Disney’s Beach Club is our favorite resort for two reasons. No, we don’t rank it as number one on our list of the best deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World. We think there’s another unique resort where everyone should stay at least once. But when it comes to the resort I call “home,” there’s no doubt where I belong.
This review of Disney’s Beach Club will provide an account of our last stay at the resort. I’ll share our experience, what we love, and a few things we aren’t crazy about. Like almost everything, the Beach Club could be improved. I’ve been ranting about the lack of a decent counter service at the resort for years. This has been a considerable complaint across the board that seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
But those two reasons we love the resort continue to make us overlook that we have to go out of our way for a quick meal. Those reasons are the Beach Club’s prime location and Stormalong Bay, the massive pool area. When we stay at the Beach Club, we purposely plan to spend a good deal of time at the pool, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. Both theme parks are within walking distance.
About Our Hotel Reviews: With an ever-changing internet, it’s important to mention that we pay 100% out-of-pocket for our hotel stays. We have stayed at every Walt Disney World Resort, many of them numerous times. Our experiences and expertise are not based on one-off experiences. As frequent guests, we provide a unique perspective that we believe can help you not only decide on a resort but also benefit from that resort’s amenities during your stay.
#1 Disney’s Beach Club has the Perfect Location
For most guests, location is critical when considering the Walt Disney World Resorts. While we enjoy the Magic Kingdom Resorts, Beach Club gets a 10/10 for its location.
Disney’s Beach Club sits along Crescent Lake and makes up part of the Epcot Resorts Area. It’s connected to neighboring Disney’s Yacht Club. Therefore, you get the advantage of having two combined resorts. Disney’s Boardwalk sits across the lake from the Beach Club. It takes approximately 10 minutes to walk from the Beach Club to the Boardwalk, or you can take a Friendship Boat across the lake. Additionally, Disney’s Swan and Dolphin are within a short walking distance. If you enjoy fine dining or table service restaurants, you will have plenty of options nearby.
However, the greatest location aspect is that you can walk to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Epcot is only a five-minute walk from Disney’s Beach Club. If you get tired during the day and need a break–you can take one without feeling guilty! If you stayed at a resort further away, it might take an hour to return to your room. That might sound excessive, but think about walking from the park to transportation, waiting on a bus, riding the bus, exiting at your stop, and then walking back to your room. It adds up.
When you stay at Beach Club, you can exit Epcot’s International Gateway and return to your room within 10 minutes. This access makes it so convenient to rest during the hotter hours of the day, take advantage of early morning park benefits, and breeze by the masses lined up for the Skyliner at the end of the night. No matter how often we stay here, we always say “wow” as the crowds thin past the Skyliner, and we find ourselves back at the resort within a few minutes.
While Epcot is only a five-minute walk, Hollywood Studios is a bit further. You can walk or take a boat to and from the park. Walking to Hollywood Studios takes about 15-20 minutes, depending on your pace. The walk is pleasant but almost entirely in direct sunlight during daytime hours.
What we love about being able to walk to both theme parks is that it leaves you in control of your arrival instead of having to rely on alternate transportation. You won’t spend most of your morning waiting at the bus stop, standing in line for the Skyliner, or making a monorail transfer.
The longer walk from Hollywood Studios is an excellent place to decompress in the evenings. Imagine being in a noisy, congested theme park for most of the day and then exiting to a spacious, uncrowded, quiet path with plenty of room to breathe. You’ll soon feel the difference.
#2 We Love Disney’s Beach Club for Stormalong Bay
If your ideal Disney vacation includes relaxing by the pool, reading a good book, or not going until you drop in the parks, you’ll probably love the Beach Club. Disney’s Beach Club is home to Stormalong Bay, a pool area that rivals your local waterpark.
Stormalong Bay stretches the length of Disney’s Beach and Yacht Club. The massive pool area is shared between the resorts. It features a sand bottom pool, lazy river, separate children’s pool, shipwreck water slide, and much more.
Below is a photo of a pool area with a sand bar. Children can spend hours digging in the sand. However, an additional kiddie pool is available inside the shipwreck that doubles as the entrance to the waterslide.
The waterslide exits on the opposite side of Stormalong Bay. Depending on your priorities, you might want to find an area closest to where your family will want to spend the most time. For example, younger children tend to prefer the sand bar pool. But older kids will likely want to hang out around the volleyball net. In the afternoon, recreation cast members keep guests in this area of the pool entertained with games and trivia.
