Disney's BoardWalk Villas
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Fantastic Spring Break
"We spent a fantastic spring break at the Boardwalk Villas. All the parks were close by and the atomosphere was outstanding. Try a bike ride or boat ride and stroll the Boardwalk at night. These were all fun activities we did as a family."
- Travel date: Wed 13th of July 2005
Boardwalk and Disney in the off season
"We visited the Disney complex for 5 days (Monday through Friday) and stayed in a two-bedroom "villa" at the Boardwalk. The 2-bedroom is an adjoining effiency and a 1-bedroom unit. We had Grandaddy & his wife, My husband and myself, and our 4 and 5 year old sons. The couples each had a private bedroom, and the boys enjoyed sleeping on the most comfortable sleeper sofa I have ever experienced. We utilized the kitchen facilities for breakfasts and for a couple of dinners.
Husband and I had been to Disney 3 or 4 times pre-kids and had mixed expectations about doing it with kids: we were so excited to share it with them, but we wanted them to be able to enjoy it at their own level. We chose the Boardwalk Villas because Grandaddy has a little trouble getting around and the children were very likely to need to crash in the middle of the day. The price is almost overwhelming, but it was worth it in this case for the convenience/possibilities. We also justified the expense by taking advantage of the Extra Magic Hours, where those staying "on property" can visit a park (or two) each day that is open a little early and/or a little later than usual. The later hours were still a fairly new thing, and it was a little tricky to figure out where to get armbands (a minor inconvenience, but I can't think of a better way to do it). Your room key (the credit card type) is your "key to the world" and that's all you need to get in to the parks.
Disney's website has a room layout, but it doesn't do justice to the niftiest feature of the room arrangement on the 1-bedroom side - the bathroom and closet layout are optimized for sharing the bathroom with the bedroom, ensuring the right amount of privacy for those in the bedroom and allowing perfect access for anyone entering from the living room area. The jetted tub was wonderful, too! The apartment-sized washer and dryer were handy. The down side is getting reasonably priced food and laundry supplies. The store onsite has many items, that are not exorbitantly priced. We just bit the bullet and sent the least tired individual to go to a grocery store our first night (we had mapped one out ahead of time).
We had a slight problem with plumbing when we first entered the room (a dripping commode), but they were up in a jiffy to fix it. The housekeeping staff did a good job. We felt that our belongings were secure in our absence.
Since we went in the off season, the park hours are curtailed compared to the pack 'em in summer 9 am to midnight schedule. The off season is also when most of the planned maintenance is done. The lack of crowds more than makes up for the shorter hours. The Fast Pass, once we got the hang of it, was great. USE IT!
Back to the Boardwalk. The place is absolutely huge, and there are few elevators. Maybe it is intentionally designed that way to minimize guest interaction. I know that there was fairly high occupancy, but we saw and heard very few other guests. When you visit Disney, you are already prepared to walk all day, but be sure to request a room close to the middle if it makes a difference to you. The boat service to the International Gateway at Epcot is great, every 20 minutes (I think) and about the same amount of time it would take to walk - the Boardwalk is the closest stop, so you're last on and first off. Character greetings are all the rage now (ah, the good old days when catching a glimpse of Mickey was a rare thrill! Now he's here there and everywhere on schedule all day long, but never in the same place twice!), and the International Gateway is one of the spots.
From the Epcot area resorts (like Boardwalk), you need to take boat and/or bus and/or monorail to get to the other parks. The bus service was not quite on schedule one morning (they just skipped the first run), but otherwise they ran every 15 to 30 minutes reliably.
The pool is hu-normous (my 5 year old's word). We had it all to ourselves for about an hour one morning. It is very well set up for the kiddies, and the "deep" end was a little too shallow for the 6'4" husband to swim. Towels and restroom facilities are as easy as can be.
Check-in and check-out were simple and fast. The staff were somewhere between business-like efficiency and friendly host, just as they should have been. The package delivery is another nice service - just have any purchases in the parks sent to your hotel. They don't send it to your room, but down to a shop on the Boardwalk itself that is open almost all the time.
I was a little concerned about noise from the restaurants and bars on the Boardwalk, facing the water, but we never heard it at all. Acoustic engineers are doing a great job.
I look forward to our next trip to Disney sans the in-laws and when the boys are a little older (no naps). We may opt for a condo off site to save money, but the allure of Extra Magic Hours, more convenient transportation, and the "immersion" may be too strong. I heartily recommend Boardwalk Villas for a family or a couple who would like to be a little pampered, immersed in Disney, and conveniently nearby. There are many little things available only to on-property guests, and they certainly add up for ease and comfort. You're on vacation, so you should leave your worries behind."
