BoardWalk Inn & Villas – Part 2 of 3

jack-spence%27s-masthead4.jpg

Welcome back. Yesterday I discussed the lobby of the BoardWalk Inn & Villas. Today I’ll continue my description of this deluxe resort.

One of the most charming spots at the BoardWalk Inn & Villas is the Belle Vue Lounge. Tucked away in a corner of the resort, this “1930’s parlor” is the perfect spot to escape into a bygone era. Overstuffed chairs, wicker sofas, and a collection of small tables and chairs provide wonderful possibilities for relaxation and conversation. The walls are lined with books and shelves contain a number of board games for guest use, including Monopoly. Potted plants and fresh flower bouquets complete the experience.

Belle Vue Lounge

Belle Vue Lounge

Belle Vue Lounge

Belle Vue Lounge

Belle Vue Lounge

The Belle Vue Lounge also has some interesting oddities from years ago. One of these is a Magic Lantern. This early projection device originated in Europe in the 17th century and was often used by magicians and charlatans to amaze and scare a naïve public. The Magic Lantern came to America sometime in the late 19th century where it continued to be used by magicians. But it also took on a more legitimate use as this was the humble beginnings of the film industry. Enterprising entrepreneurs would charge admission to present a “slide” show to an astonished audience.

Magic Lantern

In the morning, a continental breakfast is offered at the Belle Vue Lounge from 6:30am to 11am. Selections include pastries, fruit, cereals, and beverages. From 5pm to 12 midnight, a bartender is on hand to serve you your favorite libation.

You will also notice a number of old-time radios positioned around the room. If you listen closely, you might just hear a broadcast of long ago.

Old Time Radio

Monopoly is actually a very fitting pastime to be enjoyed while having a beverage at the Belle Vue Lounge. During the Great Depression, Charles Darrow created a new board game. It dealt with the buying, selling, and development of property. As Darrow had vacationed in Atlantic City prior to the stock market crash, he felt that the city’s glamor and larger-than-life reputation would add a touch of sophistication to his game. Thus, all of the properties were named after actual streets in this well-known city. Of course the most sought after and expensive title would be that of Boardwalk.

Deed to Boardwalk

Darrow presented his creation to Parker Brothers, one of the largest manufacturers of games in the country. Parker Brothers turned the game down due to its complex rules and perceived design flaws. Undaunted, Darrow and a friend hand-produced 5,000 sets of Monopoly for the 1934 Christmas season and sold them at a Philadelphia department store. The game was an instant success and Darrow could not keep up with demand. He revisited Parker Brothers and this time the company took notice and bought the game. One year later in 1935, Parker Brothers was producing 20,000 games per week.

It’s interesting to note, early Monopoly sets were not the square boards we’re familiar with today, but rather painted oilcloth cut into a circle with the familiar properties lining the edge.

Original Monopoly Game

Although not available to play, there are several other vintage board games lining the shelves of the Belle Vue Lounge. Two of these are, “Go to the Head of the Class” and “Eddie Cantor’s Tell it to the Judge.” Next time you’re in this room, take a look at these diversions of another era. It’s interesting to see how children and their parents were entertained before the electronic age.

Eddie Cantor's Tell it to the Judge

Go to the Head of the Class

Just past the Belle Vue Lounge are the elevators that take you to the 371 rooms of the “Inn” portion of the resort. The following description will be of a standard room.

Just inside the door is a small niche. Within this niche is a chest that contains three drawers and a small refrigerator just big enough to hold a few bottles of water and a collection of snacks.

On top of the chest is a coffee maker, a limited supply of coffee and tea, and cups.

Chest in Niche

Coffee Machine

Next to the niche is a large closet. In it you’ll find hangers, an iron and ironing board, a collapsible crib, and a safe just large enough for items such as watches, keys, and wallets. Robes are offered in club level rooms and suites.

Closet

Closet

Closet

Directly opposite the closet is the vanity area. Here you’ll find a spacious counter, two sinks, two oval mirrors, a secondary shelf, and a makeup mirror. The hair dryer can be found on a shelf beneath the sinks. H2O+ shampoo, conditioner, and body wash is also available. This area is brightly lit so you’ll have plenty of light for those morning beauty activities that might require extra attention.

