On our most recent visit to Walt Disney World in July 2019, we stayed for 7-nights/6-days at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. This is a deluxe resort located in the Epcot resort area. If you are thinking about booking a stay read all about what we liked and didn’t like about this resort!
Why we Chose Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
In the past, we have stayed at Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside, Disney’s Art of Animation, and Disney’s Caribbean Beach resorts, which require bus transportation to get to any of the theme parks.
On our previous two trips, we stayed at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. You can take the monorail or a boat ride to Magic Kingdom Park. You can take the monorail, or even walk, to the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) and take the monorail to Epcot. Two of our favorite parks at Walt Disney World!
Our plan this time around was to experience a new resort. We booked our vacation with the Free Dining Plan with Park Hopper Option offer. We chose Disney’s BoardWalk Inn because it is within walking distance (~7 mins) to Epcot. We knew we wanted to make the majority of our dinner reservations there. Our plan was to start off at one park in the morning and pick up a lunch/dinner at Epcot. Plus, the BoardWalk Inn has boat transportation to Epcot and Hollywood Studios!
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn Resort Amenities
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is a little bit different from many of the other resorts on Walt Disney World property. Most of the places where you can get food or shop for souvenirs is not actually in the resort lobby building, but instead they are outside on the boardwalk. Here, you can find The Screen Door General Store, Thimbles & Threads, and Disney’s Character Carnival, which are all one big shop that carries anything from t-shirts to popcorn as well as things you might have forgotten like medicine and bathing suits.
On the boardwalk you will find the BoardWalk Bakery where you can purchase baked goods like cupcakes and muffins as well as sandwiches and coffee. This is also where you can pick up the refillable mugs. You can start off your morning getting a quick breakfast before you head to the parks. Or, like we did, make a stop here after returning from the parks to pick up breakfast for the next day. Ample Hills Creamery is located next to BoardWalk Bakery which offers ice cream, floats, sundaes and more!
The boardwalk also offers many unique dining experiences such as AbracadaBar, Flying Fish, ESPN Club, and Trattoria al Forno. The Trattoria al Forno offers the Bon Voyage Breakfast featuring some of the most popular Disney princes and princesses.
Weather permitting, you can pick up a margarita at BoardWalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas, play boardwalk games and see unique entertainment in the evenings. There is also the to-go Pizza Window that was continuously busy, rain or shine. The Atlantic Dance Hall is at the end of the boardwalk which is open late night (Tuesdays to Saturday nights from 9 PM to 2 AM – check their schedule before you go) where guests 21 and over could dance the night away!
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and Disney’s BoardWalk Villas share one big pool – Luna Park Pool. It’s an average size pool with a water slide and a deep end in the middle of the pool. Near the pool is a fitness room, Muscles Bustles Health Club, which has a variety of workout equipment. Across the health club is the Side Show Games Arcade where you’ll find arcade machines to entertain the family on your off-day.
BoardWalk Inn offers many different types of transportation for you to get anywhere on Walt Disney World property. As I mentioned before there is a walking path to get to Epcot which was about a 7 minute walk from our room. You enter Epcot at the International Gateway, between France and United Kingdom pavilions.
There is also a walking path to Hollywood Studios which was a bit longer of a walk (15-20 mins). We definitely took the boat from the BoardWalk Inn to Hollywood Studios. With the summer heat and humidity, we did not want to get tired and sweaty before we even hit the park!
The Friendship boats run between Hollywood Studios and Epcot all day about 20 minutes apart. The boats go from Epcot to BoardWalk Inn and Villas, to Yacht and Beach Club, to Swan and Dolphin, and Hollywood Studios and vice versa. On average it took less than 20 minutes to get from the BoardWalk Inn and Villas to Hollywood Studios. Though, one evening we left Hollywood Studios around 8:00 PM and the boat waited another 10 minutes for more passengers. It took more than a half hour to get to Epcot, but we made it in time for IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. So, give yourself time if you have a FastPass or dinner reservations.
Transportation to Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs and the Disney water parks require a Disney bus transportation. Disney’s BoardWalk Inn has one small bus stop area and it got quite full in the mornings. There is a TV monitor at one end of the bus stop that displays the estimated bus arrival times. You can also use My Disney Experience mobile app to view the bus ETA times.
While the boat and bus transportation is free to all guests staying on Disney property there is another way for guests to get where they want to go, for a fee, and without crowding onto a boat or a bus. You can use the Minnie Van service through the Lyft mobile app. The Minnie Van will take you anywhere on Walt Disney World Resort. The Minnie Van will you up just outside of the main lobby doors and will usually drop you off near the park entrances, closer than bus drop-off areas.
On September 29, 2019 guests staying at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn will have another form of transportation available! Disney Skyliners, also known as “the gondolas”, will be available to transport guests to Epcot (International Gateway entrance), Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Rivera Resort (opening December 2019), Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Art of Animation/Disney’s Pop Century Resort. This will be a fun and unique way to get amazing views of Walt Disney World. It will surely become a favorite method of transportation for many guests going to Epcot or Hollywood Studios.
When we arrived to the BoardWalk Inn at 10:30 A.M. our room wasn’t ready. We dropped off our carry-on luggage with Bell Services and walked over to Epcot for some lunch. Around 3:30 PM, we received a text message that our room was ready along with our room number. We had done online check-in before our arrival, but since this was our first time staying at the BoardWalk Inn we went to the front desk to get a map and directions. We took the elevator to the 3rd floor and made our way down the long and winding corridor until we finally reached our room.
The room itself was quite nice! It had a nice mix of yellow and green, two colors that are very popular at the New Jersey shore where I grew up. It had cute turn-of-the-century pictures on the wall and lots of “hidden Mickeys.” We booked the “standard view” room which had a small balcony with two chairs and beautiful views of the sunrise.
The room included some small drawers underneath a large television, a nightstand, a desk with a pullout table and one chair, a small refrigerator, and a Keurig K-Cup coffeemaker. There was also complimentary coffee and tea as well as cream and sugar. Mugs, glasses, paper cups with lids and a ice bucket were all located above the refrigerator. There was also a large closet with plenty of hangers, a suitcase holder, a safe, and an iron and ironing board.
The bathroom had one sink, a shower with a large shower head, toilet and some complimentary toiletries including soap, shampoo and conditioner, aloe, a hairdryer and even a shower cap.