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Walt Disney World

Yacht Club, Beach Club & Beach Club Villas

Description, review & info for dealing with health issues, special needs, handicaps & disabilities

By Stephen Ashley

 

RESOURCES for Yacht Club, Beach Club & Beach Club Villas:

     LocalLive - Excellent overhead view of the resort

     Google Maps - Overhead view of the resort from Satellite

     Disney Map: PDF of the resort put out by Disney

     Top Hotel Deals in Orlando - PLUS read traveler reviews of the resorts

     Tripadviser.com Yacht Club - Beach Club - Beach Club Villas - Read

        traveler reviews & see photos of these resorts

 

Location: In the Epcot area. Yacht Club Address: 1700 Epcot Resorts Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, FL, 32830.  Beach Club Address: 1800 Epcot Resorts Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, FL, 32830. Beach Club Villas Address: 1900 Epcot Resorts Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, FL, 32830.

 

Beach Club phone: 407-934-8000.  Yacht Club phone: 407-934-7000. Beach Club Villas: 407-934-2175.

 

Beach Club fax: 407-939-3850.  Yacht Club fax: 407-939-3450. Beach Club Villas fax: 407-934-3850.

 

Overview & the buildings: The Yacht and Beach Club resorts are attached, though guests must step outside to get from one resort to the other.  The Beach Club Villas is next to the Beach Club. They all share some amenities such as the 3-acre Stormalong Bay pool complex. If you’re staying at one of these resorts, the walk to the other is close enough so that it’s practical to plan on accessing all the amenities at these locations.

 

The Beach Club Villas is considered a timeshare resort, which is a part of the Disney Vacation Club.  If there are rooms available, you can stay there without being a Disney Vacation Club member.

 

There are 621 rooms at the yacht Cub, 576 Beach Club standard rooms, and approximately 208 villas which have 282 villa guest rooms. These upscale resorts are designed to resemble turn-of-the-century style summer homes on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.  Having lived in New England I can say that it feels authentic.  

 

One of the very best reasons for staying in one of these resorts is the location. When we know we’re planning to spend a lot of time at Epcot, these resorts are our first choice.  It’s a very short walk to the International Gateway entrance that brings you to the World Showcase side of Epcot. It’s approximately 10 minutes, give or take, depending upon where you’re room is and how fast you walk. This is especially great after the IllumiNations Show, which is the big fireworks display that happens just around park closing time.  You can avoid all the crowds running for the entrances and transportation and just take a short walk by the water back to your room. 

 

Tip: There are actually two paths on the walk to Epcot from the Yacht Club and Beach Club. Though the upper level path gives you a water view, the lower level path takes you right by the side of the river.  Either way, we’ve found it to be a pleasant walk.

 

During the past Epcot Food and Wine Festivals we've enjoyed being able to walk to Epcot whenever we wished just to eat our way around the World Showcase for lunch or dinner. The Yacht and Beach Club are also quite close to Hollywood Studios, though it’s a much longer walk or a quick boat ride. The resort boats also run to Hollywood Studios.

 

Tip: If you’re planning on walking to Epcot, the Beach Club is the resort that’s has the shortest walk. The Yacht Club is just a bit further, and a little bit further than that is the Boardwalk Inn. Although you can walk from the Swan and Dolphin, we find it far enough away so that we prefer to take the Disney boat transportation.  It seems to take most people about 15-20 minutes to walk from the Swan or Dolphin to the International Gateway.

 

Tip: Once you get to the World Showcase at Epcot, Future World is still a long walk from there.  Please note that there is no transportation from these resorts to the Future World side of Epcot. If you wish to minimize the walking, take the boat to the World Showcase.  

 

The location of the Yacht Club, Beach Club and Beach Club Villas also gives you access to many great dining options.  All of the resorts that border Crescent Lake have some really nice restaurants, and they’re all within easy reach by walking or taking a boat.  This includes a wide range of dining and entertainment options on the Boardwalk.

 

Another reason for choosing to stay at the Yacht or Beach Club is that they sit on the shores of the 25-acre Crescent Lake. Guests get to enjoy the pleasant water views, walking paths, boat transportation, and the white sandy beach. It’s a reasonable walk or short boat ride to the Boardwalk, as well as to the Swan or Dolphin.  This gives you easy access to a wide variety of dining and entertainment options.  

 

The massive 3-acre water park shared by the Yacht Club, Beach Club and Beach Club Villas is also a compelling reason for choosing one of these resorts.  See the pool section for more details.  

