Reviews of Boardwalk Inn (Deluxe Resort)
A Disney Deluxe Resort in the Epcot Resort Area
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Reviewed by gilesmt Review Date: 01/30/2018
Rating: (5) Not Recommended
I am very torn with this hotel, we loved some aspects and hated other aspects. This was to be a split stay between Beach Club and Yatch Club, then two days before we left we switched to Boardwalk Inn and then while there we decided to just stay. The things we liked we really liked, but the things we did not like made for unpleasant trip and a bad taste.
We loved our room, 1290, it was huge, with a huge covered patio that easily could have sat 16 people in chairs. We loved to sit out and drink coffee in the morning and watch the garden grow. We were hidden and even when people walked about, we could see them but most could not see us. There was never any noise outside, or children running, it was just peaceful bliss.
We had a large foyer, and an extra large closet, you had a lot or room between the beds and the couch. This room was a lot bigger than the normal standard room, yet it was just a standard garden view room, hidden next to a stair case outdoor stair case, on the bottom floor, near the elevators.
It was an easy walk to the quiet pool, up one flight to Bella Rue lounge to fill your cup.
That said it was awful by the fifth day, because you had to go up to the second floor from one set of elevators, and then down a different set to get to boardwalk. And you kept getting confused and second guessing yourself, am I going, up or down, or out, can I get here for there, or over there. The first few days was great, but it got to be a hassle.
Next you had to make that decision to get food or to the bus, or to the lobby, or to the boardwalk and ferries. No way to just move from first floor to anywhere without going up a flight and then back down a flight.
The second thing was the main Inn was not where anything was, so you had to cross over to the villa side to do anything, the main pool was on that side, the community hall was on that side, the lobby was on that side. The front door was on that side, the boardwalk was both sides. The fire pit was on the villa side. So for the first time, I felt like I was an outcast in the resort, most of the time the DVC have to walk to the resort to get things done, in this resort, you have to walk to the villa side to do anything.
Mycomplaints start with the food, you have little to no options, so for a day or two you are fine, but then forget it. For breakfast especially there is no food court, so you have a choice of powdered eggs in a sandwich or on your plate from the bakery and that is it, or a quick grab of a bagel from the lounge. So after two days you are sick of all food options for breakfast. For lunch if you eat late you have more options but not much more and nothing opens until after 12 or after 6. Pizza, hamburg and subs thatâ€™s about all you have to choice from. You can get a boat to yatch and beach club but they have very little options also, we choose to do contemporary, French quarters, animal kingdom and wilderness all with much better options for both lunch and dinner. But what a pain when you want to hit the park early, because you have to go out of Epcot to get good food.
Second, donâ€™t think of maid service the same as any other Disney resort. We got maid service twice during our trip without calling and asking for it, the first day and the day we were suppose to leave and go to yatch club. We called them 5 times after 5 to come and give us clean towels. When we complained we got no results.
And that leads to the next complaint, front desk, they were useless. No matter what you asked they could not tell you. Asked about my bill, 5 times got not answer, asked for a supervisor got no answer, spent 4 hours on the phone with different people and finally called my bank and told them until Disney can explain to me why my bill says paid in full before I got there, and nothing changed, than I refuse to pay the $125 charge that no one can explain to me. I asked about maid service and why they refuse to clean my room, they refused to answer me. I asked why my bands no longer work on the door, the answer was they fixed the door, well if they fixed the door will you fix the bands to work on the door, three days later they finally did.
We loved the valet, and we loved Mitch the bell hop. They were all so great. The community hall people were great with movies on rainy days, but again house keeping and DVC in rooms forget it, took four hours or more to get a DVC that had a remote that worked.
So again torn how to rate this hotel, if I wanted into Epcot for a night or two and could get the room we got I would rate it a 10, but if staying on vacation, and wanted housekeeping, front desk staff, got transportation to and from parks, and food options, this would be just a smedge above beach club that we rate a 1.
We have stayed here as DVC on that side of the resort and we loved it, again because you take out a lot of the problems, we had dining plan then so we went out to eat in better places more often, we could eat a fast breakfast in room since we had a kitchen, we walked out the door to the main pool and to refill drinks. So totally different experience and we rated it up in the 9 then.
