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Beach Club Resort - Part One of Two

Last week I discussed the Yacht Club. If you missed it, click here for PART ONE and PART TWO.

Today I'll be examining they Yacht Club's sister resort, the Beach Club.


Beach Club Logo


The Beach Club opened on November 19, 1990. This deluxe resort features 583 guest rooms with an average room size of 380 square feet. The exterior of the hotel is painted blue with white trim and uses stick style architecture. Stick style architecture was popular in America in the late 19th century and was the predecessor to the Queen Anne style.


Beach Club Exterior

Beach Club Exterior


Whereas the Yacht Club has a formal atmosphere, the Beach Club is more casual. The Beach Club is the type of resort that wealthy families of the mid to late 1900's might have visited for playful days at the seashore and clambakes at night. This carefree atmosphere is evident from the moment you enter the lobby. Take a look at some of the furnishings and the chandelier. In addition, a very mild “Little Mermaid” theme has been incorporated into the resort's design. This is most evident in the carpeting.


Beach Club Lobby

Beach Club Lobby

Lobby Chandelier

Beach Club Carpet


Like the Yacht Club, the Beach Club also employs a nautically clad cast member to greet you, answer questions, and direct you to the proper destination. As you enter the resort, the check-in desk is to your right and the concierge desk is to your left. A children's waiting area, complete with TV, can be found near the windows.


Beach Club Greeter

Beach Club Check-in Desk

Beach Club Concierge Desk


Most standard rooms have two queen beds and a sofa/daybed (see the pictures for the Yacht Club in last week's article). However, some rooms feature one king bed. In many cases, these “king” rooms do not conform to the standard room shape and have been “fitted in” to unusual spaces. This was the type of room I occupied during my last visit.

My room featured a longer and wider than normal hallway to reach the sleeping area. Off of this hallway is a standard closet containing a small safe, extra pillows, hangers, iron and board, and a luggage rack.


King Room Hallway

King Room Hallway

King Room Closet

King Room Closet


Also off of the hallway is the bathroom. Since this room only has one king bed, the vanity only has one sink. However, storage space for toiletries is ample with the addition of a marble shelf above the basin. A hairdryer can be found attached to the wall or in a bag on one of the shelves beneath the sink. H20+ body wash, shampoo, and conditioner are supplied. For those of you who find it next to impossible to remove the plastic wrap from the soap, try this trick. Take a set of car keys and puncture the wrap. This works well for me.


Vanity Area

Vanity Area

Vanity Area


The wallpaper in the bathroom features sailboats with a hidden Mickey.


Bathroom Wallpaper

Bathroom Wallpaper


The toilet and shower are in a separate room. Marble flooring and marble shower tiles add a bit of elegance to this small space. There is a phone next to the toilet and two toilet paper dispensers inserted into the wall. Even though this “king” room is intended for two, there were five fluffy towels.


Toilet and Tub


Being an “irregular” room, the sleeping area was more square than rectangular in shape. Combine this with only one bed and the room seemed quite large. The walls are covered in a non-intrusive cream paper and the furnishings continue this color scheme. The carpet is made up of brown and beige stripes. The draperies feature stripes of blues and browns.


King Room

King Room


The room had a standalone chest of drawers. It's interesting to note, at the Yacht Club, the coffee maker sat atop a similar chest. But at the Beach Club, the coffee maker can be found on the desk. I think I prefer the coffee maker on the chest of drawers as I want as much space as possible when I'm working with my laptop at the desk.


Chest of Drawers


The desk is decent sized and contains electrical and internet connections built into its back panel. A second, “computer” desk nests underneath the main desk.


Desk


On the desk is a very cute Mickey Mouse lamp. At one time, this lamp was sold at the Beach Club Marketplace, but alas, no more.


Mickey Mouse Lamp


Disney is currently testing Wi-Fi in a number of their resorts. The Yacht & Beach are on this list. I used this Wi-Fi service and was very pleased with the ease of connection and the speed. At the moment, this connection is free. However, I have no idea what the future may hold and if charges are on the horizon.

The credenza contains a refrigerator, several shelves, and four drawers.


