Disney’s Vero Beach Resort is an excellent destination for those seeking what I call ‘The Disney Experience’ in a more relaxed setting. Located two hours southeast from Walt Disney World Resort, it’s a worthwhile stay for those desiring a leisurely beach vacation. Many people opt to stay here either before or after a vacation at the Parks or a cruise out of Port Canaveral, but it’s also wonderful as a primary destination.
I’m fortunate to live in South Florida, making Vero Beach just a two-hour trip north on I-95. Two years ago, my family and I decided to spend a couple of nights at the resort over the Thanksgiving holiday. We loved it so much that we returned for the same days the following year. We are not Disney Vacation Club (DVC) owners, but we were able to book a room reservation.
DIStracted Tip-If you are thinking about a future Thanksgiving stay, I recommend booking no later than Summer to secure yourself a reservation.
Like other DVC properties, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort offers studios, 1, and 2 bedroom villas with garden and ocean views. If you’ve stayed at Disney’s Old Key West Resort, you’ll find the villas have a similar layout.
For our first visit, we stayed in a studio villa which was furnished with a queen bed and pull-out sofa. While the room was lovely, I feel it would benefit with an update. Fortunately, full room renovations are scheduled for 2016.
During our recent visit, we were upgraded to a room in The Inn which is the resort’s main building. The Inn houses the lobby, restaurants, gift shop, and spa. Rooms in this building have a different layout than the studio villas (think traditional hotel room) and feature two queen beds and a balcony. Like the villa, it was the perfect size for our family of three, and we appreciated the kitchenette with its microwave, refrigerator, and sink. I preferred the Inn room to the studio villa due to its decor and central location, but I wouldn’t hesitate to book a villa room in the future.
There are six 3-bedroom cottages that can hold up to twelve guests. The cottages have porch swings and large balconies facing out to the ocean. While walking by the cottages on Thanksgiving Day, I could smell delicious holiday dinners being cooked inside.
The resort’s grounds are beautiful, and it’s a short walk from one end to the other with The Inn located in the center. Everything about the resort entices you to enjoy its recreational offerings as well as relax. If I didn’t have a preschooler to chase around, I’d easily spend a couple of hours reading a book while sitting on the rocking chairs that face out to the ocean. As customary with all things Disney, there’s something for everyone here regardless of age.
During our two visits, the highs were in the 60s to low 70s with the lows in the 40s at night. Although a bit chilly for this Florida girl to dip her toes in the ocean, there were some brave souls enjoying themselves in the surf. On the deck overlooking the ocean, there’s a shop that rents out beach gear. I recommend reading the activity schedule that is given to you at check-in as the resort offers organized ocean activities such as kayaking.
While it’s not sea turtle season in November, Disney conducts on-site conservation efforts to assist the turtles during nesting season. The season runs from May-October, so if you visit during this time, you’re in for a fun and educational experience.
Although too cold for the ocean, we couldn’t resist the gorgeous pool especially since Disney maintains the pool temperature at 82º. There is also a hot tub adjacent to the pool which was quite popular. Like other Disney resorts, life vests are available for children and lifeguards are present at the pool (but not on the beach). Cast Members host various pool-side events throughout the day including dance parties and trivia contests.
My preschooler was drawn to the lighthouse-themed water slide and must have gone down it at least 50 times. My husband and I enjoyed it too. Should you not wish to take the 163 foot journey down into the pool, I highly recommend climbing the steps to the top as you’ll be rewarded with 360º stunning views of the entire property. Don’t worry, you can take the stairs down as well!
A pirate ship water play pad and playground for little ones is located next to the pool. When not on the large water slide, my daughter could be found going back and forth between these playgrounds.
In addition to all of the other wonderful amenities, the resort offers a 9-hole miniature golf course. It’s a fun pirate-themed course featuring Tick-Tock the Crocodile. DVC owners can play for free, while non-DVC guests are charged a nominal fee for a game. We picked up our golf clubs from Eb & Flo’s Rentals which also has bicycles for rent and complimentary activities such as ping-pong and board games.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed my glimpse into what awaits you when visiting Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. But wait, there’s more! Stay tuned for Part Two of this report next month. I’ll discuss the resort’s special Thanksgiving events as well as share information and pictures of the restaurants, gift shop, and additional activities that aren’t to be missed.