What Is The Best Club Level At Disney World?
What Is The Best Club Level At Disney World?
I was lucky enough to stay at all (but one) club level resorts during my year working in Walt Disney World. The only lounge I didn’t experience was the lounge at the Yacht Club Resort, which features the same food menu as the Beach Club Resort. As with anything at Disney, figuring out what the Best Club Level at Disney World is, is a matter of opinion. I can only share my individual experiences and so this is all based on my personal opinion!
Having experienced club level in every resort, I found that they all vary in one way or another and some were definitely better than others. When deciding which resort to stay at, there are several things to take into account. Different things will matter to different people. I’ve split each review into different sections since some resorts had better food while others had better rooms.
But Wait, What Is Disney Club Level?
Club Level at Walt Disney World, sometimes referred to as Concierge Level, is a room category that offers extra amenities. Lots of hotel chains offer this option, but often refer to it as Concierge Level. In Walt Disney World it is known as Club Level.
So, what are the perks of staying Club Level at Walt Disney World?
– There are many perks of staying in a Club Level room at Walt Disney World Resorts, such as concierge service which can involve the concierge making dining bookings. I didn’t need this service so never took advantage of it, but it’s hearsay that Club Level concierge Cast Members have had luck getting next to impossible dining reservations.
– You have the option to buy extra fast passes. For $50 a day you can purchase an additional 3 fast passes, and the minimum amount of days you can purchase is 3. Each to their own, I don’t think this is worth it but it’s there if you need or want it.
– Exclusive access to Club Level floors, buildings or sections of the resort that only Club Level guests can access via their Magic Band.
– Turn down service – not a big deal to me but a nice touch none the less. Plus I love those cute little Ghirardelli chocolates.
– Robes, slippers and extra fancy bathroom amenities – at least in most Club Level rooms.
– The biggest perk is the free food and drink (and definitely 100% the reason I booked). But the food offerings vary per resort. Some definitely have better options than others. Some even cook the food while you wait.
So, what is the best Club Level at Disney World?
Read on to find out…
7. Disney Grand Floridian Resort – Sugar Loaf
The Grand Floridian has two Club Levels. One in the main building at the Royal Palm Club and the second is in the “outer building” which is known as Sugar Loaf.
The Sugar Loaf building is the cheaper of the two and was the one I stayed at. I celebrated working 6 months at Walt Disney World Here!
It had been my dream to stay at the Grand Floridian for as long as I could remember. When I was 6 years old and received the planning video in the post, the hotel they would always show was the Grand Floridian.
I was super stoked to be checking in, and after spending my birthday at the Disney Polynesian Resort and christmas at the Disney Beach Club resort, I expected amazing things.
The Grand Floridian unfortunately disappointed me. So what was it about the Grand Floridian that didn’t impress me?
This is supposed to be the most sought-after exclusive luxury resort in Walt Disney World. But I felt I enjoyed budget and moderates more than this.
Check In Grand Floridian Club Level
When we checked in, we hinted at an upgrade since it was the low-season. Okay, we didn’t get it and it wasn’t a big deal, but the lady at check in was not a happy woman! We were clearly excited about staying at the Grand Floridian and she had zero enthusiasm. Almost every Cast Member I’ve met at the Grand Flo has made my day – so I was surprised to see the lack of service upon check-in.
We were then asked “Are you okay finding the building or do you want someone to show you?” Having experienced two other Club Level stays prior to the Grand Floridian I was shocked to hear this. Both my previous stays we had someone escort us to the very building or floor we were on – without being asked.
So we said yes, we’d like to be shown the building. Another Cast Member approached us – who was far more upbeat – and brought us into the Sugar Loaf Club Level Lounge.
There was no “exclusive check in” inside the Club Level building – it was at the front desk with everybody else.
Club Level Rooms At The Grand Floridian
The rooms in the Sugar Loaf building at the Grand Floridian were very basic. Not what I was expecting considering the high price in comparison to other hotels. It was nicer than a budget Disney Hotel but I’ve stayed in better Moderate rooms! There was no welcome note and no welcome chocolates. There were however – slippers!
