This three part series just became four parts!
A question I always pose to myself when daydreaming of being poolside at Disney’s Beach Club Resort (I’m not about to go throwing the Vacation Club moniker in there) is… If I stayed in the Yacht Club first, would I love the Yacht Club more than the Beach Club?
Because the Yacht Club is grey and the Beach Club in the brightest of light blue. A light blue that accentuates the cream colors of the lobby and the chlorinated water. Walking from Yacht to Beach is like unto walking from Kansas to Oz – and the shipwreck in Stormalong Bay was from a tornado…
Wait, was that part of the design? Did I hear that some place before?
Is that an Imagineering choice?
No immediate luck (that’s to be continued).
There is something about that New England Cape Codian blue that to this day defines the Beach Club and sets it a part from every single resort in WDW. Every. Single. One.
The Polynesian is hidden within the lush tropics. The Grand Floridian looks out of your league. The Contemporary is an icon. Wilderness Lodge appears to be in a nook. The Boardwalk wants to be a theme park.
The Beach Club is inviting.
That light blue calls to you.
I have to go back!!!
Something I haven’t talked about before is my favorite alarm clock in Disney World. The best sound to wake up to is that of the Friendship Boats while sleeping in your Beach Club bed.
As Brother Dillo blogged previously in: The Beach Club at 25, “Within two years, the Beach Club Resort would surpass the Polynesian as the favorite Dillo Resort (perhaps Sista Dillo thinks that’s a bold statement).”
Bold? Perhaps. But somewhat true.
For me, The Beach Club Resort represents the second half of my Disney vacationing life. The Polynesian represents the first. These two hotels made us fall in love with Disney, with Deluxe resorts and of course, spoiled us for life.
We can walk past The Beach Club and point out which rooms we stayed in. We can tell you about the corner room right next the quiet pool that was probably our favorite because…um, it was next to the quiet pool! We could leave our room through our patio doors and there we would be. We can also tell you how we were sad to see the shrubbery that was planted because it meant that future guests of that room couldn’t do the same.
We can tell you about celebrities we shared the elevator with, the ones we walked behind and the pictures that hung on the wall of Beaches and Cream of all those that stayed there.
Time out for Fun Facts:
- You used to be able to see MGM from the back of the Beach Club!
- It took me years to go down the slide in Stormalong Bay.
- The air conditioning of the lobby…I mean come on.
Beaches and Cream used to connect directly to the game room. We could play basketball and knock hockey and then walk right through for some burgers and ice cream. Now you have to go outside and back in again (its the little things we miss).
We have blogged many times of the serenity of the quiet pool. The place of baptism for my son (Disney baptism). A body of water to cleanse our soul and breathe in the Disney air. A pool where our family came together and relaxed.
Dillos don’t love change and changes have been made at this resort that we don’t love. But it doesn’t take away our love for the resort.
Happy Birthday Beach Club Resort!
Disney’s (Yacht &) Beach Club Resort turns 25 this week, so Brother & Sista Dillo are taking a look back (and into) what has made the Beach Club my (if not our) favorite WDW Resort over the past quarter century.
Without question, one of the perks of steering away from what are now called Magic Kingdom Resorts and towards EPCOT Resorts was the three acre mini water park that connected Disney’s Yacht Club to Disney’s Beach Club. Stormalong Bay presented just enough liquid elements to keep this teen of the 90’s invested when not inside one of the (then) WDW theme parks.
Having never visited River Country and Typhoon Lagoon still on our soon-to-visit radar, the closest experience had with a water themed thrill was the mini Polynesian Village slide at the main pool.
Stormalong Bay was a significant upgrade: a lazy river, a sand bottomed pool, a swirling pool, and a 230 foot slide down the mast of a shipwrecked… Ship.
Back in the day, as the oldtimers say, there was no checkpoint to gain access to the nearly 800,000 gallons of water at your disposal. You could run down and jump in – or run up and slide down. After some time, and multiple visits… and multiple scartches on my back sliding down the mast of a ship, the Resort became more crowded and the Bay area became less inviting.
On top of that, the real perfect storm called to us. An alternative to this mini water park nestled within these New England themed Resorts.
This alternative would change the way we Dillos defined tranquility.
This alternative would change the way we Dillos defined serenity.
This alternative became the chicken soup for our soul.
I was 14 years old walking from the United Kingdom towards France at the World Showcase in EPCOT when I came upon the long, ‘this area is being refurbished for your future enjoyment’, wall. The pictures pointed to the future…
‘EPCOT Resorts?’, my 14 year old self said to myself. ‘That’s ridiculous’, why are you going to break the illusion of the World Showcase, or the whole, entire EPCOT Center (as it was known at the time) theme park for that matter… With hotels?
Within two years, the Beach Club Resort would surpass the Polynesian as the favorite Dillo Resort (perhaps Sista Dillo thinks that’s a bold statement).
All week long Dillo’s Diz celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort… But mostly the Beach Club.
The following blog is strictly based on my opinion, what has worked best for me and my family and suggests no judgement to anyone that does anything differently.
