We had so much going on in February this year I could have sworn I already wrote this post, but here it is late April and apparently I never got around to it.
We originally had our yearly February Disney trip planned for the first week of February but we decided to go to Hawaii instead. After being home from Hawaii for a few weeks we were missing Disney a little bit so we decided on a last minute quick trip for Andrew’s March 1 birthday.
For this trip we stayed at Disney’s Yacht Club resort. We have visited this resort many times to eat, but never actually stayed there. The Yachtsman is one of our favorite restaurants as is breakfast at Cape May next door at Beach Club and Trattoria Al Forno across the boardwalk at The Boardwalk Inn. Unfortunately due to COVID the Yachtsman and Cape May are closed right now. This was a huge bummer but with our 40% off passholder room discount right now it was still worth it to check out Yacht Club. One of my personal favorite perks to all the boardwalk resorts (Yacht Club, Beach Club & Boardwalk Inn) is that they are all within walking distance to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. For us with 2 double strollers the buses are such a hassle and we would much prefer to walk! This is one of the main reasons we love to stay at the Contemporary resort so that we can walk to Magic Kingdom. The short walk to Epcot from the Boardwalk resorts also makes it extremely convenient to finish off your park days at one of the great restaurants at Epcot and have a leisurely stroll back to your room. Make sure you have park hopper tickets to do this though!
The highlight for many people staying at Yacht Club and Beach Club is their pool area, Stormalong Bay. Yacht & Beach share this pool but it is truly massive and since people staying at other resorts are not allowed in, it’s not too crowded. You will need a magic band/room key to a Yacht or Beach Club room to get in. There is a huge pirate ship slide, smaller kids slide, a shallow sand bottom pool, zero entry sandy beach area, lazy River, a large regular pool. My only real complaint with the pool area is that there’s no splash pad with slides or water features for the littlest guests, although the shallow sand bottom pool is truly only ankle/knee deep on an adult so it’s considered the kiddie pool. Also, the pool area is really huge. It’s completely fenced in but you can’t just turn your kids loose in there because you will never be able to see them especially if they want to go to the pirate slide they have to go out of the gates for that. I much prefer the smaller fenced off splash pad area at The Riviera Resort for really little kids. You can see my post and pictures of it HERE. We still enjoyed our time at Stormalong Bay though and the pool attendants were amazing! The sweetest women were serving drinks and food and the guys when you enter will find you seats, towels, and life jackets for your entire family. One of the major positives to Disney resorts is that they provide pool towels and life jackets in all sizes from the smallest of infants to the largest adults, no need to cram your suite cases full of your own!
As soon as our plane landed and we dropped our bags off at Yacht Club’s bell serves desk we headed straight to Epcot for a quick gaze around the World and then to dinner at Chef’s de France. Our food was wonderful and the kids tried escargot and loved it! I guess if you went in with an open mind and didn’t understand it was really snails you wouldn’t have any preconceived notions about it since it doesn’t actually taste bad haha!
The Yacht Club has a really great restaurant called Ale & Compass that we had never tried before. It’s a full service restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch & dinner. They have an amazing apple caramel French toast that I had pretty much every morning! You need reservations which you can make on the app but they do have a walk up wait list that you can also join from the app if there are no reservations. We added our names to the wait list one evening after leaving the pool around 4:30pm and they called our table at 5:30. It was perfect for us because we went back to our room to shower quick & put on clothes then our table was ready downstairs.
We only stayed for a few days on this trip so we had a full day for Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom & Hollywood Studios. We made it to Epcot a few nights for dinner and were able to get our favorite rides in during those times.
Briar, Baby #5, was 4 weeks old when we took him to Disney for his first trip. For this trip he was 3.5 months and he was so much more into it. He was so curious, watching everything, and taking in all the sights. He will be 9 months old when we go back and I can’t wait to see his reactions then!
The crowds are definitely back at Disney! Florida has never restricted Disney on capacity but they have self-restricted. Right now they are reported to be allowing 50% capacity which doesn’t sound like much but that’s actually what a normal pre-covid park day is like. Since there are no longer fastpasses the lines for all the rides are pretty long and because they’re spaced out 6ft apart they wrap around all over the park and really crowd the sidewalks. This is a really negative aspect to Disney right now, the congestion from the socially distanced lines. It’s extremely counterproductive too because they have the lines spaced out but they’re so long they’re out into the main walk way areas so the sidewalks are elbow to elbow congested with people passing through and people waiting in line.
I’m extremely hopeful that these minor hiccups are almost behind us and our beloved Disney will return to normal soon! In the meantime we are going to check out Universal Orlando Resort soon! Andrew & I haven’t been since we were kids because our kids haven’t been tall enough to do anything there but our oldest 3 are finally at the lowest height limit so we are going to see what it’s like so stay tuned!
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