 

Both of these resorts are significantly more upscale than the moderate resorts. The depth of detail in the theming is very apparent the minute you walk in.  There’s also a drastic difference in service that you’ll notice as soon as you approach the front entrance (see check-in).

 

Though these two resorts are physically attached and share many of the amenities, they’re very different decoratively. The Yacht Club is the more conservative, sophisticated and subdued environment. It features a pale grey clapboard exterior, white trim, red and white striped awnings and full balconies for each room. The interior is positively formal with shiny oak wood floors, and the kind of furniture you would see in the better homes on the New England seashore.

 

There’s a great deal of pale, ornate wood trim on the walls and ceilings including a ship’s steering wheel design. You’ll find antique chandeliers, leather furniture, nautical touches such as ropes hanging from the railings, a miniature ship model and brass handrails on the staircase. You can’t miss the beautiful and quite huge antique globe situated in the center of the lobby. There are just so many details that make the lobby and interior elegant and special. This includes the attentive cast members wearing nautical themed outfits who greet and attend to the guests. 

 

The Beach Club is meant to be less formal than the Yacht club, though we found it to be just as upscale and elegant. The exterior is a pleasant Cape Cod stick-style, painted pastel blue with a great deal of decorative white trim. The interior furnishings and rugs feature various shades of turquoise, coral and pink with a seashell motif. There are some unusual and very bright “electric orange” colored chairs with super high backs that curve over the top. The floors are made from natural French limestone with orange tinted earth tones. The high 24-foot ceilings are dramatic, and the furniture is comfortable. There are massive floral arrangements throughout the lobby and small curtained sitting areas which are inviting and cozy. You can spot characters from The Little Mermaid around the resort interior, including in the design of the carpeting. Adding to the elegance, there’s plenty of marble used. Even on the elevator floors!

 

The Beach Club Villas is next to the Beach Club. It has a pleasant pale turquoise exterior with white trim in a style that’s similar to that of the Beach club. Visitors to the Beach Club Villas share all of the Yacht Club and Beach Club amenities including Stormalong Bay, the valet and bell services, the front desk and the concierge services. In addition this resort has its own quiet pool and whirlpool.

 

Tip: The Beach Club does use fragrance in the lobby.  If this is a problem for you, you may wish to choose another resort.  Although check-in is in the main lobby, we found that there’s not much need to spend time there. However, we did pass through on a frequent basis to get to other resort locations. We did not discern any strong fragrances elsewhere in the resort.

 

We have heard reports that the Yacht Club tends to be less kid friendly, and that there tends to be more adult travelers there at times. However, many visitors with kids love the Yacht Club. On the premises, there is a convention center themed in the same décor as the Yacht Club. There are likely to be convention travelers at both resorts. Yet on our last visit, we did notice that there were very few kids whenever we were in the Yacht Club, and many more kids around the Beach Club. The Beach Club has the Character breakfast at the Cape May Café, so every morning the lobby is filled with families (including running and playing children) waiting to be seated. The main dining location at the Yacht Club seems to be far more sedate.  However cast members have told us that they think both resorts bring an equal number of families.  

 

If a balcony is important to you, keep in mind that each Yacht Club room has a full balcony with a table and chairs. Though the Beach Club has some full balconies, many of the rooms have tiny partial balconies that only allow you to stand. Personally we like to sit outside and enjoy the evening view and fresh air, so a balcony is important to us.  You can request a full balcony at the Beach Club, but it won’t be guaranteed.  

 

Check-in:  The Yacht Club and Beach Club check-in is 3:00 PM check-out is 11 AM. The Beach Club Villas check-in is 4:00 PM check-out is 11 AM.

 

We recently had the best check-in we have ever had in any resort, anywhere. We were greeted at the door by very attentive bell services people who took our luggage. As we walked to the front door, a man in a blue nautical themed blazer approached us, welcomed us to the resort and escorted us to the front desk. He introduced us to the cast member who would be checking us in. We had a smooth check-in with a wonderful cast member who then gave Sarah a long stemmed rose. The bell Services people got Sarah’s scooter from the back, and escorted us up to our room. We felt important!

 

In general we’ve found that service at these resorts is great.  When you walk into the lobby you’ll notice several cast members just standing there waiting to assist guests.

 

The lobbies have very small children’s sitting areas near the check-in locations. There are child size places to sit and a television playing Disney movies. This resort does not have low counters at the check-in area for guests who are in wheelchairs and ECVs. 