Bathroom Vanity

Bathroom Vanity

In a separate room are the toilet and the tub/shower. Being a deluxe resort, you will find the towels thick and fluffy.

Toilet Tub/Shower

The main room has two queen-sized beds. In keeping with the current deluxe hotel trend, there are no bedspreads, but rather a third sheet on the top of the bed with a decorative throw. A small “BoardWalk” pillow completes the design.

Queen-Sized Beds

Queen-Sized Beds

BoardWalk Pillow

In-between the two beds is a nightstand. Here you’ll find a telephone and an alarm clock/radio with an iPod docking station.

Nightstand

On the opposite wall is a daybed.

Daybed

Disney has completed their conversion from tube-style TV to flat-screen at all of their resorts. The chest that houses the BoardWalk TVs is quite attractive and has plenty of storage space. Besides six decent sized drawers, there is shelving on both sides of the piece and cubby holes in the front. Audio/visual connections are also conveniently located so you can plug your video camera into the TV and watch the “dailies.”

Chest of Drawers

Chest of Drawers

Next to the chest is a desk with a nesting table for laptop use. Free WiFi is now available so there is no longer a need for cable connection. On the desk sits a cute Minnie Mouse lamp. A mirror hangs above.

Nesting Desk

Minnie Mouse Lamp

All of the rooms at the BoardWalk Inn have either a balcony or patio. These will vary in shape and design depending on your room location. None of these are very large and can only accommodate two chairs and a small table.

Balconies

Balconies

Balconies

Balconies

Balconies

To see an overview of a BoardWalk Inn standard room, check out the video below.

Some of the standard rooms overlook the BoardWalk Promenade and courtyard. Others, the resort entrance. But many rooms have views of a beautifully manicured Rose Courtyard. This garden area is peaceful and serene and one of the most tranquil spots in all of Walt Disney World. A grand staircase leads from the lobby area to the lush lawns and walkways.

Rose Courtyard

Rose Courtyard

Rose Courtyard

Rose Courtyard

Rose Courtyard

This respite from the World is also where you’ll find the “quiet” pool. Although children are certainly welcome, the intent is that this pool area is for leisurely swims, sunning, reading, and unobtrusive conversations. Note, there is no lifeguard on duty at this pool.

Boardwalk In Quiet Pool

Boardwalk In Quiet Pool

Also found in this area of the resort is a feature unique to all of Walt Disney World. Called the Garden Suites, these 14 rooms do not open onto a central hallway, but instead are accessed via the Rose Courtyard. Although perfect for honeymooners, these rooms can sleep four.

Garden Suites

Garden Suites

Every suite has its own, uniquely landscaped yard surrounded by a white picket fence. Guests enter their private garden through an arbor, each with its own distinctive gate. A small mailbox sits to the side.

Garden Suites

Garden Suites

Garden Suites

Garden Suites

Entering the suite we find a small living room with a sectional sofa. The sofa can be opened out into a double bed. To the side of the room is a console and TV. In a corner is a desk and nesting table.

I felt the placement of the TV did not facilitate easy viewing for most persons on the couch.

Garden Suite Sofa & TV

Garden Suite Sofa & TV

Garden Suite Nesting Desk

Off of the living room are a kitchenette and a closet. The kitchenette contains a mini-refrigerator, microwave oven, coffee maker, and sink. The closet is a reasonable size, but it only has one door. This makes accessing the back portion of this storage space somewhat difficult. A powder room (toilet and sink) can be found off of the kitchenette. There is no shower or tub on the first floor so if four people are using this room, they must bathe upstairs.

Garden Suite Kitchenette

Garden Suite Downstairs Closet

Garden Suite Powder Room

The bedroom is located upstairs in the loft. Since this is an “open” layout, there is no real privacy between the upstairs and downstairs.

Garden Suite Stairway

Garden Suite Balcony

On the second floor you’ll find another closet, queen-sized bed, nightstand, small chair, and a chest of drawers and TV. Once again, I noticed that the placement of the TV makes viewing from the bed somewhat difficult. The loft looks out toward small windows.

