Resorts Unwrapped: Disney’s Yacht Club

Resort: Yacht Club Resort

Level: Deluxe 

Rooms: 630

Today we cover the Yacht Club Resort. Yacht and Beach Club… Beach and Yacht Club…Similar to Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarters, Yacht and Beach Club are often used interchangeably. “It depends on your tastes and preferences” many will argue.

I agree—both are extremely similar, but also different. Make sense? I didn’t think so. Yacht and Beach Club are very close to one another, feature very similar themes, share many amenities and are often spoken about synonymously, however, both are different. Over the next two weeks I’ll cover both, beginning with Yacht Club and highlighting what makes one different from the other.

Theming: 7/10

Yacht Club is themed after seaside New England of the late 1800s. It has a stately, nautical feel to it with brass accents. It’s much darker than Beach Club. Whereas Beach Club boasts fun, bright decor, Yacht Club has a much more elegant and upscale appeal. It feels like somewhere a Kennedy would stay on vacation or that you’d rub elbows with business people.

Rightfully so, as Yacht Club houses a convention center that accommodates both small and large events. It’s been argued that the Yacht Club can be a little too “stuffy” for younger families or kids. I tend to agree with that statement.

Overall, it’s a nicely themed resort. Like I said, it has much more of an upper class appeal, similar to the Grand Floridian. The lobby alone offers a stark contrast to the bright pastels adorning the fun Beach Club lobby. As a result, it kind of lacks that “Disney” feel, but certainly knocks it out of the park in establishing its theme.

yc-lobby

Christmas Decorations & Theming: 7/10

Here’s another area where Yacht Club lacks the “fun” environment that Beach Club boasts. Beach Club features a large, life-size gingerbread carousel with chocolate molded horses. Yacht Club, while gorgeously decorated in its own regard, hosts a large model train set and a towering nautically themed Christmas tree.

You can’t touch the decorations at any resort, but the lobby has a “museum” feel to it. It almost feels like a trip to your rich uncle’s house, where your parents forewarn you “not to touch anything!”

It’s certainly worth a stop. The decorations are beautiful, but you’ll find yourself spending more time at Beach Club.

Size: 8/10

The Yacht Club is a fairly large resort and feels a bit larger from the outside, as it’s connected to the Beach Club. The convention center also makes it appear a bit larger. While I’ve never ventured down the hallways of the Yacht Club, I have walked the grounds. The resort is large, but everything seems pretty close together. It’s not tremendously spaced out, which is always nice.

Transportation: 9/10

Location, location, location. Guests pay a hefty price to stay at the Yacht and Beach Club for a reason. I’d argue that the Yacht Club, Boardwalk and Beach Club are the best-placed resorts on property.

Sure, the Magic Kingdom resorts get all the attention with having the monorail and being so close to the main theme park, but you could also make an argument that the three EPCOT Deluxe Resorts offer the best location—especially for those that don’t mind walking.

The amount of transportation options are endless. The Yacht Club offers guests a quick 10-minute walk to the International Gateway of Disney’s EPCOT. The Yacht Club offers bus service to and from Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, the water parks and Disney Springs. There is no bus transportation to EPCOT’s main entrance, which is the only real downfall. If guests wish to enter through EPCOT’s main entrance, they must take a taxi from the resort or walk through the park from the International Gateway. The Yacht Club also offers boat transportation to and from EPCOT and Hollywood Studios.

The real benefit to the Yacht Club is its close proximity to EPCOT. A quick 10-minute walk will get you to the International Gateway entrance, making this a very popular resort during Disney’s Food and Wine Festival (or for pure EPCOT fans.) The resort is also around a 30-minute walk to Hollywood Studios. Most of the the walkway is lit up during the night and it makes for a nice stroll on a cool evening—a great way to walk off all that fried chicken from 50’s Prime Time Cafe.

All in all, the location makes Yacht and Beach Club a great resort, while its theme and amenities make it an elite place to stay at Disney.

Food: 7/10

What really won us over about the Yacht and Beach Club was its plethora of food options. The only true downfall of the Yacht Club is its lack of a Quick Service restaurant. Those wishing to grab a Quick Service meal must head over to the Beach Club or walk to the Boardwalk.

But this is a small blemish in an otherwise impressive array of food options. The Yacht Club is home to Yachtsman Steakhouse, a highly regarded Signature Restaurant serving up high-grade cuts of steak, fresh seafood and more. The resort also has Captain’s Grill. I’ve heard the lunch and dinner menu isn’t great, but have heard rave reviews about its breakfast buffet.

If that doesn’t get you excited, take a walk over to the Beach Club. The Beach Club has a Quick Service marketplace, great for a quick meal or a late-night snack. It also has Cape May Buffet. The buffet is my personal favorite for breakfast. It’s also very popular for dinner, serving up fresh seafood among other dishes. And of course, the Beach Club has the immensely popular Beaches and Cream.

The entire area is a hotbed for restaurants. Guests can walk over to Boardwalk Bakery for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just to fill their sweet tooth with one of its many delectable desserts. The Boardwalk also features Trattoria Al Forno, an Italian restaurant that also serves up an impressive breakfast. Yacht Club is also close to the Swan and Dolphin, which is home to restaurants like Il Mulino, Schula’s and bluezoo. While not on the dining plan, these restaurants are highly recommended by Disney guests. I can personally recommend Il Mulino, as it’s one of my favorite spots for Italian food at Disney.

And if none of these tickle your fancy, head over to EPCOT. We’ll have an 8-day park hopper and I plan on heading to EPCOT often to grab a quick snack or meal. The world showcase is your oyster, with nearly any kind of food to choose from.

“So why the 7,” you ask? Well, this is a review of the Yacht Club, not Beach Club or Boardwalk or Swan and Dolphin. While its close proximity to so many food options is a major benefit, if you’re stuck only at Yacht Club, your food options are limited. With no Quick Service, you’re stuck with an expensive meal at Yachtsman or a (allegedly) less-than-stellar meal at Captain’s Grill.

Overall:

Overall, The Yacht Club is a great resort. Again, more families will choose the Beach Club as it has a more “fun” atmosphere. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with either choice. Both share a spa and fitness center and are home to the best pool on property: Stormalong Bay. While the food options are limited, the resort is so close to Swan and Dolphin, the Boardwalk and EPCOT. If you don’t mind walking a little, your options are pretty much endless.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Whereas you have a 50-50 chance of getting a full balcony at Beach Club, just about all of the balconies are full-sized at Yacht Club. If a balcony is your main selling point, I’d choose Yacht Club over Beach Club.
  • Yacht Club is slightly closer to the boat pier than Beach Club.
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