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

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Sue M

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 27, 2009
Thanks Dee for the update, glad to hear Lily is feeling better. Great pics :thumbsup2
 

Ninja Mom

Attention People of Earth, I come in Peace...
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
When last we left off on my trip report I discovered that my family had beaten me to the room! It was on the 5th floor and faced the front of the resort. It had a daybed which was very comfortable and it easily accommodated my sons, all of whom are at least 5 foot 9 inches tall. I think this was one of the old ones based on previous information reported on this thread. (The newer ones are shorter) The day bed was so comfortable that there was much fighting over who would get it. I stepped in and settled the argument with a rotating schedule of day bed use and a mandate that during the day it be returned to its sofa function. As soon as I spoke up, the fighting stopped; the boys ignored me and worked it out on their own.

With 5 people in the room things can get kind of cramped but we have a system where we pack all the shirts on wire hangers from home and hang them in the closet. Everybody gets a drawer to keep the undies and jammies in and we keep the shorts or pants folded on the top shelf above the hangers. We also take 3 sizes of suitcases so the carry on fits inside of the medium size suitcase that fits in the large size suitcase. We kept a large suitcase open on the floor of the closet to use as a laundry hamper. I was thinking of asking Bell Services to stow the empty suitcases but they fit just fine on the side of the bed whose wall is next to the bathroom. We also kept a carry on out for storage of all of the boys electronic junk. Our 8 socket extension strip was in heavy use charging all the phones and ipods.

There was plenty of storage space in the bathroom, especially because our boys are not in to bringing a multitude of grooming products with them. I suspect, if left to their own devices, that they would be perfectly happy showering with Brillo pads. Try as I might, I could not tempt them into trying the resort supplied fruity smelling shampoos, body washes and conditioners. Those boys have no sense of adventure I tell you!

We have a rule, where before we leave the room, everything not in the bathroom has to be put away so the housekeeper does not go and run screaming from the room when he/she comes to make it up. All in all, with a little organization, the 5 of us fit in the room nicely. The room also had one of those small balconies but we didn’t mind. My husband found plenty of places at the resort where he could chill out. The Beach Club lobby deserves its reputation for being busy but there is a really quiet sitting area just past the entrance to the Beach Club Villas. It has comfy couches and hardly any one goes there. This turned out to be my husbands favorite ‘go to’ spot when he wanted some quiet time with his club level latte and a novel. He also liked the Solarium, which was vacated of gym equipment due to the completion of the fitness center renovation. He never got over to the Yacht Club to check out hang outs over there but I'm sure there are some nice places over there that would be quiet and relaxing.

Now let me tell you about HOW WONDERFUL CLUB LEVEL IS!!!!

First off, the continental breakfast is just the thing for the quick get away to the parks. You've read what is offered in a previous post so I don't need to go there but I can not emphasize enough just how key this is to help make this a more relaxed and organized vacation. My boys, who are eggs and breakfast meat kind of men really don't mind the lack thereof and they certainly have plenty to choose from. One of them even shocked me by trying the oatmeal, which I thought would be a fine healthy choice until I saw the amount of sugar, raisins and other stuff He piled into the bowl. The pastries are delicious and the hard boiled egg gives you that much needed protein boost for commando touring.

My husband, who can be picky with the coffee, was very happy with the lattes available from the Nescafe machine on the club level. They put coffee outside the lounge at 6am and the continental breakfast starts at 7am. Cuisinart pods are available in the room I was in.

As for the middle of the day, we used club level for the beverages available when we returned from the parks. Say goodbye to ordering snacks and water for the room! Chips, Swedish and yogurt covered pretzels fill the need for a nibble after lunch. There are sodas and beer available as well as juice and iced tea. The coffee machine is standing sentry duty for that mid day pick up as well. We have been told to just ask if we need something and they will see how they can help you. I've heard people come in and ask for stuff when it wasn't out and the staff will try to get it for you.

Being club level newbies we were starting to pick up on the importance of asking for things. The staff can't read your mind and it can be bewildering when you see something at one time of the day and then it's gone later. The staff is really great and they really want to assist you. I became comfortable asking if "I could please have this" or "when does that comes out". They really don't mind helping so ask away. We asked for bottles of Dasani water to take to the parks when we tour since they are not kept out with the rest of the beverages. One of the best tips that I can give you about experiencing club level is to ask, no matter what it is, and the staff will see if they are able to assist you. It really makes them happy when they can tell that they are helping you out in a special, much needed way.

