Beach Club & Boardwalk Veterans...I need your opinions please!

Cynister

How long until the next vacation?
Joined
May 28, 2009
We're planning a May 2015 stay & it looks like it is narrowed down to the Beach Club or Boardwalk. I've never seen either, but we'll be going for a short visit that will likely only include DHS & Epcot, so these 2 hotels made the most sense. Price-wise both are fairly similar, but it seems both have options I'm just not sure which would be better. I'll be traveling with my DH & DS (then 11). Things that are most important to us would be cleanliness (obviously), good restaurants (especially quick service), close proximity to Epcot (to easily walk), a sitting balcony would be great, some sort of view (I'll explain more below), things to do at night (like shops or something for a low-key night). Regarding the view, we stayed at the Contemporary last year & lucked out by having a lake view. We loved being able to come back to the room & watch the night parade & boats after a long day, as well as the wildlife in the mornings. We'd like to have a similar experience of something to 'watch' if at all possible for nights we need a little down time.

Could you please share your recommendations, experiences & even photos if you have them for the following:

1. Boardwalk Standard Room
2. Boardwalk Villa Deluxe Studio
3. Beach Club Standard Room
4. Beach Club Villa Deluxe Studio

Outside of the size of the refrigerator, are there benefits to the Studio Villas over the Standard Rooms or vice versa?

Thanks in advance!
 

mmounsey

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
We did beach club standard and loved it. Never did BW, but our friends just did and didn't like the boardwalk noise at night. Easy access to boardwalk nighttime food and entertainment from BC though. I love both resort areas and we visit them every trip.

Would stay there again in a heartbeat. And the pool is awesome. Especially for kids.
 

Sue M

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 27, 2009
Unlike the MK resorts, there's nothing going on at Crescent lake, like the water parade. You may luck out and get a room where you can see the higher Illuminations fireworks.

We love BC & YC. Best pool on site. Some quick service options at bc/YC. Hurricsne Hanna's by pool, The Marketplace, we had a great burger at sale & Compass. Beaches & Cream. There's also Boardwalk Bakery.
We haven't stayed at BWI.
Standard room had 2 queen beds. BCV studio has 1 queen & pull-out. I'd rather have 2 queens.

If you want a guarantee of balcony, better to stay at YC.
 
  • kapoof

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 18, 2006
    We have stayed at the bwi and bc. I love them both. Dh really took to the bwi however and that is now our new home. :goodvibes.

    Bc
    Pros: just really nice, love the atmosphere. Cape mays is really good and the closest to Epcot. Large pool. Nice rooms I really love it. We always visit it when we go to wdw.

    Cons: chance of getting a single balcony. Large pool. You have to leave it to use the slide.

    Bwi

    Pros very pretty, love the boardwalk bakery for breakfast and treats. Nice rooms. The pool is the best I think. Love the slide. Still close to Epcot and dhs.

    Cons. It is a little more pricey now then the bc, not everything is under one roof. We had to dash about in the rain to go to the bakery.

    Roll the dice, you can't really lose between the two.:goodvibes
     

    TaraPA

    Can't live without a ticker!!!!
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2000
    We've stayed at both, multiple times.

    As far as view...there's really no "view" other than at the resort, there are very few rooms, if any, at either, that you can see fireworks from.

    Rooms are identical in size at BC & BW. BC has limited balcony options though, and you are not guaranteed one. You mentioned the fridge in a studio vs. a room - the fridges are identical in both rooms & studios. A studio will have a microwave where a room won't. A studio will only have 1 bed & 1 pull out sofa - a room will have 2 beds. That's the main difference between the 2.

    As far as quick service - neither has any inside the resort. Many see this as a negative, but there are a lot of TS & other QS options along the Boardwalk itself.

    BC is a closer walk to Epcot, but not by much. BW obviously is ON the Boardwalk, but just a quick walk from BC as well.

    BC has a much larger pool area, but it can be overwhelmingly large at times.

    I love both & would stay at either but if I had to choose, I'd pick BW.

    Good luck whatever you decide!
     

    Angieandsteve

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 29, 2013
    Great post! I am debating between the two as well for our June 2014 stay. Right now we have BWI booked but I keep wondering if we should switch to BC. Almost seems like we can't go wrong with either. Would love to hear more opinions though!
     

    kapoof

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 18, 2006
    Great post! I am debating between the two as well for our June 2014 stay. Right now we have BWI booked but I keep wondering if we should switch to BC. Almost seems like we can't go wrong with either. Would love to hear more opinions though!
    I was just where you are now during our second trip. I was leaning towards bwi but dh wanted to stay at the bc. We really really loved it. THen we around to staying at bwi and like I said before dh really loved it there. The bwi is closer to dhs, if you cut through the pool area is makes for a quicker walk. If a balcony is important to you, maybe leans towards bwi. But it is a little more pricey. Bc picks up before bwi on the buses if that makes a difference. :goodvibes.
     
