Life gets so busy at times, so we always look forward to our time off from work and more importantly, our family holidays. Throughout the year we try to have weekends away to break up the long wait until our big holiday, but we’re always pining for Disney. On our last Disney trip we stayed at Disney’s Beach Club Resort.
We love Walt Disney World in Florida so try to get there every year. On our first trip to Walt Disney World we booked the whole thing through a travel agency. I’m sure we probably overpaid and we certainly weren’t happy with the flight, but the holiday was incredible and it kick started our obsession with Disney.
Since that first holiday, we have been back to Walt Disney World 11 times. Sticking with what we know, we always choose to stay on Disney property and they have a number of resorts to suit any budget.
We’ve stayed at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Saratoga Springs, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and most recently, Disney’s Beach Club Resort. We have also gone on 3 Disney cruises, which is so perfect for us because we get to see lots of different places with the added bonus of Disney Magic for the entire time.
Our holiday in June 2018 was our first time staying at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. We looked at photos and reviews online and they were all positive, so we had high expectations.
From the moment we walked through the lobby we knew we had made the right choice. Everything was wonderful; the smell, the decor and the atmosphere fitted perfectly with the image we had in our heads.
The lobby was huge and had beautiful floral arrangements displayed everywhere, with plenty of comfortable sofas and chairs to sit and relax while watching people coming and going. One thing that we noticed every time we walked into the lobby was the smell. I can’t even describe the smell, but it was just incredible. If we could bottle it and bring it home with us, we would have! The lobby certainly made us feel welcome as soon as we walked through the doors and there were cast members everywhere, so plenty of assistance on hand if we needed it.
Check in was a breeze. There were only a few people in the queue in front of us and it moved quite quickly. The cast members working at the check in desk were friendly and worked quickly to ensure we could all get up to our room after a long and tiring journey. It took us approximately 15 minutes to queue, check in and collect our Magic Bands.
The first thing we did once check in was complete, was go and find the elevators. They were easy to find and even though the lobby was busy, we didn’t have a long wait for an empty one to fit 4 of us, plus all our luggage.
Our room was on the 3rd floor and was a great size for a family of 4. It had 2 queen size beds, a pull out sofa bed, a large dresser for all our clothes, a huge wardrobe that was big enough to fit all 4 suitcases and our hand luggage, a dressing table with mirror and a fridge to keep our drinks cool. The decor was light and airy and the beds were so comfortable.
Housekeeping came in every day to make our beds, clean the bathroom facilities, replace towels and replenish any complimentary toiletries and other items that we had run out of. After long, hot days spent at the parks, it was a lovely treat to come back to a clean, tidy room where we could sleep peacefully before another busy day.
The Beach Club Resort shares its amenities with Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, so when we didn’t want to venture too far, we had plenty of options to choose from. Whether it was a snack we were after or a three course meal, we had a lot of choice, and certainly didn’t go hungry.
The full list of dining options are listed here. We didn’t eat in all of these places, but we did eat at Yachtsman Steakhouse, Beaches & Cream Soda Shop, both Marketplaces, Cape May Cafe and Hurricane Hanna’s.
The food at Yachtsman Steakhouse was absolutely delicious. It accepts the Disney Dining Plan but as it’s a Signature restaurant, it takes 2 table service credits. We don’t always use up our credits by the end of our holiday, so we don’t mind using 2 credits as a special treat.
For our starter we chose French Onion soup. We’ve never had this soup before so had nothing to compare it to, but it was amazing and we’ll definitely order this again. Our steak was perfectly cooked to our liking and all the accompaniments were so tasty. By the end of the meal we were stuffed, but did order The Admiral’s Cake, which is a layered cake and looked sublime. I was too full to try the cake but everybody else enjoyed it.
Beaches & Cream was our favourite place to eat, even though we only had ice cream. They do have other food on the menu, but we just go for the ice cream! The theme of this restaurant is like a traditional ice cream parlour/diner and Disney always make sure they get things spot on with their attention to detail.
We have eaten there on a previous holiday and went for the Kitchen Sink sundae challenge. It was massive and it defeated us; we couldn’t eat it all so when we went back this year, we chose our own ice cream sundaes. They were still huge though! James and I had the No Way Jose, which was chocolate and vanilla ice cream scoops, peanut butter & hot fudge sauces and chocolate & peanut butter chips, topped off with whipped cream and a cherry.
