The Epcot resort area is a favorite place for many Disney goers. With walkable access and boat service to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios, scenic views of Crescent Lake, and a number of great eateries, there is much to love about this location. It’s also home to two of the most beloved DVC resorts- Disney’s Beach Club Villas and Disney’s Boardwalk Villas. When it comes to deciding on our next potential home resort purchase, my wife (Amy), and I are in a slight disagreement about which of these two resorts we should be leaning towards. Amy has fallen in love with Beach Club, while I’m finding myself loving everything about Boardwalk. We’ve decided to take this friendly debate to you to help us make a more informed decision. Find out why Amy considers herself Team Beach Club and I am siding with Team Boardwalk and let us know your vote.
Team Beach Club – By: Amy Krieger
Let me start with the fact that I do love Disney’s Boardwalk Villas. However, I am utterly shocked my husband would choose Boardwalk over Beach Club. You see, Paul and I spent seven years of our going on twelve-year relationship visiting the Mid-Atlantic coast in Wildwood Crest and Cape May, New Jersey. Because he grew up vacationing there with family, it was the first trip we had taken together.
We have continued to vacation there and had dreamed of some day making it our home. He even proposed to me in 2011 on Sunset Beach in Cape May. Although the past few years have shifted our interest towards Disney, that whole area of New Jersey remains very special to us.
While it isn’t exactly New England territory, I get the feeling I’m back in the Cape May/Wildwood Crest area when I walk the grounds of Disney’s Beach Club Resort. The architecture of Beach Club’s beautiful resort buildings are reminiscent of the seaside cottages of our beloved Jersey shore destination. The smell of seafood wafting through the lobby takes me back to my days of eating crab and lobster on the coast, and one of my favorite restaurants on property, Cape May Cafe (hmmm, I wonder where that name came from), makes its home at Disney’s Beach Club resort.
Paul will say that Disney’s Boardwalk Resort reminds him of New Jersey as well. Yes, it does. If you travel a little further past the serene Wildwood Crest, you will find the town of Wildwood, or “Wildwood Proper” as Paul’s grandmother calls it. This area is home to a 38 block-long Atlantic City-esque boardwalk full of shops, restaurants, and amusement park rides. I enjoy this area of Wildwood, I really do. I force Paul to ride those scary roller coasters with me on the boardwalk’s pier every time we go. However, this is an area to visit, to play, to have a drink, to buy a cheap hoodie from a sketchy shop. It isn’t the place you want to sleep during the night or sit on the balcony of your resort and expect a peaceful setting. While Disney’s Boardwalk Resort isn’t full of sketchy shops with cheap hoodies, it has the same feeling I get from the Wildwood Boardwalk-a fun (and slightly tacky) place to visit, but maybe not a place for us to call home. We have always valued peace and quiet in a resort more than a bustling nightlife and I find the villas at Beach Club to be a quieter area than some of Boardwalk’s villas.
As I have said before, I love Boardwalk. I really do. The rooms are lovely, the views are nice. Heck, we just purchased a new Disney mattress and pillows based on our recent Boardwalk stay. Yet, in my heart, I love Beach Club just a little bit more. Do I need to bring up Stomalong Bay versus Boardwalk’s creepy clown, errr, I mean Lunar Park Pool? What about the fact that we have stayed at Boardwalk twice with our Animal Kingdom points and have yet to secure that elusive Beach Club reservation? Wouldn’t home resort booking rights be more valuable at Beach Club? I want Paul to be happy with our decision, but I know he would love Beach Club over Boardwalk if we had more opportunities to stay there. There are just so many reasons it would be a great place for us to call home.
Team BoardWalk – By: Paul Krieger
Less than a month ago, if you had asked me where I would like to purchase my next DVC contract my answer would have been Disney’s Beach Club Resort. It was a simple answer with little thought behind it. My wife, Amy, loved the resort and it was situated next to my favorite Disney Park, Epcot. What else did I need?
This, however, was before spending an additional two nights at Disney’s BoardWalk Villas earlier this Summer. In two visits to the BoardWalk as a DVC owner, I have had nothing but the most positive experience. From the rooms, location, cast members and more, the BoardWalk has proven to me to be a premier resort. As we speak, Amy and I are awaiting delivery of our new bed which we ensured was the exact make and model used in the BoardWalk Villas (yes we’re that crazy… and we bought the pillows as well).