 

Check-in for the Beach Club Villas is in the Beach Club check-in area.

 

If you arrive before your room is ready you have the option of having Bell Services store your luggage until it’s ready. You’ll be given your room keys and a card with a phone number. You can call and see if you’re room is ready, and once it’s available they’ll give you the room number. You can also store your luggage if you’re planning to stick around Disney after check-out.

 

Guest Rooms: Here are some things that are available on request: Rooms accessible to guests with disabilities; hearing-impaired TDD telephones, bed shaker accessory, visual smoke alarms, wake up alarms and door knocks; bed boards and bed rails; shower seat for disabled guests; Sharp containers for used syringes. 

 

Guests can also request cribs and a Pack 'n Play at no extra charge; rollaway beds; down pillows; international electrical adaptor; heating pads; high chairs. 

 

Yacht Club and Beach Club Rooms:  The buildings vary with three, four and five-stories. Standard rooms are approximately 381 square feet. The maximum number of people in the standard rooms is two to five plus a child under the age of three in a crib. Deluxe guest rooms and Suites vary in size and sleep three to eight people.  The rooms have Sealy Posturepedic beds, Wamsutta bed linens and towels, and H2O bath products which are fragranced. Fragrance free products are not available.

 

Most standard rooms have two queen beds, and accessible rooms have one king bed. Some rooms also have a daybed. In the room with queen beds we find that there’s enough room to ride a scooter in and and park it out of the way. There are some rooms with two double beds. Also there are some rooms with King Sico beds which fold out from the wall.

 

There is a desk with a small pull-out table under it that is perfect for setting up a computer on. There are two chairs in the room, a television on the bureau. The recently updated Beach Club rooms have a flat screen 32 inch television and an IPOD docking station on the clock radio. The rooms have a ceiling fan. Both resorts have small in-room wall safes that lock with keys, and mini refrigerators hidden inside of the bureau. They do not have a freezer section. There’s an additional tall bureau in the entry way, giving extra storage.

 

We found the beds to be super comfortable here, topped off with a comforter containing a down insert. If you have an allergy to down, remember to request that this be replaced. French doors open to outdoor porches or balconies. Some rooms have full balconies or porches with two chairs and a small table.

The bathrooms have marble floors and wall tiles, with a phone on the bathroom wall. There is a vanity area just outside the bathroom. It has a marble surface, two sinks and a makeup mirror.  Fragranced soaps, shampoos and other products made by H20 Aquatics are provided. The rooms have central air conditioning.

 

The Yacht Club rooms have a blue, tan and white color scheme with white furniture. The nautical theme continues with a bed headboard sporting the shape of a carved ship’s steering wheel, brass fixtures, and even a brass sailor Mickey Mouse lamp.

 

The Beach Club standard rooms have a summer cottage ambiance with tiny sea horses on the wall paper, white furniture, wood head boards, and décor with pale earth tones, dark brown carpeting, dark blue curtains and plenty of sea foam blue green.  We love the lifeguard Mickey lamp that adds just the right touch to the room.

 

Tip: When requesting a view, be aware that water view rooms don’t always face Crescent Lake. They may face the Stormalong Bay pool complex or a quiet pool. This can be a very noisy view, especially during the day when there’s loud music and a host on a microphone leading the kids in games at the main pool.

 

Some other standard view rooms face the parking lot, a garden, quiet pool or inner court. There are even rooms with a view of the nightly Epcot Illuminations fireworks. Remember that although you can request a particular view, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get it.

 

Tip: These resorts are large, and the hallways can go on for quite a distance. If you wish to minimize walking, request a central room location that puts you as close as possible to both the Beach Club and the Yacht Club amenities.  The lobbies of both the Yacht Club and Beach Club are towards the center where the two resorts join, so if you request a room close to the main lobby, that should put you in a more central location.

 

Tip: If you plan to walk to Epcot, you may wish to request a room in the Beach Club as close to Epcot as possible. You may also request a room that faces Epcot to catch some of the fireworks from Illuminations.

 

Tip: If you plan on using the boat transportation frequently, you may wish to stay in the Yacht Club, and request a room as close to the lobby as possible.