  • Dis703

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2010
    We've only stayed at BC of the two and loved it. Fwiw we had a standard CL room and were able to see the fireworks from MK at night. Room was facing the front of the resort.
     

    CaptainEO71

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 5, 2012
    Will your 11-yr old be able to navigate SAB at BC without your superivsion? SAB is almost water-park-like, if you will need to stay on top of them it can become a "chore." The pool is broken up into areas & you will be on the move, not relaxing, unless they can be on their own. That is something to consider. At BWI pools you can stay in one chair to keep an eye on the kids.

    Rooms are the same at both, and if you go standard view it could be anything - we had a parking lot view once at BC, another time just the roof of the section below us. I've never had a room at either that I could see any fireworks from but there are a few at each. BC does not have a guaranteed full balcony - some are standing room only - and you can request a full one but there are no guarantees. Also a daybed is in some rooms at both, but again, no guarantees.

    As far as a studio, the only diff is that a studio will have only 1 real bed (plus a pull out sofa bed) and a microwave, sometimes a mini sink outside of the bathroom as well where the microwave is. Refridgerator in a studio is same size as in hotel rooms.

    No true CS at either - BC has the small section of food in the store, and TS. BWI has Boardwalk Bakery, Boardwalk-to-Go down on the Boardwalk but no access from inside hotel. Lots of TS on Boardwalk but agian, none inside hotel.

    You can't go wrong with either. We like BWI a bit more because we're not fans of SAB - and Cape May always seems to have crowds of people waiting to get in, in the lobby. But we do love the quiet pool & hot tub at BC better than the ones at BWI.
     

    Scott MC

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 1, 2009
    We've stayed at both.

    I do well with lists..so here goes.

    Beach Club:
    Pros:
    *The Pool. It's a big win.
    *The lobby is beautiful.
    *Rooms are bright, airy and by 2015, should be newly renovated.
    *Beach Club Marketplace offers a quick-serve option (but see: Cons)
    *Beaches and Cream is a no-frills eating establishment (I always call it "Disney Friendly's.")
    *Standard view rooms aren't bad. You could sneak a view at Spaceship Earth, and perhaps some Wishes fireworks over the trees.
    *Super close to Epcot

    Cons:
    *1/2 of the rooms at BC do not have full balconies, you will get a standing balcony, which is only size enough for one person to stand on.
    *1/2 of the rooms do not have a daybed.
    *Beach Club Marketplace: It does the job, but it's a gift shop/quick serve mix, and I find it very confusing, overcrowded, and poorly laid out...but the food is great!
    *Standard view rooms WILL overlook the parking lot or a rooftop, so the chances of a peaceful view to enjoy are slim to none.
    *Bit of a hike to the DHS. If you're walking...it's the furthest Epcot Resort from the Studios. If you're boating...you must walk to the launch at the YC.
    *Other than dining, there's not much to do at night.

    Boardwalk:
    Pros:
    *Rooms are airy, elegant and beautiful.
    *All rooms come with balconies that you can sit on.
    *The majority of standard view rooms overlook the beautifully kept gardens and include a view of the Eifel Tower at Epcot, and the higher Illuminations fireworks.
    *all rooms include a daybed
    *quick serve options include continental breakfast at Bellevue Lounge, a pizza window, a bakery, and cart-quick serves out on the Boardwalk.
    *slightly longer walk to Epcot, but still very, very close.
    *Much quicker walk to Studios if you choose to walk.
    *Great (but not overwhelming) nightlife. You can play fairway games, watch performers, have ice cream (margaritas for the grownups) and look at the lights. *ESPN Club and Big River Grille are affordable dining options, and while pricey at night, Kouzzina is an affordable, delicious breakfast.
    *The pool is my 2nd favorite at WDW.

    Cons:
    *A *few* standard rooms overlook the front entrance. Just request a garden view when you book and if they still put you in a front entrance room, ask politely to be moved.
    *Many people judge BWI because you have to go outside and onto the Boardwalk to get to the restaurants, stores etc. I really don't see what the big deal is. It's a very short walk, and no longer than the walk from far-out rooms at BC.


    So there you have it. I love both resorts, with a preference for BWI, but you really can't go wrong!
    Good luck!
     

