Those who know us, know that Disney is in our blood. We have enjoyed visiting the parks together as a family since 2007 and are so blessed to now live near the magic. However, every once in awhile, it’s nice to get away from the traditional pixie dust next door and experience something a little less “busy,” but still Disney. That’s why I arranged for us to spend a weekend at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort.
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Disney’s Vero Beach Resort
Disney’s Vero Beach Resort is located about two hours southeast of Orlando, right on the sands of the Atlantic coastline. It’s about a mile west of the Indian River Lagoon, 13 miles north of the McKee Botanical Gardens and 10 minutes from a surfer’s haven in Sebastian Inlet. It’s also a part of the family of Disney Vacation Club Resorts.
For those who are unfamiliar with the Disney Vacation Club, it’s Disney’s answer to a flexible timeshare that gives Guests access to various Disney destinations around the world. The bonus is that, as members, we have the freedom to choose when, where and how often we vacation. By becoming a Member through purchasing points, we have the ability to lock in future accommodations at today’s purchase price. If your interest is piqued, you can find more information on the Disney Vacation Club by checking out their website and order a free DVD!!
Our Own Membership
We’ve been Disney Vacation Club Members since 2013 and have enjoyed many of the perks and benefits of being a part of the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) Resort family. We’ve stayed in several of the DVC resorts on Walt Disney World Property (including Disney’s Polysenian Village Resort, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort ~ just to name a few). We’ve also enjoyed Top of the World Lounge, members-only After Hours events and a members-only photography class! We also have the opportunity to use points at destinations outside the Orlando property. Disney’s Vero Beach Resort has been one of those locations high on our bucket list for some time.
While there are no theme parks or firework displays to enjoy at the Vero Beach property, there is the spectacular Atlantic coastline, a pirate-themed pool, toasty campfires and so many other fun activities that provide for some spectacular memory making opportunities.
No matter what Disney Vacation Club property you visit, you are almost guaranteed to be greeted with a hearty “Welcome Home!” Immediately upon our arrival to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, we were met with no exception. Carey, the gate guard welcomed us “home” with his magical smile as we approached the front gate to enter the resort. He checked our name, gave us direction and even wished my husband a Happy Birthday (yup – I called ahead to make sure everybody knew!!) ~ all with a genuine smile from ear to ear.
As we walked into the resort lobby, the whole crew was already excited about our two night stay. As a family, we love to explore and gazing at new surroundings is literally a hobby for us. We all walked into our temporary home surroundings and just loved the feel, the smells, the cleanliness ~ everything!!
At the desk, we were well cared for by Bruce, who eventually took notice that this was our first visit there. To commemorate that momentous occasion, Bruce asked our youngest to ring the bell just to the side. Now – picture this….the youngest is 13 and he’s just been asked to draw attention to himself in the middle of a fairly busy resort lobby.
Yup – the teenage glares.
But he did it and it is a memory this mama will cherish forever (plus, I got it on video!!!).
While at the desk, Bruce set us up for dinner that night at Wind & Waves Grill. In the midst of setting up our reservation, he also shared with us a special dining offer that involved purchasing a $100 e-gift card for Wind & Waves (note: this is exclusively for Wind & Waves Grill alone) and receiving a bonus $20 gift card via email to use on anything during our resort stay.
For Hubby, that was a no-brainer.
Bruce also noticed that Hubby’s birthday was listed in the system. This meant someone was getting a birthday pin to wear throughout our stay!!!!
Finding our way to our room
I had reserved us a one bedroom villa and we were all very eager to see its layout. Since we’ve stayed in one bedroom suites / villas before, we were curious to see if it was similar to those on Walt Disney World property or if it was configured differently.
Sure enough – it was configured differently and we absolutely loved it!! It had a full kitchen, living area, separate bedroom and separate “bath”room from the shower and toilet.
Take a quick peek at the room tour to see the in depth description and visuals. We thought the way it was designed was near perfect for our family of four.
Psst – I said “near perfect,” because I could have gone for another bathroom. Remember – three males and me….yup – another bathroom would have been nice.
We had an ocean-side room with a fantastic balcony, but we had tons of foliage blocking the majority of our view of the ocean. Even so, it was a beautiful sight and it felt sooooo quiet. It actually felt like we were on a real vacation.
Weather warning and prep
Within days of our trip, we heard they were watching the weather for a potential tropical storm. I confess that I had tossed in my head – for about thirty seconds – the thought of cancelling and moving our stay to another date. However, I really wanted to be there for my husband’s birthday. He deserved the time away from home and the opportunity to be celebrated. I didn’t want to take that away from him. Besides, storms and Disney? A Disney Resort is one of the best places to be in the middle of inclement weather.
