People of Earth, I am editing to add that there is a super room-only discount available right now. I found out about it over at www.intercot.com. (Look under Discussions, then Accommodations. There is a sticky at the top.) My husband priced out several hotels with this rate and found an unheard of deal at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Edited once again to add that no, we are not actually going to AKL, but there is a super deal. Carry on….
Here’s the promised tour, much belated, PW-style. The Beach Club is considered a deluxe resort (as opposed to value and moderate resorts). This was my first time at BC. It was freakishly cold for Florida (or ANYWHERE) when I went in February, so I didn’t get to experience some of the things that make this resort a favorite for many, like the sandy bottomed pool or long walks on the beach.
I have stayed at several deluxe WDW resorts (Polynesian is by far my favorite) and I highly recommend choosing one if it’s in the budget. If the choice is stay somewhere else or don’t go, then please stay somewhere else. (My vote for a moderate resort is Port Orleans Riverside.)
Pros for the Beach Club: sizable rooms, two queen beds and a day bed, in-room fridge and “getting ready” room which is critical if there are multiple people trying to get to the Magic Kingdom at once. This resort has lovely grounds and pools and that awesome beach, which I imagine would be great when the temperature is above 45 degrees. The biggest feature for BC for me is location, location, location. (See below.) I found the hotel to be super clean and quiet, which are my biggest requirements for any hotel. Mousekeeping was excellent and the decor was really light and happy and beach-like, which is appropriate. (In stark contrast to the Poly, which is super dark, and the only bad thing I can say about that hotel.)
See, I told you this was PW-style. Note the long-sleeved sweater. In Florida. I also wore long underwear and wool socks.
What’s wrong with this picture? (Hint: I am thinking that lifeguard would sink like a stone in all that gear.)
Just beyond the shivering sea gulls and the lake, that’s the Boardwalk. I walked (sprinted) over there early the next morning for a cinnamon roll. The Boardwalk is easily accessible by a path that runs just left of the picture below – it leads to food (Cat Cora’s new restaurant, among others), entertainment and more. Said path also leads to the World Showcase entrance to Epcot. Yes, people, you can walk to Epcot. One caveat: I was told that you can only enter Epcot at that location after World Showcase is open, which is typically 11 a.m. on days that Future World (main entrance) opens at 9 a.m. Therefore, I would only use this for afternoon visits or treks from the park to the hotel. This is still a major plus.
You can also catch a ferry to Disney’s Studios here. I did not do this, but having taken the ferry ride in the past I would guess the travel time is equivalent to a bus ride. But more fun.
(That’s the Dolphin hotel below.)
There is also a lovely solarium (below) that I only discovered as I was hustling out to catch a plane.
Cons: I did not try the resort’s table service restaurants, but I found the quick service locations to be lacking. And by lacking, I mean I had the worst food I have ever consumed on Disney property. If I had it to do over again, I would jaunt over to the Boardwalk for something better, like cinnamon rolls at every meal. By contrast – and I know others will disagree – quick service at the Polynesian is terrific and I found the same to be true at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Quick service at Grand Floridian (I haven’t stayed there) and Contemporary are adequate, but still above the lunch and breakfast I had at Beach Club. YMMV. Keep in mind that I generally find the quality and selection of food on WDW property to be at a far higher standard that typical vacation fare. As as vegetarian, I never go hungry or even sacrifice (except on the rare occasion that I end up with a Mickey mac and cheese kid’s meal). And to be fair, I did not try the “real” restaurants at the hotel.
One more con, sorta: I was far (really far) from anything, including an elevator, during my stay. I should have looked at the resort map at check-in and requested something more convenient.
It was fun to experience the Beach Club and I would definitely try it again in warmer weather.