As for the appetizers, served from 5pm to 7pm, they were really good. You can tell that fresh quality ingredients are used. One night I had a very nice goat cheese appetizer that I would love to be able to get at home. I was also addicted to the apple slices and caramel dip. The olive salad and artichoke hearts are simply to die for. Accompanying the various appetizers are sauces and dips that are very fresh and tasty. They taste like they were just whipped up in the kitchen and not poured out of a bottle.

Now I have a confession to make. When ever we had a big lunch at one of the restaurants I would save half of my entree to take back for dinner. You could request a microwave for your room but I just used the one in the Market Place. Having some of the appetizers from club level and then the rest of my lunch made for a fine dinner on the nights that we didn't have dinner plans. I had great fun one night in the Market Place when I was reheating the left over half of my Mushroom Risotto Filet from Le Cellier. There were some CM's in the Market Place and I was teasing them about NOT sharing my left overs from LeCellier. Everyone was drooling, including the boys who had opted to devour their entire entrees at lunch. No amount of "dog eyes" or begging would persuade me to give up the goods and share with my family.

From 8pm until ??? Cordials and desserts are served. One night we had Raspberry Mousse and a chocolate and peanut butter little something delicious. Cookies and brownies were also available on different days. My boys were in heaven when they saw all the goodies offered in club level. The thought that they could feed the hungry beast that lurks in their stomachs with the great food that was available at Club Level put a smile on their faces all week. On the trip home there was much discussion about how that was one of the highlights of the trip!

I'm pretty sure the lounge closes at 11 but remember that they have trays in a cabinet under the soda cooler and you can take plates back to your room earlier in the evening, before the lounge closes and enjoy your goodies in your room later on when the lounge will be closed and you are getting back late from the parks.

What I've learned about club level is that it solves a lot of problems when you stay at Disney. It's sort of like staying at home where you have access to your kitchen and you can grab a nibble or a beverage whenever you need it, just like you do at home. You don't have to worry about ordering these things from Garden Grocer and deal with having to stock your room with them. You just run up to the lounge and grab and go!

You also have the resources of club level staff who will be able to help you with a variety of things encountered during your vacation stay. Its nice having a knowledgeable source of information just a question away when you are so busy running here or there during a Disney trip.

In the end, once you experience it, in my opinion it becomes certain that staying at club level is well worth the money. It's the difference between an easier, more comfortable stay versus one where you have to herd the family to breakfast and deal with snacks and beverages. I'm not a club level pro, where I have the inside knowledge to utilize the staff to book this restaurant or get that certain kind of show ticket, but I like knowing that if something unexpected should pop up, I have someone I can depend on to help me out.

I see a lot of families with young children using the lounge at club level. I can't think of a better demographic that really benefits from the lounge and the food offerings. How easy is it on Mom and Dad to just pop in to the lounge and get something to eat and drink as they are running with the kids from here to there? I also like having the option for the 5 people in my family, who always seem to be on different eating schedules. We are no longer tied together and everybody has to eat at the same time.

At one point in time I thought about all the stuff we weren’t buying during our trip. Bottled water alone costs something like $2.50 and that and the sodas can really add up during a trip. Breakfast would have cost us about $11.00 per person and there were a ton of snacks I did not have to buy.

If I had to sum it up, staying at Club Level puts the "Home" in the "Welcome Home" at a Disney resort.

After getting situated in the room we hit the road in a taxi van to get to the Polynesian Resort for a dinner reservation at the Kona Café. This taxi ride cost about $20 with tip and saved us countless time and aggravation trying to negotiate Disney transportation, which can be cumbersome going from resort to resort. That $20 taxi ride was money well spent and we would do it again if we needed to go from resort to resort. After Dinner we took a boat from the Poly to the Magic Kingdom. We then hopped on another boat to……

To.......

To.......

To be continued in the next chapter of my trip report!

~NM
 
  • MickeyT

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 16, 2006
    ........ We then hopped on another boat to……

    To.......

    To.......

    To be continued in the next chapter of my trip report!

    ~NM
    Loving your TR NM. We too love the CL and CL staff when we are able to stay 5th floor.

    ::yes::Keep it coming!::yes::
     

    sea nymph

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2012
    Nice report Ninja!
    We are staying at the Beach Club and are waivering on whether to stay on the club level or do the deluxe dining package in a standard room?
     

    natebenma

    Beach Club Dee
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2008
    Nice report Ninja!
    We are staying at the Beach Club and are waivering on whether to stay on the club level or do the deluxe dining package in a standard room?
    :welcome:

    When is your trip?