- Travel date: Tue 5th of July 2005
Best of the Boardwalk!
"We stayed at the Boardwalk Villas for Christmas, 2004. We are well acquainted with various Disney properties, and the Boardwalk Villas are a favorite. The spacious accomodations can't be mentioned enough - it is so nice to be able to have room to spread out, especially with teenagers - and have a split bathroom that allows several people to dress at the same time. A full kitchen allows for breakfasts and late night snacks in the room - which really adds value to the vacation. The location is one of the best in Disney - being within walking distance to Epcot and a long walk or boat ride to MGM is fabulous.
The pool was clean and towels were always available, and the healthclub facilities are good. Because we tend to eat midday meals in the parks, and visited a grocery store for breakfasts and late night snacks, the lack of an "in hotel" restaurant was not a big deal for us. My son and husband love ESPN - so it's great to have that restaurant so close by.
The staff is warm and attentive, and works really hard to provide that "magical" experience. We had some trouble this trip with the valet parking service, but other than that, the trip was great.
The Boardwalk atmosphere is really beautiful, especially at night. It is great to take a walk around the boardwalk in the evening to admire the lights and water. You just can't beat it!"
- Travel date: Wed 22nd of June 2005
"We had the time of our life!!! The boardwalk offers bus service to the theme parks and you can take the ferry to Epcot. What a beautiful place and really great service...... We enjoyed the entertainment on the boardwalk at night and the kids loved the swimming pool after a hot day at the theme park"
- Travel date: Thu 2nd of June 2005
Loved the Baordwalk
"My 5 year old daughter and my mom stayed at the Baordwalk Villas from April 6 - 12, 2005.
We were so impressed by this resort from the moment we pulled up and the man at the security gate said "We have been expecting you! Welcome home!"
It was a beautiful resort and everyone was so nice and helpful. They have free balloons for the kids when you check in.
We stayed in a Studio and we had the best view. It was such a nice room with a coffee maker, microwave, sink, toaster and mini-fridge.
The pool was amazing with a full size waterslide that my daughter and I could not get enough of.
They also have 2 play structures for the children and a community hall where they have crafts and games etc. You can also get free lifejackets for rent there too. Also there is a pool right by Community Hall (The quiet Pool)
The resort is right on the Boardwalk and close to the Swan and Dolphin. They have many restaurants to choose from on the Baordwalk and the ESPN Club is the best! They broadcast live from there!
The bus service was great and so was the Boat servise to Epcot and MGM. It is also very close to walk to Epcot and the Beach Club Resort.
I am definately going back to stay there and would not stay anywhere else.
We loved it there and can't wait to go back! This is true Disney quality!"
- Travel date: Wed 18th of May 2005
Can't WAIT to return!
"I have been to Disney World two previous times (with my husband, daughter, and son) and have stayed at the Beach Club and Contemporary. The Boardwalk was BY FAR the best accomodations we have had! My family and I and my daughter's friend (both age 15) stayed in a two-bedroom villa at the Boardwalk. Rooms 1129 and 1131 to be precise. Yes, we were far away from the elevator, but what did it matter! Along the way to the elevator there are several exits which allow you to escape to the outdoors and walk by the pools on your way to the lobby or Boardwalk. The villas provided us with an INCREDIBLE amount of room. My daughter and her friend had their own room and bathroom (anyone with two teenage girls knows this is a godsend) and my husband, son (age 11), and I had plenty of room together. The addition of a kitchen was wonderful. I highly recommend heading to the Winn Dixie down the street and stocking up with waters, snacks, etc..There is a great quiet pool near the villas and the Luna Park Pool is right next door. My son loved the waterslide! The boardwalk itself is marvelous and having this in such close proximity was certainly worth the money. We loved taking mornings walks to the Boardwalk Bakery (the muffins are DELICIOUS!) and later heading back out at night to grab a Mickey Cake and watch the fireworks. Not to mention its close proximity to E.P.C.O.T and MGM (my personal two fave parks). The location cannot be beat. I can't WAIT to come back to the Boardwalk!"
- Travel date: Tue 26th of April 2005
Don't valet park at the Boardwalk!!!
"While the Boardwalk villas are beautiful, the staff is less than accomodating. Our car was hit when valet parked and the Boardwalk refuses to take responsibility. We have pictures of the parking spot which corresponds with the damage on our car, but it has not gotten us anywhere. We are not asking for a refund of our vacation, just for Disney to pay for damages. It has been a nightmare dealing with them. If we return to Disney, we won't be staying on property."
