By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

Available on Amazon here.

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Accommodations and Theming at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

By Dave Shute

(For the first page of this review of Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, click here.)


Disney's BoardWalk Inn from (2)

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn opened in July 1996, and was last renovated in 2014.

According to Disney World’s website, the BoardWalk Inn

“…captures the charm, whimsy and elegance of 1940s Atlantic City. Sitting along a boardwalk packed with amusements, the Resort offers dynamic views of activity below and of the glittering waters of Crescent Lake.

Take in lively sights and sounds of midway games and performance artists all along the quarter-mile, Coney Island-style boardwalk. The striped awnings and saltwater taffy-colored facades lend themselves to a friendly carnival atmosphere.”

Well, that’s about half right.

The BoardWalk Inn has two very different sides.

Map Disney's BoardWalk Inn

The overall Boardwalk complex includes the BoardWalk Villas, a Disney Vacation Club resort, the first part of which you can see on the left side of the map, and the BoardWalk Inn in the right center.

On the lake side of both facilities is Disney’s Boardwalk (top left on the map. curving along Crescent Lake), a combination of restaurants, shops, entertainment venues, carts, and other stuff fun for adults and kids.  This area best matches Disney’s “Atlantic City” description.

However, the architecture of the BoardWalk Inn itself, and especially the areas surrounded by the hotel wings–top center on the map–has a very different and much more peaceful heritage.

The BoardWalk Inn, and the nearby sister resorts Yacht Club and Beach Club, were all designed by Robert A. M. Stern, a noted architect who was deeply involved in multiple properties during the Michael Eisner years at Disney.

Stern’s website notes that the BoardWalk Inn itself was designed based not on mid-Atlantic but rather on Northeastern models:

“Behind its waterfront facade, the hotel, which takes its architectural cue from rambling colonial revival-style hotels of New England, is arranged around a series of garden courts, each distinct, including quiet gardens and active settings for swimming and croquet.”

(For more on Stern’s role in Walt Disney World, see this.)

All the interior landscape of the BoardWalk Inn is enclosed by walls.  The result is a set of small lovely and quiet courtyards, perfect for relaxing.

I can’t think of another Disney World deluxe hotel with this enclosed set of interior courtyards.


The BoardWalk across Crescent Lake from
All Disney deluxe resorts have standard rooms; concierge rooms, which Disney calls “club” rooms; and suites. (See this for more on suites at Walt Disney World.)

At Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, standard and club/concierge rooms sleep either four or five, in two queen beds, or two queens and a convertible sofa. For a photo tour of a standard room, see this.

King bed rooms that sleep two or three (the third on the sofa) are also available.

The BoardWalk Inn also has deluxe rooms, Garden Cottage rooms, and suites. I generally advise against special room types for first-time visitors, as they won’t be spending much time in their rooms. However, they may be well worth it for families intending to spend more time at the BoardWalk Inn than implied by this site’s itineraries. has a great discussion of the value of concierge rooms here. Though focused on the Polynesian, it applies to any deluxe resort.

Most BoardWalk Inn concierge rooms (Disney calls them “club” rooms) are the same size as the rest of the resort’s rooms. However, there’s also an option called a “Deluxe” rooms, a special room type called a Garden Cottage, and two-bedroom suites.

Disney's BoardWalk Inn Deluxe Room

Deluxe rooms give you more space–more than 600 square feet–and sleep six, in two queens and a fold-out couch that sleeps two.

I feel a little uncomfortable commenting on the quality of club services, as I’ve only stayed at club level at six of the eight deluxe resorts, and a couple of these were a while ago.  I can say, however, that my two favorite club lounges among the six I have stayed in are, by far, those at the BoardWalk Inn and at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Garden Cottage Disney's BoardWalk Inn from

Garden Cottages are another option, optimized for couples, even honeymooners.  While they sleep four, all but three of the cottages sleep two in an upstairs lofted space that is open to a downstairs living area that sleeps two more in a fold-out couch. (The three with a private upstairs bedroom are 1205, 1206, and 1207.) Size varies from around 900 to 1100 square feet. I haven’t found any floor plans.

These rooms have separate entrances, cute little semi-private gardens, and are drop-dead charming. The image shows a garden–its cottage is the first two stories behind it.

Disney's BoardWalk Inn Two Bedroom Suite

Most two-bedroom suites are three bays wide.

Disney's BoardWalk Inn Presidential Suite

The exception is the two-bedroom Presidential Steeplechase Suite, five bays wide.

For more on suites, see this, and for more on larger families seeking deluxe options, see this.

Note that to all the capacity figures above you can add a child under three in a crib.


This review continues here.






Follow on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest!!



1 Jennifer { 07.21.14 at 12:36 pm }

Question: since the Epcot entrance closest to these hotels is in the World Showcase, which doesn’t open until 11:00, do guests have to take some other form of transportation to the Future World side in the mornings, or are they allowed to walk through the World Showcase?

2 Dave { 07.21.14 at 4:13 pm }

Jennifer, the World Showcase entrance is open to Future World at park opening!
Here’s the scoop from our fine a href=”″>The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit
Epcot Rope Drop from The easy Guide

3 Jennifer { 07.24.14 at 10:31 am }

Clearly, I need your book in my life, so I am now the proud owner of the Kindle version. Thanks Dave! 🙂

4 Dave { 07.26.14 at 8:55 am }

Great, Jennifer, looking forward to your reaction!!

5 Mireille { 10.08.15 at 1:02 pm }

Psst, your link to the Club Level discussion on Tikiman’s page leads to the home page – this seems to be the correct link! 🙂

6 Dave { 10.10.15 at 9:56 am }

Thanks, Mireille, fixed!!

Leave a Comment | Ask a Question | Note a Problem

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 2008-2024 . . . 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.