Review of Disney’s Boardwalk Inn & Villas

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For our second stay in the Epcot resort area, we opted for a one bedroom villa at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn & Villas. The Boardwalk sits right across the lake from Disney’s Beach Club and the location, in our minds, just can’t be beaten!

The Hotel

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn is themed after the charm of the turn of the century Atlantic City. Photo credit: Disney

When you walk into Disney’s Boardwalk Inn you’re immediately taken back in time to turn of the century Atlantic City. Everything has a charm and elegance to it from the grand ceilings to the Victorian furniture. When checking into the Villas, you’re ushered to a special desk for the Disney Vacation Club, and while mom or dad are working on the check-in, the rest of the family can explore all of the beautiful details in the lobby. The back doors you see take you out to a large garden & grassy area that leads out to the beautiful boardwalk.

The living area of the one bedroom villa is very spacious!

The light blues & greens with red pops and white trim carry through the hotel and into your room where you are greeted with a really nice, bright, large living space. As with all the villas, the couch in our room pulled out to a queen sized sleeper for the boys. We were in Disney World for 9 days on this particular visit, so the extra space was essential to this mama’s sanity! The boys were in awe of the tv too!

Disney’s Boardwalk Villas Kitchen

As I mentioned before, I don’t cook at Disney but I do like to have groceries on hand, and the space of the kitchen is nice to have for the storage. I always have to start my day with breakfast, but Matt does not, so I’ll normally buy groceries for about half of our breakfasts for the trip, and the other half I’ll book a couple of character meals, or treat myself to a fancy pastry at the bakery. Our kids are also early birds, and not at all night owls (though that is changing as they get older), so we won’t always last at the parks for the fireworks. We will make use of early extra magic hours because we are up, and then be back to our room before the transportation rush. While everyone is winding down, we like to grab a cold beer from the fridge or a glass of wine, and usually, Matt will want a snack! Having stuff on hand (especially the alcohol) has saved us quite a bit of money on our trips.

Luke checking out the bedroom in our villa at the Boardwalk.

If you read about our trip to Austin you’ll remember that one of the many reasons this boymom likes to have a separate master bedroom is for the privacy! My boys are to the age now where catching a glimpse of mom’s “chest privates” causes major giggles. Lord help me! The villas offer several opportunities for a bit of privacy, the first in the bedroom! It’s also nice to just shut the door on everyone for a minute sometimes, you know?

Disney’s Boardwalk Villas Bathroom

The other great piece to the Boardwalk Villa’s rooms is that the bathrooms are split, offering another opportunity to get dressed with some privacy…assuming your littles will let you get away with it without thinking you need company…ha! In our room, one section had this nice large tub and sink where I spread out in the mornings to get dressed.

Disney’s Boardwalk Villas bathroom.

Through a door by the tub, you’ll find the rest of the restroom, which also has a second door out to the living area.  The shower is huge, which Matt loved, and we were able to filter the boys through here in the mornings (there is a sink by the toilet) while Matt and I used the larger vanity space.

Luke loves the big bathtub as much as I do!

As usual, I had big visions for long soaks in the tub after spending all day on my feet in the park.  Are you seeing a theme of someone else with the same thought process? Luke LOVES big bathtubs. I do eventually get my soak in after he has gone to bed!

The Boardwalk Area

Disney’s Boardwalk is full of entertainment for the whole family!

Appropriately named for it’s setting, the Boardwalk is almost a hidden gem at Disney World because so few people venture to it unless they’re staying right in the Epcot area. It sits on Crescent Lake with the Beach Club, Yacht Club, and Swan & Dolphin Hotels. It is so fun to go out and stroll around at night! There are several options for dining, shopping, street performers, surry bike rentals & so much more. There is always something going on.

Another great perk to the Boardwalk is that you can hop right onto a boat to get to either Epcot or Hollywood Stuiods. While both parks are walking distance, and we normally do walk to Epcot, how many more steps do you really need to add when you’re hoofing it around Disney World? (The answer to that depends on how many of their amazing desserts you have indulged in). The boat ride to Hollywood Studios takes about 20 minutes, which is a little more time than if you walked, but it’s a really pretty ride and if you grabbed a quick breakfast on the go that morning, gives you plenty of time to eat and finish your cup of coffee!

The ESPN Club on Disney’s Boardwalk

Matt and the boys share a favorite spot on the Boardwalk, and that is the ESPN Club! I have to admit, it’s a pretty cool spot.  It’s a sports bar, but family friendly. Matt & the boys are DIE HARD Dallas Cowboys fans (where do you think Landry got his name?) so if the boys are playing while we are in Disney World, you can bet we are going to catch the game at ESPN if we can! We usually start with their Warm Soft Pretzels with cheese dip, and normally all wind up with a burger; not because we aren’t adventurous, but because they are really good at ESPN. They used to have the absolute BEST Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich I had ever had in my life, and I was devastated (I seriously think I almost cried) the last time we were there to see it was no longer a menu item… Disney, if you’re reading this, bring my sandwich back, please!

Disney’s Boardwalk Bakery. Photo credit: WDWMagic

The Boardwalk Bakery is my happy place! I LOVE pastries! I LOVE coffee with my pastries! I also love to go back later for dessert.  Ok, let’s be real, I’d be so happy if it were socially acceptable to be 800 lbs because my sweet tooth is fierce!

Shameless pic of Landry on the Boardwalk on our first visit.

The Boardwalk Bakery is a perfect quick stop for breakfast! If we have time, we’ll sit out at one of their red tables and enjoy a family meal, but if we don’t, we will grab something to go.  We also grabbed lunch here after an afternoon at the pool (see below) and it was also delicious.

Along the Boardwalk is some other great dining locations that we have yet to experience but very much want to.  The Flying Fish is a Signature Dining Experience very high on our list, but we have not been able to nab a reservation yet.

The Pool

The Boardwalk is known for its Clown Pool.

Ok… full disclosure here (we’re friends, right?)… I’m terrified of clowns! I’m a child of the 80s and they were creepy then! I almost didn’t book the Boardwalk because of the clown face pool, but the discount was better for this trip at Boardwalk than at Beach Club and our length of stay made it significant savings. My kids think my fear is hilarious. Being the good mommy that I am, I sucked up my fear of being eating by Mr. Clown and spent a day at the pool with my dudes! I even went down the slide a few times, and will admit, it was pretty fun.

The Boardwalk Pool has a splash area for little ones.

At the time, Luke was still pretty little and needed his float if I wasn’t right in the water with him, so at one point, he and I ventured off to the splashy pool area. He loved the little elephant that squirts water.

A day off from the parks, and spent at the pool is a must for longer trips!

I cannot stress enough, if you’re visiting Disney for longer than 4 days you really need to budget in some time off from the parks. Your feet and your sanity will thank you! I know there area million recreation options around Disney World to check out, but our family loves a low-keyed day at the pool. We have two water babies who will swim for hours and hours if we let them.

Bedtime at the Boardwalk!

We loved our time at the Boardwalk Inn & Villas and wouldn’t hesitate to go back! It’s a beautiful resort and the perfect place to rest our heads after a long day of touring the parks… with plenty of room for all of the extra babies the boys bring home too!

Have you stayed at the Boardwalk before? I’d love to hear what you thought!

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