When people talk about their favorite Disney resorts, I feel like Disney’s BoardWalk Inn gets overlooked. People often mention the Magic Kingdom resorts for their convenience, and sometimes Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club get a mention because of their amazing pools. But I rarely hear people mention the BoardWalk resort.
Well I’m here to tell you why Disney’s BoardWalk Inn should be on your list of Disney resorts to love! As far as deluxe resorts go, this is one of our favorites because it has just so much to offer and the wide variety of rooms means there’s something for everyone!
We just finished a fantastic stay at the resort and I thought I’d put together a quick hotel review for anyone thinking of staying at this resort to show you why we love it so much.
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn overview
Part of the Epcot resort group, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is one of Disney’s deluxe properties and one of the most expensive to stay at. It sits on Crescent Lake and shares the space with Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club, as well as the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts.
There are a huge number of reasons that this resort is so popular. The location can’t be beat; it’s one of the only resorts that allows you to walk to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios, as well as offering transportation in the form of buses, the Disney Skyliner, and the Friendship boats.
The walk to Epcot takes less than 5 minutes, and to Hollywood Studios about 20-30 minutes. You can also take the Friendship boats to Hollywood Studios if you don’t fancy the walk. You can catch the Disney Skyliner from the International Gateway, which is the back entrance to Epcot.
It also offers a wide variety of dining options, not only at the resort itself, but at the other Disney resorts on Crescent Lake. There is also more entertainment at this resort than at any other, with street performers on the boardwalk nightly, as well as a dance hall and a dueling pianos bar.
Lastly, the resort offers both standard rooms at the BoardWalk Inn, and Disney Vacation Club villas with anything from studios to three-bedroom grand villas. This means that most families will find rooms to suit them.
The theme of the resort is the New Jersey boardwalk, and the resort actually sits on a boardwalk; if you’re not staying at the resort, you can always visit the boardwalk to walk around and check out all of the dining, shopping, and entertainment options.
Rooms at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
There are two sides to Disney’s BoardWalk resort; the BoardWalk Inn, and the BoardWalk Villas, which are part of the Disney Vacation Club. The villas start at a deluxe studio, and go all the way up to a three-bedroom grand villa which sleeps up to 12 guests. The BoardWalk Inn rooms are to the right of the lobby (as you enter), and the villas to the left.
We stayed in a standard room, which gets you a standard view (ours was of the porte cochere and the parking lot) but there are options for garden view, pool view, and boardwalk view rooms as well. Some of the rooms offer views of the neighboring Epcot fireworks, and those with a boardwalk view may also come with views of the Magic Kingdom fireworks in the distance.
The rooms are pretty standard for a Disney deluxe resort, and offered everything that we needed. All rooms feature a balcony, which is always welcome when traveling with kids as it gives me somewhere to sit once they’ve gone to bed!
The Disney Vacation Club villas are a fantastic option if you’re traveling as a larger family or just want a little more space. If you’re not a member of the Disney Vacation Club then you have a couple of other options: you can buy these rooms directly from Disney, or rent points from other vacation club owners.
The first option is usually a very expensive one, so I’d really recommend renting points instead. Make sure you use a reputable website to rent points and be sure you know the cancellation and refund rules.
The only recommendation I would make when requesting a room at this resort is to choose one closer to the lobby if possible. Some of the rooms are a really long walk from the lobby; it’s hard to tell just how large the resort is from the outside, but at the end of the day you really don’t want to be walking for 10 minutes just to reach your room!
Dining at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn has a huge number of dining options available; you could stay here for a week and probably not get to eat at all of the dining options available at the Epcot resort hotels. There’s quick service, table service, fine dining, character dining, cocktail bars, and places to grab food and drinks right on the boardwalk itself.
The BoardWalk Inn offers four table service locations. Trattoria al Forno offers both breakfast and dinner options. Breakfast is a character meal (you can read more about our experience at the Bon Voyage character breakfast here) and dinner is a casual table service meal featuring Italian cuisine. This is one of my favorite character meals on property!
