28 Jul DVC Resort Review Beach Club
At the start of 2015, the Disney Vacation Club sold contracts at Disney’s Beach Club Villas at the price of $130 per point.
Today, the same purchase would cost $245 per point…and this resort’s contracts expire in 2042! That’s the earliest possible date!
Obviously, Disney wouldn’t do this unless its members felt passionate about the resort…but should they?
Here’s a review of Disney’s Beach Club Villas, one of the crown jewels of DVC.
Location and Logistics
For many years now, DVC members have considered Beach Club among the easiest resorts to find.
I say that due to the impeccable logistics. This resort resides only a few hundred steps away from the International Gateway.
If you’re unfamiliar with this location, think of it as the back entrance to EPCOT.
The International Gateway once represented one of the secrets that Disney fans shared.
Alas, the introduction of the Disney Skyliner has made virtually all park visitors acutely aware of its existence.
After all, when you ride the gondolas around the parks, the EPCOT station will drop you off right beside the International Gateway.
Of course, that works in favor of Beach Club guests. Previously, they had immediate access to EPCOT.
Now, they’ve added Disney’s Hollywood Studios to the list as well.
The logistics at Beach Club are so good that I’ve left my hotel room at 8:50, ridden Soarin’, Test Track, and been back at the hotel at 10:30!
Many Disney hotel designs pay tribute to the popular vacations of yesteryear.
Park planners view them as timeless classics that capture a perfect moment in time and then make it permanent at Disney.
With Beach Club, the theming centers on 19th century New England vacations. The buildings here pay tribute to that Newport seaside sensibility.
You’ll find bright, airy décor that will perpetuate the beach vacation vibe, even though you’re facing Crescent Lake, which Disney fans know is right by EPCOT.
So, you’ll feel like you’re at the beach even though you’re legitimately as little as 500 steps away from the park’s rear entrance.
Somehow, Disney will help you forget that fact by crafting the illusion of oceanfront property. There’s even a fake shipwreck on the sand by the lake!
As far as DVC lobbies go, Beach Club won’t dazzle you the way that Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge or Disney’s Wilderness Lodge would.
For that matter, it lacks the grandiose nature of the lobby at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa or the symbolism of the Great Ceremonial House.
However, the Beach Club lobby serves its purpose. You’ll feel all your stress leave your body as the soothing nature of the building overwhelms your senses.
The conceit here is that you’re entering a stately beach club of yore, one where the elite hobnob before they don old-timey bathing suits and go for a swim.
I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time in this lobby, and the only time I ever felt stressed wasn’t anybody’s fault. There was an issue with room availability.
Other than that one time where I couldn’t get checked in until dinner time, I’ve always thought of the Beach Club’s lobby as the most DVC-like.
Somehow, this building is both homey and efficient. You’ll find everything you need on one side or the other.
Meanwhile, the narrow rectangular design prevents overcrowding.
Restaurants and Shops
You will eat exceptionally well at Beach Club, and I don’t even have to tell you that.
DVC members have propelled the popularity of Beaches & Cream Soda Shop to the point that the hotel recently tripled the restaurant’s size.
The throwback 1950s vibe, complete with jukebox, sets the tone that you’ll down burgers and shakes here.
Also, I’d be remiss if I failed to mention the counter where you grab food to-go or the delicious Kitchen Sink, the most decadent of all Disney desserts.
Beach Club Marketplace usually winds up as the place where you spend the most time, as it’s a combined general store, clothing shop, and eatery.
You can actually eat a Quick Service meal here, whether you want a decent breakfast or late-night pizza.
The other place at Beach Club hasn’t reopened during the pandemic. However, we’re all anxiously awaiting its return.
Cape May Café serves a delicious seafood buffet at dinner. Still, I prefer breakfast since it’s a character meal starring Minnie Mouse!
Technically, I should stop there, but I’ll throw in two other places as viable options. Beach Club connects to Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, after all.
At Yacht Club, you’ll find the Ale & Compass, which serves “Yankee comfort food,” whatever imagery that evokes in your imagination.
Of course, the real star is the Yachtsman Steakhouse, arguably the best place to grab a steak on the Disney campus.
You know what I’m going to say here because it’s one of the crown jewels of the DVC empire.
While staying at Beach Club, you gain access to Stormalong Bay, which is unquestionably the best of all Disney pools.
In fact, the area’s size combined with its amenities would rival/surpass some water parks in the United States.
At Stormalong Bay, you can spend hours happily sunbathing and swimming by the pools, which include sand bottoms!
Yes, you’ll feel like you’re at the beach because you’ll have sand under your toes!
By the way, like all DVC resorts, Beach Club includes laundry machines and free detergent for members.
I mention this because I seem to do more laundry here than at other resorts due to all the swimming/sand.
By the way, Hurricane Hannah’s Grill qualifies as one of the best pool bars at Walt Disney World!
I didn’t mention it earlier to save it for the x-factor. You can dine at the high-top chairs here and watch the game.
On the other hand, you can order from the bar and take it back to your reclining pool chair.
Either way, when you spend time at Stormalong Bay, you’ll want to spend more time at Stormalong Bay. That’s the power of the place.
Hotel Rooms and Other Amenities
The room types at Beach Club qualify as generic in that you cannot book something specific.
You cannot lock in a pool view room or something close to the International Gateway or whatever. Those rooms are random, although you can add special requests.
Sometimes, you’ll receive a room facing the shrubberies or, as my brother calls it, tree view.
Yes, that’s harsh, but he owns at Beach Club and feels strongly that some room views are substantially better.
I’ll pass along one of his tricks. If he doesn’t like his DVC studio on the first night, he’ll request that the front desk folks move him on day two.
I don’t notice much difference between the various rooms. So, I never care. However, his diligence often pays off with a superior view.
The rooms themselves are studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom villas.
The studios have a cookie-cutter design by DVC standards, and they possess 356 square feet of space. You’ll find a sofa bed and pull-down bed here, too.
The one-bedroom villas range on the smaller side at 726 square feet, while the two-bedroom villas feel roomier at 1,083 square feet.
You’ll find them efficient and admire the kitchen and washer/dryer setups.
If I’m honest, the rooms are somewhat nondescript compared to most DVC resorts, though.
I have a rotation of five resorts where I’m most likely to stay. Beach Club slots in the middle of that quintet.
The convenience of the resort makes it the perfect place to stay for an EPCOT-intensive visit.
Fans of split stays know that booking two or three days at Beach Club will maximize your park time. Plus, you’ll still get to play at Stormalong Bay!
I should mention that the quiet pool for DVC members is also great. It’s just not Stormalong Bay.
While staying at the resort, you should load up on meals at the World Showcase and the hotel itself.
We sometimes dine at Beaches & Cream twice during our trip and grab breakfast at Cape May Café at least once.
My only criticism about Beach Club involves the building layout. We’ve gotten lost here several times over the years.
In fact, a running joke is that we spend the first two days of our visit getting our bearings at the resort.
Beyond that, Beach Club possesses everything a DVC member could want.
People have figured that out over the years, which explains why its price has spiked.
Once you’ve experienced Beach Club, you’ve raised the bar for future DVC visits. I give this place a solid A.