Disney Beach Club Deluxe Resort Hotel Review and Information

by josh on April 11, 2010

Wondering how the Beach Club Resort stacks up against the other Disney World Deluxe Resorts? Check out The Best Disney World Deluxe Resorts for a comparison of the eight Deluxes in a variety of categories including Best Layout, Best Dining, Best Transportation, Best Location, Best Rooms, Best Pool, and Best Overall Deluxe Resort.

Address:

1800 Epcot Resorts Boulevard

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-1000

Direct Phone: 1- 407-934-8000, Fax: 1-407-934-3850, General Reservations: 1-407-WDISNEY (1-407-934-7639)

Resort Class: The Beach Club is a Deluxe resort, the most expensive resort type.  There are nine different room, concierge, suite, and view configurations with prices ranging from $340 per night for a Standard Room with a Standard View during Value Season all the way up to $2,610 per night for the Newport Presidential Suite during Holiday Season.  There are two available views for Standard Rooms.  Standard View rooms have a view of the parking lot, roof, or garden and cost between $340 during Value Season and $550 during Holiday Season.  Water or Pool View rooms have a view of Crescent Lake or the resort’s quiet pool and cost between $420 and $615 per night.  Club Level with Concierge Service starts at $470 per night.

Location: The Beach Club is to Epcot what the Contemporary Resort is to the Magic Kingdom.  In other words, the Beach Club is within an easy ten minute walk of Epcot’s World Showcase entrance (also known as the International Gateway).  In addition, the Beach Club is just a quick boat ride away from the Hollywood Studios, within walking distance of the Swan and Dolphin Resorts, within walking distance of the Boardwalk with its restaurants and activities, and within walking distance of its sister resort, the Yacht Club.  Guests can also walk directly to the Hollywood Studios, but that is about a 20 minute walk.  The Beach Club sits on man-made Crescent Lake and features a beautiful beach.

Size: With only 576 rooms, the Beach Club is one of the smallest Disney resorts.  All rooms in the Beach Club are inside one building that stands five stories high.  The walk to the lobby or bus stop should not exceed ten minutes from even the most remote rooms.

Room Amenities and Quality:  Most of the Standard rooms are about 380 square feet and can accommodate up to five people.  This is about 70 feet larger than Moderate rooms and 40-60 feet smaller than Standard rooms at the Monorail Deluxes.  Rooms come with all of the Deluxe amenities including: small table, two chairs, ceiling fan, internet access ($10 per 24 hours), 32” LCD television, small safe, telephone, hairdryer, iron, ironing board, alarm clock, coffeemaker, refrigerator, bathroom with double sinks, shower/bathtub combo, toilet, and mirror.  There are a number of possible bed configurations.  Your room will either have one queen bed and one day bed, two queen beds and no day bed, two queen beds and one day bed, one king bed and no day bed, or one king bed and one day bed.   I would note your preference when you make your reservation and follow up with the resort by phone or fax about three days before your stay.  Unlike the Yacht Club, not all rooms have balconies or patios.

The Beach Club completed a room refurbishment project at the end of 2008.  All rooms were upgraded with new beds, linens, televisions, and furnishings.  The rooms are tastefully decorated in “salmon” and light green with a beach club themed bedspread, headboard, and decent wooden furniture.  The rooms are not as elegantly themed as the Grand Floridian or as modern as the Contemporary, but they are relatively large and laid out well.  Housekeeping is also excellent at both the Yacht Club and Beach club, which is even more important than fancy furniture or artwork.

Theme and Layout: The Beach Club is styled to look like a New England seaside beach resort at the turn of the 20th century.  The familiar architecture, coupled with the pleasant soft blue and white color palette, makes the Beach Club one of the most aesthetically pleasing resorts to look at from the outside.  However, the inside of the resort is not particularly awe-inspiring, with minimal details and a smaller than average lobby and check-in area.  The lobby is also busy during meal time because the entrance to the popular Cape May restaurant is located inside of it.

