One of Walt Disney World’s most exquisite waterside resorts, the nautical New England-style Yacht Club has a fascinating architectural history and a slew of recreational amenities that today’s guests may not know about. Here are six favorite gems that will help you get the most out of your stay at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.
6. It has an impressive architectural history
While many visitors will admire the Yacht Club’s beauty, what they may not know is the rich architectural history behind the resort. The Yacht Cub is the work of renowned architect Robert A.M. Stern, who envisioned the resort as a “village across the water”—in other words, a peaceful, relaxing place for those looking for a bit of respite from the excitement of the Walt Disney World theme parks. It was designed to look like a turn-of-the-century seaside town in the Mid-Atlantic or New England, like Cape May or Coney Island, and Stern’s vast expertise in East Coast seaside hotels of the late 1800s is evidenced all throughout the opulent resort.
5. It has a waterpark
Okay, so it’s no Blizzard Beach or anything, but many first-time guests of the resort are delighted to discover that the Yacht Club is home to Stormalong Bay, a three-acre swimming complex complete with a life-size shipwreck. The Yacht Club’s elaborate pool boasts the tallest waterslide at all of the resorts on the Walt Disney World property, and the sand that covers the bottom of the entire pool is a must-experience feature. A separate kiddie pool also offers a miniature waterslide for little ones. Meanwhile, Mom and Dad can relax in the lazy river or one of the three whirlpool spas, or soak up the sun on the elevated tanning deck.
4. It shares amenities with a sister resort
Unlike many of the other Disney World resorts, the Yacht Club Resort is closely connected to another Disney World resort: the Beach Club Resort and Beach Club Villas. That means guests can easily take advantage of all of the restaurants and pools that are shared between the resorts, along with other amenities like a business center, salon and spa, and fitness center.
3. You can walk to the theme parks
Deluxe resorts like the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and Contemporary may get all the credit for being just a quick monorail ride away from the Magic Kingdom, but if Epcot is your park of choice, you might be surprised to learn that it’s less than a 10-minute walk away from the International Gateway entrance—not to mention a hop, skip, and a jump away from all the shopping, dining, and entertainment at the BoardWalk. You can also catch transportation to other destinations by boat, including the entrance to Hollywood Studios, and the walking time to the transportation loading areas from even some of the most remote rooms is a measly seven minutes.
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2. You can embark on a pirate adventure
Needless to say, the Yacht Club is all about sailing, and what better way to treat your young buccaneers to a once-in-a-lifetime nautical experience than with a ride on a seasoned vessel in the pursuit of treasure? The kids-only Pirate Adventure Cruises sail from the Yacht Club to exotic “ports of call”—resort marinas—and kids will be treated to pirate legends, discover hidden treasure, and enjoy snacks and drinks as they gather their final pirate booty. There are four two-hour cruises to choose from, and they’re designed for children ages 4 to 12.
1. You can play sports (and sail your own ship)
Many of Walt Disney World’s resorts offer various recreational activities and amenities, but even the most outdoorsy and fitness-minded guests may not realize just how much the Yacht Cub has to offer. Along with guided outdoor adventures like bass fishing excursions, guests are welcome to play a game of volleyball, show off their skills on the lit tennis courts, go for a quick run along one of several jogging trails, or play 18 holes on the miniature golf course next door. You can also become the captain of your own ship when you rent your own motorized boat from Bayside Marina, ranging from private mini-powerboats for two to Sun Tracker pontoon boats for small parties.