Disney World

Yacht Club Resort at Disney World

Disney's Yacht Club ResortThe Yacht Club resort at Disney World in Orlando is kind of a “twofer” — it’s two resorts in one area.  Why do something like this?  Well, partly because the resort has two sides to its personality — luxury resort on one side and vacation villas on the other.

So what does that mean to you, if you’re thinking about staying here in this Florida vacation spot?  In a word — choice.

If you’re staying a short time, or there’s only one or two of you, the resort side makes more sense.

If, however, you have quite a few people in your party and you plan to stay a week or so, the vacation villa side may be perfect for you.

Let’s take a closer look at the resort and villas.

 Location, Location

Let’s start with where the complex is located on the Disney World property.  It’s snuggled up to EPCOT, and is so close that you can walk from the resort lobby to EPCOT and be there in 5 minutes.  There’s a special entrance for the people at the EPCOT area resorts, which has much shorter lines.

You can also take a water taxi to EPCOT from the resort landing.  It’s popular to walk to the resort, and then take the water taxi back after spending a long day walking around the park.  😀

The next closest Disney theme park is Hollywood Studios, which is about a 15 minute water taxi ride.  You could, of course, also take the Disney bus transportation.

(And remember, all the transportation between resorts and theme parks is free to guests.)

Eating Out

Interestingly, there are but two restaurants at the resort/villas.  The two are the Yacht Club Galley and the Yachtsman Steakhouse.

Word of warning, neither are inexpensive, but the Galley is the more moderately-priced of these two table-service restaurants.  I will say that the breakfast buffet on the Galley is worth the price, as long as you come to the table hungry!

The Steakhouse is only open for dinner.  And yes, it’s pretty pricy, even for

Disney.  I do hear that the food is great, though (didn’t try it while I was there with hubby).

Want to grab something on the go?  Try the food court for picking up a snack or quickie meal.

Other options are some of the resorts in the same general area as the Yacht Club — Boardwalk, Disney Swan and Disney Dolphin.  And please, do think about trying one of the character meals — they really are a lot of fun!!!

Both Yacht Club Resorts

Pools and Such

There is a wonderful pirate-themed waterslide  — you can’t miss it as you walk out on the back of the resort.  The waterslide drops you into a theme pool called “Stormalong Bay”.  And while you can swim in the lake, I wouldn’t really suggest it.

There’s a health club of sorts called Shipshape Health Club as well as watercraft rentals, tennis and an arcade.

What are the Rooms Like?

The rooms are nicely sized and have a small sitting area — the room we stayed in is the photo at the top of the page.  While you see a king-size bed in the photo, the rooms typically come with two doubles.  King-bed rooms are first come, first served, and you can’t reserve them ahead of time.  The rooms themselves are around 350 square feet — room to stretch out.

If you’re wanting even more options, there are also suites — the smallest being the “Junior” and the largest the “Presidential”.  There’s also a concierge floor, for those that would like a little extra service.

FYI — this resort is fairly spread out, so do expect a lot of walking.  If that’s an issue, ask if there is a room near to an elevator, to save yourself some steps.

And finally, because this does fall into the deluxe category of Disney’s resorts, do expect to pay more than the moderate or value resorts.  Hint: the prices fall substantially during the off seasons, like much of January and September.

 

Wilderness Lodge Resort at Walt Disney World

The Wilderness Lodge resort at Walt Disney World in Florida is Disney’s idea of the Pacific Northwest.  You’d think that it would be hard to pull off, this being the land of sunshine and hot weather…but somehow, Disney manages to do it!

Wilderness Loadge Resort, Walt Disney WorldThink of lots of cedar, a soaring totem pole and landscaping that gives a Pacific Coast feel.  Add to that Disney’s unerring splashes of colors, sights and sounds and you have a success on your hands.

Or at least a really nice place to stay, LOL.

Things to do at the Resort

First let’s talk about what you can do while you’re staying here.  This being a Disney Deluxe resort, you know there has to be a lot.  In fact, here’s a list to get you started:

  • Bike rentals
  • Spa and Health Club
  • Horse-drawn carriage rides
  • Fishing (catch and release)
  • Watercraft rentals
  • Video rentals
  • The Buttons & Bells Arcade
  • Jogging
  • Chip ‘n Dale’s campfire sing-along
  • The beach on Bay Lake
  • Themed pool (of course!)

Lobby at Disney's Wilderness LodgeOf course, there are the theme parks as well — they are accessible via the free Disney transportation (usually buses).

