Disney's Beach Club Resort: Review
One of the most picturesque hotels at Walt Disney World, is Disney’s Beach Club Resort. The plush lobby welcomes you with the scent of sea and sand. You feel transported to a turn of the century New England beach side hotel. This property is stunning, and features quite a few amenities that add to it’s already beautiful accommodations.
Here at Magical Adventure Co., picking out where to stay is part of the fun of planning a Walt Disney World adventure! Though every explorer has different needs when booking their stay, it’s best to weigh a few options: Theming, Price, Food and Drink, Transportation, and Pool.
Disney’s Beach Club Resort provides a quiet, relaxing respite from the hustle and bustle of the parks. It harkens back to a time when many New Englanders escaped to a calming, upscale beach side getaway. This seaside themed resort even sits on Crescent Lake, which adds a sandy beachfront experience! The community of properties around the lake consist of Boardwalk Inn, which sits across the lake from Beach Club, as well as Yacht Club, which is Beach Club’s next door neighbor. Don’t let the neighbors dissuade you! This peaceful community with shared themes rarely is overcrowded.
The muted colors used in the decor, as well as the soft music playing in the lobby add to this slice of paradise. Don’t miss the seahorse chandelier and sconces in the lobby! However, the overall theme of this resort is very elegant without being beach-kitschy. This is definitely not a beach house that you visited with your grandma!
When booking hotel accommodations, WDW divides its properties based on price range. Beach Club is considered a Deluxe Resort Hotel. What that means is it is about $400+/night to stay at one of these high level hotels. Additionally, this means the amenities (size of room, service, etc.) are about on par with a Hilton or Marriott.
In the adventures we have been on, we have found that WDW’s deluxe options do vary from property to property. What is exceptional about booking at Beach Club is you usually can get a balcony with a garden view for a great price for this property. Water view is available, and overlooks Crescent Lake. You also might be able to get a view of Disney's Boardwalk Inn.
The biggest perk of this resort is that it is within walking distance to the International Gateway/World Showcase entrance of EPCOT. Being within walking distance to this entrance is a huge advantage when getting to park for opening, or for heading back out after a long day for dinner reservations at Le Cellier or to scout out a good spot for evening fireworks.
In addition to your proximity to EPCOT, Beach Club also offers two transportation options for Hollywood Studios, the new Disney Skyliner and the Crescent Lake boats. You can board the skyliner from the EPCOT International Gateway entrance. However, you will have to change lines at the Carribean Beach hub and transfer to the Hollywood Studios line. Meaning that this route may take a little longer during busy times. Boats depart from the Yacht Club lighthouse and make for a pleasant trip. You can also always walk to and from Hollywood Studios. While it can be a picturesque stroll along the river, it is about a mile so be warned!
As with all Disney resorts, complimentary bus transportation is provided between the resorts and theme parks at WDW. You will need to catch the bus for your visits to Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Don't forget, Disney's Magical Express is complimentary and your best option for getting to and from Orlando International Airport when staying in any Disney hotel. While it may take a little longer, the convenience of checked bag delivery all the way to your room and always friendly Disney service is well worth your time.
Food and Drink
On to the favorite, nay, the best part of Beach Club: the food! Because of Beach Club’s connection to Yacht Club and to its neighbor across the lake, Boardwalk Inn, there are quite a few options to try when adventuring here! But today, we’ll cover the options that are directly connected to Beach Club.
Beach Club Marketplace is a little store that has hot breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. It doesn’t have much seating, only a sparse amount of tables outside the shop. However, snagging a delicious and budget friendly meal from this spot and then enjoying it poolside adds to the beachside feel of this resort.
Cape May Cafe is the sit down seafood dinner buffet at Beach Club. We know what you’re thinking: seafood and buffet doesn’t really spell an appetizing experience. Outside of Disney World, you would be completely right. But remember, Disney takes an otherwise unappealing experience, sprinkles pixie dust, and voila - you find yourself enjoying a seafood buffet #thingsIneverthoughtIwouldsay
This is a very popular dinner spot, due to the food (gimme those snow crab legs!), and proximity to EPCOT for a post-dinner fireworks viewing. Making dinner reservations as far out as you can is highly recommended. We’ve occasionally been able to snag a reservation the day or week prior, but otherwise it is very hard to come by. Additionally, we suggest making sure that you’re sitting in the main dining area (it’s where the beach umbrellas are). There is a dining area off to the side that is a bit further away from the main area, and to be honest: it’s a depressing room. Our Chief Magical Officer and Chief Adventure Officer speak from first hand experience!
Cape May Cafe has a breakfast buffet in the morning, however it is a character dining experience. Unless you have little explorers in your travel party, we suggest skipping it.
Beaches & Cream Soda Shop is an adorable burger and ice cream stop that is next to Beach Club’s expansive pool. This recently renovated boardwalk-style casual dining experience is well-themed to match its neighbors. This is also a very popular stop, so reservations are highly encouraged. However, if you’d rather get an ice cream and sit by the pool or take a stroll around the boardwalk, there is a to-go window with limited dessert options, such as ice cream, shakes, malts, etc. If you have a group of 4 or more in your party, we highly recommend getting a Kitchen Sink. This famed dessert is, you guessed it: everything and the kitchen sink! Served in a mini kitchen sink, this dessert comes out with fanfare to alert the whole restaurant that you are about to enjoy something special. While the Kitchen Sink and dessert menu are the most popular portions of the menu, the burgers and sandwiches are delicious, making it a great lunch or dinner spot.
Beach Club’s Stormalong Bay pool is one of the best across Walt Disney World properties. This sandy bottom pool consists of a lazy river, beach entry, a whirlpool, and the famous Flying Jib slide. Guys, this slide is not messing around. It is 230 feet long and so fun. But hang on to your sunglasses (RIP to a pair of ours that was never to be seen again). What’s really great about this pool, is that you don’t realize how many people are there. With a wide variety of seating areas, and the wide expanse of the 3 acre pool area, you really don’t bump into many people.
Another perk is that there is a full bar and restaurant right off of the pool: Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar & Grill. Worried about sitting on the upper deck of the tower and having to lumber back down to order? No problem! Hurricane Hanna’s offers poolside wait staff so you don’t have to interrupt your fun in the sun to get another Frose or bacon cheeseburger!
The biggest draw back of this resort is how expensive it is. You can occasionally find deals or discounts for this resort, so keep a weather eye out! However, if your budget allows you to stay multiple days at Beach Club, the perks are a valuable add to any stay. Additionally, this is a smaller resort. Much like Disney’s Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter, it is recommended booking your stay well in advance (9 to 12 months) due to the resort’s size and popularity.
This is one of Magical Adventure Co.’s favorite places to stay. The theming, proximity to parks, ease of transportation, and relaxing amenities have added to our previous stays. Our best advice if your budget won’t allow a full stay at Beach Club is to add a two night stay at the end of your next adventure to Walt Disney World. You can begin to relax and wind down from a great trip to the most magical place on earth, while enjoying the ease of a seaside resort from the past.