Amy is spot on when describing why we are drawn to these resorts. They quickly take us back to New Jersey, a place where I have vacationed since my childhood. However, each trip has involved many memories on the Wildwood BoardWalk. Whether it be grabbing something to eat, wasting away money to win a cute girl a prize, or riding the many rides offered, the boardwalk has a special place in my heart. To me, Disney’s BoardWalk Villas brings me ‘home’ in more ways than one. It brings me to a place I love, but also reminds me of another place where I have shared so many special memories.
At the end of the day I will be happy with either resort we choose to make our next home. In fact, many of my Beach Club apprehensions are likely due to the fact that I’ve never stayed there. Both resorts are in an ideal location and I have heard nothing but positive experiences from the many members over on the DVC Fan Facebook Group. But at the moment when I evaluate the full package of view, location, aesthetics, and availability, I can’t help but continue to say I’m Team BoardWalk.
Since we can’t completely agree, we thought we would give our fellow DVC community a chance to help us decide. Are you Team Beach Club or Team Boardwalk? Vote below and leave us a comment to tell us what you love about the resort you chose.
38 thoughts on “Team Beach Club vs. Team BoardWalk”
Beach Club is better!! Buy BeachClub points Paul!
Greetings! Full disclosure: Beach Club is one of our home resorts…
We have ‘about 3’ Beach Club stays under our belt and 1 very recent Boardwalk stay over the 4th of July this summer. Staying at BW over the 4th was a bucket list item for me- glad we stayed – it was so nostalgic! We even adorned our balcony rail with patriotic ribbons. The epitome of Americana! I loved the experience- we had a studio on 4th floor facing Village Green- classified as pool/garden but you got a view of the boardwalk and water… and-all the nighttime action (good or bad depending on what your jam is.) Tip- if this lication sounds appealing- try to request 3rd floor- village green-balconies are RIDICULOUS!
I’m from Philly and lived in suburbs as well- and too would visit Jersey shore points as a child- Wildwood Crest- Cape May- and LBI. My husband is actually from LBI area! We grew out of the boardwalk scene and enjoy tranquility over an active boardwalk in our adult lives. We are drawn to NC points like Bald Head Island. We do plan to take our girls (6&8) to WW BW for the ‘experience’ soon!
Would we ever entertain a future BW stay- yes! Soon? Likely not. I’d pick Beach Club over Boardwalk. Here are my reasons-
1- Inventory. BC is slim. Wait list for BW is much more likely over BC.
2- Pool- goes without saying
3- Quiet – While I am sure there are areas tucked away on DVC side at BW- every night after Illuminations offsite visitors FLOCK to BW- feels less DVC esque to me.
4- Rooms at this present time- I like the interior design at BC over BW- feels more modern to me. *BW rooms did feel a tad bigger though.
*The view of BW from BC is quite awesome- and better than being physically there IMHO. You can always walk over for a little BW mini experience while at BC.
Enjoy the decision journey! EITHER are a great choice- I just personally lean toward Beach Club 🙂
Angela C & Family from PA
Hi Angela, I actually think you stayed right above us during your recent Boardwalk stay. I took a picture of the patriotic ribbons on the balcony right above our room because I thought they were so cute. We were on the third floor facing Village Green with the huge balcony. We were there through the 4th as well. 🙂
i like beach club because of the availability of restaurants inside the property i see the boardwalk of a project to get some food and drinks. flying fish is amazing but not an everyday day type place which ever you choose you can make the best of it and if i see you i will be the guy screaming “watch the tram car” so you get that wildwood feel
Hahaha – I’ll keep my ears open for that! That’s the only thing the BoardWalk is missing in my book.
I am Team Boardwalk, but I will say this – Beach Club is the better resort with children under 10 because of Stormalong Bay. However, for the two of us – I would way rather be at the Boardwalk. Part of this is exactly that Beach Club reminds me of “home” (New England). I like my theme to take me out of the world I’ve lived in. The Boardwalk is similarly themed, but still different enough to feel unique to me. I also feel at Beach Club that the DVC part has been shoved all the way in the back of the resort – like “Oh right – we need to have a DVC resort here too. Put them out back.” Boardwalk the villas are integral to the resort. Finally – one word only – Jellyrolls.
