We’re coming to you today from The Market at Ale & Compass!
Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “Great! But where’s Ale & Compass?” The Market at Ale & Compass is located in Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. You may already be familiar with Ale & Compass Lounge, which sits near the Captain’s Grille (which is currently closed for refurbishment — guests can enjoy Captain’s Grille dishes at its temporary location in Ariel’s).
The Market at Ale & Compass, however, is located right by the Fittings & Fairings gift shop (which is… umm, also closed for refurbishment 😉 , with a reopening planned for July. Change is the name of the game ‘round these parts!).
With the exception of the Yacht & Beach Club’s pool bar, Hurricane Hanna’s, the Yacht Club has been without a Counter Service option, with guests relying on nearby choices at the neighboring BoardWalk Inn and Beach Club.
The Market at Ale & Compass is here to change that… and it’s been a long time coming. Step inside!
The Market at Ale & Compass has been established in half of what was the Fittings & Fairings gift shop (the other portion of the space will once again operate as a merchandise spot once it reopens in July).
One of the reasons the Yacht Club greatly needed a Counter Service option is that it is a Convention Resort as well as a Disney World guest resort. We’re talking lots of folks in and out on the way to conferences and meetings in need of a place to grab a quick bite without hiking over to the Beach Club Marketplace or Boardwalk Bakery.
For that reason, the setting is very much function over form, with the food options front and center in a fairly simplistic, minimalist setting, with wooden tables and baskets providing a few rustic touches, a la an outdoor marketplace.
Though the emphasis is on allowing guests to get in and get on their way, there is also a section of tables and chairs. All pretty basic. (Note that there is currently no outdoor seating.)
In many ways, it’s the food itself that provides most of the “decor.”
So let’s take a look at those options next.
With an apparent focus on the convention crowd, the food at The Market is primarily grab-and-go style eats.
That said, you will also encounter a menu with hot offerings for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Specialty coffee is at the ready for guests in need of a caffeine fix.
Now, for a closer look. In all areas from the pre-packaged grab-and-go to the cold refrigerated selections and so on, you’ll notice some differences compared to what we’ve found in the past at Disney food courts. Even though The Market carries standard choices such as Lay’s brand chips, granola bars, and cereals, you’ll also spy lots of higher-end brands among them.
Take, for instance, the pre-packaged choices, which include Epic Salmon Bites, The New Primal Jerky, and Smash Mallow Snackable Marshmallows.
Bagged and boxed items include Carrot-Zucchini Bites, Gruyere Choux, Lemon Macarons, and even chocolates from The Ganachery.
The trend continues with chilled choices, with hummus, tabouleh, and shrimp cocktail among the salads and cold sandwiches.
Even the frozen novelties have a unique addition.
As far as we know, The Market is one of the only places selling Halo Top on property at the moment.
Hot options are available for breakfast as well as lunch and dinner.
The hot counters are kept fully stocked for high traffic hours. If they are on the empty side when you arrive, you can visit the coffee counter to place a hot sandwich order during less busy times.
Two bakery cases hold your basic croissants, muffins, sweet breads, and the like.
Drinks include basic bottled beverages (with a few not-so-basic, like Orgain Protein Shakes), wine, and beer.
Coke Freestyle customizable drinks are also an option. By the way, did you know you can mix your drink flavors, even with the whole Rapid Fill refillable resort mug and cup situation?
Just fill your cup halfway with whatever flavor option you select, then press the “back arrow” to the upper left of the screen, and select your next choice to fill the rest.
Whew! So, that’s the setup! I ended up trying a couple of sandwiches, pastries, and a few “somethings sweet” from the desserts.
First things first: when you have you ever known me to resist a Cinnamon Roll?
The Market’s version is just your basic, other than that it’s quite light and flaky; not dense at all. And this one was notably fresh.
I was also intrigued by the Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips from the bakery case.
As it turns out, the chocolate provided nearly all the flavor, as the banana bread itself was pretty bland.
Cast Members shared that the Ham and Cheddar Cheese served on a Pretzel Roll has been the most popular of the hot sandwiches.
I assume that’s because of said pretzel roll, which is always a draw, but honestly there’s nothing remarkable about this one.
I much preferred the other hot sandwich I ordered: the Spicy Italian Panini, which is capicola (smoked pork shoulder), mortadella (an Italian lunch meat), ham, provolone cheese, and giardinere (a vegetable and herb blend) served on a baguette.
Two things stand out with this sandwich: first, this thing is PACKED with flavor from the interesting combination of meats.
Second, this sandwich IS, indeed, spicy, thanks to the giardinere (which typically includes serrano peppers in the mix).
Even though The Market is not meant to be destination dining, I would come back specifically for this sandwich. So that’s saying something.
Since they went beyond your typical cupcakes and ramekin offerings, I decided to try three of the desserts.
The Chocolate Coffee Mousse a bit of a nice surprise. I’m not a chocoholic, really, but this rich mousse with its punch of mocha flavor was much better than I expected.
While I wasn’t particularly wowed by any of the desserts, as far as chocolate dome options in Disney World go, this was the best one I’d tried. (Though it still wouldn’t be on my must-eat list._
The Apple Mousse is definitely cute and eye-catching.
It’s an apple mousse covered in a thick glaze, served on top of a bit of apple compote above the crust.
Its looks are the most memorable thing about it, though, and there’s no reason to go for it over the chocolate.
My final dessert was the Lemon Cheesecake, which is topped with a blackberry mousse and a blackberry foam with a gritty texture that I didn’t particularly care for.
The base is simply your typical lemon cheesecake that you’ll see in other spots around property. Decent flavor, but nothing special. Additionally, it’s really small for what you pay for. Pass.
Still, the dessert options at least differed from what I anticipated, as did many of the selections packed into the space. I’ll be curious to see how the choices go over with the resort’s guests, and we’ll be keeping an eye out to see if any changes take place to the offerings in the future.
The Market at Ale and Compass is what it is. Like I said, it’s not destination dining. In all fairness, though, it’s not intended to be. It’s a simple convenience for guests at the resort, and a solid option primarily focused on serving convention traffic. This is why it was interesting to spot some fairly unique choices and decent variety in what otherwise is a mostly an amped up grab-and-go. In that sense, it reminds me a lot of Cafe Rix in Coronado Springs Resort — another resort that hosts lots of convention guests. The Market and Cafe Rix both fulfill a basic role of providing easy access meals, but in both cases you can also find at least one or two items that are somewhat unique and above par. And since it’s high time that the Yacht Club had a Counter Service option of its own, we’re glad to say “Welcome” to The Market at Ale & Compass.
Nosh or Not?
Eat Here If:
- You’re staying at the Yacht Club or Beach Club
- You’re in a hurry and need a hot sandwich or a pastry
- You love a good Italian pressed sandwich
- You really need Halo Top
Don’t Eat Here If:
- You’re staying anywhere else on property
- You’re looking for very kid-friendly food
- You want atmosphere/ambiance, or you’re looking to make memories with your food choices during this meal
What do you think of having additional dining choices at the Yacht and Beach Club? Please let us know with a comment!