Disney’s Polynesian Village is located in Magic Kingdom, while the Yacht Club is located over at Epcot. Both have similarities, of course, but when you compare and contrast them, you begin to notice a few small, distinct differences.
So, in a battle between Disney’s Polynesian vs. Yacht Club, which resort comes out on top and why? Which provides the best bang for your money? Which resort provides a more immersive theming experience or has the best dining options?
Well, let’s find out now!
The Polynesian vs Yacht Club
Let’s begin by discussing the different room types for both the Polynesian and the Yacht Club.
Both of these resorts are considered to be “Deluxe Resorts” by Disney’s standards. In short, this means they are considered to be in the “best of the best” that Disney has to offer when it comes to things like amenities offered to guests. However, this also means that they are some of the most expensive Disney resorts that Disney has to offer, as well.
As a deluxe guest, you will have access to early park hours, as well as extended park hours. This is one reason why some people will only stay at a deluxe resort. On top of that, the deluxe class of resorts are beautiful and offer great amenities and theming.
If you’ve narrowed your choices down to either Disney’s Polynesian Village or Disney’s Yacht Club, chances are you have yet to decide which theme park you want to have instant access too.
This is a great mode of travel, and you will have quick access to both parks. It’s even possible to get some good exercise in and take a stroll over to Hollywood Studios. Though if you have small children, I wouldn’t recommend this.
Over at the Polynesian, you are technically in the Magic Kingdom vicinity. There are three resorts that are considered to be “Magic Kingdom Resorts”: the Polynesian, the Contemporary, and the Grand Floridian.
All of these resorts have access to the monorail, which will take you directly to Magic Kingdom, or a bit further out to Epcot.
You could then take the Skyliner from Epcot to Hollywood Studios if you had Park Hopper tickets, though that could make for a really long day. You may want to consider the bus for that area of the property.
Both of these locations are fantastic, but it really comes down to what park you want to have quick access too. And maybe you’re just not quite sure yet, if you’ve never been to Disney World.
And for that, I will give a slight nod to the Polynesian, as you have the monorail transportation system to both Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
Let’s now move onto the dining options that both of these resorts offer. Both the Yacht Club and the Polynesian have a little bit of everything, which is sure to please everyone in your party. We will start with the Yacht Club. Since this resort is connected to the Beach Club, I will also include some of those options here.
For casual dining with an American seafood bias, Ale & Compass is a great choice for breakfast or dinner. The prices are on the lower side of most upscale dining options, so this is a good restaurant that offers a lot of value for money.
Next door at the Beach Club, we have the beloved Beaches & Cream. This is a staple for many families that visit Disney World. This is your classic American diner food option, like cheeseburgers and French fries. They also offer many milkshake and sundae options—which is where the “Cream” part of the name of course comes from.
Crews Cup Lounge is also a great place to cool off with a cocktail after a long day at the parks. This laid back bar lounge also serves up quick bites to eat with their tasty drinks, too.
The Yachtsman Steakhouse is one of the best Steakhouses on Walt Disney property. Le Cellier barely—and I mean barely—beats it out by my vote, but this steakhouse is fantastic signature dining. And it’s located right at the heart of the Yacht Club Resort. This is a must try if you are staying at the resort.
Now, let’s skip over to the Polynesian.
For the casual breakfast, lunch, and even dinner option, we have Captain Cooks. Here, you will discover a South-Seas inspired spread that is extremely tasty. They have many options for even the pickiest of eaters. This is an all around great restaurant, even if you’re not in a hurry.
Next we have a guest favorite—Pineapple Lanai. Here, they serve one thing. But they serve it extremely well—Dole Whip. This Disney staple has been around for many years, of course, and no one does it better than the Pineapple Lanai. The classic flavors mixed with seasonal options, will leave your dole whip cravings satisfied!
Next is one of my personal favorite bar options on Disney property: Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. This is a mystical, volcano themed bar. The atmosphere is incredible, and you will be hard pressed to gain entrance if you don’t show up and claim a spot at opening.
The magical cocktails made here are unlike anything you can get anywhere else. This is a must do if you end up staying at the Polynesian.
And last but certainly not least, we have our signature dining option— O’hana. I feel a bit like a broken record here, but O’hana is in my itinerary for every single Disney trip I’ve taken—or will take. The price is a bit high, but the food is incredible. The options are a lot like the other restaurants here at the Polynesian, with a south seas inspired course.
Oh, and the butter noodles may be my favorite thing ever. And that bread pudding? Look, don’t get me going. You just have to try it for yourself!
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I’m going to be blunt here and hold nothing back—the Yacht Club (and Beach Club) have the best pool in my opinion—on all of Disney Property.
Stormalong Bay is a 3 acre beachside pool area is just immense and utterly fantastic. It doesn’t get a whole lot more beautiful, and relaxing, than Stormalong Bay.
On top of that, there is also a lazy river here that allows you float around this entire 3 acre region. This is where you can really chill, grab your favorite cold drink, and really let your guard down.
Though the Yacht Club may seem like the clear winner here, the Polynesian is no slouch by any means. In fact, there are two pools located on the Village property.
The first is the Lava Pool, which is famous for its towering volcano with 142 foot long waterslide. This pool is shaped similar to a beach style, with easy access and graceful angles, making it great for smaller children to enjoy the fun.
A nearby lounge is also close by to grab a quick cocktail while you catch some rays.
Now the Oasis pool is a bit more subdued and quiet. It rests in the middle of a lush garden that offers a bit of an escape from the Disney hustle and bustle. Here, you will be able to catch up on your latest novel, or just enjoy some peace and quiet. This is a great option if you are looking for a brief escape.
With all of this said, I’m still going to have to choose the pool area over at the Yacht Club by a slight margin.
Per the usual, the price points are ever changing and fluctuate a bit throughout the year. One trend I have noticed, though, is the Polynesian is going to cost you a bit more per night compared to the Yacht Club—no matter the season.
If price is one of your main concerns, the Yacht Club may be the better option here.
Yacht Club has a relatively newly designed and revamped room. Though some people complain that it reminds them of a tiny boat cabin (which is, well, probably Disney’s intention, at least to some degree) they are still spacious enough that you won’t feel packed in like clowns inside of a tiny clown car.
As for the Polynesian, well, it also has newly renovated rooms.
In earlier days, the Polynesian was themed after the beloved Disney movie Lilo & Stitch. The new revamped rooms now offer the newer Hawaiian Disney film characteristics from the film Moana. Though the theming is a bit subtle, it is noticeable. The rooms are spacious and offer all the amenities you would need during your vacation.
Since both resorts have been recently upgraded and renovated, I’m going to call this a tie. But I do prefer the Polynesian rooms, but by the absolute smallest of margins.
Conclusion: What’s the Best Disney Resort?
I hope this article has helped you navigate the similarities and differences of these two fantastic Disney Resorts.
Overall, when I have to pick between Disney’s Polynesian vs. Yacht Club, my ultimate decision is Disneys Polynesian Village.
The overall atmosphere, proximity to Magic Kingdom, and the magical O’hana has landed me here time and time again.This does’t mean the Yacht Club can’t be perfect for you and your family. It is an awesome resort in its own right, and I will definitely return there in the future.
But for now, my money is going to the Polynesian.
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