Last year we had booked our first trip to visit Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort but unfortunately the property completely shut down due to a hurricane. This year we booked a reservation for the second time and once again a hurricane threatened the area. (Perhaps the third try will be the charm?) We still really wanted to get away for a few days and last weekend frantically tried to figure out an alternative solution. Walt Disney World was pretty booked up due to the Food & Wine festival but we were able to find point availability at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. This Disney Vacation Club location is a little under two hours away from the Walt Disney World resort so honestly we had never considered visiting before. But the last minute switch ended up being quite the happy accident. Read on to hear more about what we thought about this beautiful beach resort with touches of Disney magic.
The Main Inn Building
The resort is located at the Northern end of Vero Beach of the main highway A1A. Parking doesn’t seem to be an issue as there was garage space directly under our building as well as plenty of open spots near the front entrance. The main lobby reminded us of a more casual Grand Floridian with a tall ceiling and chandelier. As soon as you walk in the old time music and the Victorian beach house style transport you back to simpler times. The resort is also heavily inspired by sea turtles in artwork, fabric patterns and even marks on the lobby floor to mimic turtle prints in the sand.
The cast members while checking-in were very friendly and provided helpful information such as a map, activity schedule, and local dining suggestions. Similar to being on Disney Parks property, you are given a “Key to the World” card that acts as your room key and gives you the ability to make purchases.
NOTE: The Vero Beach Resort has recently adapted MagicBand technology. You must link your reservation to your account using My Disney Experience and scan them upon arrival to use. We wish we would have know to bring ours for the ease of not having to carry around a key card.
The Resort Grounds
The grounds feature pathways lined with lush grass, tropical plants and plenty of seating (to include porch rockers and comfy hammocks!). There is a large barrier of bushes that separate the buildings from the beach which is designed to keep light from being emitted out to the ocean to protect the breeding sea turtles. The Main Inn and most of the amenities are centrally located while the handful of DVC buildings are on either end of the property. We loved being able to easily walk to all the locations easily, it was very peaceful just strolling around.
NOTE: One thing we were warned about when checking in were the No-See-Ums. These are tiny little bugs that bite people and leave small red marks, similar to mosquitos. The front desk gives out insect repellent, which is a package of wipes instead of a spray. The No-See-Ums are most active during sunset and sunrise when the wind is down. We were also told they are only really a problem when on the beach. We found out otherwise as we got eaten up quite a bit while sitting at the Wind & Waves Bar and while hanging out at the pool one evening. Our recommendation, if you are anywhere near the pool or beach around sunset or sunrise, use the insect repellent.
Resort Shops & Dining
We spent quite a bit of time around the resort. We visited all of these areas at least once while visiting. Make sure to check out our other Vero Beach Resort posts for more detailed dining reviews and top activity ideas.
Island Grove Packing Company: this well stocked gift shop is located in the main lobby. You can find Disney and resort specific souvenirs as well as sundries, drinks and snacks. They even had a pretty good selection of alcoholic beverages too.
Wind & Waves Market: located next to the pool this is where you can find quick service food and a mini market with some limited groceries. We stopped here for a few different meals including breakfast and lunch.
Wind & Waves Grill: this is the one sit down restaurant on property open for Breakfast and Dinner.
Wind & Waves Bar: the outdoor pool side bar serving a variety of drinks
The Green Cabin Room: located on the second floor of the main lobby this lounge has indoor and outdoor seating for enjoying drinks and some small plates. (a great place to see some sunset colored sky!)
Eb & Flow’s: located near the pool this office is where you can sign up for activities and rental items
The Spa: on the north end of the main lobby building you will find a quiet day spa
There are plenty of things to do when staying at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. Of course the main focal point of the recreational offerings is the pool area. The pool features a large water slide that is really fun. Even if you don’t intend on going down the slide, make it a point to walk to the top of the stairs and look around. You will be rewarded with a 360 degree view of the surrounding area and the sea. In the same area as the pool is the hot tub, mini golf, and some games such as shuffleboard, ping-pong and a pool table. We spent the majority of our time enjoying this area with the warm weather and blue skies.
NOTE: one thing we found odd at the pool is all of the umbrellas available are cemented to tables. So depending on time of day it can be hard to find a lounge chair with shade. We made it work by pushing them near the tables and relying on palm trees.
What’s a visit to Vero Beach Resort without hanging out on Atlantic beach? Disney’s Vero Beach Resort has direct beach access using a walkway through the bushes that places you on the deck that leads down to the beach. At the top of this deck is a small building that provides various beach rentals including chairs, umbrellas, and other items. They also have two foot washes and showers that guests can use before heading back to the pool area or resort. We took some walks on the beach and enjoyed the views.
The resort was refurbished about 2 years ago and the rooms really showed the updates. We had a Deluxe Studio which featured modern beach style. Just like any other DVC room, included was a small kitchenette with a microwave, refrigerator, sink, and coffee maker. The bathroom was very nice with updated tile and fixtures along with individually bottled H20 products.
When we arrived, there were four beach towels in our room. To get new ones, guests can exchange dirty towels for clean ones at Eb & Flows. Another nice updated feature is the number of USB outlets in the room. There were two USB and two power outlets on the nightstand and four USB and four power outlets above the dresser, just below the large, flat screen TV.
Disney’s Vero Beach Resort is great for a relaxing getaway. The cast members were super friendly and went above and beyond for us on a few occasions. Small details such as offering free bug spray and providing water and granola bars for check out was a very nice touch. The resort itself was beautiful and well kept, and the dining was delicious. A few days here was just what we needed. While we don’t know if we would travel all the way to Florida for the beach again I think a split stay between Walt Disney World followed by a few days beaching it will be in our future! Make sure to read our upcoming posts with detailed dining and activity reviews.