Choosing my favorite Walt Disney World resort hotel is extremely difficult. Depending on plans and budget, any of the on-property hotels can be excellent for a Disney family vacation. But, given the choice of resorts, we usually choose Disney’s Beach Club Resort.
I love the fun, New England style, and nautical theme, and the location is perfect for our family. Learn more about what amenities you’ll find at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, and why it’s usually our favorite.
Disclosure: I’ve stayed at Disney’s Beach Club Resort a number of times – sometimes complimentary during press trips and other complimentary stays. I’ve also paid to stay there.
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Why Disney’s Beach Club Resort is My Favorite Resort
The Location of Disney’s Beach Club
Disney World is huge, so the location can be important. The location of Disney’s Beach Club Resort is one of the greatest benefits of staying there, in my opinion. It’s located in the Epcot resort area, right by the Boardwalk. It’s within walking distance to Epcot, the Boardwalk, the adjacent Yacht Club, and the Swan and Dolphin resorts.
In addition, if you are ambitious, you can also walk to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We always love dining at the Epcot World Showcase and enjoy the easy walk back to the Beach Club resort through the International Gateway (right in the midst of the Epcot countries of the World Showcase). You can also easily walk to the Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin, and the Yacht Club if you’d like to have a meal at any of those resorts.
To get to the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Disney Springs, bus service is available. There’s also a boat that travels to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios (as well as nearby resorts).
Like the other Disney Resorts, you can take Disney’s Magical Express from the Orlando International Airport to the resort. It’s free, but you may make other stops on the way to the hotel. You are only able to take the Magical Express to and from the resort – it doesn’t make pickups or drop off at Disney Springs or the theme parks.
Parking is also offered at the resort. There’s self-park, and valet parking available. You do have to pay a fee for overnight parking, although you do get complimentary parking when dining at the resort. If you are flying into the area, and don’t plan to leave the Walt Disney World resort, I generally recommend skipping the rental car.
The Rooms at Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Rooms at Disney’s Beach Club Resort were recently renovated, and have a clean, coastal theme. Many rooms have two queen beds, as well as a sofa bed. There’s also a small built-in with a fridge and coffee maker (which uses Cuisinart pods) as well as a hairdryer.
Free WiFi is also available. Note that when the rooms were renovated, the alarm clocks were removed. I use my iPhone as an alarm clock, but if you don’t, you may want to pick up a travel alarm clock to bring along.
Most rooms are offered with either one king bed, one king bed and a day bed, two queen beds, or two queen beds and a day bed. With a boy and a girl, it’s nice to have a separate day bed so the kids don’t have to share a room. Room views include the following:
- Standard rooms, with a view of the parking lot or resort roof
- Garden view, with a garden or woods view
- Water view, with views of Stormalong Bay, Crescent Lake, or the Quiet Pool
- Deluxe view, which is a larger room with a water view
The resort also offers club level rooms. These include standard and water view rooms, one and two-bedroom suites, and deluxe rooms. When staying in the club-level rooms, you’ll be able to visit the club lounge with refreshments served much of the day and have access to the private concierge service.
When deciding what type of room to choose, it’s a good idea to think about how much time you’ll spend in the room. While it’s great to have a good view, you may not spend enough time in the room for it to matter. I often find that it’s better to save some money on the view, and instead spend it on souvenirs or food while in the parks.
The Amenities at Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Disney’s Beach Club Resort shares some amenities with the adjacent Yacht Club resort. The top amenity, in my opinion, is the shared 3-acre pool area – Stormalong Bay water park.
Stormalong Bay features a sandy-bottom pool, a regular pool, a lazy river, three jacuzzis, and a 230-foot water slide. The whole complex is huge, and also includes activities and games that are run on a daily schedule.
Guests at other resorts aren’t allowed at Stormalong Bay – you’ll need to stay at each the Beach or Yacht Club to access it. If you are staying at Disney’s Beach Club, I definitely recommend planning at least one full afternoon at Stormalong Bay. It’s so fun and absolutely worth the time. My kids love it and have since they were little.
If you’d prefer something more low-key, there are several leisure / quiet pools on the property that you can enjoy. You may consider a different resort if you want a more quiet pool experience, however.
For those parents who’d like a dinner out, independent babysitting can be arranged. The Sandcastle Club, which used to be located in the Beach Club lobby, is no longer open, unfortunately.