    AThrillingChase

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 12, 2013
    I really liked staying at YC in Nov. I ate at both hurricane hannah's pool bar and BC marketplace as the 2 resorts are connected. If you get the refillable mugs HH is super convenient to refill. I had a water view overlooking the boardwalk and it was great. For view, i would pick YC/BC to look across at BWI and see the lights.

    Distance wise, both are so close to parks that its negligable. And both have plenty of lounges. They really are so close that you can essentially share the ameneties.
     
  • Tink-n-Belle

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 3, 2006
    You can't go wrong with either one. The villa's have a sofa with a pull out bed and a kitchenette which is really nice. But the pull out isn't as comfortable as a real bed. The BW villa's have 3 views, pool, standard or boardwalk( which is really neat but can get noisy late at night with people leaving the dance hall and duel piano bar. The views at the BW are better depending on your room and the BW has a community hall that has video games, ping pong air hockey etc.

    There is nightly entertainment at the boardwalk, but you can walk over and enjoy it or take the boat over every 20 minutes if you stay at BC. However you cannot swim at SAB so if you want a great pool, it's the BC.....

    I like them both.
     

    mmounsey

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 2, 2002
    Our standard room also had a balcony and a partial blocked view of illuminations. No day bed. I think I remembered requesting the balcony and was told that there were very few balcony/day bed rooms. Our kids were so young it worked out fine.

    As for night time activities, the boardwalk was a quick stroll across the lake. We'd often grab dessert and watch illuminations from the bridge separating the two resorts.
     

    Wood Nymph

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 19, 2012
    We're planning a May 2015 stay & it looks like it is narrowed down to the Beach Club or Boardwalk. I've never seen either, but we'll be going for a short visit that will likely only include DHS & Epcot, so these 2 hotels made the most sense. Price-wise both are fairly similar, but it seems both have options I'm just not sure which would be better. I'll be traveling with my DH & DS (then 11). Things that are most important to us would be cleanliness (obviously),
    -BC will have been recently refurbished by 2015
    good restaurants (especially quick service),
    -BC Marketplace is the closest thing to a quick service restaurant that they have.
    close proximity to Epcot (to easily walk),
    _BC is closest
    a sitting balcony would be great, some sort of view (I'll explain more below)
    ,
    -BWI and YC would have a guaranteed balcony, BCV's only have a view of the woods or the villas pool, or parking lot. But a woods view at the BC & BCV's will often come with a view of the high fireworks from Illuminations. BWV's have some better views.

    things to do at night (like shops or something for a low-key night).
    -Epcot is convenient for night time activity. BWI has the most options for night life with Jellyrolls comedy club and Atlantic Dance Hall, both of which are a short walk from YC and BC.

    Could you please share your recommendations, experiences & even photos if you have them for the following:

    1. Boardwalk Standard Room
    2. Boardwalk Villa Deluxe Studio
    3. Beach Club Standard Room
    4. Beach Club Villa Deluxe Studio

    Outside of the size of the refrigerator, are there benefits to the Studio Villas over the Standard Rooms or vice versa?

    Thanks in advance!
    Standard rooms are nicer than studios since they have two queen beds and they are nicer rooms in general. The studios are BCV would have a balcony, so if that is important to you and you choose the BC for the great pool and Marketplace, then that would be the way to guarantee a balcony.

    A BWI studio will be closer to DHS than a BWI standard room.
     

    natebenma

    Beach Club Dee
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2008
    Disney Beach Club Villa Studio













    Kitchenette








    Thanks bellebookworm9 and 333disneymomfor the studio pictures above!


    More Studio Villa Pictures, by missyrose and pixeldust, October 2012


    http://allears.net/acc/bcv/bcvstudiolayout.jpg

    365 Sq Feet
    Sleeps 4
    " Kitchenette with microwave oven, under-counter refrigerator, wet bar and coffee maker
    " Queen-size bed
    " Double-size sleeper sofa
    " TV
    " Private porch or balcony

    **********************************************

    Beach Club Guest Rooms













    This is mostly a sampling of views, but some of the posts have additional room pictures:

    I started up two View Threads in the Resort Photo Subforum:

    Beach Club Room Views
     

    hedberg1661

    DIS Veteran and Patreon Supporter
    Joined
    Jul 30, 2013
    We've stayed at both.

    I do well with lists..so here goes.

