Inside look at 2016 DVC Beach Bash

"When the ice cream cart was wheeled out, it was like 'The Hunger Games' with people grabbing Mickey Bars by the handful!"  --Beach Bash attendee

 

DVC Beach Bash 2016

Everyone knows the old saying about the importance of first impressions.  Well, it's a good thing I took some time to fully judge the Disney Vacation Club Beach Bash event because most of my initial concerns were ultimately alleviated.  

DVC Beach Bash 2016

 

DVC Beach Bash 2016

This is the second year DVC has hosted these after-hours events at Disney waterparks--in 2015 at Disney's Blizzard Beach, now Disney's Typhoon Lagoon--but my own first opportunity to attend.  

Upon arrival, crowds were a bit larger than anticipated.  The park opened to attendees at 8:30pm with the festivities beginning at 9:30.  By our 9:30 arrival, chairs and loungers with easy access to the park's signature wave pool had all been claimed and hundreds of members were already enjoying the park.  

We made our way over toward Typhoon Tilly's and Shark Reef (closed during the event) and were able to locate some vacant, out-of-the-way seating.  

DVC Beach Bash 2016

Some guests--locals who are familiar with attendance at Typhoon Lagoon--observed that the event may have been disappointing to those expecting uber low crowds.  They had experienced much shorter waits for the raft rides and slides during normal park operating hours.  

DVC Beach Bash 2016

Nevertheless, there was ample opportunity for guests to stretch out and enjoy the park without peak summer crowds and--more importantly--the oppressive summer sun and humidity.  

The Lazy River was very popular with guests, but after waiting a minute or two an empty tube was sure to float by.  

DVC Beach Bash 2016

 

DVC Beach Bash 2016

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse were available for guest photographs.  In another location, Goofy and Donald Duck were also posing in their beach garb.   

Demand for character photos dropped-off dramatically as the event wore on and guests departed.  Near the start of the Beach Bash, lines were long with 50 or more guests waiting to have their picture taken.  By 11:30, Mickey and Minnie were often left to entertain themselves in between the trickle of visitors.  

DVC Beach Bash 2016

Aside from crowds, another personal concern related to snack availability.  Early on lines were long and guests were surprsingly aggressive, grabbing handfuls of cookies, ice cream bars and potato chip bags.  

DVC Beach Bash 2016

But there were no limits placed on how many snacks guests could take, and Cast Members continued to re-stock throughout the evening.  

DVC Beach Bash 2016

The snack distribution station over by Leaning Palms appeared to be a bit more lightly-utilized than others in the park.   

DVC Beach Bash 2016

Early, ice cream carts (pictured below) were attacked by guests quickly after appearing, and were then wheeled out of sight.  The fear was that only a limited stock of items would be available and the supply quickly exhausted.  

That fear proved to be unfounded. 

Disney kept re-stocking all of the premium ice cream bars, ice cream sandwiches and other novelties.  At midnight, vendors were still distributing items...to the few guests who hadn't had their fill.  

DVC Beach Bash 2016

Other event activities included a DJ dance party.  

DVC Beach Bash 2016

Disney Vacation Club executives made themselves available to chat with guests at the Exective Meet Up.   

DVC Beach Bash 2016

Exclusive Disney Vacation Club merchandise was available for purchase including the 25th Anniversary mouse ears hat, cap and window decal pictured below.   

DVC Beach Bash 2016

As midnight approached, guests were still enjoying themselves with a couple hundred people visible in the wave pool.

DVC Beach Bash 2016

Overall, the Beach Bash was a wonderful perk for Disney Vacation Club owners: complimentary admission to a Disney waterpark with refreshments, character photo opportunities and other entertainment.

Unfortunately, last night's event was the final Beach Bash scheduled for the season with no promise of a 2017 return.  In September 2016, DVC is hosting four nights of exclusive theme park access to Disney's Animal Kingdom.  Both of these events, along with last spring's Magic Kingdom exclusive, were billed as part of the 25th anniversary DVC celebration.  

Since DVC has excluded future resale buyers from accessing perks like the Beach Bash and Animal Kingdom event, it would seem to be in their best interest to continue hosting events of this nature.  Events with real substance.  After all, it's difficult to convince a buyer that direct purchase of DVC points is worthwhile if your best offerings are a 10% merchandise discount and 15% off behind-the-scenes tours.  

If you attended the Beach Bash or other DVC exclusive, let us know your thoughts in the comments.  And be sure to share feedback with Disney Vacation Club.  That's the best way to help ensure that similar events follow! 

DVC Beach Bash 2016

Disclosure:  The author was given free admission to this event as an eligible Disney Vacation Club member.  This participation did not impact comments presented here. 

Reader Comments
Re: Inside look at 2016 DVC Beach Bash -- xvoltn
2016 Jul 14 02:40:45 PM
We went to the one on the 23rd and it was a nice event. Too bad that the Shark Reef and a few of the rides were closed. No problems getting food or other items (unless you were first in line to rush the plate). Mgt was on had to chit chat as they were not really answering any real questions.
Re: Inside look at 2016 DVC Beach Bash -- denlo
2016 Jul 14 05:41:25 PM
Sounds like as nice event, I am really disappointed that they didn't have one scheduled during our early to mid June trip. I agree with you TimK that when buying direct events like this would seem like a more valuable perk than discounts.
Re: Inside look at 2016 DVC Beach Bash -- twoehr
2016 Jul 18 04:29:30 PM
Sounds like it was a great time for all. I wish I was traveling this year and could've gone. Typhoon Lagoon has become a favorite. So much so that we are going to try a park ticket-less vacation next time, but with water parks.

Hearing about the "rush" for the free food is disappointing (reminds me of class trips where teachers would "pre-scold" us to behave), but it is human nature whenever "free" is involved.
I was amazed at the crowds! -- MegMML
2016 Jul 18 05:16:24 PM
We attended the evening of July 6th. We went directly from dinner at Raglan Road, so we weren't in bathing suits. I quickly regretted that decision. It looked like such a great evening to join the lazy river crowd! And it was as crowded as it would be on any regular day. Nice to see so many fellow DVCer's!
As the article stated, there was plenty of ice cream, snacks, and drinks, and my kids loved seeing the characters. The park was beautifully lite, and it was a well run party. I'm a resale buyer, so we don't get the cruise benefit, but we've attended quite a few Member Magic events, and have loved all of them!

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