 

Beach Club Villa Rooms:  Guests can choose a studio, one or two bedroom villa in the five story resort.  The rooms are decorated with pastel colors such as pale blue, green and salmon. Each villa has a balcony or patio, iron and ironing board and a hairdryer. The rooms have Sealy Posturepedic beds, Wamsutta bed linens and towels, and H2O bath products which are fragranced. Fragrance free products are not available. High-speed internet is available for a fee.

 

The Studios offer approximately 365 square feet of room and allow for four adults and one child under the age of three in a crib. There is a queen bed, double sleeper sofa, armoire, small table with two high-backed upholstered wicker chairs. Other amenities include a mini-refrigerator under the counter, a microwave, coffee maker and a wet bar.  There is one bathroom with a separate vanity and sink area.

 

One Bedroom Villas give you 727 square feet and sleep up to four adults plus one child in a crib. There is a master bedroom with a king size bed, and a private bathroom with a whirlpool bathtub. The whirlpool, vanity and walk-in closet are in one room, and the shower, sink and another room with a toilet are in another.

 

In the living room there’s a sofa that converts to a queen-size bed, upholstered chair with wood arms and an entertainment center with a television and DVD player.  

 

Just outside the kitchen area is a small dining room table with 3-person padded booth seating.  There are two chairs at the nearby breakfast bar that you can pull up to the table to seat 5. A fully equipped kitchen makes this a great option for those who wish to cook during their stay. This includes a microwave, toaster, stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, coffee maker, dinnerware, utensils, pots and pans,

 

There’s a full-size stacked washer and dryer with the washer on the bottom and the dryer on top. Both the master bedroom and the living room have televisions with cable. There is a safe in the bedroom closet that should be able to hold a laptop computer. There's also a vacuum cleaner in the closet.

 

Two Bedroom Villas give you 1,080 square feet and sleep up to eight adults and one child under three years old in a crib. These units vary because some were created as one bedroom villas that have a second bedroom, and some are the combination of a one bedroom villa plus a studio villa. All of these villas have televisions with cable in the living room and both bedrooms.

 

In addition to the items guests in the Yacht Club or Beach Club can request, guests in the Beach Club Villas can also request: Full-size cribs; booster seat, high chairs; toilet seat for disabled; telephone for hearing impaired.

 

Dining: For menus see the dining section of the website.

Captain's Grille has a buffet breakfast, along with lunch and dinner featuring regional New England foods like chowder, fish, sandwiches, steaks and chicken specialties.  The breakfast buffet has a lot of nice food choices, but they do not make omelets to order.  While the Beach Club has a very loud and busy character breakfast, we found the Captain’s Grille to be relatively peaceful and quiet.

Yachtsman Steakhouse is a high-end dining experience with a glassed beef-aging room, open-air kitchen and hardwood-fired grills for meats and vegetables.

 

Crew's Cup Lounge offers beers from around the world  and hors d'oeuvres.

 

Cape May Cafe is a buffet style restaurant that features the foods you would expect to find at a New England clam bake. This is one of Sarah’s favorite restaurants in all of Disney World.  She particularly enjoys the unlimited clams and mussels. This restaurant has a character breakfast with Goofy and other Disney characters.

 

The Beach Club Marketplace has the least expensive and quickest breakfast alternative. There some hot and cold choices here. Pre-made egg, cheese and ham omelet’s on a croissant are available. You can have the sandwich with or without the ham, but the cheese is already cooked into the eggs.  Lunch and dinner choices are available including sandwiches, salads, soup and baked goods. Most of these items are available until closing. They don’t prepare the food here, so they can not take special requests. There are very few tables here, but you can bring your food to other pleasant locations nearby. Wheelchairs should be able to navigate throughout most of the store.

 

Hurricane Hanna’s Grill can be found on the far side of Stormalong Bay.  There’s a bar serving a variety of mixed drinks and chips. The dining side serves casual food such as burgers, salads and sandwiches. There is some outdoor seating with umbrella covered tables. Unfortunately we found the quality of the food to be rather poor, but we ate there several times because the restaurant was conveniently located. 

 

Beaches & Cream is located in the middle of the Beach Club and the Yacht Club, near Stormalong Bay. It’s themed as a 1950’s ice cream parlour.  It’s a small shop we’re you’ll find burgers and desserts like banana splits, frozen hot cocoa, floats, shakes and malts. They are famous for their gigantic “Kitchen Sink Sundae” which is a sight to behold. They discourage scooters from entering, though they will allow it if you’re willing to wait for the "right table". Since there’s very limited seating to begin with, this could take quite some time since they’re often busy.   

