Disney Resorts

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!

Polynesian Disney World Resort

Polynesian Disney World Resortotel-02The Polynesian Disney World resort is one of the icons of Walt Disney World in Orlando.  It’s one of the first of the Disney resorts, and it’s still one of the most wonderful.

It’s also been renovated in the recent past, so it feels like it’s one of the newer resorts.  And it’s not only the rooms, but also the lobby areas received the face lifts.  Also, this is one of the Disney World deluxe resorts.

Polynesian Hotel Lobby

Let’s take a look at the Polynesian.

Location, Location, Location!

One thing about this Walt Disney World resort is the location.  It’s near the Magic Kingdom, and it’s on the monorail line.  And that means it’s not only a breeze to get to the Magic Kingdom, but also to EPCOT and two other resorts — Grand Floridian and the Contemporary.  You can also take a water taxi to (once again) the Magic Kingdom, with a stop at the Grand Floridian.

What about the other parks and hotels?  Not to worry — a free bus service is available that runs between the Polynesian and the rest of Disney World.

What are the Rooms Like?

Polynesian Resort RoomThe rooms are definitely spacious, as well as comfortable.  Most rooms come with two double beds, but like other resorts around Disney, there are a few rooms with a king-size bed.   (Note:  you can’t reserve a king bed room, but you can ask if there is one available when you check in.)

At the Polynesian Disney World resort, there are several buildings that house the rooms, as opposed to a single building.  But what fun — the buildings look from the outside like South Seas tikis!   This does mean that you have a bit of a walk between the lobby area (where the monorail is located) and the tiki buildings.  As a result, there are lots of covered walkways.

Although the furnishings have a South Seas look and feel, you still have modern amenities, like big screen TVs, hairdryers and the like.

Around the Polynesian Disney World Resort

Polynesian Resort Beach AreaAlong with the covered walkways between the buildings, there are other un-covered walkways that allow you to explore the grounds, with its tropical landscaping.

There’s a small beach at the Polynesian, as well as a very interesting theme pool, with a slide that looks like a volcano!

Out by the beach is the dock where you can catch the water taxi that goes to the Magic Kingdom.  But here’s a hint — you can also watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the dock, and it’s a nice view!

There is a show that is put on at the resort called the Spirit of Aloha.  It is reservation only, so if you’re interested in seeing it, either make the reservations at the time you book your room, or make a reservation when you check in.  The show is a lot of fun!

And for the little ones (and not so little ones as well), in the main lobby there is a character breakfast each morning with Lilo and Stitch.  While you might be able to walk up and get a seat, don’t count on it — better to make reservations ahead of time.

I did mention that this was one of the Disney deluxe resorts — one that has the most amenities, and also falls into the highest average rates.  However, if you can find better rates off-season, so if you have your heart set on the Polynesian Disney World resort, then why not treat yourself?  After all, it’s the Walt Disney World magic at its best!