Disney Boardwalk Villas Review

Disney Boardwalk Inn and Villas

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Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and Villas is a Deluxe Resort located in the Crescent Lake area of Disney World. The Boardwalk offers both regular deluxe room accommodations, as well as Disney Vacation Club deluxe villas.

If you are still on the fence about which Disney resort to stay at during your Disney vacation hopefully this review of Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and Villas will help you decide. Also, check out my post all about how to choose your Disney resort to help in your decision making process. That post will give you the information you need to understand the difference between the Disney resort categories.

This Boardwalk review will give you all of the information you need in order to decide whether this is the right fit for you. The review will cover atmosphere and theme, room information with floor plans of the deluxe villas, resort amenities and more.

Boardwalk Inn vs. Boardwalk Villas

Throughout this post you will notice these two different phrases being used. So what is the difference between the Boardwalk Inn and Boardwalk Villas?

For the most part, the biggest difference is the fact that Boardwalk Inn houses the traditional “hotel rooms” offered by the Boardwalk Resort. Boardwalk Villas is the actually a Disney Vacation Club resort. Because of this, the room styles you find there are considered to be deluxe villas instead of standard hotel rooms. The section on the different room types will explain how they differ.

You will find all of the Boardwalk Inn rooms located in one wing off of the main lobby while the Boardwalk villas are located in the opposite wing. All of the resort amenities are shared by the inn and villas.

Disney Boardwalk Inn and Villas Atmosphere

The theming of Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and Villas is based off of turn of the century Atlantic City. Not this century, the last one. Overall, this was done is a subdued and tasteful fashion. The lobby of the Boardwalk boasts large windows and a vaulted ceiling, creating an open and airy feel. By the fireplace you will find some of the creepiest chairs I’ve ever seen.

Disney's Boardwalk Villas
Creepy Chairs at Disney’s Boardwalk Villas

However, the real star of the atmosphere of the Boardwalk Inn and Villas can actually found outside, on the Boardwalk. The boardwalk itself is designed to harken back to the Coney Island boardwalk and the seaside fun that comes along with that.

Along the boardwalk itself you will find restaurants, shops, surrey bikes, and live entertainment. The boardwalk is pretty to walk through during the day, and is a favorite atmosphere of ours. But the boardwalk eally comes alive at night.

Disney Boardwalk Villas Location

The Boardwalk’s location within the Crescent Lake area is one of the resort’s biggest selling points. Crescent Lake is a picturesque area nestled in between Hollywood Studios and Epcot. This allows you to easily walk to both parks. The ability to walk back to your resort after a long day in the park is clutch, and perhaps my favorite aspect of staying at the Boardwalk.

The Boardwalk Villas, along with Disney’s Beach Club and Yacht Club resorts, is especially popular during the many festivals held at Epcot throughout the year. This is especially true of the International Food and Wine Festival, which is the most popular of all the Epcot Festivals. Because of this, rooms at the Boardwalk are in high demand during the fall.

Disney Boardwalk Inn Map

This map below gives you an idea of the layout of the entire Boardwalk Resort. The Disney Boardwalk Inn is the wing on the right side of this map while the Disney Boardwalk Villas are on the left side.

The map also highlights the locations of all of the pools and restaurants along the boardwalk. There is one bus station for the Boardwalk Resort, located in the front of the resort.

Disney Boardwalk Inn Rooms

The main lobby connects the two separate wings of the Inn and the Villas. In full disclosure, we stayed on the Villa side through Disney Vacation Club, not on the Inn side, so have no personal experience with that wing or those rooms.

The standard rooms at the Boardwalk Inn all follow the same size and layout. The only difference between them is in the view, which naturally affects the price point. The rooms all come with various configuration options (i.e. 2 queen beds and a day bed, 1 king bed and a day bed, etc.) but the max occupancy for all of the standard rooms is 5 people.

The view options are as follows: Standard View, Garden View, and Water View. Standard view rooms will give you a view of the Boardwalk Inn pool, the gardens, or the ever popular parking lot view. Cost for a standard view room starts at $439/night.

The Garden view rooms, quite predictably, give you a view of the gardens located around the resort. The price for a garden view room starts at $465 per night. And finally, the Water View rooms give you the most picturesque option. These rooms overlook the Boardwalk and Crescent Lake. That lovely view does come at a price. Nightly price for the water view rooms starts at $554.

