When the Yacht Club resort underwent renovations the property received a lot of improvements. Formerly a lack of quick service dining options in the resort was one of the few downsides to staying here, but now that has been remedied along with a refreshing to the Ale & Compass Lounge and Ale and Compass Restaurant. A sleek and modern feel that retains nautical touches that define the theme of the resort. As the Captains Grill the casual table service restaurant at Yacht Club was a nice place to grab a meal, but as the Ale & Compass Restaurant it is even better. Here are 8 things I love about Ale & Compass Restaurant and thing you will too.
8. The Coastal Clam Bake
At the Yacht & Beach Club (sister resorts), most people head over to Cape May Café for the dinner buffet to get seafood. The new menu at Ale & Compass features a Coastal Clam Bake. This dinner menu item features whole Maine Lobster, Clams, Potatoes and Corn—the perfect meal for a restaurant located in the Yacht Club. And a yummy way to satisfy your seafood cravings.
Whether you are choosing to dine at Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner the Ale & Compass Restaurant is in a fun location. It may be a bit of a challenge to get to though. Using Disney Transportation you can take a bus to Epcot and walk through the park to the International Gateway (if you are going to Epcot anyway that day), you can take a bus to Hollywood Studios and then walk the path to the Yacht Club or take the boat, or you could take a bus to any park or Disney Springs and then get on the Yacht Club bus. Just allow plenty of time. Or you could Uber, Lyft or Minnie Van over. But once you are there plan to spend some time walking around the Epcot resort area, I find it very pretty and peaceful and there are some fun things to do & see. If you are there for dinner you can walk over to the Boardwalk and enjoy the live entertainment in the evenings. And because the Yacht Club is so convenient to Epcot, Ale & Compass restaurant makes a nice, peaceful mealtime break from the park.
Because Ale & Compass Restaurant is a bit of a hidden gem, I’ve experienced excellent service each time I’ve dined there. The servers took great care of me—they were efficient but also very thorough with suggestions and service. I also found it to be a bit faster than other table service meals (if you don’t want to spend too long dining & more time playing). Because there were not may tables occupied during my meals the food was prepared and presented very fast.
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5. Hearth Oven Pies
All three menus, breakfast, lunch & dinner feature a selection of “Hearth Oven Pies” which are the Ale & Compass’s take on flatbreads. And they have some amazing flavor combinations. I was told that the Breakfast “Pie” is the most popular item on their breakfast menu—it features a sunny-side up egg right in the middle with house-made bacon, ham and provolone and arugula. At lunch and dinner there are multiple options available including a Caramelized Leek & Chorizo and a White Clam pie. They all look pretty delicious!
4. The Bread Service
A trend that has caught on at many Walt Disney World restaurants is to offer an elaborate bread service as a (paid) starter course. While my favorite is still at Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, the option here at Ale & Compass Restaurant is also delicious. Available as a lunch or dinner starter, Ale & Compass serves fresh Park House rolls as their bread service with accompaniments of Bacon Jam, Pub Cheese, and Citrus Butter. Not to be left out, there is a breakfast option with “breakfast” breads served with citrus butter and house-made jam.
3. Easy to get in
Ale & Compass is seldom crowded so it is one of those places that you could most likely walk up and be seated. This is nice because sometimes you don’t know what you want to eat or where you will be 6 months in advance when dining reservations open up. But then you are there and you just want to sit down and eat a good dinner (or lunch or breakfast). For Ale & Compass you can probably find a same day reservation or a reservation within a day or two of when you want to eat. I would recommend trying to get a reservation, but you may also be able to check in at the podium and be seated without much of a wait even without a reservation.
2. Refreshed décor
While I didn’t find anything about the previous Captains Grill restaurant offensive as far as décor, the re-imagined space of the Ale & Compass is really beautiful. The décor is understated with a sleek & modern feel. I think it is a very elegant space. The darker tones are soothing while the blues and grays pay homage to the nautical theme of the Yacht Club Resort. Looking around the restaurant I noted that they took a lot of guests needs into consideration when doing the design. Some of the banquette seating had plugs for charging your electronics—a nice touch for our modern needs.
1. The Breakfast Menu
While lunch and dinner are great times to visit the Ale & Compass Restaurant, breakfast is a must-do. Within a 1 week stay I dined there twice for breakfast and it was the selection on the menu that drew me in. Luckily on my second visit I was with friends so we could share and I got to sample many of the entrees that were on my list—and so hard to choose between! My top three were the Blueberry-Bacon Pancakes with chunks of bacon IN the pancakes; the Salted Caramel-Apple French Toast; and the Cornbread Waffle with Strawberry-Orange Compote, Lemon Ricotta and Basil Sugar. The big winner: The Cornbread Waffle. It was an amazing flavor combination, but you really cannot go wrong with any of the breakfast menu choices. And the fresh squeezed Orange Juice is the perfect Florida beverage to accompany any of the options.
Have you dined at the Ale & Compass at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort? What do you love about it?
Photo Credit: Walt Disney World