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Yacht Club Resort - Part One

The Yacht & Beach Club are two separate resorts with distinctively different motifs. Yet, it’s difficult to speak of one without mentioning the other. Much of this has to do with the fact that both hotels are housed within one large building and many of the facilities are shared between the two.

The Yacht & Beach Club resort was designed by Robert A.M. Stern of New York and was built during Michael Eisner’s tenure as CEO. The Yacht Club opened on November 5, 1990 and the Beach Club opened a couple of weeks later on November 19th. The Yacht & Beach Club are considered deluxe resorts.

A casual visitor might not notice the theming differences between the two resorts, but they are clearly evident if you take the time to look. The Yacht Club (painted gray with white trim) has a formal ambiance and was inspired by resorts that might have been found on Martha’s Vineyard during the early 20th century. The Beach Club (painted blue with white trim) is far more playful in style and was inspired by cottages found in Newport Beach. I’m embarrassed to admit, it took me several years before I noticed that the Beach Club sits on a sandy beach while the Yacht Club has a marina. Duh.

I’m going to start this article discussing the Yacht Club.


Yacht Club Logo

Yacht Club Entrance

Yacht Club Exterior


If you arrive during the morning or afternoon hours, you will be greeted by a cast member decked out in nautical attire. He looks like he just might skipper a yacht of his own. This gentleman is extremely knowledgeable about Walt Disney World and can answer many of your questions regarding restaurants and services. He can also help you find your way around the resort. Research has shown that greeters can positively influence a person’s perception of a business and Disney now uses these amiable cast members at a number of their resorts.


Yacht Club Greeter


The globe found in the center of the lobby was created by Walt Disney Imagineering and is reminiscent of those of the 19th century. If you look closely, you’ll discover fictitious names and a hidden Mickey. For more information about this globe, just ask the skipper.


Globe


The two story lobby of the Yacht Club is formal without being stuffy. As you would expect, a nautical theme is used to help tell the story. Comfortable sofas and chairs have been arranged to create a number of intimate conversation areas and fresh flowers accent many of the tables. Be sure to check out the two model ships. The detailing is exquisite. And kids should be encouraged to find the chest-of-drawers which features name plates for Mickey, Minnie, and other characters.


Yacht Lobby

Yacht Lobby

Yacht Lobby

Yacht Lobby

Model Ship

Character Chest


When entering the resort, the check-in desk is located to the right and the concierge desk is located to the left. There is also a seating area with a TV playing Disney cartoons to keep the little ones entertained while checking in.


Check-in Desk

Concierge Desk

Children's Waiting Area


The Yacht Club has 630 rooms with an average room size of 380 square feet. Most rooms feature two queen beds and a sofa/daybed that can accommodate an additional person (the room can sleep five). Some rooms have one king bed.

The nautical theme is continued in the rooms but does not overpower. The walls are covered with white wallpaper featuring a small blue design. The headboard, nightstand, and credenza are painted cream. The carpet is blue and brown and the drapes continue this color scheme.

The rooms at the Yacht Club are using a “spa” type treatment when making the beds. Instead of a bedspread, a second top sheet encases the blankets and a decorative blue throw is draped across the foot of the bed.

Please note, the room I stayed in was a corner room. This allowed for two extra windows (and a much brighter room). These extra windows are located to each side of the credenza. Most rooms only have one window/door at the far end of the sleeping area. Keep this in mind when viewing my pictures.


Standard Yacht Room

Standard Yacht Room


The credenza holds a refrigerator, four drawers, and a number of shelves. In the Club Level rooms, a DVD player can also be found on the credenza. Because this was a corner room with extra windows, the flat screen TV sits on the credenza. In most rooms, the TV is mounted on the wall.

The daybed has so many overstuffed pillows that it’s necessary to remove a few before using this piece of furniture as a sofa.


Credenza

Daybed


One feature I really like is the small shelf attached to the wall next to one of the beds. In essence, it’s an extra nightstand. This is a nice touch.


Nightstand Shelf


A desk with a pull-out computer table is ample in size and provides easy access to electrical outlets and high-speed internet connections.

Note, Disney is currently testing Wi-Fi in a number of their resorts. The Yacht & Beach are on this list. I used this Wi-Fi service and was very pleased with the ease of connection and the speed. At the moment, this connection is free. However, I have no idea what the future may hold and if charges are on the horizon.


Desk


On the desk is a very cute Mickey Mouse lamp. At one time, this lamp could be purchased at the Fittings & Fairing shop found off of the lobby. However, it is no longer for sale. (I’m glad I purchased mine when I did.)


Mickey Mouse Lamp


The balcony is decent sized – not huge, but typical for a Disney resort. Two chairs and a table provide a nice place to have a cup of coffee in the morning before you start your day.


Yacht Balcony

Yacht Balcony


In the entry/hallway are a closet and another chest of drawers. A coffee maker and cups are located atop the chest and an iron, ironing board, luggage rack, and small wall safe can be found in the closet. All in all, the Yacht Club rooms offer plenty of storage space.