A thing to consider about the water view rooms: if you are a light sleeper and sensitive to noise, these might not be for you. Not that the Boardwalk ever gets truly raucous, but there will be more noise coming from the Boardwalk than other areas of the resort.

Boardwalk Lobby

Disney Boardwalk Inn Club Level

For a higher price tag, you can avail yourself of the Club Level rooms and join the Innkeeper’s Club for the duration of your stay. There are three different club level room types you can choose from.

Standard Club Level

First is the Standard Club Level room. This room type will give you varying configurations of beds that will hold up to 5 people in the room. The view of the standard Club Level room will be of the Boardwalk Inn Courtyard Leisure Pool.

The price for the Standard Club Level room starts at $639 per night.

Deluxe Club Level

The Deluxe Club Level rooms give guests more space to spread out in. It also offers occupancy of up to 6 people in the room. This is accomplished by adding a separate living area with a pull out sofa bed. There is no door closing this area off from the bedroom, but there is a clear division between the two spaces. The views from the Deluxe Club Level room are of the Boardwalk and Crescent Lake.

Of course, this extra space comes at a cost. One night in a Deluxe Club Level room will start at $771.

Outer Building-Garden View Club Level

This Club Level accommodation steps things up a notch. This room only holds 2 people, but is set up as a loft with a lot of space. The first floor has a good size living room with a kitchenette. Then up the stairs you will find a king size bed and the spacious bathroom. All of these rooms overlook the Boardwalk Inn Courtyard Leisure Pool and gardens.

This room has the heftiest price tag of all the rooms in the inn. A night in this adorable room will start at $830 a night.

Boardwalk Inn Innkeeper’s Club

In addition to all the standard perks of staying at a Deluxe Resort, a Club Level stay gives you access to the Innkeeper’s Club lounge. As with all the club level lounges throughout Disney World, the Innkeeper’s Club Lounge will provide guests with a place to relax. In addition to that relaxation, the lounge serves small meals, desserts, and beverages throughout the day.

The convenience of a club level lounge is great, and all of that “free” food helps to fill in gaps in the the meals you have during the day.

Club Level also gets you more personal access to Cast Members who are designated to help make your stay even better.

Finally, all club level stays at any of the Disney Deluxe Resorts make you eligible to purchase 3 extra fast passes per park day. This comes at a cost of $50 per person, per day, with a minimum of three park days.

Disney Boardwalk Villa Rooms

The Boardwalk Villa Rooms are located in the wing off of the opposite side of the main lobby. These rooms were constructed as Disney Vacation Club rooms, but they are also available for cash reservations.

Boardwalk Villas Deluxe Studio

The DVC rooms at Boardwalk Villas follow the same general format as the DVC rooms at all of the other resorts. Again, all of the rooms have different categories of view options: standard, garden/pool, and boardwalk.

Of note, while researching for this post, I noticed that the cash rooms listed as options only have standard views. It is only the rooms booked through Disney Vacation Club which have the different view options. I have learned to distrust the Disney World website to a certain degree, so it might be possible to book cash rooms with the better views. I have only booked my stays at Boardwalk with Disney Vacation Club points, so I have no personal experience with the cash rooms.

Boardwalk Villas Studio

The Disney Boardwalk Villas studio holds up to 5 people. This is accomplished through a double size sofa bed as well as a table the magically turns into a twin size bed in addition to a standard Queen size bed.

I love the DVC studios which have this feature of the pull down twin bed. It’s a bonus for our family of four that allows the kids to each have their own bed. But perhaps my favorite feature is the mural that is hidden behind the bed. It’s just so sweet!

Disney Boardwalk Villas-Deluxe Studio
Boardwalk Deluxe Studio Twin Size Pull Down Bed

The Boardwalk Villas studio also comes with a kitchenette and two part bathroom. The kitchenette comes with a small refrigerator, a microwave, toaster, and a coffee maker. All of the plates, bowls, and flatware that you need are provided for you.

Just take note: all of the plates and flatware in deluxe studios are disposable. I was a bit taken aback by this the first time, but have since come to like this feature. It means there are fewer dishes for me to wash!

The added functionality of even just the small kitchenette that comes with the Boardwalk Villas Studio is huge. This allows you to easily have a variety of breakfast options right in your room. Saving money on breakfasts throughout the course of a trip is always a bonus.

Disney's Boardwalk Villas Deluxe Studio Bathroom

The two part bathroom gives you the sink on the outside, with a separate door leading to the toilet and tub. This is a similar functional layout to most of the bathrooms to be found around Disney World. However, instead of a double vanity, the Boardwalk Villas studios only have a single vanity.

