Review: Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
By Dave Shute
OVERVIEW: DISNEY’S YACHT CLUB RESORT
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, one of the Epcot resorts, is the seventh best deluxe resort at Walt Disney World for first time family visitors.
However, this site recommends that first time visitors to Walt Disney World who can afford it should stay at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, a deluxe resort, and that those who can’t should stay at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, a value resort.
Compared to other Walt Disney World owned and operated resorts, the deluxe resorts are distinguished by having (on average) the most amenities, nicest views, best dining options, best transport options, largest rooms, best service, and highest prices.
It stands out for sharing with sister resort the Beach Club the best pool on property, sharing with the Beach Club and the BoardWalk Inn convenient access to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and also sharing with these resorts a short walk to dozens of table service dining options located in these resorts, at the Swan and Dolphin, on the BoardWalk, and in Epcot.
(See this for much more on resort distinctions by price class–value, moderate, deluxe, etc.)
FLOOR PLANS AT THE YACHT CLUB
Most of these rooms sleep five–two each in two queens, and another in convertible sofa. Four person rooms with two queens, and rooms with one king bed are also available.
The Yacht Club floor plan above is for a five person room–for an example of the layout of four person rooms, see the review of the Beach Club.
You can add to this capacity of five a child younger than three who sleeps in a crib.
DISNEY’S YACHT CLUB RESORT
On this basis, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort is the seventh-best deluxe resort for first time family visitors to Walt Disney World.
- Three of the deluxe resorts–the Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Polynesian Resort, in that order–have spectacular kid appeal. The Yacht Club has comparatively little architectural kid appeal
- None of the moderates do.
- All of the value resorts–Disney’s All-Star Sports, All-Star Music, and All-Star Movies, its Pop Century Resort, and its Art of Animation Resort–have strong kid appeal.
The kid appeal of the Yacht Club Resort, such as it is, comes from its pool, not its design, architecture, or theme.
Stormalong Bay, the pool that the Beach Club and Yacht Club share, is the most fun and kid-appealing pool at Walt Disney World.
Otherwise, nothing about the design or architecture of the Yacht Club shouts out that it was built for kids. It is in fact rather austere.
All of the Epcot resorts are convenient to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Epcot is a moderate walk from the Yacht Club, and the Studios are a longer walk or a boat ride away. (Epcot can also be accessed by boat.)
The other two parks are accessed by buses, which are shared with some of the other Epcot resorts.
Compared to the Beach Club, the Yacht Club has slightly more boring architecture and theming, a slightly longer walk to Epcot, and the complete absence of any counter-service dining.
There’s space within the Yacht Club footprint for a significant counter service option, on the right side (as you walk away from the lobby) of the windowed corridor along the right side of the gift shop.
(The image is of a family looking for counter service options in a different part of the resort.)
The wetlands currently in this footprint suggest such a counter service option would need to be carefully engineered–perhaps even cantilevered.
But the addition of one substantial counter service to the Epcot resorts, with the scope of say Mara at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, would be a huge increase in the livability of these hotels, which now have only minor options at the Beach Club and on the Boardwalk.
On the other hand, unlike the Beach Club, almost every room at the Yacht Club has a full balcony.
Best places to stay. This site suggests that first time visitors stay in standard rooms, not preferred rooms.
This is because they won’t be spending much time in their rooms.
The single exception is visitors to the Animal Kingdom Lodge, who should always pay for savanna views.
On the map, the Yacht Club Resort is on the left, The Beach Club is center-right, and the Beach Club Villas are at the top right. The walkway to Epcot is at the far right, and the boat dock shared by the Beach and Yacht Clubs is at the center in the lake.
The room areas of the Yacht Club–at the left on the map–are in a long, narrow building with only two elevator banks, one central, and one on the left side.
As a result, some rooms on the left side of the Yacht Club can be a hike from the main pool and central services and restaurants area–and from Epcot.
So you should ask for a room as close to Epcot as possible. The current room request form won’t allow for that–but you can call and ask!
Any first time family visitors who can afford it, but can’t get into or don’t want to stay at Disney’s Polynesian Resort or the Beach Club. Here’s what we say in The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017 about the difference between the sister resorts the Yacht and Beach Club:
Families seeking the highest degree of kid appeal. Families too large to fit even its 5 person rooms. See this for more on large families at Walt Disney World.
PHOTO TOUR OF A STANDARD ROOM AT DISNEY’S YACHT CLUB RESORT
This review continues here.