Credenza


The bed is comfortable and forgoes a bedspread in favor of a second top sheet to cover the blankets. There is a nightstand on each side of the bed and individual dimmer controls work the two bed lamps. A phone can be found on one nightstand and a clock-radio that can accommodate iPhone type devices is positioned on the other.


Bed and Nightstands

Clock Radio


Because of the unusual shape of my room, I had a double balcony. Please note, not all of the rooms at the Beach Club have balconies. If this is important to you, make sure the reservationist knows this when booking your room.


Double Balcony

Double Balcony


Here is a 2½ minute video of a “King” Beach Club room.



Any of you who have read my column for more than a few months know that I'm pretty easy going when I'm reviewing Disney. Not that they need it, but I usually cut them a lot of slack. However, I did have two issues with my room at the Beach Club " one minor, and one, not so minor. I'll start with the less significant.

I was staying in a Club Level room (more expensive than a standard room). One of the perks of staying in these better appointed rooms is a DVD player. Disney is known for their attention to detail, yet they completely forgot to plan for DVD players when outfitting these rooms with wall-mounted flat-screen TVs. Rather than hiding the DVD cables, they simply plugged them into the side of the TV and let them run down to the player in plain sight. In addition, other cables were protruding from behind the TV. Disney can do better than this. This was tacky.


DVD Wires


I want to discuss my more significant issue with you so you may learn from my disappointment.

I booked my room online " without the aid of a Disney reservationist. I was willing to pay extra for a better view so I booked a Lagoon View (one of the options given to me on their website). The Disney webpage clearly states, “Lagoon Room Views are located on the fifth floor and offer views of Crescent Lake.” No other possible views were mentioned with this choice.

When I arrived at my room at 10am, I found my view looked out onto a courtyard. Only if I walked out onto my balcony, leaned over the railing, and looked hard left could I see a portion of Crescent Lake. I returned to the concierge desk and questioned my room location. I was given no explanation, but was offered another room if I was willing to wait until after 3pm and forgo two queen beds for one king. I agreed.

When I arrived at the second room, I had a beautiful view of Stormalong Bay, but once again, the only way to see Crescent Lake was to stand on my balcony and lean over the railing. So I returned to the concierge desk where I was fortunate enough to find a supervisor. After explaining the situation, I was told that the Beach Club offers three views, Standard, Garden, and Water " and a Water View can be of Crescent Lake OR of the swimming pools.

When I showed the supervisor my reservation which clearly stated Lagoon View (not Water View) and that the Disney website clearly states that a Lagoon View equates to a view of Crescent Lake, she was perplexed and had no explanation. As no other room was available, I had no choice but to accept the second room.

While at the Beach Club I ended up speaking with two supervisors and let them know their website is presenting false information and setting up expectations that cannot be met. Both of these supervisors assured me that they would bring this information to the attention of the appropriate people. When I returned home, I wrote Disney a letter informing them of their webpage error. I also did more research and found that the Room View descriptions are not consistent between the Yacht and the Beach.

I later spoke with a reservation supervisor who informed me that I would not have had this problem if I had booked through a cast member over the phone as they are very well versed on this subject matter.

Bottom line… Disney only recognizes the term “water view” and this can be of a lake, pool, or river. They cannot guarantee which view you will get.

Since it's not my desire to be negative, I would also like to share a very positive story about the Beach Club. About a week and a half before my visit, I stayed one night at the Beach Club Villas. After I checked out and returned home, I realized that I had left my charger-cord to my iPhone in the room. Since this wire only costs a few dollars, I just chalked it up as lost.

When I checked into the Beach Club for this visit, I stored my luggage with Bell Services until my room was ready. When my bags were delivered to the room, they also included my charger cord. I NEVER mentioned to anyone that I had left this cord in my room on my previous stay, yet they returned it to me. This was truly Disney magic.

That's it for Part One of the Beach Club. Check back tomorrow for Part Two.



The previous post in this blog was Yacht Club Resort - Part Two.

The next post in this blog is Beach Club Resort - Part Two of Two.

Comments (27)

Wendy Crober:

Hi Jack,

I always assumed I would like Beach Club better than Yacht Club because of the more casual atmosphere...so far that is not the case but I look forward to more information in Part II.

