Over the 2013 Marathon Weekend, we had the pleasure of staying in a resort we had always wanted to stay in – Disney’s Beach Club Resort.
The Beach Club showcases a New England beach style. Connected to the Yacht Club, these two resorts are very similar and share the same pool area, restaurants, spa and counter service meal location. (The Beach Club has a light blue coloring, whereas the Yacht Club has a gray coloring.) Across the lagoon and beach area is the Boardwalk area and resort.
This resort is in the Epcot area, meaning that is close to the Epcot theme park. How close? A short walk! From the lobby of the Beach Club to the International Gateway of Epcot (located between the United Kingdom and France in World Showcase), it is approximately a 5 minute walk. You can also take the ferry boat (or enjoy a 15-20 minute walk) to Hollywood Studios. Needless to say, the Beach Club offers great access to two Disney theme parks!
As for the rooms, this deluxe resort offers standard, garden view (including views of the parking lot or landscaped areas), or water view (including views of the pool area or lagoon). For those wanting the added benefits of the concierge lounge and service, those rooms include the above views as well as 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom suite options. (Concierge level includes access to the Stone Harbor Club lounge for food and beverages throughout the day, as well as personalized services throughout your stay.) All rooms come with 2 queen beds or 1 king bed.
One thing to keep in mind about the Beach Club is that there are some long, winding hallways. Our rooms were at the very end of one hall and it took us a good 20 minutes to walk from the lobby to our room. Not ideal after a race!
The Beach Club does have a fantastic pool area! Stormalong Bay is shared by the Beach Club and Yacht Club. It includes multiple pool areas, a waterslide, lazy river and even an area with sand! There is even a kiddie pool for those wanting to just wade in the water. We never found the pool area to be overly crowded, even during Marathon Weekend.
There are four restaurants if you want to dine at your resort. Cape May Cafe offers a character breakfast buffet and clam bake buffet for dinner. (Note: This character breakfast is a hidden gem – it was practically empty during Marathon Weekend!) Beaches and Cream is a great little soda shop open for lunch and dinner. (Note: This restaurant is VERY small and does not take reservations.) Captain’s Grille is a nautical themed restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For those wanting a fine dining experience, the Yachtsman Steakhouse is available for dinner. (Note: A dress code is enforced.)
Other amenities include bus transportation to Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney, complimentary wi-fi, childcare services (including the Sandcastle Activity Center), movies under the stars, campfire, boat rentals, fishing excursions, arcade, playground, bike rentals, tennis, volleyball, and even a Pirates Adventure Cruise for the little ones. (Additional fees may be included.) The Ship Shape Health Club, gym and spa facility, is available for those wanting to relax or get in a workout. The massages at the spa were fabulous splurge a few days after the race!
The path between Hollywood Studios and Epcot (right in front of the Beach Club) is used by two Disney races – the Walt Disney World Marathon and Wine & Dine Half Marathon. This is a great location to cheer on your runner, although this is very close to the finish line. If you would rather watch your runner finish, then skip this viewing location. These paths are also great for a morning jog!
Overall, we enjoyed our stay at the Beach Club. The proximity to Epcot can’t be beat and the pool area was fantastic. Our room was quite a hike from the lobby and only one quick service location limited our meal options. The staff was very helpful and welcoming. The Beach Club would be a great option for Marathon Weekend, Princess Half Marathon Weekend or Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in particular!