Growing up, my family switched back and forth between Disney’s Beach Club and Contemporary Resort. For those of you who may not know, Bay Lake Tower is a recent luxurious extension of the Contemporary connected by a Sky Walk Bridge! When planning your trip to Disney, the resort is key. Whether it is you and your significant other, friends, or growing family, the selection of the resort you decide to call “home” has a huge impact on your Disney vacation. So let’s look at both resorts along with their pro’s and con’s and why it may be more desirable for you to stay at one versus the other!
Disney’s Beach Club Resort
If you’re looking for the ultimate pool experience, this is the resort to be at. In addition to three leisure pools, you also have full access to Stormalong Bay. This is a 3-acre water wonderland that has anything you could possibly desire! From having a complete sand-bottomed pool, a 230-foot-long waterslide, lazy rivers, whirlpool spas, and volleyball games, this has been my favorite pool in all of Disney World. Before I get into how awesome the location is as well. It is also important to note the extra’s this resort offers. As you enter the Beach Club, you are not only greeted by the Captain but also a fresh beach linen smell that you can’t get enough of.
Now let’s get into the location, not only is it in walking distance of Epcot and a quick boat ride from Hollywood Studios, but it is located right on the Boardwalk! There are so many extra fun things to do here! If you are with kids, make sure to go check out Beaches & Cream, they will love the Kitchen Sink (to see more on this check out my previous blog post on “Must Do” Disney Dining). If you’re with your significant other or family members that love sports, nothing will compare to the ESPN Club. This is truly a sport fan’s paradise offering 30 different programs on at one time on nearly 100 different televisions (even in the bathroom!). Make sure you get the nachos here while you’re watching the game! All in all, there really is nothing bad to say about the Beach Club. The only hindrance is if you have young kids, and they want to be walking distance to Magic Kingdom. If this is a deal breaker for you, Bay Lake Tower is the way to go!
Bay Lake Tower
If you are looking for the best view of the Magic Kingdom firework show over Cinderella’s Castle, this is the place to be! This could be the view from your room. You could spend a nice, long day at the park and lounge on your patio watching the “Happily Ever After” firework show! Another pro is the monorail access. As the Beach Club has a boat that will bring you to a wide variety of Disney locations, the monorail will bring you to Magic Kingdom (for those that may not be able to make the walk), the Contemporary, the Transportation and Ticket Center, the Polynesian Resort, and the Grand Floridian Resort. As I mentioned earlier, make sure you take advantage of the monorail and go to the Polynesian Resort. The scenery and food there can’t be compared.
You may be wandering why I haven’t really dug into the specific dining and room layout in both resorts. This is because all Disney Vacation Club Resorts have similar layouts. However, Bay Lake Tower provides an extra bathroom in its one and two bedroom condos compared to Beach Club. This was very helpful with our family of five people. They both have the necessities like the washer-dryer combo and kitchenettes. The real defining features include what they are close to, the ambiance, and the pool. This brings us to our last comparison- the pool. As you can see, this is a fabulous pool with all the necessities. It has a 148-foot long waterslide as well as a place to rest and relax for those that do not want to participate in the bubbling geysers of the water play area. It definitely does not possess all the extra Beach Club’s pool has but know that you can also use the Contemporary Resort’s area as well.
Lastly, although you will have to cross the sky bridge to get to the Contemporary, a huge advantage at staying at Bay Lake Tower is that you can go to Chef Mickey! All of the main Disney characters will be there, and this is a place you can’t miss if you have kids. Some of my fondest Disney World memories are here taking pictures with my favorite characters. I think I liked pictures more than my brother 🙂 As we got older our family loved the California Grill restaurant at the top of the Contemporary.
Now that I have kind of given a background of the strengths and relatively few weaknesses of each resort. Which do you choose? I know they both have so much to offer, but there is one that resonates with you more than the other? If you have a preference or a prior experience, please leave a comment below!