Boardwalk Villas Studio Floor Plan

The image below gives you the general layout of all Boardwalk Villas Studio rooms. The dotted lines by the sofa and the TV stand indicate where the other bed options pull out or fold down.

Disney Boardwalk Villas Studio Floor plan

Boardwalk Villas 1 Bedroom

Ironically, the Boardwalk Villas 1-bedroom rooms give you a ton of extra space, but holds fewer people. The layout of the 1-bedroom villa involves a separate bedroom with a king size bed. The living room has a sofa that pulls out into a bed. Of course, simply having a separate bedroom gives more privacy to everyone.

There is one shared bathroom for all four guests. However, the bathroom gives the option of a separate jacuzzi tub and a standalone shower. The shower, toilet, and a pedestal sink are accessible seperately from the tub and a larger vanity sink, allowing flexibility of use for the whole family.

Another major bonus to the Disney Boardwalk Villas 1 bedroom rooms over the studios is the presence of a full size kitchen and a dining table. Sure, the kitchen isn’t exactly huge, but it comes with everything you need to make complete meals for the family. This will open up some money saving options if you want to prepare some meals yourself.

The final bonus of the Boardwalk Villas 1-bedroom (and 2 bedroom) villas: a washer and dryer right in the room! While all Disney Vacation Club members have access to complimentary laundry facilities at the resort, only the 1 bedroom and larger villas have access to that right in their rooms! The convenience of this little feature is obvious.

Boardwalk Villas 1 Bedroom Floor Plan

In this image, you can clearly see the huge increase in square footage you get with the Boardwalk Villas 1 bedroom as opposed to the Boardwalk Villas studio. Even though there is only one bathroom for the suite, the bathroom is large in size and laid out well to allow multiple people access.

This suite also boasts 2 different balconies to eat your breakfast on!

Boardwalk Villas 1 bedroom floor plan

Boardwalk Villas 2-Bedroom Lock-Off

What on earth is a 2-bedroom lock-off, you ask? Essentially, it is a 1-bedroom villa combined with a deluxe studio to make one larger suite of rooms. There is an adjoining door (that locks) between the deluxe studio and the living room portion of the one bedroom.

So, the 2-bedroom gives you everything that you see above in the descriptions. The 2-bedroom villas will give you occupancy for up to 9 people, the kitchen, washer/dryer, dining table, and 2 full bathrooms. This is great for larger parties who can save money by splitting the cost of these accommodations.

Boardwalk Villas 2 Bedroom Floor Plan

This illustration gives you a better idea of what a 2 bedroom lock off looks like. You can clearly see how the Boardwalk Villas studio and 1 bedroom are combined to give you a much larger space (and 3 balconies!)

Disney Boardwalk 3 Bedroom Grand Villa

What if you are an even larger party and need an occupancy of up to 12? Then the 3-bedroom Grand Villa is your answer. Clearly, this is an enormous suite of rooms. Two of the bedrooms each have 2 queen size beds while the master bedroom has one king size bed. The ever present sofa bed in the living rounds out the sleeping options.

With this you also get 3 full bathrooms, which, let’s face it, is absolutely necessary if you are staying with that many people.

Disney Boardwalk 3 Bedroom Grand Villa Floor Plan

Disney Boardwalk 3 bedroom grand villa floor plan

Quite frankly, this floor plan is drool worthy. Look at all of that space! A large family, or a group of family and friends could easily fit into this space comfortably and have a wonderful trip. The bonus to having multiple families in one villa is splitting the cost of the room. That might help make a stay in the Disney Boardwalk 3 bedroom grand villa more affordable.

Boardwalk Villa Restaurants

The restaurant situation at The Boardwalk Inn and Villas is a little different from most other resorts. Since the Boardwalk itself is technically part of the resort, all the restaurants to be found there are easily accessible.

That actually provides guests at the Boardwalk easy access to more restaurants, lounges, and bakeries than all of the other resorts. Right at the Boardwalk you will find Flying Fish, a signature dining experience. I have eaten at Flying Fish, and the food there is top notch. If you want a sports bar vibe, there’s ESPN Club.

Trattoria al Forno is an italian style eatery that serves breakfast and dinner. It has become a popular character meal. Also, you can go to Big River Grille & Brewing Works.

Along the Boardwalk you will also find the Boardwalk Bakery and Ample Hills Creamery. If you have read about my top 10 gluten free snacks at Disney, you know my love of Ample Hills Creamery.

