Disney's BoardWalk Resort: A Hidden Gem
|by Terry Rohrer, PassPorter Guest Contributor|
Last modified 1/13/2009
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Most vacationers may not know what entertainment and dining options are available to guests that are not staying at the property. We found what this resort offers when a friend wanted to meet us for dinner but did not have park admission. We decided to meet at Disney's BoardWalk Resort and have dinner at one of the restaurants.
The BoardWalk Resort is of course a deluxe property with all the amenities. But what most guests miss is the actual boardwalk that sits in the back of the resort. There are restaurants, shops, an ice cream parlor & candy store, and carnival games for the kids. There is the Atlantic Dance Hall, and Jellyrolls, which is a dueling piano bar for the over 21 crowd.
There are bikes available for rent to ride around the Boardwalk and Crescent Lake. The path that circles Crescent Lake is 7/8 of a mile and will take you past five different resorts. It starts at the BoardWalk and goes past the Swan, Dolphin, Beach Club and Yacht Club resorts. The best part of the bike ride is seeing these resorts from the back. You get an up-close look at the best pool on Disney property, the Beach and Yacht Club's Stormalong Bay. You can even get a four-wheeled surrey bike that the entire family can ride!
The dining options at the BoardWalk are wonderful: there is the Big River Brewing Co., the Flying Fish Cafe, Spoodles and an ESPN Club (for the sports nut in the family). Be sure to check your PassPorter for the details on what they serve and the costs. We enjoy Spoodles for the Mediterranean-style pasta. When you see the menu and the amount of food you will understand why we rent the bike AFTER dinner!
One of the things that Disney has done to make the night great for the entire family is add entertainers to the boardwalk. They change them on a frequent basis so that if you go every night you may experience a variety of entertainers or (at least) not see the same show as you saw the previous night. Each roving entertainer will stop and perform their act, and as he or she gets going you will see they have a large crowd watching. They will get the crowd involved in the act. Our 6 year-old played a washboard with the Banjo Man, swung a rope with the cowgirl, and helped the magician with a trick, all in one night.
The entertainers are out every night from 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm. Disney does not advertise them or list when or where they will perform, as they are meant to be a "happy surprise" for the guests. If it rains they are still there but may be a bit harder to find - they will perform in the lobby of the BoardWalk or in the restaurant lobbies. If it is raining be sure to keep a look out for them as it will help pass the time while you wait for a table and keeps the little ones happy while trapped inside.
The performers include but are not limited to:
Professor Flapdoodle and his All American Medicine Pitch is an original member of the BoardWalk Buskers, who started in 1996 when the BoardWalk opened. He performs magic with comedy.
Erick Olson and Brian Staron, who do comedic magic.
The Amazing Carlo (Marek Dudek) who does amazing balancing and sword swallowing.
Bill & Lin Whitmire do a comedy juggling routine.
Mark Anderson, aka The Musicale Mark and his bicycle piano.
Anthony the Banjo Man who does comedic banjo tunes.
When you see them perform be sure to tell them that, "Shy Brady from Indiana says hello." Our son was a bit shy at first but once he realized how much fun it was to participate he started talking to all of them, and was a hit. Every time we go back we see someone who remembers him.
Another neat thing that the BoardWalk offers is a view of IllumiNations, Epcot's fireworks spectacular. Head for the west end of the boardwalk near Jelly Rolls and the Atlantic Dance Hall to grab a spot! You can also see IllumiNations from the bridge between the BoardWalk and the Swan & Dolphin resorts.
As you can tell, the BoardWalk is on our "must do" list every trip because of everything it offers. With all things Disney, the entertainment is subject to change (and usually does) so check your Times Guide or refer to your PassPorter for more information. You will have a great time at the BoardWalk and will start to include it in every trip, like we did after just one trip. Just remember to tell them, "Hi from Shy Brady in Indiana."
About the Author: Terry is the father of two and is a previous contributor to PassPorter News.
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chezp on January 6, 2008 @ 6:26 pm DawnDenise on January 8, 2008 @ 5:32 pm
We stayed at the Boardwalk Inn in October 2006. This was my husband's choice of resort for this trip and our first deluxe stay at WDW. The overall feeling of this resort is above average but our stay in general did not rank up there as a "will stay here again and again". Being a deluxe resort, it is more expensive than the moderates and even some of the other deluxe resorts.
Check-in was a disaster. We waited for over 2 hours in line. Not what we expected at a deluxe resort. They only had two CMs checking people in, and it was Saturday which could also contributed to the longer wait. Once we made it to a Cast Member, she advised us that she could not meet any of our requests. However dsappointing as they are requests, we were given a room on the fifth floor facing the parking lot at the VERY end of a long hallway.
The theming overall was enjoyable. I loved the light pastels of green, yellow, and blue. The room size was more than adequate and I loved having a little balcony for those early morning sunrises or late evening nightcap. Even though we didn't get a room with a king bed, we enjoyed the room overall.
The dining possibilites are plentiful with the ESPN Zone, Spoodles, Flying Fish Cafe, and the Big River Grille. There is also the Boardwalk Bakery (where you can refill and purchase the refillable mugs). We had a wonderful breakfast at Spoodles.
We did have a run-in with a CM that was less than magical in one of the gift shops when asked a very simple question. It was quickly taken care of by the Manager when he overheard my displeasure.
We did love all the crooks and crannies wthin the htoel to sit and relax and enjoyed a drink more than once in the Belle Vue Room. One of our favorite memories is buying an ice cream cone and sitting on a bench along the Boardwalk watching the entertainment and people in general.
All in all, the Boardwalk did not win our "favorite resort" tag but it was an enjoyable stay despite one or two rough spots.
Pros: Location, location, location--Wonderful access to EPCOT and Disney's Hollywood Studio, plus the entertainment possibilities on the Boardwalk itself. Lots of shopping opprtunities. We :love: Jellyrolls!!!
Cons: Not a lot of variety for quick service meal options within the hotel. Far away from the main pool.
Principessa_di_Fata on January 9, 2008 @ 10:09 am
I stayed here in September 2006 with my mother and my dd (7 months at the time) and absolutely loved it. I'll break my review down by sections.