Thanks for giving us a bit of Disney magic between trips.

Wendy

Diane:

Hi Jack,
I love to "visit" these various resorts through your blogs. A looooong time ago (like, the 1990s!), I had the privilege of being the curator of a Stick Style house museum in Cape May, NJ, which was often used in national publications as the epitome of that particular style. One day, I received a phone call from an architect who was submitting drawings to Disney for a Stick Style resort, and asked me for some information about the style. I'm fuzzy on the details, since it was many years ago. It may not have even been Robert A.M. Stern's firm, but another one that was competing for the design. But I do see some authentic Stick features that wound up in the final design of the hotel. If you're interested in seeing the real thing, do a Google images search for "Emlen Physick Estate." Keep up the great blogging!

Scott C.:

Jack,

Thanks for the review. Again, great work. Looking forward to part II. We love the Beach Club and are staying at the villas in April. The close proximity to 2 parks and the other great restaurants at the Swan & Dolphin and Boardwalk make this such a rich resort. I agree with you about the cabling. It looks like someone plugged in the DVD player and jumped out the window as you were opening the door. I also look at those kinds of things.

Scott

Josh:

hey jack
great blog on the beach club. i enjoy learning about the different hotels and your blogs are always so informitive. can't wait for part two and as always keep up the great work.

Gloria:

Last time we stayed one bed had a bedspread and the other didn't when we checked in. Are you sure there wasn't supposed to be one?

Jack's Answer:

Yes, I'm sure. In a number of the Disney resorts, they have started to include a second top sheet rather than a bedspread. I saw two rooms at the Beach and one at the Yacht. None had bedspreads. However, the Beach Club Villa still do.

Sue VanVleet:

Thanks for the review. I've only stayed in the DVC villas at Beach Club, so it was nice to see what a non-villa looks like. Interesting that Disney is doing away with bedspreads, I've seen that trend at non-Disney resorts the last three or so years.

Donnie:

Another great blog. I know they are related, but we much prefer Yacht over Beach, for a similar situation.

I feel that our 5th floor room was directly next to yours, as the view is extremely similar. We were upset b/c our Lagoon View room was really of the Pool with the Lake in the distance to the left. We also had a view of the rooves down below--they were covered in tan rocks. Did you have that view as well. It was a dumpy view--have had better Lake Views at Pop, Caribbean, and every other Deluxe Resort we have stayed at.

Water View (Lagoon) View rooms at Yacht are much better. Beach Club is too risky, we learned our lesson and have not been back since.

Thanks again for a terrific blog, that was an interesting room design.

Connie:

Hi Jack

I have sentimental feelings toward Cape May as I grew up going to Cape May for daytrips while vacationing in Wildwood Crest NJ. I still go to Cape May, in fact planning to visit to see their Christmas parade; cannot get to Disney for their's.

Anyway, I was planning to stay at Beach Club this year, then changed to next, but again need to change. Now not sure whether to stay a Beach or Yacht. But my heart belongs to Beach; because of Cape May.

Thanks for the feature on Cape May.

Connie

Peggy:

We have stayed at Beach Club a few times, and have never had a good view. I don't think many of the rooms have a lagoon view because of the way the hotel was designed.

We stay at this resort because of the close walk to Epcot. Also the customer service and pool are the best of any Disney resort.

We enjoy reading your blogs, thanks for bringing some sunshine to our day! Peggy

Tom:

I have stayed at the Beach Club twice and have been generally pleased by the resort. You can't beat the location or Storm Along Bay! I had read many places about Disney's interpretation of water view rooms at the resort and the importance of faxing your reservation info. and preferences to the "Room Assigner" just prior to your arrival. This practice has worked well for us both times as we had requested a 3rd floor or higher room, overlooking Storm Along Bay and Crescent Lake. Each time we received a room overlooking the pool but with trees blocking a full view of the lake. So not perfect, but not bad. I don't know if this would work every time, but it has worked pretty well for us. Looking forward to your part 2!

