2012/2013 Beach and Yacht FAQ- Closing Soon- New Thread Started- Don't Post Here

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by natebenma, Nov 26, 2012.

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  1. Ninja Mom

    Ninja Mom Atention People of Earth, I come in Peace

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    Hello my friends! Welcome to the start of my trip report. I've been thinking about how to organize it and I've decided to go the chronological route with a little hotel info mixed in with a little trip info.

    I'll start with our arrival at the hotel. By that I mean Pop and not the BC! We chose to spend the night at Pop Century on the day of our arrival down in Florida. I wanted to have an "off" day where we could recover from the early morning Airport shuffle and a long flight. It was great having 2 rooms so there was plenty of space for the luggage and 5 bodies. It was also great not being compelled to start running around like crazy people the moment we set foot in Orlando.

    We decided to go to AK for a couple of hours at night just to walk around and get something to eat. I have to say the park was beautiful at night and we ate at Yak and Yeti where I had the privilege to pay 18 dollars for a quart of chicken lo mein. :rolleyes:

    The next morning we called bell services and had them whisk the bags to the BC while we went to our first park. It was at this point that I learned that the bags do not even leave the hotel you just checked out of until AFTER 12 noon because technically your next hotel room is not available until 4pm. I've never seen that reported for hotel luggage transfers between resorts so keep that in mind. Bell services did say that the bags would probably be at the next hotel by about 2 pm and that you could access your bags if your room was still not ready during the day of check in. Still, it was easier just to take what you needed from your bags (like bathing suits or medication) and put it in one separate bag, either to carry with you to the park, OR fetch from Bell services when you got to your next hotel, but you room was still not ready. Bell services at POP and the BC was VERY ACCOMMODATING as far as helping you access the luggage they were storing for you. This goes for either pre-check in luggage storage or post check out storage. We had valuables (computer's Ipad's and Ipods) that we felt safe leaving with Bell services. We just let them know that we had valuables and they said that they would take special care of them.

    We threw the bathing suits in a back pack and took the bus to Hollywood Studios for rope drop and Toy Story Mania. Since we were part of the early morning pack we were able to get Fast Passes for a second ride but we soon discovered through out our entire trip that the new fast pass system does not work for us!

    What we found was, that for the rides that you really needed fast passes for, (Example: Soarin, Test track, TSM) you could only get them in the morning if you were at that parks in the first two hours. If you came later than that, then the FP times were ridiculously late and were out of the question. Keep in mind that this was during a period of low crowds in the parks. People that are going during busier times are really going to have to depend on that new advanced, Fast Pass reservation system that Disney is moving towards if they hope to get a chance at the busier rides and they aren't at the parks right at rope drop.

    The other thing that we discovered was that when we did pull FP's in the morning we never made it back in time to use them since we had to keep touring through the park and we would be moving further away from the FP ride. We would get sucked into committing to something else that blocked our ability to get back at precisely the time the FP called for. This was knowing full well that we could not use a FP early and we had a 15 minute grace period after the FP expired.

    It occurred to me that Disney is obviously trying to kill the "Tour by FP" system where you gather them in the morning and go back again at your convenience. To me, the choices are: you hit the high demand attractions right at rope drop or you wait in a long line for the rest of the day for the popular attractions. Remember, you can pull a FP for the popular ride after that early morning park opening, say the first two hours, but the return time will be mid to late afternoon or even late in the evening, which means you have to plan to be there right in that FP time window. This whole situation really put a crimp in our touring plans and I'd bet big money that the percentage of fast passes actually being used has gone way down, which means a lot of people are walking around with FP's in their pockets that they aren't actually going to be able to use. Way to go Disney Managers!

    I was wondering if the decrease in useable FP's would impact the standby lines, making them faster but I couldn't really see a difference. I had the chance to ask some ride CM's if they were seeing faster standby line times because of the strict FP time returns but the ones I talked to were non committal or had no idea what I was getting at, so I wasn't able to get a good read on my suspicions. I even spoke with what I was pretty sure was a ride manager and he was not giving up any information like that so we shall see. As they say, your (ride) mileage may vary, but that's what I was experiencing.

    After a morning at DHS we decided to take that beautiful boat ride from the Park to the BC. I don't think I will ever forget the anticipation I experienced on the boat as we cruised closer and closer to the resort. Yeah sure, the Magical Express is a nice way to arrive at your resort. But there is something special in floating around a corner and having the Yacht and Beach club being revealed in all it's glory from the beautiful water side.