    Beach Club:
    Pros:
    *The Pool. It's a big win.
    *The lobby is beautiful.
    *Rooms are bright, airy and by 2015, should be newly renovated.
    *Beach Club Marketplace offers a quick-serve option (but see: Cons)
    *Beaches and Cream is a no-frills eating establishment (I always call it "Disney Friendly's.")
    *Standard view rooms aren't bad. You could sneak a view at Spaceship Earth, and perhaps some Wishes fireworks over the trees.
    *Super close to Epcot

    Cons:
    *1/2 of the rooms at BC do not have full balconies, you will get a standing balcony, which is only size enough for one person to stand on.
    *1/2 of the rooms do not have a daybed.
    *Beach Club Marketplace: It does the job, but it's a gift shop/quick serve mix, and I find it very confusing, overcrowded, and poorly laid out...but the food is great!
    *Standard view rooms WILL overlook the parking lot or a rooftop, so the chances of a peaceful view to enjoy are slim to none.
    *Bit of a hike to the DHS. If you're walking...it's the furthest Epcot Resort from the Studios. If you're boating...you must walk to the launch at the YC.
    *Other than dining, there's not much to do at night.

    Boardwalk:
    Pros:
    *Rooms are airy, elegant and beautiful.
    *All rooms come with balconies that you can sit on.
    *The majority of standard view rooms overlook the beautifully kept gardens and include a view of the Eifel Tower at Epcot, and the higher Illuminations fireworks.
    *all rooms include a daybed
    *quick serve options include continental breakfast at Bellevue Lounge, a pizza window, a bakery, and cart-quick serves out on the Boardwalk.
    *slightly longer walk to Epcot, but still very, very close.
    *Much quicker walk to Studios if you choose to walk.
    *Great (but not overwhelming) nightlife. You can play fairway games, watch performers, have ice cream (margaritas for the grownups) and look at the lights. *ESPN Club and Big River Grille are affordable dining options, and while pricey at night, Kouzzina is an affordable, delicious breakfast.
    *The pool is my 2nd favorite at WDW.

    Cons:
    *A *few* standard rooms overlook the front entrance. Just request a garden view when you book and if they still put you in a front entrance room, ask politely to be moved.
    *Many people judge BWI because you have to go outside and onto the Boardwalk to get to the restaurants, stores etc. I really don't see what the big deal is. It's a very short walk, and no longer than the walk from far-out rooms at BC.


    So there you have it. I love both resorts, with a preference for BWI, but you really can't go wrong!
    Good luck!
    Great Post!

    To me the big deal for you, assuming your son likes to swim, is the pool. SOB at the BC is the best pool on property hands down. It is very unique with a whirlpool, sand bottom, lazy river, slide, etc. all in one. Personally this is a big win for everyone. Personally you can't go wrong with BC especially since the rooms will be re-done by the time you get there.
     

    thisismyusername

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 17, 2013
    Unless having a slightly bigger fridge, microwave and toaster is important to you and is worth the sacrifice of the loss of the second bed, I, personally, would eliminate the villas as I think the regular hotel rooms are nicer than the villas.

    Based upon your other needs, and with cleanliness being equal (I think) between both hotels, I think Boardwalk might be a slightly better fit for you.

    -Restaurants (especially quick service):
    Really, both resorts are about equal. Beach Club has the Marketplace and Hurricane Hannahs. Boardwalk has the Boardwalk Bakery (one of the best QS locations in all of Disney, IMO) and the pizza window. For sit down dining (excluding lounges), Beach/Yacht Club has Cape May Cafe, Yachtsman, Captain's Grille and Beaches & Cream. Boardwalk has Flying Fish Cafe, ESPN, Big River Grille and Kouzzina. When I have stayed at the Beach Club, I've easily walked over to the Boardwalk for quick and sit-down dining, and vice versa, so I don't know how heavily I'd factor dining into your decision, unless it being immediately close is a concern. If I had to say one was better than another, I'd give the edge to Boardwalk simply because Boardwalk Bakery is such a favorite of mine, and because the sit-down options are more plentiful since we typically avoid buffets with our middle-aged children who are charged like adults but eat like kids.
    +.5 Boardwalk

    -Close proximity to Epcot (to easily walk):
    Both resorts are an easy walk to Epcot; Beach Club, however, is closer.
    +1 Beach Club

    -A sitting balcony would be great:
    Both resorts have sitting balconies; however, Beach Club has many standing balconies and a request for a full balcony isn't guaranteed (we were not given one on our last trip). The standing balconies stink--I don't know what the point of them is other than to allow you to open the slider and let air into the room.
    +1 Boardwalk

