Grand Floridian Club Level Room ©PixieDustDaily

Grand Floridian Sugarloaf Key Club Level Room ©PixieDustDaily

Disney World Club Level Concierge

Club Level, as Disney refers to their concierge rooms, offers a step above the already wonderful experience of staying at a Disney World Deluxe Resort hotel. Access to an exclusive area of the resort, a private lounge, and personalized service all add an extra bit of magic to your Disney World vacation. It comes with a price of course and I’m often asked if I really feel it is worth the extra money when I splurge on Club Level for some of my Disney vacations. To answer that question, let’s take a look at not only what the price tag is but what you get and how that impacts your trip.

Sugar Loaf Key Lounge ©PixieDustDaily

Sugar Loaf Key Lounge ©PixieDustDaily

The Benefits of Disney’s Club Level

Entire floors or buildings are set aside at Deluxe resorts for the exclusive use of Club Level guests. Your MagicBand or room key card will grant you access to the area where you will find all Club Level services and rooms. Club Level is available at eight deluxe hotels: Animal Kingdom Lodge, Beach Club, BoardWalk, Contemporary, Grand Floridian, Polynesian Village, Wilderness Lodge and Yacht Club. Benefits consist of:

  • Concierge members will greet you upon arrival to whisk you away to Club Level land for check in instead of having you wait at the counter with everyone else.
  • Dedicated concierge staff on duty to assist in itinerary planning or reservations and answer any questions you may have about the parks, tours, activities, etc.
  • Club Level Lounge with a rotating selection of breakfast items, afternoon, snacks, evening appetizers, and desserts. A selection of drinks, ranging from coffee in the morning to beer and cordials in the evening are also available.
  • Evening turn down service with chocolates or other treats left on your pillows.
  • Not quantifiable, but there is something special about exclusivity for many people.

The Lounge is arguably the biggest benefit of the Club Level package from both a cost and convenience perspective. The ability to pop into the lounge for a quick breakfast then rope drop a park is hugely important to many guests. For those who enjoy a leisurely pace, the evening cordials and desserts may have more appeal. Here’s a look at the typical daily schedule:

  • 7AM to ~10AM – Expanded continental breakfast with bagels, pastries, coffee, juices, fresh fruit, cereal, etc. Resorts also tend to feature their own extras, such as hot quinoa at Animal Kingdom Lodge or smoked salmon at Grand Floridian.
  • 11AM to ~4PM – Snacks, such as fresh made potato chips and dips, cookies, trail mix, fruit, cheese and crackers, plus soft drinks, juice, and iced tea.
  • 5PM to ~7PM – Hot and cold appetizers from the resort’s signature restaurants, which may vary nightly depending on the resort. Selections for kids are also available, such as fruit & cheese, and PB&J sandwiches. Beer and wine are available.
  • 8PM to 10PM – A selection of bite size desserts and put out along with a selection of alcoholic cordials.

Here’s a video tour of the amazing lounge and seating areas at Grand Floridian’s Royal Palm Club:

 

The Cost of Club Level

Club Level rooms typically range about $100 to $200 more per night, depending on discounts and resort, than a comparable room at the same resort. While you do get exclusive access to the concierge level and lounge, it does not get you a larger room, extra amenities, or even a better room location. In most resorts the Club Level is merely another floor above the rest of the standard rooms, but the Grand Floridian will net you a prime spot in either the main building or the private Sugarloaf Key building.

The question always arises, “Is it worth it?” Well, that’s about as subjective as when people ask if Disney World is worth the cost. If you’re seeking to save money by eating all your meals in the lounge while splurging on a Deluxe resort, you’re out of luck. If you care looking to add a little something extra to your vacation, then Club Level is one way to do just that. It really comes down to personal preference and your budget.

 

Grand Floridian Sugarloaf Key View ©PixieDustDaily

Grand Floridian Sugarloaf Key View ©PixieDustDaily

My Experiences with Club Level

Here are a few of my Club Level experiences to give you an idea of what to expect. As you’ll see it can be hit or miss in terms of what you’re getting from Disney’s concierge service.

