Wait…are you thinking you\’ve never heard of Disney\’s Vero Beach Resort? It\’s not at Walt Disney World; it\’s not even at Disneyland Resort! It\’s in Vero Beach, Florida, and it\’s a well kept secret.
Many people don\’t know that Disney is so much more than Disney World and Disneyland. Most even know about Disney Cruise Line, but there\’s also Disney\’s Hilton Head Island Resort in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa on Oahu (Hawaii), and Disney\’s Vero Beach Resort!
We spent our arrival afternoon at the beach. It had been a long time since we had had a beach vacation, and we all enjoyed the surf and sand. We were also thrilled to see a number of beach areas marked off as turtle nests!
The second day was a beach and pool day. The Mickey shaped pool is lovely and a good size for the resort. There\’s a great slide, too–163 foot long Pirate\’s Plunge! There is also a splash pad, Tiger Lily Wet Play Area, that is themed like a pirate ship; it has water cannons and a mini-slide.
Nearby is a 9 hole miniature golf course that is also pirate themed! Lifeguards also do all kinds of pool games which we found fun–trivia, dance contests, relay races, and more. We spent the day playing in the pool and playing multiple mini-golf games.
While there are several places to eat at Vero Beach, they seemed very expensive. For dinner, we opted to leave the resort and find an option in the town of Vero Beach. We decided on Squid Lips! This is a local seafood restaurant that sits right on the water. It\’s kind of a no-frills place, but the food was good and service was nice.
When we returned, we went to find the Sing-Along Campfire. Two Cast Members kept us entertained with funny jokes and songs until it was time to make the s\’mores. It was a fun evening!
The next day was more pool and mini-golf, but our son also went to an Unbirthday Party in the Children\’s Discovery Center. He got to decorate his own cupcake and play games! Later that day we attended a sea turtle conservation program where we learned that later that night they would be releasing a bunch of baby turtles, and we were all invited to come down and watch or help!
After dinner, we all gathered at the beach and the conservationists had us make two lines forming a pathway where the baby turtles would make their way to the water. Some people were given flashlights with red lights that would help guide them to the water. The baby turtles were brought out and released. It was such an amazing experience!
Our last day there was even more relaxing…more pool and mini-golf! We also did an archery class and went for a hike! Eb & Flo\’s had lots of things to rent–bicycles, ping pong paddles, games, and classes. The Seabreeze Cabana Company was available at the beach for all kinds of beach rentals–boogie boards, surfboards, boats, and more. Also available were tennis courts, nearby golf courses, playground, surfing and tennis lessons, lots of sports options (volleyball, basketball, table tennis) as well as bocce and archery! Additionally, there were various classes you could take including activities for kids, DVD rentals, and an arcade.
For dining, there are several options. Bleachers Bar & Grill is located near the pool. Maybe most importantly, they serve Dole Whips here! Inside, there is Shutters, a casual dining location, which also hosts a Goofy\’s Beachside Character Breakfast and a pirate character dinner where Pirate Donald and Pirate Goofy rule the seas! Since we were headed to Disney World after Vero Beach, we opted to save our character interaction for the second half of the trip. Sonya\’s is an upscale signature dining location. Finally there is a lounge, the Green Cabin Room, which serves light fare as well as drinks and specialty coffees. If you want to venture out, there are a number of great local restaurants to try as well as a Publix nearby for sandwich fixings, drinks, etc.
We had a great experience at Vero Beach, and I would definitely recommend it to families wanting a beach getaway.
Susan Burks is a Disney travel planner at WishdrawalsTravel, wife to an active duty service member, and a homeschooling mom to a space-loving 10 year old! As a former teacher and a Disney enthusiast, she loves being able to combine her love of Disney and education in the Disney parks.