My most recent trip included two first for me: my first time staying at a Deluxe Resort and my first journey into Pandora. Overall, I'm glad I tried the Yacht Club. But won't be back at this particular deluxe anytime soon. It worked out that the rest of my family wasn't visiting the parks over the weekend, so we simply hung out at the pools and boardwalk. It was a great time, but the ROI just isn't there quality wise compared to a moderate-plus like Coronado or Port Orleans. For more detailed thoughts on the trip and pictures, read on....
Yacht Club Thoughts:
Yacht Club Thoughts:
- We booked a Garden View room with my AP discount, and ended up getting a Lagoon View room. So getting the subtle upgrade was a nice start to the trip. We were at the very corner of the resort nearest Swan and Dolphin with a view of the Atlantic Dance Hall end of the Boardwalk. While the view was very nice, the hallways at Yacht are a huge pain. It rivals a Vegas casino or The Shining. You could use the outside exit door easily, but it wasn't an easy journey to/from the lobby and dining areas. Here's the view from our room:
- The room was nice, but the views I got of the rooms currently being refurbished did seem like a big improvement. While the furniture and decor is obviously a small step up from Pop, it's not something worth the investment in my opinion. Our room:
- Of course, the real winner here is Stormalong Bay. It's a great place to relax and hang out. The slide is surprisingly fun, even if it is the only real attraction here. And the lazy river can be a bit too mild at times, but it still relaxing and a nice way to spend some time.
- The Market at Ale & Compass opened on the first day of our stay. It's a fantastic addition to the resort. Nothing special from a food standpoint, but it puts a quick-service location in Yacht Club itself, as opposed to just Beach. Biggest plus is it has a Coke Freestyle machine instead of the traditional fountainhead:
- The booths are pretty nice, and includes outlets with USB charging ports:
- Saturday got a bit dark and gloomy later in the afternoon, so we headed to the room. There I found a targeted DVC invitation. It was offering a $100 gift card for completing a tour. With the pool out of commission at this point and after some quick googling of tour reviews, I called the number. Turns out the special also included 3 Fastpasses per person. They were able to find us a slot in just a few hours at Disney Springs. Being there meant there was no actual tour, and just a sales pitch with videos. So the 60-90 tour took 45 minutes. While the salesperson was definitely pushing, I wouldn't say they were aggressive. At least by timeshare standards. If you have the time and get the offer, I definitely recommend taking it for the value.
- Stupid abbreviated name aside, this meal was amazing. Definitely my new favorite place to eat on property. We ended up just ordering a bunch of apps and sides to share.
- To drink we tried the Sweet Tea, Apple Pie, and Fig and Berries Moonshine which were all delicious. For our meal we ordered the Chicken Biscuits, Deviled Eggs, Fried Green Tomatoes, and Hush Puppies. Only the Deviled Eggs were underwhelming, as it felt they lacked some real seasoning. The Chicken Biscuits (and their cheddar biscuits in general) were flawless however.
- To go with that we ordered more biscuits, mac and cheese, and cucumber salad. Again recomending everything but the latter, as it felt a little bland.
- I was very excited to give this place a try and it was....good. But certainly not near the best BBQ I've tried. Not something I'll go out of my way for, but still a worthy addition to Disney Springs. The brisket and mac and cheese were our group's favorites:
- A fine option if you're staying at Yacht and Beach, but nothing worth going out of your way for. Breakfast options were pretty typcial, but I tried the Lobster Roll at lunch. It's passable. If you do make a visit, go with the salt and vinegar fries with your meal instead of the regular.
- Probably the biggest frustration of the trip was trying to eat on the Boardwalk the night we arrived. By the time DME dropped us off and we dropped some stuff in our room, it was almost 11. But we saw ESPN Club was open until 1am so we decided to walk over. As it turns out, the kitchen closed at 11. On a Friday. I get that it's not the summer peak crowds yet, but that was ridiculous to me. The only place open and available was the walk-up window for pizza. It was bad, but it was food. Give us more options Disney.
- My group was not brave enough for the Kitchen Sink, but we still really enjoyed our meal. I loved the Frozen Sunshine Shake, and strongly recommend for any sherbet fans. And we had both the patty melt and turkey club which we quite good.
- Before our Homecomin meal we were looking for a place to hang out for a few drinks. I have been to Jock's before, so we gave the Coke bar a try. The view is pretty sweet. There's a surprising amount of variety here with different flavors, ICEEs, and adult beverages. The drinks were...interesting. We tried one of the flights. It included a Cherry Coke Ripper, Raspberry Lemonade Margarita, Beverly's Revenge, and Strawberry Mojito. As expected, everything except the Beverly was quite tasty.
- I've tried many times to get my family here, but always fail. So I took the opportunity this trip to try it myself. And I never knew how much I needed a Taco Burger in my life. Loved it.
- I'll post my full review in the Pandora Review thread, but FoP is a home run. The land is a solid double overall.
- The parks were far more crowded than I expected. It seemed to be a mix of school trips and the AP Preview crowds. But I did seem to notice far less of the foreign tour groups than usual.
- I caught Great Moments in History for the first time, too. I can't separate my Muppets love for an unbiased review, but I really had a good time with the show. Caught all of the King George Show, and part of Paul Revere. Will definitely be stopping by often to catch these. Awesome addition to the MK.
- Finally, Disney stole my heart and my money with this little guy. He is available for purchase at DHS.