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Spotlight: The Yacht Club

There are a lot of factors that go into deciding which on-site hotel to stay at during your vacation: price, location, atmosphere, amenities, etc. Some people feel a certain loyalty to their hotel of choice, and will stay there for every Disney trip—others like to explore the wide range of options available. Personally, I enjoy knowing exactly which hotel I’m going to book for all my vacations, and that’s the Yacht Club.

The Yacht Club is a deluxe hotel located in the Epcot resort area next to its sister hotel, the Beach Club, and across from the Boardwalk Inn. The resort is modeled after a New England seaside beach town and features a gorgeous landmark lighthouse, as well as Stormalong Bay, an outdoor pool complete with sand and a massive shipwreck-themed water slide. The rooms are boat-themed, and there is a special floor reserved for a “Concierge Level,” which contains a lounge that serves food and a private balcony. Here are some great reasons to stay the Yacht Club:

The View

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The back of the resort looks out over a scenic lagoon with sandy beaches and a boardwalk that leads to the lighthouse. It’s incredibly picturesque, and is especially pretty at dusk. The resort holds movie screenings and other events right on the beach, and you’re always free to walk along the sand and lounge in the beach chairs. You can see Epcot’s IllumiNations right from the beach, and many of the resort’s rooms give you a view of the lagoon from your balcony.

The Rooms

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The rooms at the Yacht Club are simple but elegant, and are slightly more refined than the ones found at the Beach Club because the Yacht Club typically caters to an older crowd. All rooms are furnished with a private balcony that provides great scenery. The lobby is also very elegant, and when you arrive you are greeted by The Captain, who hangs around the resort completely in character.

The Amenities

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Stormalong Bay is an outdoor pool that connects the Beach and Yacht Clubs. It’s an enormous facility with plenty of sun, sand, and beach chairs. It’s got a great water slide for the kids, a lazy river section, and has plenty of noodles and tubes to go around. The Yacht Club is also home to Yachtsman’s Steakhouse, an upper-scale restaurant with some really quality food options.

The Location

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Perhaps the best reason to stay at the Yacht Club is its position between the parks. A short walk from the hotel will take you directly to the back of Epcot (pictured above) and right to the France Pavilion. From the park, you have boat and monorail access. If you choose to walk down to the lighthouse, there is a boat service that will take you across the way to the Boardwalk, or over to Hollywood Studios. Buses also stop by the lot to bring you to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom.

 

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Moderate Resorts

Moderate resorts located on Disney property are available for the reasonable average of $160 per night. These themed hotels are very popular among vacationers, and feature more amenities and modes of transportation than value resorts. The hotels in this category are as follows:

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort reflected in Barefoot Bay

Caribbean Beach Resort

This tropical resort is built around “Barefoot Bay,” and features everything from white-sand beaches to pirate-themed rooms in order to complete the island atmosphere. The hotel itself is located in the Epcot resort area, and is accessible by bus. Amenities include a pool with a water slide, special island-themed rooms, and a Caribbean dining experience.

 

A lake view of Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, lit up in the evening

Coronado Springs Resort

Also built around a lake, Coronado Springs resort will transport you to Spanish-colonial Mexico with rustic ranches and beachfront cabanas. The hotel is located in the Animal Kingdom resort area, and is accessible by bus. Amenities include a pool with a water slide, a Mayan grill, and a health club.

 

The lobby of The Mint, the main building at Disney's Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter

Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter

Step into the Mardi Gras atmosphere of Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter, were cobblestone streets and gas lamps take you back to the Antebellum period. This hotel is located in the Downtown Disney resort area, and is accessible by bus or boat. Amenities include a pool with a water slide, a jazz club, and horse-drawn carriage rides.

 

The Sassagoula Steamboat Company building and marina lit up in the evening

Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

Traditional Southern hospitality sets the atmosphere of Port Orleans – Riverside, where white columns and cottages take you to the Louisiana Bayou. This hotel is located in the Downtown Disney resort area, and is accessible by bus or boat. Amenities include a pool with a water slide, royalty-themed guest rooms, and and a Southern-inspired dining hall.

 

All images courtesy of disneyworld.disney.go.com. For more information on any of these hotels, please visit the official website.

 

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Value Resorts

Value Resorts located all throughout Disney property currently range from $85 – $105 per night. These resorts are preferable to those with a budget who are looking for an inexpensive way to be immersed in the Disney experience. The hotels in this category are as follows:

 

Perdita and Pongo statues overlooking Disney's All-Star Movies Resort

All-Star Movie Resort

This unique resort is dedicated to highlighting the triumph of Disney films, with special wings themed after 101 Dalmations and Toy Story, to name a few. The hotel itself is located in the Animal Kingdom resort area, and is accessible by bus. Amenities included with this resort are a Fantasia-themed pool, food court, and outdoor nighttime movie screenings.

 

Huge juke box and guitar at Disney's All-Star Music Resort

All-Star Music Resort

This lively resort is sure to please music fans of all ages, paying homage to genres including rock, jazz, and even Broadway show-tunes. The hotel is located in the Animal Kingdom resort area, and is accessible by bus. Amenities include a funky guitar-shaped pool, food court, and spacious family suites.

 

Giant helmets and lodging at Disney's All-Star Sports Resort

All-Star Sports Resort

Sports fans of all ages will appreciate the exciting atmosphere of this resort. The hotel itself is located in the Animal Kingdom resort area, and is accessible by bus. Amenities include a surfboard-themed pool, “end zone” food court, and outdoor nighttime movie screenings.