 

There’s a sit-down restaurant as well as a take-out line.  We were disappointed to find that we could not order a meal to go. We had hoped to eat poolside, but only ice cream is available at the take-out counter. Though there are tables outside, they won’t serve guests outside. The waits are often extremely long here, and service can be very slow.  They do have a no sugar added ice cream sweetened with aspartame.

 

Martha's Vineyard is a pleasant 59-seat lounge featuring a wide variety of wines and appetizers.

 

Other Dining Info: 24-hour room service is available.  Refillable mugs can be refilled at Beaches and Cream, Hurricane Hannah’s Grill and the Beach Club Marketplace.

 

Resort Shopping: The Yacht Club has Fittings & Fairings and the Beach Club has the Beach Club Marketplace. In addition to some clothing choices, you’ll find Disney World souvenirs and basic toiletries, magazines, books, sunglasses, snacks and drinks.  You’ll even find bathing suits and accessories.

Pools:  Stormalong Bay is a really incredible 2 1/2-acre water recreation area reminiscent of a Nantucket beach.  The pools have sandy bottoms and there’s even a white sand beach for kids to play on that begins outside the sandy-bottom kiddie pool.  Kids are given pails and other toys to play with. There are “boulders” everywhere, contributing to the illusion that you’re on a real New England Beach. You can’t miss the life-size shipwreck and the marina lighthouse that has lounge chairs on top where you can relax with a great view. Note that you must be able to walk up the stairs to go there.   

There are two separate lagoon type pools at Stormalong Bay. They range in depth from 3 feet to 8 feet.  The separate kiddie pool has a depth of 2 to 3 feet.

On the Yacht Club side of Stormalong Bay, there’s a wonderful lazy river with water currents that gently pull and push you around a loop.  We found it to be so much fun and really relaxing. It’s most relaxing if you have an inner tube or a noodle to float with.  Without the support it’s actually a lot of work, which can be a great workout! As you float around the loop there are stairs to get out, but you must be able to pull yourself up to the first step, which is quite high. Conversely, if you enter the loop on one of these staircases, you’ll find a deep drop after the last step. It can be as much as 6-8 feet deep.

On the Beach Club side lagoon, there’s a section that has currents that create a spinning whirlpool. We heard from a mother who told us the following:

“Tell parents to be careful. My son got sucked down under the water in the whirlpool part of the pool. It overpowered him and I had to grab him and pull him up out of the water.  It’s really too strong for some kids.”

A spiral staircase takes you up on the life-sized shipwreck that rises to a 150-foot mast. There you’ll find the entrance to a water flume. It has you plummeting toward a rocky outcropping, and then down 150 feet of spins.  You must be able to walk up the staircase to participate. You must also be able to swim in 4 feet of water without having to wear a flotation device.

 

There are four "quiet pools" in alcoves far removed from Stormalong Bay. The Beach Club Villas has its own quiet pool named Dunes Cove. Unlike most other Disney resort quiet pools, it has a hot tub/whirlpool, and guests are supplied towels there.  However as with most other quiet pools, there is no lifeguard here. There is also a building with lockers and restrooms.

 

Exiting from the resorts to the outdoors Stormalong Bay can be tricky if you’re in a wheelchair or scooter. If you need an electric door, you’ll have to go out the main back exit in one of the lobbies, and ride around outside to the pool. It’s a little roundabout, but you’ll get there.

 

There are many manual doors that will put you right outside by the pool complex, but we did not see any electric doors. The areas around these doors can often be empty of people, so when Sarah was alone, she found that she was unable to ask anyone to get the door for her at times. However she was able to fling open a door while sitting on her scooter, and then to ride through it before it closed. The doors were light enough for her to manage, but it was challenging to dart through the exit quick enough to avoid having the door hit or her scooter.

There’s a poolside gift shop that’s behind the poolside restaurant and just under the gazebo. They have all kinds of items for sale including sun block lotion, noodles (a floating device currently costing $4 each), hats and even water guns. They also offer tube rentals, complimentary life jackets and swim diapers.

There’s one thing about Stormalong Bay that parents will absolutely love, and adults might not be thrilled with. Throughout the day, cast members lead kids in all kinds of games, dancing and various activities. They even give out nice prizes. Cast members use a microphone with speakers to talk to the kids as they run the games.  Once the games start, they also play loud party music that can be heard throughout Stormalong Bay. It’s loud. Really, really loud.  

