We decided we'd try the Epcot area this time. We rejected Beach Club because we like a full balcony or patio and Luna Park at Boardwalk looked kind of creepy (although, it's not in person)...so we picked Yacht Club and booked a garden view room.
We got a few smiles when we arrived at the Yacht Club, but if was far from the warm welcome we've received at other Disney resorts. There was no line at check in, the online checkin process made things go quickly, and our room was ready...but the guy helping us at the front desk was rather abrupt. I appreciated his efficiency, but he was so robotic and lacked all levels of emotion that I had to question for a moment if I was actually checking into a Disney resort. i.e. his behavior was so far from the magical norm.
We had a ton of bags, so I made the quick walk over to bell services and the rude woman there made the cold guy at the front desk look much better. She seemed bothered to even have to talk to me. So, we followed her directions and spoke to someone outside to help us with our bags. I'd have two more run ins with this grumpy woman during our stay...and she was equally cranky every time. Thankfully, the guy helping us with our bags at least seemed pretty friendly. We also encountered a new Yacht Club greeter while we were out there who would be the only cast member we'd encounter for our entire stay there who actually grasped the concept of Disney magic.
We get to our room...which was on the other end of the planet...pretty much at the Swan...but at least it's nice. We're on the very end...have two windows on the length of the room and a nice patio facing a quiet pool. We could even see a little bit of the water feeding in on the side of the hotel from those side windows. While my younger child wound up having allergic reactions to something in the room, as a whole- the room was clean, spacious, had a nice view, and quite comfortable and quiet.
The majority of the hotel was pretty well maintained...they were even painting the baseboards in the halls while we were there (the contractors were actually some of the most pleasant people at the hotel!). The only real complaint was an odd number of large bleach marks in the common area carpeting. It was very odd. Housekeeping was also odd. Our housekeeper was nice (and did a great job with our room), but I'd usually wish the other housekeepers "good morning" in passing and I got these looks like I had 3 heads, and sometimes a stiff forced good morning in reply.
Yacht Club is so close to Beach Club that you have a lot of restaurants that are a pretty quick walk from your room. Swan, Dolphin, and Boardwalk are also fairly close if you want to dine at any of those. In fact, if you have tickets or passes, it's super easy to get to Epcot or Hollywood Studios for a bite to eat from here too. The only real complaint food wise is the pathetic lack of real quick service in the area. All of the other deluxe Disney hotels we've stayed at or frequented have a decent quick service. Ale & Compass is a joke...what a waste of space. I know Beach Club Marketplace is an option, but it still is a pretty sad excuse for quick service when you look at Captain Cook's, Roaring Fork, and Contempo Cafe to name a few. It also makes refillable mugs less of an incentive. On top of that, I think the Ale & Compass employees who do handle refilling mugs in the AM took some crabby lessons from the woman at bell services, because they were also all out of sorts when we went there. Maybe it wouldn't seem as bad if Hurricane Hanna's had been open.
It was a bit too chilly for us to do pool time, but Stormalong Bay looks very cool. Of course, my kids were more into Luna Park when we walked over to Boardwalk, but I think if they were a few years older...they would have been all over the pool...regardless of temps.
One of the real bright spots at Yacht Club...BUS SERVICE! I was concerned because we had several early mornings at the Magic Kingdom. I don't think we ever waited more than 3 minutes for a bus...at any time of day. It was a HUGE relief!
While it's there for transportation purposes, we really liked having the boat service...just to take up some time on our relaxation days. Just a very nice way to spend some of your down time.
We have decided after this stay that we prefer to stay in a Magic Kingdom area resort. That is not Yacht Club's fault...its shortcomings just made it easier for us to see this. Still- if I were talking to friends about where to stay...I'd never recommend Yacht Club. It had its positives and maybe I'd be less critical if it weren't a Disney resort, but anyone who stays onsite knows you pay a premium for the 24/7 magic. The Yacht Club was far from magical, and since I feel ripped off by this lack of magic, it will never see our business again.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.