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Disney's Yacht Club Resort: Seaside Elegance

by Jennifer and Dave Marx, Authors of PassPorter Travel Guidebooks
Last modified 01/19/2009

PassPorter.com > Articles > Walt Disney World > Lodging  

Offering luxury, convenience, and added amenities, the Yacht Club Resort features a relaxing atmosphere on Crescent Lake within walking distance of Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This lovely resort is housed in a dove-gray clapboard building, exuding elegance and evoking the charm of a bygone seaside resort.

Resort Layout & Rooms at Disney's Yacht Club Resort
Each of the standard rooms at the Yacht Club is housed within five floors of one deceptively large yet creatively shaped building. Well-appointed and understated, the standard rooms are large (380 sq. ft.) and sunny. The 634 Yacht Club rooms are outfitted in ocean blues, floral patterns, and antiqued wood. Guest rooms have one king or two queen beds, a daybed, ottoman, double sinks, a make-up mirror, a small table and chairs, an armoire with a TV, and a small refrigerator. All rooms have balconies or patios. Amenities include room service, hair dryers (most rooms), iron, newspaper delivery, turndown service, in-room safe, toiletries, and voice mail. The Yacht Club also offers concierge service with slightly larger rooms on the fifth floor. In addition, 40 special suites (20 in each resort) range in size from a junior suite to a two-bedroom suite to the ultimate Presidential Suite.

Dining at Disney's Yacht Club Resort
With the Yacht and Beach Club sharing restaurants, there are more dining options here than at almost any other resort. Table-service options (see page 233 of PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook) include Beaches and Cream, a popular soda fountain; Cape May Cafe, a character breakfast and all-you-can-eat clambake; Yachtsman Steakhouse for dinner; and the Captain’s Grille for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Crew’s Cup offers a good snack menu. For a quick meal, try Hurricane Hanna’s, a poolside grill, or the Beach Club Marketplace, offering breakfast items, baked goods, sandwiches, salads, gelato, coffee, and beverages (refillable mugs—$12.49, too) for eat-in or take-out.

Several lounges will help you relax after a long day of playing. Ale & Compass and Crew’s Cup in the Yacht Club serve drinks and munchies. At Beach Club, Martha’s Vineyard features an award-winning wine list and appetizers. Hurricane Hanna’s is a pool bar and grill—menu items include a chicken flatbread ($7.19), double cheeseburger ($7.09), and veggie wrap ($6.79). Room service is always available.

Relaxing & Playing at Disney's Yacht Club Resort
For Athletes: The Ship Shape Health Club is a complete fitness club offering a spa, sauna, and massage therapies. The resorts also sport two lighted tennis courts and a sand volleyball court. The Bayside Marina rents watercraft for cruises, including the “Breathless II,” a wooden yacht named after Breathless Mahoney in “Dick Tracy” (see page 252 of PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook), and surrey bikes to ride around the lake.
For Charmers: Periwig’s Beauty and Barber Shop is a full-service salon for hair, skin, and nail care.
For Children: A playground is near Stormalong Bay. Sandcastle Club offers supervised activities for children ages 4–12 (see page 254 of PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook).
For Gamers: Lafferty Place Arcade has video games.
For Shoppers: The Beach Club Marketplace (Beach) and Fittings and Fairings (Yacht) offer sundries and resort wear.
For Swimmers: The three-acre Stormalong Bay water park is resort swimming at its best. Three free-form, sandy-bottomed pools create deceptively complex waterways with whirlpools, bubbling jets, “rising sands,” a water slide in a shipwreck, and two hot tubs. Stormalong Bay is for Yacht and Beach Club and Villas resort guests only (bring your resort ID). Leisure pools are located at the far ends of the resorts. The Villas has its own leisure pool, called “Dunes Cove,” and a hot tub.

Transportation at Disney's Yacht Club Resort
Boats (see chart in PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook) depart from the marina for Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Buses outside the lobby go to the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Downtown Disney. Reach other destinations by transferring at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (day) or Downtown Disney (evening). Parking is available, as well as valet parking ($10/day). The BoardWalk, Dolphin, and Swan are all within walking distance, as is the International Gateway to Epcot. You could also walk to Disney’s Hollywood Studios along the path beside the BoardWalk Villas (see map on page 46 of PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook).

Tips and Notes for Disney's Yacht Club Resort
Enjoy a waterfront stroll around Crescent Lake using the boardwalks and bridges encircling it. This is a very lively place!

Request turndown service from housekeeping before you go out for the evening, and return to find your bedcovers turned down with a chocolate.

A bank of elevators near each resort’s lobby serves most rooms. If your room is at one of the far ends, look for a single elevator or stairway rather than trek down the hallways. If you’re going to Epcot, the exit near Beach Club’s leisure pool is convenient.

Yacht and Beach Club have separate entrances and front desks.

Bring resort identification with you to Stormalong Bay -- it will be checked. It can be noisy with the sounds of happy children late into the night, so avoid it and places nearby if you seek peace.

All rooms on the first floor have pleasant patios. All rooms on the upper floors have balconies, but be aware that some balconies are standing room only. If a full-size balcony is important, request it.

A conference center, reminiscent of a town hall, is available.

