Disney Boardwalk Inn | The best of this luxury resort

There are so many things that I loved about the Boardwalk Inn complex at Walt Disney World. The resort is cozy, stylish, fun, and lively in a way I’ve never seen at any other 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 at Walt Disney World and across from Disney’s Yacht Club resorts, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn sets the mood the moment you arrive.

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

On a Friday or Saturday evening, walking along the promenade is a treat. Whether you are staying at the resort or not, the promenade is a great place for a visit thanks to the artists, vendors, games and all the lights.

So what makes Disney’s Boardwalk Inn one of my favorite stations? Read on for all my highlights and things you need to know when booking the resort.

Parks, location and transportation

EPCOT near France

Boardwalk Inn is right around the corner from two of my favorite parks at Walt Disney World. If you like EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, it’s a short trip to both parks. By walking from the hotel, you can get to the counters near France at EPCOT in about 15-20 minutes, depending on how fast you walk. And it takes 20 minutes by boat to get from Boardwalk Inn to Hollywood Studios.

For me, entering EPCOT anytime during the trip was a real treat, and it gave me more time to explore and sample the food during the International Flower and Garden Festival, or if you’re there for the Fall International Food & Wine Festival.

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

The walk and the food

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

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

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

For breakfast, I highly recommend booking a reservation for Trattoria al Forno at least one day of your stay, as they have great food, including breakfast pizza, Mickey waffles, or just plain bread Truly fantastic wasted, 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 evening for quick fries, chicken strips or burgers.

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

Last but not least, you should stop by BoardWalk Ice Cream and enjoy a cone, sundae or shake. They have a great mix of flavors and the prices are great for fairly large portions.

Pools & Activities

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

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

Luna Park offers food and drink, it’s open from morning until late at night, and there’s a waterslide, plenty of lounge chairs to sit and watch the kids, or just catch some sun.

On the other side of the resort, the Quiet Pool sits in the middle of a lovely flowery courtyard, with 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 is the Side Show Games Arcade by the pool, or you can rent Surrey Bikes for two or four people.

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

If you want to shop, there is a store near the resort lobby or a larger one on the promenade, 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 promenade entertaining the crowds, as well as games you can play to win prizes. There’s so much going on that it feels like a weekend party, and the performers are second to none. We also got to see the fireworks go off at the Magic Kingdom which lit up the sky on the horizon.

The rooms

King Suite at Boardwalk Inn
King Suite at Boardwalk Inn

Guest rooms at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn are comfortable and match the style of the resort. Like most other Disney resorts, they’re great for couples or families getting 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 sofa that opens into a bed, so you can sleep up to 5 or 6 people in one room, and the sink is separate from the shower so one person can do the dishes. while another brushes her teeth.

Even the furniture and decorations in the room are beautiful. You’ll spot hidden Mickeys, old-world rustic resort details, and the rooms are large and spacious.

What I particularly liked about my King suite was the garden view and the large balcony which had two seats and a small table. It was a great place for a quiet drink at the start or end of the day, and although it was a busy resort, the courtyard was still fairly quiet.

Final Thoughts

I absolutely loved everything about Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Resort. The luxury resort is a treat at Walt Disney World in Orlando, it’s fun and refreshing, and whether you’re visiting for a weekend or an entire week, you’ll feel right 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’ve visited you’ll probably want to go back one day and experience it all again.

Watch my video for a comprehensive tour of the resort and an insight into what makes it so special.

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