While it wasn't overtly themed, as the values are, or as Wilderness Lodge is, it's really classic and beautiful. I never once felt like I was at some "ordinary" hotel. The Disney magic was all around in all of the attention to detail.
Absolutely gorgeous. VERY roomy. Lots of storage space. I was amazed at how much space there was! The room was spotless and I never had trouble with mousekeeping. The decor was lovely and the beds / bedspreads were just so pretty! We even got a couple of towel animals, which was fun!
We could see EPCOT out our balcony and it was awesome! Totally brought the magic in from the first moment.
I also heard no noise. We didn't have a water view which may have contributed to that, as I've heard those are noisy. But I heard no other toilets, no yelling or talking or anything. No footsteps from above... it was very quiet and peaceful.
I know a lot of people have complained that there's a lot of walking to be done to and from rooms, but I didn't notice anything. The pool is on the Boardwalk Villas side, so I did have to go down an elevator and through the lobby to the other side of the resort, but I did not find that to be a big deal at all.
Room service was amazing and you actually got a lot of food for your money. Ok, yes, we paid $50 (with all fees / tips) for breakfast for two, but it was a HUGE breakfast and it was delicious. So we splurged and did it twice. LOL!
I did not love that there was no real counter service place to eat, besides Spoodles pizza window (awesome pizza though) and the pool bar, so I'd definitely consider that a con. But since I'm a table-service kind of girl myself, I didn't mind. There are tons of sit-down places to enjoy. I did my counter service eating in the parks. And since it was a 5 minute walk to EPCOT, I ate most of my meals there! YUM!
I also cannot say enough about the Boardwalk Bakery! YUMMMMMMMY!
Can't beat it with a stick! I could walk to three theme parks (I consider MK in 'walking' distance because you just do a 12 minute walk to the monorail and then poof, you're there!) Of course, if you don't have a park-hopper... that isn't an option. But still...
The Boardwalk itself is just lovely and entertaining. You can walk to the Swan/Dolphin and Beach/Yacht Clubs, so you've got so many dining choices. You can sit on the Boardwalk and watch IllumiNations at the end of the day, and have an ice cream. The shops had so many different things in there, I ended up buying most of my souvenirs there instead of in the parks!
There's loads of places for entertainment, and I've heard wonderful things about Jellyrolls. I've been to a similar place but not that location specifically.
The slide was fun, the pool itself was nice and a good size, and the sitting area was pretty. It had a cute circus-y theme that I liked.
Holy smokes was that place pricey! LOL! We were there with a wedding discount so it wasn't "so" bad but still... phew! When I looked at the standard room prices on the door, we nearly fell over! I couldn't afford to stay there w/o a discount, but for those that can, I recommend it.
Bottom line is the resort is really pretty and comfortable. The layout worked fine for me. I loved being able to see IllumiNations, Spaceship Earth and the Eiffel Tower from my balcony in a STANDARD room. I'm waiting for them to wise up and make those rooms more expensive.
It was really convenient with a child, to be able to walk everywhere, and she slept a lot in her stroller while I wandered the World. I never had to take her out of the stroller while she napped, because I could walk places rather than getting on a bus or in a car.
I hope this helps someone out when deciding whether or not to stay here!
Jenny Pooh on January 13, 2008 @ 10:09 am
Disney's BoardWalk had been at the top of my list of places and finally rented a 2 bedroom suite. The entrance to the resort seemed very busy to me. You are smack dab in the middle of a parking lot and not much else to look at. The building is nice but nothing special that is until you see the other side! The magic of BoardWalk is the boardwalk! With so many shops and restaurants it's easy to forgot what you drove up to.
The lobby was cute and smaller than I imagined it would be. Lots of turn of the century circus decorations filled the walls. Our room was on the Villa side and is accessed by one elevator. I don't think I've walked down such a long and winding hallway in any hotel! Our room just happened to be at the very end of the building, over looking the Luna Park Pool. The suite was HUGE. With a master bedroom, master bath with a whirlpool tub, large shower and an even bigger closet that could really double as a bedroom for a toddler! The kitchen /living room areas are bright and cheery. We even had a washer/dryer in the hallway. The 2nd bedroom was off the living room and had one queen bed, wet bar, sofa and a good sized bathroom.
The pool area was cute but had a scary looking clown slide. I'm not very fond of clowns so I really hated the slide but that's just me.
While I loved our room the hustle and bustle of the BoardWalk was a bit much for me. It was always buzzing with activity and not as peaceful as I would have liked. If you truly want to feel like you are at the center of it all than this resort is for you. But being so close to Epcot is a major plus. The surry bike rentals are a blast with a great loop to ride around on.
It wasn't as easy as other resorts to run down and get some food. I enjoy a food court for the morning and you just didn't get that. We never really eat at any of the restaurants while we were there. Just the BoardWalk Bakery which is to die for :facelick:!
Hop, skip and a jump from Epcot
Extra long hallways
Always noisy (except in your room)
Creepy clown slide :crazy:
PoohBearFreak32 on February 14, 2008 @ 9:24 am
We stayed here in November 2006 and November 2007. On the 2006 trip we stayed at a Garden Suite. Yes it was super expensive but it was well worth the price! It was like having our very own apartment on WDW property. Living area and kitchenette and half bath downstairs and bedroom and huge bathroom upstairs. We were right across from the quiet pool and took advantage of it. There was no noise and generally no kids in this area of the resort. The only disadvantage of the Garden Suites was that you had to walk forever to get to the Concierge level for snacks or to get to the bus stop etc.
In 2007 we stayed in a Deluxe Room Concierge level and even this room was fabulous. Our room was directly of the Seashore Sweets shop and the view onto the Boardwalk itself was well worth the price. We could watch the performers in the evenings and since it was rather cool at night, we bundled up in blankets and took in the sights from our balcony.
The other bad thing about this resort is it takes a long time to get to the MK and AK and usually the buses are packed because the Boardwalk is the last stop on the circuit of five resorts. But the ease of getting to Epcot outweighs that - unless you want to get to the front of Epcot in which case you have to walk and walk and walk.
