Disney’s Beach Club Villas

 

Today I want to give you our perspective of Disney’s Beach Club Villas. We stayed there for a few nights in September of 2014. Our opinion of the resort is a bit of a mixed bag. We would definitely stay there again, but you have to understand what you are getting yourself into.

Playing Catchup Part III by
Playing Catchup Part III by Christian Lambert is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The grounds are breathtaking as you can see in the few images I’ve included here. As usual with Disney, the attention to detail is great. When we arrived, our checkin was expedient and we were in our one bedroom villa within about 30 minutes.

The rooms at Disney’s Beach Club Villas are smaller than what we were used to at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, but they were comfortable and large enough that we did not feel crowded. The decor was something like what you would expect from a beach cottage. The colors were a mixture of pastel and warm hue.

The kitchen was fully furnished. There was enough flatware and plates that our entire family of five could eat in the room. It was also equipped with a dishwasher and other necessities (such as wine glasses!!!).

There were several reasons we were excited to stay here and here are just a few of them.

Cape May Cafe

For starters, one our favorite restaurants for dinner is at the Beach Club Villas resort, Cape May Cafe. This restaurant is a buffet that is supposed to resemble a New England clam bake. Now, I’m from New England, and they missed the mark by a long shot on that, but the food is good.

The buffet consists of snow crab legs, steamed clams, steamed muscles, peal and eat shrimp and a carving station with beef sirloin (the only cut you call “sir”) and pork loin. There is also a full salad bar and some other more ethnic seafood staples such as paella which I would not consider an authentic Spanish paella but is tasty, non the less.

On the salad bar they always have either New England clam chowder or a fish chowder. I prefer the fish chowder but they are both very good. I do not recall ever seeing a Manhattan clam chowder there, but it is supposed to be a New England clam bake so one would not expect a Manhattan chowder. Then again I would not expect a carving station or peal and eat shrimp either. But I digress.

There are sides such as mashed potatoes, green beans, steamed new (red) potatoes, steamed corn and a great selection of bread. The steamed potatoes and corn are a nod to a traditional clam bake. I cannot give you a very good review of most of the side items because I rarely waste precious stomach real estate when there are crabs and clams on the table.

There is also a kid’s section with pizza, chicken nuggets and other kid’s staples as well as a desert section that has a great variety of deserts. Most of the deserts are what I would call “bites”. They are small but that just gives you opportunity to try more.

The quality of the food is usually really good, but keep in mind this is a buffet. Keep an eye out for when they are putting fresh crab legs out. The muscles and clams don’t seem to matter much but it is very easy to overcook crab legs and they will continue to cook under the warming lights and get soggy or harder to shuck and eat.

While I do love crab legs, I love clams and muscles more. They are both very good at this restaurant.

We really love Cape May Cafe. Our entire family loves seafood so we always eat here when we are at Disney World. One drawback that I would illustrate is that it is a very popular restaurant. We have never had a problem getting in but we have had to stay flexible with our time on a few occasions. One time we took one of the last seating’s and towards the end of the meal we felt like the staff was ready for us to leave. Grant it, when I go to a buffet like this I plan on at least an hour or more of eating so maybe their snide looks were somewhat justified, but they still were not appreciated.

Disney's Beach Club Villas by Loren Javier is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
Disney’s Beach Club Villas by Loren Javier is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Other Dining Options

In addition to Cape May Cafe there are a ton of other great places to eat. The options in the resort in addition to Cape May are Yachtsman’s Steakhouse, Beaches and Cream, Captain’s Grill and Hurricane Hanna’s. Hurricane Hanna’s is a counter service by the pool. There are also sandwiches and other food items available from the Beach Club Market Place and there are three cocktail lounges where you can usually get hors d’oeuvresand and/or finger foods.

In addition to the dining on the resort, Disney’s Boardwalk Resort is a very short (and pretty) walk around Crescent Lake. There are a few table and counter service restaurants there, one of which is Big River Grill and Brewing Works that has a very good steak, is moderately priced and has a decent selection of beer.

Also you are another very short walk to Epcot, which, in my humble opinion, has the best dining options in all of Walt Disney World. More on that below.

The Pool

All of The LightsAll of The Lights by Christian Lambert is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

One of the best features of Disney’s Beach Club Villas is the pool. This thing rivals small water parks. It has its own lazy river and parts of the pool have a sandy bottom. There is even a place on “shore” to build a sand castle. There is also music piped into the pool that you can hear under water.

The resort provides tubes for use at the lazy river. We have heard that they can run out of tubes and I’ve read several reviews that state that they found it impossible to get one. That was not our experience. While it was busy, we did not have an issue getting one at all.

There is a slide that my youngest daughter, Iris, loved going down. It starts from the mast of a ship wreck on Crescent Lake (the body of water the resort is on).

 

Beach Club Pool Water Slide by Chuck Kramer is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Beach Club Pool Water Slide by Chuck Kramer is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The pool at this resort is exempt from DVC’s pool hopping policy. That means that only guests staying at Disney’s Beach Club Resort or Disney’s Yacht Club Resort are eligible to use this pool. I believe this is the only resort pool that has cast members manning the gate to enforce this policy.

Please note that you cannot pool hop at all if you are not a DVC member. Pool hopping is only eligible for DVC members.