There were five of us staying in the room, but only two robes and two pairs of slippers. We asked the concierge for three more of each. We only received extra robes – no slippers (???)
The Grand Floridian was also the only Club Level Disney Resort I’ve stayed at that offered next to no bathroom amenities. We were given shower gel and a bar of soap. At other resorts I’ve received everything from sun block to shower caps and dental kits!
Some of the room details were very cute – a hidden Mickey on the back of the desk chair and the beautiful cushions on the beds. Besides that it was very basic.
Lounge At Grand Floridian Club Level
Although there wasn’t exclusive check in for Club Level guests, there were concierge desks inside the Club Level building. The thing I didn’t like about this is that in every other Club Level I’ve stayed at the concierge desks have their own private space -so that you can check in there (instead of with everyone else) There was no room for privacy. If you wanted to chat about anything with the Club Level concierge staff, you can bet everyone in the lounge would be hearing it. The desks also seemed to be “in the way”. They dominated the room so that no matter where you sat all you could see were two big desks.
The lounge itself was disappointing. It was small and cramped and there were no windows and very dim lighting. It was incredibly dark in here. And since the Club Level lounge at Sugar Loaf was essentially in the “foyer” of the building, the noise of everyone echoed throughout. People who were staying on the Ground Level would have surely been able to here everybody in the lounge all day and night.
The staff in the lounge were just as enthusiastic as the lady at check in. Most of the time they were nowhere to be seen and getting additional drinks could sometimes take a while.
There was one Cast Member that did stand out though, a lovely older gentleman who came over to ask how our stay was going and if we needed anything. We replied no but he came back with a cheese plate he’d put together just for us.
Food & Drink At Grand Floridian Club Level
Although a lot of the Grand Floridian was disappointing for me, the food at Sugar Loaf Club Level was some to remember.
Some of the snacks include: gummy bears, chips, pretzels, crackers, croissants, bagels, pastries, cookies and selection of cheeses.
I think my favourite part of the Grand Floridian Club Level was the Afternoon Tea segment. Afternoon tea is served from 2:30pm to 4:00pm. It’s not a full blown afternoon tea experience but it does give you a taster of what to expect should you decide to book afternoon tea at the Garden View tea room.
Warm traditional scones are served up along with fresh cream and jam as well as strawberry tarts. These are the same scones they serve at Garden View – they were very good! Twining’s tea is on offer here as well, so grab an English Breakfast and some milk for the true afternoon tea experience.
The evening appetisers included pork belly in a soy glaze and sweet and spicy chicken in a pineapple salsa, accompanied by chicken nuggets, sliced squash & zucchini, carrots and asparagus.
Dessert consisted of the strawberry soup from 1900 park fare, mini raspberry cheesecake, red velvet cake, Mickey shaped pot de creme and a few others. The desserts were all really good!
Alcoholic beverages include Bud Light, Angry Orchard, Funky Buddha Floridian Hefeweizen and the standard wines. Kahlua, Grand Marnier and Frangelico are offered with dessert.
Non-alcoholic beverages include purified water, orange juice, lemonade, iced tea. Canned sodas, box juice, and chocolate milk can be found in the fridge and are available for self serve.
6. Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Resort – Innkeeper’s Club
Check In At Boardwalk Club Level
Club Level check-in at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Resort was very similar to other resorts. We were escorted to the 4th floor where the Club Level check in desk was. At the Boardwalk there is only one concierge desk as opposed to two like all the other Club Level lounges. Next to the desk was the door stating “Innkeepers Club” which you’ll need your magic band to open. Behind that door lies all the Club Level goodies
Disney Boardwalk Club Level Rooms
The Club Level Room at the Boardwalk was one of my favourites. It was super bright, clean and had lots of little details that fitted in with the 1920’s Atlantic City theme. Our view was of the cottages below and the quiet pool. It was lovely and peaceful.