Joy J on February 25, 2008 @ 10:38 am
As you can probably tell by my rating of this resort, I adore the Boardwalk Villas. In fact, it's my favourite of all the Disney resorts I've stayed at.
There's so much to love about this hotel. First and foremost is location. You can't beat being able to walk or take a boat ride to Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios. The plethora of wonderful restaurants all within easy walking distance is another definite perk.
And how about the magical ambience here. It truly is like being transported to a different time and place. I could spend hours and hours just strolling along the Boardwalk or sitting on a bench and watching the world go by. The Boardwalk entertainers are marvellous to watch.
The facilities here are top notch. Although it took me a wee while to get used to the giant clown face in the pool area (I'm not a huge fan of clowns), other than that the rest of the pool decor is amusing and whimsical. Although some folks complain about the lack of a restaurant right inside the hotel, that didn't bother me one iota. The restaurants on the Boardwalk are such a slight walk away that it didn't prove to be a problem for us. Plus we liked nothing more than, for example, grabbing a couple of cinnamon buns from the Boardwalk Bakery and some coffee first thing in the morning and then sitting at a table overlooking the lake and watching the whole area wake up and come to life.
The staff at this resort were nothing short of amazing. All of them were friendly, courteous, helpful and went out of their way to ensure that we had the most magical of vacations. Mousekeeping was excellent and our room was always spotless after one of their cleanings. Plus they left us some pretty amazing towelgami creations.
Our studio was delightfully decorated and quite roomy. Although we only had a standard view room, we still found the v iew to be quite pleasant as it looked directly across at the front entrance and beautifully landscaped lawns. And you couldn't beat our room location. We were only a very short distance from the lobby or by crossing the hall and zipping down the stairs we were at the main pool.
As for price, because we were staying on our DVC points, price was not an issue.
All in all, we were so impressed with the Boardwalk Villas that I'm returning there in just under two weeks and I can hardly wait.
julieb on March 12, 2008 @ 10:32 am
I stayed at the BWI for two nights in Feb., and loved it. My room on the 5th floor was overlooking the Boardwalk, and it had a nice balcony and wonderful view of the Boardwalk, water, Yacht Club and Dolphin. It was very conveniently located, and it took me no time at all to jump on the elevator and get down to the Boardwalk. I found the proximity to Epcot to be ideal, and I liked having the shops and restaurants on the Boardwalk at my fingertips.
Room and theme:
The room was a good size, and the theming was very nice - pretty, actually. It was comfortable, and had a double sink and great beds! I loved the lobby and the seating areas there, along with the bar on the same floor a short walk away. It has an inviting and sumptuous feel to it, though not stuffy. I saw this hotel at Christmas as well, and was blown away by the volume of decorations! Swags of ornaments - the kids loved it! I actually liked it better than the Beach Club, which I never thought that I'd say. I don't like the Clown Pool - kids said it was scary, but that didn't stop me from staying there.
Service and amenities:
Great! I checked in early, and had no problem upgrading my hopper pass at the Concierge desk. I also used the business center, and found them to be helpful - they made some copies and mailed a package for me. The fitness center is just right for a quick workout (if you have the energy!). They have all the basics there - treadmill, lifestep, eliptical trainer, and free weights. Final note on service - I had room service one morning and the service was prompt and the food excellent.
I highly recommend this hotel! I really can't think of a single complaint, aside from the fact that it was expensive. Location, amenities, service, theme and overall feel - it was all great. And for everyone worried about the noise level, I'd just say that it wasn't a problem at all. I looked out over the Boardwalk and it was wasn't noisy at night.
WDWfan on May 28, 2008 @ 12:16 pm
I stayed in a standard view 1 bedrrom suite at BWV May 8-10. The room wasn't ready until 4:00 pm - and them only when we pressed them for a room so we could change clothes before dinner. Apparently they had an event going on at the resort and the housekeepers were busy with that so they were running late getting the rooms done. We had asked for a room close to the elevators since I had a friend staying with me who has some mobility issues. Again they weren't able to accomodate us.
After that rough start the rest of the stay was great. The room was clean (although there was a wet spot in the carpeting that took 2 days to dry out - I assume they had to scrub it after the previous guest) and well maintained. We were on the 4th floor looking over the driveway, but we did have a nice view of Illuminations from our balcony. The 1 bedrooms have so much more room than the studios and I really like the decor at BWV. The rooms are very comfortable - great to come back to at the end of a long day. I also enjoyed having a washer/dryer to use. They were bigger than some I've had at other (non Disney) timeshares.
I never had the time to enjoy the pools, but I :love: the boardwalk area. Walking along it at night and watching the people and the performers is a real treat. I think the reataurants at the Boardwalk are some of my favorites - Flying Fish Cafe is devine! I enjoy sitting at the Chef's counter watching them prepare the food, talking to them and sometimes gettting a sample sent out. :yummy: Spoodles is another favorite. I ate there for both breakfast and dinner on this trip and recommend it for either. The food at the Boardwalk Bakery is very good, but they really need to expand it or figure out a way to make it more efficient. The lines there are long and it is very crowded inside. Not a good design. :no They also need to add an area to their store similar to the deli at Beach Club Marketplace. This is one resort where I hardly ever use my refillable mug. It is really inconvenient to get a refill.
You can't beat the location. I walked to Epcot and DHS several times. Both are relaxing strolls (especially after eating to much at FFC :rolleyes. I'll definitely be staying here again.
jimmymac on May 28, 2008 @ 12:28 pm
-fabulous location. Easy access to Epcot, MGM
-The Boardwalk is great
-balconies give a great view
-theming is superb
-Beaches & Cream
-very nice pool
-Long walk from parking lot
-awful bus service
-no real carry out restaurant
jenntyl on August 13, 2008 @ 4:44 pm
We stayed at the Boardwalk Inn July 21-28, 2008. Our first impression of this resort upon arrival was it was nicely decorated. The front desk staff person was very helpful, as we arrived around 10 am and were able to check in. That was nice considering we did not want to wait until 4 pm to check in. The biggest benefit of staying at this resort is its location. It is only a 5 or so minute walk to Epcot and 12 minute walk to Hollywood Studios. This saved us so much time compared to waiting for a bus or other transportation. In fact, we tried to boat to Hollywood Studios and waited 15 minutes for the boat and it took another 10 minutes to stop at the resort. So, this is a big time saver.
