We chose to stay at the Yacht Club as the five-story, 630-room resort, is conveniently located along Crescent Lake across from Disney’s hotel and the restaurant-packed Boardwalk. It is close to the two theme parks we love the most; Epcot is within walking distance and Hollywood Studios a short boat ride away.
Completed in 1990, the Hotel design is a salute to the ‘old money’New England hotels of the late 1800s. The nautical influence is evident everywhere with wooden floors, brass accents, and even a giant globe in the two stories elegant lobby. Enjoy the adventure by looking for fictitious locations and a hidden Mickey where you least expect it.
Our excitement started building up at the airport when we got on the free Disney shuttle that drove us to the hotel. We were entertained with Disney movie clips and information about the park en route.
A cast member in costume played the role of the ‘Yacht Captain’ and he greeted us in ‘uniform’ at the entrance, guiding us to the reception area to check-in and get our magic bands. Our son thoroughly enjoyed checking out the ship models and the chest of drawers with some of the Disney character names displayed in the lobby area.
Per our initial request, we were put in a feather-free room facing the gardens, which was perfect for our noise sensitive son with autism. Our room on the fourth floor was quite large with queen-size beds, a small desk and chair, flat screen TV and small lounge chair. The décor follows the hotel’s nautical theme and boasts striped wallpaper, white wooden furniture, and blue, brown soft carpeting.
The storage space is a closet and chest of drawers, so it was more than adequate for a family, and we were glad to find a cooler to store snacks and cold drinks in for our son.
Between the air conditioning system, room fan and balcony, temperature control in the room was outstanding. We all enjoyed the resort’s free, fast and reliable WiFi on our multiple devices.
We also liked the bathroom layout with the double sink vanity set apart from the marble shower tub combo. It made it easier to get ready in the morning. There were toiletries and an amenity kit provided.
Our son spent a good half hour searching the room for all the hidden Mickeys which he found on the shower curtain, carpet pattern, bed coverlet, chair carvings, desk lamp and, of course, the nightly towel animals.
We tried the hotel’s casual dining venue, Captain’s Grille, both for breakfast and dinner, but were somewhat disappointed by the uninspired menu. It reminded us more of a Magic Kingdom cafeteria than a restaurant in an upscale resort.
Our experience at Yachtsman Steakhouse was entirely different. We sampled their dishes, and their service was first-rate. Also, we were grateful the maître d’ allowed our son with autism to stray from their strict dress code and wear his favorite t-shirt and shorts.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to enjoy the hotel’s mini water park complete with sandy beaches and a shipwreck water slide since it poured continuously during our entire two-day stay.
We also opted to rest, thereby missing out on the hotel’s multiple activities that included ceramic classes, treasure hunt cruises, fishing tours, nightly movies by the pool and campfire sing-along. We were simply too exhausted from walking around the park.
We did, however, find a favorite spot in the resort; a place we went back to several times. The Lafferty Arcade area with the old fashioned cream soda shop serving out of the irresistible Mickey’s kitchen sink, complete with rocking chairs our son loved to relax in.
Autism Travel Tips
- Like all Disney properties this resort caters to families and excels in accommodating special needs guests.
- Ask for a room facing the gardens that is closer to the central areas of the hotel. As the resort is a sprawling complex, it is time-consuming to walk from one side to the other.
- Pack a bath mat and nightlight since the hotel doesn’t provide one.
Disclaimer-A discounted media rate was provided for my stay .Opinions in the post reflect my personal and honest opinions.