/ / / A Full Review of Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

A Full Review of Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.” –Louisa May Alcott

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort is one of the most difficult Walt Disney World Resorts to describe. Anyone with a love for sailing or all things nautical will find themselves completely at home at this Disney deluxe resort.

At the same time, those looking for a beach vibe might find comfort next door at Disney’s Beach Club Resort (review). It has a lighter tone color palette.

Over the years, I’ve heard many people describe the Yacht Club as stuffy or formal feeling. I find it anything but that. In fact, it’s a place I’ve called home many a time.

In this review of Disney’s Yacht Club, we’ll take a look at the resort in its entirety. This resort will be hard to top between its prime location to its long list of amenities and dining options. So let me unravel the knot for you.

Before we get started, let’s take a quick look at Disney’s Yacht Club map. I like to include the map in these reviews so you can scroll back up and reference something if needed.

As you can probably tell, the Yacht Club and Beach Club are connected. The map covers the entirety of both resorts. The Yacht Club is the one on the left with the greyscale roof.

Disney's Yacht Club Map

One other thing you might want to know upfront is that the Yacht Club is a dog-friendly resort. That means there are designated rooms or floors of the resort that allow you to bring a dog. You can read more about that here on Disney’s site.

Disney’s Yacht Club Address: 1700 Epcot Resorts Blvd, Orlando, FL 32830

Google Map

Since this Yacht Club review has several sections, below is a table of contents where you can locate specific information.

Disney’s Yacht Club Review

One might describe Disney’s Yacht Club as having the more formal feel between the sister resorts. However, I would say that it is stylish while remaining casual.

The overall theme of the Yacht Club has changed somewhat over the last few years. This has been the trend with most refurbishments. The exterior boasts classic grey siding with white trim offering a nice backdrop for the luscious landscaping.

Location

Disney’s Yacht Club and the surrounding Epcot Resort Area are pretty hard to top when it comes to location. The hotel resides on beautiful Crescent Lake, within walking distance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot.

The Epcot Resort area is the only place where you can walk to more than one theme park. For example, a stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort or Disney’s Contemporary Resort allows guests the opportunity to walk to Magic Kingdom. And while that is a huge perk, you won’t get the option to walk to multiple theme parks as you do here at the Yacht Club.

If you plan on spending a decent amount of time at Epcot or Hollywood Studios, this benefit should be considered. The other resorts that provide the opportunity to walk to both parks are Disney’s Beach Club, the Swan and Dolphin Hotel (review), and Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Resort (review).

Additionally, Disney’s Yacht Club has other benefits to its prime location. Those benefits include access to multiple forms of transportation. And there are numerous amounts of dining options within the immediate area. We’ll take a closer look at these items as we continue our review of the resort.

Lobby

The lobby at Disney’s Yacht Club recently got a bit of a facelift. As usual, they did a nice job adding subtle paint colors and selecting modern furnishings for the area.

The Yacht Club is now home to the largest hidden Mickey I have ever encountered.

Fear not, the heart of the lobby, which is the massive globe, is still prominently placed on display.

The lobby has a staircase that leads up to an additional seating area. I really enjoy the traditional Americana theming and recommend taking a moment to browse the area during your stay.

There are several nice eagle statues on display in and around the lobby area.

The carpet is even on point throughout the resort.

Yacht Club’s Guest Rooms

You might be curious as to what kind of guest rooms are available at Disney’s Yacht Club.

Standard rooms and club level rooms come with the following views:

  • Garden or Woods View (View of Gardens)
  • Water View (View of Crescent Lake or Stormalong Bay)
  • Standard View (Roof or Parking Lot View)

Additionally, there are 2 bedroom suites available for those in need of a larger space. Those wanting more of the comforts of home might consider staying next door in a Beach Club Villa.

A standard room at the Yacht Club usually has 2 queen beds and a day bed. Some rooms will come with a king bed and a daybed.

Rooms at Disney’s Yacht Club were updated with the tile flooring that appears to look like hardwood. You’ll have to forgive me for the few mobile phone pictures I have of our Yacht Club room. My last stay here was before I started collecting pictures for this website.