Flying Fish is a fine dining restaurant that specializes in seafood, and Big River Grille is a laid back table service location that offers American pub food. ESPN Club is a great place for game day food with 100 screens and video games to play.
For quick service, the BoardWalk Bakery offers breakfast, lunch and dinner options with pastries, salads, sandwiches, drinks and desserts. We used the bakery for lunch several times during our stay, and it’s a great place to grab a brownie or slice of cheesecake for a dessert after dinner. The BoardWalk Pizza Window offers – not surprisingly – pizza as well as beer and wine.
The BoardWalk Ice Cream Parlor offers scoops of ice cream and sundaes, although I’ll be honest and say you’re better walking around to Disney’s Beach Club Resort to try the ice cream at Beaches and Cream instead. Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club also offer an additional four table service locations and other quick service options as well; we walked over to the Beach Club Marketplace for breakfast because they were serving Minnie waffles!
The boardwalk itself also offers a number of food huts with everything from corn dogs and chicken tenders, to frozen margaritas and mixed drinks. If you’re looking for somewhere quieter to have a drink, then try Belle Vue Lounge just off the lobby. AbracadaBar is a Magician-themed bar right on the boardwalk that has some amazing drinks as well; they have indoor and outdoor seating, and I love sitting outside to people watch on the boardwalk.
So between the four table service restaurants, the two quick service options, two bars, an ice cream parlor, and a wide variety of food huts along the boardwalk as well as all of the options available at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club, there are plenty of dining options to choose from!
The pool and other amenities at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
Disney’s BoardWalk Resort has a main pool called the Luna Park pool, and a quiet pool. I used to hate this pool because it had a super creepy clown face on the slide – I’m not scared of clowns but this was terrifying, look it up if you don’t believe me! Thankfully that has now been replaced by a rollercoaster theme that’s significantly less creepy!
The pool isn’t huge, and we found it was pretty crowded a lot of the time. The quietest times seem to be when the pool first opens for the day, and between 5-7pm when people start to leave for dinner. We also found that once the sun went down, crowds weren’t too bad.
The pool features a really fun, helter-skelter style slide that my kids could not get enough of! They must have ridden that slide over 100 times over the course of our stay, and I still had to drag them away! The slide has a pretty strong current so if your child isn’t a strong swimmer, I’d recommend one of the complimentary life vests as a precaution.
The pool deck had a good amount of chairs and sun loungers, and plenty of umbrellas; we never had any trouble finding a place in the shade. There is also a pool bar called Leaping Horse Libations where you can get drinks and light bites.
Next to the pool you can find a playground (which is best used in the early morning or late in the evening, otherwise it gets really hot) and the arcade. We used the arcade a couple of times during our stay, and we were the only ones ever in there!
In the evening, the boardwalk offers some fantastic entertainment options. There are outdoor movies on the huge lawn in front of the resort, as well as street performers and live music.
If you’re looking for a great date night option without the kids, then check out Atlantic Dance Hall, a 1940’s style dance hall that is for over 21s only. The dance hall is usually open on the weekends and has a bar to grab drinks.
Jellyrolls Dueling Piano bar is another favorite that I feel gets overlooked. This is a loud, fun bar where you can grab drinks, request your favorite song, and sit back to watch the entertainment. Jellyrolls is for those over 21 as well, and can get crowded with locals as well as guests so definitely plan to arrive early.\
As well as all of these fantastic amenities, the BoardWalk Inn offer tennis courts, a fitness center, an outdoor running trail, a campfire where you can toast marshmallow, and daily kids activities. There is so much to do at this resort, you could spend your whole vacation here and never even visit the Disney theme parks!
Would I recommend Disney’s BoardWalk Inn?
100% yes! This resort has so much to offer; the location is perfect, there are a ton of dining and entertainment options, and the whole vibe of the resort is so laid back and fun. It’s a great choice if you want to be immersed in the Disney bubble, but still want a resort that’s both upscale and whimsical.