Sometimes they run these games on the Yacht Club side and sometimes on the Beach Club side. Parents will enjoy being able to relax with their children in sight. Those who are looking for relaxation and quiet will want to be as far from the games as possible. Although you can hear everything wherever you’re seated in Stormalong Bay, the side that they are playing on is the loudest. There seems to be no pattern to which side they choose to play on, but you may be able to ask a cast member what the plans are. You may or may not get an answer because they may not know. Of course you can move once they start the games, but that can be a lot of work. 

As adult travelers looking for some relaxation by a beautiful pool area, we were really disappointed. Yes, the pool was beautiful with little waterfalls, bridges, hot tubs, a lazy river, and other features that really appealed to us. However, once the games began we found ourselves frustrated by the noise. At one point the music was so loud that Sarah was getting a headache. She rode her scooter over to the cast member who was running the games and requested the music be made lower. The cast member instantly and dramatically lowered the music. Regardless, although Stormalong Bay is really as great as we heard, we would not recommend this resort to anyone seeking a mellow pool environment.

We can heartily recommend this resort to families. The kids really seem to enjoy the pool activities. This combined with some of the other kid friendly options will really thrill parents and kids.  

Stormalong Bay does not offer any umbrellas for lounge chairs. There are no areas where there’s shade throughout the day. If you’re looking for shade, you may need to move around as the sun moves.

Those in scooters and wheelchairs should keep the speed down and use caution. The ground can be uneven, and there are some narrow walkways surrounded by water.  

Life vests are available at all of the pool locations free of charge.  Look for the bins near the pools.  All Children under 12 must be supervised by an adult.  The pools have lifeguards on duty from 10 am until 10 pm. All diaper age children must wear plastic pants or swim diapers, which can be purchased at the poolside store. 

 

There is a pool bar and restaurant called Hurricane Hanna’s Grille.  There is a cast member serving guests around the pool, but we found she seldom came by and took a long time to deliver.  For a location of this size, we felt there could have been at least one more server, if not more.

 

Stormalong Bay pool hours are usually 10 AM to 10 PM, and it may be open later during the summer. The quiet pools are available 24 hours. Be sure to have a resort ID with you or someone in your party, as cast members will check once in a while. In order to get towels you must show your ID. You’ll be given all the towels you want, and a bright colored paper bracelet to wear to identify you as a guest. It will stay on even in the water.

Health Club:  The 4,750-square-foot Ship Shape Health Club has a Jacuzzi, steam bath, sauna and a couple of massage rooms (by appointment).  There is a weight room and an aerobics room. Both are staffed with cast members trained to assist guests. In the weight room you’ll also find an elliptical machine, recumbent bike and Swiss ball. There is an accessible bathroom.

Guests can take a jog around the beautiful Crescent Lake.

Parking: There is a parking fee for valet-parking or you can self-park at no charge. Disabled guests are offered valet parking at no charge, but you must have valid state issued proof. Beach Club Villas guests get complimentary parking if they’re part of the Disney Vacation Club and using their points.

 

Transportation:  The monorail does not come to this area. Buses are the only form of transportation available to Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Downtown Disney and the water parks. The outdoor bus stops are covered and there are a small number of benches with backs.  When it’s crowded most people will have to stand.

 

The resorts have separate bus stops. They are outside, not far from the main lobby. The Yacht Club, Beach Club and Beach Club Villas share transportation with each other, and with the Boardwalk Inn, Swan and Dolphin. This means that most buses will stop at all of these locations. You may experience some very long rides and crowded buses. The upside is that you can catch a bus to the other resorts to enjoy their restaurants or the Boardwalk. 

 

To get to Hollywood Studios or Epcot, the only form of transportation offered is a water taxi. The Friendship boats can be picked up at the dock approximately every 20 minutes.  The Yacht Club, Beach Club and Beach Club Villas share a boat dock on Crescent Lake. It’s near the lighthouse behind the Yacht Club lobby. Of course this will be a longer walk for Beach Club guests than for those staying at the Yacht Club. As with the buses, the boats share a route with the Yacht Club, Beach Club, Beach Club Villas, Dolphin, Swan and Boardwalk Inn. This can mean crowded boats and long waits at times, especially during peak seasons and high crowd times such as park openings and closings.