Proximity

Probably the best thing about Disney’s Beach Club Villas is the proximity. You are a short walk from the back entrance to Epcot which is located between France and England pavilions on the World Showcase. April and I plan on staying here again for the Food and Wine Festival in the near future because of the fact that it is so close to the Epcot entrance.

epcot-spaceship-earth

It’s a bit longer of a walk but you can also walk to Hollywood Studios. Most people recommend taking the boat there but if you stay for Fantasmic (my favorite Disney World night time spectacle) having the option to walk is nice versus waiting in line for transportation.

One Major Detractor

If there is a detractor for Disney’s Beach Club Resort, it would be that it is incredibly busy. Even staying here in off season the lobby and pool are going to be very crowded. This was a bit of a contrast for us.

We usually go to Disney World in the lower seasons. On our stay at the Beach Club we arrived in mid-September which is usually pretty light on the crowd scale. Other resorts such as Animal Kingdom Lodge and Old Key West are much quieter this time of year.

We requested a specific room towards the back of the resort which is closer to Epcot. We had a slight view of the Eiffel Tower in the France pavilion. As a result we could hear the bands play at Epcot from inside the room. This is not the case for all rooms, but you may want to take that into consideration if this is something that would bother you.

I would still highly recommend this resort.

Pros

  • Great exclusive pool (no pool hopping allowed)
  • Great dining options
  • Spacious enough room for a family of five with two teens
  • Well appointed kitchen
  • Location – walking distance to two parks and two resorts

Cons

  • Busy lobby
  • Busy pool
  • Can be a bit on the loud side

13 Replies to “Disney’s Beach Club Villas”

  1. Hi Christian! Thanks for giving information about Disney’s beach club villas. I was planning to bring my family to resorts such as this one so we can have great family time together. It is great to know few things about your destination before you go there right? is it really busy in there that I will no longer have great time with my family? Or is it just tolerable? I would really appreciate your response.

    1. Hi John, thanks for your comment. A lot of it depends on when you go. There are a lot of online resources to plan a trip that have some great advice and we are working on one now from our own experiences as well.

      As far as crowds go, Disney’s Beach Club Villas are one of the busiest resorts. That’s not to say that you can’t still have a lot of fun there but if noise and crowds are something you really want or need to avoid for any reason, I would recommend checking out Old Key West or Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas instead.

  2. Wow, the pictures make this place look pretty awesome. I have a kid that is a couple of months shy of 3, so vacations like these are ones we will have to think about in the next couple of year. Thanks for the great info, we will surely keep the Disney trip in mind.

    1. Hi Devin, thanks for the comment. In my opinion a child at the age of four or five is about the perfect age for a Disney World trip. Their minds are on fire with imgination and that really makes it all that much more magical.

  3. Wow, what a detailed article. This is exactly the kind of site I wanted to find when researching places to stay at Disney.

    The Beach Club Villas have beautiful grounds, which is very important when on vacation. The seafood buffet at Cape May Cafe sound fantastic. Our family loves seafood and with teenagers having a buffet is almost the only way we can fill them up :).

    My only concern is the room size. We prefer two double beds and a couch seating area. Is that an option?

    I look forward to following your site. It is full of great information.

    1. Hi Kellie. Unfortunately the configuration you’re looking for does not exist in the Beach Club Villas. Here is the configuration they have:

      Studios which have one queen and a pull out sofa which is good for four people (plus one under 3 in a crib)

      One bedroom villas which has a king in the bedroom with a private bath and whirlpool tub and a queen pullout sofa and optionally a pullout chair (these are limited so request them early).

      They also have two bedroom villas which is a lockout that joins a one bedroom and a studio.

      Size wise, the largest accomodations can be found at Old Key West.

      I hope this helps.

  4. I’m officially bookmarking your blog! I’ve been considering a trip to WDW with my family and am super overwhelmed with all of the choices available. I’ll be checking in often to see what else you have to say. Thanks!

    1. Thanks, Dara. There is a ton of stuff to think about when planning. It’s a good thing it’s so fun or it would be another job. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and if you have any questions feel free to drop us another comment or send me an email directly.

  5. The beach resorts look awesome!!, i want to go there now haha, for me the best thing about the beach resort is the pool, just relaxing there would be heaven

  6. We had the best time visiting Disney World when my daughter was young. Now she has her own daughter and we are starting to plan a trip in 2017! We can’t wait. It will also be an opportunity for my wife and her 14 year old daughter to see Disney. This time we might just go to Anaheim.

  7. Thanks for the information about Disneyland. This places looks awesome. I have a son who just turned 4 and wanted to take him to Disney this year, but couldn’t afford. we went to Pisa instead and he was really bored. Hopefully I can make it next year. This looks like something we could both enjoy.

    1. Hi Melanie, thanks for the comment. I hope you can save your pennies and make it to Disney World soon with your son. He’s at the perfect age for it, in my humble opinion. Not that it’s not great at all ages, but at the age of 4 – 9, the magic of the entire resort really comes to life. Seeing that through a child’s eyes is really amazing and is certainly what made me become a Disney World lunatic fanatic. 🙂

      If you’re interested in saving some money on your trip, you can find a few ideas on how you can do so here. I hope that helps!

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