Today in Disney History, 1990: Disney’s Yacht Club Resort Opens Its Doors

by | Nov 5, 2023 | Disney History, Walt Disney World Resorts, WDW Blog

We’re taking a closer look at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, which opened at Walt Disney World Resort back in 1990.

On November 5, 1990, one of Disney World’s most beloved resorts opened its doors: Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. This hotel, which is located in the EPCOT area, boasts a New England nautical theme – and offers some of the best dining and amenities that Disney World has to offer. 

Yacht Club is usually mentioned together with its sister hotel: Disney’s Beach Club Resort. While the two resorts are located right next to each other and share several amenities, Beach Club actually opened two weeks later.

In the decades since it first opened, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort has become a highly-rated resort. Below, we’re taking a look at what you’ll find at this Disney World hotel – and why it’s so beloved by Guests.

Location, Location, Location

The Yacht Club Resort is located right by my personal favorite spot at Disney World outside of the theme parks, which is The Boardwalk. I love this area for several reasons:

  • Variety of dining and entertainment options
  • Access to the Skyliner (my favorite mode of Disney transportation) and FriendShip boats
  • Walking distance to EPCOT (my favorite park!) and Hollywood Studios
  • Views of Crescent Lake

By staying at Yacht Club, you’ll be able to take advantage of all The Boardwalk area has to offer. Most notably, this resort is just a short 10-minute walk from the International Gateway entrance to EPCOT. This helps hotel Guests avoid waiting in lines for a bus or getting stuck in a crowd at the main front entrance of the park.

But this resort’s prime location comes with a cost, which brings me to my next point:

Deluxe Features at a Deluxe Price

The Yacht Club is a Deluxe resort, which is the most expensive category of hotels at Disney World. Deluxe resorts not only offer convenient locations, but also better pools, multiple table-service dining options, and other perks. All of this, of course, comes at a price. 

It’s important to note that while Yacht Club is a Deluxe resort, it does not offer Disney Vacation Club (DVC) options. If you’re a DVC member or renting points for your stay, the adjoining Beach Club does have DVC villas available. 

The Yacht Club Resort Features Classic, Refined Theming

Yacht Club interior theming

Photo by CJ Ayd

The theming of the Yacht Club, as you may have guessed by the name, is reminiscent of seaside designs you’d see in the Northeastern United States. It has a much more sophisticated and elegant vibe compared to its counterpart, the Beach Club, but not quite as much as what you’d see at the Grand Floridian.

While the theming may not be particularly appealing for kids, Yacht Club is actually one of the best family-friendly resort options at Disney World. Arguably the biggest reason for that is the pool.

Is Yacht Club Home to the Best Pool in All of Disney World?!

Yacht Club and Beach Club share what many would rank as the best pool across all Disney World resorts: Stormalong Bay. Why can this pool claim the title of being the greatest? Well, there are four “S” reasons why:

  • Size: A pool area that serves two resorts needs to be big enough to handle all the guests, and Stormalong Bay doesn’t disappoint with three acres of water fun for the whole family.
  • Sand: To mimic the seaside, there’s an actual sandy beach perfect for young ones to play in. But get this: The pool also has a sand floor, making it a truly unique swimming experience at Disney World.
  • Ship: What makes Stormalong Bay even more impressive is the life-size shipwreck replica that serves as the icon of this pool. 
  • Slides: Of course, you can’t claim the title of best Disney pool without having some waterslides! The ship is where you can access one of the tallest water slides at Disney World that takes you on a 230 foot journey down to the pool. There’s also a junior slide for the younger swimmers, plus a lazy river with tubes for those that want something even more chill.

While the biggest single pool award goes to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort’s Big Blue Pool, Stormalong Bay’s network of pools contain a whopping 795,000 gallons of water. There are also three hot tubs available.

If you want to go for a swim but are hoping to avoid the crowds, there are also three smaller pools available located throughout the Yacht and Beach Club complex. In short, if your family loves aquatic fun, a stay here may be worth the cost.

Stormalong Bay at Disney's Yacht Club Resort

Photo by CJ Ayd

Find Standout Dining at the Yacht Club

Lastly, like other Deluxe resorts, the Yacht Club has some fantastic table-service restaurants on site. These include:

  • Ale & Compass: A restaurant that features classic New England dishes and seafood fare
  • Yachtsman Steakhouse: A dining spot that serves premium steaks and seafood entrees

One notable restaurant on the Beach Club side is the fan favorite Beaches & Cream Soda Shop. While you can get delicious burgers at this retro-styled eatery, the real star is the ice cream, especially the 8-scoop Kitchen Sink sundae!

Let’s Set Sail for the Yacht Club!

A final tip I’ll leave that’s specifically geared towards fellow parents of infants or young toddlers is Yacht and Beach Club is a perfect quiet spot for your child to nap during a day at EPCOT. Just head out the International Gateway exit and walk over to the hotel. There are some quiet hallways and public areas that may be suitable for naptime.

The Yacht Club is a pricey place to stay, but it’s on many people’s bucket lists for several good reasons. Learn more about staying at this resort below:

PROS AND CONS: Disney’s Yacht Club

How to Choose Between Disney’s Yacht Club and Beach Club Resorts

Posts by David Lee

epcot-clothing_creations-shop_chiu
David is a corporate operations leader by day and a travel writer by night. He is a lifelong Disney fan and a self-proclaimed Dole Whip enthusiast. There's a good chance you'll find him planning the next trip to take his family on, whether it's to Disney World, a National Park, or some remote island halfway across the world. You can follow his other passion (Disney World and travel photography) on Instagram at @smallworlddavid.
epcot-clothing_creations-shop_chiu

Authored by
David Lee

David is a corporate operations leader by day and a travel writer by night. He is a lifelong Disney fan and a self-proclaimed Dole Whip enthusiast. There's a good chance you'll find him planning the next trip to take his family on, whether it's to Disney World, a National Park, or some remote island halfway across the world. You can follow his other passion (Disney World and travel photography) on Instagram at @smallworlddavid.
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