My family spends every summer at the Jersey Shore (no, it’s nothing like the show) so I’ve always been curious to stay at the Boardwalk Inn. I’ve strolled through the lobby and eaten at several of the resort’s restaurants in the past, but never had the chance to lay my head at this seaside resort. I really enjoy the decor at this resort all year round since it reminds me of my summer home, but I was especially excited to stay here in December since I love the decorations in the Boardwalk’s lobby.
For those who aren’t familiar with this resort, the Boardwalk is meant to celebrate the heyday of seaside destinations like Atlantic City. I imagine the Boardwalk Inn resembles AC (as we call it in Jersey) when my grandparents and great grandparents strolled along the beach. Hallways throughout the resort display photographs and objects from the Shore and the architecture is cozy like a beach house. If you haven’t ventured to the Boardwalk before I encourage you to give it a try. Even if a deluxe resort is out of your price range this one is more accessible to all Disney guests. It is easy to walk over from Epcot’s International Gateway to enjoy the restaurant offerings, stroll the grounds, or maybe enjoy a night out either of the area’s night time hot spots.
For this trip I traveled with my friends Julie and Tom and we picked this resort for several reasons. We have been trying out deluxe resorts lately in part because our group would like to experience as many resorts as possible and also because it is the most comfortable way to travel with three adults not wishing to share a bed. We also have been wanting to stay in an Epcot area resort because of its proximity to the park as well as Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Epcot is our group’s favorite park so the thought of being able to walk there has a lot of appeal. We settled on the Boardwalk vs. one of other area resorts since we would love to stay at the Beach Club, but want to save it for a warm weather trip to make use of their fantastic pool. Additionally, the Boardwalk was the resort with the biggest ratings improvement among Unofficial Guide readers this year.
We booked a standard view room since we wouldn’t be spending a ton of time in our room. So we just looked out onto a courtyard, but it wasn’t a parking lot or a dumpster or anything. The room includes too very comfy queen beds and a day bed which was ideal for our party of three. There is also a flat screen TV, a desk (for blogging, of course), and several drawers. The bathroom is split between a double sink in the main area and an enclosed space with the shower and toilet. I thought the room with the shower and toilet was a bit tight, but overall it was nicely finished. Tom volunteered for to take the day bed and said it was comfortable enough and he’s over 6 foot tall. The queen beds Julie and I occupied were down right lovely. The sheets and pillows were cozy and I passed right out every night after a long day of touring.
I think the best aspect of staying at this resort is its proximity to parks and attractions. Guests can either walk or take a boat to both Epcot’s International Gateway and the main gate of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In many instances (unless you are completely exhausted or have many small children in tow) it’s actually faster to hoof it to these parks than to wait around for the boat. We opted not to rent a car since we figured we’d be spending most of our time in Epcot. We could also take the monorail from Epcot to Magic Kingdom part way through the day if we wanted. While I often prefer a rental car to the WDW complimentary transportation, I really didn’t miss having a car. I suppose it also helped that some of my Disney geek friends had cars and carted us around from time to time. Thanks guys!
Well, no resort is perfect so here my biggest complaint about this resort: the lack of a real counter service restaurant. There is the bakery and Seaside Sweets, but there is no real quick place to grab a meal and be on your way as there are in most other resorts. Seating is available outside on the boardwalk to service these locations, but if it is raining or just generally icky out those just won’t do. Also, due to the lack of traditional resort counter service there is also nowhere to refill your resort mug on your own. The morning we tried to use our mugs we had to show the CMs working behind the counter at the bakery that we had our mugs, request our beverage of choice, and then we were given paper cups with our coffee. It made no sense. Since we usually grab breakfast and coffee at our resort’s quick service restaurant, this was a disappointment for our group. We also didn’t think it was worth the cost of mug here since we hardly used them on this trip.
So with all of that in mind what was my overall opinion on the Boardwalk? I have to say it was one of my favorite Disney resorts. I know many a Disney geek who say the Polynesian is their favorite resort, but I think the Boardwalk ranks about the same as the Polynesian in my book. They each have things they do better than the other, but all in all they are neck in neck. I would absolutely stay here again and hope to at some point. Although I have the added bonus of feeling at home at the Boardwalk, I think just about anyone would enjoy the resort.
Have any of you stayed her recently? Did you love it as much as I did? Let me know what you thought about the Boardwalk!
Next week I’ll take a look at a newly reimagineered attraction I hold near and dear to my heart…