Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are reviewing Walt Disney World deluxe resorts.
Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown compared Disney’s Beach Club (and Beach Club Villas) to “Grandma’s beach house”. When my husband and I spent 10 days there before we had kids, we had to agree. It was charming and homey, welcoming and relaxing, with no lack of activities and amenities.
We have visited the Beach Club/Villas several times since, but as DVC members we had not opted to pay cash to stay at its sister resort, Disney’s Yacht Club, until it was announced as the host hotel for the 2015 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. The experience there, as we expected, was just as wonderful. These resorts are absolutely among our favorite places to be when we visit Walt Disney World.
Both the Yacht and Beach club have moderately large rooms, and all the amenities you may expect from Disney Deluxe resorts. There are suites and concierge levels available in each.
The two resorts share a promenade, workout facility, restaurants, children’s activity center, water transportation, marina, beaches, and only the world’s greatest pool, Stormalong Bay 😉 They are accessible indoors as well through one long (and beautiful!) corridor. They are very similar in many other ways as well, though each has its own appeal.
Disney’s Beach Club + Beach Club Villas
The theming of the Beach Club is that of a turn-of-the-century New England beach resort. Disney describes it as “casually elegant”, which I think is an accurate phrase to capture how at-home and relaxed you can feel at such a lovely, clean, deluxe resort.
There is a quiet pool (if you want something different than Stormalong Bay), tennis courts, volleyball courts, and so much more – and for DVC members, the usual movie rental, etc are available. The combination quick service restaurant/gift shop, Beach Club Marketplace, is big and offers a huge selection of both food and merchandise.
Disney’s Yacht Club
While the Beach Club is modeled after a place wealthy families may have traveled for a getaway, the Yacht Club is nautical themed and represents upscale resorts from Martha’s Vineyard. That said, kids and families are equally welcome!
Fittings and Fairings is a smaller shop than the Beach Club Marketplace but has some unique items as well. The Yacht Club offers its own quiet pool, as well as similar recreation options mentioned above.
If you are interested in a stay at a Deluxe resort and end up at either of these two places, I am confident you won’t be disappointed! In no particular order, here are just some of the reasons we love Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts:
- the theming. I am personally partial to the bright, airy, playful atmosphere of the Beach Club, but both offer gorgeous details in true Disney fashion
- the Boardwalk. You may already know that we love Disney’s Boardwalk – both the resort and the dining and entertainment district. The Beach and Yacht Club are so very close that they share boat transportation, but instead of the hustle and bustle of the boardwalk below, you get a bit quieter place to stay with a simply incredible view.
- Stormalong Bay. If you want more details check out this post, but suffice it to say that the 750,000-gallon, sandy-bottom, three-acre “water playground” has something for everyone!
- Walking/Running paths. Whether you are training for a race, trying to run off your Epcot treats, or simply want to take a relaxing walk with your family in the evening, the loop and adjacent paths and trails in the Epcot resort area are perhaps the best place anywhere on property to do just that.
- Yachtsman Steakhouse. There are a couple of other contenders, but most foodies (or normal people who also happen to love steak ::points fingers at self:: agree that Yachtsman Steakhouse may have the best steaks on property. Absolutely everything else we ate there was remarkable, too. This is an upscale dining experience where you may want to send the kids elsewhere (like the Sandcastle Club activity center!) but for us, it was well worth our time and money!
- Beaches and Cream. The day you don’t want a steakhouse, look no further than Beaches & Cream. An adorable, ever-popular soda shop restaurant offers delicious comfort food favorites and the most amazing ice cream Sundaes anywhere at WDW. Eat your heart out, Ghirardelli. (But I actually do love you, too, don’t worry!) Also? The Kitchen Sink.
- Friendship Boats. I’ll be the first to admit that we don’t usually take Disney transportation. That said, there is something so endearing about taking these boats to and from Epcot, Hollywood Studios, or just around the resort area for fun. And if you are relying on Disney transportation, they’re a great alternative!
- Artist of the Day. My daughters still talk regularly about when they “won that coloring contest” at the Beach Club Marketplace. It’s not exactly a contest and there isn’t a prize; there is, however, a super cute board that showcases the artwork of select young creatives. It’s always fun!
- the Solarium, et al. As with most Disney Vacation Club properties, there are lovely little places tucked away to relax and unwind. The Solarium is one such example at the Beach Club Villas, and almost never has more than the occasional cartoon viewer or newspaper reader.
- Beach Parties, meetings, and conventions. Yeah, I realize meetings aren’t really fun. But the Yacht Club Convention Center does it right! More importantly, if your group or event ever has the opportunity to have a private event on the beach, DO IT. For real. I plan to write a more in-detail post at some point, but just look how fun!
- Christmas decorations. We haven’t even actually stayed at the Yacht or Beach Club resorts during the holidays that I recall, but we almost always stop by to see the amazing, working(!) Gingerbread Carousel and the Yacht Club’s intricate, beautiful Christmas Village.
- Beautiful grounds. I truly just love walking around this resort in the early mornings. It’s so lovely and relaxing!
- And of course…. Location, location, location. I already mentioned that these resorts are directly across the water from Disney’s Boardwalk. They are also walking distance to both Epcot’s International Gateway (a bonus in and of itself!) and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Trips during which we stay at these properties we actually may consider not renting a car. The walks are really pleasant, as well as convenient! If you need more to do, the Epcot resort area is also within walking distance of the restaurants at the Swan and Dolphin, Fantasia Gardens Mini Golf, and more.
Have you stayed at or visited the Yacht Club or Beach Club resorts? What is your favorite thing about either (or both) of them?
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Orange | Walt Disney World Deluxe Resort Reviews Loop: