Hi everyone! Welcome to the best week ever! While you’ll normally find me covering all the latest news at Walt Disney World, this week I had the amazing opportunity to visit Disney’s Vero Beach Resort as part of TouringPlans #Everywhere. This resort was one of a very few Disney locations I hadn’t visited and I was excited to check it out.
Vero Beach is a very easy drive from the Orlando International Airport. We clocked it at just shy of two hours. We could have been there a little sooner but noticed that Disney routes you around some of the less desirable parts of Vero Beach. In any case we were checked through the guard gates in just a matter of minutes and ready to start our fabulous beach weekend. Want to see more? Please click to keep reading! 🙂
After walking through the front door, the first thing you’ll see is a beautiful four story lobby. Much like a cruise ship, it gives the impression that the resort is larger than it really is. Actually, I equate a visit to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort with a cruise. Without a car you’re pretty much locked into what the resort offers and that’s standard activities, the pool, the spa, and the beach. At check-in Gail was one of the nicest cast members I’ve ever encountered! Since it isn’t as busy here she was able to take a bit of time with us and we appreciated her help very much.
Below is what the main building looks like from the outside. This gives you an idea of what you can expect from the resort. You’re right on the water and the beachy theme carries throughout the property.
Of course, that extended right into our room! This is a one bedroom suite which retails for roughly $300 a night this time of year. We were able to comfortably share this room with another couple without any trouble. The room had everything that you would expect from a DVC property, but we all remarked how uncomfortable the beds were. I was the only one without a sore back on our last day.
Unlike some other Disney resorts, the buildings are nice and spread out in Vero Beach. They aren’t so far apart that you can’t comfortably walk to get around, but the buildings don’t feel like they’re right on top of each other. Wide sidewalks navigate you all through the property. (Though, keep your eyes peeled, one night a big crab scared me to death!)
Here is another look at those wide paths through the resort. On the right of the below photo is the pool and on the left is the beach. It’s just that simple to get around the property! Hanging on the right is something that looks like a sheet, but it’s a Halloween decoration. The 9 hole miniature gold course was decorated for the holiday, but more on that later!
Hidden around the resort are tiny hints of Disney. For my money, there wasn’t enough of a Disney connection at the resort. At check-in I asked where I could meet Disney characters and was told they were only there on Thursday nights for a character dinner. What Disney resort doesn’t have ANY characters? I was very disappointed at the lost opportunity. With such a small resort Goofy could easily play with guests on the pool deck or Donald could play shuffle board. How sad that the only chance is once a week and at a charge.
But then, they do have this view! We’ll visit the beach a little later but I couldn’t resist throwing in a photo early. Look at that bright, blue sky! One tip that I wish I would have thought of was to bring a kite. I saw several people flying kites during our stay and it looked like tons of fun.
Below is a look at the pool, which was large but often crowded during the heat of the day. We found that swimming after dark was best for cutting down on sunburn and crowds. However, the slide does close before the rest of the pool so be sure to check the hours on your resort guide to avoid disappointment. Speaking of disappointment, remember that you are on the beach and can’t expect people to be in too much of a hurry. I waited after sunrise for the pool to open because I was hoping for great photos. When it didn’t open at the posted time a cast member informed me that they weren’t ready and didn’t know when the pool would open. That was par for the course on this trip, but it wasn’t a lack of service. It was just people moving on “beach time”.
For the little ones there’s a pirate ship splash zone and a small playground. There were also tons of activities for kids, you can click on the photo below right for the full Saturday schedule. There are also kids clubs offered but from what I was able to gather they sounded pricey and seasonal. While I was there I didn’t see any groups of kids out with counselors, but rather kids with their parents participating in various activities. I was instructed to call (772) 234-2116 for more information when I had specific dates and ages in mind.
Taking a look at the schedule, we decided to skip most of it as it was heavily geared towards kids. However, we were excited to try the Campfire Sing-A-Long. I’m a big fan of the one at the Wilderness Lodge Camp Ground so I thought I’d love this one too. Unfortunately, at Vero participation is mandatory so we didn’t enjoy it as much. I suppose I’d rather pay for my s’mores than sing and dance! 😉 Not to mention it was very crowded. We ended up leaving without a s’more because it wasn’t worth fighting the crowd.
Other amenities included a small game room and gym. The arcade worked on rechargeable cards like many others in the Disney universe. The gym was rather small and a bit outdated, but that seemed fitting as I only say a few people use it the entire weekend.