It seems pretty simple to me. You can always visit the boardwalk when staying at BCV (as we regularly do). But you can’t visit Storm Along Bay if staying at Boardwalk. SAB is awesome when you are done with the parks or want a relaxing day. Little pros and cons beyond that but I think it comes down to that.
I’m Team Beach Club! After staying multiple times at BWV, we thought that was where we wanted to buy. Then, I looked at how hard it would be to stay at Beach Club without owning there, so we bought there at the smaller resort…and haven’t looked back! We still take strolls on the Boardwalk while staying at Beach Club, but have so enjoyed the offerings at Beach Club, including Stormalong Bay and the shorter want back “home” after Epcot fireworks.
Why not just go to Cape May or Wildwood if you need the true fix of that? We go every year and it’s still cute, but it is getting more “fancy-fide” with new boutique hotels. I agree with Amy that it’s good to be able to go experience the fun and then go home to a quieter place. Or, one of you can while the other enjoys the quiet. It gives you more options. Plus Stormalong really is a deal breaker.
Boardwalk is missing an in resort TS restaurant and that is a hassle every time I stay there and I own more points there than BC! Also. Dislike BW pool and love Stormalong Bay…
We own at BoardWalk. I love the BoardWalk, but agree with your wife on the pool. We hate the creepy clown/carnival look of the pool. Wish the pool could get a makeover and make it a desirable pool that people wanted to swim at. We did stay at the Beach Club one time. I definitely like the feel of the BoardWalk better and love the atmosphere on the BoardWalk, especially at night. We still walk around the entire area & frequent restaurants at Yacht & Beach Club as well as other hotels. It is a nice leisurely walk around the lagoon. Storm-along-Bay is hard to beat for pool themes. All of the pools have a fun big slide, just different themes. We love the beach theme a lot. However, we really missed the BoardWalk when we stayed at the Beach Club. We felt secluded and set back off the trail. With the BoardWalk, we feel like we are part of the scene & a short distance to the fun shops, activities, piano bar & dance hall. All of the resorts are nice and I’m sure there are trade-offs whichever you choose. Go with where you feel most comfortable. We are still happy with our choice overall. Just wish they’d get rid of the clown at the pool and make it a great desirable pool.
Beach Club one hyphenated word, self-parking
I am team Beach Club. We have stayed at both several times and own at Beach Club. I love the quiet of Beach Club and then being able to walk around to the other side of the water to the Boardwalk area for a bit of action and energy. The Epcot area is altogether pretty fantastic, but the pool and atmosphere of Beach Club tips the scales for me.
We love both also, and own at BC, yet stay at BW more. For us, BW is just those extra few mins closer to our favorite park, HS. Since the resorts both have things you love, and are so close together, I’d say go for BC since it’s closer to Epcot, your favorite park!
We own at Boardwalk and absolutely love it. Even though availability is better at BWV, standard and Boardwalk view is hard to get at 7 months. The standard views at BWV is better than most views at BCV IMHO. The Boardwalk views are spectacular. Boardwalk has fewer kids running around in the lobby because BCV attracts kids. Boardwalk has 2 sit down restaurants that don’t take reservations. That is great when you don’t want to plan every moment of your vacation. Parking is better at BCV, but reminds you that you are in the afterthought part of the resort and delegated to the parking lot section of the resort. I loved the free valet parking that is now long gone. It made BWV perfect. The stroll to Epcot is in front of hotel rooms and is at best a big meh to me. The stroll from Boardwalk is longer but so open and so pretty. The boat dock is more convenient at Boardwalk. We are not swimmers. However, my nephews did say that the BWV water slide is fun. The final thing is the ambience. My sister loves the understated elegance of Beach Club. We enjoy the more glam Boardwalk. It fits our personalities.
Funny, I’ve never heard of Cape May or Wildwood.