The Beach Club and Yacht Club is also home to the Ship Shape Health Club, which offers fitness equipment, spa services, and salon services. If you’d like to book a treatment, it’s a good idea to do that in advance to ensure availability.
Because I generally do so much walking during my Disney vacations, I don’t usually work out too much on vacation. It is good to have the gym, however.
There are other amenities available at the Beach Club, including a gift shop where you can purchase merchandise. In addition, if you buy things in the parks that you don’t want to carry, you can have it delivered right to the resort’s gift shop.
There’s also a resort concierge in the lobby. They can assist with making dining reservations and can help with theme park plans. If you need a business center, there is one shared with the Yacht Club, which offers printing, copying, shipping, and more (additional fee applies). Complimentary WiFi is also offered in the resort rooms, common areas, and theme parks.
On property, you’ll also find tennis courts, volleyball, jogging trails, campfire activities, movies under the stars, and more. The Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf course is located nearby – across the street from the Swan and Dolphin Resorts. You can easily walk there if you decide to play mini-golf during your vacation.
The Restaurants at Disney’s Beach Club Resort
There are so many dining options if you stay at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, from the restaurants at the World Showcase to those on the Boardwalk. Here’s what you can expect to find on property:
Cafe May Cafe: This restaurant, located right off the lobby in the Beach Club, offers a Disney character breakfast each morning with Minnie and friends, dressed in their beach attire. Buffet options include standard breakfast fare like Mickey waffles, eggs, bacon, sausages, and fruit.
For dinner, you can enjoy a delicious all-you-can-eat seafood buffet. Characters aren’t at the restaurant for dinner, but it’s definitely still worth dining there if you love seafood. You can enjoy shrimp, mussels, crab legs, clams, and non-seafood items like ribs and chicken. Cape May Cafe isn’t open for lunch.
Beaches & Cream Soda Shop: One of my kids’ favorite restaurants on property is the Beaches and Cream Soda Shop, an old-fashioned ice cream and soda shop. Overlooking the main pool area, this restaurant offers both lunch and dinner. Menu items include burgers, grilled cheese, soup, and sandwiches.
There’s also a full ice cream menu, the Kitchen Sink, Disney’s most exciting ice cream treat! The Kitchen Sink is a huge ice cream sundae for four. It includes scoops of Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Cookies and Cream, and Mint Chocolate Chip ice creams, as well as every topping you could possibly imagine. If you decide to tackle the Kitchen Sink, you’ll definitely want to bring along some friends or family members.
Reservations are accepted at Beaches and Cream. It’s a tiny place, so make reservations if you want to eat there during your vacation.
Beach Club Marketplace: This quick-service cafe, located at the back of the Beach Club gift shop, offers grab and go food as well as prepared breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you purchase a resort refillable mug during your vacation, you’ll be able to refill it here. There are a few tables where you can eat, but this is mostly a to-go location.
Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar and Grill: This poolside bar and grill offers light lunch entrees, as well as drinks and cocktails.
Martha’s Vineyard: I always enjoy visiting this bar, which is tucked away in the part of the Beach Club closest to the Yacht Club. It’s open in the evenings for light bites, appetizers, and drinks, and later in the night for just drinks. If you are just looking for something quick, or want to grab a drink, it’s a great option. It’s generally quiet because it’s so tucked away.
Since the Beach Club is attached to the Yacht Club, you’ll also have convenient access to those restaurants as well. That includes the following:
- The Ale & Compress Restaurant and Lounge, with New England style food
- Crew’s Cup Lounge, with drinks, entrees, and appetizers
- The Market at Ale & Compass, with grab and go food and other counter-service options
- Yachtsman Steakhouse – a signature steakhouse for a special dinner out
Frequently asked questions about the Beach Club Resort in Disney World
Does Disney’s Beach Club have a gym?
Yes, there’s a shared gym with the Yacht Club, and it’s conveniently located for guests of the Beach Club resort.
Do Disney Beach Club rooms have a refrigerator in them?
They do have refrigerators, which can be very convenient for families. I usually refrigerate bottles of water for our days.
Is the Disney Beach Club pool heated?
The pools are heated, which is great when it’s a little cooler outside!
Is there a kids’ club at Disney’s Beach Club?
Unfortunately, the Sandcastle Club, which used to be located in the Beach Club, is no longer open.
Have you been to Disney’s Beach Club Resort?