Pros:Quiet, peaceful, between two parks
Cons:Food service, front desk staff, maid service
Reviewed by Imjustababyduck Review Date: 10/01/2014
Rating: (6) Recommended
The Boardwalk Inn is a small (by Disney standards you could almost call it "boutique")deluxe hotel, which, for me, is a positive aspect. Since we were doing Food and Wine this trip, The Boardwalk was a perfect location given the closeness to EpCot.
We had a great room with a king bed and a view of Disney Studios. We could see the fireworks every evening while getting ready for dinner. That part was lovely.
However, the hallways (and to a lesser extent) the general areas of the hotel had a very distasteful odor that was inescapable. We were very lucky that this did not permeate our room; otherwise, I would have never been able to stay there. Also, the hallway from the elevator to our room was consistently dirty. It would be littered with trash and room service trays regularly. I found this to be off-putting, especially when paying for a premium hotel. We did not utilize housekeeping while we were there (personal preference), but I will say that our room was clean when we arrived.
The pool was a little on the small side. The slide was cute, but tiny. In truth, I found the pool area to be similar to Port Orleans (and that is a moderate resort), but The Boardwalk is a small resort and the pool was never crowded so no big deal.
The adjoining shops, restaurants, and bars areas are really nice and make for great ambiance and, to a degree, are what makes this hotel a deluxe hotel (that, and the closeness to two parks).
I would stay here again if doing the Food and Wine Festival simply for the major convenience it offers with respect to EpCot.
Pros:Close proximity to two parks
Cons:Smell and not too clean
Reviewed by sand935 Review Date: 09/30/2018
Rating: (7) Recommended
if you don't like clowns ask for a room not overlooking the pool. at night they leave the lights on at the end of the pool side which is a clown face.
Cons:not enough elevators too many steps
Reviewed by DisneyGrandma68 Review Date: 01/03/2015
Rating: (7) Recommended
We paid $1200.00 for 2 nights at the Boardwalk after spending 5 nights at the Wilderness Lodge (our favorite resort). The only reason we moved was to have the Boardwalk view of the lake and the quick walk to EPCOT and nothing more. I called more than 6 times throughout the year to have notes to that effect put in the reservation and to make sure they were there, otherwise, we would have stayed at WL looking at the gorgeous views we already had. Also, we had 2 rooms at the WL and decided to share at BW (3 adults, myself and my son and daughter in law) due to the cost. When we walked into the room we saw another building, grass, rooftops and people's feet on the boardwalk and a small piece of lake in the upper right corner of the patio. I immediately called and was told that this was "technically" a water view and I got quiet. They did make it right and gave us a room with a beautiful view, but wore us out with the walk. Very nice resort, however, we will not stay there again as the price is not worth the inconvenience of no inside restaurant and having to wait several hours to get the room I had booked so far in advance. We love all things Disney and have stayed at more than 7 different resorts and have been to BW twice now. The lady who checked us in was wonderful as was the college intern who helped us as well.
Pros:Convenience to EPCOT and views
Cons:rooms sometimes not what you expect & no restaurant
Reviewed by mom4graceloganford Review Date: 09/24/2013
Rating: (7) Recommended
This is the first review I have ever posted despite over 150 nights staying deluxe. I felt the need to write this review. We have stayed at all deluxe resorts except animal kingdom. We stayed 9/18 through 9/22 and it was our first time at Boardwalk, we had just spent the 5 nights prior at WL.
We stayed in a Deluxe room which gives you club level access and is a larger room with a Sofa bed. We had a great view from our room and balcony. We were right above seashore sweets and could actually watch performers from our balcony (although could not hear them well). I will post comments on the club level on the concierge review forum ( I also had a problem with that specifically room location so if you are considering a deluxe room see there also).
We are Disney resort veterans, I was well aware of the quick service options at this hotel. I did not realize specifically how unhappy with them we would be. First, on arrival day we checked in and wanted lunch. At the same time a huge storm rolled in. There is absolutely no way to get lunch without getting really wet if raining or ordering room service. Even with an umbrella and ponchos you would get soaked trying to get to Boardwalk Bakery as the rain was blowing sideways. Now the new menu at Boardwalk is great, we just couldn't get to it and we did not want to do room service so we waited 2 hours (with 3 hungry kids) for it to improve to send someone out for lunch. Same situation if you want to eat at ESPN or Big River, no internal way to reach food. At YC/BC you can at least get to the marketplace or Captain's Grille.
