Disney’s Boardwalk Inn | Our favourite things about the deluxe resort

by W. Andrew Powell
Walt Disney World's Boardwalk Inn Resort

There are so many things that I loved about Walt Disney World‘s Boardwalk Inn resort. The resort is comfortable, stylish, fun, and lively in a way that I’ve never seen at another Disney resort, and it’s absolutely charming in the way it recreates a turn-of-the-century style and atmosphere.

Located around the corner from EPCOT on Crescent Lake in Walt Disney World, and across from Disney’s Yacht Club resorts, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn sets a mood the moment you arrive.

There’s an Atlantic City-meets-Coney Island style everywhere you turn, from the very elegant main lobby with it’s high ceilings and amusement park chandelier, to the rustic boardwalk itself that’s dotted with shops, restaurants, and bars. Disney has always had a fantastic sense of style when it comes to their resorts and hotels, and for me, Boardwalk Inn is one of the absolute best because it goes beyond the furniture.

On a Friday or a Saturday night, walking along the boardwalk is a treat. Whether you’re staying at the resort or not, the boardwalk is a great place for a visit thanks to the performers, vendors, games, and all of the lights.

So what makes Disney’s Boardwalk Inn one of my favourite resorts? Read on for all of my highlights and things you should know when booking the resort.

Parks, Location & Transportation

EPCOT near France
EPCOT near France

Boardwalk Inn is right around the corner from two of my favourite parks at Walt Disney World. If you love EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, it’s a short trip to both parks. Walking from the hotel you can get to the ticket gates near France in EPCOT in about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how quickly you walk. And it’s a 20 minute boat ride to get from the Boardwalk Inn to Hollywood Studios.

For me, walking into EPCOT any time I wanted during the trip was a real treat, and it gave me more time to explore and sample food during the International Flower & Garden Festival, or if you’re there for the fall International Food & Wine Festival.

By bus, it’s also a short trip to the two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, however the great thing about the Boardwalk Inn is that it’s really central to everything, including Disney Springs. The longest bus ride is to Magic Kingdom, and that only takes about 20 minutes.

The Boardwalk & Food

The boardwalk at Disney's Boardwalk Inn Resort
The boardwalk at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Resort

Restaurants at the resort include the Flying Fish, Trattoria al Forno, and Big River Grille & Brewing Works, or you can get quick service snacks and meals at the BoardWalk Deli, Pizza Window, or The To-Go Cart. And for drinks, there’s the AbracadaBar and BoardWalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas.

Inside the resort you can also grab a snack or light breakfast at Belle Vue Lounge, at the pool you’ll find Leaping Horse Libations, and there’s also the Funnel Cake Cart.

For breakfast, I’d highly recommend booking a reservation for Trattoria al Forno at least one day of your stay, since they have such great food, including a breakfast pizza, Mickey waffles, or just a really fantastic French toast, not to mention iced coffee.

If you want something quick and easy, the BoardWalk Deli is open all day, or stop by The To-Go Cart in the evenings for quick fries, chicken strips, or burgers.

And for the beer fans, stop by Big River Grille for take out or eat-in, and a great pint of craft beer made on-site.

Last and certainly not least, you should stop at BoardWalk Ice Cream and enjoy a cone, a sundae, or a shake. They have a great mix of flavours, and prices are excellent for fairly large portions.

Pools & Activities

Luna Park at Disney's Boardwalk Inn
Luna Park at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

There’s a lot more to the Boardwalk Inn than just the boardwalk. The resort has two pools, Luna Park and the Quiet Pool, and while Luna Park is perfect for kids to get out and play, the Quiet Pool is calmer for adults looking to take a break and relax before or after they head to the parks.

Luna Park has food and drinks, it’s open from morning to late at night, and there’s a slide, lots of loungers to sit out and watch the kids, or just get some sun.

On the other side of the resort, the Quiet Pool is in the middle of a beautiful courtyard with flowers, lots of grass and trees, and it’s very easy to catch your breath if you’re having a busy vacation.

For other activities around the resort, you can also watch Movies Under the Stars most nights in the Village Greens, there’s the Side Show Games Arcade near the pool, or you can rent Surrey bikes for two or four people.

Along the boardwalk, it’s the perfect place for a stroll, and there’s a lot to do, especially at night. You can of course sit and relax, or catch the Friendship Boats that will take you to the nearby resorts, Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT, or stop for a bite to eat.

If you want to shop, there’s a store near the resort lobby or a larger one on the boardwalk, as well as an art store.

At night, the lights make the whole area look like a carnival, and you’ll find jugglers and acrobats on the boardwalk entertaining the crowds, as well as games you can play for prizes. There’s so much going on that it feels like a party on weekends, and the performers are second to none. We also could even see the fireworks going off at Magic Kingdom that lit up the sky on the horizon.

The Rooms

King bedroom suite at Boardwalk Inn
King bedroom suite at Boardwalk Inn

The rooms at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn are comfortable and match the whole style of the resort. Like most of the other Disney resorts, they’re perfect for couples or families to get ready for the day, and you can get rooms with one or two beds and views that overlook the boardwalk, gardens, or pools.

Most suites also have a couch that opens up into a bed, so you can fit up to 5 or 6 people in a room, and the sink area is separate from the shower so one person can be washing up while another brushes their teeth.

Even the furniture and decorations in the room are wonderful. You’ll spot hidden Mickeys, rustic resort details from yesteryear, and the rooms are large and spacious.

What I especially loved about my king bedroom suite was the view over the garden and the large balcony that had two seats and a little table. It was a great place to have a quiet drink at the start or the end of the day, and while it’s a bustling resort, the courtyard always felt pretty calm.

Final Thoughts

I absolutely loved everything about Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Resort. The Deluxe resort is a treat at Walt Disney World in Orlando, it’s fun and refreshing, and whether you’re visiting for a weekend or a whole week, you’ll feel very much at home.

If you can make it work, I highly recommend a visit on a Friday or Saturday night for all the fun on the boardwalk, and once you do visit, you’ll probably want to go back again one day and experience it all over again.

Watch my video for a full tour of the resort, and a look at what makes it so special.

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