 

A Murphy-style double bed with a picture of a sleeping Nemo from the Disney•Pixar animated film 'Finding Nemo' above it and, in the background, a bedroom and a living room

Art of Animation Resort

The newest edition to Disney’s value hotels, the Art of Animation resort features wings inspired by popular movies such as Finding NemoCars, and The Little Mermaid. The hotel is located in the Wide World of Sports resort area, and is accessible by bus. Amenities include themed family suites, the biggest pool on resort property, and a casual dining venue.

 

Roger Rabbit in the 1980s-themed area of Disney's Pop Century Resort

Pop Century Resort

Experience decades of pop culture at Disney’s Pop Century resort, which features unforgettable fads of the 1950’s through the 1990’s. The hotel is located in the Wide World of Sports resort area, and is accessible by bus. Amenities include a retro pool with water jets, a dining/shopping experience, and outdoor nighttime movie screenings.

 

All images courtesy of disneyworld.disney.go.com. For more information on any of these hotels, please visit the official website.

 

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Places to Stay

Disney World offers four categories of hotels on resort property, each with a different price value and theme. These categories are: Value, Moderate, Deluxe, and Villas. Staying on-site can be more expensive than off-property alternatives, but it offers amenities that non-Disney hotels cannot provide. Choosing to stay at an on-site hotel, for example, gives you access to Extra Magic Hours, as well as MyDisneyExperience and the newly-instituted FastPass+.

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Villas

Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and Village Lake, lit up at night

 

Disney Villas are available exclusively to Disney Vacation Club members. These Villas typically include suites and kitchen facilities, and are located all throughout Disney property. For more information on the Disney Vacation Club, please visit http://disneyvacationclub.disney.go.com/.

 

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Deluxe Resorts

Deluxe resorts run anywhere from $288 to $488 per night, making them some of the most expensive hotels on Disney property. If your budget has room for these extra expenses, I highly recommend giving these resorts a try, as they are both accommodating and scenic. The hotels in this category are as follows:

Lobby lounge area with a balcony window overlooking the savanna

Animal Kingdom Lodge

This unique resort takes you into the heart of Africa, and gives you a once-in-a-lifetime view of the animals that live in the savanna. The hotel is located in the Animal Kingdom resort area, and is accessible by bus. Amenities include up-close animal encounters, vibrant African dining, and a pool with a water slide.

Palm trees, walkway and windmill over Stormalong Bay at Disney's Beach Club Resort

Beach Club Resort

This New England-inspired hotel exhibits the atmosphere of old Seaside resorts, complete with a Club Level Concierge Lounge and the famous pool, Stormalong Bay. The hotel is located in the Epcot resort area, and is accessible by bus or boat.  The resort is a short boat ride away from Hollywood Studios, and is only a walk away from World Showcase, Epcot. Amenities include a sandy beach, lazy river, several popular dining options (Cape May Cafe and Beaches & Cream), and a health club.

Disney's BoardWalk Inn lit up at night

BoardWalk Inn

Inspired by Atlantic City and Coney Island boardwalks, the BoardWalk Inn is a waterfront hotel that features classic carnival games and vibrant night life. The hotel is located in the Epcot resort area, and is accessible by bus or boat. The resort is only a short walk or boat ride away from both Hollywood Studios and World Showcase, Epcot. Amenities include a pool with a water slide, one-of-a-kind dining, and a view of the Epcot fireworks.

The monorail entering the main concourse of Disney's Contemporary Resort at sunset

Contemporary Resort

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is an iconic stop on the monorail, and is home to white-sand beaches and spectacular views. The hotel is located in the Magic Kingdom resort area, and is accessible by monorail or bus. Amenities include a pool with a water slide, a California grill, and easy access to one of the resort’s most popular parks.

The lobby of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa as seen from a second-floor landing

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

This Victorian style resort is perhaps the most exclusive on Disney property, and boasts an unmatched view of the fireworks above Cinderella Castle. The hotel is located in the Magic Kingdom resort area, and is accessible by monorail, boat, or bus. Amenities include a world-class spa and health club, impressive pool, and exquisite dining options.

Nighttime view of Disney's Polynesian Resort seen from a nearby beach

Polynesian Resort

Disney’s Polynesian Resort is a tropical paradise resting on the beaches of Seven Seas Lagoon, featuring palm trees, koi ponds, and a vibrant Hawaiian nightlife. The hotel is located in the Magic Kingdom resort area, and is accessible by monorail, boat, or bus. Amenities include a pool with a water slide, a nighttime luau, and spectacular volcano display.

Nighttime view of Silver Creek Springs pool featuring a waterslide and a hot tub

Wilderness Lodge

Inspired by the American Northwest, the Wilderness Lodge features nature trails and a murmuring creek that bring to mind classic National Park cabins. The hotel is located in the Magic Kingdom resort area, and is accessible by bus or boat. Amenities include a pool with a water slide, thematic dining option, and an incredible fireplace.

Panoramic view of the marina and watercraft rentals at Disney's Yacht Club Resort

Yacht Club Resort

Similar to its sister resort, the Yacht Club is a New England-themed lakeside hotel complete with a Club Level Concierge Lounge and access to Stormalong Bay. The hotel is located in the Epcot resort area, and is accessible by bus or boat. The resort is a short boat ride away from Hollywood Studios, and is only a walk away from World Showcase, Epcot. Amenities include a more mature atmosphere than the Beach Club, a health club, and the famous Yachtsman Steakhouse.

All images courtesy of disneyworld.disney.go.com. For more information on any of these hotels, please visit the official website.

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