This resort has nice landscaping. There are sitting areas around the resort outside for guests. It also has three different pools, with the largest one being the Keister Coaster pool. The kids loved this pool because of that reason, but the other pools are just as nice to get cooled off. The decor inside the resort is alos very charming and the theming falls right in line with the old time boardwalk of the East Coast.
Our room (room 1342) was a garden view overlooking the "quiet" pool. This was an added benefit for us because we could easily go outside for a swim and be close enough to the room. Another benefit of the rooms here is that the seem to be larger then most other Disney resorts. Our room had two double beds and a sleeper sofa. The bathroom was large enough as well.
As stated above, there are three pools. The large pool is nice for kids and those who love water slides, but is a bit more crowded. It was least crowded after a storm had passed. The two other pools were nice but had no extra benefits for kids (ie. a slide). But they were less crowded and oftentimes you would be the only one there. Also, there were no lifeguards on duty.
On Site Amenities
This resort's feature benefit is its location. I could not say enough about having such a perfect location. Being able to walk to two parks was a time saver. At this time of year the parks are crowded and waiting for a bus or being crowded in the bus can make for some unhappy people. Plus, if you really wanted to get to Magic Kingdom you can easily walk to Epcot and take the monorail there.
Our biggest complaint about this resort was its availability of dining services. Usually we get a mug because it works out well. However, at this resort getting a mug can be an inconvenience. You have to walk quite a distance and the dining areas where you get mugs close quite early. Plus, you need to wait for someone to fill it (it's not self service). Also, the dining establishments here do not make you feel as though you have your own exclusive dining like other Disney resorts. Although this is a problem, the food is spectacular. We ate at Spoodles for breakfast and it was very delicious. The portion sizes were also enough to feed more than one person. In addition, we did in room dining for breakfast the one morning (Family breakfast). This was meant for 4 people but it seemed like we could feed 8 or more people on it. The price was reasonable for the breakfast and the room service staff was very friendly.
This resort has pros and cons and depending on your needs you should look at what it is you most want from a resort experience. We loved the fact that we were within walking distance to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. However, if you like having close dining within the resort, this is probably not the resort for you.
wyomom on August 13, 2008 @ 5:52 pm
We (DH, DS-8, DD-3, and myself) stayed at the Boardwalk Inn Dec. 5-15 2006. We liked it well enough to stay there again this next trip.
Arrival: The bellhops and outside greeters were nothing but cordial. Very friendly and right away made us feel at home.
Lobby: Unbelievable! Just beautiful with all the Xmas decor! I just want to plop down on one of those couches and take in everything!
Desk personnel: The young lady (early 20's) did not make eye contact with me once. She was rather abrupt with the customary registration and treated us more like a number rather than a guest. She never smiled and at that moment, my attitude started changing from elated to irritated.
Resort: I love the ambiance of this place! Many people have commented on the long hallways and yes, it is a long hike to most rooms. However, IMO, what is a few extra steps when a full day was spent walking the parks so the distance to our room was not an issue. Since it was cool for Florida (highs were 74) we didn't spend any time in the pool. The clown slide didn't freak us out though! My impression of the slide is the turn of the last century boardwalk icon and I liked it! Some people just don't like clowns!
Room: We requested a room with a great view and boy did we get it! It was on the third floor I believe, overlooking the lagoon. Every morning I would sit out on the balcony and enjoy my coffee prior to rest of family waking. I loved it! The only bad thing about our balcony was the litter on the roof. A sippy cup, a few wrappers, and junk were in plain view. That did irritate me as I know Disney parks pride themselves on cleanliness. The room was freshly shampooed and that was great. I didn't mind that the room was overly humid as I preferred the clean carpets! The mirror on the bathroom door had hairspray and fingerprints from the last guests which were never cleaned by Mousekeeping during our stay. I was not pleased with that as I began to wonder what else had been missed. Toilet and beds were clean which are priority! Some mold on bathroom tile behind door and tub which told me that they don't do much extra housekeeping. We still tipped everyday as the room was kept clean overall and the Mousekeeping were super sweet! I just couldn't bring myself to say anything about the mirror!
Location: We spend the majority of our vacations in Epcot so the proximity was perfect. The boats were fun and the walk was very quick. The buses on the other hand are a different story. One morning we had 10:30 AM ADR's for O'hana. We reached the bus stop around 8:30. Two hours later, still no bus to MK! Talk about a bunch of angry guests! There were about 60 of us by that time and many picked up the curtosey phone to inquire. We were half tempted to just walk through Epcot and catch the Monorail, however, everytime we would think it, a bus would show up, of course being the wrong one! Needless to say, we missed our ADR.
Dining: Many people have noted the lack of restaraunts directly inside BW, however, we did not feel it was a problem. We ate at Spoodles and Flying Fish and they were both great. The bakery was very nice, however cramped. Pizza delivery was somewhat fast and tasty.
Noise: We didn't have a problem with the noise, even though we were directly above the bakery and ESPN was just next door. One night a group of intoxicated men decided to sing some 80's songs, but it was more comical than annoying!
The Boardwalk: We enjoyed walking the boardwalk in the evenings just to let the kids run and burn off energy....(us too!) It was never crowded. I would have liked to see the boardwalk vendors stay open later though. Since we were there during December, old Christmas songs would be playing so it really made one feel nostalgic.
Cons: Nothing that I have not already noted.
Pros: Since we only visit WDW every other year, we try to mix it up by staying at different deluxe resorts everytime. This upcoming trip, we were going to stay at GF, but felt Boardwalk is more to our liking. It feels like home!
schroadmol on September 30, 2008 @ 11:09 am
This was my first time staying at the Boardwalk. When I go on girls/adult only trips I like to try different resorts and needed find a resort I liked in the Epcot area. I had tried Yacht Club previously-and it was nice but I was not sold. This time it was Boardwalk's turn.
