by Tiki Diva
For many families who like to stay in Deluxe resorts, the Monorail loop is the place to be. With easy access to the Magic Kingdom and exceptional theming, I must admit the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and Contemporary are hard to beat. While the Epcot resorts are often overlooked, they offer many of the same amenities, additional entertainment options, and the ability to walk to two of Walt Disney World’s beautiful theme parks, all at a fraction of the cost of the Monorail resorts.
My husband and I recently stayed at Walt Disney’s Beach Club Resort. This was a vacation for just the two of us, having left the kids with Grandma, and Beach Club did not disappoint. The lovely resort is designed to please both adults and children, making it a superb place to stay for your next trip.
Upon walking into the hotel lobby, I first noticed the beautiful furnishings. Throughout the hotel, the Beach Club exudes a casual, seaside elegance. The lobby is decorated with gorgeous chandeliers, floral centerpieces, and comfortable seating arrangements. The front desk, tucked off to one side of the front doors, was well staffed with friendly, efficient cast members. We were warmly welcomed to our favorite vacation destination and were told that our room was ready, though we were checking in several hours early.
Strolling off to find our room, we hit the elevators and meandered through the maze of hallways. I think it would be difficult, but not impossible, to find yourself fully lost in the corridors. The walk was fairly long, but I occupied myself with finding the hidden mickeys in the carpet. I’m sure your children will be entertained by the same. While I don’t mind a long walk to the room, one thing is for certain— I wouldn’t want to discover that I had left a park necessity in my room just as I reached the lobby or bus stop on a busy morning. In this way, I think I much preferred the layout of the Polynesian or even Pop Century.
Home Sweet Home
Our room overlooked rooftops and the bus stop, but we weren’t there for the view. The beds were immaculately made and super comfortable. I had wished for a full balcony, but the miniature one worked out fine for just the two of us.
I absolutely loved this bathroom design. It felt fresh and upscale, while remaining roomy and utilitarian.
For the early birds, you’ll be happy that the coffee maker is standard, especially since the resort’s quick service restaurant can be a bit of a distance away. This area makes a nice “Command Center” or breakfast nook for a busy family. The refrigerator keeps things nice and cold, which would be handy for yogurt and coffee creamer— necessities in my home, at least!
Time to Play!
First things first— we were off to the pool. Stormalong Bay was one of the main reasons we booked our short stay at the Beach Club because only guests of Beach Club and Yacht Club are permitted to swim here.
You guys. I am completely, absolutely, devastatingly, over-the-top, in love with this pool. So much so that I even considered buying into the Disney Vacation Club just to guarantee that I’d be able to stay here again, many times over (still working on the husband with that one, though).
First off, the pool has a sand bottom. That sounds like a weird gimmick until you actually stand in the middle of this not-too-cold, chest deep, refreshing water and drag your toes through the soft, supple sand. (Another Tiki Husband addition— it felt like cat litter under his feet. Obviously, he’s neither a cat person, nor a pool/beach person. Perhaps he’d be better off not chiming in.)
Stormalong Bay features pools for every desire. There are pools that are chest, waist, and knee deep. There are pools with waterfalls, pools with volleyball, pools with sand dunes and toys, and pools with slides. But, the best pool of all is the lazy river. Typically, I will avoid lazy rivers when I’m not with my own children because of the “racing” factor. You see, in water parks across the country, little racers will jump into the river, sans tube, and dash around, under, and even on top of the other floaters to beat their buddies around the bend. But, they don’t do this in Stormalong Bat’s lazy river. The ingenious Disney pool designers (are they also called imagineers?) forced their hand and made this pool truly lazy by incorporating one important feature— a drop off.
The raft loading area is a nice three feet deep. Yet, once you float under the first bridge, you’ll notice that dangling adult feet no longer touch the bottom. From here, the depth gradually increases to a glorious eight full feet. Amazing! As an adult, I can truly float along on top of the tube or let my legs dangle as I wear the float as a ring and never touch bottom through this section. I honestly felt like a kid again. Around and around we went. It was wonderful.
Dragging ourselves away from the water, we discovered we were famished. Not having reservations for Beaches and Cream, we decided to try out the Marketplace, Beach Club’s traditional Quick Service restaurant. I was a bit disappointed to discover that they mainly serve flatbreads, but we decided to split one. Truly, it was rather tasty. This is also where you would fill up your Resort Mugs, if you should have them. Other dining options include the Cape May character buffet and Hurricane Hanna’s poolside bar.
If you are not enthralled with swimming, you may wonder what other entertainment options the Beach Club offers. Check out the daily resort schedule for details, but you can typically expect some sort of campfire, movie, and pool party for the kids. They are also offering craft class options in the Solarium for an additional fee. But, the beauty of the Beach Club is that you are within walking distance to the Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. If that isn’t enough to keep you busy, I don’t know what is!
With Toy Story Land and the upcoming Star Wars land at Hollywood Studios and Epcot’s anticipated new openings, this would be a top choice hotel for those hoping to have an easy time making rope drop at either of those parks. It is also perfectly suited for Food and Wine, Art festival, or Flower and Garden festival attendees.
If you need help planning your next Walt Disney World vacation, reach out to All for Dreams Travel. All for Dreams is an independent agency with Gateway Travel/Gateway to Magic Travel, an Authorized Disney Travel Planner.
Know Before You Go:
- You will need to scan your magic band and receive a bracelet to play in Stormalong Bay. The area is gated with few entrances. We found that the most useful entrance was just outside Beaches and Cream.
- Stormalong Bay has few restrooms. The most convenient ones for men are located just outside the pool entrance, near Beaches and Cream. Ladies, you’ll also find one facing the lazy river.
- FInd lockers for Stormalong Bay close to Beaches and Cream.
- If you want to eat at Beaches and Cream, book that Reservation as quickly as possible, ideally when your 180 day booking window opens.
- Cape May even had same day reservations available. While it is always good to book early, it never hurts to check to see if a restaurant may be able to seat you.