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Beach Club Resort - Part Two of Two

Yesterday I began my review of the Beach Club with an overview and a description of a standard “king” room. Today I’ll talk about Club Level amenities and the various shops and restaurants found around the resort.

I like the Stone Harbor Club Lounge facilities at the Beach Club better than those at the Regatta Club at the Yacht Club. At the Yacht Club, the check-in area and lounge seem like they were added as an afterthought. I had the impression that Disney had knocked a wall out between two guest rooms to create the lounge. But at the Beach Club I didn’t get this feeling. Both the check-in area and the Stone Harbor Club felt like they had been part of the initial design.

When exiting the elevators on the fifth floor of the Beach Club, guests are greeted by cast members at two concierge desks. These cast members will get you settled into your room and help you with restaurant and show reservations. Their services are available from 7am to 10pm.


Club Level Concierge Desk


The Stone Harbor Club Lounge is decent sized with a number of tables, chairs, and sofas arranged around the room. There are two televisions – one tuned to cartoons for children and another featuring news and sports for adults. The sets are far enough from one another as to not interfere with each other. The Beach Club lounge does have a balcony, but unfortunately it is so narrow that it cannot accommodate any tables or chairs.


Beach Club Level Lounge

Beach Club Level Lounge

Beach Club Level Lounge

Beach Club Level Lounge


The food serving counter is “U” shaped and is brightly lit. Breakfast offerings feature bagels, pastries, fruit, cold cereals, hardboiled eggs, and other continental selections. Cookies and other snacks are available at lunch. And a rotating menu of cold and hot hors d’oeuvres is served each evening. Canned sodas are available all day long and wine and cordials are served in the evening. All of this is included in the Club Level price. Service is as follows:

Coffee: 6:30am to 7am
Continental Breakfast: 7am to 10:30am
Snacks & Soft Drinks: 11:30am to 3pm
Tea Time: 3pm to 4pm
Hors d’oeuvres & Wine: 5pm to 7pm
Desserts & Cordials: 8pm to 10pm

Children under 10 should be accompanied by an adult when in the Stone Harbor Club Lounge.


Club Level Food Bar

Club Level Free Drinks


Here is a 1½ minute video of the Club Level facilities.



Now let’s take a look at some of the facilities of the Beach Club.

The Tidal Pool (quiet pool) can be found at the far end of the resort (closest to Epcot). This is a good spot for sunning and relaxing without all the hubbub of Stormalong Bay. Laundry facilities can be found in a building next to the pool so you can spend some quality time while washing your clothes.


Tidal Pool

Hot Tub

Laundry Facility


Beach Club Marketplace is the resort’s shop and carries the typical array of Disney souvenirs. When the Beach Club Villas were built in 2002, this shop was remodeled and a “mini-market” added which carries a reasonable selection of food stuffs intended to be taken back to your Villa room for preparation and consumption. In addition, a quick service food counter was added where you can purchase made-to-order omelets and French toast in the morning and flatbreads, salads, and sandwiches for lunch and dinner. I have tried this spot a couple of times and feel that Disney is trying (and succeeding) at serving above par dishes. This facility is open from 7am to 11pm.


Beach Club Marketplace

Beach Club Marketplace

Beach Club Marketplace


Down the hall from Beach Club Marketplace is the Solarium. This window-lined sunny room is a great place to gather with friends and perhaps enjoy one of those delicious flatbreads you just purchased at the nearby food counter.


Solarium

Solarium


One of the most popular buffets at Walt Disney World is Cape May Café. Located just off of the main lobby, this restaurant has a “fun in the sun” atmosphere. Giant, colorful umbrellas line one side of the restaurant and croquet mallets and beach chairs adorn the walls. The buffet is four-sided, sits in the middle of the restaurant, and is surrounded by tables. Breakfast features Goofy and friends and serves standard American fare. Dinner recreates a clambake atmosphere and offers crab legs, mussels, and freshly steamed clams. For those of you desiring more traditional selections, carved meats, ribs, chicken, seasonal seafood salads, and pastas are also served. You will not leave this buffet hungry. Advanced reservations are extremely important here.


