Today in Disney History, 1990: The Beach Club Resort Opens

Britta StephensBlog, News

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30 years ago today, Disney’s Beach Club Resort first opened to the public, inviting guests into picturesque beachside relaxation and easy access to EPCOT.

Walt Disney World resorts and hotels play a special role in our hearts. I think we would all have a Pinocchio-length nose if we were to say we didn’t have a favorite resort that we simply must visit on each vacation to our home away from home. 

This is why today we celebrate a fan favorite Disney Resort—the gorgeous and unique Beach Club Resort, which opened on this day 30 years ago!

A Grand Opening

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The beach Club Resort under construction in 1989. Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

Modeled after turn of the century seaside cottages, the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts were both designed by world-acclaimed, award winning architect Robert A.M. Stern.

While they were designed and built at the same time, the Beach Club Resort actually opened after The Yacht Club, which had it’s grand opening two weeks earlier on November 5th.

Despite their similar appearances, observant guests may notice the subtle differences between the two resorts.

While both the Beach and Yacht Club Resorts are modeled after turn of the century coastal escapes, the Yacht Club Resort features a more refined, tasteful look— while the Beach Club Resort is geared towards a more relaxed aesthetic.

A Resort With (More Than) a View

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Photo by Laurie Sapp

There are certainly perks to staying at each resort and their theme park counterpart, most specifically the phenomenal views of the parks from your resort room. The Beach Club took this idea a bit further. 

When the Beach Club opened on November 19th, 1990, Disney created one of the best views of EPCOT, from Spaceship Earth to the World Showcase.  

You won’t see this when selecting your room, but if you happen to be strategically specific: full balcony, high floor, you may get the opportunity to see this, and much more. 

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Photo Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

Because it is directly overlooking EPCOT, this will mean (with your balcony view) you’d also have a great view of their nighttime show. 

Disney Imagineers have always had the full picture in mind, so it is pretty clear that this is just one special touch Imagineers wanted to add to make guests feel even more like a part of the Disney family. 

Side note: when they were working on the World Showcase, updating or otherwise, Imagineers knew not to disturb the magic—they placed facades over the constructed areas to make sure that Beach Club Resort vacationers still had a wonderful view. 

On Your Next Trip to The Beach Club

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That’s not a beach… That’s a pool! Photo by Laurie Sapp

Of all the resorts on Disney property, Disney’s Beach Club Resort may be one of the best places on Disney property to simply… relax. 

With the Yacht and Beach Club technically being two resorts in one, the possibility to explore or kick back at your hearts content are endless. 

Like many resorts, the Beach Club offers Movies Under the Stars, themed-eateries, an arcade for the little ones (or little at heart), and various ways to get your morning exercise (including a pool, but more on that in a moment). 

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Stormalong Bay at The Yacht and Beach Club Resort. Photo by Cliff Wang

The Beach Club takes the club theme further by also offering tennis, volleyball, a chance to fish, or simply rent a motorboat, cabana rentals, and even a Pirate-themed adventure! 

And the Beach Club may be in the middle of dry land, but they bring the appeal of the beach even further inland. They have your standard pools, yes, but the Beach Club also has a tidal pool on property! 

Spend the day in the (faux) surf, go back to your cabana or boat, and then enjoy a movie under the stars knowing that you are just a ten-minute walk from EPCOT, rather than an hour (or more) away on the coast! 

They Put In Everything, Including The…

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Photo by Laurie Sapp

We would also be remiss not to mention one of the most incredible desserts ever created. How many times have you heard someone say, “Oh, they put in everything, including the kitchen sink!”? 

Well, regardless of your answer, Disney sought to put an end to what that might even look like with its Beaches and Cream treat: (you guessed it) The Kitchen Sink. 

The Kitchen Sink is a dessert that is for those of us with an extreme sweet tooth, more than a couple of guests to share it with. Disney really puts EVERYTHING in this treat, including the kitchen sink (which is what the dessert is served in). 

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Everything but… Photo by Laurie Sapp

If you can attribute it to ice cream, it’s in there. No really. Earlier this year, Disney released the full recipe online, which you can find here

It might even be something you could recreate at home with your family when you’re having a Disney/Beach Club Resort Withdrawal Day!

Not feeling up to tackling this monstrous creation? Or not heading to Beaches and Cream? Don’t worry! Disney has you covered. 

When in the Magic Kingdom, there is a miniature version of a famous dessert the Plaza/Main Street Ice Cream Parlor.

It’s not quite as big, but you get the idea. And you will have a cute little kitchen sink of your own to take home!

The imagination, care, and fun that was put into creating this phenomenal resort are overwhelming.

In the parks or the resorts, there is always more than meets the eye, and the special Disney touches Imagineers have added, seem to be just for you and yours. 

From the top-rated pools to the relaxing lounges, to the Victorian beach cottage theme and even the most ice cream you have ever seen in one sitting, the Beach Club is truly something to celebrate. 

Happy Birthday, Beach Club, here’s to 30 more years!


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About the Author

Britta Stephens

Britta Stephens is a contributing writer for WDW Magazine, Disney blogger, hairstylist, and dog mom x2. The first book she ever read was Hans Christan Anderson’s The Little Mermaid and she's been a fan of Disney endings ever since. When she’s not fostering kittens, she can be found reading literature from a dog’s perspective and singing the opening of The Lion King to her greenhouse plants.