The bathroom at the Boardwalk Resort were really lit and spacious – very similar to the Beach Club. The Bathroom amenities were great. We had the standard Shampoo, Conditioner & Shower Gel along with: Shower Cap, Vanity Kit, Mouth Wash, Solar Relief Gel, Softening Mint Foot Rub, H2O Skin Hydrating Treatment and H2O Extra Hydrating Cream. The best selection of bathroom amenities that I’ve had in a Disney Resort!
Lounge At Boardwalk Club Level
The lounge at the Innkeeper’s Club was bright and airy but fairly small compared to other Club Level lounges. Some evenings when the appetisers came out it was hard to find a seat. The balcony was small but big enough to stand on to catch a glimpse of Illuminations (not the greatest view since Illuminations isn’t a high enough show)
Food & Drink At Boardwalk Club Level
The Boardwalk had some of the best food I’ve eaten in any Club Level at Walt Disney World. Flying Fish is one of my favourite restaurants in Walt Disney World, so I was more than happy to discover that they offer a menu sampling.
A chef freshly prepares samples of some of the food on offer downstairs at Flying Fish. During my stay I was able to try their sustainable salmon with antebellum grits and Peruvian peppers and the New York strip loin with herbed fingerling potatoes and a red wine butter. The Boardwalk had one of the best appetisers I’ve tried!
Desserts included an array of macarons, muffins, cannoli’s, mini cheesecakes and the most amazing choux buns!
Beverages were the standard wine and beer along with nespresso machine, juices and canned sodas.
5. Disney Beach Club Resort – Stone Harbor Club
Check In At Beach Club Club Level
I stayed at Disney’s Beach Club Resort with a bunch of co-workers over Christmas. I would rank the Boardwalk and The Beach Club to be on par with their Club Level experience, but they both had their good and bad points. One of the reasons I liked Beach Club over Boardwalk is the pool – stormalong bay is by far the best resort pool in Walt Disney World! But there were some other reasons too.
Check-in was great at the Beach Club, we arrived and headed to the main check-in desk where we were then greeted by a lady with an Ipad who greeted us and escorted us to the Club Level floor. On the way over she chatted to us about where we were from and if we’d ever experienced Club Level before.
The Stone Harbor Club is located on the 5th Floor and you’ll need a magic band to access this floor in the elevator. Immediately after exiting the elevator, to your right you’ll be greeted by two concierge desks. This is where you’ll check in!
Our check-in experience was really nice, all the Cast Members were happy to help and chat about our International Programs with us.
Club Level Rooms At The Beach Club
The Club Level rooms at the Beach Club Resort were almost the same as that of the Boardwalk. The bathroom has substantially less amenities than the Boardwalk too. The view from the room looked out onto another building – but it wasn’t the worst view I’ve had!
Just like the other resorts we got turn down service but as it was Christmas we got a little something extra too. Usually the resorts will leave the Ghiradelli chocolates on the bed but we received a cute box that said “Disney Beach Club Resort” in gold lettering with nicer chocolates in there, plus some chocolate coins!
Lounge At Beach Club Club Level
The lounge at the Beach Club was bigger than that of the Boardwalk and also a little cosier. I spent a lot of time in this lounge over Christmas and it did get busy at times. The serving area has lots of room so it doesn’t get too crammed at busier times and is separate from the seating area.
The one thing that stood out to me over some other Club Level stays was one Cast Member in particular that really stood out. Mark was fantastic the moment we entered the lounge. He offered us what I believe he called a “Captains Sparkler” A signature drink at the Beach Club Club Level which consisted of sparkling wine and a raspberry (?) cordial. A somewhat “off the menu” drink. I had a fair few of these over the two days I was here. Mark was great with his guests and waited on everyone. The service was incredibly efficient too.
The food at the Innkeepers Club in the Beach Club wasn’t as good as others. Most nights the appetisers would be the standard chicken nuggets (which I love so I was okay with) and a second hot option. We had “franks in blankets” which were basically a sausage roll but a hotdog inside and pork with marscapone polenta.
