Club Level (CL) at Walt Disney World is not what the average guest would consider budget-friendly. With all the bells and whistles included, though, it’s something several guests may consider. We often stay club level when visiting the Walt Disney World resort, and while I can’t say whether or not it would be “worth it” for every family, I can give you guys a little insight into what is included with a club level stay so you can make a more informed decision.
According to Walt Disney World, “Club Level Concierge accommodations are available at Disney Deluxe resorts. Benefits for guests staying in these accommodations include personalized front desk services, turndown service, exclusive access to the Club Level Concierge lounges, refreshments throughout the day and personalized itinerary planning for dining, childcare arrangements, recreational activities, tours, transportation plus any other needs the guest may have.”
Upon booking a vacation that includes CL service, guests should be contacted via email by the Itinerary Planning Office (IPO) for their resort. Occasionally this doesn’t happen, and in those cases guests can contact IPO offices directly via email, fax or phone. The office should only be contacted after your booking is confirmed.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Disney’s Polynesian Resort
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Once contact is made, typically the IPO will send a form for you to fill out detailing any reservations you’d like them to make, as well as general information about your reservation (celebrations, etc.). After the information is received by the IPO, they will begin making reservations as soon as each reservation window opens.
Personally, we’ve used IPO to make dining reservations, and that was a big jump for crazy-planner me. Most of the time, they’ve been able to book perfect reservations for us, so I haven’t looked back. In 2012, they were also able to secure Pirates League and Albatross Treasure Cruise reservations for the kiddos. Those went off without a hitch, too.
Upon arrival, the great service continues. All but once we’ve been greeted by name upon arrival and escorted to the CL floor/building for check-in. At the Polynesian, we’ve always been taken to Hawaii via golf cart, which the little ones LOVE!
During check-in, you’ll receive a welcome packet…
which usually contains a welcome card, times guide, CL info and itinerary.
And, maybe even a hidden Mickey!
The CL concierge desk cast members have always gone above and beyond to make sure we’ve had a wonderful stay. One of the most recent extra-milers was a great cast member at Disney’s Beach Club. Stitchy-poo happened to lose a tooth the morning we checked into the Beach Club, and I stopped to ask if there was anything tooth fairy-related around the resort or in the parks that I might be able to pick up to put under his pillow that night. I was given a few suggestions and reminded that Tinker Bell handles all lost teeth at Disney World. ;) Imagine my surprise when Tink made a special delivery that evening. On top of that, he made the kids AWESOME birthday buttons to wear during the trip!
Club Level Lounge
The lounge is also a great perk of staying CL at Disney World. Lounges tend to follow the same schedule.
Coffee Service – 6:30 A.M. – 7:00 A.M.
Continental Breakfast – 7:00 A.M.- 10:30 A.M.
Snacks and Refreshments - 11:30 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Wine, Cheese and Hot Appetizers – 5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.
Cordials and Desserts – 8:00 P.M. – 10:00 P.M.
We’re not coffee people, but we’ve made use of all other lounge services. The quick breakfast is a great and “complimentary” way to start the day. The afternoon service often includes cookies, crackers and other small, portable snacks. The evening service is not meant to serve as a dinner, but we’ve often found that after snacking in the parks all day, the hot appetizers suffice as an evening meal. Cordials and desserts are a wonderful end to the day, especially at the Polynesian where they coincide with a picture perfect view of the Electric Water Parade and Magic Kingdom fireworks. Bonus!! The music is even piped in for those!!
Breakfast Service at Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Afternoon Service at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Evening Service at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Sorry, these are from my old iPhone 3G. Haha!
Desserts and Cordials at Disney’s Polynesian Resort
Bottled and canned beverages are available at any time of day. Simply ask a lounge cast member, and they can retrieve it from the kitchen. At the Polynesian and the Contemporary, items in the cooler are available 24 hours a day. At other resorts, it’s been our experience that if a cast member is present but the lounge is closed, they will more often than not allow you to get a beverage. Also available but not always in the cooler are chocolate milk and apple juice. These are staples for our kiddos, so the cast members tend to grab them when they see us coming.
The lounge is also a great place to unwind. If the kids (or grandparents!) are napping or your room is otherwise occupied, you can head to the lounge to grab a drink and just, well, lounge. All lounges we’ve patronized have a television, as well as one just for the kiddos tuned into the Disney Channel. Restrooms are also available in or near the lounges. This is a nice place to relax if you’ve checked out of your room already but still have time before your Disney’s Magical Express shuttle arrives. You are considered a CL guest until midnight of your check-out day.
Have you stayed club level at Disney World? What did you think? Was it worth the extra cost for your party? What were your pros and cons?