Staying Club Level at Disney, Is It Worth It?


Have you ever wondered what staying club level at Disney entitles you to?

Are you trying to figure out if the extra cost is worth it? Well we set out to discover the answers to these questions and help you make the decision to stay club level or not for your next trip at Disney.

Disney resorts that offer club-level accommodations.

The Disney deluxe resorts, the Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Beach Club, the Boardwalk, the Contemporary Resort, the Grand Floridian, the Polynesian, and the Wilderness Lodge, all offer club-level accommodations. There are different advantages for each resort's club-level.

Guests who stay club-level at the Animal Kingdom Lodge can book the exclusive Wanyama Safari followed by dinner and wine pairing at Jiko-The Cooking Place or the Sunrise Safari with a private breakfast at Disney's Animal Kingdom park.

  • The Albatross Treasure Cruise, a pirate excursion for all ages, is available to club-level guests at the Beach and Yacht Club Resorts.
  • The balcony at the Boardwalk's lounge is a great place to watch the IllumiNations fireworks show at EPCOT.
  • The club-level rooms at the Contemporary have some of the best views of any Disney resort, with views of Cinderella's Castle and Bay Lake.
  • Club-level guests at the Grand Floridian are offered the convenience of curbside and in-room check-in upon arrival, and there is also a daily tea offered in both of the lounges.
  • The King Kamehameha Club is the two-story club lounge at the Polynesian resort with floor to ceiling windows that offer a great view of the nightly Wishes fireworks show at Magic Kingdom.
  • The Old Faithful Club at the Wilderness Lodge has a high cast-to-guest ratio to provide the ultimate service.

Disney Offers Secured Access to Club LevelsDisney Offers Secured Access to Club Levels
So what does staying club level get you?

The extra service and amenities are a big part of why people stay club-level at any hotel. At Disney resorts staying club-level will get you access to extras before you even leave home. Extras include a concierge staff member to help in your Disney vacation planning; a separate check-in area; in-room amenities include robes, triple-sheeted beds, additional toiletries, and turndown service; access to Wildlife Discovery specialty tours (at an additional cost); and of course access to the club-level lounge.

From personal experience I will say that the lounge is the best part about staying club-level at any hotel. Each morning there is coffee and continental breakfast, followed by snacks around lunchtime, hors d'oeuvres and wine before dinner, and dessert and cordials after dinner. Other than breakfast the food in the lounges at Disney will not take the place of a regular meal like at other resorts.
Nightly Turndown Service is a Guest FavoriteNightly Turndown Service is a Guest Favorite

Is it worth it?

This is the big debate when it comes to club-level accommodations, is it worth the extra cost? I think it comes down to what your expectations are. If you are expecting a club-level experience similar to that of luxury resorts I would be cautious. While you do get extra service and amenities it is not up to par with a club level experience at say the Ritz Carlton because it doesn't have to be. People are going to stay at Disney regardless because its Disney.

But I would still go for it if I had the extra money. The convenience of being able to go to the club lounge for breakfast and getting snacks and drinks throughout the day just makes your life easier!

Many thanks to AKLResort.com and WildernessLodgeSite.com for contributing pictures to this piece. Do you have any thoughts on Disney's club-level accommodations? Have you had a club level experience? Do you think it is worth it? Let us know below!

Lizzy_B wrote on Thu, 01/19/2012 - 10:47:

Lizzy_B's picture

I have! We were upgraded to club level at the Grand Floridian a couple of years ago and...my, my, my, I never wanted to go back. It's kind of like flying first class. Once you've had the experience, it's hard to go back to coach. I might pay for the extra perks if it's a special trip, say an anniversary or birthday celebration, or a long weekend. It would be cost prohibitive for us to do it for a long trip. Awesome post!

Kristen K. wrote on Thu, 01/19/2012 - 13:21:

Kristen K.'s picture

Our DVC Points are at AKL and I've been lucky enough to snag the club level rooms there twice now. I love it!! I've become very spoiled since we bought into DVC, and the club level rooms are just one of mt favorite things! I'm really hoping to stay on club level again in 2013.

Mark Hickson wrote on Thu, 01/19/2012 - 23:26:

Anonymous's picture

Great post! I have decided to upgrade to club at AKL this spring so I can do the morning safari. Of note: the morning safari is only available Thursdays and Sundays. The afternoon one is 7 days a week.

