A few months ago, I provided some detail on Club Level Service offered at the Disney World Deluxe Resorts. This is a special booking category that allows guests personalized service above and beyond what standard rooms offer. These special cast members are able to help from the moment you book your trip by answering questions, booking dining reservations, helping with FastPass+ reservations, and booking tours. (Small sidenote, this is the same detail that a FREE travel agent that is knowledgeable in Disney can do for you in a standard room). Once you arrive, you have access to daily food and beverages which are a little different each day and vary by resort. We had the great pleasure to stay Club Level at both Contemporary and Yacht Club earlier this month so I can personally speak to these two resorts.
In comparing the two, food offerings and hours were very similar. Club level cast members are available from 7 am – 10 pm daily. During this time, food is typically available in the lounge. While it varies by resort, you’ll find some pretty standard things at every resort:
- Coffee, tea, and water are available all day beginning at 6:30 am (or so they say – my eyelids were still pasted shut for the night before)
- Milk, some canned Coca Cola products and juice is available 24/7 the stocked refrigerators. Water is NOT stocked. You may fill a cup with water (which tastes much better than what comes from your tap. The people are right – Orlando water is kind of yucky. If you wish to have bottled water, any member of the Club Level staff is able to provide you with one or two. Contemporary had mini bottles but Yacht Club had full size Dasani Water bottles. NICE AND COLD too! We asked for one to share every time we headed out to a park. It was a nice $2.50+ tax savings each time we went out.
- Breakfast provided pastries, fresh fruit, toast and/or bagels. The pastries and muffins changed each day, but they were all equally delicious. I felt it was my duty to taste them for the sake of completeness for my clients and blog readers. Breakfast also has juice which varied by resort.
- Afternoon snacks are available at 11 or 11:30 am depending on the resort. This runs through 4 pm. Each resort has delicious homemade chips. They weren’t too salty but just enough to replace what you lost as you sweat while you were at the parks (especially during that super hot afternoon watching the parade!) Contemporary also offered various other small snacks. Gummy bears were a staple each day we were there. Yacht club offered Swedish Fish, Trail Mix, and a form of pub mix which included Wasabi Peas (I didn’t try them – my palate is not that adventurous). With lunch comes additional beverages. Yacht Club had the most amazing lemonade that crave a week later and both locations had iced tea (Yacht Club added a side of simple syrup to make sweet tea – a thoughtful idea!)
- Happy hour runs from 5-7 pm. Hot appetizers are available (usually 2 different options). Appetizers typically follow the style and theme of the resort (so Polynesian has that style of food, Beach and Yacht Club have some seafood dishes etc.). There are also some cold appetizers/salads and more at each location as well. Each location also offers beer and wine. Both locations we stayed at 4 different beers: Yingling, a Seasonal Sam Adams, Bud Light, and Heineken. There were also 3 different types of wine: 2 whites and a red. They were different at each resort. The alcoholic beverages were self service at Contemporary and served by the staff at Yacht Club.
- From 8-10 pm, the lounge serves desserts and alcoholic cordials. There is still coffee available (I enjoyed a little booze in my decaf at night with a few snacky desserts). It was a nice way to take a break before extra magic hours or wind down after a busy day at the parks!
- Club level staff heads home after food is put away after 10 pm and returns the next day at 7 am.
In comparison to the two club level experiences, there was more seating in the lounge at Contemporary. The staff at Yacht Club was much more friendly, interested in us, and helpful in answering questions. I do know a lot of things about Disney, but MagicBands are new and I did have a few questions. I also had some extra magic hour transportation questions which were quickly answered. Yacht Club staff seemed like they were always happy to see us and really enjoyed their jobs. The Contemporary staff at times seemed like we were interrupting them while asking questions.
Location wise on property both are great. Contemporary only has walking access to Magic Kingdom unless you want to ride the monorail all the way around (about 15-20 minutes). When we had tired legs, it wasn’t the most exciting thing ever! The view from the balcony of Contemporary is unlike any other with view of Cinderella’s Castle and Seven Seas Lagoon! It’s also a great place to watch Wishes with a nice short trip home with no crowds to fight. Yacht Club is within walking distance of both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. We walked to Studios one morning just to check the distance. It’s LONG! The walk to Epcot was fast. My husband actually said “oh wow, we’re here already?” If the boat is at your dock or nearing the dock when you arrive, it’s about the same travel time. If there’s no boat in view, walking will likely be faster. We walked at a leisurely pace to save some energy if that gives you a more accurate measure. The pool at Yacht Club is absolutely amazing, almost to the point where I want stay there every single time we go back to Disney. Even as 2 adults, we had a blast on the water slide and relaxing in the lazy river.
Overall, we both really enjoyed our club level stay. I would say it’s worth the money to upgrade. We saved quite a bit of money and time in both quick service and table service meals (breakfast plus coffee each morning, 2-3 bottles of water each day, a minimum of one beer each day, and snacks periodically throughout the day – especially mid-day). It was also nice to have a different place to “hang out” instead of the room.
Ready to get started planning your 2015 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free cruise opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!