Garden Suite Upstairs Closet

Garden Suite Queen Bed

Garden Suite Chest of Drawers and TV

Garden Suite Upstairs Window

Off of the bedroom is a second bathroom. Here you’ll find a marble-topped counter with two sinks and two oval mirrors. Next to the vanity is a large, whirlpool tub surrounded by large mirrors. If you don’t like looking at your own naked body, don’t bathe here. LOL. But if this isn’t a problem, then you’re in for a nice relaxing soak.

Garden Suite Upstairs Bathroom

Garden Suite Upstairs Vanity

Garden Suite Bathtub

In a separate room you’ll find a toilet and a shower big enough for two.

Garden Suite Upstairs Toilet and Shower

The Garden Suites are charming and perfect for couples in love – and as I said earlier, unique to the BoardWalk Inn. To see an overview of one of these rooms, check out the video below.

As with all Disney deluxe resorts, the BoardWalk Inn offers Club Level rooms and amenities for those willing to spend a little extra. Located on the fourth floor, guests with these privileges have a dedicated concierge staff that will help them make their vacation whatever they want it to be. From restaurant reservations, personal tours, and suggestions you have never even imagined, these well-informed hosts and hostesses are there to make you happy.

Innkeepers Club Concierge

Also available is a special lounge called the Innkeeper’s Club. This is a wonderful spot to escape and be pampered. Elegant furniture, fresh flowers, and an attentive staff are on hand to spoil you. The Innkeeper’s Club offers a large TV and a collection of Disney classics on DVD.

Innkeeper's Club Lounge

Innkeeper's Club Lounge

Innkeeper's Club Lounge

Innkeeper's Club Lounge

Innkeeper's Club Lounge

The doors to the lounge open at 6:30am each morning.

Coffee, Tea, Water & Juices – 6:30am to 10:30am

Continental Breakfast – 7:00am to 10:30am

Four Cold Cereals, Hot Oatmeal, Fresh Pastries, Fresh Fruit, Yogurt, and hard-boiled eggs. Skim Milk, 2% Milk, Chocolate Milk, Orange Juice, Water and V-8.

Refreshments – 11:30am to 4:00pm
Fresh made potato chips, fresh baked cookies, various snacks & candies, lemonade, iced tea, water & soda.

Wine & Cheese – 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Two hot appetizers, 3 cheeses, 2 cold salads, vegetable platter, pita bread, crackers, four bottled beers and three wines. Water and soda also available.

Cordials & Desserts – 8:00pm to 10:00pm

Various fresh pastries from the BoardWalk Bakery, four cordial alcohols.

IllumiNations can be viewed from the Lounge balcony although only the fireworks portion can be seen above the trees.

Important Note: the doors remain open all day long from 6:30am to 10:00pm, but services end promptly so the staff can clean up and turn over for the next service offering.

Innkeeper's Club Lounge Refreshments

Innkeeper's Club Lounge Refreshments

Innkeeper's Club Lounge Refreshments

Innkeeper's Club Lounge Refreshments

Innkeeper's Club Lounge Refreshments

Innkeeper's Club Lounge Refreshments

To see an overview of the Innkeeper’s Club, check out the video below.

That’s it for Part Two of the BoardWalk Inn & Villas. Check back tomorrow for Part Three.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

18 Replies to “BoardWalk Inn & Villas – Part 2 of 3”

  1. Sorry had to do this.
    Dan I found an error in your blog.
    Can’t waiT for part 3!, not wair. 🙂

    Thanks for your as always, great blogs Jack.
    Love them.

    Joni

  2. You ay not have this information, but with your wealth of information you seem like the logical man to go to for my question 🙂 Do you know if the art print of the carrousel that hangs above the daybed in standard rooms is available for purchase anywhere? I fell in love with it when I toured this resort last June and often wish I had it to hang in my own living room.

    Jack’s Answer:

    I don’t know, but it’s possible. At the Disney shops on the BoardWalk, they do sell several water color prints of the resort. The carousel print might be among those offered. But without looking for it specifically, I just don’t know.