    That's it for this installment of my BC trip report. Next up I'll write about what happened at check in and I'll continue in various installments about all the things I learned and experienced at this WONDERFUL resort!

    I know I'm keeping you hanging but that's all a part of the fun!!! :p

    ~NM
     
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  3. JanetMom

    JanetMom DIS Veteran

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    Yay! The trip report!!

    Love that you arrived at BC by boat. That would be magical. :)
     
  4. teheber

    teheber CYCLING IS HOW I ROLL

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    We will be accross the lake (@BWI)from you during some of those dates.[​IMG]
     
  5. Katesdad

    Katesdad DIS Veteran

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    Think of the BC/YC as one big resort, just two names and two different decors. If having a balconey is important to you, then go YC. If saving three to five minutes on the walk to Epcot is important to you, go BC. If you want to save three to five minutes on the walk to the Friendship boat to HS, then go YC. Either has similar access to SAB (IMHO). I enjoy the "dark side" over the BC due to the decor, the lower noise volume (due to Cape May in the lobby of the BC) and access to the buses first (they stop first at YC then go to BC). Yes, there are "secret" entrances in the YC that can be used to speed up your exit to the walkway but they are only time savers if your room is close to them. At the BC, you have the exit near Room 1501 which puts you within mere seconds of the International Gateway. Big conventions and small conventions all have their issues if you get involved with a bunch of drunken reprobates. Heard about the certified public accounting firm at the GF that has a tax convention there every year in February and people always complain that they are drunk and disorderly. It can happen everywhere, but I have yet to experience it. Us tax accoutants know how to party and we don't care if we do walk around with lamp-shades on our head.

    In summary, look for what kind of room you can get, the price on the room and go from there. If you go GV at the YC, ask for the "gazebo view". If you really want to be close to Epcot, go with BC and ask for a room at that end of the resort. Bottom line, you can't go wrong with the BC/YC (IMHO). Happy planning!

    Finally, it has begun! Looking forward to all the sorid details, especially the details on the copious quantity of adult beverages consumed while sitting by the quiet pool doing laundry.
     
  6. MickeyT

    MickeyT DIS Veteran

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    Katesdad-Thanks for putting into words my thoughts. You nailed the resorts perfectly. Only omission, BC=Less steps to speak to Teena.

    NinjaMom-Thanks for the start. I am one of those FP gatherers that will definitely have to feel my way through the new system. Hard to figure out why they are going this route. For them to try and control an experience that we always had a balance of spontaniety and planning sounds challenging to me. Can't wait to hear your take on the BC. Keep it coming!
     
  7. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the info about the beginning of your trip! I haven't seen the info about the luggage transfer time, I appreciate you sharing that. That's a little discouraging about the Fast Passes. This will definitely impact the way my family enjoys the parks.

    What a beautiful way to arrive for your stay at the Beach Club! :sail:

    More, please! popcorn::
     
  8. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: dana!

    This is a great question! I have seen people ask it before, but I can't remember the answer, so it would be great to hear from some of our friends who have stayed in a ground floor room.

    (I think the answer is that the doors don't lock from the outside, so you shouldn't exit the room that way if you are leaving)


    I have only stayed at the BC, which I prefer because of the decor, and has a slight edge on location, but the full balcony guarantee at the YC is very tempting to me. Here is a post from the FAQ about the differences between the two resorts. Check out the blog entry from the World of Deej!



    What are the differences between the Beach Club and the Yacht Club?

    The Beach Club and Yacht Club are similar resorts in terms of service and amenities, and have equal access to the shared pool complex, health club and video arcade. Both resorts have the same management team in place.

    Some minor differences have been noted by guests:

    Beach Club
    Lighter, beachy decor in lobby and rooms
    Lobby can be active and lively with families waiting for meals at Cape May
    Closer to EPCOT and Marketplace Gift Shop
    Approximately 50% of rooms in all room categories have full balconies. The remaining are standing balconies.


    Yacht Club
    Darker woods and nautical decor in lobby and rooms
    Lobby is more serene
    Convention attendees are more likely to be booked at YC
    Closer to Hollywood Studios and Friendship Boats
    Most rooms have a full balcony



    Want more details about the differences between the two resorts? Check out this awesome blog post (November 2011) from The World of Deej:
    The World of Deej: BC vs. YC




    .
     