Pictured below is the view from our room at Disney’s Yacht Club. I have stayed on this wing of the Yacht Club twice in the last few years. As you can probably imagine, I spent a good amount of time on my balcony taking in this view.

To give you an even better idea, I woke up every morning and sat out on the balcony. During the day, I would go out to the parks for a bit before coming back to the balcony in the afternoon. We would get ready for dinner and enjoy a refreshment on the balcony before heading out. Upon arrival home at the end of the evening, my priority was to head out to the balcony to see what was going on in the area.

I could have sat there all day and indulged in the comings and goings.

Our guest room at Disney’s Yacht Club was fairly simple and modern. If you take the time to notice, there are a lot of nice details in the furnishings. The beds are all platform-style, with storage areas underneath them. One of the items that I like the most was the curtains with Disney-inspired constellations.

You’ll find a couch that converts into a futon style bed.

The bathrooms offer a double vanity with ample storage underneath. There’s a raised ledge over the sink area that provides extra counter space.

Having a makeup mirror is always a nice touch. There is a built-in closet with a safe and mini-refrigerator across from this bath area.

Yacht Club came out of refurbishment with walk-in tile showers, which are a wonderful upgrade. The showerhead is removable for anyone with concerns about bath time for younger children. However, if you prefer an actual bathtub, you can still find them next door at the sister resort.

Back to that room with a view! You might see why I spent so much time on the balcony. Everywhere you look there is something interesting happening.

A lot of times in the shade of the afternoon, I would sit out here and watch bunnies frolicking on the lawn. It’s really these little things at Disney that make me happy.

And in the evening the sunset hour never disappoints on Crescent Lake.

The grounds at Disney’s Yacht Club are absolutely stunning. Everything is well manicured and there are gorgeous pops of color against the neutral gray resort background.

If you are visiting Disney World but have reservations about the Yacht Club’s pricing, I recommend taking some time to tour the area on your vacation. Most guests return to Disney multiple times over the years, and it’s nice to have that place you can say, “we’re staying here next time.”

That’s how I fell in love with this area. Many years ago, when my son was a toddler, we were visiting as convention guests. Due to overbooking at the Swan and Dolphin, we wound up at Disney’s Boardwalk. Our room faced out onto the actual boardwalk, and Disney’s Beach Club became that “next time” place for me.

My Yacht Club room was on the left-hand side here on the third floor. There is a pathway out to the gazebo, and this makes for a really nice picture spot. I wish they would add a few benches inside the gazebo area.

Below is a picture looking out from the gazebo toward the lake.

Dining

Our Disney’s Yacht Club review includes a brief look at the dining options available at the resort. While there are many dining options in the area, I have mixed feelings about the counter service offering at the resort.

Don’t get me wrong, the table service and lounge options here are great. But quick-service dining is really lacking in the entire area. I’ll have a resort dining guide coming up in the next month or so, and I’ll link it back here when I’m finished. In the meantime, here is a brief summary of your choices.

The Market at Ale and Compass is Yacht Club’s main counter service dining option. They get a thumbs down because nearly every item is pre-made. Unfortunately, my last meal here was terrible, and I haven’t returned since.

A quick mention here is that The Market shares a location with Disney’s Yacht Club’s gift shop.

Inside you’ll find a variety of higher end clothing items, Disney products, and even Yacht Club specific merchandise.

Ale and Compass Lounge is located off the resort lobby. They offer several menu items and a fairly unique cocktail menu. You can read that full review for details, but I highly recommend picking up an order of Parker House rolls.

Speaking of recommendations, have breakfast at Ale & Compass Restaurant, located off the lobby and the former home of Captain’s Grille. Not only do they serve breakfast, but dinner and to-go orders are available. We have yet to go wrong at this casual table service restaurant.

As far as signature dining goes at the Yacht Club, there is one offering, Yachtsman Steakhouse. I’ve had the opportunity to eat here and find myself recommending it to anyone looking for signature dining at Disney World.

Yachtsman specializes in prime cuts of beef. In fact, you will more than likely encounter a butcher-style display of said meats on your way to the table. The best part about dining at Yachtsman Steakhouse? Onion rolls. They are wonderful, and the server will bring roasted garlic to the table to enjoy with them.

