The last time my wife and I went to Disney World, we spent a couple of days beforehand in Clearwater Beach. The reason for this was 3 fold: Clearwater has some of the nicest and cleanest beaches I have ever been to, we needed a couple of days to unwind from the long drive, and I had a huge craving for some of the best pizza I have ever had. Also, my family and I used to spend a couple of weeks during summer holidays in Clearwater, so I know the area well and I feel safe going there.
We had a nice time there, but a lot had changed since I was there last. They had a ton of construction going on, because of Tampa hosting the Superbowl this year. It was also a little weird to see all the small hotels completely empty. I guess I should have expected that, considering we were there in October.
While planning for our upcoming trip, we again talked about going to the beach to unwind after the long drive and spend some quality time with Graydon. Even though we enjoyed Clearwater, I threw out the idea of maybe going to a different beach. As I started to think about locations, I couldn't pass up the oportunity to investigate Disney's Vero Beach resort.
For those unaware of the property, Disney has 2 beach resorts located in Vero Beach and Hilton Head, South Carolina (a third will soon open in Hawaii). The resorts are actually Disney Vacation Club (DVC) properties, but non-DVC members can actually stay at the resorts (similar to staying at a DVC property in Disney World). Both are owned and operated by Disney, so you should expect the same level of service as you would get at a Disney World resort.
Convincing my wife to stay there wasn't that difficult. The price was relatively the same as the Hilton we stayed at in Clearwater (actually better after I asked if they had a CAA/AAA discount) and we would end up with the great Disney service we have grown to appreciate. Of course, I made sure there was plenty of shopping close by and an Olive Garden within driving distance (we don't have Olive Gardens in Canada anymore).
I have booked a Deluxe Inn room, as that is all the space we really need. The room has a small kitchenette and plenty of space for a crib.
I have never really stayed on the Atlantic side of Florida. I'm sure the beaches will be nice and the wildlife won't be drastically different.
The amenities in the resort look great (of course a Mickey shape pool is always fun). I know Janice will be looking forward to a beach bonfire! I'm just looking forward to relaxing!