Disney’s Boardwalk Inn & Villa’s Review
The first hotel during our “two hotel Disney trip” was Disney’s Boardwalk Inn & Villa’s Resort. Staying here has always been on Josh’s “must-do Disney list,” so we were happy to check it off.
I remember visiting Disney’s Boardwalk Inn & Villas with my parents and little brothers when it first opened in the 90’s. My parents already owned a Marriott timeshare, but went on a presentation to check out Disney’s equivalent. My brothers and I tagged along too, and I remember we hated it. We detested the sample villa (it was too tiny). We hated the pool area (also too small), and I remember being overall scared that our parents were going to buy. My brothers and I feared we’d have to split our time between the Marriott and this Disney resort, or worse, my parents would buy here and sell our Marriott timeshare. Obviously, if you can’t tell, we loved our Marriott home. The Marriott villa’s are huge, the restaurants are amazing, and the pool is our favorite thing ever. Needless to say, due to us kids’ dissatisfaction, my parents didn’t buy into Disney. We all happily stuck with our Marriott, a wise choice.
Well, during one of our two 2007 Disney trips, Josh and I ate dinner on Disney’s Boardwalk. I didn’t even remember this place existed until I saw it again, almost 10 years later. We loved the food and atmosphere! After dinner, we walked around, watched Epcot’s fireworks, and Josh fell in love with the rooms that were right over the Boardwalk. He envied those being able to sit on their balcony with that amazing view. So this trip, he got what he wanted, as we had the view he’s always lusted over.
Disney’s Boardwalk Inn & Villa’s Resort is huge. It’s comprised of two sides – the inn side (hotel rooms) and the villa side (Disney Vacation Club owned studio-one-two-and three bedroom villas). After taking a look at the different views offered, we determined the awesome Boardwalk view Josh has always admired is on the villa side. Disney wanted over $500 per night for this room/view, and let’s face it – Disney hotels are no five star hotels. We don’t mind paying a hefty a price tag for great service/amenities, but feel strongly that Disney overcharges for what they provide. No way were we paying that.
Although we didn’t care for Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort (another Disney Vacation Club property), we had a good experience with renting points. We set out to do the same again, only this time for Disney’s Boardwalk, and as I said here, we only paid $180 per night!
After arriving via Magical Express, we checked in with our not-so-lovely Magic Bands, and immediately fell in love with the lobby.
The inn side and villa side each have their own check in area, and I have to admit, I love the openness of the villa’s side. I preferred it to the inn’s (because obviously we had to check out both), and the inn side is too closed in for my liking.
Obviously, these pictures were taken at night, not when we first checked in. I’m sure you know the hustle and bustle that goes along with checking in, so taking pictures then was just not happening. Anyway, even at night, the lobby is an open, bright, and airy place.
One thing you don’t get when renting points is daily housekeeping. I can’t picture ever being on vacation and not having daily housekeeping. I don’t want to re-use my towels, and I certainly don’t want to come back at the end of a busy day to an unmade up room. We have a cleaning lady at home, so to not have one when we’re away is unheard of. When renting points, there are different cleaning services to choose from (from just trash and towel, to pay as you go, to a full clean). We added the full clean for only $30 per day. Definitely worth it in our eyes!
To make a super long story short, the first day, we returned to our room to find it untouched. At that point, it was the worst thing that could have happened. We were SO tired from not only our early flight, but also a long day in the park. The manager ended up getting involved, apologized for what turned out to be a computer error (something do with – shocker – the magic bands?), provided us with fresh towels immediately, and made a note on our reservation that we will not only get daily housekeeping for the rest of our stay, but won’t have to pay a dime for it either. I was impressed!
Anyway, a complaint I often read is the preferred Boardwalk view is a trek from the lobby. Maybe it’s because we aren’t lugging around kids, or the fact that we are two semi-fit (ha!) adults, but the walk isn’t bad at all.
And do take note of the Mickey’s on the carpet! Aside from the big one, he’s also sitting first row on the roller coaster. It reminded us of the carpet at Disney’s Beach Club (where we stayed in 2010), and we loved it!
If you do end up finding the trip to your room too lengthy, there are plenty of places to rest your feet along the way.
However, I assure you, the Boardwalk view is worth any long walk you may embark on, and even though the rooms themselves are definitely on the outdated side, THE VIEW!
I can’t believe Disney charges over $500 a night for this bathroom!
On the plus side, I was happy to see Disney got rid of their horrible bedspreads, and finally switched to – no, not duvet covers, that would be too luxurious – but triple sheet bedding. The germaphobe in me was very pleased.
Now onto the pièce de résistance, the balcony/view.
Aside from the actual Boardwalk, we had a great view of the Epcot ball in the distance.
There was little better than sitting on our balcony and enjoying the view, especially at night!
I’ll get into some of the things we did at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort in a later post, but one hotel perk we thoroughly enjoyed was the constant Mickey and Minnie touches. Not only did Mickey and Minnie leave us a special message on our room phone, but we returned to find a surprise from them in honor of our fourth wedding anniversary. So cute!
We also loved relaxing poolside (which I’ll get to in a later post). Meanwhile, here’s a look at the Boardwalk’s main pool area.
The major perk (for us) in staying onsite is convenience, and the non-bus transportation options are great. Just like we did when staying across the lake at Disney’s Beach Club in 2010, we were able to walk to Epcot and take a boat to Hollywood Studios. In fact, we could even see the boat launch from our room!
We utilized the bus system once, as we were waiting until we got to the Grand Floridian to visit certain parks, because of that hotel’s convenience. Unfortunately, the bus system hasn’t gotten any better since our 2010 visit. The Boardwalk Resort still shares a bus with Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort AND The Swan & Dolphin. Eek!
Luckily, we mainly visited the two parks that had the best transportation options. Here we are, waiting for the boat to Hollywood Studios.