To prepare Guests for the potential arrival of the storm, there were signs in various locations. These signs warned us that the furniture in our rooms that is usually situated on our balcony would be found INSIDE our room ~ so, yes. We found four wrought iron lawn chairs and a small round table in our living area.
The Rest of Day 1
After we had everything we brought in its proper place within our room, it was time for dinner. As noted above, we had made rezzies at the front desk for Wind & Waves Grill at 7:05 pm and we were famished!!! We went in with crazy appetites!
Wind & Waves Grill is found in the main building on the main floor, just south of the lobby. It is a small venue, as are most of the opportunities on the property, but the ambiance is nice and the onstage kitchen is fun to watch. (In fact, we had a seat right in front of it!!)
Of course, one of the things we must do when we go out to eat is talk directly to the chef. Why? Our son has severe, life-threatening food allergies (those who follow us on a regular basis are fully aware, of course). It’s important for whomever is preparing his food to know his allergies, understand the severity and reactions, and discuss a plan to prevent any kind of reaction from occurring. We also like to know the person behind the grill.
We first met our server, Muriel, who prepared our drinks for us and discussed the specials. Then, Chef Kyle came out to meet our son and discuss options.
Ordering with Food Allergies
I have to say, I was so proud of our son in that moment. He is learning to take on his own care and did such an eloquent job of explaining his situation to Chef Kyle. Unfortunately, his first choice was a no-go because the dough used for the wood-fire pizza comes from an outside facility. There is no guarantee that cross contamination could not have occurred. In fact, none of the bread was deemed safe enough for him to try. So, when our son heard this, he stepped up, came up with an alternative and asked if he could have the Signature Blend Burger in a lettuce wrap instead.
Chef Kyle thought that was brilliant.
They further discussed toppings (dijon aioli out due to eggs and he lacked the ingredients for a vegan aioli due to weather issues) and the safety of the fries ~ and here is what my son was delivered.
We had a VERY happy teenager on our hands!!!!
The rest of us enjoyed some delicious options, too. The middle son and I started with some of the best French Onion Soup we’ve had to date and then split a Signature Blend Burger and fries.
The birthday boy enjoyed pot roast and LOVED every mouth-watering bite!!
Oh, dessert? We didn’t need dessert…it was waiting for us in the room.
The View That Night
After dinner, we took a quick stroll out to the dock to see the full moon shining over the ocean. We had actually gone out this way just before dinner, but were in a time crunch, so we spent more time gazing out onto the water once our bellies were full.
The scene was spectacular. I mean ~ it was windy because we were experiencing the outskirts of Humberto, but the waves were crashing loudly against the beach with huge, jaw-dropping white caps. The moon was beaming brightly over the water and created a gorgeous reflection of itself. I only wish I had had a better microphone so the wind didn’t disturb the sound. It was truly a magnificent sight ~ very romantic, if I do say so.
Campfires are held nightly on the resort property. When the weather is not cooperating, they bring the campfire activities to the back deck of the main building and call it an “uncampfire.” Tonight, we were fortunate. The weather was near perfect.
The boys, however, were a little wiped, so we let them make their way back to the room together. Hubby and I continued our stroll because we were concerned the weather would not be conducive to a walk like this the next night.
We found our way to where the nightly campfire was being held. In fact, it was pretty much right outside our own building. That was convenient. There, families enjoyed roasting marshmallows and building their own s’mores with supplies being handed out by Cast Members. We didn’t participate that night (we were still stuffed from dinner and knew we had something waiting back in the room), but we enjoyed the sounds of the crackling fire and the community feel of everyone having fun in that one spot. It was a great way to cap off the evening walk.
Food allergy note:
They were using Hershey’s chocolate bars, Jet-Puffed marshmallows and HoneyMaid graham crackers that night. All of these are safe items for our son in particular (eggs, peanuts and tree nuts). However, I would still feel safer bringing our own materials and ingredients to the campfire. It’s just too dark to guarantee safety in those circumstances.
Calling it a Night
The rest of the evening was spent enjoying a delicious slice of the birthday cake made by a Disney pastry chef named Carolyn. Along with Lynn, another amazing Cast Member on the premises, Carolyn was so helpful and accommodating when it came to finding something special to do for Hubby. All in all, it was the perfect way to end the evening. I would dare to say that it was a perfect way to end a birthday, too!
Days Two and Three of our trip will be coming in the near future. In the meantime, however, I’d love to know – have you been to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort? I’d love to hear YOUR story. Feel free to share something you love about this resort below.
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