Walt Disney World has announced a pool closure of Stormalong Bay at Yacht & Beach Club Resorts in 2025. This covers dates & details, plus other info about ongoing & upcoming construction work around Crescent Lake, recommendations for those planning vacations during this timeframe, and more.
Let’s start with the big news, which is the pool refurbishment at these two Deluxe Resorts. Here’s the official announcement from Walt Disney World: In an effort to continually enhance the Guest experience, we refresh our offerings from time to time. From January 2025 through May 2025, Stormalong Bay and Shipwreck Pool at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts will be closed for routine maintenance.
Guests may see or hear construction work around Stormalong Bay and Shipwreck Pool during daytime hours. During this time, guests of Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts are welcome to swim at the Tidal, Admiral and Dunes Cove leisure pools.
This isn’t the only project occurring or upcoming around the Crescent Lake Resort Area. Through late Fall 2023, Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Villas is undergoing refurbishment. During this time, all resort amenities will remain available. However, you may see or hear construction during daytime hours, but not between dusk and 9:00 am.
This is due to a soft goods refurbishment on both the hotel side and the Disney Vacation Club wing of the Beach Club. A portion of the resort rooms have emerged from this, and not much has changed. There’s new carpet in the hallways, and inside the room the carpet has been replaced by a laminate flooring.
There’s also new furniture–chairs and couch–as well as new curtains, Donald Duck wall art, and other refreshed surfaces. That’s all I noticed. These rooms were bland before, and they’re still pretty bland now–but minus carpet and plus better on-theme artwork.
Inside the lobby of Beach Club, there are also walls up and small areas of the lobby have been closed off. It’s unclear whether this is for a refresh of the lobby itself, or because some second-level guest rooms are right above the main atrium, and that hallway overlooks the lobby.
There has also been work over by Beach Club Marketplace. I have no clue what’s going on over there, but one of the entrances was closed as of a couple weeks ago when I last visited the resort. It seems small scale, but the point is that there’s a bunch of little stuff happening even right now at Beach Club.
It probably goes without saying, but this 2023 project will be finished before the 2025 pool project begins. Well, hopefully. It sure seems like there’s been perpetual construction at Yacht & Beach Club for the last couple of years. All small scale stuff, but it’s persistent and can be annoying if your room is impacted. (Speaking from experience.) There have also been a lot of starts and stops, as Walt Disney World drags out construction seemingly everywhere.
Regardless, we’re definitely expecting this work to be finished before the Stormalong Bay and Shipwreck Pool closure commences. It remains to be seen whether more projects are scheduled between now and then, though. Not much left to redo at either resort, except maybe Big River Grille and Brewing Works. Possibly yet another new concept at Trattoria al Forno? (Fingers crossed for a better ice cream shop!)
It’s a similar story across Crescent Lake at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. Renovations are also occurring here in both the regular resort rooms and DVC villas. I stayed on the hotel side in one of the new rooms two weeks ago, and didn’t see or hear any room construction. That doesn’t mean it’s not happening–BoardWalk is a huge hotel–but it seems like it’s pretty close to completed. About the only thing I did notice inside the hotel is a lobby restroom being closed–hardly earthshattering construction news.
The bigger deal is what’s happening outside along the turn-of-the-century promenade. Currently, BoardWalk Deli is behind scrims (far right in the above photo) and repainting is occurring to facades all throughout this area. Blue Ribbon Corn Dogs is also slated to open soon in a food cart along the water.
The biggest project at the BoardWalk is the new Cake Bake Shop Restaurant being built to replace ESPN Club. This was originally slated to open in Late 2023, but there’s pretty much zero chance of that happening. Summer 2024 seems more likely. But if that continues at its current snail’s pace, maybe Cake Bake Shop construction will still be ongoing in early 2025 when Stormalong Bay is closed!
Finally, there’s what is not yet announced. Obviously, there are the unknown unknowns, and we have no clue what those could be. Very helpful and insightful, I know!
Then there are the known unknowns. On that front, it’s possible that the Disney Skyliner gondolas–which connect EPCOT’s International Gateway to Riviera Resort, Caribbean Beach, Art of Animation, Pop Century and Disney’s Hollywood Studios–will close in both early 2024 and early 2025.
Walt Disney World hasn’t made any official announcements yet, but the Skyliner went down for refurbishment early last year and early this year. In 2022, the Skyliner was closed from January 23 through January 28. The gondolas went down for refurbishment January 22-29, 2023.
Frankly, this is not a huge deal if you’re staying at a Crescent Lake Resort. The Skyliner technically serves EPCOT, not these resorts. You can still use the FriendShip boats for transportation to International Gateway or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or you can walk. The Skyliner is the least efficient transportation for getting to DHS from Yacht & Beach Club or BoardWalk–it’s really only useful for getting to the aforementioned Skyliner resorts. (To do breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace or dinner at Sebastian’s Bistro, for example.)
Circling back to the pool project, the scope of the refurbishment work on the Stormalong Bay and Shipwreck Pool at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts has yet to be revealed. Walt Disney World indicates that it’s routine maintenance, which we have no reason to dispute.
The best recent comparison is probably the Dig Site at Coronado Springs, which was refurbished about a few agos for the same duration of time. That pool was essentially just refreshed and had routine/preventative maintenance done. It emerged looking fresh and like-new, but not fundamentally different.
The key difference between the Dig Site (or any other recent pool project) and Stormalong Bay is location. This sprawling pool complex is essentially in Yacht & Beach Club’s central courtyard, with a high percentage of rooms directly overlooking the pool. The closure will almost certainly impact some guests staying at Yacht & Beach Club, even those who didn’t plan on packing their speedos.
Last summer, we did a stay at Yacht Club in a water view room at a time when ‘routine’ maintenance was occurring. To my recollection, it wasn’t even listed on DisneyWorld.com. And yet, our balcony was out of commission as cherry pickers were often outside and construction workers used the balcony to paint the exterior of the hotel. This will be a different project, but a similar idea. Point being, don’t book a water view room at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts from January to May 2025.
Frankly, we’d hesitate to book Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts at all from January to May 2025 unless significant discounts are offered. If you’re wondering why Walt Disney World is announcing the pool project so far in advance, it’s to minimize/avoid giving out recovery or relocating guests to different resorts. Publishing pool closure dates in the distant future has become common practice for this reason–the pools are cited as one of the top reasons people book specific resorts.
To each their own, but we think that if Stormalong Bay is unavailable, Yacht and Beach Club are not “worth” the same nightly rates. This would be akin to not having the monorail while staying at the Contemporary or the wildlife all going to the vet while staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Whether Walt Disney World offers a deeper discount or not at Yacht and Beach Club for these dates depends almost entirely on how many other guests “agree” with us and vote with their wallets by booking elsewhere. Promotions are dictated by demand (or lack thereof), so it could go either way. With the closure announced this far in advance, we’d expect to see an actual impact on Yacht & Beach Club bookings. It’s possible discounts will hit 30-40% off during those months, but too early to say for sure. We’ll keep you posted–and reminders of the Stormalong Bay refurbishment as the 2025 closure draws nearer.
What do you think about Stormalong Bay and Shipwreck Pool at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts closing for routine refurbishment in January through May 2025? Do you like these Deluxe Resorts, or do you prefer the cheaper options? Any other improvements you’d like to see Disney make to Stormalong Bay? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment of the projects? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!