  9. ClareH37

    ClareH37 DIS Veteran

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    I thought I'd post some photos from my recent trip in case this helps anyone - I'm happy for anyone to use them (or delete) :goodvibes

    I was in room 5629, a garden view club level room. The room was perfect, a short distance from the elevators and lounge (very happy for popping to the lounge to get food/drinks to take back to the room), and looked straight out the lakeside entrance, if you looked immediately left you saw Crescent Lake, just opposite/slightly left you saw a glimpse of Stormalong Bay. I was really happy with this room as I went with a garden view over a water view as I didn't want to look straight out at Stormalong Bay. It was in a small hallway with probably no more than 8 rooms so very little foot traffic, it was very quiet. The room had an interconnecting door, which I'm not usually keen on, and you could hear some noise from neighbours but a rolled up bath towel at the base of the door soon stopped that :goodvibes

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  10. dana278

    dana278 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the input regarding my previous post. (I'm on the DIS app and I don't know if I can quote!)

    I've seriously read everything possible but I don't know how to decide. I know either one will be great, I just don't want to get there and say "oh I wish I went with the other."
     
  11. dana278

    dana278 Mouseketeer

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    Oh and the rolled up bath towel trick sounds so helpful! I never would've thought to do that. I'll definitely remember that if I ever have a connecting door in the future. I always assumed noise was coming through the door, not under it!
     
  12. Tinkerbell's mama

    Tinkerbell's mama Mouseketeer

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    I haven't been on this thread in awhile. We are planning a trip in Sept. I have some questions I hope you can help me with. We are staying garden club level and wondering if there is one of the famous "606" rooms and do we still make all of our dinner reservations or does club level help you with that? Thank you for all your help. I hope all of you have a Merry Christmas!!!
     
  13. ClareH37

    ClareH37 DIS Veteran

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    I'd read about it years ago and it worked for me, I'm quite a light sleeper but once putting the towel down it lessened any noise.
     
  14. jennyjinx3

    jennyjinx3 DIS Veteran

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    Hi Beach Club experts! I am getting ready to switch our reservation to Beach Club for May!! YAY!!:cheer2::cool1::thumbsup2

    I am going to request a standard room with balcony and daybed...as we have five in our family. Is there anyone out there that had an amazing standard view room and remembers it's number?

    I know requests are never guaranteed but just thought I would ask for some input! Thanks so much!:goodvibes
     
  15. Ninja Mom

    Ninja Mom Atention People of Earth, I come in Peace

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    When we last left off I was rounding the bend past the Swolphin and the beautiful Beach and Yacht club was floating into view. We got off the boat and we almost went into the entrance to the Yacht club before I remembered the pictures and realized that we needed the entrance to the blue building.

    Walking down the walkway we saw those beautiful lamp posts all dressed in their Christmas finery and I knew I was on the right track. The first thing I noticed was a pack of wild dogs scratching at the back entrance trying to get in to the building. ;) I shooed them away and as soon as I entered the building I quickly realized what they were after. Hiding behind the gingerbread carousel was Teena, frantically pin trading in an effort to keep from getting near that door. Recognizing her from her pictures I told my family I wanted to go over and introduce myself before the dogs got to her. The further you walked into the lobby the more cloying that heavy gingerbread scent became.

    I waited and when the pin traders scattered I introduced myself and the family to Teena. A big smile came over her face and she said she was waiting for me! :goodvibes We talked briefly and my boys pin traded with her as my husband went to check in. My husband came back after a while with a CM in tow and said we had to go upstairs. I told him to go on ahead and just tell me the room number and I would be up when I was done pestering Teena about the resort. He said we don't have a room number yet we have to go upstairs to get it. Again I tried to get him to meet me there and Teena smiled and said I had to go with him. I thought she was just trying to get away from me because I can be kind of chatty when I am so excited so off I went. The other CM took us to the elevator and I was quizzing my husband on about the luggage when we walked out and I saw 2 desks. Another CM said "Welcome to the Beach Club is this the first time you are staying Club level?" and I decided that I needed to start paying attention to what was going on with the check in! We were being upgraded and I was missing it!

    My boys didn’t understand why I was so excited about the pixie dust so I simply explained that it meant more food for them, which met with their tepid teenage approval. That changed later when they saw the desserts and soda. I almost decided to try and get them back by telling them that every time they took something they had to wave their Keys to the World card at a club level staffer to scan it. They are on to me at this age and I think they would have caught on, but it would have been hysterical watching them chase down a staffer with their room keys out and a plate loaded with goodies.

