A vacation at Walt Disney World is packed with fun, from sunrise all the way through to when our heads hit the pillow at night. It’s go, go, go the whole time we are there. Sure, we’ve all heard the advice to take it slow, enjoy more than the parks, take a break in the middle of the day, stop and smell the roses, pay attention to the details. But, seriously, how many of us actually follow that advice? We get up at the crack of dawn, scarf down a quick breakfast and head to the parks for rope drop. We run around, trying to hit every major attraction at least once, our favorites more times. Our afternoon break consists of sitting on a bench eating a Mickey bar, while someone else in our party takes the kids to the bathroom. Everybody done? Ok, onto the next attraction… this goes on until we collapse on the pavement an hour before the fireworks. It’s not that we need to get there early to secure a good seat. The fireworks happen in the sky after-all. It’s just that we simply can’t go on! After the show we trudge, exhausted, to our rooms, throw ourselves into bed, only to do it all again the next day. And we LOVE it!
The problem with vacationing at Walt Disney World, if there is one, is that we need a vacation from our vacation. You know that feeling that hits you on the plane, when your body finally stops and the Disney music stops playing in your head and thoughts of what is waiting for you at home start to creep in and overtake the magic? That’s when exhaustion really hits and you start to wish you had taken some of that advice about taking things slow. Dang it.
I finally discovered what some of my friends have know for a long time. There is actually a way to go to Walt Disney World, “comando style”, as they say, and still go home feeling relaxed and blissful. The key is to spend a few days on the tail end of your vacation at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. In April, I went to Vero Beach for the first time. Let me tell you, after a few days at this resort your family will go home rested and and recharged. It’s a perfect place to unwind and reconnect with each other. While I was there I took a lot of pictures to share with you. So let me show you what this resort has to offer…
Even though it’s not on the Walt Disney World property, you will recognize the Disney look and feel right away when you are greeted with topiaries and that familiar “Welcome Home”.
The parking area is under the building. The first sign for me that things might be a bit slower here was that there was parking for bikes as well as cars.
As you enter the lobby, one of the first things you notice are the weird marks in the flooring. I’ve seen “distressed” floors before, but this was an odd look. It turns out, those are the marks that turtles leave in the sand as they crawl towards the water. Cool.
Time to check in.
After checking in, I got a better look at the lobby. It has a big open atrium with a giant chandelier. Each of the floors above overlook lobby. In the center of the floor is a giant inlaid turtle. This must be the culprit who scuffed up the floor!
Next I headed to my room to drop off my stuff.
You can see what my room was like by by checking out this blog post: A Look at a Studio at Disney’s Vero Beach. As I left the room I noticed the laundry room close by. I filed that info for later reference – I like to go home with clean clothes. But, right now, I was looking for a place to unwind from the drive – someplace with a little adult refreshment perhaps.
Oh yes, this looks like it will fit the bill. The Green Cabin Room is a nice little lounge on the second floor. I sat out on the balcony and watched the ocean. I was feeling relaxed already!
Time for a stroll around the building to see what’s here.
First stop was the Island Grove Packing Co. It’s a small general store with some Disney merchandise and a few food items. It’s very much like any of the stores at the DVC resorts at Walt Disney World, only a little smaller. I thought the display by the video rental books was really cute. They have a LOT of videos – yet another sign that things are a little more laid back here.
Right outside of the store was a nice, comfy seating area.
In fact, there were more places to sit in this resort than I have seen in any Disney resort. Just like in Orlando, they have the tiny little kid seats by the TV – so cute! I love those tiny little chairs. This seating area is off the lobby, on the restaurant side of the building.
Collectors of pressed pennies can add Vero Beach to their collection.
Guests can help themselves to coffee. I thought this was a nice, homey touch.
Time for dinner. This is Shutters, the main restaurant at Vero Beach. Everything I had here was well-prepared and tasty. The Cast Members were friendly and the service was great. No complaints at all.
You’ll have plenty of time to write postcards here. It’s worth doing just so you can drop them in the cute letter box in the lobby.
On the other side of the lobby is this room. It has more places to sit and a desk with a computer that is connected to the internet. They have wifi as well.
As you pass through this room, you come upon a canon outside of the restrooms. I’m sure there was some connection to the resort’s theme but I don’t know what it was. I just think they needed a way to direct people to the restrooms – “you can’t miss them, they’re right by the giant canon”! But wait, what’s that I see just past the canon? Does that say “Spa” above the door. Oh, yes, now I know I love this place. We better take a look…
Ok, I’m definitely coming back!
Oh look, more places to sit. Are you starting to sense a theme here? Just beyond this little courtyard is the Atlantic ocean. Oh, I recognize where we are. Just above us is the balcony of the Green Cabin Room. Well, I think I’m just going to have to give in and have a seat. Come back next week for a tour of the outside of the resort – there’s lots more for me to show you. But for now, there’s a rocking chair calling my name…
~ Barrie Brewer, Social Media Director