My husband and I took our 3 1/2-year-old son to Disney World January 4 through January 11, 2010. My husband ran the Disney Marathon on the 10th, so we were there in the frigid week before.
I know that many of the things we loved about the hotel probably would be problems had we gone during a warmer/busier time. So take it for what it's worth.
We never had any noise from the pool, even though we faced the pool, but it was 35 degrees. I can imagine that if it had been warmer, noise during naptime (and bedtime) would have been annoying at best. If we stay here again, we will most likely request a room that does not face the pool or the Boardwalk, for noise sake.
Also, because there were hardly any crowds, the buses and boats would get us to the parks in 20-25 minutes, unlike the hour that others complained about. Still, I have no idea why anyone would take a boat to Epcot when it is only an 8-10 minute walk. If a six-month pregnant lady, pushing a preschooler in a stroller in near-freezing temperatures can do it, so can you.
Hollywood Studios was a bit farther of a walk--probably 15-20 minutes. Not bad if conditions are right, but it was so cold and I was feeling the pregnancy, so we took the boat.
The buses to MK and AK ran on time and never took more than 18 to 25 minutes to get us from our hotel to the front gates.
We had read the reviews about the long walk to the elevator, so we requested a room by the elevator. When we arrived at 3:30 for our 4:00 check-in, we had to wait until about 4:20 before a room was ready. Then we saw where the room was and it was not at all near the elevators. So they moved us (quickly) to a room that was supposedly closer. In actuality, it wasn't all that close. But when you're at Disney, all you do is walk, so it wasn't too bad. But definitely try to get as close to the elevator as you can, as there is only one in the entire villa.
Twice for quick-service meals (we did the dining plan and HIGHLY recommend it), we drove to the All-Star Music resort and ate in their food court. It was a short drive and a wonderful place to eat. I only wish they had some sort of food court near the Boardwalk Villas. It was hard to find food (especially on the dining plan) that was quick and easy if we retired early to our room.
We got a one-bedroom suite so that we could put our son to bed in the king bed and close the door, while we stayed in the living room, planning for the next day. Then when we went to bed, we'd simply move him to the pull-out queen sleeper sofa and go to bed in the king. The best part, though, of the one-bedroom suite was the washer/dryer. There was also a full kitchen w/a full-size fridge, oven/stove, and microwave. And because these are time-share rooms (even though we are not DVC members), they are stocked w/dishes, silverware, paper towels, dish detergent, etc. Really all we needed.
As far as housekeeping, we could have gotten our rooms cleaned/beds made, etc, every day, but we chose to only do it a few times because we didn't really feel that it was needed. Two out of the three times that we purposefully left the privacy notice up (so as to not receive housekeeping), we received a phone call just being sure we didn't need anything. When our rooms were cleaned, they were cleaned very well. The staff even arranged my son's Disney stuffed animals on his bed. :)
The concierge service was available 24-hours a day to answer our questions about how to get to certain places, etc., though they didn't always give the same information, especially about marathon transportation.
One thing that was kind of annoying was that in order to use a luggage cart, you had to utilize their bellhop services. I suppose this makes sense and is probably standard in higher-class hotels, but we are too cheap to pay someone to carry our bags, so we had to do it all ourselves. All three trips. But that is just a preference on our part. I know many people have no problem tipping bellhops to help them, but we're perfectly capable of doing it ourselves. It just would have been nice to have a luggage cart to use. Even in a very low-traffic time (10 pm), they would not allow us to use one to load our car.
Also, I think it is cheap and irritating that there is no free high-speed internet service, and that (non-wifi) internet is $9.95 a day. We did find an unsecured network in our room the first four days and that was great, but then it disappeared.
Overall, we had a very pleasant stay. I will never come to Disney and stay outside the parks. The convenience, the resort transportation, and the dining plan are all worth the extra money. While the MK is our favorite park, the resorts that are within walking distance of that park are considerably more expensive, so this was a great location.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Timeless elegance meets old-fashioned charm at this waterfront Resort hotel. Delight in saltwater taffy-colored cottages, private courtyards and picturesque gardens-plus the ragtime sounds and carnival pastimes of the exciting Coney Island-style boardwalk. Reminiscent of turn-of-the-century Atlantic City, Disney's BoardWalk Villas is located within walking distance to both Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Disney`s Boardwalk Villas Hotel Orlando
- Disney Boardwalk Hotel
- Disneys Boardwalk Hotel
- Disney Boardwalk Villas