The Good – On our last trip we stayed at the Grand Floridian’s Sugarloaf Key, which is a dedicated Club Level building. We opted for this building instead of the main Royal Palm club because of the location and limited access. Sugarloaf is is halfway between the main building and the boat docks, so there was quick access to the monorail, bus depot, boats, and Gasparilla Island Grill 24/7 quick serve. The limited number of rooms in the building meant it was quieter than other locations and the lounge had plenty of seating. The food selections were a mix. Breakfast was decent with lox and bagels standing out as the only interesting item. Snack time has an afternoon tea theme which included some wonderful scones yet the regular munchies were lacking. Evening appetizers is where it’s at for the Grand Floridian. With several excellent restaurants at the hotel, there was a fresh rotation each night of delicious items. Some nights you could have assembled a good dinner. Desserts were of the same caliber. My one beef with the lounge was that if there were more than 3 people it was difficult to navigate the horseshoe shaped counter. As far as concierge service went, the desk staff was very attentive and even the welcome committee was top notch giving a good tour from porte-cochère to our room and quickly handled a MagicBand issue for me.

The Really Good – The Kilimanjaro Club at Animal Kingdom Lodge is by far our favorite place to stay. The whole resort itself is an amazing experience and the concierge staff does a fitting job. The staff at AKL seems to be a cut above many of the other Disney resorts and I attribute some of that to their work atmosphere; you can’t help but feel relaxed there. We always find little treats in our room, not just the chocolate squares on our pillows, and there was even a wonder gift basket on one trip. The lounge is on the sixth floor overlooking the main lobby with a floor to ceiling view of the savannah at the far end. The food here is both delicious and unique. I’ve noticed that there always seems to be more selections than other lounges and they do a better job of crossing over between ‘meals.’ Even the drink cooler was filled with bottled milk and water, which can be difficult to come by at others, and I often could grab a cold beer and relax on a couch in the afternoon. Check out this post from A Pinch of Pixie Dust for some great pics of the lounge area.

The Not So Great – The Club Level at Beach Club was a disappointment for us. The room locations are hit or miss at BC. We ended up with a very long walk and a view of the bus depot/parking lot but at least we had a balcony which some BC rooms do not. The lounge is cramped with very limited seating, which was frustrating since there is very limited options to find a snack or quick light meal at the resort. The food selections were just OK and not well stocked. The concierge staff was also not as helpful as other locations. Turn down service was nothing special and on one occasion I asked the desk staff to call downstairs to hail a cab since were were on our way to another resort for dinner and he just gave me the phone number and said I could call from my room.

Overall we’ve had very positive experiences during our Club Level stays and enjoy the extra splurge once in a while. It’s a good idea to do some research on the particular resort Club Level when making your choice. Some, like Beach Club do not offer much to enhance your experience, while others are very special, such as the balconies at Contemporary offering spectacular views of Magic Kingdom.

Club Level Tips

  • Don’t be afraid to ask! The concierge and wait staff are there for you. If you need help with plans, or just want a particular drink that’s out of stock int he cooler, they are often ready to help.
  • Breakfast and run! The lounge is a wonderful spot to grab a decent breakfast and head out to the Parks before other guests are even out of bed. The lounges often have disposable cups under the counter to take a coffee or juice along with you and some stock small bottles of water. Keep in mind that most guests run behind schedule and there is often a flood of families wandering down for breakfast around 8-9.
  • Stock up for downtime. There are gaps food service times throughout the day, so make sure to take a few things back to your room if you plan on being around during lulls. I usually grab a  couple cans of pop/beer for my room fridge on the first day since we’re often relaxing in our room in the afternoon. Bananas and yogurt cups are another good thing to bring back if you like to eat breakfast in your room.
  • Catch a little downtime away from the nightly park fireworks rush to enjoy the dessert selection with a nice glass of wine or mix up a coffee cordial. If there’s Extra Magic Hours at Magic Kingdom, take advantage of this to recharge and head out for some late night fun.
  • Watch for hefty Deluxe Resort discounts. You can often save up to 35% on Deluxe rooms and for most resorts this includes Club Level. Snag them quickly since availability is very limited!
We highly recommend Jenn Greene at Destinations in Florida to help book your Disney, Disneyland, Universal, cruise lines, and other vacation destinations!