 

Tip: The crowds waiting for the boats after Illuminations can be so large, that we’ve even heard of people being stranded when the boats stopped running at the end of the night before all the guests had been serviced. If you’re planning to take a boat back to your resort after Illuminations, you may wish to view the show in a position close to the boat dock. Make your way to the dock as quickly as you can just before the show ends. If you’re determined to catch the grand finale, just position yourself as close to the exit as you can, and head to the docks the moment Illuminations ends.

 

Many people prefer to walk to and from Epcot. Although some people prefer to walk to Hollywood Studios, it's far enough away so that most people choose to take a boat. If you wish to shorten the walk to Hollywood Studios you can take a bus or boat to the Swan and Dolphin resorts, and walk from there.  

 

We find that there are plenty of wonderful benefits of the Yacht Club, Beach Club and Beach Club Villas. However, our personal opinion is that we would only stay in one of these resorts if we planned on spending a lot of time at Epcot, or if we were planning to drive our own car around Disney. The boat and bus rides to the other parks can sometimes take a large chunk of time, and the crowds can be really uncomfortable. These resorts are in the Deluxe category, and just about everything you’ll encounter will reflect that, except the transportation. I would also say that these resorts would be a good choice for those with children who love to swim. Stormalong Bay may make it all worth it.   

 

Other Entertainment: There’s a full arcade called the Lafferty Place Arcade. The area is accessible although some games are not.  At the marina you can choose from several types of rental boats, and tennis fans can play on the one hard court. There’s also a sand volleyball court. Balls are available at the fitness center with a resort I.D.

 

The white sandy beach across from the Beach Club gives you a full view of Crescent Lake, the bordering resorts and the Boardwalk.  There’s a two person swing and plenty of lounge chairs. Every evening, weather permitting, there’s a campfire on the beach by Crescent Lake where you can purchase and toast marshmallows and make s’mores. There’s also a different Disney movie played there every evening.  You’ll receive a movie schedule when you check in. You can relax on the lounge chairs and enjoy the view and the movie.  There is also a very tiny kids’ playground located near the kiddie pool on the Yacht Club side.

 

Please note that swimming is not permitted in any of the lakes on Disney property.

 

Children’s Pirate Cruise: Children between the ages of 4-12 years old can take a pirate cruise leaving from the resort marina.  The children board a boat made to look like an old pirate battle ship. They’re told a pirate story about how pirates used to sail in those waters, and they’re led on a treasure hunt. They’ll pass props and signs that lead them towards a location where they’ll find the treasure. When they get back to shore they’re allowed to open the treasure and to split it up.

 

The children will be given bandanas to wear, and they’ll be served lunch. The lunch consists of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cookie and juice box. Special dietary needs such as allergies may be accommodated on the cruise from this location. When you make your reservation, let the cast member know of your need. Once the cruise is booked they’ll give you a phone number to call to make arrangements.  You must call at least 48 hours in advance to make any changes.  

 

The cruise goes from 9:30-11:30 AM on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  Children must be potty trained, and must wear sneakers and socks. This cruise only takes 12 children at a time. The other cruises take more. At this writing the price is $31.05 per child, including tax.  You’ll be asked to book it with a credit card. Cancellation must be at least a full 24 hours in advance.  To book a cruise, call the Disney Dining line at 407-939-3463.

 

Other amenities & services: There’s a Laundromat, business center, Concierge desk, wired high speed internet access for a fee in your room, voice mail, complimentary newspaper, hair dryer, coffee maker, iron and ironing board, the Disney Channel and ESPN in your room, massage services and a hair salon called Periwigs (407-934-3260).

 

Motorized watercraft are available for rent at the resort marina every day from 10 AM to 5 PM.  This includes Sea Racers, Pontoon boats and Montauks. You can also book a guided fishing trip. For reservations call 407-WDW-BASS (407-939-2277).

 

Child care services are offered at The Sandcastle Club from 4:30 PM to Midnight. This is for children from 4 to 12 years old. Please note that they must be potty trained. Activities include unlimited free Sega/Nintendo, arcade games, arts and crafts, board games, play areas with toys and stuffed animals and movies.  Dinner is served to the kids usually consisting of kid favorites such as macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and chicken tenders. You must make reservations. This can be done with Disney Dining at 407-939-3463.

 

There is also one-on-one child care services in your resort room. The staff will play games with the children, read to them and lead them in other activities.  They will also provide child care with the parents present, to assist the parents.  You can call Disney Dining at 407-939-3463.

 

 ©Copyright 2009 Ball Media Innovations, Inc.  All rights reserved.

 

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