Check-in time is 3:00 (4:00 pm Villas). Check-out time is 11:00 am.

Best Locations at Disney's Yacht Club Resort
Your room location can make or break your experience. We strongly recommend you indulge in a room with a water view at the Yacht Club. You may want to request a room closer to the lobby for easier access.

Room Rates at Disney's Yacht Club Resort
2009 Room rates begin at $335 for a standard view room and $410 for a water view room. 12.5% tax is not included in the above. Concierge rooms start in the mid-$400’s. Higher rates in price ranges are for weekends and holiday periods in non-Villa rooms (see page 29 of PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook).

Disney's Yacht Club Resort Quick Facts
Address: 1700/1800 Epcot Resort Blvd., Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Phone: 407-934-7000/8000 g Fax: 407-934-3450/3850

Photo illustrating Walt Disney World - Lodging
A view of the Yacht Club from the walkway near to the Yacht Club Marina.

Relaxing & Playing at Disney's Pop Century Resort
For Athletes: The 12’ wide lakeside path is ideal for walks and jogs. The lake does not offer a marina, but we hear that surrey bikes may be available for jaunts around the lake when the resort is done.
For Children: A quiet playground and play fountain is located within the resort (see map on page 78 of PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook for locations).
For Gamers: An arcade is located in the resort’s main building.
For Shoppers: The resort offers a large shop with Disney logo merchandise, clothing, sundries, and some snack foods.
For Swimmers: Cool off in the main pool with a wading pool, and two smaller themed pools. Classic Years’ pools are shaped like a bowling pin, a flower, and a computer; Legendary Years’ pools (not yet open) will resemble a crossword puzzle, soda bottle, and highway sign. There are no spas (hot tubs) at this resort.

Transportation at Disney's Pop Century Resort
Buses (see chart in PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook) are outside the main building of the resort. Stops are well-marked and offer benches and shelter. Bus service is prompt and efficient. Destinations other than those below can be reached by changing buses at Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Epcot (daytime) or Downtown Disney (evening). Parking is freely available, though you should study the map to find the closest lot to your room.

Tips and Notes for Disney's Pop Century Resort
The 33-acre lake between these resorts is an added perk for a value resort—the equivalent All-Star Resorts have no ponds, lakes, or rivers. The lakeside promenade and Generation Gap bridge are a total delight. Frequent park benches line the path, and “roadside” signs note landmark cultural events of each era. Note, however, that you cannot yet walk all the way around the lake.

Epcot’s IllumiNations fireworks are visible across the lake. Best views are from the ‘50s B and C buildings—try the fourth floor!

Food court patrons are treated to a dance routine performed by the resort’s cast members at breakfast and dinner! They do the Twist at 8:00 am and the Hustle at 6:00 pm. Be there or be square!

While Mom or Dad checks in, the kids can enjoy a big-screen video theater. Be sure to take in the memorabilia exhibits, too.

A children’s pop-jet fountain is tucked away in a corner between the ‘60s and ‘70s—look for a statue of Goofy and a red Corvette.

Plan to either carry your own luggage or wait a while (perhaps 45–60 minutes) for the resort’s luggage service to drop it off at your building. Arrangements to pick up luggage on your departure day should be made the night before.

Coin-operated laundries are located near each pool. Bring lots of quarters—wash loads and dry cycles are $2.00 each.

We've heard that the Legendary Years section may open its guest rooms as “family suites” similar to All-Star Music (see page 37 of PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook). Check-in time is 4:00 pm. Check-out time is 11:00 am.

Best Locations at Disney's Pop Century Resort
Rooms at Pop Century vary only by location within the resorts and floor level. For convenience, we recommend the ‘50s, ‘60s, or ‘70s (Classic Years)—they are closest to pools, food, and transportation. Our personal pick is the ‘70s (at Classic Years) as it is relatively quiet and has good views from most windows. Note that several buildings offer excellent views of Hourglass Lake, notably ‘50s B & C, ‘60s, and ‘70s A. If you seek quiet, request a room on the third or fourth floors. While the Legendary Years buildings are not yet open, when they are, we recommend the ‘10s, ‘20s, and ‘30s.

Room Rates at Disney's Pop Century Resort
2009 room rates begin at &82 for standard rooms and $97 for preferred rooms. 12.5% tax is not included in above rates. Preferred rooms are in the guest lodges closest to the main buildings (the ‘60s at Classic Years). There is a $10 per person charge for the third and fourth adult in a room, but no extra charge for children under 18. Rooms may face parking lots, pools, the lake, or courtyards. Higher rates in price ranges are for weekends and holiday periods (see page 29).

Disney's Pop Century Resort Quick Facts
Address: 1050 Century Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Phone: 407-938-4000 g Fax: 407-938-4040

A standard guest room at the Yacht Club. You can see that the room is equipped with a ceiling fan. It is spacious and incredibly quiet.

About the Author:
Jennifer and Dave Marx are the founders of PassPorter Travel Press/MediaMarx, Inc. and the authors of dozens of bestselling books. They live in Ann Arbor, Michigan and frequently travel within the U.S. and abroad.

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Updated 01/19/2009 - Article #44 

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