WDW Resort Options: A Review of The Yacht Club and the Polynesian

When you visit Walt Disney World, you have TONS of options of where to stay – price point, theme, room type/layout, amenities – they pretty much have something for everyone!  On our latest trip, we tried out a resort in the Epcot Area – Disney’s Yacht Club Resort – and one in the Magic Kingdom Area, the Polynesian – which is one of the original Walt Disney World Resort properties!

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The Poly (left) and Yacht Club (right) are both great Resorts!

We were very excited to stay at the Yacht Club because of its outstanding location.  As native Disneylanders, we spend the least amount of time in WDW at Magic Kingdom, with most of our time focused on Epcot and Animal Kingdom.  We are also used to being able to walk to the parks in Anaheim, and so it was awesome to be able to easily walk into Epcot’s World Showcase (literally right next door!)  and then just a short mile walk over to Hollywood Studios.  I should note that boat transportation is also available and very convenient if walking is not possible due to heat or inclement weather or personal preference  🙂  The Boardwalk area with restaurants and shopping and entertainment  is also right nearby, along with miniature golf a short distance away. For convenience, Yacht Club (and Beach Club, it’s adjacent Resort)  is top notch!


The other best part of the Yacht Club (and Beach) is the fantastic pool.  It sports a huge waterslide that requires a walk across the path to ride, and is a 150 foot drop through tubing and then under a waterfall into the awesome pool at the bottom. A kiddie slide is also convenient near the main slide.  The pool itself sports an awesome lazy river, whirlpool, and sand/beach zone which is awesome for the kiddos.  We had lots of fun on the slide and taking a swim, but can’t wait to bring our kiddos here for a longer stay.  Perhaps the best yet is the convenient Beaches and Cream right by the pool onsite, where the sundaes are enormous and food is delicious for a swim break!


The smaller and quieter pool at Yacht Club, our room view 

The rooms at Yacht Club were recently refurbished, and are very nice.  They feature hardwood floors, and raised beds that make suitcase storage easy.  They can sleep up to 5 people with two queen beds and a pull out day bed.  There is plenty of closet storage, along with a wet bar and Keurig coffee maker.  Balconies/patios are available as well, and some of the rooms have awesome views! Ours looked onto one of the smaller pools which was quite tranquil.  The main and really only downside to our stay was the noise.  Our room like many was connecting, and the neighbors’ TV played all night long and carried easily into our room, as the beds are fairly close to the door. The hardwood floors make for a cleaner experience and more open look, but definitely carry sound more than in the old style carpeted hotels.  I would probably recommend requesting a room that was not connecting, or if it were making sure it were to a family member to avoid unwanted noise.  This is especially true given that Yacht Club is one of the few pet friendly hotels on property, and if we had a barking dog next-door, it would have been pretty loud.  On the flip side, we heard nothing above us or in the hallways, so all in all this was a great place to stay!


Two Queens, raised allowing for storage underneath 


Convertible Day Bed for 5th Family Member


Wet bar with Keurig Coffee Maker 

For the rest of our time, we moved over to the Polynesian. We selected this Resort as huge Hawaiian fans for its beautiful tropical theming, and its convenient location to the Ticket and Transportation Center, which allows easy monorail access to Epcot. It is also just a short ride away from the Magic Kingdom, and the Contemporary Resort, where my conference was taking place. It allowed me easy convention center access, while my husband could hop into the parks in the morning and work in the afternoons. We ended up in a Deluxe Studio Villa out in the Pago Pago longhouse, which was ideal for access to the Ticket and Transportation center in very easy walking distance. It was also very quiet, and we really did feel like we were in Hawaii sometimes with the humidity and lush landscaping. It was extremely quiet!


Our Standard/Garden View from Pago Pago was very tranquil

These rooms are also recently refurbished, and are gorgeous. They also feature hardwood floors, and the villas feature one queen bed, a sleeper pull out sofa, and a Murphy bed.  You could easily sleep a family of 5 here. They also feature a kitchenette, with a mini fridge, microwave, sink and coffee maker.  The most interesting element is the dual bathroom – there is a full bath with toilet, sink, bath and shower, and then a second bathroom with a vanity sink and awesome shower.  This bathroom caught me by surprise when I was exploring the room as I’d heard of it, but had forgotten and stumbled upon it sliding open doors thinking it was a closet! 🙂 It is a rainfall shower from the top, and with the blue tiling makes for a very fun and tropical feel.  Having two sinks is definitely handy in the mornings as well!


This is actually a hidden Murphy bed! 


Pull Out Sofa Bed 


Looking out towards hall – closet on left, bathrooms on right

We really loved our stay here.  The staff was impeccable, and the little Polynesian + Disney touches around the room were super cool. We really loved the artwork. While these rooms also had the hardwood floors, in this case the connection door to the room next door was closer to the main hallway, while the beds and living area were all set back away from any adjacent noise.  We also found it way more convenient than we anticipated. The monorail transport was very easy, and the only time we needed a bus was to Animal Kingdom, which ended up being great as well.  To transfer between the Resorts and when we needed to be somewhere, we did use Uber, which was also very easy to use and reasonably priced for stress free travel.  The staff was phenomenal – everyone was friendly, greeted us, and went above and beyond to accomodate us during our stay.  The pool and spa were great, including the fun volcano slide down through a tube into the main pool area. They also have a great water play area and splashpad for the kiddos, along with hot tubs.  My husband got to watch the fireworks one night, as the pool and lawn area features a full view of the Magic Kingdom Castle and pipes in the music!  Super cool!    The Poly also has some great restaurants onsite, including Ohana – home of the Lilo and Stitch character breakfast and a great family style dinner with kids games and activities, which we reviewed after our November stay on the blog here –  and the Kona Cafe. It also features Trader Sams, a great tiki and appetizer bar,  which we love to visit at the Disneyland Hotel in California, but also enjoy hitting up during or Orlando stays!   Ferry transportation, a marina with private boat tours and fireworks excursions, and lots of extra curricular activities are all extra benefits of staying at the Poly.  Overall, it’s probably our favorite Resort we’ve stayed at so far – both when I visited back in 1994, and recently!


Really love the artwork! 


Love this little guy! Along with the Hidden Mickey coasters 😉 


Love the Tiki Lamp! 

Both Resorts had their own pros and cons, but I would recommend both for a great stay at Walt Disney World! 🙂

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