    :banana::banana::banana:

    We did the Deluxe Dining plan on one of our trips and it was WAY too much food. My family really loves to eat, so I didn't think it would be an issue, but it was!

    However if you are planning several signature meals, the DxDP makes more sense.

    Club Level with the regular dining plan fits my family's style perfectly- an early breakfast in the lounge before hitting the parks for rope drop (usually the early opening park), then an early quick serve lunch before the crowds get hungry, then an early dinner somewhere. The only problem with this schedule is that we don't have much time to enjoy the appetizers in the lounge.

    Good luck with your decision, and let us all know if we can answer any questions for you.
     

    Sue M

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 27, 2009
    When we stayed CL at BC we had the regular DDP and found we missed out on the lounge Appies & desserts too. So when we stayed CL at AKL last August we went without DDP. Had breakfast in lounge, usually a TS lunch, then grazed in the lounge for evening Appies and dessert. That was enough food for us. We thought if we were still hungry we could go out or down to Mara to grab a bite but we never were.
     
  • ocalla

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 24, 1999
    Well Dee, you can finally add BC/Garden View room to my BOG date!!! Finally booked our reservations :) And with a nice discount I might add!!!!
     

    Sue M

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 27, 2009
    Great update. I have to admit I really got addicted to the potato chips in the lounge.. And my daughter loved the Salt Water Taffy they always have in a bowl at the desk. The wonderful CL staff noticed how much she liked it and when we had to leave (yes, those drag marks you may have noticed were mine) they gave her a big bag of the taffy to take with her!
    The CL staff are wonderful. :thumbsup2 can't say it enough.
     

    pamkat1820

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 9, 2011
    Love the trip report! I can't wait until everything is finalized for our trip! Thanks for all the great details on CL
     

    natebenma

    Beach Club Dee
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2008
    A couple more pictures of Lily enjoying Christmas at the World- yesterday was a visit to Hollywood Studios to see the Osborne Lights and have a light snack at 50's Prime Time:






     
  • Mousemommy1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 6, 2010
    I am so torn over whether to upgrade from my GV room at YC to CL instead. We had an amazing time at WL CL in July, and that has been our only CL experience to date. My biggest worry is about the evening offerings...are they too "sea-foody"...??? I love seafood, but the rest of my family is not as enthusiastic about it. From the pictures though, it looks like there is some chicken, etc...are there enough non-seafood items? :confused3
     

    Ninja Mom

    Attention People of Earth, I come in Peace...
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2012
    Nice report Ninja!
    We are staying at the Beach Club and are waivering on whether to stay on the club level or do the deluxe dining package in a standard room?
    When we stayed CL at BC we had the regular DDP and found we missed out on the lounge Appies & desserts too. So when we stayed CL at AKL last August we went without DDP. Had breakfast in lounge, usually a TS lunch, then grazed in the lounge for evening Appies and dessert. That was enough food for us. We thought if we were still hungry we could go out or down to Market Place to grab a bite but we never were.
    I totally agree with Sue! Remember, staying at Club level means you get a Continental breakfast, small snacks during the day like chips or trail mix,. At dinner time appetizers like chicken skewers or Chinese dumplings, olive salad or a cheese selection and other types of appies are put out. Then at 8 they put out desserts and cookies along with cordials and other alcoholic beverages. This is accompanied all day by things like bottled water, soda, wine, beer and juices, coffees and teas! The mere fact that you could dash up to the lounge, fill up a plate and eat it in the lounge or take it back to your room meant a level of convenience and relaxation that couldn't be beat. It was great to get off of the restaurant reservation treadmill and kick back and relax with some really great food. With all the time we saved not traipsing off 2 hours early to a dining reservation it was easy to justify hanging around the resort for more relaxation time while waiting for the magical food to appear.

    After staying at Club level, we realized the ideal plan from a convenience and money saving stand point was to plan out a table service meal at lunch time (saving money with the lunch pricing!) and hit the lounge for breakfast and appetizers with the supplement of a counter service meal at dinner, IF we needed it. My guys have sweet fangs so they continually opted to wait for the desserts after the appetizers and not eat a counter service dinner. Somewhere in a Florida swamp the Pillsbury Dough boy is shaking with fear at the thought that my boys might still be chowing down on all those club level cookies and brownies! The other thing I really enjoyed was that nobody was ordering a dinner that would go mostly uneaten because they were still full from lunch!


