The Epcot Resorts at Walt Disney World



By Dave Shute

(This page is one of a series explicating Walt Disney World lingo, abbreviations, and FAQ for first time family visitors to Walt Disney World.)

DISNEY WORLD’S EPCOT RESORTS

The Epcot resorts are deluxe resorts grouped around Crescent Lake within easy walking distance of Epcot, and a moderately longer walk away from Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Boats take guests to both parks as well.

As I count them, there’s seven Epcot resorts:

But most people, when they think of the Epcot resorts, are thinking of the Beach Club, the Yacht Club, and the BoardWalk Inn.

I’m not keen on these resorts for first time family visitors–they hold up the bottom end of the list of Disney World deluxe resorts ranked in order.

But for returning visitors, they are wonderful choices and the favorites of many.

The BoardWalk Inn One of the Epcot ResortsTHE EPCOT RESORTS FOR FIRST TIME VISITORS

Resorts are ranked on this site for first time visitors based first on their architectural and visual kid appeal, and then, within kid appeal groupings, on their relative convenience in carrying out this site’s recommended itineraries for first time visitors.

The Epcot resorts suffer on both criteria.

  • Compared to alternatives like the Wilderness Lodge and the Animal Kingdom Lodge, they are thin on kid appeal, and
  • Compared to the Magic Kingdom resorts with limited kid appeal, they are not as convenient

As a result, the Beach Club, the Yacht Club, and BoardWalk Inn come in 6th, 7th, and 8th in the rankings of the eight deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World–and in that order.

On the visual dimension, these resorts have similar kid appeal, so the tie is broken by the Yacht and Beach Clubs’ shared Stormalong Bay, the best pool at Walt Disney World, which moves the BoardWalk Inn to last.

(Among the Epcot Disney Vacation Club options, the Beach Club Villas rank ahead of the BoardWalk Villas for the same reason.)

Because the Beach Club is the closer to Epcot, it nudges ahead of the Yacht Club based on the convenience criterion.

The Beach Club is also the only one of these three with a character meal, and the only one with a counter-service option–limited as it is–further making it better for first time family visitors.

The main negative of the Beach Club is that not all of its rooms have full balconies–see the image above.

THE EPCOT RESORTS FOR RETURNING VISITORS

The Epcot resorts share convenient access to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and a short walk to dozens of interesting table service dining options located in these resorts, at the Swan and Dolphin, on the BoardWalk, and in Epcot.

These positive qualities make them a favorite of returning visitors, especially for those with older kids, kids who love Epcot, or who have no kids along at all.

The Yacht Club among DIsney's Epcot ResortsFamily visitors tend to like the Beach or Yacht Club most, for Stormalong Bay, and adults without the kids often prefer the BoardWalk Inn for its calm and romantic garden spaces.

That said, the Yacht and Beach Clubs have plenty of adult fans, and were Michael Eisner’s “favorite hotels at the resort, the ones where he himself stayed.” (DisneyWar 81.)

Those seeking Disney Vacation Club options will choose the BoardWalk Villas for its larger and more livable floor plans, or the Beach Club Villas for its charm, compactness and access to Stormalong Bay.

There’s differences among these resorts–the BoardWalk Inn is a tad more expensive, and loveliest; the Beach Club the best combination of convenience, charm and kid-friendliness; the Yacht Club has some of the strengths of the Beach Club, but with full balconies much more likely.

Pick based on what works for your family, as any can be a great choice for returning visitors.

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6 comments

1 Kathy { 08.02.12 at 10:47 am }

I’ve read quite a few things on the internet regarding the Caribbean Beach Resort rooms not being cleaned well. There also were quite a few comments about bedbugs. I’d love to stay at the Polynesian but just can’t afford it. Caribbean seemed ok but the cleanliness concerns me. Any info on this?

2 Kathy { 08.02.12 at 10:49 am }

Do you know if it’s possible to book a package vacation from the Disney website for the Caribbean Beach resort and then change it if something reasonably prices comes up at the Polynesian at the last minute?

3 Dave { 08.02.12 at 11:10 am }

Kathy, I would not be concerned about either of these.

4 Dave { 08.02.12 at 11:11 am }

Kathy, sure you can. There are some circumstance in which you might lose a one night deposit–this varies by package type–but as I recall, if you make changes more than 45 days before your arrival date you should be fine!

5 David { 09.14.13 at 7:47 pm }

Thanks in advance for the help. Four adults, no kids are planning a trip to Disney World in late Nov. Two have never been, two not for many years. We would prefer lodging with shared kitchen/living area, separate bedrooms w/bath. Any suggestions?

6 Dave { 09.15.13 at 11:38 am }

Hey David! While pricey, almost any two-bedroom Disney Vacation club villa will be exactly what you are looking for.

You can find links to reviews (and floor plans) of all these at the bottom of this page: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/04/26/walt-disney-world-resort-hotel-reviews/ and a general overview begins here http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/special-circumstances/special-circumstances-large-families/more-on-large-families-at-walt-disney-world/the-disney-vacation-club-dvc-resorts-at-walt-disney-world/

You can find prices from the links here: http://www.mousesavers.com/2013-walt-disney-world-resort-room-rates-season-dates/

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