Spring Break at Disney’s Beach Club Villas
Deciding where to stay:
After you have picked your dates, the next big question in the planning process for a Disney vacation is where to stay. Some factors to consider when deciding where to stay are:
proximity to the parks (do you want more time at Magic Kingdom or other parks?)
amenities (like pools and restaurants)
room capacity (some resorts only accommodate families of 4, not 5)
Most importantly: price.
There are currently three pricing tiers to consider when thinking about your hotel choice and how it will fit with your budget: Deluxe, Moderate, and Value. Generally speaking, Deluxes have higher end decor, are closer to the parks, have bigger rooms and the resorts are a little less sprawling (think less walking from the bus stop to you room). But whatever your budget, you can find a room onsite that will work, and you will get all the same perks of staying onsite: 60 day booking window for FP+, free magicbands, ability to charge to your room anywhere in WDW, Magical Express from the airport, Disney transportation to all the parks, and even more Magical Extras that arrive with your Magicbands.
Fun in the sun at Stormalong Bay
Why did we pick the Beach Club?
Location, location, location. When we decided to book the Beach Club one of the main reasons was proximity to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Our kids are getting a little older and can enjoy some evening activities that littler ones may not . Epcot and the Boardwalk area around Crescent Lake have a lot to offer at night. From the Beach Club you can walk into Epcot in 5 minutes, walk to Hollywood Studios in 10 minutes, or take the Friendship boats to either. The walkability to HS is great for little Star Wars fans! And possibly the biggest draw for the Beach Club is that it is home to arguably the best pool in all of Disney World - Stormalong Bay (more about that later).
Walking to the Friendship Boats to catch a ride to Hollywood Studios
What is special about the “Villas” at the Beach Club?
When our kids were younger, we preferred the Seven Seas Lagoon area resorts that are on the monorail with easy access to Magic Kingdom. This trip we opted for the Crescent Lake area because of access to HS and Epcot. We chose the Beach Club Villas because we were traveling with another family so our party of 8 could enjoy more space and some more comforts of home in a villa. The Villas are part of Disney’s Vacation Club, and there are studios, 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom units that can be booked with points. Units that are not booked by DVC owners then go into a pool of units that can be booked by regular resort guests.
We booked a 2 bedroom villa, and it featured:
a full kitchen, eating area and living rooms
a king room
a 2 queen room
1 pull-out bed (in the living room)
2 full bathrooms
The bedrooms and bathrooms are spacious, and while the kitchen and seating area are adequate, it is tight if 8 people are trying to eat breakfast before the parks! While Disney is known for its theming in its resorts, the Beach Club theming is very subtle. There are small touches, from the nautical uniforms for cast members, and beach scenes on the walls, to the soft blue decor, that do give you a beachy feel, but the theming won’t knock your socks off, nor is it really intended to. If theming is really important to you, perhaps the Beach Club is not the best choice for you - we can discuss the Polynesian in that case!
Why we loved it!
Besides proximity to the parks, the appeal of the Beach Club for us was that once we were at the resort, we really felt like we were on vacation. And because we had a kitchen we could make breakfast in our villa then head straight out without a pitstop. After our mornings at the parks we were generally at the pool by 2pm. While there are technically 3 pools at the resort, your kids will only want the main attraction: Stormalong Bay. This massive 3+ acre complex features a lazy river, a sandy bottom (yes, real sand that sinks), a whirlpool, open swim area and of course the Jib Slide: a 150 foot slide from starts in the iconic shipwreck. If you want to get lunch at the pool you can head to Hurricane Hanna’s. Pretty standard quick service food is served here, but the real stars are the tropical frozen drinks! I highly recommend the Frozé (Rosé and vodka blended with ice) and the Category 5 (Hanna’s version of a Mai Tai/Rum punch). While there is a quick service "Marketplace" this is not as robust as other Deluxes, and we found the selection to be limited and service to be a little slow. If I had to point out a negative about the Beach Club, the Marketplace would be it. Since we stayed in a villa though, this was not a place we needed for breakfast, but this could be an issue for a regular resort guest.
Family Fav? Cape May Cafe
Another reason we have wanted to stay here is because we love the amazing character breakfast at Cape May Cafe. Minnie’s Beach Bash Breakfast typically features Minnie, Donald and Goofy dressed for the beach. As an Easter treat we had a fun surprise guest, Daisy was there, AND there was complimentary face painting!
The breakfast buffet will not disappoint, and there is something for everyone. The spread that day included an omelet station, fresh fruit, breakfast specials like biscuits and gravy and quiche, specialty pancakes (we had chocolate chip) and of course Mickey Waffles. (There at least 15 hot options all around the enormous buffet - you literally can't try everything!)
The characters were adorable and had a lot of fun with the kids (and adults). Donald actually snuck up on me and the whole table got a good laugh at my expense. This meal was certainly one of the highlights of our week.
Would we stay here again?
Absolutely. We're ready to go back tomorrow!