Unlike most other Disney resorts, all of the guestrooms are located in one building.  The advantage is that the walk from your room to the main building or bus stop will be primarily inside and air-conditioned.  The downside is that rooms near the end of either wing are about 10 minutes away from the bus stop, which is above average for a Deluxe.  In addition, the guestrooms are down halls that are somewhat maze-like in nature.  It’s not just a single hallway with rooms on either side.  All of the twists and turns can be confusing, but it shouldn’t be too difficult for most guests to find their way.  The resort shares many of its amenities with the Yacht Club, including its feature pool, counter service restaurant, and marina.  Although the marina is officially “shared,” it’s much closer to the Yacht Club and guests will have to walk five to ten minutes to get on the boat.

Generally speaking, the Beach Club is considered to be more “kid-friendly” and relaxed than the Yacht Club and you will see more families staying here.  Considering the prices, size, and themes are similar, there really isn’t much of a difference between the two.  Nonetheless, for one reason or another, families tend to prefer the Beach Club and adult couples or families with older children tend to stay at the Yacht Club.  Both resorts welcome kids and adults just the same and you shouldn’t feel out of place no matter which resort you choose.

Pool: Stormalong Bay, the feature pool complex that the Beach Club shares with the Yacht Club, is far and away the best pool area of any resort at Disney World.  Stormalong is a three acre, 750,000+ gallon water park, complete with an authentic sand bottom pool, several water slides, a lazy river for tubing, kiddie pools, and a life-size pirate shipwreck.   Guests are required to show their resort key card to gain entry, so there are no “pool hoppers” from other resorts.  If you’ve ever been to the Polynesian then you know how crowded the Volcano Pool can get when people who don’t belong fill it up.  In addition, there is a quiet pool on the other side of the resort that’s available for swimmers who would rather enjoy a more relaxing swim.

Transportation: Arguably, the Beach Club has the best location of any resort at Disney World (along with the Yacht Club and BoardWalk Inn).  While it’s difficult to rate it above the Monorail Resorts, it’s true that the Yacht Club is less than a ten minute walk to Epcot, less than a ten minute boat ride away from the Hollywood Studios, and within walking distance of the Swan resort, Dolphin resort, Yacht Club resort, Boardwalk, and Boardwalk Inn resort.  It’s the perfect location for anyone planning several meals at Epcot or those who enjoy the Hollywood Studios.  It’s not particularly far from the Animal Kingdom or Magic Kingdom either.  The downside is that there is no bus transportation to the front entrance of Epcot so guests will need to enter from the International Gateway, nearest to the World Showcase.

The times below are calculated after the bus or boat leaves for its final destination.

Hollywood Studios by Boat: about 15 minutes (including the wait for Swan and Dolphin guests to board)

Hollywood Studios by Walkway: about 20 minutes

Epcot by Foot: about 10 minutes

Epcot by Boat: about 15 minutes (including additional stops)

Animal Kingdom: about 15 minutes

Magic Kingdom: about 20 minutes

Best Rooms: As you are probably aware, Disney charges more for “view upgrades,” like a lake or garden view instead of a parking lot view.  The problem is that their definition of a “water view” is a view of any body of water, including a swimming pool or hot tub.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t consider my condo in Las Vegas to have a “beautiful view of the water” because there’s a community swimming pool in the middle of it.  Water View rooms can cost as much as $100 more per night.  Since you won’t be able to guarantee what room you will be assigned until you check in at the resort, Water Views are in essence a $100+ per night gamble that you won’t be stuck on the second floor of the resort looking out at a kiddie pool.  This is the primary reason why I rarely recommend paying to upgrade to a better view.  You just don’t know what you’re going to get.

I bring this up now because the Beach Club offers a surprisingly few number of rooms with an actual view of Crescent Lake, considering the resort was built right on top of it.  Of those rooms with a view, many either don’t have balconies or have an extremely small balcony.  Paying $70+ per night to upgrade to a room with a view of a quiet pool and no balcony seems a little silly to me, so I wouldn’t recommend upgrading until you get to the resort and see what’s available.  Remember, even if you know what rooms are the best and request them, you aren’t guaranteed to be put there.