Debbie wrote on Mon, 01/23/2012 - 17:35:

Anonymous's picture

I agree with you Kristen. Being a member takes the vacation experience up a level. Club level at AKL bumps it to the max! LOVE DVC!!!

Phil wrote on Wed, 01/25/2012 - 02:01:

Anonymous's picture

We've done club level once (at AKL). The concierge functions aren't all that useful to us- if you were planning a larger gathering or trying to work a complicated schedule it might be, but for us it was pointless. The gold KTTW cards were a nice touch, but it's really nothing anybody would ever notice. The lounge wasn't bad, but I don't know if it's worth spending the DVC points again just for that. The one perk I really enjoyed was having shop purchases around WDW sent to our room (not just to the gift shop). Daily room cleanings and the turndown service are a nice touch. Put everything together, and it does take things up another step from the already nice Deluxe resorts.

Still, I doubt we'll do it again. Fun to do once, but for the most part it just wasn't that incredible an experience.

David C wrote on Sat, 03/03/2012 - 19:28:

Anonymous's picture

The main reason we stay club level is for the morning breakfast and afternoon snacks. We have done both club level and standard over the best few years, and every time I'm not club level, I regret it. It has to do with breakfast each morning. I hate fighting the crowds and finding a table and waiting in line first thing. I have the rest of the day for that. I like my mornings to be stress free and the club level does that. If I want to grab a banana, I can do that. My daughter can get some fruit, we can grab a snack for the bus ride to the park. In the afternoon, we can grab a snack on the way to the pool. That's why we stay club level.

Bill Shaffer wrote on Sun, 07/08/2012 - 17:36:

Anonymous's picture

Hi everyone, My Wife and I were married in July 2010. We dis not honeymoon till June of 2011. We stayed at WL Standard Room for 7 nights and loved it. I am planning our first trip back with our 2 children for July, 2013. We want to stay at a Club Level room. However we have a GREAT deal of difficulty deciding where to saty. We are looking at GF, Poly and WL all at Club Level. Can ANYBODY tell me which one would be the best for a family with 2 kids under 3? Which Resort has the most user friendly and best functioning staff?
Thanks,
Billy...

Kristen K. wrote on Mon, 07/09/2012 - 13:00:

Kristen K.'s picture

Hi Bill! All of those hotels have a very friendly and efficient staff. Which is better for kids? I would pick the Polynesian or Wilderness Lodge myself. They have lots of activities geared towards kids and the theme is super kid friendly. Both have kids clubs, great kid friendly pools, and fun family dining right at the hotel. Not that Grand Floridian doesn't have those things, but I think the other feel more kid friendly to me. The added benefit of the Polynesian is that being right on the monorail gives you fast easy access back to your hotel from the Magic Kingdom.

Heather wrote on Thu, 07/12/2012 - 19:12:

Anonymous's picture

We have never stayed in a Club Level room. In order to budget correctly,
do you all leave tips in the room for mousekeeping?
Would you do this on a daily basis or just at the end of your stay?
How much would you tip?
OR do you not tip at all?

Thank you.

Kristen K. wrote on Fri, 07/13/2012 - 13:07:

Kristen K.'s picture

I do leave a Mousekeeping tip. I tip $5 a day for 1-3 people and $10 a day if we have 4 or more with us. I leave it in a envelope marked "Thank you Mousekeeping" and put a new envelope out every day.

Christy wrote on Sun, 07/22/2012 - 22:29:

Anonymous's picture

My finace and I are getting married in Disney this August 2012!! We are staying club level at AKL for our honeymoon and are very excited. This is our 5th time visiting Disney in the past 3 years and it seems like we need to look into the DVC. We are staying club level for the first time and cannot wait!!! When we return from our trip in September I will give a full post in regards to our experience. For all of you Disney veterans.... any recommendations on special things to see, do or book as newlyweds??? Any ideas are greatly appreciated!!!

MrHub wrote on Thu, 08/09/2012 - 02:36:

MrHub's picture

Did you ever think about doing the Segway tour or maybe a couples message at SSR.

