About a month ago, I enjoyed my first stay at the Beach Club. One year before that (the same weekend — how funny!) I made my way to the Yacht Club, also for the first time! Since the buildings are connected, the Yacht and Beach Clubs often seem to be treated as a single resort, but is that really fair to either of these fantastic properties?
While Disney’s Yacht Club and Disney’s Beach Club resorts share many amenities (including their amazing pool facilities), I think it’s important to recognize each as a distinct resort with its own charm, quirks, and perks. Maybe, by the time I get to the end of writing this post, I’ll finally be able to decide which I prefer — there really is no wrong choice.
Let’s start off with some stats. Both the Beach Club and the Yacht Club are situated around Crescent Lake. They also both have water and walkway access to Epcot and Hollywood Studios (with bus service to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom). Beach Club is slightly closer to Epcot’s International Gateway, while the walk from Hollywood Studios will be slightly shorter back to Yacht Club.
Yacht Club offers a few more guest rooms than Beach Club does, coming in at 621 rooms to Beach Club’s 576, but Beach Club also has 282 DVC rooms in addition to those 576 (offering a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom accommodations; remember, you don’t need to be DVC to book one of these rooms!). Yacht Club, on the other hand, is one of the four Disney resorts with designated pet-friendly accommodations!
When it comes to dining, both resorts offer easy access to everything from fine dining to grab-and-go marts. While Yachtman’s Steakhouse is (not surprisingly…it’s got YACHT in the name) technically housed in the Yacht Club, it’s so easily accessible from Beach Club, that there’s little reason to split hairs over the location of its door.
Looking at these two deluxe resorts on paper, they really seem pretty comparable with plusses and minuses that essentially balance one another out. In my opinion, the real differences come from the feel offered in each resort. I see these resorts as sisters, and, to me, Yacht Club is the refined, posh sister, while Beach Club is the sillier, more playful sister.
You can see this distinction just by looking at the outside of each resort. Yacht Club offers a clean-cut light gray facade. Beach Club, on the other hand, pops up with a pretty sky blue coloring. Because the two resorts are still family, both have bright, white accents on columns and around doors and windows.
Inside the Yacht Club, the serene, peaceful vibe followed me all the way to our room — which was quite far from the lobby. As a trade-off for the hike back to the main lobby and all resort transportation, the room offered a beautiful view over a secondary pool, which was basically deserted our whole weekend stay and offered a quiet escape from all the hustle and bustle Disney can provide. Yes, the pool itself was empty, but the seclusion also meant our balcony was quiet and peaceful, too! We definitely made use of that to sit and collect our thoughts in the evenings after full days in the parks.
In the Beach Club, I felt a lot more whimsy. It really seemed to pop up around every corner, even starting with the Beach Club logo — which is much more colorful than that of Yacht Club. Colorful blues and golds followed me down every hallway, and I felt as if Mickey was hiding all over the place! I won’t say that Yacht Club didn’t have hidden Mickeys (it did!), but I can at least attest to the fact that they were more subtle, and
better hidden (which maybe made spotting them even more satisfying).
While neither of my stays was during Christmas, I made sure to visit both the Yacht Club and the Beach Club lobbies when I was in Disney last Christmas. If you’re ever there around the holidays, set aside some time to resort hop. You won’t be disappointed, because Disney goes ALL OUT.
The lobbies of both the Yacht Club and the Beach Club were transformed into winter wonderlands, but even the holiday decor felt as though it kept in line with the persona of each resort. At Beach Club, there was an enormous, moving gingerbread carousel. Oh yes, you read that correctly – a gingerbread carousel. At Yacht Club, there was an incredibly detailed mini Disney town with the most darling train traveling through.
I don’t want to give too much away because seeing them first-hand is really spectacular, but even these decorations felt as if they “made sense” at each resort. A carousel is something you play on and climb on; you can squeal and giggle. A model train is something you carefully set up and look at; it’s something to enjoy and be proud of, not something to throw around. I think that kind of sums up the feel
of the Beach Club and the Yacht Club, respectively.
Alright — I’ve made my decision. Beach Club is the winner for me, but just by a nose! A few “key” factors helped tip the scale (disclaimer: I acknowledge each of these factors is fully and absolute ridiculous):
- There was a towel shaped like Mickey waiting on the bed when we got there. Yes. It matters.
- The walk was just a bit shorter to Epcot. This might not have mattered if I had stayed in December, but since I stayed in August, that extra 3 minutes of walking back to Yacht Club felt like 3 minutes standing on the surface of the sun (ok. maybe I’m being a little extra, but I needed SOMETHING to help me decide!)
- The color – I simply prefer blue to the grey…even though grey will be one of my wedding colors and blue won’t…details.
I’d love to hear about your experiences at either of these wonderful resorts! Let me know which is your favorite!!