It is so difficult to name a favorite resort at Walt Disney World, but the Yacht Club has so many great things going for it that it is high on my list. But, every resort is not perfect for every guest or vacation, so it is important to know both the pros and cons when making your decision on the best place to stay on your visit to Walt Disney World. Here are my top pros and cons for Disney’s Yacht Club Resort:
8. CON: It is a little stuffy
This is the main complaint I hear about the Yacht Club—that the décor and feeling is a little too stuffy for guests (especially families). Many people tell me they prefer the bright, airy, and casual feeling of the Yacht Club’s sister resort, the Beach Club to the more formal feeling at the Yacht Club. The lobby in particular is where this formality is conveyed, and as your first encounter as you enter the Yacht Club for your vacation I can see where it may be off-putting if you are looking for a relaxed vacation. The stained wood finishes, darker paint colors, leather, and even the signature globe in the center all give off a feeling of “old money,” but it is the perfect setting for the Yacht Club’s theme. And I assure you, it is not a “stuffy” resort at all, and all of my family members feel at home there from the teenagers to the rambunctious 7 year old.
7. PRO: Excellent Dining
The Yacht Club’s resort restaurants are top-notch and you should plan to eat a couple of meals here if you are staying. Yes, they are that good. The signature Yachtsman Steakhouse serves up perfectly prepared aged beef in true steakhouse style. Side items are also excellent here. The whole experience fits what you would expect out of a fine steakhouse. The more casual dining options here are great too. The Ale & Compass Restaurant just off the lobby has an excellent breakfast menu with some very creative options, along with a delicious lunch and dinner menu. The lounge next door features some of the same menu offerings in a beautiful atmosphere. Even the quick service and grab-n-go options in the Marketplace are very good with a great variety of things to choose from. The dining options at the Yacht Club are a definite pro for the resort, along with its proximity to walk to dining at the Beach Club (hello, Beaches & Cream) and the Boardwalk.
6. PRO: Great Service
In recent years I have stayed at the Yacht Club multiple times for work trips and for family vacations. Each stay I am so pleased with the staff I have encountered at the resort. Their level of service really defines the “Disney Difference.” The front desk staff is helpful, courteous, and welcoming. The Cast Members in the Marketplace (both food and merchandise) are extremely helpful. On the Club Level the Concierge Staff is among the friendliest around. Everyone I’ve interacted with at the Yacht Club made me feel welcome and that I was appreciated for being there. It is always nice when the service level is so sincere at a resort.
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5. CON: Conventions
One con of staying at the Yacht Club as a family or on vacation is that it is a convention resort. Very often you will see groups of business people gathered in the lobby, in the lounge, or just hanging out around the resort. This doesn’t necessarily cause problems or hinder your vacation, but it is a different feeling when a large convention is at the resort. Sometimes if they are all arriving or departing at the same time it can cause delays at the front desk. Often the conventions will have activities outside of the actual convention center attached to the Yacht Club that might impact guests—like a dinner or luncheon set up on the walkway near the marina, or on the beach.
4. PRO and CON: Pet Friendly
Depending on where you stand on the issue you might find the fact that the Yacht Club is one of the resorts that welcomes dogs a pro or a con. And this has been a hotly debated topic since Disney announced it would allow pets at select resorts. During my stays at the Yacht Club I have encountered pet dogs—at the check-in desk, walking down the hall to their room. I have not heard any dogs while in my room. I know that Disney tries to isolate the pet friendly rooms as much as possible. If you have allergies to pet dander and want to stay at the Yacht Club you can request a VIP or Allergy Cleaning before you arrive to make sure your room is clean. Being pet friendly is a major pro for guests who like to travel with their dogs. The Yacht Club is a great resort and to have that option when you are bringing your pet is really nice.
3. PRO: Renovated Rooms
The Yacht Club recently (over the past year and a half-two years or so) renovated all of their guest rooms. And this renovation was a complete update of everything in the room. Not only are the results gorgeous, they are so guest friendly. The interior is modern yet sticking to that Yacht Club theme, and complete with Disney touches. I think my absolute favorite part of the room are the curtains on the doors that are constellations of Disney characters. If I ever find that fabric I will have those in my home. The floors are vinyl for easy cleaning (but tip—you may want a towel to wipe any dirt or sand from Stormalong Bay off bare fit before you get into bed). There are creature comforts throughout the room like numerous USB plugs, reading lights in the headboards, a lighted closet rod, a safe large enough for a laptop, and a nice large TV. I love these newly designed rooms and they keep me coming back to the Yacht Club.
2. PRO: Stormalong Bay
The Yacht Club shares the best pool (arguably) at Walt Disney World with the Beach Club: Stormalong Bay. There are no water park tickets needed if you stay here because Stormalong Bay is like having your own mini-waterpark in your back yard. There is a lazy river, 2 hot tubs, a swirling waters area, a huge waterslide, a kiddie slide, and the whole thing is sand bottom. The side closest to the Yacht Club is a shallow area with a sand bar in the middle that is perfect for kids to play. If you are staying at the Yacht Club you owe it to yourself to plan a day just hanging out at Stormalong Bay. And many people choose the Yacht Club for Stormalong Bay.
1. PRO: Location, Location, Location
If Stormalong Bay and the renovated rooms don’t sell you on the Yacht Club for your next vacation, the location will. You can easily walk to Epcot via the International Gateway. This is perfect to start your park day, for mid-day breaks to enjoy the pool, and to go back in the evenings for some great dining around World Showcase. And it is even better if there is a Festival happening at Epcot (which there usually is). There is also a boat to Epcot, but it is much faster to walk if you are able. If you want to go to Hollywood Studios there is a walking path or you can take the boat over. This is great now (especially with Toy Story Land), but once Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge opens being this close will be a huge perk. The location is also fantastic because you have so many resorts right there expanding your dining choices and recreation options. You can walk to the Swan or Dolphin for a meal. The Boardwalk is a quick walk away for dining, carnival games, live entertainers, the dueling piano bar “Jelly Rolls,” ESPN Club, Surrey Bikes, and more. And of course the Beach Club has some additional dining options to enjoy as well. To me the Yacht Club is in the perfect location for your Walt Disney World Vacation.
Have you stayed at the Yacht Club recently? What were the pros and cons for you?