On the downside, this pool area is almost always considerably busy when the weather is nice. As someone who prefers to spend long days at the pool, it is essential to know that finding an area in the shade can be difficult. During our stay at the Yacht Club in August, I waited in line for the pool to open each morning to secure our desired location. It was necessary.
However, during our stay in November, we got a desirable seat at the pool with little effort. Of course, the weather wasn’t as hot, and we visited before significant crowds came in for the Thanksgiving holiday. (Yes, it’s crowded in August.)
Note the resort has an attendant on duty at the gates. You’ll need to bring your Magic Band or Keys to the World card to receive a wristband that allows you to come and go from the pool area. While this deters non-resort guests from entering the pool area, the pool will be crowded when the weather is hot.
Important: Check our resort refurbishment page for closure dates at Stormalong Bay in 2025. The pool will be out for several months. You would not likely want to plan a stay here during those months.
Our Stay at Disney’s Beach Club
We stay at Disney’s Beach Club often enough that we don’t update our resort coverage for every single visit. But with the resort’s refurbishment nearing completion in late 2023, I felt it was time for a fresh review.
Over the last six months, Disney’s Beach Club has gone through a significant refurbishment. Many of the changes were necessary, like replacing well-worn carpets, repainting, and changing some of the hotel rooms’ furnishings.
I believe most of us were delighted as we watched these changes unfold. However, as the look and feel of the design came together, it felt incohesive. It wasn’t until this stay that I realized how ambivalent I felt about everything. Of course, these things don’t affect our top two reasons for staying at Disney’s Beach Club. But they have made me curious about the future of design changes and updates.
Disney’s Beach Club is a casually elegant and charming New England-style resort hotel. Even with its provincial style, it always felt traditional.
Here is a photo of the new lobby. Ultimately, my concern is with the new carpets. Disney is long known for having elaborate custom carpets in their hotel lobbies. These rugs are pretty. But as you can imagine, they already show tons of wear and tear. They also don’t appear to be anywhere near the quality of rugs that formerly adorned the resort’s French limestone floors.
They recovered some of the existing furniture, which I appreciate. But as an example, the large canopy Porter chairs had a neutral fabric that blended with the paint color. Now, they are bright pink on one side and denim on the interior.
A few small sofas were added on the opposite side of the lobby. If you look closely, you’ll notice almost every design element has a contrast down to the trim on the fabrics.
Again, these things would not deter me from staying at the Beach Club. Surely, someone worked very hard on the space and would probably disagree with my opinion. So this isn’t meant to harshly criticize anyone’s taste or say mine is superior.
I also wonder if it’s become difficult to purchase the same quality of rugs and furniture. Having the furniture recovered was an interesting choice and no doubt expensive.
Touches of Disney were added to the walls behind the check-in and bell services desk. These gorgeous panels include Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Pluto. These elements are a welcome change. They not only brightened this windowless side of the lobby but also made the area feel warm, approachable, and like you’re at Walt Disney World.
Behind the check-in area, three panels feature Donald and Daisy Duck with their nephews.
Standard View Room
We stayed in a standard view room at Disney’s Beach Club for this visit. These rooms underwent several changes during this last refurbishment. Significant improvements include the transition of carpet to solid surface flooring. Several pieces of artwork featuring Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, and the nephews were incorporated.
Most standard rooms at Disney’s Beach Club will sleep up to five guests. Two queen-size beds are available, along with a sofa that converts to a single bed. (Standard club level rooms are identical but only accommodate four guests.)
A desk with a table on rollers underneath it sits in the corner of the room.
One of the new artwork pieces features Daisy Duck enjoying an ice cream sundae from Beaches and Cream.
Across the room, we see the sofa that folds to make a fifth sleeper.
Here is a view of the room with the sofa bed in use.
A closeup of the artwork over the sofa reveals Donald and his nephews enjoying one of the pools at Disney’s Beach Club.
I don’t recall noting any significant changes in the bath area, which is fine. You’ll have a vanity with two sinks and a ledge under the mirror that’s perfect for placing your items.
You’ll find a tub with a shower combination inside the water closet. The only change is that built-in body wash, shampoo, and conditioner were installed. Ultimately, we loved some changes in the new rooms at Disney’s Beach Club, but it felt similar to the lobby in that not everything was of the same quality.