I will start out by saying I consider all restaurants, shops, and non-pool amenities a neutral thing, because the whole area is so walkable. BC has Beaches and Cream. BW has Jellyrolls, and we can go back and forth. But, since it is a simple walk to get to any place in this area, I don’t consider it a huge plus for either of them, and to me, it’s a push.
Proximity to parks is also a wash. I don’t think you could go wrong with either.
I will say I think BC is probably the better resort, technically. The bathrooms since the refurb, at least in the 1 and 2 BRs are nearly on par with the Grand, and that’s nothing to sneeze at. The solarium, rarely used, is great as a little private oasis. And, the pool is really the trump card. I think for most people, when discussing the Yacht and Beach Club, the #1 thing of note is that pool.
That said, BCV does feel like you are in a completely different building (because you are) so it is a little bit of a walk to get to the main area of the resort. Nothing extreme, it’s not a huge walk, but it does feel a little isolated. With BWV, it’s all one connected building. Yes, there is Inn-side and Villa-side, but it feels like one cohesive resort, which I appreciate. Also, when you are Villa-side, you are near to the pool area, near to the fitness center, you don’t feel like you are separate from everything.
But, nothing can replace, when you are walking around or back from the park at night….the whole resort area is beautiful. But, seeing the Boardwalk lit up like Christmas, just glowing in the night sky…every time it gives me chills, and every time, I feel so lucky that I get to be staying there.
The big thing for me, though, ultimately, is the price. When you look at the cost of the Yacht and Beach Club or Boardwalk Inn even, and you look at the out-of-pocket numbers…it can be a bit breathtaking. And points-wise, the difference between BC and BWV is not insignificant. It can be a $500 difference over the course of a week. I just don’t know if there is anything about the Beach Club that would justify an additional $500. I just don’t.
Definitely on team BCV! I give disclosure that my family had 2 shares at the Beach Club but I cannot say enough positive things about it.
The resort is beautiful, the cast members are wonderful, the whole resort feels like a casual beach vacation, and of course it has SAB, the best resort pool by far. The lights are also gorgeous at night but the environment is calm and quiet.
Food-wise, I love Beaches and Cream and Cape May is great too. I know BW has great food too, but it’s very easy to access from BC as well and you don’t need to stay there to appreciated it.
One thing that has not been mentioned too much is that while both resorts are close to Epcot and DHS, BCV is a 5 minute walk away from Epcot, while I found that BWV was at least a 10 min walk from DHS (it’s advertised close park) depending on where your room is located. I found the difference in proximity to be a real benefit of BCV although I realize some might not be bothered.
Finally, I understand the apprehension of buying at a place you have not stayed yet, but my family also bought at BCV before we had ever been, and it turned out to be the best decision. We’ve basically refused to stay anywhere else since we bought points, even though we know there are many other great resorts. We just can’t stand the thought of not being at BCV and going to SAB for our afternoon breaks!
I have always loved the Beach Club and it was only second to my all time favorite Polynesian. My kids were younger and it has that fun vibe. Last year we stayed at the resorts we had never been to among them Saratoga Springs and the Boardwalk. I fell in love with BW the minute I stepped out onto the balcony! It was phenomenal. The view and the atmosphere took over and I was enchanted. We had a one bedroom villa which was wonderful. The pleasure I derived from the whole setting was unbelievable and it is now my second favorite resort.
My daughter still likes BC better but I win!
We own at both and stay at both all the time. It’s simple. The Boardwalk is typically very active with people and things to see and do. The Beach Club has the best pool but is generally quieter and more private. Do you want more hustle and bustle or peace and quiet?
I am definitely team boardwalk! I love everything about boardwalk…in fact it was a visit to boardwalk that convinced my husband and I to buy DVC.
I know everyone loves SAB but I was not a fan. It was so hard to find a table to sit at in the early afternoons during our recent stay there. I much prefer a location I don’t have to compete with a ton of people searching for a place to sit and relax. I have never had a problem getting a relaxing table to sit at while staying at boardwalk (or any other DVC resort for that matter). If I want to go to the pool to relax and take a break from the parks that’s what I want to do…not walk around hunting and searching for a place to sit!
Also I did feel a bit removed from Beach club since you are in a different building as opposed to being in the main building like at boardwalk.