All of the dining options at Beach Club, Yacht Club, and Swan and Dolphin are also easily accessible to Boardwalk guests.

However, one area that is decidedly lacking is a good quick service restaurant option. Aside from the Boardwalk Bakery, there really isn’t a quick place to grab some breakfast or an easy lunch. This is a significant disadvantage for anyone looking for a quick or less expensive meal.

Disney Boardwalk Pools

There are 3 Boardwalk Villas pools for the guests to use. There is one pool which could probably be considered the Boardwalk Inn pool, but really, all guests can use all Boardwalk pools. One of them is pretty famous for the enormous clown slide. Your feelings about clowns might be the determining factor of how much you like that pool or not…

Luna Park Pool

Disney's Boardwalk Villas Luna Park Pool

The Luna Park Pool is themed after a boardwalk carnival atmosphere and is the main pool at Boardwalk Inn and Villas. The pool itself is a good size, able to hold a number of patrons. There is also ample seating around the pool, both tables and lounge chairs.

The focal point of the Luna Park Pool is the 200ft long water slide, designed to look like an old wooden roller coaster. And of course the gigantic clown face that spits people out into the water. I will be the first to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of clowns, but I’m able to see the humor in this. And from a fun perspective, my daughter couldn’t get enough of this water slide.

The Luna Park Pool area also has both a kiddie pool area and a small playground for the little ones to enjoy. The kiddie pool is less than 2 feet deep and gives younger kids a safer place to splash around. Disney’s official information about the pool talks about elephant statues spouting water into the pool, and even shows a picture of an elephant at the kiddie pool. I’m not sure if that was installed after we were there a few months ago, or if it’s been removed, but there was no elephant.

Disney's Boardwalk Villas Luna Park Pool
Luna Park Kiddie Pool, minus the supposed elephant…

Leisure Pools

There are a couple of leisure pools at the resort for people who want a more relaxed atmosphere than Luna Park Pool offers. Both of the leisure pools also offer whirlpools for “increased relaxation”.

I’m not going to lie, I never even saw these pools when we stayed there or when we went back with the kids while pool hopping. There was no way that my kids were going to give up their time at Luna Park Pool to hang out at the leisure pool. But they are there for additional pool options!

Boardwalk Transportation

If you stay at the Boardwalk Villas, you have four options for transportation: bus, Friendship boats, Skyliner Gondolas, and walking. That rather long list of transportation options makes Boardwalk Inn and Villas (along with Beach Club and Yacht Club) one of the best resorts in terms of convenience.

Bus

As with every other Disney resort, buses are a primary source of transportation. If you need to get to Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Disney Springs, or other Disney resorts, buses are the only way to get there.

Unfortunately, Boardwalk shares buses with at least one other resort in the Crescent Lake area, but usually more than one. This of course adds on to the ride time if you are trying to get somewhere efficiently.

The upside to this is that if you don’t feel like sitting on the bus longer than necessary on the way back to your resort, you can choose to get off the bus at any of the Crescent Lake resorts (i.e. Swan and Dolphin, Beach Club, Yacht Club) and walk the rest of the way home.

Friendship Boats

A resort located on a lake simply must have boat transportation! And that is indeed the case with the Friendship Boats. The Friendship Boats have a couple of different routes, but the main route goes from Epcot, to Boardwalk, to Beach/Yacht Club, to Swan and Dolphin, and finally to Hollywood Studios. Then the boat reverses it way back to Epcot.

The Friendship Boats offer a leisurely ride across the lake to your destination. And when I say leisurely, I mean slow. If your goal is to get from Epcot to Hollywood Studios, just prepare yourself for a long ride. But it is a solid offering at the end of a long day when you don’t want to walk, but in the end, taking the walking paths will likely be quicker.

Friendship Boat headed to the Boardwalk

Walking Paths

The ability to walk from the Boardwalk Resort to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios is the absolute highlight of this location. This is my preferred mode of transportation when I am at the Boardwalk. The International Gateway at Epcot is perhaps a 5 minute walk away, while Hollywood Studios is about 10 minutes in the other direction.

Not only is it simply convenient, but I just love walking around Crescent Lake itself. The whole area is just so picturesque and relaxing

Disney's Crescent Lake

Skyliner Gondolas

The new Skyliner Gondolas open up even more transportation options for Disney Boardwalk Inn and Villas. The closest gondola station to the Boardwalk is located at Epcot’s International Gate. However, Boardwalk guests can also easily walk to the Hollywood Studios station.