Cape May Café

Cape May Café

Cape May Café

Cape May Café

BeaCape May Café

Cape May Café

Cape May Café


If you’re in the mood for an evening cocktail and some tasty appetizers, check out Martha’s Vineyard located just around the corner from Cape May Café. Open nightly from 5pm to 11:30pm, this watering hole serves New England clam chowder, peel-and-eat shrimp, teriyaki BBQ ribs, and Buffalo chicken nuggets.


Martha’s Vineyard


Next to Martha’s Vineyard is Ariel’s. When the Yacht and Beach Club first opened, the designers felt a deluxe steakhouse should be built at the Yacht Club (Yachtsman Steakhouse) and an upscale seafood restaurant should be located at the Beach Club (Ariel’s). However, it was discovered that the resort did not need two fine-dining establishments and Ariel’s was closed. Today this space is used for banquets and other group functions.


Ariel’s


On the premises of the Beach Club is possibly one of the most fantastic eateries at Walt Disney World, Beaches & Cream. This restaurant recreates a seaside soda shop complete with a marble counter, wrought iron tables and chairs, and jukebox. Fantastic ice cream concoctions and great hamburgers can be ordered here. The place is small and does not accept reservations. Expect a wait if you decide to eat here – but it’s worth it. A walk-up counter is available for ordering ice cream. I wrote a complete blog about this establishment last year. To read it, click here.


Beaches & Cream

Beaches & Cream


Next to Beaches & Cream is Lafferty Place Arcade. As the name implies, this is the spot to challenge your hand-eye coordination with electronic wizardry.


Lafferty Place Arcade


Out on the lawn of the Beach Club is a sand volleyball court. Equipment is complimentary and available at the Ship Shape Health Club located on the Yacht Club side of the resort.


Volleyball Court


The beach at the Beach Club is pristine. This is a great place for kids to run in the sand and adults to bask in the sun. However, Crescent Lake is off limits for swimming. In the evening, a campfire and sing-a-long is held around a fire pit located near the shipwreck Albatross and Disney movies are shown under the stars afterwards.


Beach

Camp Fire


Stormalong Bay, the fantastic swimming pool of the resort, straddles the Yacht Club and Beach Club. For more information about this delightful water wonderland, see Part Two of my Yacht Club blog posted last week.

When I stay at the Yacht Club, I’m always in a quandary whether I should take a Friendship boat to Epcot or walk. When I stay at the Beach Club, I have no decision to make. I always walk. Close proximity to Epcot is one of the great things about this resort. For transportation to Disney's Hollywood Studios, catch the boat at the Yacht Club pier. For transportation to other locales, catch a bus located a short distance from the hotel’s main entrance. Note, the Yacht and Beach share one bus. Since the bus stops first at the Yacht Club, seating can be difficult to secure when loading at the Beach Club during the morning hours.

That’s it for The Beach Club. Check back tomorrow when I will discuss the Beach Club Villas.



The previous post in this blog was Beach Club Resort - Part One of Two.

The next post in this blog is Beach Club Villas - Disney Vacation Club.

Comments (12)

Becky:

I am anticipating my return to BCV in January. Reading your blog makes me feel as if I am already there. Your blogs are always wonderful and thorough! Thank you for sharing your passion for WDW, it's contagious.

Josh:

hey jack
like the yacht club, the beach club has a lot to offer when it comes to entertaining oneself outside of the park. they both look like great hotels to stay at and i hope i get the chance to someday. can't wait for your next blog and as always keep up the great work.

Jenny Sperandeo:

Hi Jack! Thanks for all your hard work. I thoroughly enjoy all your blogs. I have to say that Cape May Cafe hosts one of the best character meals in my opinion. It's a lot easier to get into than Chef Mickey's and the food and characters are just as good, if not better.

Jack,

It's sad for me to hear that Ariel's has closed. On our honeymoon almost 18 years ago we had a magical meal there. The food was divine and the atmosphere was top notch. I've always wanted to go back when our children grew old enough to appreciate it. Is this space available for a quick sneak peek and quick snap shot on the way to Cape May's for dinner? They had huge "antique" saltwater tanks that were very impressive.

Tracy

P.S. My girls love your videos and ask to watch them over and over!

cathy m.:

Hi Jack,
When we stayed at the BC we were finding it was difficult to locate our room each day so we asked the concierge to help us and he agreed that it was difficult. He solved our problem though by taking the elevator nearest our room and seeing where it took us in the lobby. So when we knew what elevator to take in the lobby finding our room was much easier. The BC has more rooms than the YC and the halls seem so long.
The Solarium was a favorite part of the BC for me. We would get our breakfast at the Marketplace and go into the Solarium and actually had private dining because most people didn't know this area existed.
I would have to agree that the character breakfast at Cape May is one of the best.

