Want to know what to expect for your first DVC stay? Or perhaps you are looking for a change from your home resort, but can’t decide where to use your DVC points next? This series will give a brief overview of your options, along with pros and cons specifically for DVC members for each one. Today, we will discuss the Beach Club Villas, the DVC arm of Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort.
Yacht and Beach Club
Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club are sister resorts, located on Crescent Lake between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Also nearby is Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and Villas, as well as the Swan and Dolphin hotels, which are not Disney owned but play host to another handful of high quality restaurants. In terms of being in the heart of it all, this area of Disney World is the best of the best. Just some of the benefits include:
- walking distance to EPCOT
- a boat ride or slightly longer walk to Hollywood Studios
- Stormalong Bay, a fantastic 3-acre pool complex
- easy access to lots of dining options
As a DVC member, you would book a room at the Beach Club Villas to stay at the Yacht/Beach Club Resort on DVC points. The Yacht Club does not have a DVC counterpart, so if you really want to experience that side of the resort, you’ll need to do a cash reservation. However, all of the amenities, including the pool, are shared between the two.
Designed to appear as if a shipwreck has created a tide pool near the hotel, Stormalong Bay is always bustling with activity. One section of the pool is shallow and best suited for smaller children, who can even build sandcastles on the zero-entry beach. The other part of the pool is slightly deeper, and features a lazy river, quicksand, a whirlpool, pool volleyball, and of course – a slide.
Though DVC members enjoy heightened pool hopping privileges elsewhere on property, only guests staying at the Yacht Club or the Beach Club are allowed into the pool complex. Though cash rooms at the Beach Club range from $300-$500 and higher, a DVC studio can be had from 15 to 20 points most nights of the year, making DVC one of the less expensive ways to experience Stormalong Bay.
For those not so pool inclined, the resort also offers a marina and various children’s activities, like movies on the beach or tie-dye T shirt making. There is a hair wrap station and a Pick-a-Pearl booth near Stormalong Bay. Surrey bikes can be rented for rides around the Boardwalk and Crescent Lake. DVC members can enjoy a 10% discount at the Sammy Duvall Watersport center, or head over to the Mandara Spa at the Swan/Dolphin which also offers various discounts for DVC members.
DVC members in particular can enjoy the Villas quiet pool, outdoor grills, and easy access to Epcot’s International Gateway – since the Villas are on the easternmost edge of the resort, the Villas practically back up to the UK Pavilion and parts of Future World. In fact, it’s only a 5-10 minute walk from the Beach Club Marketplace to the turnstiles. This means several EPCOT restaurants right at your fingertips should you get hungry.
Speaking of food, many resort restaurants in this area currently offer a DVC discount.*
Yacht/Beach Club area
- Captain’s Grille: 10%
- Big River Grille: 10%
- ESPN Grille: 10%
- Flying Fish: 10% at dinner
- Picabu: 20%
- Fresh Mediterranean Market: 20% breakfast and lunch
- Garden Grill Cafe: 20%
- Kimonos: 20%
*All discounts are subject to change – please consult your membership guide before making plans.
So what are the drawbacks to staying at the Beach Club Villas for DVC Members?
Higher Point Cost
For owners, Beach Club Villa dues are on the high end of the range, currently at $5.79 per point for 2014. The rooms also run for slightly more points per room than other resorts – a Beach Club studio villa in Dream Season during the week runs 16 points a night, while the nearby Boardwalk Villas only charges 14 for a standard room and 17 for a premium view. The Beach Club Villas do not generally have the same nice views that can be found at the Boardwalk – many rooms look out over the quiet pool, a canal, or some woods. Some rooms face a roadway. A few do have a nice view of a courtyard, but they do not compare to the Boardwalk’s Lagoon view rooms for almost the same number of points.
Smaller Resort/Less availability
The small size of the resort can also mean that it will be difficult to book at 7 months in busy periods. Boardwalk and Yacht/Beach Club rooms are in particularly high demand during the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival and during many of the runDisney events, given the EPCOT finish line’s close proximity to this area means the trip back to the room is much shorter. If these amenities are important to you, the 11 month home resort advantage can come in handy!
Shared Bus transportation
Though one of the hallmarks of Deluxe resorts are the increased transportation options, the Beach Club, Yacht Club, and Boardwalk actually all share a bus route. This presents problems and crowded buses when traveling to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom in particular, as Hollywood Studios and EPCOT are both easily accessible on foot or by boat.
Beach Club Villas is probably a very good bet for DVC members looking for easy access to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, easy access to lots of dining options, or those who would enjoy the expansive pool complex.
Beach Club is probably not a good choice for those who require a nice view from the hotel room, who are trying to save points/dues, or who are trying to book a room closer to their trip. Those with smaller children hoping to spend most days at the Magic Kingdom may be frustrated by the bus service.