Wednesday, October 26, 2016

{Disney} Contemporary vs. Yacht Club

Because our most recent Disney vacation included a split stay, I've been asked which resort we liked better.  I know some guests are very much into the theming and that sways their opinion but for me, theming didn't really come into play.  You can't go wrong with either resort but as a whole, my family preferred the Contemporary.  Before going into a more detail discussion, here are some reasons why we enjoyed both resorts:

Pros to staying at the Contemporary:
  1. Located within walking distance of Magic Kingdom
  2. Felt more like a normal-sized hotel, travel time from room to elevator, pool, restaurants was short
  3. Both table and quick service restaurants, including character meals
  4. Extremely helpful and pleasant cast members
  5. Decent pool area with water slide

Pros to staying at the Yacht Club:
  1. Direct access to two parks - Epcot and Hollywood Studios  
  2. Large pool area with a variety of depths and a water slide
  3. Both table and quick service meals, including character meals
  4. Beaches & Cream - ICE CREAM every night
  5. Viewing of fireworks at Epcot or Hollywood Studios from resort areas



Magic Kingdom is our favorite park which definitely played a role in us choosing the Contemporary over the Yacht Club.  We used the pool at the Contemporary every day of our stay and it was never crowded.  The girls were happy with its size and with the water slide.  Yes, the water slide at the Yacht/Beach Club is longer and slightly more thrilling but there was also a line to use it.  The line for the water slide at the Contemporary was minimal or nonexistent.  In my opinion, guests stay at the Yacht or Beach Club intending to use the pool complex, which makes it more crowded.

The rooms at both resorts were comparable.  Not with theming but in size and whatnot.  I didn't feel that one was superior over the other but I did prefer the rooms at the Contemporary.  Perhaps that was due in part to the balcony and the view and the lack of noise from elsewhere in the resort.  I should note that when we were sleeping at the Contemporary, we were not bothered by noise from outside the room but I have heard other guests complain of noise from the monorail and the restaurants.  It all depends on where your room is located.  I could hear the ding ding from the monorail downstairs after I woke up but it didn't interrupt my sleep and you all know I'm a light sleeper.



Contemporary balcony

The Yacht Club is different story.  The first night there we had connecting rooms behind the elevator bank.  This seemed like a great location at first because it didn't take ten minutes to walk to our rooms.  For some reason, there was only one elevator out of the four running and it happened to be the one directly across from our room.  I listened to that elevator moving all night long.  We could also hear every single person as they left the elevator bank.  I shoved a pile of pool towels in the crack under the door but it was still a noisy night.  The next day, Rich requested different rooms and we were moved, but our rooms were not connected and they were at the other end of the resort so we had that dreaded ten minute walk.  That's my one big complaint of the Yacht and Beach Clubs - the resorts are ginormous.  It can take fifteen minutes to walk from your room to the pool.  Also, this is definitely a personal opinion but we felt like the cast members at the Contemporary went above and beyond while those at the Yacht Club were simply going through the motions.    

Yacht Club

Yacht Club

Yacht Club

Yacht Club

So while our experience at the Contemporary may have influenced our preference for this resort over the Yacht Club, both resorts have very different vibes.  The Contemporary has more of a city feel and that may or may not appeal to you.  The Beach and Yacht Clubs, which are more photogenic, are excellent resorts but their size and the time it takes to travel from your room to the common areas can be ridiculous.  I know this is true of other Disney resorts but from of our stays at Disney, we've felt it the most at the Beach and Yacht Clubs.

See?  More photogenic.


Where would we stay next?  I'd like to try out Wilderness Lodge.


Cynthia said...

I vote for your next stay to be at Wilderness Lodge so we can see the pictures afterwards ;) We stay at Shades of Green because the price/location just can't be beat (my dad was low ranking when he was retired because of an injury, so we pay the lowest rate. $109/night is the current rate, and we got a deal for our upcoming stay so it's only about $90/night including breakfast..can't really argue with that, especially when it's an easy walk to the Poly), but I would love to stay on the monorail loop or WL!

Englishrose said...

We usually stay at Shades of Green, too but the first time we went to DW with a 5 month old and 2 yo, on quick leave before my husbands deployment, we got lucky and were able to get ( same day) 3 nights at Wilderness Lodge. We loved it!

BreezieGirl said...

Oh wow - Yacht Club really is photogenic! It's so so pretty! I've only ever stayed at POP Century so it's so fun for me to see your reviews.

adrian faulkner said...

For our next trip to WDW we will be staying at the wilderness lodge, but this year we stayed at the port Orleans riverside which for a moderate resort was just beautiful, hopefully the wilderness lodge will be as good if not better, great review thanks....

Melanie said...

As far as theming, the Wilderness Lodge is my absolute favorite resort. The two drawbacks are that it is not walking distance to any parks and the rooms are smaller than the other deluxe resorts (except Animal Kingdom). We are EPCOT freaks so we usually stay at The Beach Club because of its proximity.

I was really curious to hear your take on The Contemporary because we had a bad experience there about 4 years ago. Sounds like they have made progress!

Shari said...

I've been lurking here for a long time but don't remember if you've stayed at the Boardwalk? It is our absolute favorite because of proximity to parks, theming, and evening entertainment. Our kiddos LOVE the magicians.