Arrival went fine. We actually flew in a day earlier because we did not know what Hurricane Ike was going to do. We stayed at the Poly the first night and transferred to the Boardwalk from there. The transfer went without a hitch! We called down to bell services to get our luggage, hopped on the monorail to the MK-and from there caught the Boardwalk bus. We went up to the bell stand and told them we were checking in at the Innkeepers Club. David the greeter was fabulous!! He took us up and introduced us to Steve who checked us in. We were in our room by 10am.
The room was a Deluxe Concierge room, room 4227, right above the bakery, and very near the Lounge. A perfect location. The deluxe room has two queen beds and a sitting area with a foldout sofa. This room is big enough for 5 people easy, without feeling cramped.
The Boardwalk was redoing the hardwood floors, so each day it seemed it changed on how you could get to your room. It became like a game on how we could get to our room. A little inconviene but nothing you couldn't work around.
The staff was wonderful, friendly and outgoing. We had great mousekeeping.
The only thing that was weird was that the quiet pool was not open 24 hrs. It had a sign that it closed at either 11 or midnight.
This was a great resort and I will probably mark this as my go-to Epcot resort for the future.
JackiePsarianos on October 5, 2008 @ 9:13 am
We love this resort and have been lucky to rent points from members in the past to get into a BoardWalk View one bedroom suite.
Location: it's awesome, right between Disney Studios and EPCOT and a walk or Friendship Boat ride away. You can catch the Illuminations Fireworks from EPCOT if you have a BoardWalk view or if you hang out on the Promenade.
Ammenities: A lot to do and see here, a lot to shop at. The only thing is that they don't have an indoor food court area. To grab a quick breakfast or lunch before heading off to the parks, you have to visit the BoardWalk Bakery where it's counter service and then you eat outside on the Promenade. In good weather it's very pleasant but in inclement weather not so good. You can also go over to the Beach Club sundries shop where they sell food stuff and have some seating where you can sit and eat.
The vacation club villas side of the BoardWalk need some renovations and clean up. You can tell the difference from the vacation club side and the Inn side as soon as you hit the elevators on each side. The corridors on the Inn side seem to be a step above the corridors on the Villas side. I would go further to say the same thing about the accommodations.
The restrooms on the main floor (ladies) are in need of a fresh coat of paint, especially in the cubicles.
We still love it here and prefer it to anywhere else.
laurip13 on November 30, 2008 @ 2:36 pm
Our second stay at the Boardwalk Villas was the week of November 16, 2008. My favorite thing about this resort is the close proximity to two parks.I was actually more impressed with the room quality/cleanliness on our first trip in May 2006. The room we stayed in was in need of some touch ups. The paint on the woodwork was chipping/peeling in some places. I do have to say that the remainder of the room was very clean. The bed and sofa bed were very comfortable. Even though we had a standard view room, we were able to see and hear Illuminations every night. That was a very nice surprise! I also noticed that we heard very little noise from our neighbors. Either they were very quiet, or the walls are thick!! My only complaint with our room, was the very long walk to/from the elevators. I guess we could have taken the elevators, but we have 3 small children and a double stroller to lug around.
All in all, this resort is nice, but it's not my favorite.
tkm1005 on November 30, 2008 @ 2:58 pm
The BW is a beautiful resort, but a little lacking in conveniences and service. We were there with my husbands convention. He coordinated the entire event which generated lots of revenue for the resort. We were originally put in a suite...however after we complained about a water leak and mold in the closet (from the ice machine on the other side of the wall) we were moved to a regular room with no apology for the inconvenience or anything. Park tickets were supposed to be prepaid and handed out to the participants at check in and they messed that up several times so we spent much of the initial day running around trying to get tickets to everyone who needed them.
The pool slide was under construction and it was quite loud in the pool area which I guess needs to be done, but it took away from our time there. Also really did not like the food options. No good quick serve, the refillable mugs were a pain etc. Also we tried to eat off of the hotdog cart only to find that they took cash only...
I would definitely prefer the Y&B Club resorts over the BW. Still a convenient location for the Studios or Epcot.
JenniLynne on January 16, 2009 @ 3:46 pm
We spent January 7-11 in an one bedroom villa at the Boardwalk Villas. We were there to celebrate our anniversary.
We arrived late in the afternoon after a long drive up from Key West. Check-in was very smooth and the cast members were extremely helpful and friendly. We were assigned room 1100 on the first floor and at first I was disappointed since I usually prefer upper floor rooms. As things turned out this was a great location. We were able to access the pool, Boardwalk and walkway to Hollywood Studios very easily without having to bother with the elevators which were quite a way from the room.
WDW wasn't our only destination and we had a great deal of luggage with us. Bell Services was prompt and efficient in delivering our pile of stuff.
The room itself was quite large by Disney standards and the decor was light and pretty. French doors opened out to a small patio with a view of the quiet pool and Community Hall. The kitchen was compact but well stocked with dishes, cutlery and appliances, including a blender. Dishsoap and paper towels were also provided. We were on the Dining Plan and didn't use the kitchen much but it was nice for keeping drinks cold and re-heating leftovers.
The washer dryer unit, located in a closet, was quite small but adequate for our needs. A one-use size box of Tide was provided but I found that, due to the small size of the washer, I could stretch it to cover two loads. Unlike the hotel rooms, no drying line is provided over the Jacuzzi tub.
Our living area was very light and decorated in a pretty floral motif. The sleeper-sofa was comfortable for sitting. My husband made it out and slept on it one night after I became ill. He said it was quite comfortable and didn't have that uncomfortable sleeper sofa bar across the middle that most do.
The bedroom had a king bed with a comfortable mattress and a second television. The bedside lamps can be operated from the switch at the door. The room is separated from the bath by a set of shutters.
The bath is divided into two sections. Adjacent to the bedroom is the Jacuzzi and a sink with a large countertop. This became "my" sink since there was plenty of room for my make-up and hair stuff. The toilet and shower are located in a separate room. This room also has a free-standing sink. Both the shower and Jacuzzi were roomy and had excellent water pressure.