By the pool you can also find Bleachers, a walk up bar and quick service restaurant. The menu looked really tasty and we wanted to try it, but they were only open from 11am – 5pm when the sun was at it’s most brutal. Without any indoor seating we had to skip it. Our only purchase there was a dole whip, because who can pass on one of those in any weather?
Also near the pool, is a 9 hole miniature golf course where DVC members can play for just $2 per person. We were impressed with the course and it was what we’d expect if we were paying for on an 18 hole course. Since it was also by the DJ for the pool we got to listen to fun music and enjoy the sea breeze. Overall, it’s the best $2 I can remember spending in a while!
I added the below photo just out of tradition. I’m always hunting one of these whenever I visit a new Disney resort. It’s fun to see all the far off destinations and the direction listed. Also, take note of the orange light in front of the sign. All lights around the resort are this dim, yellow color. This is to protect hatching sea turtles that could confuse bright lights with the moon they should be swimming towards. It takes a bit of adjusting, but after a few days you’ll wish they’d use these lights everywhere. They cast such a soft, pleasant light in the evening!
Back at the check-in building there are just a few more amenities offered at the resort. Sad as this may be, we spent a lot of time in the below area. Here there are several TVs setup with Xbox games. At no cost DVC members can rent games and play in this comfy room. Since it wasn’t very busy there was also no time limit. This made for a great activity during the sunny hours.
You’ll also find a spa at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. I’m not much of a spa girl but the folks I was traveling with get frequent treatments. They confirmed that the prices were very high and decided to skip it themselves. You can find a price list here and decide if you think it’s worth it. The area did seem very nice and the staff was extremely friendly, but I was happy just grabbing some lotion to take home.
Also in the main building is a small gift shop. Here you can find a very limited convenience store type of food selection but the prices were outrageous! A twelve pack of bottled water that was just a few dollars up the road was marked $16.95 in this store. A bottled tea was $3.99 when it was less than $2 just a mile away. I think most people will be driving to reach the resort so please stop along the way and grab snacks or drinks you think you’ll want. Waiting until you reach the hotel is a pricey mistake. Of course, you can also find a limited selection of Vero Beach branded merchandise and standard Disney swag.
On the second floor of the main building you’ll find The Green Cabin Room. They have an indoor bar space that serves the standard Disney drink menu. Inside you’ll find large, comfortable chairs and an upscale decor. We had lunch here the first day and while they seemed a little short staffed, our meal was perfect and we left happy.
However, the bigger appeal of this space is the deck seating outside. The view is amazing and even in the heat it was comfortable in the sea breeze. Late one night we snuck up here for a drink and to watch the moon rise. It was too dark for photos to turn out but it was the most magical park of the trip. I highly recommend a visit to this patio!
Your other food options on property are Shutters (pictured below) on Sonya’s. While we didn’t try Sonya’s during our trip we enjoyed two meals at Shutters and they were beyond excellent. I could never include everything here but please let me know if you’d like to see a Menu Monday about Shutters and I’ll be sure to get on it soon! If nothing else, be sure to ask for Matt as your server. He was the only thing even better than the food! 🙂
Before we wrap this up I wanted to share a few photos from the beach. Look at the clear, blue water. It was an incredible couple of days at this beautiful resort. I will warn you that beach rentals go fast so be sure to check the day before if you’d like something. We didn’t realize and stopped by after brunch hoping to secure a cabana hood and were told they were fully committed for everything the entire day! My hubby was so disappointed that we decided to splurge and rent him a jet ski. When we stopped back by the beach rental folks told us they were just for show and none of them had any gas. So the moral of the story is plan ahead with beach rentals and don’t get your hopes set on anything.
But then, jet skis aren’t what we’re here for. We’re here for the ultimate, relaxing, sleepy weekend. Disney’s Vero Beach Resort delivers on that ten fold. These rocking chairs at sunrise will be my happy spot for the next several months, I’m sure.
And since we’re talking about sunrise, here’s a little video for you before the sun peeked out from underneath the clouds. There were just a handful of people spread out along the beach. I can’t believe so many sleepy people missed this sunrise!
And then, all at once, the sun appeared to start another beautiful day at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort!
That’s everything for this week! Please join us next week when we’ll be back to our regular Walt Disney World coverage. Do you have any questions about Vero Beach? Have you ever visited here? What did you think? Please let us know in the comments below and as always thank you for reading and commenting!