Review: Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts

Nestled on the shores of Crescent Lake adjacent to Epcot, one will find Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts. Over the years we have spent a fair amount of time at the Beach Club - our wedding reception was held there - and have come to know both of these hotels well. While it is easy to consider them as one giant resort, the Yacht and Beach Club are truly separate hotels, each with their own qualities and appeal.

Disney Yacht & Beach Club
The "Beach" with the Yacht Club in the distance

We paid a visit to the Yacht and Beach Club earlier this month, and I've decided to take a slightly different approach with this review, by comparing the rooms, restaurants, amenities and atmosphere of both. My aim is to help the struggling planner decide between these two hotels, without having to resort to a flip of the coin or Rock, Paper, Scissors.
Disney Yacht & Beach Club
The Beach Club

Rooms - Edge: Beach Club 

I will admit right off that it has been some time since I've stayed at the Yacht Club, so for me to pick the Beach Club might be a bit slanted. The standard rooms at both hotels are fairly similar, however I prefer the Beach Club's accommodations because of the availability of Villas. My philosophy when it comes to hotel rooms is simple: the bigger the better, which makes the one and two bedroom villas at the Beach Club an obvious favorite. We loved our experience in a two-bedroom villa at Beach Club, and for the first time in my life we actually cooked something while on vacation. OK, so it was frozen pizza, but it still counts. If space is what you need then the Beach Club Villas will certainly fit the bill, with the nagging side effect of adding many more zeros to your actual bill.
Disney Yacht & Beach Club
If you like oak, you'll love the Yacht Club

Restaurants - Edge: Yacht Club

In many ways, the dining options at the Yacht and Beach club are similar, yet there is an important factor that sets one clearly apart. Both resorts feature a quality casual dining option, with the Captain's Grille at Yacht Club, and the Cape May Cafe at Beach Club. Each resort also lays claim to my personal favorite, Beaches and old style soda fountain with burgers that usually make me a little weak in the knees. What sets the Yacht Club a notch ahead, however, is their signature restaurant: Yachtsman Steakhouse. In the past, I was not really a fan of Yachtsman, however we had an outstanding experience there recently which in my opinion has put the dining category firmly in the Yacht Club's favor.

Disney Yacht & Beach Club
If you only eat one place at Disney, please make it here.

Amenities - Edge: Tie

I call this one a tie because the two resorts essentially share all of their amenities, however there is one in particular that must be highlighted....the Yacht and Beach Club's iconic pool area known as Storm-a-long Bay.
Disney Yacht & Beach Club
A small portion of Storm-a-Long Bay
I have been to some awesome resort pools in my day, however Storm-a-long Bay has long been one of my favorites. The pool features a sand bottom, a giant whirlpool, and the best slide I've encountered outside of a water park. Not that I would know, cause I'm clearly too old for water slides...
Disney Yacht & Beach Club
The Beach Club Lobby

Atmosphere - Edge: Beach Club

When it comes to the atmosphere of these two resorts, for me the choice is easy. The Beach Club is much brighter and inviting, with a more casual and bustling atmosphere. The decor of the Yacht Club, on the other hand, feels more like a country club or your grandfather's home library. Between the two I prefer the atmosphere at the Beach Club, although I wouldn't mind having a home library one day.
Disney Yacht & Beach Club
Yacht Club Lobby
The story goes that during the unveiling of the Swan and Dolphin hotels, their architect referred to the Yacht and Beach Club as the "servants quarters" for his neighboring monstrosities. What the Yacht and Beach Club may lack in imposing stature, they more than make up for in their theme, and overall comfortable atmosphere. If you happened to be keeping score, the Beach Club held a slight edge in my comparison, but both resorts are fantastic in their own right, and I know I'll be back to both soon.

Oh, and you're never too old for water slides....

Have you stayed at the Yacht or Beach Club? Do you have a favorite? 

~Insert Dude-like Closing Here~