    An other way to save money is to combine staying at Club Level with the use of Tables In Wonderland. Since this is the year we went for annual passes (hence the multitude of trips! :thumbsup2 ) we decided to go for a Tables in Wonderland card. In case you didn't know, Tables in Wonderland is a dining discount program for eligible Florida Residents, Disney Vacation Club members and Annual Passholders 21 and older, good for 20 percent off food and beverage at a number of Walt Disney World Resort hotel and theme park restaurants and lounges. The discount is good for up to 10 guests in your party. Only one person in the family needs to have a card, which costs about a $100 dollars.

    Keep in mind that the Tables in Wonderland (TIW) card is only good at TABLE service restaurants BUT it is also GOOD AT THE RESORT FOOD COURTS!!!

    Although not valid at the BC Marketplace it does work at Beaches & Cream Soda Shop (eat-in only), Cape May Cafe, and Martha's Vineyard Lounge. We scored a 20% discount on our lunch and drinks at Martha's on the first day of our BC stay. For the Yacht Club it works at Ale and Compass Lounge,Captain's Grille, Crew's Cup Lounge and the Yachtsman Steakhouse.

    Here is a link explaining just about everything you need to know about TIW http://allears.net/din/dde.htm

    There are also other discounts associated with this card so check out that link!

    For this trip the ORIGINAL plan was to save money on dining by, as we call it, "Counter Service Surfing" and biting the bullet and drinking that wonderful Florida tap water supplemented by Mio and Crystal light flavorings. We also had access to the refillable mug plan but that is a dark and tawdry detail best not discussed here ;) . We had also planned to hoof it over to the mini-mart located behind the Boardwalk hotel with a pack of teenage muscle men and some rolling suitcases to load up on breakfast items and Beer for DH. When we got upgraded to Club Level that plan evaporated, saving us much needed relaxation time and a ton of teenage whining! :thumbsup2

    We knew we'd benefit from the TIW card for the occasional table service meal we had booked. One of the things I was determined to do was ask, every time I got my wallet out, if the merchant accepted either my TIW discount or my Annual Pass discount. Even if I was sure I knew the answer ahead of time I asked anyway and I was pleasantly surprised when on our first day at Pop they took the TIW discount off of our food court meal! SCORE!

    After we got home my husband and I were talking about Club level and ALL the MONEY it SAVED. He asked me to estimate what we would have spent out of pocket for breakfast every day, water and snacks for our family. He then compared that to what we would have spent paying for the upgrade to club level. When you combine a resort rate discount percentage of around 30% you will hit the break even point financially. However if you factor in the convenience and ease of staying club level and not having to pay for the Alcohol provided at Club Level you pretty much come to the conclusion that it is totally worth it. My husband is notoriously tight with money so I was surprised when he said that he would definitely consider booking that category for our next deluxe stay.

    Years ago we decided to splurge and go for the Deluxe Dining plan (DDP). I never thought with 4 males in the family that could pack away the food that it would be too much but it was. I think the DDP would be good if you could use it strategically, primarily booking the 2 table service credits restaurant meals. Even using this plan it can be wearing not to mention time consuming for stays of more than a couple of days. Also the fancy 2 table service credit restaurants are not kid friendly at all.

    For this trip we wanted to minimize the time and money spent at restaurants. We knew there would be plenty of dining options staying at an EPCOT area resort. We figured we would just supplement our table services with counter service meals or snacks paid for out of pocket. Paying Disney Park prices for food items can really add up. Having club level access to treats really made a dent in that Disney Parks food cost!

    I realize I am starting to sound like a commercial for staying at Club Level but experiencing it really opened our eyes to a whole new level of convenience and a viable financial alternative to the high cost of Disney dining.

    ~NM
     

    Ninja Mom

    Attention People of Earth, I come in Peace...
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2012
    I am so torn over whether to upgrade from my GV room at YC to CL instead. We had an amazing time at WL CL in July, and that has been our only CL experience to date. My biggest worry is about the evening offerings...are they too "sea-foody"...??? I love seafood, but the rest of my family is not as enthusiastic about it. From the pictures though, it looks like there is some chicken, etc...are there enough non-seafood items? :confused3
    I think the only seafoody thing I saw was Conch fritters one night. I don't think that the club level offerings were seafood oriented at all. They also had rolls and peanut butter and jelly out. This was a real kid friendly option and a favorite of the 1 picky eater in our family.