Marlene:

Hi Jack,
Thanks again for a fabulous job!

We have a few more uses for the Solarium:
It is a great place to wait with the whole family for the Magical Express Bus - which is right outside, with a door and windows so you can see the bus coming. Then only one member of your party has to run out to the bus stand and see if it is your bus. The whole group doesn't have to wait outside.

When we stay at the BCV, and it is very warm or very cold out, you can take a "short cut" through the Solarium to get to the lobby or Cape May Buffet or on your way over to the Yacht Club.
(When it's raining, we prefer to stay under the covered walkway, which joins the BC across from the Marketplace.)

MaryAnn Romagnano:

Thanks for the tour through Beach Club. Our favorite resort at Disney is Beach Club for several reasons. The proximity to Epcot and Hollywood Studios is paramount. We also enjoy the large selection of restaurants within walking distance. For example, Kouzzina's at the Broadwalk is amazing as is the Cape May buffet (as you noted). I have not eaten at Flying Fish Cafe but hope to do so in the future. We both mentioned the excellent food and service at The Captain's Grille on your blog about The yacht Club.

We also enjoy the Solarium for a quiet breakfast. We usually plan our day there. Look for the hidden Mickey's in the paintings in the hallway from Marketplace to the Solarium.

We really like the Marketplace for breakfast and late night snacks or dinner. The service is quick and the cast members are extremely helpful. Once we were looking for shoelaces in the the mini-mart but they didn't have the color we wanted. A cast member volunteered to buy them for us on her own time and deliver them to us the next day. WOW!

I could go on and on, Beaches and Cream, Stormalong Bay etc. Now I am really missing WDW, can't wait to go back.

Your blog makes my day, thanks again.

Caroline Burmester:

The Yacht & Beach Club Resorts have always been my favorite ever since we first stayed there in its infancy. We had the pleasure of eating at Ariel's once while it was still open. To this day, I have never found a chef who has made a better salmon dish than the one I was presented with at Ariel's. It's truly sad that they stopped restaurant services there.

Peg F:

Hi Jack:

I so enjoy your blogs as they always make me feel as if I am there with you instead of on Long Island.
My husband and I had an unexpected stay at the Beach Club during our Honeymoon in '04 due to Hurricane Jeanne. We stayed in a Jr. Suite room Club level. While our room was spectacular, with one of the most comfortable beds we have ever slept in, I was underwhelmed with our balcony. It was a standing room only balcony, what's the point to a balcony if you can't sit and enjoy the view. Thankfully due to the circumstances of the hurricane we only paid for a standard view room at the Wilderness Lodge. (long story why)
Cape May Cafe is one of my favorite restaurants on Disney property and has never disappointed. Club Level staff were outstanding even during a hurricane.
Thanks for another great blog.

John Lacase:

Another terrific blog! I really appreciate them when trying to decide where to stay next time we go to WDW.

Thanks again,
John

AdamAugust:

Beautiful, as always. After a short stay last year, our 6-year-old granddaughter says she won't stay anywhere but the Beach Club.
I notice - ahem- there is no video overview of the Boardwalk Inn in these pages. Next, perhaps?

Jack's Answer:

I am working my way around all of the resorts. I think all I have left is Saratoga Springs, The Grand Floridian, and The Boardwalk. So I should probably get to it sometime in 2012.

Austin:

Hi Jack,

I always enjoy reading your entries.

Like others, we like the Y&B too. For many years we had a once (sometimes twice) a month routine.

We would valet park at the Beach Club, enjoy spicy Bloody Marys at the Cape May/lobby bar, and then a wonderful dinner at Cape May.

Sadly, times change and Disney sometimes makes difficult business decisions. The wonderful bar next to Cape May closed years ago, and valet parking is no longer free (a scandalous $14 now, I think).

We still love WDW, but it's sad when there are so many take-a-ways that detract from the guest experience.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 29, 2011 5:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Beach Club Resort - Part One of Two.

The next post in this blog is Beach Club Villas - Disney Vacation Club.

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