Cindy:

We had a similar thing happen to us on our last stay at The Wilderness Lodge. We had paid $600-$800 extra (can't remember the exact amount) for a courtyard view. They do tell you that it can be of the WL's courtyard or the area between the WL and WLV. However, our courtyard view was on the first floor of the WL overlooking grass, a sidewalk, and a few trees. We went to hotel management because we didn't feel the price we paid for the upgraded view was worth it for the view of the room they gave us. We were changed over to the interior courtyard that night. The positive side is the Disney customer service we're all used to was evident in their response to us.

Jeff:

Great blog, Jack. The folks at Disney probably recognized your name from All Ears and checked to see if you had any upcoming reservations in the CRO system. That would explain the returned power cord. It was a nice gesture nonetheless.

Jason:

Jack, as always I love your blogs!! I have to say as a DVC member my home and favorite resort is The Beach Club Villas. I was shocked at the two bad experiences you had. I can say that I have never (knock on wood) experienced what you did. I also have also left something in my room and to my delight Disney took it upon themselves to ship the item back to me at no charge or without me calling. I do feel that Disney dose their best at making your experience “Magical”, but sometimes they spread themselves to thin.

Tammi:

We just returned from a 8 day stay at the Beach Club -- our first of what I hope will be many. We also stayed Club level, 5th floor and could see the lake only if we stood on the balcony and looked to the right. We found the Beach Club to be relaxing, the staff was warm and welcoming,and our Mousekeeper, Maya, left towel art each and every day! The room was nice and roomy, we requested a king bed but were given 2 doubles, which turned out to be ok. Having free wi-fi was a really nice touch, being able to share with friends and family about our day was fun. We visited the Yacht Club, but preferred the atmosphere and decor of the Beach Club. The gift shop at the Yacht club however, was far superior to ours at the BC. The promimity to Epcot can't be beat, being able to walk back to the room for a bit of down-time was priceless.

marcy nicholson:

jack, we are staying at the bc in 1 month and requested a garden view and paid extra for it. did you get a refund if ypou didn't get the lagoon view because they charge alot extra for that view on the computer. i think i'll make sure i get the view i paid for before paying the amount due at check in. they charge for the certain views so they should deliver or refund the difference in my opinion.

Jack's Answer:

Yes, I was given a refund for my room. However, it took complaining to two supervisors. Let's hope you get the view you're expecting and this won't be an issue.

Melanie Drake:

Great post Jack.
Those cords were one of the first things I noticed in your
pictures... I thought, " Hmm? Maybe Jack was playing a video
game?" haha
Thanks for taking the time to get to the bottom of the "water view"
confusion. We save up so much money and look forward to our Disney
stay for so long; we don't like those kinds of surprises after a long flight south and usually Disney is top notch, so we don't expect as such.
Also your tone, as always, is so pleasant even when you describe these
discrepancies that your whole article is fun and relaxing to read.
I can hardly wait to get there myself!!

trisha donovan:

Jack,
Your review of Contemporary's Garden Wing Deluxe Room was helpful to me because the Disney website says 1 king bed and a daybed with large table and chairs. Thanks to your review I knew it had 1 king, 1 queen sofa sleeper and a desk! It surprises me how often the disney website is wrong! Thanks for looking out for us Disney Travelers!

Just got back from Bay Lake Tower and the view from 7410 was of lake and fireworks for anyone heading that way soon.

Trish

Jack ,
Our family stayed at the Beach Club shortly after it opened . I can still remember walking
out to the Pool for the first time . Jaw dropping is the best way to describe all of our reactions . Had a fantastic time , one of the highlights of our many trips to DW . Now Vacation Club members ( Saratoga ) so it's tough to get into Beach Club . It's always booked up . Great place though and enjoy your articles ...... Thanks .

Dave Cardinal:

Thanks for the info Jack. We're hitting the BC for our third stay on December 11th. Looking very much forward to it as our other two stays were awesome. Great location...great staff...no complaints here. Our only quandry is what to pack for clothing...long sleeves/pants or short? Any thoughts?

Jack's Answer:

Crowd-wise, you've picked a good time to visit. The Christmas throngs have yet to arrive and the parks are manageable. Weather-wise is another story. December is very unpredictable. Although rain is rarely an issue, the temperature fluctuates tremendously. One day the high can be 60, the next 80. You really need to be prepared for both. Almost all evenings will be cool. Dress in layers.

