropriate games, I might add! The far wall was full of toys, puzzles, board games and fun looking things. There was an art station full of craft supplies. There was a movie room (fully lit) that had the Lion King playing and lots of bean bags. Finally there was an eating area off to the side with a hand washing sink.

We were given a menu from which the kids could order dinner and pick the time it would be served. My guys thought that was really great. We then complete a form with our cell phone numbers, where we planned to go, what time we expected to be back and if there was anything else we thought they needed to know about our kids to make sure they had a great time. Finally we were handed a pager that would be used if one of boys needed us and told to have a great evening. When we came back several hours later, the boys asked if they could come back every night. The cost is $11 per hour, per child and includes dinner for the children!

Transportation

Transportation to all the Disney Parks is available through buses and watercraft. To travel to Epcot or Hollywood Studios we had the option of walking or taking one of the Friendship Boats to each of the parks.

Bus transportation to all of the other parks, including water parks and Downtown Disney, was available at the front of the resort. Our wait times were never long and there was always a cast member there to monitor lines and make sure the right busses were on their way!

A Couple of Other Things…

There is a great workout facility called Ship Shape Health club, located close to Stormalong Bay.

Overall Recommendation

I have stayed at many Walt Disney Resorts and this ranks among my favorites. The cast members were very friendly and ready to help at a moments notice. I should note that we were there during Tropical Storm Faye. I was incredibly impressed by the level of communication we received about operational changes and emergency information. While there were no major alterations, other than Illuminations being cancelled one evening, we received several voice mails with park hour changes and offers of assistance if we encountered any problems due to weather.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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5  Thank ahorst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2008

We stayed at the BC for the first time in August. We have stayed at the Poly, Wilderness lodge, Corranado, Floridian, Swan and Port Orleans B4. We compare this to the Poly (which is our favorite) as second best. Yes better than the Floridian, which we felt was overrated for the money.

We booked our package with the free dining plan. The best deal ever given out by Disney in my opinion.

Pluses for the BC, Location, so much to do during the day and at night. There is Epcot and Studios, Boardwalk and the resort itself.
Kids loved the movie on the beach every night, parents liked it too with a drink or too,

Pool was nice but in late August was not very refreshing.

Minuses, if you travel with young kids, STAY AT THE POLYNESIAN. Rides to MK are long with the Bus transportation.

Also, if you book a dining package make sure you make your reservations as soon as you can. Make many so you can cancel once you figure out where you will be on which night/day.

Disney offered free dining again to return travelers for next year so we booked again, we may cancel, we have wait and see.

STAY AT THE BC, YOU WON'T BE DISSAPOINTED.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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3  Thank disneyO8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2008

My husband and I vacationed in Walt Disney World to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. We love Disney and have been to Disney World five times in the last five years. The Beach Club has always been our favorite resort and that fact remains unchanged after this trip. We actually split our week's stay between the Polynesian and the Beach Club. We honeymooned in the Hawaiian islands, so we thought we'd give the Polynesian a try to re-create our honeymoon trip.

A bit of background about us: we are a young professional couple with no children that travels frequently. Epcot is our favorite Disney park, so the Beach Club is the most convenient resort for us. The International Gateway of the World Showcase in Epcot is literally steps from this resort.

First and foremost, I must say that I completely disagree with other reviewers that say the Polynesian is better than the Beach Club! Please see my separate review of the Polynesian. Everyone has different preferences, but the Polynesian was not for us. We were actually happy to check out and move into the Beach Club! We felt like we came "home".

For our anniversary, the Beach Club upgraded us to a club level room. The rooms were beautiful and we were on a private floor which was much quieter than the rest of the resort. The room was light, newly renovated, and had nice Disney touches. The bed linens were a nice upgrade from the last time we stayed in this resort (December 2007). We had a full balcony with a nice view of the pool and lake with a set of chairs and table. We enjoyed breakfast on our balcony every day and loved it.

Upon check-in when we learned about the upgrade, we were escorted to our room by a cast member and told about all the priviledges of the club level. It was a nice touch! We also stayed in the club building at the Poly and received no escort; we were left to find the building on our own. I have many more examples of the quality of service being better at the Beach Club than the Polynesian...too many to list! One other example is our packages bought in the theme parks were picked up by the concierges at the Beach Club and placed in our room. It was so nice to come back after a long day and have our packages waiting for us in our room! At the Polynesian, we had to pick them up ourselves (and walk to a different building, mind you).

The clientele was more our style at the Beach Club: couples, families with well-behaved children, and just more respectful people. We had no issues at all.

The selection of food and drinks in the club lounge was better at the Beach Club than the Poly. We appreciated the location of the Beach Club better, as we prefer Epcot and Hollywood Studios over the Magic Kingdom. The pool is also very large and warm at the Beach/Yacht Club and we saw many people enjoying it.

Everyone in the Disney parks, restaurants, and the Beach Club went out of their way to make our anniversary trip special. We will never forget all the great memories from this trip. We love everything about the Beach Club and will be back in December when we vacation with my in-laws. Don't let the negative reviews scare you: this is a fabulous resort! The Beach Club has always been our favorite but it took a stay at another Disney deluxe resort to really make us appreciate this place. We WILL be back and look forward to it!

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank OhioCouple15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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