Chest of Drawers

Closet


I burst out laughing when I went to throw away a bit of trash. At the bottom of all the trash receptacles is a small paper insert advertising the Yacht & Beach Club. Talk about an elegant detail.


Trash Can Insert


The bathroom is designed for efficiency. Two basins are nice for parties of four and an extra marble shelf provides plenty of counter space for toiletries. A make-up mirror is attached to the wall (Club Level only) and a hairdryer can be found either on the wall or in a cloth bag on the shelving beneath the sinks. The shower and toilet are located in a separate room. The shower/tub is plenty large enough and the control is easy to use. (Sometime shower fixtures baffle me in their complexity.) There is also a telephone next to the toilet. The room is stocked with five fluffy towels and the toilet paper is of good quality.


Sink and Vanity

Sink and Vanity

Sink and Vanity

Toilet and Shower


Here is a two minute video of a standard Yacht Club room.



The fifth floor of the resort is designated as Club Level and features 20 suites and 71 standard rooms. Access to this level requires a special room key.

If you have booked a Club Level room and are arriving by car, the cast member at the resort’s entrance will notify the appropriate personnel when you check in at the guard shack. Once your reach the porte cochere, a Club Level cast member will greet you by name and escort you to a special check-in desk located on the fifth floor. As is so often the case with Disney, it’s the small details that make things special. Even a dish of salt water taffy, an Atlantic City favorite of the 19th century, is on hand while checking in.


Yacht Club Main Entrance

Club Level Cast Member

Club Level Concierge Desks


Guests staying on the Club Level are given a yellow room/charge key/card rather than the blue card designated for the rest of the resort. To access the fifth floor, one of these room keys must be inserted into a special slot found above the elevator buttons.


Club Level Room Key


The fifth floor check-in desks offer full concierge services (7am to 10pm). If you need restaurant or show reservations, these cast members will do their utmost to see that you get what you want. If you need directions, transportation, or anything else, just stop by with your request. Chances are good these folks will be able to help you.

Also available to Club Level guests is a lounge, the Regatta Club. This comfortable area features cozy sofas, chairs, and tables, a spacious balcony, newspapers, and a television.


Club Level Lounge

Club Level Lounge

Club Level Lounge Balcony


Offered in the Regatta Club are a wide array of complimentary food and drink. A continental breakfast is offered each morning. This includes cereals, assorted breads and pastries, fruit, juices, coffee, and teas. In the afternoon, cookies and other tempting snacks are available. And in the evening, different hot and cold hors d'oeuvres, antipasto, cheese plates, and desserts are rotated throughout the week. A selection of sodas is available all day and wine, beer, and cordials are offered in the evening – all included in your room price. Service is as follows:

Coffee: 6:30am to 7am
Continental Breakfast: 7am to 10:30am
Snacks & Soft Drinks: 11:30am to 3pm
Tea Time: 3pm to 4pm
Hors d’oeuvres & Wine: 5pm to 7pm
Desserts & Cordials: 8pm to 10pm

Children under 10 should be accompanied by an adult when in the Regatta Club.


Club Level Food Counter

Free Sodas

Appitizers

Appitizers

Cordials


For the most part, the Regatta Club is a good place to “escape” and enjoy some leisurely down time. However, mornings can be quite hectic and tables difficult to secure. Many folk use the lounge to grab a quick breakfast before heading to the parks.

Club Level rooms also receive nightly turndown service with chocolates on the pillow, bathrobes, and a morning copy of USA Today.

Here is a 1½ minute video showcasing the Yacht Club fifth floor Club Level check-in desks and lounge.



That’s it for Part One of the Yacht Club. Check back tomorrow for Part Two.



The previous post in this blog was Festival of the Masters 2011 (This is NOT about Golf).

The next post in this blog is Yacht Club Resort - Part Two.

Comments (13)

Micheal Moody:

Hi Jack,

Long time reader here. We stayed Regatta Club at the Yacht Club for 8 nights in Sep 2010. I must say that I did not think that much of Yacht Club myself. It just did not feel "Disney" and the lounge was the smallest of any Disney resort that we have stayed. Flying Fish Cafe had a much better steak than Yachtsman Steakhouse. Yacht Club was okay but once was enough. Next trip it's back to Contemporary for us.

V/R, Mike Moody/Summerville, SC

Jack's Comment:

You are 100% correct. The New York steak offered at the Flying Fish is outstanding. In fact, some time ago, I ate at the Flying Fish one night and at the Yachtsman Steakhouse the next. I had the New York both times. There was no comparison. The Flying Fish steak was 10 times better.

AdamAugust:

Jack, the Yacht Club is our favorite resort and thanks to your videos I can show other folks why. We stayed at the club level in October, a splurge, and it will be awfully hard to do anything less in the future.
Looking forward to Part II.

