Disney Secrets: Crew’s Cup at Disney’s Yacht Club

When people ask me for some of my favorite “Disney secrets,” I tend to think of food first. I know, I know! But Disney theme park food is such a crazy, trend-hopping experience, and everyone seems to have their own very serious opinions on churros and Dole Whips and popcorn.

But come on, those are fun snacks and all… but if you’re serious about your Disney food, you want to know where the real flavors are hiding. So here is where you’ll find of some of my favorite Disney secrets: Crew’s Cup at Disney’s Yacht Club.

Where is Crew’s Cup?

First off, let’s talk for a moment about Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. These sister resorts are located just past Epcot’s International Gateway — that’s the World Showcase entrance to Epcot — and overlook Crescent Lake. Across the water from them, you’ll find Disney’s Boardwalk, plus the pathways to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin.

The lighthouse at Disney's Yacht Club, overlooking Disney's Boardwalk.
The lighthouse at Disney’s Yacht Club, overlooking Disney’s Boardwalk.

These are all awesome resorts to visit in their own right, and Boardwalk gets most of the attention because it has so many eateries, shops, and entertainment options placed right out on the waterfront boardwalk. By comparison, Yacht and Beach Club hide their dining options within the resort, behind the sprawling pool complex called Stormalong Bay. It’s easy to walk right past Yacht and Beach without ever seeing what’s hidden within, even if you decide to poke your head inside their (beautiful) lobby areas.

But head inside Yacht Club’s lobby, turn right and follow the winding passage to the right of Ale & Compass Lounge. After a few turns around the restaurant here, you’ll find a small boat guarding a small doorway with an even smaller sign, reading “Crew’s Cup.” You’re here.

Interior: Crew's Cup Lounge at Disney's Yacht Club
Dark wood and golden lanterns give Crew’s Cup Lounge a cozy feel.

Crew’s Cup theming probably won’t blow your mind, unless you really love rowing. There are some rowing trophies scattered around, and a boat suspended from the low ceiling. The dark, cozy atmosphere of the lounge is unfortunately at odds with the three large televisions tuned to ESPN, but at least they’re on mute. That’s okay. The star here is the food (and drink, especially if you love a good wine list).

What to Order at Crew’s Cup

Technically, Crew’s Cup is the lounge for the signature restaurant Yachtsman Steakhouse, meaning they share a kitchen and, when Yachtsman isn’t too busy, you may be able to order off that venerable restaurant’s menu. Yachtsman specializes in premium steaks, and if you enjoy watching a master butcher cutting steaks, look for the table on the right that looks into the meat locker. You’ll get a master class in chopping up beef.

Even if you’re there on a busy Saturday night and the Yachtsman menu is off-limits, you’re in luck. Because the lounge menu is where my Disney secrets reside!

February, 2019 menu at Crew's Cup Lounge, Disney's Yacht Club
Menu for Crew’s Cup Lounge at Disney’s Yacht Club – February 2019

Lounge menus are an opportunity for chefs to play with concepts, so you’ll find the menu’s entrees and appetizers are subject to change throughout the year. However, these three items tend to be the constants:

Yachtsman Signature Bread: sourdough baguette, pull-apart onion rolls, roasted garlic, butter ($7 at time of publication)

Baked Cheese Dip: manchego and gouda, house-made chorizo, peppers, artichoke hearts, and pretzel bread ($13 at time of publication)

Classic Crew Burger: Mr. Tractor Honey Mustard, miso bacon, house-made ketchup, mayo, lettuce, tomato, bread and butter pickles, onions, cheddar cheese, and hand-cut fries ($20 at time of publication)

Of these three items, the ones I vouch for as my favorite Disney secrets are the bread, and the baked cheese dip. (The Crew Burger is good but not as good as it used to be, I’ll explain later).

If you love cheese, the baked cheese dip will make your heart sing. The manchego and gouda blend is served hot, with a sprinkling of green scallions and sliced olives on top, and a few juicy artichoke hearts swimming within. The fluffy cheese spreads beautifully on the sliced pretzel bread roll served with it.

Baked cheese dip appetizer at Crew's Cup Lounge, Disney's Yacht Club
Pretzel bread and baked cheese dip – divine! At Crew’s Cup at Disney’s Yacht Club.

Make it last longer by adding the Yachtsman signature bread to your order. The pull-apart onion rolls do pair perfectly with the head of roasted garlic and salted butter served alongside, but those sourdough rolls can go straight into the cheese dip as far as I’m concerned! Delicious.

Rolls and butter appetizer at Crew's Cup Lounge, Disney's Yacht Club
Roasted garlic and salted butter are the perfect complement to fresh-baked rolls.

As for the Classic Crew Burger, this used to be Disney’s best burger, and you’ll still see reviews calling it as such. Your mileage may vary. The last time I ordered it, it had gone from one thick patty to two thin, diner-style patties. They still use premium meat from Yachtsman’s butcher to make the burger, and the generous toppings and fries served alongside are all top quality, but I do question the $20 price now. If you’re happy to drop the money, it’s still great to split alongside the baked cheese dip — you can dip the fries in the cheese too, yummm!

Drinks at Crew’s Cup

With the New England yachting theme of the resort, you can expect some dark liquids stored in dusty bottles on the shelves, and I did hear a bartender saying something about a port flight. Still, the bar menu is the standard Disney bar menu. However, they do have an extensive wine list, courtesy of the signature restaurant next door of course.