The Pool Quick Service was very disappointing. Menu looked great and food from Boardwalk bakery so I thought how could we go wrong. We planned to swim and have lunch Saturday. at 2:30 went to order lunch. They were out of 2 of 3 kids meals (only had pb&j left which we can't eat) and were out of the adult turkey sandwich. I asked if they could or would be getting more and they said no (keep in mind they are supposed to be serving food until 8 and it is 2:30). I was willing to wait for them to restock) I was told they would not order anymore, we would have to walk over to Boardwalk to get lunch (with three sopping wet little kids) So we grabbed a bag of chips and left the pool early. This is unacceptable service to me for a Disney Deluxe resort.
My other concern was the condition of the bathroom. This is a very expensive room and when sitting in the bathroom or showering, it felt like a bad motel that needed a rehab. It is tiny, there was what appeared to be mold growing around the doorway and on the ceiling corner and there was exposed caulk and lose fixture covers hanging down from the shower and toilet pipes. Also the shower would not drain because of a very bad clog. So bad that the 5 of us needed to rinse off before dinner and had water to our knees. It would have been impossible for housekeeping to clean the tub without identifying the clog, it should have already been reported to maintenance. it was fixed later that night, but made for a miserable experience trying to get out the door for dinner. We also found the sofa bed to be extremely uncomfortable compared to the sofa beds in the DVC villas. We also had a problem with the thermostat. It was an old model with no numbers on it, and we had to get up a few times during each night to adjust it. We were freezing or hot the entire trip. These are not major complaints, we still had a good time, but I expect more from a Deluxe resort whether it is Disney or not. I have never been disappointed in the other Disney properties.
All in all, the staff is very friendly, the location is great, and if the weather is nice, you have nice food options. Music through hotel was nice. Room was decent but we found ourselves disappointed overall and that it was to difficult to get a quick bite or drink(can't imagine if we had not had access to the club level options.)
Cons:quick service and condition of bathroom
Reviewed by annmarz Review Date: 06/19/2019
Rating: (8) Recommended
I love this resort and it is one of my favorites. I always stay in the Epcot Resort area and our last trip was wonderful. We had a corner room which partially overlooked the Boardwalk and the main grassy area in front of the lobby. Altho it was on one of the higher floors we were close to the elevator which was very convenient. My only "complaint" if you can call it that is that this resort does not have any indoor restaurants and we had to walk to the Boardwalk Bakery to refill our resort mugs. The gift shop is also really sparse. Mousekeeping skipped us one day. Overall we were very happy here.
Pros:location. nice rooms
Cons:lack of indoor dining
Reviewed by snovak Review Date: 02/20/2019
Rating: (8) Recommended
This was our 5th time staying here...absolutely love this resort. We always request a 1st floor room and we are always given one, which I appreciate. This time the problem was Mousekeeping. On our second day there we returned to our room to find we had no pillowcases on our pillows - not a problem, quick call to Mousekeeping and within 20 minutes there was a knock on the door and there were the cases, but I think because its a Deluxe resort I expected them to come in and put the cases on or at least ask if I wanted them to do it or if I wanted to do it myself - not just handed to me as I opened the door. Don't get me wrong I don't mind putting cases on the pillows but I should note that I leave a very nice tip for them each day I am there. The next day @ 8:00 , while getting ready for a day in the park there was a short knock on the door and in walks Mousekeeping even though we had the "Room Occupied" sign on the door. Two days later after returning from a day of shopping at Disney Springs and wanting to freshen up for a dinner reservation we entered our room around 4:30 pm to find Mouskeeping hadn't been there at all...a quick walk to the front desk and within an hour someone was there. I love this resort and will stay here on my next Disney visit, I was just surprised at the Mousekeeping issues we had...this was a first for us , we never had anything but wonderful experiences here. Everyone has off days I suppose but I guess I don't expect that at Disney !!
Pros:Walking distance of Epcot / Studios. Love walking on the Boardwalk taking in the sounds and sights.
Reviewed by review Review Date: 11/21/2017
Rating: (8) Recommended
Room upgrades over the years seem patchy; new dresser here-ild one there, new paintâ€”rusty fixtures, not enough handicap features for room.
Handicap accessible room #4068 is right up against elevator bank. Whireing of all 3 elevators in to late hours and began again very early. Rattles the wall and fixtures too!
No quick service breakfast and lunch in hotel lobby as in the Beach Club Villas. Now I remember why we havent stayed here the past 10 years.