Lori:

Thanks for the great reviews Jack. I, too, love reading your hotel blogs and seeing the updated room pics. It is very difficult to know what to ask for if you have never stayed at a property so your information is very helpful.

Your returned power cord experience reminded me of our experience on our 2010 Med cruise. I left 5 or 6 photos in our stateroom when we left the ship in Barcelona. Eventually, I realized I lost them along the way, but didn't think to call Disney because I was sure I had taken them from the ship. Several months post trip, I received a call from DCL informing me they had pics they thought were mine....which were found in our stateroom. They verified our address and sent them along to me. Amazing!

Mary-Jane:

My husband and I stayed at the Beach Club Villas this past September with our adult children, grandchildren, and our fifteen year old son. It was one of the nicest stays that we have had at WDW. We reserved a 2 bedroom unit, a 1 bedroom unit and a studio. Everyone met each morning in our unit for a family breakfast and again in the evening to discuss our day and share a round of "goodnights."

The sand bottomed pool was fantastic and ice cream from Beaches and Cream take out became a much anticipated treat at the end of the day. The proximity to Epcot was a real bonus and my husband and daughter enjoyed a before breakfast jog to Disney's Hollywood Studios and back each day. A walk to the bakery at the boardwalk was more to my liking!

We all agree, the Beach Club is great and the front runner for resort choice on our next family vacation!!

NICK MENDICINO:

MY FAMILY AND I LOVE THE BEACH CLUB..THE SERVICE IS FANTASTIC AND ROOMS ARE ALL VERY NICE....THE POOL IS SPECTACULAR...CLOSE TO EVERYTHING....LOVE IT

Sarah:

Jack,

Great article as always! I am sentimental about the Beach Club because this hotel was my first experience staying at a Disney property. It was shortly after they opened and they were having an incredible deal, as this hotel would normally have been priced out of our range at that time. I fell in love with it right away! In 2002 we stayed in the Villas and I was impressed all over again!

I can't wait to take my husband there on a future trip so he can experience my all-time favorite pool!

Thanks,
Sarah

Richard:

As an owner at BCV, I may never actually get to stay at Beach Club itself, though I would like to at least once. So it was with great pleasure (and curiosity) that I read your review. Looking forward to Part II!

Regarding the Water/Lagoon View, the Unofficial Guide has long noted the slippery notion of "water view" at the Yacht and Beach Clubs. In the 2012 edition we read "At the Yacht Club, anything wet counts, whether it’s in front of you or so far to the side you have to crane your neck. If somehow you can glimpse the lake, a creek, or a swimming pool, you have a water view." As you discovered the same caveat applies to the Beach Club. Of course there is no excuse for this practice other than greed, and I'm glad you have brought this issue to the attention of your readers.

Leanne Purdy:

My family and I stayed at The Beach Club a few years ago and I can honestly say it was the most positive experience at Disney I have received during any Disney vacation. I have a special needs child and I can honestly say they went above and beyond all expectations, be it room requests or seating requests for our dining reservations. The Concierge staff will forever have my gratitude when I happened to check to make sure the cake I ordered for my daughter's 16th birthday would be at her dinner. Turns out there was a mistake and they arranged for the chef at Cape May to make her cake. They then delivered it and comp'd the cost of both cakes to our room. We loved it so much we will revisit next year!!!! Our view was Water/Pool I was on the first floor, situated right in the middle with a beautiful view!! Beach Club is our favorite of favorites for our stays at Disney!

Billy:

Jack,You are spot on with your review so far.My first Beach club stay I had what I call the one man balcony room which is just a door with a railing so yes not all rooms have a balcony.We loved the resort so much I became a DVC owner buying VWL first and when BCV was available i got my 2nd home resort.unfortunately we have not stayed at BCV that much because the villas don't have any view and we don't have the beach club vibe staying in the villas.

Allan:

Hello,

Is the king room featured in these pictures a standard room or club level room? Did you have to pay the extra cost for a water view room? Could you tell me the room number. This would be perfect for me and my wife.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 28, 2011 5:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Yacht Club Resort - Part Two.

The next post in this blog is Beach Club Resort - Part Two of Two.

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