As of this writing, they’d added a 22 oz. stein of draft beer to their Florida craft beers on tap for much less than buying two regular beers, which is a really nice option when you’re stopping in for a leisurely drink and some salty cheese! The options were Cigar City Jai Alai IPA (a standard local IPA offering around Walt Disney World, with a really nice caramel-touched bitter flavor), a Crooked Can kolsch from nearby Winter Garden, and another pale beer which escapes me now.

If you’re looking for an escape from a busy afternoon or evening at Epcot, Crew’s Cup is a fantastic option. Seating can be limited, so you might have to borrow chairs or wait a few minutes to make it work, but I think you’ll find it’s worth your time.

Crew’s Cup: definitely one of my favorite Disney secrets!

10 Delicious Ways to Use a Disney Snack Credit

Ready for a real treat? If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, you’re going to find yourself with a lot of snack credits to use during your vacation — two per person, per night of stay, with the regular dining plan! And while they’re great for things like breakfast pastries, letting you save those meal credits for bigger and better dining occasions, you’re at Disney World — you’re going to want to splurge on some delicious treats!

Delicious Disney Snacks
Yum! Minnie and Mickey Rice Krispy Treats can’t be beat.

Go beyond popcorn and ice cream with these delicious ways to use your Disney snack credits. There are even great ideas here for using your snack credits to take treats home!

Mickey Rice Krispy Treats

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Top them with sprinkles, top them with chocolate chips, top them with crazy icing, or just eat them with their gooey marshmallow goodness: Mickey Rice Krispy treats are the signature Walt Disney World treat! Get them on a stick with plenty of toppings, or pick up a pre-wrapped one just about anywhere at the parks and resorts. Pro tip: use up your leftover snack credits on these yummy treats and save them for your flight home, gifts for friends, or a little touch of Disney after you’ve gotten home!

Tinker Bell Ice Cream (Magic Kingdom)

The key lime Dole whip, white chocolate wings, sugar cone and green cotton candy dusted with edible glitter is everything a pixie dusted-dessert should be. The gorgeous fluffy halo of the most popular Instagram pics might not appear on every cone — it’s very difficult to get cotton candy to stay airy and photogenic on a humid Florida afternoon! — but we think the magic is still there! Get it when it’s on the menu at Storybook Treats in Magic Kingdom, right next to The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh.

Zebra Domes (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge)

If you’re dining at Animal Kingdom Lodge’s vast buffet, Boma, you’ll be able to help yourself to piles of delectable Zebra Domes — a weighty little sugar-bomb of Amarula Cream Liquor mousse and white chocolate. But if not, stop into the Lodge’s counter-service restaurant, The Mara, or Kidani Village’s merchandise shop, Johari Treasures, and look for these pre-packaged four-packs of Zebra Domes. But be warned: these sweet favorites sell out!

Poutine (Epcot)

It’s gravy! It’s cheese curds! It’s french fries! It’s hard to go wrong! Grab some poutine at the Refreshment Port, located in World Showcase near Canada. When you want a savory flavor for a snack credit, poutine delivers the goods.

Citrus Swirl (Magic Kingdom)

They say there are two kinds of Disney person: Citrus Swirl, or Dole Whip. I’m happy to claim to both: give me either one and a spoon, and I’m a happy Disney girl. Citrus Swirl is definitely a Walt Disney World original, with a blend of soft-serve vanilla ice cream and frozen orange juice slush that’s been around since the early years of the Magic Kingdom. My tip: make sure every bite is half vanilla and half orange. The two pair together perfectly; separately, the sweet profile of the vanilla can make the orange juice taste bitter. Get it at Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland, across from the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.

Dole Whip Float (Magic Kingdom)

There are Dole Whips… and there are Dole Whip floats. Now, look, I’m a fan of pineapple soft serve as much as the next person… but I advise you to get the Dole Whip swirl, with vanilla, just to take the fruity edge off. Better yet, get the Dole Whip Float – and ask for the Vanilla/Pineapple swirl in that. Once the pineapple juice and ice cream hits your tastebuds, you’ll understand why. Get your Dole Whips and Dole Whip floats at the Magic Kingdom (Aloha Isle – Adventureland), and Disney’s Polynesian Resort (Pineapple Lanai). You’ll also find Dole Whip options at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and assorted other locations with an optional rum topper. It really keeps showing up in new places all the time!

Peter Pan Float (Magic Kingdom)

Another Storybook Treats entry is the delicious (and beautiful) Peter Pan Float! Key lime ice cream, Sprite, and a red chocolate feather make it both refreshing and utterly Instagrammable.

Maleficent Cone (Magic Kingdom)

So, Storybook Treats apparently has all of the lime ice cream in the park, and so when you have things you want to make green for thematic reasons, that’s where you put them. In this case, it’s to celebrate the return of Maleficent, the fire-breathing dragon, in the the Festival of Fantasy parade. This cone is usually available during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, too. So look for it — you never know!

Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)

Satu’li Canteen, in Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, gets rave reviews for its bowls, which include your choice of proteins like chicken, beef, or chili-spiced tofu; and some other original items like steamed cheeseburger buns. But for snacks, everyone agrees on the futuristic curves of the blueberry cream cheese mousse with passionfruit curd.

Starbucks (All Theme Parks & Disney Springs)

Hot or cold, night or day, Starbucks is here to save the day. For just a snack credit!

All of these items were on Walt Disney World menus and part of the Disney Dining Plan at time of publication, but menus do change without notice, so be sure to look for the purple DDP logo before ordering. Generally, you’ll find single-serve items for $6 or less are available with Disney snack credits, although there are exceptions to that rule. When in doubt, ask a Cast Member! They’ll be happy to show you snack credit menu items.

Do you have favorite ways to use your Disney snack credits? Comment with your best tips!