Pros:Pretty at night, big room, Epcot and Studios within walking
Cons:Price, decor, quick service
Reviewed by jeconk Review Date: 04/09/2017
Rating: (8) Recommended
We stayed at Boardwalk Inn for 5 nights for a spring break vacation. We chose Boardwalk due to its location and ease of access to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. That is one of the best parts of this resort...the ability to walk to both parks (or take the ferry).
When it come to the ferry service, I am always a little apprehensive about boat transportation. It always seems that boat transport tends to be slow and the pilots have a terrible time docking and the loading/unloading is quite long. That is NOT the case with the Friendship Ferry boats used for Epcot, Hollywood Studios and the resorts along the lake. The pilots were all excellent at docking and moving to the next location quickly (but safely I might add). It seems every time we came into a dock, the pilot was perfect on the first try. The loading and unloading was as quick as safely possible. It was even more convenient than the busses to other locations.
As far as the walking to the parks, Epcot is an easy walk (to the International gate, NOT the main gate) but Hollywood Studios is a little further walk. SUGGESTION: If you are staying at Boardwalk and coming back from Hollywood Studios on the ferry, get off at the first stop (Swan & Dolphin Hotels). It is then an easy walk to Boardwalk and a lot quicker than riding the boat because it has another stop first. (also if you miss the boat at Boardwalk, then walk to Swan and Dolphin to catch up to it if going to Hollywood Studios.)
There is bus service to Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Disney Springs (later in the day). There is NO bus service to Hollywood Studios or the main entrance of Epcot from Boardwalk Inn. The bus stop is conveniently located just down the breezeway from the main entrance to the hotel. There is an electronic monitor board at the bus stop that give real time wait times until the next bus to each location. Disney buses seemed more efficient on this trip. Staying at Boardwalk (or any of the lake resorts like Beach Club, Yacht Club, Swan or Dolphin) give you more flexibility with busses back from AK, MK and Disney Springs.....just take a bus to any of those and you can walk to the others.
The resort is very nice. One complaint I have heard is that the quick service food choices are limited at Boardwalk, but I really didn't find that to be the case. The Boardwalk Bakery has breakfast sandwiches & breakfast platter and then sandwiches, soups, etc for lunch and dinner. It is also the place to get your drink mug refills. It may be more of a problem to get to if it is raining since it is in the middle of the Boardwalk shops but it served us fine. There are also other places to get a quick bite including the Pizza window and Joes. There are several table service restaurants on the Boardwalk, and with the exception of ESPN club, they always seemed to be taking walk ups without reservations.
I wasn't overly impressed by the quaint lobby but did like the covered breezeways/decks around the hotel where you could sit in rockers and enjoy the view and weather. Boardwalk has a very nice grassy area between the lobby and Boardwalk and I saw a lot of people on that lawn running, playing, relaxing.
We had a very nice room on the first floor that faced the inner courtyard. (another nice area to walk or sit and the quiet pool is located in that area). The property is well maintained and they were working on painting the exterior while we were there. (we had been alerted to this beforehand, but the contractors were polite and tried to avoid creating inconveniences for guests. It was really not an issue.
My main complaint was the first floor and how you had to "maneuver" to get to the Boardwalk or bus stop. There is no way to go from the first floor rooms directly to the Boardwalk WITHOUT having to go up first and back down. To get from our room to the Boardwalk, we had to take an elevator or stairs up to the second floor, walk toward the lobby and then go down another set of stairs or elevator to reach the doors to the Boardwalk. (while second floor and higher guests only had to get to the second floor and go down.) I am not sure why they could not extend the elevator lobby on the first floor to the first floor area that goes out to the Boardwalk. (appears to be just a wall in the way.).
Our room appeared to be a former handicap room because it was very spacious (and had the tell tale sign of the double (lower) peephole on the hallway door.). While the toilet/tub area was large, it did not have handicap accessible railings by the toilet or in the tub so I am guessing it was converted to non handicap use.
There are plenty of electrical outlets and charging ports located throughout the room....on the desk, tv stand and nightstand. The drawer space is somewhat limited because the credenza has cupboards on the sides instead of drawers there. The closet is large. It was nice to have a patio to sit on. (other floors have a balcony) but we only had one patio chair. (we noticed later that the room next to us on one side also had only one chair but on the other side of us the patio had four chairs...it appears that they "procured" chairs from other rooms and housekeeping never noticed.)
