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Sue Holland

Disney's Vero Beach Resort – Oh, the Fun You Can Have!

Friday, September 14, 2001
Text and images by Sue Holland, MousePlanet staff writer

Now that you know a little bit about Disney's Vero Beach Resort and heard about its luxurious accommodations, your next question should be, "just what exactly is there to do here?"

If you have not read my previous article introducing you to Disney's Vero Beach Resort, here is a brief description: Disney's Vero Beach Resort was the first Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resort built away from Walt Disney World, and is located on the Atlantic Ocean roughly two hours southeast of WDW. Guests who are not DVC members can book units that are not reserved by members.

Certainly one of the resort's major attractions would be water; whether you prefer the ocean or a swimming pool, the resort has both. The beach is relatively undeveloped, which is a good thing. You do not encounter big crowds, "trashy tourist" commercial development, or rowdiness on the beach. Unfortunately, you also don't find beaches that resemble picture postcards of Florida. The beach along this part of the coast is very narrow, unlike Daytona Beach to the north or the beaches along the panhandle. It also drops off fairly quickly, which means the water gets deep fairly quickly. This is in contrast to some parts of the Florida coast, where it is possible to walk into the water a long distance before the water even gets to your waist! Beach connoisseurs may be disappointed, particularly in comparison to other locations, but it is certainly adequate for a beach novice — and the beauty of the resort more than makes up for the less-than-wonderful beach.

Several items are available for rent on the beach. Most popular are the lounge chairs and umbrellas. As of July 2001, a set of two chairs and an umbrella were renting for $21 per day for DVC members and $27 per day for non-members. If that seems too high, simply buy a cheap beach chair at any local store and then donate it to another family when you leave. You can rent Boogie Board-type body boards for $7 to $9, but the water gets deep so quickly that it limits the length of any ride on the board. You can rent sailboats, kayaks and Jet Skis at half-hour increments. For the younger kids, beach toys are available in both the resort gift shop, and at every local store. Building sand castles is excellent free entertainment!

The slide at the pool.
The slide at the pool.

You can have more water fun at the swimming pool. With a wide deck area that accommodates many lounge chairs, a cool water slide for the adventurous, and musical entertainment on the weekends, this is where we spend all of our time during the day. Life jackets are available for non swimmers, and free swimming lessons are available for children each weekday morning. Private lessons can also be arranged for a fee. The lifeguards make sure that people play safely, while they keep an eye on the very busy pool. The water is heated during the cooler months, and there is a spa located off to the side of the pool.

The Tiger Lily play area is geared for the little ones.
The Tiger Lily play area is geared for the little ones.

The Tiger Lily Ship is an area set aside for very young children, and features some playground equipment and a small ship with squirting cannons. The pool lifeguard keeps an eye on this area, and are usually quick to yell to any older children who try to enter the area so the little ones can play safely. Also for those 3 to 5 years old is a Tot Time Tea Party scheduled fairly often, and a different Tot Time activity each day. In July this included lawn games, blowing bubbles, basketball (on a very short toy basketball hoop), a fish find, a bug hunt, and a scavenger hunt.

Those a little bit older, up to age 12, have many more activities to choose from. These include water balloon toss, crafts, soccer, bubbles, kick ball, snorkeling, Lifeguard Limbo, un-birthday parties, balloon ball, and archery. For all age groups there are activities such as scavenger hunts (some done in family groups), bingo, beach walks, landscaping tours, sing-alongs, ice cream parties, cel art class, pool games, turtle game, bicycling tour, and classic Disney movies in Community Hall.

Teens have some of their own activities, although they are more limited — most likely due to a teen's aversion to doing anything so structured. There were a few sports-related teen activities during our stay, as well as one night a week of "teens night out" to go to the mall for dinner, shopping and a movie. There is a similar program for children under 12, but with more closer supervision.

The Resort's fitness center, Anchor's Aweigh.
The Resort's fitness center, Anchor's Aweigh.