When reserving a room at Disney’s Beach Club, you’ll want to consider how much time you’ll spend in the room. We’ve almost always reserved a standard room view. On this last visit, we had this view. It was fun that we could see Spaceship Earth in the distance. But that was a whole lot of roof directly underneath us. So I think next time I’ll consider a water view if it meets our budget.
We received a room with a full balcony. But you’ll want to know that some of Disney’s Beach Club rooms have Juliette balconies. A Juliette balcony does not have enough room for chairs. So you might request a room with a full balcony if that’s important. However, they are not guaranteed. If it’s a big deal, you might consider reading our review of Disney’s Yacht Club. All of the rooms at the Yacht Club will have a regular balcony.
As we’ve already discussed, Stormalong Bay is reason enough to plan a stay at Disney’s Beach Club. But the resort has two other pools that guests can enjoy in addition to the feature pool area.
Disney’s Beach Club is home to the Tidal Pool and the Dunes Cove Pool. The Tidal Pool sits toward the front of the resort and is surrounded by guest rooms and a laundry area. The Dunes Cove Pool is located in the Beach Club Villas wing of the resort. Disney’s Beach Club guests have access to all the pools at the resort.
Hot tubs are available at every pool at Disney’s Beach and Yacht Club.
For those who enjoy volleyball, you might want to get up a game on the resort’s front lawn. A sand volleyball court is available for guests to use anytime.
Speaking of sand, the Beach Club wouldn’t be complete without a beach. Guests can enjoy loungers, swings, and Adirondack chairs on the resort’s white sand beach.
Tennis courts are available on the Yacht Club side of the resort near the Admiral Pool.
Or you might like to spend some time jogging around Crescent Lake. It’s a 0.80-mile lap around the lake. You can extend that length by adding on the walkway to Hollywood Studios.
Disney’s Beach Club offers a fully equipped gym. Ship Shape Health Club is on the exterior walkway between the resorts.
The gym has a sauna, weights, machines, and an aerobics area.
You’ll find a variety of free weights, a stair climber, and more.
The Lafferty Place Arcade is between Ship Shape Health Club and Beaches and Cream Soda Shop. This is an excellent place to spend time on a rainy day or for anyone who’s up for a few games.
I don’t know about you, but I could go for a few rounds of Skee Ball or Air Hockey.
As the day fades, you might find yourself around a campfire roasting marshmallows at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. Recreation cast members provide complimentary marshmallows to roast on the beach near the shipwreck each evening.
Later, you might enjoy watching the nightly Movie Under the Stars from the beach. Each evening, cast members set up a movie screen on the beach of Crescent Lake. Guests can pull up a lounge chair and enjoy the outdoor movie experience. The movie is held in the Solarium if the weather isn’t favorable.
Unfortunately, we can’t give the Beach Club rave reviews for dining options. However, one of the benefits of being within the Epcot Resorts areas is having access to numerous dining choices. Still, the quick service options are lacking.
Beach Club Marketplace is the resort’s quick-service restaurant. It’s half gift shop, half quick-service. They have an excellent selection of grab-and-items. If you would like to preview the kind of items you can expect, we have a separate review of Beach Club Marketplace. You can also preview items available in the gift shop at Disney’s Beach Club if desired.
Beach Club Marketplace is open daily from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Unfortunately, the menu items are limited. Years ago, they had an area in the back where items were prepared, and you could have a custom sandwich or something similar made. But now, everything is made in a kitchen and rolled to the counter area on a cart.
On this stay, I wanted to order the breakfast sandwich without eggs, and I was told they received them already prepared and couldn’t customize them. So that was aggravating, and I ended up ordering a side of bacon and a side of potatoes. It was the only way to get a meal without eggs. Standard items like Mickey waffles, bacon, scrambled eggs, and breakfast potatoes comprise most of the breakfast menu.
Cape May Cafe is the Beach Club’s table service restaurant. For breakfast, the restaurant has a reasonably popular character dining experience called Minnie’s Beach Bash. Minnie Mouse meets with friends Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, and Goofy in their beach attire at this buffet-style breakfast. At night, Cape May Cafe transitions to a seafood buffet. Lunch is not served at this establishment. You’ll want to secure reservations for the character breakfast. It often fills up quickly.
Beaches & Cream Soda Shop is another classic restaurant at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. It’s a cross between a burger joint and an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. Those looking for a guilty pleasure type of meal will want to make sure to get reservations. This location is popular! A to-go window is available outside the restaurant if you only want ice cream.
