By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2018, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here.



yourfirstvisit.net—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor



Review: Disney’s BoardWalk Inn



By Dave Shute

OVERVIEW: DISNEY’S BOARDWALK INN

Review Disney's BoardWalk Inn from yourfirstvisit.net

Our most recent stay (in September 2015, our fifth at the BoardWalk Inn since I started this site) confirms that Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, one of the Epcot resorts, is the eighth best deluxe resort at Walt Disney World for first time family visitors.

You can have a wonderful visit at any Walt Disney World resort hotel.

Review - Disney's BoardWalk Inn from yourfirstvisit.netHowever, this site recommends that first time visitors to Walt Disney World who can afford it should stay at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, a deluxe resort, and that those who can’t should stay at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, a value resort.

(It also suggests that first time visitors should avoid the moderate resorts, while noting that these resorts are wonderful for visits after the first. See this for why.)

Compared to other Walt Disney World owned and operated resorts, the deluxe resorts are distinguished by having (on average) the most amenities, nicest views, best dining options, best transport options, largest rooms, best service, and highest prices.

Many are also paired with Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resorts.  For a review of the BoardWalk Inn’s sister DVC resort, Disney’s BoardWalk Villas, click here.

Main Pool Disney's BoardWalk Inn from yourfirstvisit.net

Among the deluxe resorts, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn has a lot of positives.

  • It has a fun pool, though not as good as the one its Epcot neighbors the Yacht Club and Beach Club share
  • It shares with the Yacht Club and the Beach Club Inn convenient access to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and
  • It shares with these resorts a short walk to dozens of table service dining options located in these resorts, at the Swan and Dolphin, on the BoardWalk, and in Epcot.

It also has a couple of negatives, also largely shared with the Yacht and Beach Clubs.

It’s thin on kid appeal compared to other options, is not as convenient for this site’s itineraries as some alternative resorts, and has limited counter service in general and especially limited breakfast options.

Breakfast Options Disney's BoardWalk Inn from yourfirstvisit.net

The breakfast issue is better than it has been in the past…see the image…but it’s still not as good as many guests would expect.

(See this for much more on resort distinctions by price class–value, moderate, deluxe, etc.)

In total this review covers 6 pages:

The summary review continues below.

ACCOMMODATIONS AT THE BOARDWALK INN

Floor Plan Disney's BoardWalk Inn from yourfirstvisit.net

Standard rooms at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn are sized in the middle of the deluxe resorts.

They are larger than those at the Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge, but smaller than those at Disney’s Polynesian Resort and the other monorail resorts.

Bed Side Disney's BoardWalk Inn from yourfirstvisit.net

Refurbed in 2014, most of these rooms sleep five–two each in two queens, and another in convertible couch with a 72 inch mattress and 6’3″ of sleeping length. Rooms with one king bed are also available.

You can add to this capacity of five a child younger than three who sleeps in a crib.

For a photo tour of a standard BoardWalk Inn room, see this. For other room types at the Inn, see this.

DISNEY’S BOARDWALK INN KID APPEAL AND CONVENIENCE

Resorts are ranked on this site for first time visitors based first on their kid appeal, and then on their convenience.

On this basis, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is the eighth-best deluxe resort for first time family visitors to Walt Disney World.

Kid Appeal.

The kid appeal of the BoardWalk Inn, such as it is, comes from largely its pool, not its design, architecture, or theme. And if you were to pick an Epcot resort based on it’s pool, it would not be the BoardWalk Inn–it’d be the Yacht or Beach Club, because of Stormalong Bay.

Roller Coaster Model Disney's BoardWalk Inn from yourfirstvisit.net

That said, there are some fun artifacts, such as a model of an old-time roller coaster, that will catch the eyes of kids.

Garden Cottage Disney's BoardWalk Inn from yourfirstvisit.net

Parents will delight in the BoardWalk Inn–it has a combination of peaceful, quiet green spaces and a bustling (though largely undistinguished) restaurant row that no other Disney World deluxe resort can match.

Kids, though will find it a yawn compared to resorts with higher kid appeal.

Convenience.

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is the fifth-most convenient of all the Walt Disney World resorts in carrying out the itineraries for first-time family visitors on this site.

All of the Epcot resorts are convenient to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Epcot is a short walk or boat ride, and the Studios are a longer walk or boat ride away.

The other two parks are accessed by buses, which are shared with some of the other Epcot resorts.

DINING AT THE BOARDWALK INN

Unusually, there’s no real dining inside the hotel.  Outside, on the BoardWalk, you’ll find multiple dining venues operated by third parties.

None of these except the Flying Fish Cafe offers distinctive dining for adults, and none has particular kid appeal.

There’s not much in the way of counter-service, either.

For more on dining at the BoardWalk Inn, see this.

THE POOLS AT THE BOARDWALK INN

The BoardWalk Inn has three pools–two un-themed quiet pools, and a large themed pool, the Luna Park pool, mean to remind you of seaside amusement parks from early in the twentieth century.

The Luna Park pool has everything you’d expect of a Disney World deluxe pool, but pales compared to Stormalong Bay at the nearby Yacht and Beach Clubs.

For more on the BoardWalk Inn’s Luna Park pool, see this.

WHERE TO STAY AT THE BOARDWALK INN

Best places to stay. This site suggests that first time visitors stay in standard rooms, not preferred rooms.

This is because they won’t be spending much time in their rooms.

The single exception is visitors to the Animal Kingdom Lodge, who should always pay for savanna views.

Map Disney's BoardWalk Inn

The map depicts all of the BoardWalk Inn and a bit of the Boardwalk Villas.

The main entry to both is at the center, and the wings that contain the BoardWalk Inn rooms are at the right.

Rooms at the ends of the wings can be quite a hike from the elevator bank near the center of the figure.

The BoardWalk Disney's BoardWalk Inn from yourfirstvisit.net

Rooms with water views of the Crescent Lake also overlook the BoardWalk dining and entertainment area, and can suffer from noise from it.

Disney's BoardWalk Inn Online Check-in from yourfirstvisit.net

So request a room near the lobby, with a Courtyard view.

BEST FOR:

Any first time family visitors who can afford it, but can’t get into or don’t want to stay at Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

WORST FOR:

Families seeking the highest degree of kid appeal. Families too large to fit its 5 person rooms. See this for more on large families at Walt Disney World.

PHOTO TOUR OF A ROOM AT DISNEY’S BOARDWALK INN

This review continues here.

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My response to questions and comments will be on the same page as the original comment, likely within 24-36 hours . . . I reserve the right to edit and delete comments as I choose . . . All rights reserved. Copyright 2008-2017 . . . Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by me--even the ones in focus--except for half a dozen from my niecelets . . . This site is entirely unofficial and not authorized by any organizations written about in it . . . All references to Disney and other copyrighted characters, trademarks, marks, etc., are made solely for editorial purposes. The author makes no commercial claim to their use . . . Nobody's perfect, so follow any advice here at your own risk.