There are only two complaints that I have about the room. First, the stand that hides the refrigerator: the door to the stand opens one way while the refrigerator door opens the other way making it awkward to put things in the fridge. The other, more major complaint, was the hot water. The water in the shower/tub never got really hot. Even when turned all the way to hot, it never got about lukewarm. It was like this everyday regardless of the time of day. If someone wants a really hot shower or soaking tub, forget it.
Other reviewers have claimed stinky rooms or not clean rooms/public areas, I did not find that to be the case at all. In fact the room smelled very nice. (I think Disney uses a fragrance in their air circulation system as I have smelled that in other hotels.)
The staff members that we encountered were very friendly and helpful although we had a lot of trouble with our magicbands and they never really did get it 100% correct.
We used the Disney Magic Express this time and that was very nice. It was a little long check in process at the airport because so many people didn't have their paperwork or magic bands and that would slow up the check in lines. Perhaps a line dedicated to those who have their magic bands or paperwork to speed things up?
My only complaint with the Magic Express Service was our luggage at the hotel. It arrived while we were out to the park, but the bell person who delivered it put it just inside the door to the room (and not lined up neatly at the end of the bed). We basically had to trip over our luggage when we returned just to get into our room.
Finaly, I would like to give a shout out to the new Express Transportation option. This service, which I don't feel is publicized enough, was great. It cost us $29 for up to seven days but saved us time and made life much easier. This system takes you from inside one park to another without the need to go through the bus/boat system, security checkpoint or ticketing. You still have to get to and enter one of the four parks (Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom) via bus, boat or foot and go through the security checkpoint. But once you have done that once, you are set. You go to the assigned location inside each park (example: next to Buzz Lightyear at MK) and check in. They then take you "backstage" to a parking or storage area where you meet a bus. The busses for this are used only for this and so they are not crowded. There is a bus to a park every 10 minutes so all your bus to any park is at least no more than 30 minutes wait. (Example: bus to Epcot at :00 & :30; bus to Hollywood Studios at :10 & :40; bus to Animal Kingdom at :20 & :50.) The bus then cuts through the back areas of the parks and through employee only roads to your next park and you unload "backstage" and enter the park through an employee entrance. (no need to go through security or bio scan again.) It provides for unlimited rides during each day. One day we used it to "park hop" to 3 of the 4 parks. PLEASE NOTE: You must have Park Hopper tickets in order to use this service.
Overall this is a very nice hotel but I liked Bay Lake Tower & Port Orleans better. You can't beat this location however unless you stay in Beach Club or Yacht Club.
Pros:The location can't be beat; Good transportation system to parks; Spacious rooms
Cons:First floor rooms have to go up and then back down in order to reach Boardwalk. Distance to eating facilities (no grab and go)
Reviewed by formerprincess Review Date: 03/31/2017
Rating: (8) Recommended
Stayed 5 nights in early Feb 2017
We would definitely return!!!!!!!!!!!
Good: Location, of course. Was there with DH and DS/DD both 10. WE loved the quick trip over to both EP and HS. We really liked the unique feel to the resort - not like a typical 'resort'. All of the amenities were there but in a unique turn of the century boardwalk style (when there were hotels and not resorts on the NJ boardwalks). The size was a big appeal - not too big. Many people complained that there was no QS inside the resort - I beg to differ. With the small resort size, walking out to the boardwalk for breakfast at the Bakery was actually quicker than heading to the QS in most of the large resorts. Since we had the dining plan, we ended up not enjoying the restaurants at BW but did love the daily dose of ice cream.
We have stayed at several Disney resorts at all levels and this is tied with BC for us for the top choice.
Due to some issues, we were upgraded to the Concierge level. Great part was the amount of food but with the DP as well, it was wasted on us. OTherwise the rooms were the same as regular rooms so would not be worth the upgrade cost normally, for us.
Bad: There were some cleaning issues - our room had to be changed 1st time because it smelled awful. Then 2 more times because the rooms were filthy. Keep in mind that we dont typically complain at hotels and never look for upgrades. But this was bad. I asked for cleaning supplies the 2nd room so i could clean myself and just be done with it. They insisted on moving us, again, with upgrade. House keeping manager found us to apologize as she checked and those rooms were indeed disgusting. Additionally. the carpets were so worn in 3 of the 4 rooms - odd as i thought they had just refurbished every room.
So in all, there were issues but they were addressed for us with speed and courtesy.