On Crescent Lake across from the Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, the BoardWalk Inn is another of the Walt Disney World Deluxe resorts. The complex is a detailed replica of an early-20th-century Atlantic coast boardwalk. Facades of hotels, diners, and shops create an inviting and exciting waterfront skyline. In reality, the BoardWalk Inn & Villas are a single integrated structure behind the facades. Restaurants and shops occupy the boardwalk level, while accommodations rise up to six stories above. Painted bright red and yellow along with weathered pastel greens and blues, the BoardWalk resorts are the only Disney hotels that use neon signage as architectural detail. The complex shares a pool having an old-fashioned amusement-park theme (there are also two quiet pools).
The 532 BoardWalk Villas are decorated in warm tones and primary colors, with bright tiles in the kitchens and bathrooms. Villas range from 412 to 2,491 square feet (studio through three-bedroom), and sleep 4â€“12 people. Many villas have full kitchens, laundry rooms, and whirlpool tubs. The villas tend to be more expensive than similar accommodations at other Disney resortsâ€”you pay for the address.
The inn and villas are well staffed and offer excellent service. Theyâ€™re also home to some of Disney Worldâ€™s finest restaurants and shops. The complex is within walking distance of Epcot and is connected to other destinations by bus and boat. Walking time to transportation loading areas from the most remote rooms is 5â€“6 minutes.
Reader comments about the BoardWalk Inn & Villas include the following. From an Iowa City, Iowa, family:
We were surprised that so relatively few rooms at the BoardWalk Inn have interesting views. We were in a group staying there before a Disney cruise, and the one couple who actually had a view of the boardwalk said it was noisy.
A number of readers have complained about the bus service at the BoardWalk Inn. This comment is typical:
Regarding the BoardWalk, the transportation by bus (Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom) was the worst. We waited at least 40 minutes every time and almost missed a dinner reservation (for which we left 11â„2 hours early). I also didnâ€™t like having multiple stops.
|Hotel||Definitely (+/- since 2010)|
|Disney's BoardWalk Villas||80% + (30%)|
|Average for WDW hotels||74% (+3%)|
|Average for off-site hotels||79% (+10%)|
|Average for vacation homes & condos||95% (N/A)|
|Hotel||Definitely (+/- since 2010)|
|Disney's BoardWalk Villas||96% (-4%)|
|Average for WDW hotels||90% (+1%)|
|Average for off-site hotels||94% (+5%)|
|Average for vacation homes & condos||100% (N/A)|
Good (and Not-So-Good) Rooms at Disney's BoardWalk Villas
The complex comprises several wings that radiate from the lobby complex, roughly in the shape of a giant H. Crescent Lake and the Promenade (pedestrian boardwalk) are to the north, the entrance is to the south, and the canal that runs to Disneyâ€™s Hollywood Studios is to the west. At the BoardWalk, the â€œwaterâ€ part of â€œwater viewâ€ can mean Crescent Lake, the canal, or a small pool. There are two concierge floors for those wanting extra service.
Most rooms at the inn and villas have a balcony or patio, though balconies on the standard upper-floor rooms alternate between large and medium. The BoardWalk Inn & Villas each share about half the frontage on the Promenade, which overlooks Crescent Lake. The Promenadeâ€™s clubs, stores, and attractions are spread about equally between the two sections, leading to similar levels of noise and commotion. However, the inn side is closer to Epcot and the nearby access road; this provides better views of Epcot fireworks and easier access to that park, but it also means more road noise.
Otherwise, the inn is actually less noisy than the more expensive villas; thereâ€™s one tranquil, enclosed courtyard, and another half-enclosed area with a quiet pool (where BoardWalkâ€™s Garden Suites are). There are many rooms to avoid at the inn, starting with rooms overlooking access roads and parking lots, and rooms looking down on the unattractive roof of the adjacent conference center. And although the aforementioned quiet rooms face courtyards, the views are pretty ho-hum.
The villas are somewhat better. Most overlook a canal to the west with the Swan resort and its access road and parking lots on the far side. Worse are the rooms that front BoardWalkâ€™s entrance and car lots. As at the inn, the villas offer only a handful of rooms with good views. Odd-numbered rooms 3001â€“3033, 4001â€“4033, and 5001â€“5033 afford dynamic views of the Promenade and Crescent Lake, with Epcot in the background. Theyâ€™re a little noisy if you open your balcony door but otherwise offer a glimpse of one of Disney Worldâ€™s more happening places. Unless you bag one of these rooms, however, youâ€™ll spend a bundle for a very average (or worse) view.
Promenade-facing villa rooms have noise issues identical to their inn counterparts. The midsection of the canal-facing villas look out on Luna Park Pool, a carnival-themed family-pool complex that gets extremely noisy during the day. Some of the quieter villas are away from the Promenade with views of the canal and a partially enclosed quiet pool. Noise is practically nonexistent; the only downside is that the rooms are relatively distant from the Promenade and Epcot. Rooms on the opposite side of this wing are almost as quiet, but they face BoardWalkâ€™s parking lot and thus are less desirable.
|Lively seaside and amusement-pier theme||No restaurants within easy walking distance suitable for children|
|Newly refurbished guest rooms||No restaurants in hotel|
|10-minute walk to Epcot rear entrance||Limited children's activities and no character meals|
|15-minute walk to Dinsey's Hollywood Studios||No transportation to Epcot main entrance|
|Boat service to Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot||Distant guest self parking|
|Well-themed swimming complex|
|3-minute walk to BoardWalk midway and nightlife|
|Good selection of off-site dining within walking distance|
|Health and fitness center|
|Good views from waterside guest rooms|
|On-site child care|
|Magic Kingdom||7 minutes|
|Animal Kingdom||7 minutes|
|Disney's Hollywood Studios||3 minutes|
|Quietness of Room||B|
|Shuttle to Parks||Yes|