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.
If you were a child of the 80’s, you know that Walt Disney World’s Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom has undergone a major attendance shift. When we were kids, you could go on Peter Pan’s Flight more than once and not have it take half a day. You could have the bejesus scared out of you on Snow White’s Scary Adventures – in fact, once I went on that ride at age 6, I never rode it again until age 18. You can also take a moment to lament on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, but that is so late 90’s (it’s ok, I still lament). You could eat a cheeseburger at Pinocchio’s Village Haus and wave at guests riding It’s a Small World. Continue reading
First discovered at a Food and Wine Festival many years ago, Fairy Tale Champagne has become my favorite adult beverage at Walt Disney World.
I’ve celebrated many events with this delightful treat and sometimes just enjoyed it on my hotel balcony. As a “stop over” on the way back from our honeymoon, my husband and I stayed at the Boardwalk and enjoyed a bottle on our balcony. During our 1 year anniversary trip, we watched Wishes while drinking a glass (or many) on our Polynesian patio. We’ve also gone to the California Grill to watch Wishes, eat an amazing dessert and enjoy a glass!
Although this was prior to being parents, now that we are, I have discovered a way to still enjoy Fairy Tale. Wait until the kids are asleep, and enjoy a nightcap along with a Disney breeze on your hotel balcony! We did this on the eve of our son turning 1 during his birthday trip!
Did I mention that I love eating Mickey pretzels at the same time?
“The resort is organized around a central building named the Great Ceremonial House, itself designed after a Tahitian royal assembly lodge. The Great Ceremonial House houses guest services and most of the resort’s dining and merchandise locations. From its opening until 2014, the Great Ceremonial House also featured an expansive tropical waterfall feature in its atrium, with over 75 species of plant life. The waterfall and foliage were removed and replaced, however, during extensive resort renovations due to health and safety concerns and to reimagine the lobby as a social space.” -Courtesy of Wikipedia
The removal of the waterfall and foliage is a tough change for the Dillos, especially after seeing it in person. This grand feature was the welcome you received when walking into the Polynesian. It created a rainforest smell in the lobby. It offered a soothing soundtrack to start your vacation. Along with the air conditioning you felt as the doors to the lobby opened, this feature was the thing that hit you and made you take a deep breath as you felt like you were home. And now, it’s gone.
The Dillos took many pictures in front of the waterfall over our many stays at the Polynesian. Something our kids will never get to do. A piece of nostalgia is missing from the Diz…you know how the Dillos heart nostalgia.
Yes, I understand it opens up the lobby, creates more seating and a more open environment. I get it. It doesn’t mean I have to like it.
One of our many pictures in front of The Waterfall