Next door to Yachtsman, you will find Crew’s Cup Lounge. The lounge has a variety of seating and is considered family-friendly. It’s become a hidden gem type hideaway for me over the last few years.

Lastly, we have Hurricane Hanna’s, a walk-up waterside bar and grill that services Stormalong Bay. Here you’ll place an order and pick it up in the same area. This is an outdoor location with exterior seating.

Additionally, you might enjoy a meal at one of these restaurants located on the Beach Club side of the resort:

  • Beaches and Cream Soda Shop
  • Beach Club Marketplace
  • Martha’s Vineyard
  • Cape May Cafe (Character Breakfast)

Recreation at Disney’s Yacht Club

As far as our Disney’s Yacht Club review goes, it would not be complete without looking at the recreational activities provided. Besides the hotel’s walkability factor, recreation at the resort is the largest benefit when it comes to staying here.

Yacht Club has one quiet outdoor pool and then a large pool area shared with the Beach Club.

Normally, I recommend planning a day at one of the Disney water parks, like Blizzard Beach. However, if you are staying at Yacht Club, my advice is not even to bother. Why? Because the Yacht Club has its own mini water park in its backyard called Stormalong Bay.

And Stormalong Bay is the greatest Disney pool of all time! It’s so awesome it even has its own review. It even tops our list of best pools at Disney World.

If you already have reservations for a Yacht Club stay, I want you to do me a favor. Stop what you are doing right now and promise yourself that you’ll plan one entire resort day at the pool. You are actually doing yourself a favor. It’s going to be awesome!

To give you a mini-review of the pool area, it has the following: lazy river, waterslide, sand bottom pool, hot tubs, kiddie pools, and much more!

Additionally, guests looking for a more private spot can enjoy the Yacht Club’s quiet pool, The Admiral Pool. I have spent a little time out here and can attest to the peacefulness.

Rarely is anyone out using the area.

There is even a tennis court.

Guests of the Yacht Club might find the need to do laundry while on vacation. If so, I recommend using the large laundry facility out by the resort’s quiet pool. We like to start our laundry, grab a bite to eat, and bring it back out here with us.

If you have concerns that the machines might be in use before heading down, you can check the Laundry View site here. This site confirms how many washers and dryers are available. It also tells you the time left on each cycle.

Another large recreation opportunity at the Yacht Club is Bayside Marina. The marina offers motorized boat rentals that can be reserved in advance here on Disney’s site.

I often see guests out on a variety of different boats. In the past, you could reserve an Epcot fireworks cruise here. Right now, that option is not being offered, but hopefully, there will be a return in the future after the Epcot refurbishment is complete.

Back over in the main pool area, you’ll find the Ship Shape Health Club. This is the Yacht Club’s fitness center that’s shared with the Beach Club.

Ship Shape is a nice facility that offers anything you could need to get in a good workout while on vacation. The gym has cooling towels and a place to refill your water bottle. I like to mention this in case you elect to jog the Crescent Lake area. Guests can stop in here after their run if needed.

Next door, you will find the recently refurbished Lafferty Arcade. It sits between Ship Shape and Beaches & Cream. Beaches and Cream Soda Shop is the place to go for a greasy yet delicious burger after your workout.

When visiting Disney’s Yacht Club, you need to make sure to pick up their recreation calendar. It is on the opposite side of the resort map.

This is a sample calendar from a previous visit. At the bottom of each day on the calendar in red highlight is that day’s listing for Movies Under the Stars. Additionally, it lists the other recreation activities that are held in the afternoon by the pool.

Movies Under the Stars is held nightly on the beach of Crescent Lake. There is a movie projection screen blown-up out on the beach. Guests sit in lounge chairs with blankets made from towels to enjoy the movies.

If you are lucky, Yacht Club might even have someone making fresh popcorn for their guests. I highly encourage you to take an evening to do this with your family. The experience is much more delightful than it probably sounds. Plus, everyone needs a little rest from those busy days spent in a Disney park.

Transportation at Disney’s Yacht Club

Another huge factor to consider in our Yacht Club review is the transportation options offered at the resort.