The best rooms at the Beach Club, with full balcony and a lake view, are: 2641, 2643, 2645, 2647, 3501, 3503, 3505, 3507, 3509, 3511, 3683, 3685, 3687, 3689, 3691, 3725, 3737, 3729, 3731, 3733, 3735, 3777, 3739, 3741, 3743, 3745, 3747, 3749, 3751, 3753, 3755, 3757, 3759, 3761, 3763, 3765, 3767, 3769, 3771, 3773, 3775, 3777, 3779, 3781, 3783, 3785, 3787, 3789, 3791, 3793, 3795, 5607, 5609, 5611, 5613, 5615, 5617, 5619, 5621, 5623, 5683, 5685, 5687, 5689, 5691, 5725, 5737, 5729, 5731, 5733, 5735, 5777, 5739, 5741, 5743, 5745, 5747, 5749, 5751, 5753, 5755, 5757, 5759, 5761, 5763, 5765, 5767, 5769, 5771, 5773, 5775, 5777, 5779, 5781, 5783, 5785, 5787, 5789, 5791, 5793, 5795.

The first number is the floor number and the second three digit number is the room number.  For example, room 5785 is room number 785 on floor five.  Rooms on floor five are Concierge level and cost extra.  When requesting a room, it’s best to request what you want, rather than specific room numbers.  If upgrading to a Water or Pool View room, request a room with a full balcony that directly overlooks Crescent Lake at the time of booking and follow up with the resort directly about three days before you check-in.

On-Site Dining Options: The Beach Club features a buffet restaurant, a casual sit-down burger and ice cream parlor, a counter service with a limited menu, and a poolside counter service that isn’t usually open after 6pm.  The Beach Club Marketplace is the best spot to refill your mug and grab a quick sandwich, but there isn’t much available other than that.  Hurricane Hanna’s Grill, located near Stormalong Bay, serves hamburgers, hotdogs, sandwiches, salads, and a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic specialty drinks.  It’s okay for a quick bite, but I certainly wouldn’t plan a day around eating here.  You can also refill a mug at Hurricane Hanna’s, but the staff will fill it because there is no self-service dispenser.  Also, note that Hanna’s usually closes around 6pm.

Cape May is a Character Meal buffet for breakfast and features Minnie, Goofy, and Donald (no Mickey).  At $18.99 for adults and $10.99 for kids 3-9, it’s a relatively inexpensive Character Meal.  The selections are rather basic, but everyone should enjoy the Mickey waffles, breakfast pizza, and other traditional offerings.  Character interaction is generally above average and characters should spend enough time with your party to take photographs, sign autographs, and work their Disney magic.  Dinner has a “clam bake” theme and no characters are present.  The cost is $26.99 for adults and $12.99 for kids age 3-9, which is about average for Disney buffets.  The buffet features several seafood entrées, such as snow crab legs, peel and eat shrimp, clams with garlic butter, and Prince Edward mussels.  There is also prime rib, steak, BBQ ribs, a variety of salads, and other side dishes like corn on the cob and mashed potatoes.  The food is above average and there is a large and diverse selection so everyone should be satisfied.  The downside is that it may take longer than usual to be seated and service is not always the most attentive.  Since it’s a buffet, this means your glass might be empty for a while or old plates won’t be immediately removed.  It’s hit or miss, so you might also get an excellent server.  It depends more on how many tables the server is responsible for, rather than purposeful neglect.  Cape May is actually one of few traditional buffets I would recommend for both breakfast and dinner.  The crab legs, fried shrimp, and desserts are all excellent and everyone should find plenty of food to enjoy.  While it would be nice to have Mickey present for breakfast, I understand he can’t be everywhere.

