After living in central Florida for the last seven years and only visiting the beach a total of maybe three times, I decided it was time to take advantage of being only a short drive away from the coast and check out Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. Our DVC Membership had some points that needed to be used quickly and there was availability at Vero Beach for one weekend night.
We opted for an Ocean View Inn Room for Saturday night only for 22 points, which gave us two full days at the resort. While we didn’t quite utilize the two full days, its nice to know we had the option to stay on property and enjoy the amenities even after checking-out. I’ll talk more about the various things to do a little later on in the article but first, lets talk logistics…
GETTING TO VERO BEACH
Driving to Vero Beach from Orlando is pretty easy and quicker than I imagined. It took a little over 1 hour and 45 minutes to reach the resort via FL-528 (aka “The BeachLine Express”) and I-95. We took Exit 156 towards Sebastian and made a stop right off the interstate at Publix to pick up sandwiches, snacks and beverages for the room. From Publix, the resort was only another 10-15 minute drive so you can easily re-visit to stock up on goodies for your stay. I’m not a big fan of eating resort food for every meal so this was an essential stop for us.
Checking into Vero Beach Resort is pretty similar to Walt Disney World resorts. You can start the check-in process online prior to arrival and simply pick up your key cards at the front desk. Vero Beach does not use MagicBands so instead you get “Keys To The World” cards. Since this was our first visit and we were unfamiliar with the resort, I made sure to visit the front desk upon arrival to let them know we were here and ask some questions. Like every Disney resort, the cast members were extremely friendly and helpful. We also got “First Visit” buttons!
If you’re staying in The Inn, there’s a very convenient parking lot underneath the building that can be accessed with your Key to the World Card. There are elevators that take you up to the first level lobby and the room floors. Since the room wasn’t quite ready, we decided to park the car and head to the pool area for lunch. If you happen to bring a cooler of food/drinks for the room, you can leave those items inside with bell services until the room is ready.
AMENITIES & ACTIVITES
While the resort is relatively small compared to what I’m used to at WDW, there were plenty of things to keep you busy – or not busy – whichever you preferred.
The beach was literally steps away from the resort and you can grab towels at the pool to take onto the beach. For a small fee you could rent chairs, umbrellas or a cabana for the day. DVC members received a discounted rate (resale owners included!). Its important to note that they start putting chairs away at 5pm so if you want to stay later, you need to bring your own. There were also kayaks and paddle boards available to rent as well.
Resort activities change throughout the week but while we were visiting, there was a scavenger hunt in the morning for the kiddies, pool games in the afternoon, water slide races, Wine Glass & Beer Stein painting for the adults, Karaoke in the evening and a Sing-Along Campfire with complimentary s’mores just to name a few. The weekly activity calendar will be included in your welcome packet.
There’s a game room in the main building if you want to brush-up on your Xbox or Playstation skills, a community hall with table tennis and boardgames, a 9-hole miniature golf course and more: Vero Beach Resort Recreation.
For a night cap, be sure to check out the Green Cabin Room located on the second floor of the main building. This lounge and bar overlooks the ocean and provides for a nice, relaxing end to your day. This is also where Karaoke is offered select nights of the week.
OCEAN-VIEW INN ROOM
Prior to booking our stay, I was torn between the Deluxe Studio Villa or the Inn rooms. The OceanView Inn Room is actually the same amount of points as the Deluxe Studio, so that’s what we decided to go for. I was not disappointed! After seeing pictures and reading other reviews, I fully expected to get a room with two queen beds like a standard hotel room. Well, the pixie-dust was sprinkled on us and we wound up with a HUGE top floor corner unit (room #2415 if you’re interested).
The room had a king-sized bed, a seating area with a sleeper sofa, table and chairs, plus a kitchenette just like we’re used to in the DVC studio units. (see pictures below). My only complaint about this particular room was the balcony. Because of the location in the corner of the top floor, our balcony railing was solid concrete, instead of a spindle railing, so we could not sit in the patio chairs and see the ocean. You had to stand for a good view.
The resort is actually located on Wabasso Beach which is primarily residential so there’s not much to do off-property. The City of Vero Beach is about 20 minutes south of the resort and that’s where we decided to go for dinner Saturday night. We ate at Mr. Manatee’s which had a pretty large menu at reasonable prices and nightly specials. The “Cracked Conch” appetizer certainly hit the spot!
Also nearby in Vero Beach is the McKee Botanical Garden. I’ve not visited myself but have heard its really nice. This would be a great option if you’re here for a longer stay and want a day off the beach. If you want more ideas for venturing off-property, I would recommend reading Blaine’s Vero Beach Review for some tips on things to do nearby.
If you’re looking to switch things up and spend a few days away from the parks, consider checking out Vero Beach on your next visit. You can book an Inn Room for as little as 10 points in the low season or a Deluxe Studio for 13 points. And if you really want the home away from home experience, a three-Bedroom Beach Cottage starts at 59 points and you literally have a small cottage to yourself. As someone who is always on the go, even when vacationing, it was nice to be forced to relax for a couple of days.
Have you been to Disney’s Vero Beach resort? What did you think? Come join the discussion in our new Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dvcchat/