Disney’s Beach Club and Yacht Club are two of our family’s favorite Walt Disney World resorts. We love that we can walk to Epcot and Hollywood Studios, swim in the incredible Stormalong Bay pool, and enjoy beautiful rooms that meet most of our Disney resort room needs.
These two are sister resorts and physically attached. Like all sisters, they are great at sharing.
… okay, maybe not all sisters are great at sharing, but the Beach Club and Yacht Club are!
These two Disney resorts share amenities – the Stormalong Bay feature pool, recreation facilities, restaurants, and more. They also have share rack rate price points although room rates can vary depending on discount availability.
So, with all these similarities, how is a family to choose between Disney’s Beach Club and Disney’s Yacht Club Resort?
Outside of the rooms themselves, there isn’t much to differentiate the resorts.
Restaurants are all centrally-located where the two resorts meet so dining distance isn’t enough to be a deciding factor.
Each resort has its own quiet pool and they share Stormalong Bay which is mostly equidistant to rooms in both resorts.
It would be impossible for me to declare a clear favorite here so this post isn’t going to tell you which resort is better. When price is the same, I have an incredibly hard time choosing between the two. Fortunately, discount availability has always made that decision for me!
Before we look at the rooms, these are a few overall resort aspects to consider when choosing between the Beach Club and Yacht Club resorts:
Obviously, the most noticeable difference between the resorts is theming. Disney’s Beach Club resort is … the beach, but more specifically New England beach cottage style. Yacht Club has a nautical theme with elegant Martha’s Vineyard styling.
Beach Club has a lighter, airy feeling with shades of blue and pastel colors. Yacht Club decor is darker with deep wood tones and a more neutral color palette with lots of ivory and dark color accents.
Resort theming extends through the room hallways as well where Beach Club’s hallways are more colorful with adorable carpeting printed with many hidden Mickey bubbles.
Yacht Club’s hallways were untouched by more recent room renovations and feel quite dated and drab, covered in very unappealing, yellowy shades of ivory. But, seriously, the hallways are my only complaint about Yacht Club and if that’s the only negative I can find … the hallways … you know it’s a great hotel!
These two resorts sit on the shores of Crescent Lake. At the lakeside, Beach Club has a … beach. Yacht club has a dock with boat rentals.
Again, the beach and boat dock are close to both resorts, but if either of these amenities is your biggest draw to this resort area, that slight distance could matter.
Theme Park Proximity
Beach Club is every so slightly closer to Epcot while Yacht Club is a shorter walk to Hollywood Studios.
Depending on your room location, a room at the Beach Club can literally be less than a five minute walk to Epcot’s International Gateway entrance. We stayed in a room approximately in the middle of resort and timed the walk at 5 minutes exactly.
Walking to Hollywood Studios will take 20-30 minutes from either resort.
FriendShip Boat Launch
If you don’t want to walk and plan on using a FriendShip Boat to get to Epcot, Hollywood Studios, or the other Crescent lake resorts, the dock is at the Yacht Club. For the majority of rooms at Beach Club, the walking distance to Epcot’s International Gateway entrance is actually shorter than walking to the resort’s own boat dock.
Yacht Club has a tennis court. Beach Club as beach volleyball. As shared amenities, guests at both resorts can use both recreation amenities.
Now, let’s look inside the rooms because that’s where the real differences can be found.
Laminate Flooring vs. Carpet
Yacht Club rooms are more recently refurbished, finished in 2017. Like all recent Disney hotel room refurbishments, the rooms feature laminate flooring in lieu of carpeting.
Beach Club room refurbishments concluded in 2015, before Disney’s push to remove carpeting. Beach club rooms still have carpeting that hasn’t had time to get worn down yet.
Dark vs. Light Color Palette
Carpeting is one factor that gives Beach Club rooms a lighter, serene feeling. The overall color palette of natural tones and muted blues with subtly textured walls makes Beach Club rooms incredibly relaxing.
Yacht Club rooms have dark wood and bold blue accents. They have a sophisticated and regal feeling.
Both are completely lovely, so the color palette is just a matter of preference.
Guaranteed Full Balcony vs. Possible Standing Balcony
Yacht Club rooms all have full balconies (or patios on the ground floor) with two chairs and a small table.
Beach Club does not. Bottom floor rooms have patios. Most second and fourth floor rooms have full balconies. Most third floor rooms have tiny, standing Juliet balconies. These balcony differences at the Beach Club are not a separate price level so when making a room reservation so, while a room with a full balcony can be requested, it is not guaranteed.
If outdoor space is an absolute must for your vacation, go with Yacht Club just to be safe.
Traditional vs. Platform Beds
Along with laminate flooring, Yacht Club’s 2017 refurbishment also updated the rooms to platform beds. This provides ample additional storage space for bags and suitcases.
Beach Club beds have traditional frames that reach to the floor.
Beach Club rooms feature a standard closet with double sliding doors, one long clothing rod, and one high shelf for storage.
Yacht Club’s closet area is a closet system with a somewhat smaller space for hanging clothes behind double opening doors, a build-in ironing board that folds out from inside another compartment, and several open shelves at various heights. We found the lower shelves to be perfect for shoes.
Unless you have a lot of clothes to hang up, Yacht Club certainly has the better closet area.
Shower Door vs. Curtain
Yacht Club’s renovated bathrooms all have shower doors while Beach Club showers have curtains.
Our room at the Yacht Club had a standing shower which we actually preferred since our boys don’t take baths anymore. However, many Yacht Club rooms have the traditional tub/shower combination with even that configuration featuring a sliding door.
All bathrooms in Beach Club rooms have tub/shower combos. If you need a bathtub, choose the Beach Club.
Bathroom Door vs. Open Vanity
Yacht Club’s bathroom vanity area can be closed off with a dark wood sliding door.
The bathroom at Beach Club is open with no door or curtain. Keep this in mind if anyone will be using the sinks and vanity while others are sleeping as there’s nothing to block the light from entering the bedroom.
The toilet and shower is in a separate room at both resorts, separated with a sliding pocket door at the Yacht Club and a standard swinging door in Beach Club bathrooms.
Bedrooms at both resorts have a standard night stand between the beds and the opposite side of the bed closer to the window is next the desk for placing bedside materials.
At Beach Club, there is no night stand for the sleeper on the wall side of the interior bed. Yacht Club rooms feature a small, built-in shelf here complete USB-enabled outlet so no one is without a nightstand. This little shelf makes me so happy and is such a small, simple touch that makes me wonder why all rooms don’t have one!
Note that while I keep mentioning the proximity of the Yacht Club and Beach Club resorts and how they are physically connected, there is no interior passage from one resort to the other. You must use the covered walkways out back.
And I say this every time Beach or Yacht Club is mentioned on this blog, but I have not felt that one resort is more child-friendly than the other in my experiences. Disney’s Beach Club Resort is often considered the more kid-friendly of the two but both our equally loved by our boys. They particularly love the lobby at the Yacht Club which has numerous yacht and boat models on display as well as a ship’s wheel on a balcony. Don’t automatically disregard Yacht Club just because it’s “not kid friendly!”
So, which resort does your family prefer? Disney’s Yacht Club or Beach Club resort?