If you ever go to the Beaches & Cream Soda Shop, you have to try this sundae. It’s quite difficult to get a table at the Soda Shop, but we learned that you can order smaller ice cream sundaes to take away.
Cape May Cafe had buffet breakfasts and dinners. We even got a reservation for the Character experience at breakfast one morning and met Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Daisy. The character dining is always fun because you get to meet characters without having to wait in line. You just sit at your table and they come to you, so you have to keep an eye out for them before you go off to get some food.
The Character breakfast gave plenty of options to choose from, including scrambled eggs, seasoned potatoes and Mickey waffles. The dinner buffet was a mixture of seafood, chicken, ribs, mashed potato and more. Buffet food can be disappointing at times, because of the sheer quantity they have to cook to provide for all the guests going back and forth, but Disney always know how to keep their customers happy and we were all able to find something satisfying to enjoy. There were also an array of mini cakes for dessert, so I just had to try one of each!
Hurricane Hanna’s has a poolside bar and serves a quick service menu, with burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches and kid’s meals. It was a handy place to go when we were spending time by the pool and just needed something quick to tide us over until a more substantial evening meal. We ordered from this counter a few times during our two week stay and even though we sometimes had quite a long wait for our food to be ready, we were happy with the quality of the chicken fingers & fries that we had.
The marketplaces were our go to for breakfast. You could grab and go from the fridges and snack items or you could get hot meals that were made to order. With busy days ahead of us, the Marketplace was where we could pick up something quickly before we made our way to our chosen park for the day. There is some indoor and outdoor seating, which gave us chance to discuss our plans for the day while eating our breakfast.
The pool at the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts is amazing. Stormalong Bay is the largest pool on Disney property. It’s such a popular pool that the cast members have to scan your Magic Band as you enter the pool area, to make sure only Yacht and Beach Club resort guests are using the facilities.
Both resorts share the pool, but it’s so huge that when we went in June 2018 we didn’t find it crowded for most of the time we were there. There were a few days in the middle of our holiday that did get quite busy. There was some sort of conference in the resort, so a lot of people were attending that and then used the resort facilities in their free time. Apart from those few days though the pool was perfect.
The pool has plenty of space to swim around, there were beach balls for anybody to use to play games with family & friends, a lazy river and a beach area to make sandcastles. The pool has a sand bottom, which is so different to all the other Disney resort pools that we have been in.
The cast members also have various party games and activities that children can take part in and there is music playing throughout the day to add to the fun, holiday atmosphere. The slide attached to the pool was awesome. The slide starts at the top of the mast of the pirate ship wreck situated on the beach just outside the pool area. It’s quite a fast ride but also a decent length so doesn’t feel like it’s over too quickly and you come shooting out of the bottom straight into the pool.
The resort also had plenty of other amenities to make our stay as comfortable as possible. We had complimentary Wi-Fi in resort, an ATM, childcare services, laundry rooms, merchandise delivery and pickup, plus of course the Disney transportation system. You are also able to order the Minnie Van service, which is quite a new service, but is proving to be quite popular and looks like it’s sticking around.
One of our favourite things about this resort was its close proximity to Epcot and Boardwalk. They are both walking distance from the resort (although we did get the boat a few times) and really made this resort extra special, moving it firmly into position as our number 1 resort.
The Boardwalk has a lot to offer in terms of food and entertainment, as well as some shops to buy Disney merchandise.
Epcot is such an incredible park and staying in a resort so close to it meant that we spent a lot more time there than we have done in previous years. This was great because we actually explored the different countries in World Showcase Lagoon, more than we ever have done before. It was fantastic to discover hidden treasures that we never took the time to find on previous visits.
We also stayed late one night to watch the Epcot Fireworks, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. We have seen this fireworks show twice in the 11 times we have been to Disney World but over the last few years we haven’t found the time to watch it again, so it was amazing to watch it again and remember how much we loved it the first time we saw it. Disney sure know how to put on a Fireworks show!
We loved every minute of our stay at Disney’s Beach Club Resort and definitely want to stay there again. It met all of our expectations and we highly recommend it to anybody looking for Disney magic with extra magic touches.
Has anybody else stayed at a Disney resort? Which resort is your favourite?
Come back again soon for more Disney chat.