Call us crazy, but when we were deciding where to buy our second home resort, we went against the grain. We already own at Saratoga Springs and have stayed at a number of other DVC properties, all of which we’ve loved. Despite this, we decided to add on at Beach Club Villas, one of the resorts we’ve never stayed.
Choosing Beach Club over a resort we’ve tried and tested, such as Animal Kingdom Lodge, might seem like a strange decision, but it feels like the right one for us. When we first started looking into DVC back in 2014, we thought we knew what we wanted from a home resort. Having now been members for a little while, it‘s started to become obvious to us that our priorities have changed, and suddenly Beach Club is ticking a lot of our boxes, despite the fact we’d never stayed there.
We Wanted a True Home Resort Advantage
Yes, you get a home resort advantage (the ability to book at the resort you own 11-months before your trip instead of 7-months before) wherever you own, but for some resorts, this is more beneficial than others. Having Saratoga Springs as our original home resort made us realize that we weren’t actually getting an advantage at all. No one has ever struggled to book Saratoga Springs at the 7-month mark. It’s such a big resort and not all that popular, meaning even at the busiest times of year, you’re bound to find availability. Beach Club, on the other hand, is near impossible to book an extended stay in a studio after the 7-month mark hits. We have always dreamed of staying at Beach Club. For us, it’s our bucket list resort. But being able to stay there for a week or more when our points can only afford us a studio started to look very unlikely the more we tracked availability. Being able to book Beach Club 11-months in advance would mean we could actually stay there, whenever we wanted.
Location, Location, Location
Epcot is our favorite park, and we knew we’d want to stay near there as often as possible. With Toy Story obsessed children and a Star Wars fanatic husband, it would also be pretty handy to be very close to Hollywood Studios. Riviera could seem like a more sensible option, giving us a much longer contract. The whole resort would be brand new, and it’s only a short Skyliner ride to get to either park. However, we really wanted to be able to walk to Epcot. The idea of not having to rely on any Disney transportation to get there was very appealing. We’d love to be able to pop over to Epcot for the morning, come back for a lunch break by the pool and be back in Epcot for an afternoon wandering around the world showcase. This ruled Riviera out and gave us only two resorts, which could offer us this. Boardwalk Villas and Beach Club. So why did we choose Beach Club over Boardwalk?
For those that don’t know, this is the swimming pool shared by both Beach Club and Yacht Club resorts. It isn’t just any standard Disney Resort hotel pool, though. It’s a huge pool, has a lazy river, and a sand-bottomed section, not to mention a slide coming out of a pirate ship! It’s also one of the many pools that DVC members are not allowed to pool hop. Having two young children who both love swimming, we’ve sat in Beaches and Cream (a restaurant in Beach Club right next to Stormalong Bay) year after year longing to be able to try out the pool. Seeing this amazing pool just added to our thoughts that we want to own at a resort where the pool could keep the children happy for hours. Before becoming DVC members, we would always buy park tickets that included water park entry, so to get our pool fix we’d visit Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. Now that we are DVC members, it makes sense to get a Gold Annual Pass, which means we no longer get access to the water parks included. To overcome the lack of water parks, we need to stay in resorts with exciting swimming pools, and where is there on Disney property that’s more exciting than Stormalong Bay?
We Love Visiting Beach Club
Okay, we haven’t stayed there, so we can’t say whether we like the rooms or not, but we’ve visited Beach Club at least once on every recent trip we’ve taken. We love to walk over from Epcot, to either have a look around or eat in Beaches and Cream. We just love the laid back vibe of the resort and have enjoyed visiting there so much we knew we wanted to stay there one day.
Our First Home Resort Stay
So now that we have our Beach Club contract, when will we have our first home resort stay? Sadly not for a long time yet. Although we’ll be visiting Disney World next May, our points came through too late to book any longer than a couple of days in Beach Club then. We’ve decided instead to return in the Fall next year and experience Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival whilst staying right next door to the park. We’re coming up on the 11-month booking window soon and we’re all very excited to use our points for the first time.
What do you think about buying at a home resort you’ve never stayed at before? Would you do it, or have you done it with your home resort? Let me know what you think in the comments below.