Typically when I think of a weekend at Disney World, the word “relax” doesn’t necessarily come to mind. After all, there’s so much to do, see, ride, eat, and buy! But there’s something about Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club resorts that give a whole different, laid-back vibe. I combined them in the same post because they are close together and share several amenities. If you’re a Disney fan, you can’t miss out on a stay at one of these resorts.
We stayed at Beach Club Resort for the first time right after we got married to celebrate our “mini-moon”. I fell so in love with the casual and charming vibes that made me feel like I was in a luxurious beach home. The rooms were already updated, filled with the soft and calming tones of the ocean. I wasn’t blogging back when we went so I have very little photos, but it instantly became our favorite Disney World Resort.
Now, 18 months later we wanted to spoil ourselves to another weekend at a Deluxe Disney Resort. This time, we chose the elegant older sister of the Beach Club Resort and booked the Yacht Club. For our April weekend getaway, it was quite a bit cheaper than the Beach Club. Like all Disney resorts, the cast members welcomed us “home” and checking into our room was a breeze because we already had our Magic Bands and room number. We skipped the front desk altogether and made it to the third floor where we were surprised with a nice little view off our balcony.
Planning a trip? Don’t forget to see the best & worst times to visit Disney World!
So, What Makes Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts So Special?
Beautiful & Updated Rooms
The Yacht Club wrapped up it’s remodeling in 2017 and they did an amazing job. The wood-style flooring, nautical décor, and contemporary furnishings make this New England style resort feel relaxing and luxurious. I had previously read other Disney fans complain about the lack of “Disney magic” in the room, but I appreciated the subtle touches with gorgeous framed prints and stylish curtains with hidden characters. As a Deluxe resort, I never expect it to scream Disney. The Yacht Club has always seemed like a more sophisticated resort, so I think it’s a perfect balance. But don’t worry, in true Disney fashion, families feel just as welcome as couples. Disney’s favorite guest is whoever walks through the door and that’s a perk of staying at a Disney resort.
The beds in Deluxe resorts are always so comfortable to us! The Yacht Club’s new beds have space underneath to store suitcases which is such a space saver (why don’t more hotels do this?!). We don’t mind getting a room with two queens because we’ll usually spread out and take advantage of the extra bed. The room has plenty of storage, a coffee maker, and a small fridge.
Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club resorts share the same pools and they are, quite possibly, the best pools at any Disney resort! Stormalong Bay is an incredible 795,000-gallon pool with sandy bottoms and a (smaller) lazy river. With areas dedicated to relaxation and others for playing, there’s plenty of space for families to spread out. Towels are provided for the guests and they have a ton of chairs around the pool. Hannah’s Hurricane Bar is a great option for drinks and lunch. Cast members will walk around to take food and drink orders, which is all the luxury I need by the pool!
Stormalong Bay is also home to a 230-foot-long water slide that is perfect for cooling off on a hot Florida day. It’s one thing you can’t miss out on doing if you stay at these resorts.
Proximity to Epcot
Disney World Resort sits on 27,000 acres (about the size of San Francisco), and while much of it is still not developed (believe it or not), it’s big. Transportation on buses, boats, and monorails is free, but there’s nothing better than being able to walk to a park from your room. Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club resorts are about a 5 – 10 minute walk from the World Showcase entrance to Epcot. Staying at the Yacht Club during the Flower and Garden Festival was so much fun because we walked right into the excitement. Each day, we headed to the park for a couple of hours and then went back to the pool. We didn’t have to deal with the fuss of parking, transportation, or waiting in long lines to enter the park.
Like all deluxe resorts, Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club resorts have plenty of fun activities right on site, and they go beyond the pool and restaurants. From roasting s’mores by a campfire to watching a movie under the stars, they have a list of daily activities for every day of the week.
Beaches & Cream Soda Shop
I believe Disney goes out of their way to make sure there’s something extra special at each resort and Beaches & Cream Soda Shop is one of them. Recommended by every cast member I spoke to, we had lunch at the bar and enjoyed the old-fashioned American grille, complete with a jukebox. The burgers and fries were delicious, but it’s really all about the dessert here. It was probably the best sundae I’ve ever had in my life. And Instagram friends seemed to like it, too!
If you don’t want to stick around for an entire meal, pop in for a sundae “to-go” before watching the fireworks on the boardwalk! Are you brave enough to try the infamous “Kitchen Sink”?!
Yachtsman Steakhouse is one of the best steakhouses on Disney property (and I love my steak, ya’ll). It’s an upscale, but family-friendly, New England-style restaurant. Leave your flip-flops and cut-offs in the room and treat yourself to fresh seafood, tender steaks, and truffle mac n’ cheese! You don’t have to be staying at the Yacht Club to get a reservation, but make one in advance, if possible. I highly recommend this Signature dining selection if you’re celebrating a special occasion.
Cape May Café
Don’t miss out on character dining! The character breakfast buffet at Cape May Café is said to be one of the best ones with Miss Minnie herself. In the evenings, the restaurant transitions into a seafood dinner buffet. Minnie Mouse and her friends are popular, as you can imagine, so make a reservation before showing up.
I saved the Boardwalk for last because I think it’s one of the best perks of staying at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club resorts. The boardwalk makes one big loop you can walk around (or rent a Surrey bicycle from the Boardwalk Inn). It’s a beautiful setting and the boardwalk restaurants, shops, and entertainment make up about a 1/4 mile of the loop.
- The boardwalk features some wonderful dining options like the Flying Fish, Big River Grille & Brewing Works, Trattoria al Forno and the ESPN Club.
- Don’t miss out on vacay indulgences like the Boardwalk Bakery, Ample Hills Creamery, and the Funnel Cake Cart!
- Looking for a drink? The AbracadaBar and Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas will quench your thirst.
- Jellyrolls is a fun, adult-only, dueling piano bar! it does have a cover fee of $15, if I remember correctly.
- Atlantic Dance Hall is a huge Art Deco ballroom where you can sip on a drink or get on the dance floor and bust your moves. This one is also for adults.
- Street performers will catch your attention if you’re visiting Thursday through Sunday. Think jugglers, balancing acts, and musicians. They’re entertaining and so talented!
- You’ll also find an outdoor “arcade” along the boardwalk with games like basketball and the water squirt game!
- It’s hard to pass up an opportunity to browse the shops of Disney. Whether you’re checking out the pins, buying a plush character, or visiting the Wyland Gallery, you’ll enjoy the leisure and less chaotic shopping opportunity.
Are you sold on these resorts yet?! Anytime I have friends or readers asking for a recommendation, Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club resorts are my number one answer. I haven’t stayed at all of the Deluxe resorts, just yet, but I can confidently say that you can’t go wrong with these two. Whether you’re staying for a short weekend or an entire week, you’ll be so happy you chose to stay here.
Have you stayed at a Disney hotel before?!