Restaurants at the Wilderness Lodge Resort

So, what about eating options here?  Like all resorts in the Deluxe category, Disney has provided one quick-food stand – Roaring Forks Snacks – and two restaurants — Whispering Canyon Cafe and Artist Point.

Whispering Canyon Cafe is the more casual of the two table-service restaurants.  It is an all-you-can-eat style, so come hungry!  And I can vouch for the food — it is very good.  And while you do get up and serve yourself the food, the wait staff brings your drinks and also provides entertainment of sorts,  Not exactly a show, but they get everyone laughing with their antics.

Artist Point is a more formal restaurant, and it’s also quieter and more intimate.  The food is to die for, but beware of the cost; this restaurant is not inexpensive.  However, you can get an appetizer or two and it may be enough – the portions were pretty big, so ordering appetizers only will save you some money.

And of course Roaring Forks gets you “food on the run”, when you don’t want to sit down for a full meal.

Rooms at the Wilderness Lodge Resort

The rooms are good-sized, at around 350 square feet — room to spread out some.  Rooms have two queen beds, a queen and bunk beds or one king bed, so there is plenty of sleeping space.   A few rooms can accommodate six people.

There are also suites available, with sleeping space for four.

Since this is a Disney Deluxe resort, the prices are higher accordingly.  However, since Disney has seasonal rates, if you book in the off season (late August through late September as well as most of January), you can stay here for a much better price.

So that’s Disney’s Wilderness Lodge in a nutshell.  It’s not too far from the Contemporary (and there is even a water taxi between the two resorts), so it’s also in the Magic Kingdom area.  It’s a great hotel for a Disney vacation!

Disney World Vacation

A Walt Disney World vacation is something that many people dream of.   Between the thrill of the theme parks, the warm weather in Orlando and the wonderful hosts (i.e., employees), it’s indeed where you can make memories that will last a lifetime.

Cinderellas Castle,  Walt Disney WorldAnd it truly is that kind of place.  I know I’ve been to attractions all around the state and indeed the country and hands-down, Walt Disney World is the best!

So what makes a Disney World vacation so special?  Let’s find out!

The Disney Magic

One of the wonderful things about a vacation here is the smiling faces of the hosts.  The hosts go out of their way to help make sure your stay is enjoyable.

And it’s all over the park!  From the checkout clerks to the folks monitoring getting in and out of rides to servers in restaurants and finally, at the hotels.  It is rare to find one that isn’t smiling and helpful.

And this does make a difference.  When you’re hot and tired from being in the parks all day, the last thing you need is a frown from a host!

Staying On Property Versus Off Property

If you plan to spend a few days in Orlando on your vacation and more than one of those days at Disney, you may want to stay at one of the Disney World resorts.  Why?  Here are a few reasons.

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

  • More convenient.  You can take (free) Disney transportation to move from hotel to parks; no need to deal with renting a car.
  • Less stressful.  When you’re tired and need a break, going back to your room for a quick dip in the pool or a nap can refresh you.  Then you’re a hop, skip and jump from going back into the parks.
  • Themed resorts.  The resorts are all themed, so the Disney magic follows you to your room!  The Polynesian resort is a great example!

You may be surprised that staying at Disney doesn’t necessarily mean it’s way more expensive than staying off the Disney property.  There are all kinds of packages that give a great break on the room and ticket prices, so staying at Disney may even end up less expensive!

 What About the Parks?

DIsney World Vacation - EPCOTThere are four theme parks at Walt Disney World in Orlando:

  • Magic Kingdom:  This is the first of the parks opened at WDW, back in 1970.  But never fear, it has gone though lots of renovations over the years to keep it up-to-date and looking great.  In fact, it now has a brand new Fantasyland!
  • EPCOT:  The Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow was the second of the Disney parks to open up.  It too has changed and upgraded over the years.   (And it’s still my favorite parks, LOL.)
  • Disney Studios:  Formerly MGM Hollywood Studios, this was the third park to open, and it will fascinate anyone who loves Hollywood movies.
  • Animal Kingdom:  This is the fourth of the main theme parks to open, and it’s the largest.  Instead of animated rides and shows, the focus of this park is more on live animals and shows!  (Although there are still plenty of rides.)

There are also two associated areas on the Disney property, but not parks per se.  They are ESPN and Downtown Disney.

Your Disney World Vacation

So, are you ready to plan your Walt Disney World vacation yet?  I hope I’ve given you some information that will get ideas flowing for you.  There are lots of resources, online and off, that can help you make your Disney dreams a reality!