  3. Loved reading part 2 of your blog. As I mentioned in my comments to part 1 my family and I are going to be staying at BWI (standard room) from 10/29-11/5. This will be our first stay at this resort as well as our first time to DW at that time of the year, two previous trips at Christmas (stayed at WL both times). I do have a specific question and it is sort of trivial but I noticed in the pictures and in your description that there is a collapsible playpen in the closet. My question is will mousekeeping remove it at guest request? The only reason I am asking is because we have no need for it (DS is 14 and DD is 11) so I would like to have the extra space in the closet to store luggage out of the way. I know this seems trivial but I hate having to walk around suit cases and like to be able to have them out of the way. Just a thought. I can’t wait to read Part 3 of your blog. I enjoy them so much do to all of the information you provide.

    Jack’s Answer:

    To answer your question… I don’t know. But I do know that Disney is pretty accommodating. I can’t imagine why they would turn down your simple request. I suggest you mention this as you’re checking in and take your lead from the answer you get. If you don’t get satisfaction, ask to speak to a supervisor. And remember, a smile goes a long way to getting what we want out of life.

  4. Jack,
    Just want to correct the offering times for the Innkeeper’s Lounge.
    Coffee, Tea, Water & Juices – 6:30am to 10:30am
    The doors to the lounge open at 6:30am each morning.
    Continental Breakfast – 7:00am to 10:30am
    4 Cold Cereals, Hot Oatmeal, Fresh Pastries, Fresh Fruit, Yogurt, and hard-boiled eggs. Skim Milk, 2% Milk, Chocolate Milk, Orange Juice, Water and V-8.
    Refreshments – 11:30am to 4:00pm
    Fresh made potato chips, fresh baked cookies, various snacks & candies, lemonade, iced tea, water & soda.
    Wine & Cheese – 5:00pm to 7:00pm
    Two hot appetizers, 3 cheeses, 2 cold salads, vegetable platter, pita bread, crackers, four bottled beers and three wines. Water and soda also available.
    Cordials & Desserts – 8:00pm to 10:00pm
    Various fresh pastries from the BoardWalk Bakery, four cordial alcohols.
    IllumiNations can be viewed from the Lounge balcony although only the fireworks portion can be see above the trees.
    Important Note: the doors remain open all day long from 6:30am to 10:00pm, but services end promptly so the staff can clean up and turn over for the next service offering.

    Jack’s Comment:

    I try so hard to get all the facts correct, but there is sooooo much information to remember and share with my readers. I truly appreciate you taking the time to set things straight. I have updated the article verbatim with the information you gave me.

    Thanks a million.

  5. I had the priviledge of staying in the Garden Suites last fall. I swear my room layout upstairs was completely different. I just check the photos on AllEars.net for the Garden Suites and my room was similar to those. The TV was placed at the foot of the bed for easy viewing, not the side like your room had. Also I don’t recall the master bath vanity area having doors.

    My favority moment was eating a Beaches and Cream sundae on my balcony overlooking “my” garden.

    I found the Continental breakfast at Innkeepers to be good, but the hot and cold appetizers in the late afternoon were outstanding!

    Jack’s Comment:

    It’s very possible the floor plan was different. I only saw one suite out of many. I’m sure your memory is intact. LOL

  6. On a recent day trip my family took a stroll through the inner courtyard you wrote about in this article and we were amazed. Has to be one of the most beautiful areas on all of WDW property. My little girls went crazy over the suites that have their own garden entrances – said they wanted to live there.
    Thanks for all the great info on this cool area.

  7. Hi Jack,
    Thank you for your very detailed review. This came in handy as I just booked a trip last week for December 10-14th in a standard room at the BWI. I am unsure if I want to try the InnKeepers club as I have stayed the last five years in the Sugar Loaf at the Grand Floridian. Will I be disappointed? How do the two compare? Also, I was surprised to see that hours for the wine and cheese end at 6:30pm and the desserts are from 7 to 9 – do you know the reasoning behind this? Any information is appreciated.
    Thank you,
    Stacy

    Jack’s Answer:

    The offerings at the Grand Floridian Club Level are superior to the Yacht, Beach, and BoardWalk. Is it enough of a difference to disappoint you? I don’t know. But you will notice a difference. I could make a meal at dinner at the Grand Floridian. I didn’t feel this was the case at the BoardWalk. It was nice, just not as much.

    As to the hours, I really don’t know the reason behind any decision here. Sorry. 🙁

  8. Hi Jack,

    I really enjoyed part 2.

