If you’re looking for a peaceful, waterside resort that’s just a short walk from the magic of the Walt Disney World theme parks, the nautical New England-style Yacht Club might be the resort for you. Here are eight of our pro tips to help you get the most out of your stay at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.
8. You can walk to the theme parks.
Okay, so this is a big one. While some deluxe Walt Disney World resorts like the Polynesian and Contemporary have become known as “monorail resorts” because they’re just a quick monorail ride to the gates of the Magic Kingdom or Epcot, the Yacht Club is located just a short walk (or boat ride) between you and all the fun. If you and your kiddos love Epcot (or Hollywood Studios!) then the Yacht Club might just be the perfect resort for your family. The resort is within a 10-minute walk or quick boat ride to Epcot, or you can also take a leisurely 20-minute stroll or catch a boat over to Hollywood Studios.
7. You can sail your own ship.
Along with recreational activities like volleyball and tennis, a stay at the lakeside Yacht Club means that you’ll have easy access to watercraft rentals. You can become the captain of your own ship when you rent a motorized boat from Bayside Marina, from private mini-powerboats for an intimate evening for two to Sun Tracker pontoon boats for special group outings.
6. Take a pirate adventure.
Speaking of sailing, parents of young buccaneers can arrange a once-in-a-lifetime nautical experience during their stay at the Yacht Club. There are kids-only Pirate Adventure Cruises that sail from the Yacht Club to exotic “ports of call,” and all while kids get to learn pirate legends, discover hidden treasure, and gather pirate booty to take home. Targeted towards children ages 4 to 12, there are four two-hour cruises available to allow kids the opportunity to ride on a seasoned vessel in the pursuit of treasure.
5. Spend some time at the Yacht Club’s sister resort.
The Yacht Club is closely connected to its sister resort—the Beach Club resort—which means that guests are welcome to take advantage of all of the shared amenities between the two resorts. You can, of course, grab a bite in popular restaurants at the Beach Club, like Cape May Café, but many guests may not realize that you’re also welcome to take advantage of amenities like the fitness center or salon and spa.
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4. Take time to appreciate the architecture.
Many of the resorts on Walt Disney Resort have fascinating stories, and while the yacht Club’s opulent nautical theme is beautiful, you may want to read up on its rich architectural history before you go. Designed by architect Robert A.M. Stern, the resort was envisioned to look like a turn-of-the-century seaside town in the Mid-Atlantic or New England (think Cape May and Coney Island). Stern wanted it to feel like a “village across the water”— a tranquil, relaxing getaway right outside the excitement of the Walt Disney World theme parks.
3. Play some sports.
Okay, so walking the theme parks can be exhausting, but if you’re planning a day to explore the resort during your vacation, be sure to take advantage of all of the active, outdoorsy recreational offerings. At the Yacht Club resort, guests can play volleyball or tennis, compete in 18 holes on the miniature golf course next door, or take a quick run along one of several jogging trails.
2. Go for a swim (or a slide).
Families love the Yacht Club because its home to Stormalong Bay, a three-acre swimming complex that features a life-size shipwreck. The Yacht Club’s pool boasts the tallest waterslide at all of the resorts on the Walt Disney World property, and you won’t want to miss the sand that covers the bottom of the pool’s crystal clear water. Little ones can splash the day away in a kiddie pool (complete with a miniature waterslide so nobody feels left out), while adult visitors can relax in the lazy river, whirlpool spas, or on the elevated tanning deck.
1. See the Fireworks.
If you’re celebrating a special occasion, you can book a specialty cruise to watch the evening fireworks on Crescent Lake during your stay at the Yacht Club. But for a more relaxed (and free!) experience, you can also view Epcot’s spectacular IllumiNations fireworks show—and enjoys the bright lights of the BoardWalk Resort—from a swing on the beach or from a bench on the beachfront promenade at the resort.