I wasn't feeling well one night so we canceled our dinner reservations and ordered room service. Room service at the Boardwalk is provided by Spoodles and we were very satisfied with our meal. I ordered dinner for 7:30 and it arrived at 7:30 on the dot. We received a call to let us know it was on the way which I thought was nice.
My main complaint would have to be with the casual dining options here. We received mugs with our package but there was no self-service drinks station at the Boardwalk. You could only get your drinks served in a disposable cup yet had to cart your mug to either the Belvue Room or the Boardwalk Bakery for coffee. This ended up being a lot of things to juggle if you wanted to bring drinks back to the room. Of the two options I vastly preferred the Belvue Room. We used our snack credits at breakfast and it was a very pleasant place to sit (either inside or out on the balcony) and have a pastry.
All in all we enjoyed our stay at the Boardwalk. The kitchen and Jacuzzi were definite plusses as was the location. For the price, however, I think I prefer either the Polynesian or Beach Club Resorts. I love Stormalong Bay and the theming at the Polynesian.
(I have pictures but don't know how to post them!)
espnerica on February 27, 2009 @ 6:44 pm
The BoardWalk is great for a few reasons. You are a short walk to EPCOT and a slightly longer walk to MGM, which helps if the boats are taking awhile. The BoardWalk itself is full of restaurants, shops, and entertainment, and its nice to not have to travel for that. The rooms are just as nice (or nicer!) as some of the MK area Deluxes but not as high in cost- this is the main reason why we switched around 6 years ago to the Boardwalk from the Grand Floridian. Still, it does lack the "Disney essence" (or Magic) that perhaps some of the monorail resorts (namely the GF) contain. The theme is genius of the Jersey boardwalk and is well executed down the seagull sounds, but I could use a Mickey Mouse or more to remind me I'm in disney. I also think the monorail is a great and easy mode of transportation compared to the buses, and if you can chop it down to only 2 bus rides to parks (if going from an MK resort) it makes them a little better.
If you know you want to stay Deluxe but don't know where: I think its also a question of preferences- my family loves the central location of EPCOT on the WDW grounds, but they also name EPCOT as their favorite park. I have different preferences than my family- I love the MK and would rather stay near there, for the magic and for the daily castle view of course, so I'd rather stay in that area and have access to the monorail. sure EPCOT is central, but the buses, boats, and walking do not make the Boardwalk as ideal as the monorail option in my opinion.
MAKHayes-DisneyDiva on November 1, 2009 @ 2:40 pm
June 2009: I must admit I was a bit nervous about BWV for two reasons:
1. We rented points from a DVC member who I met on line. She seemed very nice, and I checked references, but I suppose those can be faked. I've never taken such a leap of faith, but the price was right...
2. I'd read some posts that indicated that the Villas side of the BW is looking a bit shabby.
I was pleasantly surprised on both counts! The point rental worked like a charm. We saved lots of cash, and the DVC member was totally honest. What a relief! And the villas were so NOT shabby! Ours was in beautiful condition, on the 5th floor, overlooking the lake. We had a lovely view of IllumiNations!
We could not have been more pleased with BWV! The pool area is fun, despite the big clown head. DS9 loved the slide, and the proximity to Epcot and DHS is awesome, plus the Boardwalk itself has a variety of shops and restaurants.
The theme and atmosphere at BWI/V is upscale, yet comfortable and relaxed.
Perhaps the best surprise was the friendliness and kindness shown to us by the CM's there. From the pool attnendants to the concierge and gift shop employees, everyone was helpful and considerate.
I would choose BWV again in a heart beat!
Luvsun on February 25, 2010 @ 11:07 am
Location! Location! Location!
This resort has a great location, being so close to Epcot and Disney Studios!
We were able to walk or ride a boat to both of these resorts.
The bus transportation is often shared with other Epcot area resorts. This leads to long waits and crowded busses.
The room that we had was beautiful! We had a great view from our balcony of a beautiful courtyard and of the garden cottages.
This resort is large! The hallways are very long!
We only used the quiet pool, which was closer to us than the main pool.
There are many restaurant options around this resort. I would definitely say that is a huge plus!
One of the things that we didn't care for was how far we had to go to re-fill our mugs. The only place to re-fill your mug is at the Boardwalk Bakery. That is a long way to go from a third floor resort room down to the Boardwalk.
The Boardwalk is a beautiful resort with a wonderful location!
We would definitely stay there again!
cindybelle on February 25, 2010 @ 11:28 am
I stayed 5 nights in Feb. 2010 because I could get a good discount with my AP. SO GLAD I did, because I would definitely return to the BW if I have the moolah in the future. LOCATION and PRICE are the winning attributes here -- when I looked at prices for Beach Club and Yacht Club, it was obvious that BW offered a better deal financially for practically the same distance from Epcot.
I liked being just steps away from the Flying Fish Cafe, which is now one of my very fave WDW restaurants.
I liked the theming, which was understated but elegant in a fun way. It seems like more of a resort for "grownups" than for kids, but I understand the main pool has a cool water slide -- it was definitely too cold while I was there (and closed for renovation). I would be interested in trying that slide during a hotter visit.
I had some bad luck with my first two room assignments, because I was put in noisy areas. But I politely asked for a third room and was given one that suited me to a T.
Just be aware that the lobby is on the SECOND FLOOR, so if you care about hallway noise and are assigned a room on the second floor, be sure to ask that it be a "leg" away from the lobby. Also, there's a 4th-floor Concierge Lounge that can be noisy for people in rooms on the 3rd floor. (There's a cutout in the 3rd floor ceiling that looks right up to that lounge, and children are running/stamping/laughing pretty much all day up there.) But there are a LOT of rooms in quiet areas, if that's important to you -- especially since there's a conference center next to the resort. I ended up happily in room 3320, which was quite a walk from the elevator but VERY QUIET -- I didn't hear a peep from the hallway.
I didn't get a chance to try out Kouzzina, a new Greek restaurant just steps from the BW -- but I hope to do that on a future visit. There are several quickie eating places, including the Boardwalk Bakery.