Yacht Club offers Disney’s Friendship boat service. The service provides a convenient boat ride that will deliver you to the surrounding resorts, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. The boat dock for Yacht Club is located a few steps off the lobby at the large lighthouse.

If you prefer to walk, Epcot is less than 10 minutes away. And it takes about 15 minutes to get over to Hollywood Studios. The walk is pleasant, and I often mention a great way to decompress after visiting the parks.

Guests traveling to the following theme parks and destinations will want to take a bus from the Yacht Club.

  • Magic Kingdom
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Disney Springs
  • Disney Water Parks

The bus stop is outside the resort’s main entrance.

Both resorts (Yacht and Beach) share bus service, so don’t be surprised if your bus stops over at Beach Club before heading to your destination. Yacht Club will be the first stop upon return.

Additionally, guests can also walk over to the International Gateway or Hollywood Studios to use the Skyliner gondola transportation. This is a great option for anyone visiting Caribbean Beach or Riviera Resort for a meal. I have a full guide to using the Disney Skyliner that includes travel times.

Is Disney’s Yacht Club Worth It?

Many ask if a stay at Disney’s Yacht Club is worth the price? My answer is that it’s entirely up to your budget. If you can reasonably afford to stay at the Yacht Club, I don’t think you’ll regret it.

However, Disney has a ton of nice deluxe resorts that might be more what your idea of a vacation is than mine. For example, while I love the Yacht Club (and Beach) for their location, you might enjoy a resort like Disney’s Polynesian (review). It has a tropical Hawaiian feel that you might consider more relaxing.

And don’t sleep on the Animal Kingdom Lodge. In my review of the Animal Kingdom Lodge, you might remember that stay provided a lot of needed vacation feel and solace that I haven’t gotten anywhere else on the property.

Our stay at Disney’s Contemporary Garden Wing was extremely unexpected in a good way as well. Or you might enjoy staying at Bay Lake Tower (review) next door.

Hopefully, these reviews will help you get an idea of what might work best for your family. As for me, given a choice, it’s almost always going to be Disney’s Yacht or Beach Club.

I love walking to Epcot and the surrounding resorts. My days spent at Stormalong Bay are some of my best Disney memories. And Crescent Lake is that area where I always get that “I’m home” feeling in my heart.

Final Thoughts

Wrapping up this Disney’s Yacht Club review, I wanted to add a few points to remember about the resort.

Staying at Disney’s Yacht Club offers the opportunity to save a considerable amount of travel time between two parks. In addition, the ease of walking over to Galaxy’s Edge or visiting a favorite country in the World Showcase at almost any time makes a stay here valuable to most guests.

It’s also important to note that you won’t have to rely on Disney transportation to get to Hollywood Studios in the morning. That way, if you acquire a Rise of the Resistance boarding group, you can walk over to enjoy the ride. Likewise, you won’t be stuck waiting on a bus that’s running behind.

There is also the quiet serenity of Crescent Lake. Anywhere you look out over the area, the views are stunning.

I really love this area because it provides teens a great place to roam without having to worry too much about them. When my son turned 14 (the age you can enter a park without an adult), he loved that I gave him a bit of freedom to walk over to the parks on his own.

Hopefully, you’ll have the opportunity to stay here in the future, or at least look longingly from a distance. Who knows? A walk around Crescent Lake might have you singing the tune of “next time.” I know I never want to leave when I visit.

For those that need help planning and booking your next Walt Disney World vacation, contact our friends at Firefly Travels. Their services are always helpful and totally free of charge!

I hope you enjoyed this review of Disney’s Yacht Club. For more Walt Disney World Resort reviews, try these articles:

Or you might enjoy browsing the Disney Value Resorts or the Moderates.

One last note about the Yacht Club. While the resort is fairly simple to get around, there are several entrances and exits that you might want to familiarize yourself with upon arrival.

Here is a picture of one below. These provide a little shortcut if you would like to bypass the lobby when heading back to your room from one of the parks within walking distance.

Leave me a comment below with your take on this resort. I’m interested in knowing what you do or do not like about Disney’s Yacht Club.

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