by Military Diva
If you’re anything like our family, you have often dreamed of staying at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. It is a beautiful property with top-notch amenities. But for us, budget constraints, lack of discounts, and extra food/experience schedules always seem to win out over the higher cost of a stay at this resort.
As we began planning this year’s Marathon Weekend trip, we leaned into the idea of more resort days than park days. We planned to schedule a few rounds of golf and more downtime compared to park time…this year was the year we could justify staying at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. Traveling as a family of 5, with two teen boys and our oldest daughter (24), we chose to share the space of one room here over two rooms at Disney’s Shades of Green. We agreed in advance to sacrifice the extra space for the energy of the Boardwalk…my oldest even offered to sleep on the balcony if necessary!
Fortunately for us, our Garden/Woods View room offered ample storage and sleeping space for our Crew! We did not have one single regret from our stay at this fantastic property!
So what did we love about Disney’s Yacht Club Resort?
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Beach Club Resort, and Boardwalk Inn are all located around Crescent Lake. Guests can circle the entire perimeter of the lake, walking directly onto Disney’s Boardwalk entertainment/shopping/dining area. the top benefits of this location are…
- direct walking and ferry access to EPCOT and the EPCOT Skyliner Station.
- the ability to walk to Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- quick access to Disney’s Boardwalk, an area designed to resemble turn-of-the (last) century Atlantic City. The area is full of light, energy, and amazing food-Big River Grille and Brewing Works, Boardwalk Deli, Boardwalk Ice Cream, Boardwalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas, The Cake Bake Shop Bakery, Flying Fish, the Pizza Window, and Trattoria al Forno are all in your “backyard”!
- Fantasia Gardens & Miniature Golf walking path is on the backside of Disney’s Boardwalk Inn.
The rooms in Deluxe Resorts are often the largest rooms on the Disney property. The standard rooms at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort average 381 sq ft and sleep up to 5 adults. For reference, rooms at Disney Moderate Resorts average 314 sq. ft and sleep up to 4 or 5 adults; rooms at Disney Value Resorts average 260 sq ft and sleep up to 4 adults.
Our room comfortably offered two queen beds and a flip-down sofa bed (think futon, not old-style wire bar type bed). We also enjoyed the split bathroom with the two-sink vanity, allowing one guest to shower while others prepped for the day. The room had a dresser, under-bed storage, a storage unit with shelves, drawers, hanging bars, and a hidden safe. There was a second storage unit above the beverage cooler with a food prep area. There was plenty of room to keep us from feeling cramped.
One of the best amenities of Disney’s Deluxe Resorts is their style!! They are typically furnished with grand lobbies, interior corridors, and rooms with either a patio or balcony. On our most recent trip, we were able to watch the Boardwalk Festivities as well as the Marathon Weekend 10k and Marathon runners right from our patio.
Quick Access to Food
As I mentioned above, Disney’s Yacht Club is just steps away from Disney’s Boardwalk, which offers many dining locations-there is absolutely no better way to start your day than to walk out your door and skip over to the Boardwalk Deli which offers the best breakfast sandwiches, refillable drink stations and breakfast pastries!!
But Disney’s Yacht Club and Beach Club Resorts are full of so many of their own dining locations…Cape May Cafe, Hurricane Hanna’s, Beaches & Cream, and their walk-up window are just a few of the top restaurants located within these two resorts. There are several lounges sprinkled throughout the properties and a piano area in the lobby.
I do have to say, we weren’t overly excited about the two quick-service dining options available onsite-The Market at Ale & Compass and Beach Club Marketplace. Their food offerings were suitable, but not too exciting. We enjoyed most of our quick service meals from the Pizza Window, Boardwalk Deli, and Hurricane Hanna’s. If I were being honest though, we were often found grabbing ice cream from Beaches & Cream and the Boardwalk Ice Cream shops!!
As you can tell, our family loves the freedom that comes with walking. We found it so easy to walk to the World Showcase entrance of EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But there are a few other advantages of a stay here.
- Friendship boats run on a regular schedule between EPCOT, Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Disney’s Swan & Dolphin Resorts, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
- Skyliner Gondolas offer fun access to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. They make hopping between EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios a breeze.
- Bus service is available to Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney Springs.
