I wasn’t looking forward to staying at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn. First, change is scary lol I’ve loved each resort we’ve stayed at so much, I’m always sure nothing could ever come close to being as good. Even when we did a split stay at Port Orleans Riverside and Animal Kingdom Lodge (club level 1bedroom suite). Our stay at Port Orleans was so wonderful, I didn’t want to leave to go to Animal Kingdom Lodge.
So I think I can be forgiven when I say I really wasn’t excited about Boardwalk. I thought about switching to All-Star Music a couple times (Yep, love the All-Star resorts too)! Even though we’d visited Boardwalk before, we’d never stayed. I was concerned the pool would be too blah, maybe run down, maybe too concrete. I was worried I’d miss the amenities from any of the other resorts we’d previously stayed at. I was worried that this very special trip would fall short of my expectations. I wanted this trip to bring the last three years’ struggle full circle. I wanted this trip to do so much and I was worried Boardwalk wouldn’t be good enough for my lofty expectations.
I’m sure you’re all asking, if I was so worried about staying at Boardwalk, why did we book it in the first place?
Well let me tell you.
We are a family of six. The resorts we’re able to stay in a single room are limited. If we don’t want to spend $20, 000CAD on a trip, the list gets smaller. Of the resorts we could stay at, in a single room, Boardwalk was the only one in the Epcot area (for our first Food & Wine Festival, this was important to me). I really wanted to be able to walk to Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
We arrived at MCO (Orlando International Airport) with our Magic Bands ready and quickly made our way right to the Magical Express check in. I cried. I cry every time lol
When we arrived at the front of the resort, it took my breath away. I’d only seen the resort from the Boardwalk side before, which is gorgeous! But the front of the resort really elevated it to a deluxe resort.
We were a little disappointed that there was no concierge cast member, or any cast member for that matter, waiting when we got off the bus. Especially since we arrived earlier in the day then usual and actually had a line of people at the resort check in desk. After waiting in line, we asked where we were supposed to go, a cast member brought us upstairs to the Innkeeper’s Club Level desk. There was a minor kerfuffle with a couple magic bands not working on our door, but that was quickly sorted out.
As I mentioned before, we didn’t plan to go to a park on arrival, but because Irma was (possibly) coming, we decided to. One of the amazing CL cast members got us a fast pass for Spaceship Earth. Even though we didn’t expect to need one, it was the only ride that was a must, so we really appreciated the help getting that while we fed our kiddos a quick bite.
The Innkeeper’s Club cast members were amazing the entire time we were there, the kiddos are absolutely smitten with Lorenzo (I can’t believe we never got his picture!). Every morning he made sure they had their breakfast, a small bottle of water and a snack to take to the park with them. He also made sure we had something gluten-free every time we stopped in the lounge.
I also didn’t get pictures of our room (before the 4 whirling dervishes took it over) but it was gorgeous and had tons of space! We had 2 queen beds and a queen pull-out. Even with the couch pulled into a bed there was enough room for the patio furniture to come in (during Irma) as well as our single stroller (we could have easily fit our giant double stroller in if we brought it). There were two TVs, which most of the time wouldn’t be a big deal, but during Irma it was wonderful to be able to put on two different shows/movies at once. Because they were far enough apart, the sound from one didn’t disturb the other (unless turned up too loud, obviously).
During Irma, I had an opportunity to look all over the resort and conference centre and let me tell you, this resort is gorgeous! As always Disney pays attention to the smallest details, from flooring to light covers and lobby decor.
All the Cast Members were super friendly, even (especially) during Irma.
It’s really handy to be able to easily walk from the resort to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios – Brom hates getting in and out of the stroller for bus rides, so this was a life saver so many days. We really appreciated the opportunity to see more of the F&W festival than we would have otherwise – though we were really sad we missed out on more because of Irma, but there’s nothing Disney could have done about that hahaha.
The busses to/from the parks were easy to access from the main lobby and ran regularly. I think our longest wait was about 7 minutes.
There were a couple things that we didn’t love. First, the club level lounge didn’t have a kids TV. Obviously this is a minor complaint, most of the time I doubt it would be an issue for anyone. But because the adults wanted to know more about Irma, the TV was often tuned to news stations – and I did not want my children watching the news! Luckily most people were happy to let us change the channel when the kiddos arrived. Another minor concern was the very small gift shop and no in house restaurants. Again, these were really only an concern because of Irma. The boardwalk itself has so many places to eat and shop, but those were all closed while everyone battened down the hatches for Irma’s arrival. Really, it saved us money by not having access to those things lol.
Bottom line, we love this resort and would happily stay here again!