A Stay at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

On a recent trip to Walt Disney World, we decided to finalize our “stay at every resort” challenge and booked a stay at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. After countless trips, and visits to the resort, how have we never stayed here? Well, I have a guess, and it may be because we are from New England and felt like the theming would be the same as where we live, so why not stay somewhere where the décor is different. But that was just silly. This picturesque seaside resort has just risen to the top of my favorites list!

Yacht Club is one of Disney’s Deluxe Resorts. It is located behind Epcot on the Boardwalk. It connects to Disney’s Beach Club Resort in more ways than one. You can walk from one resort to the other, as they are literally connected. They share a pool (more on that later), Ship Shape fitness center, restaurants, and a fabulous location.

The décor of the resort upon entering is more formal than its sister Beach Club, which I liked!  You can see this in the dark wood furniture, chandeliers, and brass accents. It was a nice change to find a lobby that was quiet with not

much of the “hussle-bussle” we have seen in other resorts. The exterior of the resort has a gray and white clapboard appearance with a meticulously cared for lawn.

The rooms at the Yacht Club are currently undergoing a beautiful modern refurbishment! Upon entering the room I was surprised to see the changes already!  The location of our room was at the end of one hallway. The walk from the lobby was lengthy, and one elevator was turned off due to construction. But there was a door to a staircase which put us on the Boardwalk quickly! It may be worthwhile to request a room closer to the lobby, but we enjoy the extra steps so it was no bother to us.

Restaurants at the resort are great too. When I was there in July, there was a bit of construction going on behind cleverly placed walls. What’s happening behind them is the creation of a new lobby lounge and the new Ale & Compass Restaurant, which will replace the former Captain’s Grille. This new gastro-pub style restaurant will present a New England-inspired menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The plans for the cozy lighthouse-inspired décor look really cool.

Other restaurants and lounges include the Marketplace at Ale & Compass for a quick bite to eat, Yachtsman Steakhouse, Crew’s Cup Lounge, Beaches ‘n Cream Soda Shop (you gotta order the No Way Jose, you’ll thank me), andCape May Café (which has a great character breakfast). There are even more but we didn’t visit them this trip.

One afternoon we abandoned Epcot and had fun in the pool .  Storm-a-Long Bay is often considered the “best” pool at a Disney resort, for many reasons. Most prominently is its sand bottom! Yes! when you get in the pool, you are walking on sand! Weird at first, but then it seems really neat. There is also a lazy river and amazing pirate-ship slide! Now, I don’t do water slides, but I did this one and loved it! Because of its popularity, cast members do check magic bands to ensure you are staying at Yacht Club or Beach Club and give you a bracelet granting access for the day.

Another great feature of this resort is its location. You can quickly walk to Epcot, a little bit longer walk to Hollywood Studios, or you can take a short boat ride!

My family and I just loved this resort. The beautiful décor, quiet ambience, super cool pool, variety of restaurants, and location to the parks makes it the perfect choice.  We will be staying here again on our next trip!

-Bekka C

As an aside, this resort would be PERFECT for a honeymoon or couples getaway!

Did You Know Volume #1: Valet Parking

dwl-balcony-view

This past September, my family spent a weekend at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge for a joint celebration of my son’s 16th birthday and my 40th (wow, that hurts to type).  When we pulled in on Friday morning, I decided to use Disney’s valet service.  Outside of Tables in Wonderland, this would be my first time using Disney’s valet service.

I am that guy that likes to drive myself around Disney property; nothing against Disney transportation, I’m just a control freak!

After we checked in and had a bite for lunch, we called upon the valet to retrieve our car so we could head over to the Magic Kingdom for a few hours before closing out the day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  While waiting for our vehicle, an attendant asked if we needed any directions or help.  Being a Disney Super Dad, I said, “No Thank You.”  The attendant then asked where we were headed, and I replied, “Magic Kingdom.”  This is when I learned, thanks to another great Cast Member, that once you pay the daily valet fee (currently $25.00) at any of Disney’s Deluxe Resorts, you can also use the valet service at any of the other Deluxe Resorts (on the same date) without having to repay the fee.

Upon hearing this, I immediately felt like a schmuck, after all, I know everything, I’m a Disney Super Dad, remember…

Much to my surprise, we were able to drive into Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa; use valet service, then hop the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom (I’m a simple guy and am easily impressed by the little pleasures, lol).

Now, anyone who’s visited the Magic Kingdom knows that getting from the parking lot to the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) then over to the Magic Kingdom, can at times, be a bit arduous; especially if you’re carrying little ones.  Well…  Here’s your tip of the day: you can utilize valet parking at one of the monorail resorts, and then hop the monorail to the Magic Kingdom.

Now, I must throw out a disclaimer…  You are going to have to pass through security to get into any Disney resort; however, security at the monorail resorts can be especially “picky” (especially during peak times).  Therefore, you will need a “reason” to be at the resort (i.e. dining reservation, spa appointment, etc.).  In our case, we were already staying at a Deluxe Resort and had paid for the valet service, so security let us in.  In the past, you could simply say that you wanted to “look around” or “visit” the resort.  That is not always a guarantee now…

When using valet parking, it is important to remember that the fee you pay goes to Disney and not the valet attendant; so please, please, please remember to tip the attendant.

Another point to keep in mind, when you pay to park at a Walt Disney World Park, you can use that receipt to avoid paying the parking fee at another park on the same day.  This does not apply to valet parking and park hopping.  If you paid for valet service at a resort (and you are not a resort guest), you will still need to pay the parking fee at the park.

Well, that’s enough out of me for this month!