Disney’s Boardwalk Inn is a Walt Disney World Resort near Epcot. Walt Disney World has a Boardwalk area that features several restaurants and shops, with the hotel being the centerpiece. Boardwalk Inn is modeled after 1940’s Atlantic City and is a deluxe resort when it comes to Disney World hotel categories. In this post, we’ll review the hotel, sharing photos of the resort and room while offering our thoughts on Boardwalk Inn’s value.
Magic Kingdom resorts (Bay Lake) are the most renowned of Disney World’s hotels. While they all deserve to have their popularity, partly due to location, I prefer the Crescent Lake (Epcot) area. Boardwalk Inn, along with Yacht & Beach Club and the Swan & Dolphin Hotel, all are within walking distance of Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Add in the entertainment on the Boardwalk, along with boat transportation to the different hotels and parks, and the Crescent Lake Resort area is my favorite place to stay at Walt Disney World.
Boardwalk does sport an even more convenient location than the other Crescent Lake Resorts when it comes to restaurants and entertainment. Perhaps most importantly, the resort is mere steps away from Epcot. The Boardwalk is the last boat stop before getting to Epcot but it is slightly faster to walk. On top of that, the Boardwalk has an excellent restaurant in Flying Fish. Along with that, Ample Hills Creamery is one of the best ice cream places in Disney World and steps away from your room. There’s also magicians and other entertainment throughout the Boardwalk along with a few other places to eat or get a drink. All in all, location is the Boardwalk’s strongest asset.
That’s not to say Boardwalk Inn is a weak resort outside of the location. In fact, we like every aspect of it. The theme of 1940’s Atlantic City isn’t particularly unique. Disney has done the boardwalk theme several times and generally does it well enough. 1940’s Atlantic City is specific and I can’t really speak to how well the resort area mirrors that time frame, but walking along The Boardwalk at night certainly feels like a step back in time. Despite some of the restaurants being updated and looking more modern on the inside, the facade of these places still matches the older aesthetic.
I can’t say that The Boardwalk theme is the most intriguing thing to me. I enjoy what comes along with it in terms of entertainment and dining, but speaking strictly from a theme perspective, I enjoy several other hotels more. The hotel does a pretty good job of executing the theme, with several nods to classic boardwalk amusement parks in the lobby, pool area and rooms. Speaking of, let’s take a look at the room.
We stayed in a 2-bedroom villa. In this case, the room was a lock-off meaning it was a studio room attached to a 1-bedroom villa. This is the bed and couch in the studio section of the room.
You can see the art in the corner of the room showcasing a ferris wheel. I like the blue walls and the deck was nice. There wasn’t much personality in the room outside of this pull-out bed under the TV.
This room used the space well and didn’t feel very crowded. The couch also turned into a double bed.
This is the room with the twin bed folded up, making way for a table. The room is quite spacious overall and a nice studio.
Here’s a bathroom. I like the mirror, I guess. If you’re booking a hotel simply based on the hotel bathroom then that’s weird. But, this is a fairly nice, nondescript one.
Moving on to the 1-bedroom, here’s the living room area. The couch does pull out into a bed. I do think this room has more of a personality. I like the bigger piece of artwork and the paint job on the wall behind it. The light fixture is a nice touch and makes the room more interesting. Overall, both of these rooms feel modern.
On the downside, I’m not a huge fan of this use of space. I think the little bar area isn’t very practical and it doesn’t look great.
The kitchen is pretty with the white cabinetry. It’s sleek and modern, with appliances up to date. It has a slight beach home feel to it which could be seen as a subtle extension of the theme.
The master bedroom features a king size bed, a chair, a TV and a good amount of space. The decor is largely the same, subbing photographs (I believe) in for paintings. For families with little ones, there’s plenty of space for a crib in here.
The master bathroom had a large tub, a walk-in shower, toilet and sink. It was a huge bathroom and really nicely done. Sorry about the toilet seat being up here, I don’t think it was my fault 😉
Overall, I liked the room pretty well. It didn’t feel as spacious as some other 2-bedroom villas we’ve stayed in but it was also more modern than those rooms. I thought the decor and theme was nice although I’d prefer slightly more of it. In total, the 2-bedroom slept 9 (10 if you had a little one) while the studio and 1-bedroom would each sleep 5. In just thinking about the Boardwalk studio, it’s one of my favorite studios in Disney World. The space is used really well and it actually feels like you could functionally fit 5 people in there for a few nights without it being a hassle.
We’ve already covered many of the Boardwalk’s amenities. What I haven’t mentioned is the Boardwalk Bakery, the resort’s counter-service location. This is a great spot for breakfast or a sweet treat. The choices are limited at lunch and dinner but we still like the spot pretty well. There’s also places to get pizza, margaritas, burgers and other quick-service items on the Boardwalk. You know, the essentials. We don’t necessarily recommend any of these with Epcot so close by but they are there.
I went a long time without bringing up the pool’s clown slide. I’m not sure why. The pool is nice, albeit a little bit small. It didn’t ever feel very crowded to us though. The slide is a blast and adds a lot of character. That character looks like it’s going to kill you in your sleep, but it’s character nonetheless. The pool bar is themed as a carousel which is a nice touch. With the Boardwalk, you’re trading in ample size for a great location in terms of these amenities. There’s also a nice exercise room and arcade on the ground floor of the hotel, beside the pool.
Maybe the one downside to the Boardwalk Inn is the price. If you’re booking through Disney than the price is generally over $300/night, regardless of the room. That’s a steep price to pay even with an excellent location and being a very nice hotel. We have trouble recommending any hotel for that cost, especially when the Swan & Dolphin routinely offer cheaper rates right next door. Where you can save at the Boardwalk Inn is by renting DVC Points through numerous websites or using your own DVC Points. Despite the high cost of the hotel when paying out of pocket, the Boardwalk is one of the cheaper hotels when it comes to using DVC points. If you’re interested in this place, we recommend looking into those options.
Overall, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn is one of our favorite hotels at Walt Disney World. The rooms and amenities are very nice and the location is the best in all of Walt Disney World. If there’s one area to critique it may be that the rooms lack a little personality, but that’s simply a matter of opinion. While the price is steep, there are ways around it and the hotel won’t disappoint if you have the means to stay here. We absolutely recommend Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and are eager to return.
Overall Rating – 9.5/10
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Categories: Hotel Reviews