    Remember there are only 2 or 3 feature appetizers each night (Example: chicken skewers/ conch fritters/ dumplings) and they change that offering each day. I think I saw little cups of either tomato salsa or gazpacho one night. With 5 varied eaters in my family each of us found something we loved every night so I think they did a nice job with the selection. Also remember to talk to the Club Level Staff to see if they can help you out with any food concerns. The secret to Club Level Satisfaction is TO ASK the Staff! :cool1:

    ~NM
     

    Sue M

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 27, 2009
    We had the TIW card too, split the cost of $75 with AP discount ( at the time, has since gone up) with girlfriend I travel with! It worked out rather well for our TS lunches.

    Next stop POFQ soon! I'm going to start packing next week :banana:
     

    sea nymph

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2012
    Ninja,
    Very good information!
    It's making me reconsider my plans and as first timers, it's hard to decide!
    This is how we are currently set-up:
    2 adults - 3 kids (6-9 years)
    Beach Club with Deluxe Dining Plan staying 7 days
    Have 9 ADR's made with 4 of them Character Meals (2 breakfast, 2 dinner)
    Reservations at:
    Cape May Cafe (2)
    Cinderella Royal
    Akershus
    Yachtsman
    Brown Derby
    Narcoossee
    Ohana
    Tusker House

    Thinking of switching to Package Plus Dining and adding Club Level, but that doesn't give us enough Table Service Dining with Package plus?
    Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
     

    TeenaS

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 31, 2000
    Ninja,
    Very good information!
    It's making me reconsider my plans and as first timers, it's hard to decide!
    This is how we are currently set-up:
    2 adults - 3 kids (6-9 years)
    Beach Club with Deluxe Dining Plan staying 7 days
    Have 9 ADR's made with 4 of them Character Meals (2 breakfast, 2 dinner)
    Reservations at:
    Cape May Cafe (2)
    Cinderella Royal
    Akershus
    Yachtsman
    Brown Derby
    Narcoossee
    Ohana
    Tusker House

    Thinking of switching to Package Plus Dining and adding Club Level, but that doesn't give us enough Table Service Dining with Package plus?
    Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
    Jeanne and Lily are out playing in the sun. It's in the 50's but glorious sunny!!! It feels about 70.

    Lots of your ADRs are using 2 credits. Alot of people would disagree with me I'm sure but 1 credit can buy you a super nice steak dinner at a bunch of different restaurants worth around $45 total. So, is Narcoossee's, the Brown Derby and Cindy's Table worth $90 per person??? Not in my head. For the restaurants that take two credits, I personally think if you want to eat there, pay for them. Also, a character breakfast is definitely not something worth $40-45 (the value of one credit). You should pay for that out of your pocket. So, I think the plain old dining plan is a much better value and for those times you want to eat at a "2er", I think paying for it will save you money in the long run. Also, on the dining plan, you are forced to eat soooo much. If you were paying for it yourself, would you really order dessert every meal for every person. Doubt it. I love the regular dining plan IF (and that's a big IF) you use it correctly and smartly. You can really save 20-25%.

    There's a website out there that has most of the prices listed for the restaurants. Go to them and figure out what you would order if you were eating there WITHOUT the dining plan. Remember, you probably won't order dessert for everyone at every meal. Don't add tips since they are not included in the plan anyway. Then do a grand total. Then figure out what the deluxe dining plan will cost you and see if it saves or costs you money. Honestly, if you are true to yourself and really look at the menus and figure out what you would order if you were NOT on the plan, I think you might see that you are going to lose money with the plan.

    NM ... you've done it both ways. You know the cost of most of their restaurants. Your opinion???

    My vote is no dining plan at all, club level for sure and get Tables in Wonderland if you can figure out how to get it since you have to be an annual passholder, a Florida resident and some other restrictions are there.
     

    gogo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2007
    Hello,

    I was wondering if I could get some info. regarding BC rooms. I am currently booked at the BWI standard CL for January. But, after bookiing I was informed that the main pool will be closed and the two quiet pools will be available. I decided to change resorts. It just feels like if I'm paying deluxe rates that the main pool/bar area being closed is not the best value for the $.

    I've stayed at the BC standard CL room a couple years ago. Although, CL is always nice I was not entirely sold on the BC CL but I want to try and keep the cost the same as my current reservation to make things simplier. So, if I book BC CL room with lagoon view, will this room have a full balcony (I will add that a balcony is important to me. I like to spend as much time on it while in the room). I might also be interested in a lagoon view first floor with a patio. Are these rooms hard to get and are many blocked by bushes, etc.?

    We will be in Disney beginning January 17th, so not much time to make a decision. I called this morning and there are rooms available right now.


    Any information is appreciated:)
     
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