Beaches and Cream is the resort’s casual sit-down restaurant.  It’s small, inexpensive, and wildly popular, mostly because of the fantastic ice cream selection.  Don’t be surprised if your wait time exceeds an hour.  Luckily, you can also get ice cream cones, sundaes, and milkshakes from a to-go window, so you can enjoy a limited selection without having to wait for a table.  Beaches is one of the most inexpensive sit-down restaurants at Disney, with a variety of sandwiches, burgers, and salads in the $8-$14 range.  This makes Beaches and Cream a good deal out of pocket, if you’re willing to wait, but not a terrific use of a table service credit on the Dining Plan.  The featured dessert here is the “Kitchen Sink” which is eight scoops of ice cream, a whole can of whipped cream, and some of every ice cream topping they carry.  It costs $23.99 and would probably be best to share (although I don’t judge if you want to try to consume it yourself).  The other desserts are fantastic as well, but I’m not sure I would wait the hour plus it takes to be seated unless it was late at night and I had nowhere else to be.

Full reviews coming soon.

Best For: Those who plan to spend considerable time at the resort enjoying Stormalong Bay, the beaches, and watercraft rentals.  People who want to take advantage of the Beach Club’s location within walking distance of Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Yacht Club, Swan, Dolphin, and Boardwalk.

Worst For: Those on a budget.  People that don’t swim, don’t plan to take advantage of the location and dining options, or have children that will not appreciate the theme.

Summary of Key Points The Beach Club’s location is one of the most convenient at Disney World, which is a key advantage if you plan to spend a lot of time enjoying what Epcot has to offer.  The rooms have been recently renovated, and while not particularly eye-popping, are themed tastefully and housekeeping is usually excellent.  All of the guestrooms are in one building, which makes walks through the resort more pleasant when the weather is poor outside.  The downside is that rooms at the end of the wings are relatively far away from the restaurants and main lobby.  Also, rooms sometimes have an odd bed configuration.  Some rooms have daybeds while others do not.  It’s best to request a daybed if it’s a feature you want or need at the time of reservation and follow up with the resort directly via phone or fax three or so days before you’re scheduled to check in.  Finally, many of the “Water or Pool” view rooms do not have a view that justifies the increased cost.  See above for rooms with the best view, but since it isn’t possible to guarantee the room you will be staying in until you arrive, paying for the upgrade is a gamble.  You might want to hold off until you check in and see what rooms are available before you commit to the costly upgrade.

Other than its location, the resort’s key asset is its feature pool complex, Stormalong Bay.  Stormalong is like no other resort pool area at Disney World and probably one of the best resort pool complexes in the United States.  Spanning three acres and filled with over 750,000 gallons of water, Stormalong offers several pools, water slides, Jacuzzis, kiddie pools, and a lazy river for inner tubing.  On top of that, the pool has a sand bottom and there is a life-size replica of a ship wreck with a kiddie pool inside of it and a giant waterslide that feeds back into the main pool.  Since guests are required to show their room key to gain admittance, there are also no “pool hoppers” from other resorts unfairly hogging space like there is at the Polynesian or other popular pool areas.

The Beach Club is generally considered to be the Yacht Club’s more casual neighbor.  It’s a beautiful resort and its location and pool complex are hard to beat.  I would recommend it to any family that plans to eat several meals at Epcot and the surrounding resorts as well as spend some time relaxing and enjoying the resort’s amenities.

Overall Rank on The Best Disney World Deluxe Resorts: 3rd out of 8

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

eliza August 29, 2012 at 9:24 am

Beach club is one of my favorite resorts. I tend to like “bright, airy” decor and the BC fits the bill. I also wanted to point out that you can also walk to HS. While it is definitely further than Epcot, my sons were able to do this walk easily in 15-20 mins. Another plus is the ample eateries close by. Even though the resort itself only has 2 options, the broadwalk is right around the lake. The Broadwalk bakery is a favorite for delicious breakfast options.

Jen February 9, 2014 at 6:59 am

Love this review– I wish though these reviews had photos :)

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