Most of all, I loved-loved-LOVED being able to walk/take boat to Epcot. Definitely a great selling point.
shannonwellnitz on July 27, 2010 @ 2:53 pm
We stayed at the Boardwalk Villas in April...it was almost everything I expected it to be!
The resort is beautiful and SO handy to Epcot and Hollywood Studios! The pool is great, my kids (5 and 8) loved the water slide, and the bakery is fabulous!
Now for the downside...there was a cast member at the pool bar who I seriously could have done without...she was SO miserable and actually asked my family for a tip on several occasions, when they were using counter service credits to buy lunch. The lack of a place to refill your cups is a major problem, you can get them filled at the bakery or the pool bar, but they have to do it for you, and it really defeats the purpose because they give you a cup of pop which you then pour into your cup and throw the cup out...talk about bad for the environment. They need a pop fountain that faces out to the public so people can do it themselves.
Also, it would be nice to have a counterservice location to purchase burgers etc. We tired of sandwiches after a week...
All in all we would stay in this hotel again...no doubt in my mind!
Only suggestion...request ground floor, the elevator is not close and rooms on the upper floors and a long hike up the stairs at the end of the day!
WeRDisneyFanatics on October 13, 2010 @ 4:50 pm
We had a fantastic stay at BWI in October 2010. The main purpose of our trip was the Food and Wine Festival, so for that, the location can not be beat! The renovated rooms are very tasteful and comfortable. We opted for a standard view room and the first room we had overlooked the roof peek of the Garden Suites. We later switched rooms and got another standard view, but this time on the top floor facing Epcot -- magic! I do wish there was another view category since there seems to be quite a disparity, at least based on our experience, in what you can get as a standard view. We were fortunate to be close to the elevators but the hallways are very long and winding so it can be a trek depending where your room is.
We loved the atmosphere of the Boardwalk. One thing we missed a little bit was a food court, but Boardwalk Bakery met our breakfast needs just fine.
I wouldn't hesitate to book another stay at the BWI.
WeLuvTheWorld on June 20, 2011 @ 4:12 pm
Our most recent stay was June 16-19, 2011 in the Villas. We are DVC members and were staying on points. We have stayed at the Inn side several times and were also in the Villas in March of this year. We love this resort and the theming is so much fun especially at night with all the activities going on at the boardwalk. It's such an easy walk over to EPCOT and DHS is a short boat ride away. We have walked to DHS in the past (before I had knee surgery) and it's not a bad walk when it's not too hot out. Lots of dining options since the Beach Club/Yacht Club are just across the water and only a 5 minute boat ride away. And with the World Showcase at EPCOT just 10 minutes away, your dining options increase even more. The only thing that is lacking is an actual counter service location that most of the other resorts have.
The only downside for us in our trips to the Villas has been the distance from the elevator to our room. The only set of elevators are just off the lobby and so it can be quite a walk to your room. There are stairwells located throughout which help but if mobility issues are a factor, be sure to ask for a room near the lobby.
We normally have a car when we are staying here but since we were there for a long weekend on our most recent trip, we decided to just rely on Disney transportation. EPCOT and DHS are really convenient and not an issue. We didn't go to AK so not sure about using the transportation for that park. Bus transportation from the MK was convenient and easy to use. We used the monorail to get to the MK. Our only problem was getting from DTD back to the resort on a Saturday afternoon. If you board the bus at the Marketplace in DTD, you will not be getting off the bus until the 7th stop! The bus will stop at the Pleasure Island/Westside bus stop at DTD, Typhoon Lagoon, the Swan, the Dolphin, the Yacht Club, the Beach Club and finally the Boardwalk. In the evenings, you will have one less stop since Typhoon Lagoon will be closed.
Overall, I would highly recommend the Boardwalk Inn and Villas and we will definitely be back in the near future!
JuliB57 on June 21, 2011 @ 12:32 pm
We are booked for 6 nights at the Boardwalk in January. It will be our first time to stay there and we are truly looking forward to it. One of the reasons I chose it was because we are doing the 1/2 marathon and it would be easy to get back to the resort after the race. Any special tips or room to ask for @ check-in?
Boardwalk Inn Fan 4 Ever on April 16, 2012 @ 10:53 pm
My first time staying at the Boardwalk Inn was in August 2010 and it was in a Deluxe Club Level Room. If there is one word that described that stay it would be wow. Their Club Level Cast Members were simply the best set of people we could have ever meet and they became a major reason why the Boardwalk Inn became my new favorite WDW Resort. Since then I stayed Club Level there again in December 2010 (Standard Club Level Room) August/September 2011 (Deluxe Club Level Room) and December 2011. (Standard Club Level Room)
I also very much enjoy going to the ESPN Club and I end up eating there at least 7 times during one trip because I think their food is that good and being a Hockey fan I ejoy their sports atmosphere.
In my opinion their Luna Park Pool with the Clown slide is great and one of the best themed pools I ever seen.
Finally I can't say enough how great it is having the walkways to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios, which makes visiting those parks so easy and with my Annual Pass it's even better.
AGentlRose on September 7, 2012 @ 5:31 pm
This was our first stay at the Boardwalk and I was so looking forward to spending a couple of days there. Check in was prompt and efficient, and our room was ready when we checked in at 2 PM. The room was decorated lovely, beds were comfortable, and there was even a towel bunny on a shelf. The location of Boardwalk in excellent if you're spending time in Epcot and the Studios, and we did take the bus to the Magic Kingdom one day and it was efficient. Now the negative --- Although the Wifi in the room was free, it was intermittent, on again, off again and very frustrating when you are trying to finish something and all of a sudden there is "no signal - guest wireless." One of the negatives is that you have to take two different elevators to get from 4th Floor to the Boardwalk itself. You had to take the elevator from the 4th Fl. to 2nd FL (main lobby) and then take a different elevator from the 2nd Fl to the Boardwalk (or use the stairs which is not an option for me) On our second day, we went to Epcot and returned to the room around 3PM and our room hadn't been cleaned. I called Housekeeping so see if we could be next on the list to have housekeeping. She said she would have to see where the housekeeper was and what she had to do. We were staying Club Level and I would have thought service would have been a little better, however I do not blame the housekeeper as after looking around the floor, it seems like there were only 3 housekeepers taking care of I don't know, maybe 70 or 80 rooms in that wing. This is Disney's fault, trying to cut costs. My first visit to Disney World was in 1984 and as the years go by, you can see the level of service going down as the prices go up. Meanwhile, as the housekeepers were breaking their backs to clean more rooms than I believe should be expected, the concierge lounge had 4 people standing around --- and I mean standing around. Oh of course, they clear the tables, put out the drinks, snacks, etc and will answer questions, but Disney 4 people for one small lounge? Speaking of the club lounge, service was very good. Of course, with 4 people doing what 2 could handle, everything should be spotless, and replenished as needed and it was, cannot fault that. How I determine whether a hotel will get 5 or 4 stars, is if I can answer the question "would I stay here again?" Unfortunately with the Boardwalk, the answer is No. Next time I stay at an Epcot resort, I will return to the Beach Club.