Kathie wrote on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 01:46:

Anonymous's picture

I have stayed many times at the club level...at the Polynesian, Animal Kingdom, and at all the Universal hotels. It is WORTH IT! My daughter and I CAN make a meal out of breakfast and dinner. I take absolutely no food with me...we eat well and plentifully. It is so worth the extra money as we eat all our meals in the lounge and spend no money for meals anywhere else. There's also sodas, water, beer, all included in the club level price...so worth the extra few bucks!

MrHub wrote on Fri, 09/07/2012 - 00:46:

MrHub's picture

Although we never stayed CL, I still think I would rather stay in a MK view room and get the dinning plan then stay CL and just eat finger food.

Kim Stewart wrote on Wed, 09/26/2012 - 00:44:

Anonymous's picture

We've stayed twice at the AKL club level. The first time was amazing. The second time was not. First we do book AKL club level because it is different than the other Disney Hotel's club levels. The other hotel club levels are not open the entire day. They close the club level to set up the snacks and breakfasts. AKL does not. Also, you end up waiting in a line to get into the club level for breakfast at other hotels. It is open for AKL the whole time.
The 2nd trip with club level was a lot different. We checked in up there and watched some disgusting man pick his toes on the sofa the entire time we were up there. Breakfast stunk this time, too due to two very heavyset individuals who took the serving trays to their table, so no one else could have any. Concierge did nothing about it, for the whole week! So if you were up there after them or while they were there for the 4 hours they sat there every morning, you couldn't get much food. The service the 2nd time was so drastically different, that we are thinking of staying at one of the other hotels with club level for the next trip. Club level is worth it, but make sure your concierges do their jobs.

ArachNib wrote on Tue, 03/05/2013 - 06:20:

Anonymous's picture

We had the pleasure of staying at the Boardwalk and privvy to the concierge level in February of 2013 during The Princess Run. It was wonderful. I would aspire to it from now on. And will definitely plan my stays to include it. Breakfast was filling and nourishing. Evening's nightcaps, Gran Marnier, Kahlua plus two more, were relaxing. The cast was very friendly towards "cleaning up and taking with you," the food remaining at the end of the night. With my family running in the Princess Race, we'd ask if there was any bottled water to mix with our powder drinks, and bottles of Evian were given to us. View of Epcot's fireworks from the balcony was absolutely beautiful. Boardwalk concierge cast was the best. Very down to earth and they enjoyed being there for you. We just asked outright the first night and was told they are NOT allowed to accept tips of any kind. If they do they will be terminated immediately. Any tips received, need to be turned in and Disney will host something like a pizza party to reward the cast. We were told the only cast allowed to accept tips are housecleaning, waiters and waitresses in food service restaurants and bars.

Kristen K. wrote on Tue, 03/05/2013 - 13:52:

Kristen K.'s picture

Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us!

Michelle wrote on Sat, 07/27/2013 - 03:10:

Anonymous's picture

I have been pretty indecisive about upgrading to AKL CL or upgrading to DxDDP. I'm almost convinced to do CL. Since we booked with the free DDP the price difference between the 2 upgrades is only about $100. Any thoughts on this?

Kristen K. wrote on Sun, 07/28/2013 - 15:29:

Kristen K.'s picture

Michelle - I think it depends on how much time you plan on spending at the resort. If you will be there to enjoy the food in the lounge every day then Club level is worth the upgrade, but the Deluxe Dining Plan gives you greater food options no matter where you are during the day. I find that when I have a heavy park schedule, I really only get a benefit to having the breakfast in the lounge and we miss out on other snacks during the day. Personally - I think I would go with the Dining Plan Upgrade.

Sunshine wrote on Thu, 09/05/2013 - 21:38:

Anonymous's picture

Our first experience in club level was at the Contemporary, for our daughter's 18th bday. We had the Magic Kingdom view which was amazing and worth every penny! My husband and I mostly stayed in the hotel while the girls park hopped all day and night. We spent about $30 on food for our 4 day stay. Mainly because we'd go downstairs, buy one sandwich to split, then fill our plates with the most amazing fresh potato chips and veggie sticks! The best part... watching the fireworks from our balcony in our robes!