The Skyliner also has stations at Caribbean Beach Resort, Art of Animation, Pop Century, and the new Riviera Resort. Honestly, I’m just looking forward to taking a ride on the Skyliner Gondolas for the experience and the view. But aside from that, the Skyliner provides yet another great transportation amenity at Boardwalk Inn and Villas.

Disney Boardwalk Villas Review

I’m sure you could tell just reading through the basic information about the Boardwalk Resort, but we are HUGE fans of the Boardwalk. So much so that we plan to return there on our next trip, this time bringing the kids to fully enjoy the resort.

We stayed in a Boardwalk Villas Studio with a garden/pool view in the Boardwalk Villas. The room itself is a good size and I found the decor to be bright and cheerful with a touch of elegance. My personal preference would be to have a bit more Disney theming present, but I did appreciate the Disney touches that were there.

The fact that the Studios hold 5 people is key for our family. In general, we prefer to have that extra bed so the kids don’t have to share.

I ate breakfast on the balcony every morning of our stay there, and it was great. Our room overlooked a lovely garden, the Swan, and the canal that leads to Hollywood Studios. It was a great way to start my day.

Boardwalk Villas Garden View

The biggest downside to our room location was the VERY long walk from the lobby to our room. However, there was a “secret” exit that was right by our room which put us right on the path to Hollywood Studios. The downside was you can’t get back inside so you have to walk all the way around to the lobby to get back in.

Clearly, not all of the rooms will be this long of a walk, it just so happened that ours was, so be aware that it could be a possibility.

Boardwalk Villas Location Review

And here we get down to the real value of the Boardwalk Resort. As much as I love Wilderness Lodge and the Magic Kingdom area in general, I think I love Crescent Lake even more. The location alone is killer, but the setting around the lake makes it all even better.

I LOVE being at Crescent Lake. So much so that we make a point to visit the area for no reason other than to enjoy it (and eat). Aside from enjoying the picturesque scene, there is so much to do there. In fact, my list of 75 things you can do at Disney World outside of the parks includes several things from Crescent Lake. And frankly, I can add more to that list.

For those who love to run or walk, the boardwalk and paths over to Hollywood Studios are a great place for a run. Want to experience something a little different? Head to the Boardwalk to watch the performers. Looking for some night life? Jellyrolls is the answer.

And I know I’ve mentioned it before but it is worth saying again: you can walk to Epcot and Hollywood Studios! Do not underestimate just how convenient this is to your overall trip.

Final Thoughts on Disney Boardwalk Inn and Villas

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, we really enjoyed our stay at Disney’s Boardwalk Villas. Even if this was the lamest resort of them all, the location would outweigh all other negatives. The ease of access to two of the Disney parks cannot be emphasized enough.

Disney's Boardwalk Villas Lobby

The decor of the DVC rooms is clean and elegant. My preference would be for some more “Disney” touches. Let’s face it, we are all at Disney World for a reason and most Disney fans are going to want their rooms to have more overt Disney theming.

My biggest qualm about the Boardwalk is the utter lack of Quick Service dining options. This criticism really extends to the whole Crescent Lake area. Every other resort has at least one Quick Service dining option, why don’t the Crescent Lake resorts? They don’t even have one Quick Service between the three of them.

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Your Thoughts

Have you stayed at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort before? Do you like it as much as I do? How do you feel about the lack of Quick Service options? Please let me know in the comments below.

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5 thoughts on “Disney Boardwalk Villas Review”

  1. Why do you say there’s no quick service dining at Boardwalk? There’s the Boardwalk Bakery for sandwiches, the Pizza Window for (obviously) pizza, and the To-Go Cart for hot dogs, corn dogs, cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, and so on. It’s also the only non-park place to get funnel cakes! I think Boardwalk offers the most quick service choices of any resort we’ve stayed at.

    1. Sorry it took so long for me to reply, I was on vacation! I can’t remember exactly what floor we were on but I can give you a general idea of our room number. We were on an upper floor (I’m guessing maybe 3rd floor). The room number was either 3006, 4006, etc.

  2. The Boardwalk Villas are one of our favorite places to stay at Disney. We’ve been lucky enough to snag rooms with park views and love watching the Epcot fireworks at night from our room! Thanks for the awesome review!

    1. We were such big fans of Boardwalk, more than we anticipated. I’m looking forward to taking a longer trip there next year to get the full experience. Thanks for the comment

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