mmsportsmom on February 24, 2013 @ 6:34 pm
We stayed at BWV on rented points in January 2013. We had a 2 bedroom villa with a view of the pool. The villa was clean and I enjoyed the relaxed theming. Not in your face Disney but lots of hidden mickeys and pictures. Loved the wicker seating and being right on the boardwalk. Loved being able to walk to DHS and Epcot. We saved so much time being able to walk to two parks. The buses to DTD, MK and AK were fine, no waits were too long.
The Boardwalk Bakery was closed for expansion while we were there so that was the only downside. Hopefully after the expansion it will have more options like a quick service location.
We have stayed at AKL, Pop, CSR, and off site once. I always thought we would keep trying new resorts but the location of BWV makes it highly desirable to me. I have been looking at the resorts, thinking where will I stay next time and I keep coming back to BWV.
TracyJain2 on April 29, 2013 @ 5:35 pm
My friends & I are staying at Boardwalk in December. My only concern is the sofa bed... has anyone ever slept on one? Since there are 4 of us it will be 2 on the bed & 2 on the sofa bed. Since using enough points to get a 2 bedroom just to avoid a sofa bed isn't an option, I've got my fingers crossed!
Joy J on May 4, 2013 @ 8:20 pm
When we stayed at the Boardwalk Villas in a one-bedroom, my adult son slept on the sofa bed and he said it was fairly comfortable. Leastwise, he certainly didn't have any trouble sleeping.
Dreaming of DisneyWorld on August 15, 2013 @ 10:09 pm
We had high expectations, which unfortunately fell very short at Boardwalk Villas. The room decor was awful. It looked like they went into a furniture warehouse and threw all of the leftovers into a truck. The carpeting had frayed at the bathroom doors. If I had scissors, I could have trimmed it for them - obviously something mousekeeping had not thought to do.
The layout is very similar to Villas at Wilderness Lodge with the split bathroom (toilet/shower/sink and garden tub/sink/closet). The kitchen was a big disappointment. The refrigerator was not full-size. It did have a separate freezer, but was very small. There were numerous missing utensils, potholders, sink stopper, etc. There were also numerous dirty dishes. I scrubbed them well before using, but didn't expect to clean the kitchen and its contents upon my arrival for vacation.
Our villa had a view of the fountain near the bridge at the resort entrance. Our balcony had a dusk to dawn light, which shined directly into the windows despite the drapes being pulled closed. There was really little to no noise, though.
We loved the recently refurbished/remodeled Boardwalk Bakery! Good food and good selection.
The location of the resort is great as many others have said. We also liked the amenities at the resort, itself. We were in the pool several times and rented a surrey bike to tour the boardwalk area.
We felt the quality was lacking here. That makes me sad, b/c I really wanted to love it. :(
xwewhisper on November 12, 2013 @ 10:45 am
We stayed in a 1 bedroom villa in September 2013. I've stayed here numerous times before and it really just never "wowed" me as some of the other resorts do. I just think the themeing doesn't hit home for me. However, on this last trip we had a beautiful room and were really able to take advantage of some of the amenities of the resort and it was wonderful! Also, our room had a view of Disney's Hollywood Studios, so we were able to watch Villainy in the Sky from our balcony!
We had dinner at Kouzzinas, amazing! Snacks at the Boardwalk Bakery were also tasty and wonderful! The poolside games were fun for little ones, although the clown slide still freaks me out. The service at atmosphere at the hotel lounge were also outstanding. The major downside for me is still the lack of a decent QS eatery, they are working to improve, but the Boardwalk Bakery still doesn't really have anywhere to sit and eat, you have to snag one of the few outdoor tables or go all the way back to your room.
Walk to Epcot and the Studios
So much to do!
Lack of Quick Service
Would I stay here again, YES! Would I recommend to a friend, YES!
tweety41 on November 19, 2013 @ 5:09 pm
We stayed in the Villa's in a studio. Loved the location. Walked to Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. Great for Osborne Lights and Food and Wine festival. Not so great bus service. It took over two hours to go to Downtown Disney and back. We only shopped for about 45 minutes. Wish it had more quick service options. We did Kouzzina' s for breakfast and that was super yummy! Pools were fun too.
View all 34 comments in forum thread Kynna on April 30, 2014 @ 9:04 am
We have stayed at the Boardwalk twice now and plan to again in the future. While we find the service to be the least friendly of the 7 onsite resorts we've tried, knowing we are only steps away from the parks makes it worth giving up on a little of the "magic".
I know that many have had issues with the lack of QS options in the past so I am' assuming they have added menu items at the Boardwalk Bakery since then. Between there, the pizza place and the hot dog cart there were plenty of onsite options and personally we enjoyed walking over to World Showcase and grabbing a quick bite.
Of course the best part of this resort is the location. It is an easy walk to Epcot & Hollywood Studios meaning you can catch glimpses of fireworks from both parks at night from the resort. (if not from your window then from the boardwalk & the pool) We also take advantage of being able to walk through Epcot and take the Monorail to Magic Kingdom. The only park we had to take a bus to was Animal Kingdom.
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Updated 1/13/2009 - Article #23
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