- If you have park hoppers it is easy to take the monorail between EPCOT and Disney’s Magic Kingdom. (Remember park hopping doesn’t begin until 2:00 and guests must have Park Pass Reservations for their first park)
Leisure and Activities
Disney’s Yacht Club and Beach Club Resorts are the “quiet” refuge opposite the energetic Boardwalk area. Don’t get me wrong, as you will see in a moment, these resorts offer a multitude of activities. But they are full of places to sit and enjoy a drink, or watch your children play in the large sweeping lawns. What we enjoyed the most were the wide “porches”, full of rocking chairs, that ran the entire length of the properties. We could literally walk from one end of Disney’s Yacht Club to the far end of Disney’s Beach Club Resort. I encourage anyone staying here to grab an ice cream and find your way to a rocking chair. Or, if you prefer a more Beach Style vibe, grab a margarita and plop yourself down in one of the many Adirondack chairs located on the Beach!
But if activities are more your style, you can enjoy the jogging trail, fishing areas, boat rental, Campfire activities, or Movies Under the Stars.
- The jogging trail here is more of a stroll around the Boardwalk and beach area with a few slight hills thrown in. It is an exciting change from the typical trails found at other resorts.
- Campfire Activities with smores are available nightly on the beach
- And while many resorts offer Movies Under the Stars, there is just something special about watching on the beach with the Boardwalk lights across the lake.
- Tennis, sand volleyball courts, lawn activities, and poolside activities are available onsite.
- Bike and Surrey rentals are offered on the Boardwalk.
- Fireworks!! You can definitely see the EPCOT and Hollywood Studios fireworks from various areas around Crescent Lake. Or, if you’re feeling a little adventurous, try to time a Skyliner Gondola ride with the EPCOT fireworks! It’s a really unique experience.
This amazing pool is typically the #1 reason guests choose to stay at Disney’s Yacht Club or Disney’s Beach Club resorts! According to www.disneyworld.com, this area is a ” 750,000-gallon, beachside wonderland that offers 3 acres of aquatic fun”. Reserved for guests of these two resorts only, security is top-notch here! Guest must show room ID (key to the world card or Magic Band) at the gate to receive their pool wristband, which must be worn within the gated pool area.
So what makes this pool so special? Besides the large size, the pool includes a sand bottom, zero entry area, two hot tubs, a lazy river, a kids’ play area, and a shipwrecked vessel that doubles as a water slide. The mast of the ship rises out of the beach area, crosses the main resort walkway, and ends in the main pool! If that weren’t exciting enough, the Cast Members fill the day with singing, dancing, and group activities that allow the adults to sit back and watch their children be entertained-unless they want to join in the fun of course!
Additional amenities include cabana rentals and an elevated tanning deck above Hurricane Hanna’s. Cast Members strolled through frequently during our most recent visit, taking food and drink orders along the way!
What would do differently on our next stay at Disney’s Yacht Club?
Plan our Quick Service Meals Better
The Market at Ale & Compass (Yacht Club) and the Beach Club Marketplace weren’t exactly our favorite food courts. Typical of Deluxe Resorts, the size of the food court and the offerings are small in comparison to the food courts at Moderate and Value Resorts. The Market at Ale & Compass offered salads, sandwiches, and hot dogs on their lunch and dinner menu. Beach Club Marketplace offered sandwiches, hot dogs, and various types of mac & cheese. The items were tasty, but weren’t too satisfying for a couple of hungry, teenage boys! We had to keep reminding them to visit Hurricane Hanna’s for burgers and chicken.
In the future, we would also remember to head to the Boardwalk for food right when we leave the park, but before we returned to our room! While the walk is very short during the day, it does seem a bit longer after a long park day!
Add Extra Resort Days
We did have several resort days built into our schedule. But we could easily stay at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and not even visit any parks (I think!!). There is so much to see and do, you could stay for a week and not do the same thing twice!
Consider a stay at Disney’s Yacht Club or Disney’s Beach Club Resort for your next vacation!
Our family is fortunate to visit Disney World at least once a year. As a Military family, we are blessed by the annual discounts offered by the Disney Travel Company. Throughout the past 20 years, we have stayed at 11 out of the 30 Disney World Official Resorts (some of them several times). I can truly say that Disney’s Yacht Club was one of our favorite resorts of all time! It is an amazing property full of activity and convenience for families of all ages. But it is especially amazing if you are a family with teenagers and young adults. There just seemed to be more age-appropriate activities for them to enjoy. And they thrived on the freedom of being able to visit the Boardwalk on their own.
It is definitely worth saving and budgeting for a stay here, at least once!
If you are interested in visiting Disney’s Yacht Club during your next vacation, consider contacting Patricia with All for Dreams Travel for a no-obligation quote. Patricia (aka Military Diva) is an independent agent with Gateway to Magic Travel, an Authorized Disney Travel Planner.