Josh:

hey jack
great blog on the Yacht Club. it looks like a wonderful hotel to stay at and i love the nautical theme that it has. can't wait for part 2 and as always keep up the great work.

Wendy:

Hi Jack!
Loved reading about the Yacht Club. We went and stayed for Christmas as a family in 1994 and it was great to reminisce, as I haven't been back to the Yacht Club since.

I'm hopeful a review of the Beach Club will be up next...? :) We leave in 19 days for a 6-night stay there, so I'd love to read about it from you beforehand!

Rebecca:

Another great blog!

Is there an extra charge for a corner room?

Too funny about the trash can! I also have always thought a phone in the bathroom was strange. I have never had a call so important that couldn't wait until I was done with the facilities! LOL.

Jack's Answer:

Good news, there is no extra charge for a corner room -- something I'll request in the future. But keep in mind, Disney cannot guarantee a specific room, only a category.

dsnymom14:

Hi Jack,

We stayed at the Yacht Club for the first time in August. I had done online check-in and had given an arrival time of 10 a.m. We were running a little late and I was surprised to receive a call from a cast member at 10:30 a.m. informing us that our room was ready and they were looking forward to seeing us.

After obtaining our parking pass from the guard at the gate, we parked and walked to the entrance and were greeted BY NAME by the same gal in your picture! She escorted us inside and completed the check-in process. When our key did not unlock our room door, I returned to the registration desk and she profusely apologized, recut the keys and personally escorted us to our room to make certain the new keys worked.

We had made a reservation that morning for Yachtsman Steakhouse, and when we arrived for dinner we were seated at a lovely window table that seemed to have been reserved for us, since the rest of the tables in the area were full.

All of the cast members at this resort were extremely hospitable and friendly. I would expect this high level of service when staying Club Level; however, my family was staying in a standard garden-view room.

The Yacht Club was the only Deluxe Resort we had not tried before; given the room amenities, the wonderful Stormalong Bay area and our personal attention, we will be returning!

Jim :

Great blog Jack we like the Yacht club alot the pool is awesome and the proximity to epcot makes it a great place to stay. The Character breakfast buffett at the Cape May Cafe is terrific the food offerings are the best selection for everyone in the family. I finally found the hidden mickey on the globe during our last visit. Valet parking is a must as the parking lot could be quite a walk.

Andrew Carrieri:

I've heard that the Yacht Club is the least popular of the Deluxes and rooms are often offered to travel agents to increase occupency. Is this true and if so why?

Jack's Answer:

I have never heard this. That doesn't mean it's not true, just that I have never heard this. However, given a choice between the Beach, Yacht, and Boardwalk, I would choose the Yacht last. It's not that I think it's inferior in any way, but it's the furthest from Epcot, which I usually walk to. In the Yacht's favor, almost all of the rooms have decent balconies. That is NOT the case with the Beach.

Jenn:

Worth looking forward to, as usual.

The "skipper" greeter guy -- am I making stuff up, or was this the same man for a couple of decades straight before he recently retired? Possibly named Art? Arthur? Or am I inventing things again?

Jack's Comment:

Unfortunately, the only picture I have of the Skipper is slightly out of focus so I can't make out his name tag. Sorry.

Jenny Sperandeo:

Hi Jack! I love how detailed you are. It almost makes me feel like I'm actually there. But, sadly, I'm outside of cold Chicago. BRRR! This is one of 3 luxury resorts I have not stayed at. Looking forward to trying it though...

Valerie:

Jack,

This is my kids favorite because of the sandy bottom pool. I love the smell when you walk into the lobby. Lets me know that I am once again home.

My kids have been greeted by name coming off the Magical Express and given stickers. Love the Disney magic that greets you at the door. I will have to have them search for the Drawer with Mickey's name on it next time we are there.

Kait:

We did some exploring through the Beach Club during our last visit (we ended up in EPCOT during the Food and Wine Festival on the second to last Saturday--BAD IDEA--ended up walking from EPCOT to Beach Club to escape) and I'm very excited to see you've decided to cover these two resorts--I always recommend your resort blogs to friends who are indecisive on where to stay.


PS, love that you changed the Dining Plan code to MIC-1928 when you blocked it out--nice touch lol!

Stacey :

Maybe I am a little slow on this, but what is club level and what does it require to get it?

Jack's Answer:

The Club Level is located on the fifth floor of both the Yacht and Beach. Only Club Level guests can access this floor. The rooms offer extras like DVD player, bathrobes, and deluxe turndown service. Concierge service is also available on this floor so you don't have to wait in line down in the lobby. But the main feature are the lounges. As I mentioned in my blog, nice sitting rooms have been created for relaxing and enjoying an array of food and drink available all day long. Anyone can book a Club Level room if they're willing to spend the extra it required.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 21, 2011 5:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Festival of the Masters 2011 (This is NOT about Golf).

The next post in this blog is Yacht Club Resort - Part Two.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.