The desserts were pretty good too. The standard sugar cookies and cupcakes along with some festive themed cakes like Yule Log.
Some wines were self serve including the Resiling and Sauvignon Blanc and others you needed to ask for. Soft drinks included juices, water, canned sodas, chocolate milk and their signature Stomalong Bay Breeze, which is a fruity cranberry based drink.
Cordials on offer for dessert were Amarula, Kahlua, Disaronno and Courvoisier.
4. Disney Contemporary Resort – Atrium Club
Check In At Contemporary Resort
My stay at Disney’s Contemporary Resort was a short one, so I can’t give a full review on this club level stay, but I will review the aspects of the stay that I encountered. And I was impressed. I stayed at the Contemporary on a work night, so I left work at Epcot and met my friends who were already checked into the room (hence the somewhat messy room photos!).
The contemporary was never one of the resorts in Walt Disney World that was high on my bucket list. From the outside it looks a little dated. I’m sure when it first opened it was amazing but with all things “futuristic” they eventually begin to look old.
But don’t let the facade put you off staying here. The contemporary is so much more than it’s exterior. The rooms are sharp, clean and just generally amazing to walk into. And not only that, but this resort is surprisingly one of the more affordable Deluxe resorts.
And yet it’s the closest to Magic Kingdom. I mean, who doesn’t dream of waking up and seeing Cinderella Castle from your balcony? The photos don’t do the views justice. They really are magical.
The contemporary is also super convenient. How convenient? Well, I left work at Epcot, hopped onto the Monorail and was at the Resort in around 20-25 minutes. It’s also the first stop on the way back after the park closes – a win for when you’re tired after a park day!
Disney Contemporary Club Level Rooms
Disney’s Contemporary Resort has the best rooms of any resort I’ve stayed in at Walt Disney World. It’s a cut above the rest with one the most impressive bathrooms I’ve seen. The bathroom amenities were great too (but not quite the offering of the Boardwalk Resort)
We had a fantastic view of Bay Lake & Bay Lake Tower. The balcony was really spacious too.
Contemporary Club Level Lounge
I really liked the Club Level lounge at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. It was brightly lit, clean and well designed. The staff were very attentive, especially at keeping the place clean!
In terms of size it was similar to that of other lounges but the area closer to the balcony was rather small/cramped.
One of the best things about this lounge is that you get the best view of the Fireworks on the balcony! But the balcony is great anytime of day. You can soak in that view for as long as you like.
Food At Contemporary Club Level
Although I never got to experience the full blown experience of staying Club Level at the Contemporary Resort, I was thoroughly impressed with the food I did sample.
As I arrived after the evening appetisers I’m afraid I can’t review the food. But I did manage to get some of the tastiest and fun halloween themed treats! And what’s even better is they serve Rosa Ragale. If you’ve ever worked at the Rose & Crown in Epcot or seen any wine list in a table service restaurant – then you know!
Breakfast at the Contemporary Club Level was perfect. Freshly cut melon, orange juice, almond croissants and bagels with creme cheese, smoked salmon and capers! Mmmm take me back already!
3. Disney Wilderness Lodge Resort – Old Faithful Club
Check In At Wilderness Lodge Club Level
The check-in service at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort was another positive one. This was my last Club Level that I experienced in Walt Disney World. Upon reaching the lobby we headed to the standard check-in desk and a lovely Cast Member approached us with an Ipad. Once again we were escorted up to the 7th floor where the Club Level lounge and rooms are located.
Unlike other Club Levels the 7th floor of the Wilderness Lodge isn’t exclusively Club Level rooms. It’s a mix of both, separated by a door that Club Level guests can only access with their magic band.
Disney Wilderness Lodge Club Level Rooms
The Wilderness Lodge has got to be one of my favourite resorts in Walt Disney World. Every detail is just super stinking cute!
