Honeymoon Trip Report: Yacht & Beach Club, Boardwalk and Swan & Dolphin

Continuing the trend, we visited the five “EPCOT” resorts on a rainy afternoon after visiting the Magic Kingdom that morning. As I mentioned before, my family had visited the Boardwalk resort once before and it was traumatizing.

After perusing the Boardwalk, my family headed to the bus station to return to our All Star Resort. We had been waiting for a few minutes and suddenly I had to pee. My dad took me to the closest bathroom and I did my business. Tragically, I accidentally left my butt-bag (or fanny pack if you prefer) in the men’s bathroom after relieving myself but we didn’t notice this until we made it back to the bus station. As our “motor coach” pulled up, we grabbed all of our belongings. This is when terror struck. I realized I didn’t have my butt-bag and most likely left it in the bathroom. I don’t remember much after that other than making it back to the bathroom, finding my butt-bag, running back to the bus station and missing the bus. A lot of tears ensued. Moral of the story: Don’t remove your butt-bag while peeing.

My most recent visit was much less traumatizing. It would have been a lot more enjoyable had it not rained. Luckily, you can get to most of the areas by walking under awnings.

The resort is very Roaring 20’s-ish, if that makes sense. It’s one of those looks-old-but-isn’t things. It’s the kind of place your grandmother would like to stay at.

A lot of flowery carpets around.

Looks like a pretty short ride. Hope the lines aren’t long.

There’s no denying the resort is visually appealing. Being a Deluxe Resort nearly guarantees that but they do a good job with theming here, especially once you go outside to the actual Boardwalk area.

Actual rooms! There is a very nice courtyard in the back (or is it the front?) of the resort between the two wings.

Actual rooms! There is a very nice courtyard in the back (or is it the front?) of the resort between the two wings.

Ashley and I would like to spend more time at the Boardwalk on a future trip. There is a good amount of stuff to do and plenty of places to eat, including Flying Fish which has rave reviews and looks amazing.

They only serve dinner here.

Right next to the Flying Fish is the Seashore Sweets candy shop. We didn’t spend much time here. They had generic candy options, most of which could be found in 15 different places around Disney property.

I wasn’t too impressed.

Next to the candy shop is Kouzzina by Cat Cora. They feature Mediterranean fare and I wouldn’t mind eating there one day. I have been developing a taste for Mediterranean food over the past couple years.

I don't have much else to add. Hard to talk about a place we didn't eat at or even go into.

I don’t have much else to add. Hard to talk about a place we didn’t eat at or even go into.

Next on the list is the Boardwalk Bakery. We stopped here and spent a snack credit or two on a slice of key lime pie for me and some concoction that involved cheesecake and chocolate for Ashley (I think). Since we still had to walk around to other resorts AND go back to EPCOT for lunch AND take the “motor coach” back home our treats got a little funky by the time we got back to our room and put them in the mini-fridge.

We also found these bad boys in the bakery.

We also found these bad boys in the bakery.

The last two spots on that side of the Boardwalk are the arcade and the ESPN Zone. I have a little black basketball with ESPN Zone printed on it in my old bedroom at my parents’ house. Apparently we went there when I was younger. No recollection. Ashley and I didn’t go to either.

The Boardwalk gets a little slippery when wet.

The Boardwalk gets a little slippery when wet.

The other side of the Boardwalk includes a variety of shops, a restaurant and DANCING. Closest to the main lobby you will find Dundy’s Sundries. Next to that is Wyland Galleries which has a plethora of very expensive, very exquisite paintings and prints. We spent a few minutes in there during the downpour. We had to walk outside to get to the General Store but avoided the rain for the most part thanks to the awnings.

This is actually across the courtyard from the shops I mentioned above but you get the idea.

This is actually across the courtyard from the shops I mentioned above but you get the idea.

You can buy the H2O+ products in most, if not all, of the deluxe resorts. I prefer to steal the small bottles they give you every day.

You can buy the H2O+ products in most, if not all, of the deluxe resorts. I prefer to steal the small bottles they give you every day.

Next to the General Store (or possibly part of it) is Thimbles and Threads, the fancy name for the clothes store. Beyond that is the Big River Grille and Brewing Works, Jellyrolls and Atlantic Dance.

The side of Jellyrolls.

Ashley rockin’ her poncho in front of Jellyrolls. This is actually the side of it.

The right side of the resort from the main lobby on the left to Jellyrolls on the right. I've seen pictures of this at night and it looks magical.

The right side of the resort from the main lobby on the left to Jellyrolls on the right. I’ve seen pictures of this at night and it looks magical.

The Boardwalk sign coming from the Swan & Dolphin area.

The Boardwalk sign coming from the Swan & Dolphin area. Atlantic Dance on the left and Jellyrolls on the right in the background.

The only problem I see with the resort is the size of it. If you spend $500 a night and get a Boardwalk room the resort would be wonderful. If you get a room on the cheaper end you are going to have a sizable walk from all of the features that probably made you want to stay at the Boardwalk in the first place, except maybe the creepy clown pool, that’s in the back.

As I mentioned before, when we have more time on a previous trip we would like to spend a little more time here, preferably when it’s not raining and at night. Also, we want to rent a surrey bike and turn the town upside town.

On to the Beach Club. I think I mentioned this in an earlier post but Ashley and I both agree that if we ever stay at a Deluxe Resort of our choosing it will most likely be the Beach Club.

From the end of the Boardwalk.

From the end of the Boardwalk.

We like the atmosphere of the resort, we like the theming of the resort, we like the dining options at the resort and we really like the pool.

This is not the aforementioned pool. This is the "quiet pool."

This is not the aforementioned pool. This is the “quiet pool.”