- Travel date: Wed 17th of November 2004
Great for Families! Very close to the parks!
"We took our first trip as members of the Disney Vacation Club last week. We had a 1 Bedroom Preferred View of the Boardwalk Hotel. We had a great location (a few minutes walk from the lobby) on the second floor - same floor as lobby. There were two exits about a 30 second walk...
The room was great. It was HUGE. We had a full kitchen with all the supplies, medium sized fridge, microwave and dishwasher. A days worth of coffee and detergent was provided as well.
We also had a Washer and Dryer that we used many times as we packed lightly. The washer and dryer were pretty noisy, so we would run it when we left the room.
The shower was WONDERFUL! Great water pressure and alot of room in the stand up shower. Also it was decorated with medium sized colorful tiles (not your typical bathroom tiles). There was alot of counter space in the bathroom as well as 2 drawers. Off the bathroom was a walk in closet that had a sliding pocket door. There was also many wooden hangers for our clothes. (This closet was in ADDITION to the hall closet at the entrance which had a pack n play, high chair, extra sheets, vacuum and mop.)
The The fold out sofa in the living room was very comfortable and easy to set up. The other chair in the living room was not as comfortable, but served it's purpose. Also the king sized bed in the bedroom was very nice. There was alot of storage in the bedroom as well.
We had a double balcony that overlooked a quiet pool and community hall. At night we could hear "Fantasmic" from MGM. The main pool was great as well, with a pool snack bar next to the hot tub area.
As a DVC member you could get free Videos and DVDs to rent (about $3.00 for nonmembers) from the community hall and play them in your room. This was great as one day it rained all day long.
It was about a 10 minute walk to Epcot and you could walk to MGM too. The walk was faster than waiting for the boat actually.
The boardwalk entertainment was great as well. Better than any other hotel I've been in. As with "regular" hotels there is nothing to do after the parks close.
I highly recommend the DVC membership and Boardwalk Villas."
- Travel date: Mon 18th of October 2004
Not the usual Disney experience..
"We were at the Boardwalk Villas for the first time during Hurricane Jeanne. To start, the room we got was a little worn with no view - furnishings were sparse, the sofa was stained and the bedskirt ripped. The wattage of the room lights were so low that it made the room look dark and depressing. We asked for a transfer but were told the place was fully booked. The only plus was that it was located in the main building, near the concierge area so we did not have to walk a long distance as so many others on this website say they had to.
For safety concerns, no one was allowed outside the hotel during the storm so that all meals were served in the conference room. The fare was not great, most of the food was over-cooked, there was no desert and it was served on paper plates with plastic utensils. All told, we considered what they charged to be overpriced since we did not have a choice. Just goes to show the importance of an in-house restaurant (Boardwalk does not have one).
However, the hotel overall decor was very pretty, the location very convenient and to Disney's credit -they tried to keep the children entertained during our "lock-in" with various parlor games and Disney characters mingling, signing autographs and playing with the children. I also loved the fact they had their own very well appointed gym.
I would probably try this hotel again at a more "normal" time but opt for a different room, definitely (hopefully, they are not all the same)."
- Travel date: Mon 4th of October 2004
Where magic lives...
"Our family of four (including a 2 and 5 year old) stayed at the BWV in late August 2004. We had a great time. This is our first trip to Disney World so maybe that had something to do with it, but we do travel often. We had a one-bedroom standard view and it was sufficient for our needs. The kids slept on the sofa bed and we, of course, took the master. They loved the Jacuzzi tub! The washer and dryer were totally convenient, but they only give you one box of detergent if youâre doing through DVC so we brought our own little boxes. We did breakfast in our villa most days and some lunches or easy dinners. The room was large and clean and you could get linens in the hallway (since we didnât have maid service) everyday.
The best thing about this hotel was the location. What could be better than taking a run around the lake in the morning and then stopping off at the bakery to grab breakfast? Or walking to Epcot if you donât feel like taking the ferry? The Boardwalk offers great free entertainment from the street performers as well as restaurants for all budgets.
Our kids especially loved the pool. They spent a lot time in the wading pool and my 2 year old even went down the HUGE slide!
The only problem I had was that the valets werenât exactly the friendliest people at the Magic Kingdom, but who could blame them as they were running (literally) to the parking lot in the broiling heat to get our car. Also the internet access didnât work right away, but I was transferred to the help desk that got it working in about 10 minutes. The hallways were a little frigid, but each villas has it's own temp control. And if you don't want to walk far to your room request a room near the elevators.
Although it is pricey I feel that it is worth the money. We will definitely return!"
- Travel date: Thu 2nd of September 2004