The Wilderness Lodge Club Level rooms were filled with details. The bed headboards alone were incredible – little critters adorn the tops while the headboard itself is carved out with a wildlife scene. The cushions on the bed feature Bambi and Thumper too!
The bathroom also features tiles with Bambi and friends. Once again really great bathroom amenities including sunscreen, foot rub and mouthwash.
The view of our room overlooked the main pool and you can see Bay Lake. As we were on the top floor we had an alcove balcony so not super roomy unfortunately but again the view wasn’t bad!
Lounge At The Wilderness Lodge Club Level
The Wilderness Lodge Club Level lounge was incredibly cosy! The check in and concierge desks are located in the lounge but they have their own cut off section which separates them from the main lounge area.
The area where the food is served is also separate from the main seating area which I really liked because it doesn’t get as crowded. There are two balconies in the lounge where you can catch a glimpse of Happily Ever After and the fireworks.
Food & Drink At Wilderness Lodge Club Level
The food at the Wilderness Lodge Club Level lounge wasn’t the best. It wasn’t bad but in comparison to other Club Level resorts there wasn’t anything that really stood out for me.
The food offerings at Wilderness Lodge included the following: vegetable chips, crudite, chicken salad with pecans, garden vegetable salad, vegetable samosas, roasted chicken and vegetables.
Cheeses included: goat, cheddar and humboldt fog. Snacks include, pretzels, raisins, popcorn, and vanilla cupcakes.
2. Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort – Kilimanjaro Club
Check In At Animal Kingdom Lodge Club Level
Check in at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort was just as good at most other Club Levels. Someone was there to greet us at the main check-in desk and then escorted us to the sixth floor where there were two concierge desks just next to the Club Level lounge.
The staff were all incredibly friendly and ready to answer any questions you might have. You can also rent DVD’s from the Concierge desk, so we did this one night after grabby flatbreads from the Mara quick service restaurant.
Animal Kingdom Club Level Rooms
What is the biggest perk of staying Club Level at Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge? All Club Level rooms are Savannah view!
The details in the room were my favourite – traditional woven basket/artwork adorns the walls, while the bathroom walls are decorated almost like a 19th century map – featuring prominent landmarks all over Africa an the different animals you might spot from the balcony.
When we entered the room there was a paper bag with the Animal Kingdom logo and personalised with the booking name sitting on the table. Inside were park maps, some keep-sake postcards, an animal spotting guide and a rolled up piece of paper welcoming us to the resort which contained all the Club Level info we’d need for our stay.
The balcony had two chairs with a giraffe head design, and a table. This was the perfect place to spot some of the animals below.
Lounge At Animal Kingdom Lodge
The Club Level lounge at the Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge was a little bit on the small side. There were areas away from the main lounge that you could sit for some peace and quiet which nice, but I like to be in the main area (near the food!)
The most impressive thing about the Animal Kingdom Lodge Club Level lounge was the view of the lobby. The lobby in the Animal Kingdom Lodge is arguably one of the most impressive in Walt Disney World and it was cool to stand and people watch for a while.
The lounge was dimly lit, in keeping with the theme of the hotel but I’d have liked it a tad brighter if only to see better! (I must be getting old!)
Food & Drink At Animal Kingdom Club Level
The food on offer at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Club Level was fantastic. A great variety of things and lots of African inspired dishes. I love that the food keeps in with the theme of the resort because it also means you get to try things you might not have otherwise!
You still get your standard North American snacks too, which is great for kids or people who aren’t too adventurous food wise.
A menu sampling from Jiko is served fresh by a Chef during the appetiser segment of the night. If you haven’t eaten at Jiko yet, then you must! I don’t remember the exact food (I forgot to take a photo) but I remember I went for seconds, and it was super good!
Some of the food on offer was: smoked salmon, bagels, breads & crackers, chicken nuggets, cauliflower salad, pastries, croissants, fresh fruit, sliced cucumber and carrots, PB&J sandwiches, curried shrimp couscous salad, variety of hummus, and an African dish called Bobotíe which is made up of turkey, mushrooms and eggs.