Inside, expect a loud, crowded diner where everyone is having a good time! On our last visit, I ordered a steak and cheese sandwich with fries. It was delicious! Additionally, Beaches and Cream is where you can order the extravagant Kitchen Sink ice cream concoction.
Related: Disney’s Beaches and Cream Review
Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar and Grill is the second quick-service location that doubles as the pool bar. You’ll find it on the exterior walkway that wraps around Crescent Lake.
The quick service sits on the outskirts of Stormalong Bay, accommodating both resort guests and passers-by. Anyone can order a meal here and eat at the provided tables. They will also box your meal to go if you desire. This is where you’ll want to pick up items like chicken nuggets, hamburgers, and basic kids’ meals.
Related: Hurricane Hanna’s Review
Martha’s Vineyard is the lounge for Disney’s Beach Club. It is past Cape May Cafe before you reach Stormalong Bay. Martha’s Vineyard offers appetizers, soups, entrees, and drinks. So don’t let the name “lounge” scare you away from grabbing a bite to eat here. They have fantastic seafood chowder when it’s available.
Since Beach Club is connected to Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, you’ll also have access to Ale and Compass Restaurant, Ale and Compass Lounge, The Market at Ale and Compass, Crew’s Cup Lounge, and Yachtsman Steakhouse. Ale and Compass is our go-to restaurant at Walt Disney World. We mobile-order from this location often to replace the lack of quick service options available at the resort.
During our last stay at the Yacht Club, we ordered several kids’ meals and a regular entree each morning and divided them up to make a meal between the three of us. We also love to eat dinner at Crew’s Cup Lounge. They have excellent prime rib sliders, soup, salad, and charcuterie.
Disney’s Beach Club has several transportation options available to guests. First, Disney Friendship Boats service the Epcot Resorts Area and transport guests in the following order:
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
- Disney’s Beach and Yacht Club
- Swan and Dolphin Hotel
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney bus service is available to the following:
- Magic Kingdom
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Disney Springs
- Disney’s Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon (Transfer)
Beach Club’s bus stop is outside the resort’s front entrance. A covered walkway to the left crosses the canal and leads directly to the bus stop.
The Disney Skyliner is the newest form of transportation within walking distance of Disney’s Beach Club. It is a short walk from Disney’s Beach Club Resort to the International Gateway at Epcot to access the Skyliner.
You can take the Skyliner to the following:
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- Pop Century Resort
*Technically, you could take it to Hollywood Studios, but it would be out of the way.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that one of the main factors for staying here is the walkability of the Crescent Lake area. For example, from the back door of Disney’s Beach Club, you can walk to the following locations:
- Hollywood Studios
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
- Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Resorts
If you end up staying at the resort, we have a guide that covers our experience using transportation at Disney’s Beach Club. It goes in-depth and provides tips for getting to and from the resort during your stay.
Before we wrap up, I wanted to share a few more photos of the Beach Club. Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses. You might just find a hidden Mickey.
If you need a semi-quiet spot to rest or get some work done during your vacation, you might enjoy The Solarium. On our last stay, I spent half of a working day at Stormalong Bay. When my computer’s battery died, I returned to the Solarium for a recharge and stayed there for a couple of hours.
It’s a fun area with various tables, chairs, and other seating arrangements.
Outside, you’ll find a covered eating area. This special spot looks out into the garden. I have seen people enjoying meals while playing cards and having a lovely time out here.
A path leads to Disney’s Beach Club Villas, a Disney Vacation Club Resort.
A statue of Ariel sits outside the villa entrance.
We have stayed in the Beach Club Villas. Like the Beach Club, the entire wing has been updated. We’ll eventually get back for an updated review of this area.
After all these years, those two reasons we love Disney’s Beach Club continue to make us return again and again. We always have an incredible time when we stay here. I hope this review helps you decide whether or not a stay here is suitable for your vacation.
For more information about Disney’s Beach Club Resort, you might enjoy the following:
- Club Level at Disney’s Beach Club
- Disney’s Beach and Yacht Club Restaurants Guide
- Laundry at Disney’s Beach Club
- Christmas at Disney’s Beach and Yacht Club
For more resort information:
- Benefits of Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort
- Disney World Hotel Reviews
- Best Off-Site Hotels Near Disney World
- How to Plan a Split Stay at Disney World
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on staying at Beach Club? Did you find this review of Disney’s Beach Club informative? Have you had the opportunity to stay here yet, or are you considering this resort for a future stay?