Adults wanting to stay in shape will enjoy Anchor's Aweigh, located next to Community Hall. While it is not an especially large room, it makes good use of every inch of space, and is loaded with a variety of fitness equipment. Unlike many Disney resorts, this fitness center gets a lot of use. Also in the Community Hall area called Beachside Promenade, is a small arcade, locker rooms, sauna, rentals, and Rub Dubs Massage, a place to get a massage.

Port Holes Miniature golf
Port Holes Miniature golf

Sports enthusiasts will find plenty to keep them busy at the resort as well. Shuffleboard is located near the pool, as is a basic nine-hole miniature golf course. Golf is a bargain here, at $1 per game for DVC members and $2 for non-members, or $5 for the length of your stay. You can rent bicycles at Eb & Flo's Rentals for an hourly rate of $5 ($7 for non-members), and daily for $14 ($17 non-members). There are wide, smooth, paved sidewalks that run for miles along the road the resort is on. That sidewalk also looks excellent for in-line skating, if you visit during a time that it is not too hot for that type of activity!

The basketball court.
The basketball court.

Across the street, accessed through a tunnel built under the road, are more sports-related facilities belonging to the resort. Basketball is popular with teens and young men, with basketballs available from Eb & Flo's. Right next door are a couple of tennis courts, with tennis rackets also available from Eb & Flo's, free for DVC members, $5 for others.

Tennis anyone?
Tennis anyone?

On the other side of the lake here are horseshoe pits, tetherball, volleyball, and picnic areas. Be sure to bring insect repellent, as mosquitoes can be a problem! There is a nature trail in this area, and we have rarely encountered other guests. It may be that most guests are unaware of these facilities, or they simply have no reason to leave the pool and the beach!

Volleyball, soccer... you name it, it's available.
Volleyball, soccer... you name it, it's available.

Guests willing to leave the property have a number of excursions to choose from, including kayaking trips, dolphin-watch boat rides, a Wild West safari to a working cattle ranch, Mel Fisher's Treasure Museum, and the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution. The actual town of Vero Beach is about 10 minutes to the south, and there are many small shops to explore, along with a mall and an outlet center about 20-30 minutes from the resort.

A weekly campfire is held at the resort.
A weekly campfire is held at the resort.

On several nights each week the resort sets up a campfire, which includes singing, storytelling, and the roasting of marshmallows to make s'mores. The younger the child, the greater the chance that this will be a highlight of the vacation.

There are so many activities to choose from, that it would be impossible to participate in every one of them! It is like being on a cruise ship while remaining on land. Currently the majority of the guests are families with young children, but since so many of them are DVC members I would expect that as these DVC families get older, the average age of kids will increase at some point. The past two years there have been a handful of teens, but not nearly as many as we have found at Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort. The cast members have that wonderful Disney dedication to friendliness and guest service, and a vacation here can be as busy or as relaxing as you want.


Contact Sue at sue.holland@mouseplanet.com.

MORE INFO

MousePlanet's Disney Vacation Club Trip Planning guide has information on the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) and how it works.

Information on Disney's Vero Beach Resort to plan your own trip.

See how many DVC points it takes for DVC members to stay at the resort by using this chart.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sue has been hooked on Walt Disney World since her first visit in 1972 with her parents and younger brother. She kept returning more frequently until she moved to Florida in 1986.

After joining the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) in 1997, she now visits almost monthly. She also spends time at the DVC's non-WDW locations, and is experienced with the Disney cruise ships.

She takes many of these trips on her own, but she's also toured WDW with large groups of people, including families, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

She works as the Administrative Services Division Head for a large residential facility administered by the Florida Department of Children and Families. She currently resides in Southwest Florida with her teenage son.

Sue is one of our most prolific trip report writers. Read her trip report archive here.

You can contact Sue here.

Get the latest info about the resort at “Park Update: Walt Disney World.”

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MousePlanet® is not associated in any official way with the Walt Disney Company, its subsidiaries, or its affiliates. The official Disney site is available at www.disney.com. This MousePlanet Web site provides independent news articles, commentary, editorials, reviews, and guides primarily about the theme park resorts of the Walt Disney Co. All information on this site is subject to change. Please call destinations in advance to confirm the most up-to-date information.