Drinks were your standard again with all the jungle juice you could wish for and some African beers including Tusker.
1. Disney Polynesian Village Resort Club Level – King Kamehameha Club
Check In At Disney Polynesian Village Resort Club Level
The Polynesian Village Resort was the first Club Level stay at Walt Disney World I experienced. I stayed here for my birthday during my year working for Disney. After experiencing all the Club Level lounges available at the time – the Polynesian is still my favourite.
Upon arriving at the Polynesian we made our way over to the Check-In desk. At the time we stayed at the Polynesian there was a specific Check-In desk for Club Level guests, this is now no longer there. The gentleman who greeted us was amazing! He asked if we’d ever stayed Club Level before to which we replied no. He grabbed some Lei’s for us and escorted us to the Club Level building, all the while explaining how it works and generally chatting with us.
The building was amazing, only accessible with your Magic Bands. We were offered drinks right away, then checked in with a lady at a desk inside the Club Level building – this was something I really loved about my stay. The Cast Member who was checking us in gave us lots of info and from the moment we stepped inside this resort felt really looked after.
Did you know you can order food from Ohana and have it delivered to the lounge? Mmmm sold!
Disney Polynesian Club Level Rooms
Our Club Level room at the Polynesian Resort was really spacious and light. We had some good amenities like an ironing board, iron, coffee maker, ice bucket, safe and robes.
The bathrooms at Disney’s Polynesian Resort are all in one. What I mean by this is, the other resorts have the shower and toilet in one room and then the sink and mirror outside. At the Polynesian it’s all one, which is fine but could make getting ready for bigger parties more difficult (like multiple women in one!)
If you have a party of 5 the couch turns into a third bed. Our balcony was really nice and we had an awesome view of the quieter pool.
Club Level Lounge At Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
The Polynesian Village Resort has the best Club Level lounge by far! It’s a multi-level room with a large two-story window. The big windows overlook the Polynesian beach and are the perfect spot to watch the fireworks without the crowds.
On the eve of my birthday I watched Hallowishes from these windows and the music from the fireworks gets played in the Club Level lounge too, so you aren’t missing out by not being on the beach!
The second level of the lounge overlooks the first level. There are a couple of tables and chairs and a TV with kids chairs.
Food & Drink At Polynesian Club Level
The food at the Polynesian Club Level lounge was really good on the first day and just okay on the second. During food & wine festival they will feature some of the dishes on offer at the Hawaii booth, so we did get to sample some really good Kahlua pork sliders.
For the most part the food was the same as other Club Level stays and only one or two hot options stand out to me. The thing I loved most about the lounge was that the wines and cordials were self-serve and aren’t in other resorts. This was also the only Club Level lounge where we were served Baileys. I know other resort Club Level lounges do offer it, but it wasn’t on offer during any of my stays.
Also: Kona Beer – liquid aloha as the bottle says, is one of my favourite beers since visiting the Kona Brewery in Hawaii. That was definitely a plus!
The best Club Level Resort at World Disney World is, in my experience, the Polynesian Village Resort. Although the food was better at some other resorts the amazing lounge, great guest service and amazing check-in experience, it set the bar high. I might be bias since the Poly is my favourite resort in general but it was hard to beat such a flawless service.
Have you ever stayed at a Club Level Resort in Walt Disney World? What was your favourite?
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Wow! This is one of the most detailed posts I’ve ever read! Such great information!
I love how you tied the pictures in! Thanks for posting!
This is so extensive! Thank you for the details. I never knew of all the perks one could have at different club levels. Based off of your review, I would guess the Poly Village Resort would be my favorite too! Thanks for sharing!
Wow, what an informative post and I love your pics! I didn’t know that there were so many club levels at Disney!
Loved learning about all of the different Club Level Resorts at Disney. I had no idea there were so many! I hope to stay at one on my next visit.
I went to Disney as a kid growing up in Florida but I never realized how luxurious it was or how many clubs it had. Thanks for sharing all this!
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