Good luck with your decision…I’m sure you will be happy with either one…they are both great!
Beach Club is my fave but I’d look at length of contract for help in the decision. Over started a night at BW and staying three upcoming as well as three at BC. Both have a large appeal. Storm along Bay weighs it for me and the quiet nooks at BCV to sit inside and relax. What was the mattress brand and pillows? They were amazing. I could be in the market.
Hey Lillian, the mattresses can be found here: https://beautyrestguestpurchase.com/hotel-mattresses?category=661
And the pillows here: https://www.sobelathome.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw-b7qBRDPARIsADVbUbUFmELCGRAOtmd01YO_P55KfjBDigBS_Ew-A8pS5SdF9zp1VtFgcGYaAtf8EALw_wcB
For the pillows, I took a picture of the tag and contacted the company and asked them which pillow matched.
For the mattress (since I forgot to look), I contacted the GM of Boardwalk through that email they give you and they told me. Beautyrest also has a thing on the site where you can pick the hotel and it tells you, but not all the Disney Resorts are listed on there. Boardwalk is though.
What I like about Boardwalk over Beach Club. I dont prefer how the BCV are in my opinion a step-child of the resort by being completely separate. I prefer where the Villas are part of the hotel. I like BWV AK Jambo and now Copper Creek for those reasons. Ideally of BCV was set-up like BWV, with views it might change my mind. Views for us are part of the experience, be it watching boats with a BW view or over the pools, or Gardens facing Swan and Dolphin. To each their own, there are plenty of things to like at BCV but it probably would not be in Top 5.
Not in rank order
BLT- yes this is separate building but views and walk to MK make it a top choice
I’m a 45 min ride to Ocean City NJ. Beach, Boardwalk. Have a friend with a summer home there. Can go anytime we want and stay overnight or for a few nights.
Living in Philadelphia and now South Jersey all my life. I’d take any of those Disney Resorts over a NJ shore town any day of the week. Wouldn’t have to think twice. Will be in WDW in NOV.
We just bought more points at Poly because we love it and the points are good for longer, but after just having stayed at Beach Club I may be regretting that! The pool was amazing, we spent two full days there and could have spent more. And we walked over to Boardwalk and enjoyed the shops and restaurants etc there as well. Beach Club villas are out of the way but still worth it.
I have only stayed at the Beach Club, but have visited the Boardwalk and had a good time. We own at the Poly and Copper Creek, but our first stay after buying in was at the the Beach Club. The reason was that my wife’s family are some of the many of the numerous transplants in the New Jersey invading force we have experienced in the RTP area of N.C. I offered to accommodate my mother inlaw, whom I love, to spite years of judgement against my home state for not having anything as good as New Jersey, besides lower taxes, lower cost of living, cheaper real estate costs, warmer weather, and employment for her husband.
She has fond memories of summers spent at her parent’s beach home in Mantoloking Dunes. Having visited there a few times, I felt she would have felt more at home than at Boardwalk, which made my wife think of Seaside Heights, commonly referred to by her as “Sleazeside Heights”.
She hadn’t been to Disney with my wife’s step dad at all. In fact, she hadn’t been to Disney since the day before Epcot opened.
We loaded everyone, me, my wife, our three kids, and my wife’s mom and step dad into our 2017 Kia Sedona, with a car top luggage hauler and made the 10 hour drive. My mother inlaw has mellowed in her snobbish appraisal of North Carolina over the years, so I figured the likelihood of her whining about Jersey Corn and tomatoes, NC’s lack of “good pizza” and “decent Chinese food” would not make me think our new mini van had a problem with the power steering pump (which would also be characterized by an annoying whining sound).
The time we spent at the Beach Club was in my mother in law’s terms, elegant. It actually allowed me to get the time to really get to know her in a way that I hadn’t before. She had, after all, done quite a bit for my wife and I, as an active grandmother to our kids, (she is actually a very loving woman) and I relished the opportunity to make some small gesture of appreciation. The by product was that it being a soup to nuts trip, all paid for by us, and at a resort that triggered so many memories for her of her childhood at the shore, that floods of stories we had never heard tickled our ears. I will always have a special place in my heart for Beach Club for that reason. It was a well timed trip too, as she is not in the best of health anymore. I don’t think I will ever hear another criticism of N.C. from her though. Seems I am now her favorite inlaw. Thank you, Beach Club…lol.
