Review: Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
By Dave Shute
OVERVIEW: DISNEY’S YACHT CLUB RESORT
Our most recent stay (our third, in March 2017) confirms that 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.
You can have a wonderful visit at any Walt Disney World resort hotel.
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.
Among the deluxe resorts, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort has a lot of positives.
It stands out for sharing with the Beach Club Resort the best pool among the Disney-owned resorts, 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.)
One of the principal negatives of the Yacht Club–tired, beat-up rooms–is being fixed by a refurb that is expected to be completed in 2017.
The other principal negatives–inconvenience to the Magic Kingdom, bland theming, and weak counter-service offerings–remain, although when the Yacht Club’s gift shop opens from a refurb this spring, better counter service may be on offer.
This review has 6 pages
- The Yacht Club overview you are currently viewing
- Accommodations and Theming at the Yacht Club
- A photo tour of a Yacht Club room
- Dining at the Yacht Club
- Amenities at the Yacht Club
- Stormalong Bay, the Yacht Club’s main pool
ACCOMMODATIONS AT DISNEY’S YACHT CLUB RESORT
You can add to this capacity of five a child younger than three who sleeps in a crib.
After their refurb, I expect these rooms to have the same floor plans and furnishings, but different colors and details, as those in the recently refurbed rooms at sister resort the Beach Club.
For a photo tour of an un-refurbed Yacht Club room, see this, and for more on accommodations at the Yacht Club, see this. Come back in later 2017 for a refurbed room!
DINING AT DISNEY’S YACHT CLUB RESORT
The Yacht has two table service restaurants. Yachtsman Steakhouse is a terrific–but expensive–option. The less expensive and simpler Captain’s Grille (below) is dull but with excellent value (for Disney…).
More dining is within walking distance at the Beach Club. There, Beaches and Cream is a wonderful burger and ice cream shop, but far too small for the demand for it. The Cape May Cafe has Minnie and other characters, but not Mickey, at breakfast, and an OK seafood buffet at dinner.
Quick service dining is quite limited, with just small venues at the back of the distant Beach Club gift shop and by the main pool, plus pastries and coffee in the lobby bar in the morning.
However, the preview art for the re-opening soon Yacht Club gift shop suggests it will have more quick service options than has historically been the case.
For more on dining at the Yacht Club, see this.
THE POOLS AT DISNEY’S YACHT CLUB RESORT
The Yacht Club and Beach Club share the best pool complex at any Disney-owned resort (the Four Seasons has the best overall pool complex on property).
Known as Stormalong Bay, there’s actually three pools in the complex, plus a stunning water slide.
There’s also a smaller pool at the Yacht Club, plus two smaller pools at the Beach Club.
KID APPEAL AND CONVENIENCE AT 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 Beach 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 and beach, 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 among the Disney-owned resorts.
Otherwise, nothing about the design or architecture of the Yacht Club shouts out that it was built for kids, and in fact it feels formal and austere to many of them.
Convenience. Disney’s Yacht Club Resort is the seventh-most convenient of all the Walt Disney World resorts in carrying out the itineraries for first-time family visitors on this site.
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.
BEST PLACES TO STAY AT DISNEY’S BEACH CLUB RESORT
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.
This review continues here.