The powder blue and white details on the exterior really play well together as it stands out much more than it’s sister resort the Yacht Club.

They have sand volleyball courts. How cool is that?

They have sand volleyball courts. How cool is that?

The back entrance to the main lobby. We were offered towels upon our arrival because of the rain. How nice.

The back entrance to the main lobby. We were offered towels upon our arrival because of the rain. How nice. They also appear to have a drainage problem. The flowers are pretty too.

I didn’t take any pictures of the lobby but it was my favorite out of the three resorts we visited that day. Lots of nautical themed (pashmina Afghans) decor abound and warm, rich wooden floors. I could live there. The nice thing about the Beach Club is that you can get to just about any area of the resort without going outside. This helps because 1) it rains a lot and 2) it’s always too hot in Florida.

I don't think they sell these.

I don’t think they sell these.

The food court and gift shop are combined at the Beach Club. This threw me for a loop. I had my gifts in hand ready to check out so I approached one of the registers with no line. I was abruptly reprimanded and notified that the line started “back there.” Back there was behind 10 people with trays of sandwiches and drinks. I was confused since there were four or five registers, three of which clearly faced the food court side of the store while the other two faced the gift shop side of the store. Apparently I looked stupid enough because they let me check out anyway.

We continued on towards the Yacht Club and ran into an assortment of other average-picture-worthy locales.

This is the Cape May Cafe. They have character buffets. The dinner buffet is a seafood buffet. Delish!

This is Cape May Cafe. They have character buffets. The dinner buffet is a seafood buffet. Delish!

Martha’s Vineyard, the resort bar, is right around the corner from Cape May. I actually really liked the look of the bar but we didn’t stop for any drinks. If we stay here one day I could see myself down there a couple of times gettin’ slizzard. Also on the way to the Yacht Club is Beaches & Cream. We both really wanted to at least get ice cream here on our trip but never got the chance. Being on the dining plan meant we had so many places to eat that B&C never fit into our schedule.

I want to get the Kitchen Sink. May have to settle for the No Way Jose.

I want to get the Kitchen Sink. May have to settle for the No Way Jose.

The main area between the two resorts contains some of the basic amenities of each Deluxe Resort: arcade, gym and spa/hair salon. Boring.

One of the first parts of the Yacht Club you see is the Crew’s Cup Lounge. It seemed very similar to Martha’s Vineyard but more for older men who drink Manhattan’s and Old Fashioned’s.

It may look like I was drunk when I took this because of the blurriness. I can assure you it is because of my excellent photography skills.

It may look like I was drunk when I took this because of the blurriness. I can assure you it is because of my excellent photography skills.

Right by the lounge is the Yachtsman Steakhouse. You can actually see the Crew’s Cup Lounge sign in the background of the Yachtsman photo. I can’t remember which one comes first if you are walking from the Beach Club. I think the Yachtsman actually comes first since the windows looking out on the pool area are to the left.

Really want to eat here some day. I hear it's one of the best steakhouses on Disney property.

Really want to eat here some day. I hear it’s one of the best steakhouses on Disney property.

The Yacht Club also has its own gift shop. There was a whole lot of Polo Ralph Lauren action going on in there. NOT my nor Ashley’s type of place. Yikes!

The Yacht Club is much more uppity than the Beach Club.

The Yacht Club is much more uppity than the Beach Club.

Probably the most redeeming factor of both resorts is their shared pool/water park: Stormalong Bay.

The Pirate Ship doubles as a water slide.

The pirate ship doubles as a water slide.

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Some ducks hopped in the pool when everybody was forced out from the storm.

Some ducks hopped in the pool when everybody was forced out from the storm which is ironic really since it is named “Stormalong Bay.” Shouldn’t it stay open during storms? Swim at your own risk?

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Bridge over troubled water.

Bridge over troubled water.

One end of the pool has a real sand bottom.

One end of the pool has a real sand bottom.

I can imagine this reeks havoc on the people responsible for cleaning it.

I can imagine this reeks havoc on the people responsible for cleaning it. You can also see the Boardwalk in the background. All of these resorts are quite close.

If you continue to circle Crescent Lake you walk past the Swan and Dolphin resorts. I don’t know which resort is which but here are some pictures. You don’t really get near them if you stay on the path.

That looks like a fish to me. Must be the dolphin even though it's a mammal.

That looks like a fish to me. Must be the dolphin even though it’s a mammal.

There are definitely swans on top of that building so it must be the Swan.

There are definitely swans on top of that building so it must be the Swan.

One more pictures of the Beach and Yacht Clubs from across the lake, just for good measure.

Nice weather, eh?

Nice weather, eh?

While they are all Deluxe Resorts and higher in price, the proximity to EPCOT is unbeatable at these three and could be a serious consideration if you are looking for a moderate resort. If you were coming just for one of the festivals at EPCOT or for a romantic weekend and have the money, one of these would be your best bet. The closest rooms at the Beach Club are about a three-minute walk to the International Gateway entrance to World Showcase. Also, there are a ton of places to eat at the three resorts we visited. Add on the Swan and Dolphin and you gain a handful more, including Shula’s Steakhouse which has wonderful reviews. A couple could easily spend three or four days at one of these resorts and EPCOT, EASILY.

Continuing the trend, the bus service at the three (or five depending on the destination) can be atrocious.  For certain destinations, all five – Beach & Yacht Clubs, Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin – share a bus. Other destinations see Beach, Yacht and Boardwalk sharing a “motor coach.” I don’t know what it is with Disney giving the people paying the most for their rooms the shaft when it comes to “motor coach” service but I’m not a fan.

We’re off to see Port Orleans Riverside and Art of Animation next.

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