Hello Kevin Jones…I live in Wake Forest, NC. (A long island transplant) 🙂 I happen to be a big fan of your home state.
Just back from a week in North Wildwood! As BW owners I’m team Boardwalk all the way. Constant entertainment and some really great restaurants!! If you are truly NJ shore lovers, it’s BW all the way!
I am from Philadelphia. Spent countless summers at the Jersey shore, many of which at Wildwood. Have also spent 9 vacations at Disney. We really like Boardwalk. But, Beach Club is our Favorite!! (Polynesian2, Grand Floridian3). Pool. Still have access to Boardwalk. No brainer.
Remember…all of Beach Club’s food areas are inside the resort. Boardwalk…you have to go outside of the resort to get to eating areas. Just food for thought.
I have a set of Disney friends whom I have this same debate with. I am Team Beach Club all the way. We bought points there 11 years ago and have never looked back – even after we stayed at the Boardwalk in 2015.
Amy’s last argument should be the deciding factor for both of you. You can always get a reservation at the Boardwalk, even if you don’t have Boardwalk points. But that’s definitely not true at the Beach Club. Team Beach Club’s love and commitment to staying at our home resort is part of the reason why it’s hard to get a reservation there. We rarely stay anywhere else. Why should we when we already call paradise our home?
Reading through both posts, even though Amy’s logic is flawed on the quiet factor (worried about BW being loud at night – it isn’t), she wants hers more than Paul does. Paul will be happy at both places but I don’t think Amy would allow herself to be. We own at BW and have stayed at both. I vote BC if you have kids under 12 for the pool but i vote BW for any other criteria. But what each person writes here is not the point – it’s how Amy and Paul FEEL – and for their sake I think BC is the answer.
Beach Club Villas are the clear choice for me. (Yes, I’m biased since that’s my home resort.)
Being able to book in that owners window is valuable, especially if you ever come for holidays or Food & Wine.
BUT – the luxury of watching entertainment in the UK Pavilion and then being in my bed for a nap in less than 10 minutes is wonderful. I love Boardwalk, but I’m already drifting off before I’m even halfway to my room down those meandering hallways!
Location, great CMs, and views all being very similar, Stormalong Bay tilts the scale to Beach Club for us!
When we went looking to buy into DVC our choice came down to OWK and BWV mainly because of the point charts. We preferred the crescent lake area better so BWV was our final choice. It goes with out saying that the pool at BCV is far better than BWV. That being said my husband and I are NOT pool people. The other thing i like about BCV is being able to access dining with out going outside. For me this is the biggest plus to BCV.
Given all that since the point charts at BWV compared to BCV. I don’t think the pluses at BCV offset the difference between the two.
The Pool is better at BCV.
Nothing else at BCV appeals to me on the same level as BWV. I don’t have kids, so as long as my pool has adequate seating and a good bar, im happy. As a 24 year old, the idea of a sand bottom pool and a mini waterpark are “nice” but I much prefer the Boardwalk area for the same reasons I love the pool areas at AKV. It is big, simple, and not something i have the need nor the mental obligation to plan for. Plus, there are a lot of kids(which is fine) at Stormalong Bay and I like that the Boardwalk Pool is less of a focus of the resort.
Dinning is a No Brainer for me, BWV wins easily. I like Yachtsmen, but I think Flying Fish is at worst on par(its far better in my opinion). Plus everything else. When we stay at BCV, we spend far more time on the boardwalk itself than trying to get into Beaches n Cream or Cape May.
The lobby lounge at BWV is awesome, cause it is so quiet.
Rooms are equal. Walking Distance is such a small difference for me, and i do really love walking down the lit up BW after leaving EPCOT at night.
The theming at Boardwalk is so cool and weird.
If I had kids, BCV is a no brainer. Without them, there is nothing BCV has for me personally that I don’t prefer at BWV.
I agree that BCV are harder to get so owning there would be of benefit especially. You can always use your points at BWV! Then you have the Best of Both Worlds!
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