I've also stayed CL at the Grand Floridian (main building) during the Mickey Christmas Party (beautiful room, convenient to MK, and Main Building's Gingerbread House, Xmas tree, and big band really set the mood! Staff was a bit stand-offish and snobby). The Boardwalk's CL staff were very friendly and accommodating. They did, however, forget about us and neglected the turndown service (taffy instead of chocolate) and it took a few calls to get robes in our room. The room was also very dirty. They eventually got it right, though :) Best part of the Boardwalk was the early morning when no one was out and I could walk around the lake and enjoy a peaceful moment before walking over to EPCOT and fighting the crowds :)

Don't ever feel intimidated to request for what you rightfully paid for. If a group of people took the tray of food to their table, ask the staff for a new tray. You paid for it. It was uncomfortable asking Mousekeeping to re-clean my room, but there was toothpaste on the bathroom faucet when we arrived (really gross!). The staff was appalled, and they generally want to make you stay "magical", (we got a bag of taffy for being neglected! My waist paid for that!).

My recommendation for any CL is try to get a room with a view and on the floor where the complimentary snack and beverages are located. It's less convenient to walk up or down stairs to enjoy the snacks/appetizers and drinks. We like to bring food back to the room and enjoy it there. Oh, and don't do CL and a dining plan. We wasted money on that little experiment!

Kristen K. wrote on Fri, 09/06/2013 - 13:33:

Kristen K.'s picture

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences Sunshine!

Glen T. wrote on Mon, 09/30/2013 - 11:20:

Anonymous's picture

We are staying at the Beach Club, CL mid October. We have done it before, and the experience is great. One question we have. IF I'm at Club level at the Beach Club, can I go to the Boardwalk CL to watch the fireworks if we choose to??? That being said...Polynesian???

Thanks!

Kristen K. wrote on Mon, 09/30/2013 - 12:33:

Kristen K.'s picture

Hi Glen! As far as I know, club level access is specific to the resort that you are staying at.

K Ripley wrote on Tue, 01/28/2014 - 07:13:

Anonymous's picture

We were lucky enough to snag a deal during off season where CL only costs us $45 extra per night at Animal Kingdom. This worked out to be $15 per person per night. This made it VERY worth it. Even though breakfast is simple it was all we needed and not having to wait in the crowd made a stress free to start to every day. That alone covered the extra $15 per person. Then at night when we came back from the parks it was wondeful to sit and unwind in the lounge with a glass of wine (okay, two glasses of wine) and a quick snack. We would also grab some bottles of water for the next day, and we all know how expensive bottled water is in Disney. So yes, it was worth it for what we paid. Don't think we'd pay $150 for it, but if you can get it during off season it's awesome.

Bill G. wrote on Fri, 03/21/2014 - 14:29:

Anonymous's picture

We will be staying at the WL in June with my son and his family that includes 3 boys(10-6-4). We are trying to decide if CL is best for us since we will be spending a lot of time in the parks and probably go back to room for naps and pool times. Should we get the CL and the dining plan or CL w/o dining plan, or do both?

Kristen K. wrote on Mon, 03/24/2014 - 13:51:

Kristen K.'s picture

I like to do CL with the dining plan myself. To me, it is worthwhile, however what's a "value" to one person may not be to another. I love having the club level breakfasts, snacks in the afternoon, and nightly turn down service. When we end up with "extra" dining credits because of club level food we always splurge with a 2 credit restaurant sometime during the trip.

Betsy Christensen wrote on Sat, 04/26/2014 - 23:57:

Anonymous's picture

Our family appreciates the value if club level. Our last visit to disney was club level at WL, and we were greatly disappointed. The first room we were assigned had a huge bees nest on the balcony, and we were told another room was not available until the next day. Since we were staying for 10 days, we requested the change and were told that if we left our bags the next day, we would be checked by the staff into a new room. Wrong. The next day, we retuned to the hotel only to find that the transfer room was given away.

At 10 p.m with three small boys, we gave an ultimatum to transfer to a different hotel. Suddenly, a new room was found. Fortunately, at 11 we were finally given a room reflective of our $15,000 price tag! Two days were gone.

While the staff did their best to make good on the error, the remainder of the vacation was flawed. And, of courses, disney can never take responsibility for mistakes. It just plays clean up.

However, our kids were never aware of our frustrations with disney, and we will soon return to club level at YC. Hopefully, we will have a great experience.

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