Staying at the Boardwalk Inn is not cheap, that's why it's considered a deluxe resort. What you're really paying for here is the location. It's an easy walk to Epcot and within walking distance to Disney's Hollywood Studios. Walking to Epcot was excellent for us because its our favorite resort and we tend to spend a lot of time there, especially for dinner.
There are only a few Disney resorts within easy walking distance to the parks: Boardwalk, Yacht/Beach Club, and Contemporary (Swan and Dolphin don't count because it's not Disney owned- The Tishman Group does and leases the land from Disney).
Compared to other on property resorts, here are some unique things/places you'll find at the Boardwalk Inn:
1. High quality restaurants (Flying Fish and Kouzzina), as well as two casual/bar restaurants (Big River Grill and ESPN Club)
2. A bakery and sweets shop with ice cream
3. Night life including jugglers, magic acts and also clubs/lounges
4. Beautiful view of the water
5. Short walk to Epcot via the International Gateway
6. Scenic walk to Disney Hollywood Studios (though in my opinion a tad long, especially after a day of walking)
7. Boat to Epcot and Hollywood Studios
8. Walking distance to Swan & Dolphin (mini golf voucher can be used there)
9. Walking distance to Yacht and Beach Club (Great places to eat there like the Yachtsman Steakhouse, Beaches and Cream, and Cape May Cafe)
The size of the rooms are pretty similar as other deluxe resorts--two sinks outside of the bathroom, a balcony, etc. You can also get room service (moderate resorts get pizza delivery).
Many complain that the halls can be really long and it can be annoying to get down to the boardwalk and buses. We didn't have this problem since we were near the courtyard. There are only two ways of getting outside, both on each side of the lobby. One way goes down the steps to get to the boardwalk, the other goes to the front of the resort to the bus stop.
Ahh yes, the Disney bus transportation. This a common complaint about ALL Disney resorts. It doesn't matter if you're staying at a value resort or the most expensive Deluxe resort, the bus system at Disney can be bothersome to many. Luckily, by being so close to two of four parks, you don't have to experience these troubles as much--the only places you need to take a bus are: Downtown Disney, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, Magic Kingdom, and Animal Kingdom. We did sit at the bus stops for extensive amounts of times, even in the off season. The bus areas get crowded and even more so when you get on the bus. When we were there, Boardwalk shared a bus route with Swan, Dolphin, Yacht Club, and Beach Club. That's 5 stops total. This annoyed me because Swan/Dolphin was almost always first, in which case it was much faster to walk from Swan/Dolphin to Boardwalk instead of waiting for our stop since it was almost always last. I know during busy times of the year, there are less stops but you would think staying at a Deluxe resort would buy you your own bus stop.
I wouldn't consider the bus system a con for this resort, since it's a common problem in all of the Disney resorts as I said before. However I do have some cons/problems with this resort:
1. No quick service meals options - For those on the Disney dining plan, this can be bothersome. Moderate/value resorts have food courts but you won't find ANY option to use a counter service credit at Boardwalk
2. No places to fill your refillable mug yourself - I have heard they are changing this with the new renovation being done to the Boardwalk Bakery (which was closed while we were there. This was disappointing as the tent up in the meantime didn't seem to have good or fresh baked goods). To get your mug filled you need to show your cup and they will give you a paper cup of the drink. They WILL NOT take your cup and fill it for you. The only option for breakfast is coffee, tea, or hot chocolate unless you drink soda in the morning. I seem to recall one of the moderate resorts had apple juice as an option.
3. Limited snack options for Dining plan users - Many places on the boardwalk don't even accept the Disney Dining Plan at all. This includes "Boardwalk to Go", which you would think would accept it, though it may not even be owned by Disney or Boardwalk, although its logo is plastered all over it. Snack options in general were limited to things in the Sweets Shop and Bakery outpost that was up while the Bakery was being renovated. Again, bakery options were limited and didn't taste fresh. I think once the Bakery reopens this will be a completely different story.
All in all, I really enjoyed my stay. Will I be turning? For the price, probably not. There are a few lovely moderate resort choices that I will sooner return to. Each deluxe resort has its own unique feature or offering... Contemporary is modern, has the monorail, and is walkable to Magic Kingdom; Polynesian has monorail, lovely theming, and boat to Magic Kingdom; Grand Floridian is just gorgeous and breath taking, with monorail and boat to Magic Kingdom; Beach/Yacht Club is walkable to Epcot, a faux beach, has a pool area that is practically a theme park in itself, and a boat ride to Hollywood Studios; Wilderness Lodge is the least expensive deluxe resort and has beautiful theming, but only bus service to the parks; Animal Kingdom has animals roaming around its beautiful property.
So when choosing a resort you just have to ask yourself... what do you want? What parks are most important to you? How much are you willing to pay for it?
If you want a lively resort that is walkable to Epcot then the Boardwalk Inn is for you.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.