The first time we took my son to Disney, he was 5 months old. It was during Food and Wine and obviously a trip more for mommy and daddy than for him. The second time was last week for his 1st birthday. Although he won’t remember it, it was for all of us. Some may not agree with taking a child to Disney that young. That’s ok. You gotta do what’s best for you and your family. I don’t and won’t regret it and am so happy to have the memories and pictures from these trips!
Here are a few tips that worked for me:
- Plan out what you can control
- Are you taking a stroller and car seat? If flying, will you be checking them at the ticket counter or gate?
- We checked luggage at the ticket counter (which prior to being parents we avoided doing but the less you have to carry on the better). We took a stroller and car seat both times and gate checked them. This way it made navigating the airport a lot easier. We also had bags which we got from Babies ‘R Us to cover each…prevents some of the bumps and bruises the equipment will take.
- If flying, will you be purchasing a seat for your child and their car seat or will they be a lap infant?
- Lap Infants are accepted until the age of 2 and saves you money on buying an extra seat. We went the lap infant route and also chose night flights in hopes that he would sleep during the entire flight (and he did).
- On one flight, the plane wasn’t full and we were able to have him in a seat for no charge! (please note this is not the norm)
- What is your child eating?
- Formula, breastmilk, food…whatever it is-figure out what you’ll need, how much and when you’ll be feeding them to be prepared.
- What can you buy after you land?
- We traveled with bottles on both trips. When we got to Orlando, we stopped at Walgreens to get a small bottle of Dawn and a bottle cleaning brush, which we also left down there – one less thing to worry about.
- We also bought diapers and swim diapers there. Of course we had a stash of diapers in our bag; but for the entire trip, it was easier to buy a pack instead of taking up room in our suitcase with diapers to cover the whole vacation.
- If your child is on a strict schedule and you live by the schedule, traveling may not be best for you-especially to Disney!
- My son is on a schedule, when we’re home. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t change here and there-so I’m not super strict with it.
- Your child will not sleep normally when you’re away. Whether that means they’ll sleep awesome during the night, wake up more or take naps at different times of the day-it will not be a normal schedule.
- If your child eats at specific times of the day-that may vary as well.
- If you’re able to go with the flow when it comes to the schedule-you’ll have a much better and more relaxed time. Just enjoy it and have fun-you can go back to schedules when you get home!
- Pack appropriately for the weather. Take an extra onesie, or outfit or 2. An extra set of PJs. A jacket or blanket just in case it gets cooler at night.
- Don’t forget the socks (and shoes) if needed.
- Prep for the Florida sun
- Pack the sunblock…apply and reapply.
- Make Reservations but be flexible
- With how crowded the parks and hotels are now, you definitely want to make reservations for restaurants you want to visit.
- Get fast passes for rides that are appropriate for your child…Small World, Winnie the Pooh, the Carousel, etc. *The People Mover is always an easy ride to walk right on and if your kid is like mine, they’ll fall asleep quick!
- When I say be flexible…I mean – you’re traveling with a child-everything may not go as planned. If you’re a parent you already know this from your day to day!
If this all sounds overwhelming-you may not be ready for a trip. It sounds like a lot, but most of this is autopilot-it’s just a bigger “typical day” and in a new place. But if you are home and running errands, meeting family for dinner, visiting friends-you’re always in planning mode.
If you’re going for it-roll with the punches and have fun! My son slept awesome and had a great time on both trips. He won’t remember it but he enjoyed it, we enjoyed seeing him smile and will be sure to show him pictures!
P.S. Not just for the courtesy of others (even though its still a good reason), but for your child-use a changing pad on any changing table you use. You will be changing them on the same surface as 100’s of children in the airport, in the parks, etc. Be prepared. I wiped the surface with a disinfectant wipe before putting the pad down. I went back to the bathroom later, on my own, and saw a child being changed without a changing pad.
The title of this blog is most certainly not my point of view. However, it is what a fellow passenger said to me on my return flight in November, after taking (at that time) 5 month old Baby Dillo to Diz for the first time.
I can understand why people think this way. I also understand New Yorkers and how they love sharing their opinions randomly with others. But again, I don’t agree. I didn’t bring Baby Dillo to Disney thinking he would remember the trip. I didn’t take him there to try to get him on as many rides as possible. My expectations were pretty simple: My husband and I were in withdrawal after not visiting for a year. We wanted to experience Food and Wine, see the Osborne Family Christmas Lights and go on the People Mover. All my expectations were met.
I was also worried traveling. We’re first time parents, traveling on a plane with a 5 month old. This could have gone horribly. However <and not to brag> but this kid has the travel bug and a love for Disney in his blood! There was no crying on the plane. There were no fits while in the parks. He event slept through the night in his own Disney bed! All this trip did was make us want to go back asap!
Yes, to some, bringing a 5 month old to Disney may be a waste of money. For those with Disney in their blood, the sooner the better! Pictures were taken, memories were made and we’ll have the story to tell him when he gets older!
Right now Brother Dillo is on his way to a European cruise. He will be seeing parts of Italy, Greece, France. But so what? I’ve seen the world too. That world being World Showcase. Continue reading