    We were told our room wasn't ready but that we would be issued room keys that we could use to get into the pool and charge on the room key if we so desired. We were also told that you would have to use the room key card to activate the 5th floor button to get to our room. I made the mistake of asking what the room number was and they said they couldn't tell me until the room was ready, for security reasons, but that they would text me when it was ready.

    We took a quick peek into the club level where it was in lunch time mode with chips, a dip, Swedish fish (a weakness of mine!) some other thing like trail mix (I think) and a cooler filled with sodas. There were other beverages at different times of the day as well but I can't remember the order of their appearance. We asked for water since we didn't see any and we were told that IF YOU NEED SOMETHING AND IT'S NOT OUT ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS ASK AND THEY WOULD BRING IT OUT TO YOU!!!! This is important to note because I especially made use of this, asking for cups of Iced Tea at all hours of the day and night when Club level would have operating hours..

    Keep in mind when Club level is not staffed at night and you would need something you could pop in and see if it was out, like the sodas and Swedish fish, but if you needed something like wine or water you would need to think ahead and ask for some to take back to your room for the late hours when no one was working.

    You also had to ask for bottled water since it wasn't out. Remember it was never a problem to get as many bottles as you needed, all you had to do was ask and the staff was more than happy to accommodate you. As for the staff I found them to be easy to work with and very accommodating. As a club level newbie, in the beginning you kind of feel funny asking for things that you need, but I quickly realized that the staff wanted me to understand that they were there to help me and they wanted me to feel comfortable. I got the sense from some CM's staffing club level that they really liked that I was catching on and being brave enough to ask for things so that they could help me. I also really like the professionalism exhibited by the Club level staffers. They were friendly, but not overly so, and their first priority was helping you get exactly what you needed. Their performance reminded me of what you would experience at a fine restaurant with well trained personnel. They were friendly, without being overly friendly and intrusive with your time. Every time I asked for something (and I asked for a ton of lemons!! I CLEANED THEM OUT!!! LOL) they always had a great attitude so kudos for that!

    We decided to get lunch somewhere in the complex and take a dip in the pool while we waited for the room. We started walking around downstairs and I naturally was looking for Teena. I thought we would get a recommendation from her for a nice sit down place for lunch where they served alcohol and that you wouldn't need a 180,000 days in advance ADR. With no Teena in sight (she probably saw me coming and decided it was better to be carted off by the Gingerbread loving dogs!) we stumbled upon Martha's Vineyard Lounge which seemed to fit the bill. The boys opted to keep looking, which means they were headed to the arcade for video games and not lunch (saw that one coming from a mile away!) and we split up.

    My husband and I had a drink, with him have some sort of beer and I had a Passion Fruit Margarita. We then ordered wraps from the bar, which were obviously pre-made, days and days ago, and were too soggy to eat. The staff at the bar was very nice and I'm sure they would have helped us with the wrap problem, but rather than try to fix the wrap issue we chose just to sit in the lounge and enjoy our drinks and good fortune at being upgraded to club level. After we were done we summoned the boy with a text and distributed the bathing suits with instructions to change in the health club locker room and use the lockers to store the street clothes and valuables.

    We would go on to use the health club locker room on the day of departure as well as this day's arrival. You entered the gym through the entrance to the spa and the gym was immediately through a door way to your right. I asked for a tour, knowing that they had just remodeled, and I was taken through the new digs and shown the works. Let me tell you everything in the spa is first class and the pedicure bowls look like something you would find in a tastefully done modern art museum. They had a bunch of smaller rooms dedicated to the services offered and there was a hallway behind the fitness center that linked the locker rooms to the spa.

    I have to say that the locker room was missing a few key things that guests would use and I intend to mention this on my resort survey. The locker room was small but functional with one long length locker and about 10 other half size lockers. There was no bench in front of the lockers and this was sorely missed. I didn't get the chance to ask the staff at the spa why there was none but it made for using the locker room that much more awkward as you had no place to put anything once you took it out of the locker. The other thing that was problematic was that there were only hooks in the shower area so you had no shelves to put you hair care products on if you opted not to use the supplied but unlabeled "Blue stuff, bluer stuff, white stuff and yet another shade of blue stuff" in the shower area. Obviously these items were body wash, shampoo, conditioner and ya got me on the fourth one but as to which was which was a mystery that shall not be solved with out the labels.