    -Some sort of view:
    I have stayed garden view in Beach Club (looked out onto the volleyball court) and boardwalk view at the Boardwalk. I think that with standard view, with both resorts, you can wind up looking at rooftops or parking lots. If view is important to you, I'd suggest paying the extra money to guarantee you'll have the view you want. The highest category at the Beach Club is pool view, which is pretty, but not necessarily very interesting. Boardwalk view, though, is a must-do at Disney, I think, particularly at night. You can watch the nighttime performers and games on the Boardwalk, people watch to your heart's delight, and there's just a fun, joyful, relaxed vibe in the air. During the day, you look out onto Crescent Lake and can watch (and listen) to the boats. It's such a quiet and beautiful view, and worth every penny, IMO.
    standard view +0 (no edge to either resort)
    pay to upgrade view +1 Boardwalk

    -Things to do at night (like shops or something for a low-key night):
    Here, it's all Boardwalk. A perfect night for us was getting back from a park, hitting up Seashore Sweets for an ice cream cone and taking a place on the boardwalk to watch the night time entertainment. But I will also say that with World Showcase steps away from either resort, that's also a wonderful, wonderful way to spend a low-key night (particularly if Epcot is open later).
    +1 Boardwalk

    Don't stress too much about your decision; they're both great resorts and you'll be thrilled with whichever you pick.
     

    Angieandsteve

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 29, 2013
    I was just where you are now during our second trip. I was leaning towards bwi but dh wanted to stay at the bc. We really really loved it. THen we around to staying at bwi and like I said before dh really loved it there. The bwi is closer to dhs, if you cut through the pool area is makes for a quicker walk. If a balcony is important to you, maybe leans towards bwi. But it is a little more pricey. Bc picks up before bwi on the buses if that makes a difference. :goodvibes.

    Thank you this really helps! We actually had WL booked but switched due to being able to walk to Epcot and HS. We will split time between those 2 parks and MK likely so I figured I would rather take a bus to 1 park versus 2. I think BWI will be the place to allow us to do this. Last year we stayed at POR and it was beautiful but the bus situation was not fun so I am looking for convenience to parks now! Thanks again!
     

    herb102211

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 4, 2011
    Youve picked 2 of my favorite resorts!! :)

    Weve stayed at the Beach Club Villas, Beach Club and the Boardwalk Villas (in a garden/pool view studio, as well as a boardwalk view studio) many times.

    In terms of cleanliness, we have found all 3 to be clean. Usually our room requests were granted too, which was great.

    The closest resort to Epcot would be the Beach Club (or the Beach Club villas depending on where your room was located). I would say its about a 5 minute walk to the International Gateway.

    The Beach Club has both quick service and table service restaurants. The Marketplace is the quick service restaurant, and Cape May Café is a table service restaurant. Cape May Café offers a character breakfast and then a New England clam bake buffet at dinner time. You can also go to Beaches & Cream (another TS) which just started to take ADR's.

    All of the Boardwalks restaurants are out on the Boardwalk. The nice thing about the Beach Clubs restaurants is that they are all inside the hotel.

    You can walk along the Boardwalk each night (shops, entertainment, etc) by staying at either resort.

    The views all depend on which room you get. On one of our trips to the Beach Club villas, we had a view of spaceship earth (we were on a high floor). Our Boardwalk Villas- Boardwalk view room featured an awesome view of the Boardwalk. On our last trip to Boardwalk Villas, we were on the 1st floor and had a view of the Keister Coaster (Clown pool).

    I like the décor of the Beach Club better than the Boardwalk, but that's just my opinion. Both have great theming!

    Also, I don't know how much time you'd be spending at the pools, w but we prefer Stormalong Bay at the Beach Club. It's like a mini water park!

    You cant go wrong with either resort, but this is how I'd rank them

    Beach Club
    Boardwalk Villas (if you can get a pool or boardwalk view)
    Beach Club Villas
    Boardwalk Inn (only because Ive never stayed in a BWI room)

    Either resort puts you at a prime location if you're spending most of your time at Epcot and HS.

    Have a great trip!
     

    Cynister

    How long until the next vacation?
    Joined
    May 28, 2009
    Hi there, OP here. :wave2:

    I love reading about all of your experiences & suggestions. I can't thank you enough, especially those of you who took the time to break it down. From one person who needs a list or a spreadsheet for just about everything (me) to another, you are singing my tune. For the poster who showed pictures, those are great & help to visualize what it might be like. You are all helping a lot! Please keep the experiences, opinions, & photos coming! I'd love to hear more!

    Oh btw, is it true that there isn't daily room cleaning/service in the villas?

    Thanks
     


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