    But I found something that has been sorely lacking in your recent blogs. A spelling error! You are making my job harder all the time. 😉

    “Next to the niche is a large closet. In it you’ll find hangers, an iron and ironing board, a collapsible crib…”

    I think you meant “collapsAble” not “collapsIble”

    Can’t wair for part 3!

    Dan

    Jack’s Comment:

    I checked in the dictionarey. It can be spelled either way. Nener nener..

    But I always appreciate your checking my work. Thanks!

  9. We stayed in one of the DVC Studios last summer. I will not stay there again. Being the last stop in a long line of resorts and having a daughter in a wheelchair, it was very difficult to get a bus during the mornings and evenings. Also, on a rainy day it was not easy to get something to eat when you had to leave the hotel to get food.

  10. Great choice this resort is one of my favorites. We stayed there last year for food and wine and had a first floor corner room so we had two walls with windows so it was very nicely lit by sunlight which is sometimes dark in hotel rooms. It seemed possibly larger than regular rooms but maybe not. Also a very easy stroll to the backgate of Epcot.

  11. Jack:

    Are DVC members staying on the villa side allowed to visit the quiet pool/courtyard area on the Inn side of the resort? Would this be a long walk? Looks beautiful, didn’t even know it was there! Peggy

    Jack’s Answer:

    I specifically asked this question while staying there. ALL facilities are available to All guests (with the exception of the Innkeepers Club). So feel free to use whichever pool you like.

    As for the walk, it depends. But it’s not terribly long from any room.

  12. hey Jack
    Great job on part 2. I love the layout of the Boardwalk and the theme is very comforting. the rooms also look amazing especially the suites though i was surprised that they only sleep 4. I would think that with all that space they would be able to sleep more. can’t wait for part 3 and as always keep up the great work.

  13. Is the continental breakfast in the belle vue open to all guests staying at the boardwalk?

    Jack’s Answer:

    Anyone can take advantage of the continental breakfast offered at the Belle Vue Lounge. However, in case I didn’t make this clear, it’s not free. There is a charge for all food and beverages.

  14. Jack, you never cease to intrigue and inform. I’ve never ever heard of those garden suites! I love the design of the outside, just like the little beach homes located off the boardwalks of a lot of places on the east coast. I’ve walked by the “real” versions of these homes countless times on vacation and immediately knew the “look” Disney was going for with the Garden Suites. Very cool. Too bad that, like you noted, the inside layout is a little funky. Still, I’m very tempted to want to try these at some point.

  15. Have you heard the rumor, Jack, that the Polynesian Club Level will undergo a refurbishment beginning in January of 2013? I mention this, because we are looking for a different deluxe club level at that time, and your video and write-up of the Boardwalk Club Level have made it a contender. Thanks for the informative posts on the Boardwalk!

    Jack’s Answer:

    I have not heard anything about this. That doesn’t mean it isn’t true. It just means I have no information on the subject. LOL

    The BoardWalk resort has a lot to offer as you’ll see this week and next. But so does the Poly. It’s a difficult choice.

  16. Excellent and thorough review. Last March we were switched from the Yacht Club to the Boardwalk concierge and were quite pleased with the accommodations and the size and comfort of the concierge floor lounge. And the Belle Vue lounge has to be one of the nicest on property and a comfortable and very quiet place to cool off after a long day at Epcot.

  17. Hi Jack,

    Wonderful review as always – can’t wait for part 3.

    How many nights did you stay at BoardWalk in order to complete this review? If you stayed multiple nights did you try a Concierge Level room? Is it worth it in your opinion to try it out especially if you have no dining plan?

    Wendy

    Jack’s Answer:

    I stayed two nights. One night in the Villas and one night in the Inn — Club Level.

    You ask if the Club Level is worth the money… That depends on your budget. And you have to ask yourself, how much are you going to use it. Chances are good you’ll take advantage of it every morning for breakfast. You’d probably never use it midday. You could use it for dinner if you’re a lite eater, but a big eater would be wanting more.

    Disney does change the menu every day, but do you really want to eat there every night?

    If money isn’t a concern to you, then by all means stay on the Club Level. But if money is tight, there are better ways to spend your money at Disney.