    The other thing that was missing was something called a suit spinner. This is a machine commonly found in locker rooms that you place a bathing suit in and it spins the water out for easier transport home. Ladies swim suits are especially prone to staying water logged so this omission was sorely missed as we dragged the wet suits home in a plastic bag on the plane ride back.

    After exiting the locker room we ran like wild people to the pool, fueled by alcohol and video games. ;) We didn't think ahead, so we dragged our room key cards out to the pool to get bands for Storm Along Bay. In retrospect this would prove to be a mistake. I thought I had it all figured out because I knew you could stash valuables at the lockers at the pool. What I didn't count on is that the lockers are in such bad shape that the staff had trouble finding a lock that was not stuck and could be turned and unlocked for use. After 15 minutes of trying by myself and then requesting the assistance of the pool staff our room key cards were safely and rustily locked away and I rented a double tube to float in a margarita induced haze in the lazy river. The next time we used the pool we just got our wrist bands BEFORE we went to the locker room to change, since it was easier to store all of our stuff in the operational fitness/spa lockers.

    The boys were making dog eyes at my float and I said "We are only renting 1
    float and there is an extra seat that you can share with your mom as she floats around in the lazy river and belts out Barry Manilow songs". (as she is wont to due under the influence and at a resort pool.) This was enough to chase them away with a reminder that there was an epic resort slide calling their name. Thankfully I didn't see them for the rest of my sentence in the lazy river! :thumbsup2

    The weather was mostly sunny and 79 and the water was heated to 82 degrees, although in which part of the pool the water was heated in was a mystery to me. Being descended from hearty peasant stock and the frequent victim of hot water heater outages I managed quite nicely with the pool temperature, with the margarita definitely helping on that account. Still it occurred to me that Storm Along bay, like every other Disney Resort pool, is a 3 season pool unless it it sunny and 80 degrees outside in the winter. Despite this fact you still saw legions of blue tinged children refusing to leave the pool when their anxious parents had to dial 911 to get them out of the pool and restore their vital signs.

    After 2 hours of enjoying the pool, I hit the locker room for a shower and went off to find hubby, who had received a text and was in the process of having the luggage delivered to the room.

    OMG! He was in the room!!! If you know our family you would know that what this really meant was that he was unloading his clothes into the best drawers, using up all the hangers and hiding the remote so that only he knew where it was. I had to hurry if I stood a chance at any drawers or getting the good side of the bed.

    Well, that's it for today. In the next installment I'll talk about the room, where we went that night and what we saw. Keep in mind if you have any questions I'll try to answer them as best as I can. I'm not going to even apologize for being so wordy. I know that some of you are interested in all the dirty details and some of you just skim. This trip report is being written for the enjoyment of those people in life that need a hobby and finding out about this resort seems to be it! :lmao:

    As for Teena I never did see her again that day but those dogs were gone and I figure they must have gotten her. That's what she gets for getting too close to the door.

    ~NM
     
  16. Katesdad

    Katesdad DIS Veteran

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    You see that all the time in other threads. I'm sure we all have those thoughts from time to time. However, one great thing is, you can always go back someday and try the other side. However, as we have seen in many posts here on this thread, one person may have a "problem" with housekeeping or noise in the hall but someone else who is staying in the same resort at the same time never experiences that issue. You will be happy with whatever you choose as long as you remind yourself, "Hey, I'm at thd Happiest Place On Earth! No worries, but happy!!!"
     
  17. jennyjinx3

    jennyjinx3 DIS Veteran

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    Wow what a great report so far!!popcorn::
     
  18. floridagirl61

    floridagirl61 Mouseketeer

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    Really enjoying your trip report Ninja Mom, please keep it coming. You are making me very excited for my upcoming trip even though it is so far away.
     
  19. TeenaS

    TeenaS DIS Veteran

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    Unfortunately all standard views are now views of a roof or parking lot.
     
  20. jennyjinx3

    jennyjinx3 DIS Veteran

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    Okay, thanks Teena! Scratch the standard view!!;)

    So excited to be finally booked at the Beach Club May 15 - 20!!:goodvibes
     
  21. BLTtinkerbell

    BLTtinkerbell DIS Veteran

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    Ninja Mom, I'm enjoying your trip report! Looking forward to more.....
     
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