Over the years I have become a big fan of Walt Disney World’s “Home Away From Home” resorts, also know as the Disney Vacation Club properties. While I love all of these properties, one of my favorite is the Boardwalk Villas, and here are a few points you may not know about the Boardwalk Villas.
Boardwalk Villas offer a few different booking categories in addition to the size of the room. You can find a studio which is basically a standard size hotel room with a queen bed, a sleeper sofa, a daybed and a kitchenette, along with 1, 2 or 3 bedroom villas. Once you get to the 1 bedroom villas and larger you will find more in-room amenities like the full kitchen, washer & dryer, and a whirlpool tub. Along with selecting the size of your villa you may have some options as far as the view you book. Of course a standard view which might be looking out over a parking lot will be the least expensive in both points or cash, but you may want to pay the additional to upgrade to a water or Boardwalk view to have something a little more interesting to see.
5. Very Long Hallways
The Boardwalk Villas are quite extensive, and while it is nice that they are all contained under one roof connected to the main resort (especially in the heat or rain), the hallways are quite long. If you are on the far end close to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (& I have been). You might be able to add quite a few steps to your fitness tracker. At the end of a long day in the parks you may feel like you are caught in a horror movie (picture The Shining) as the halls seem to keep going and going and going. You will learn some of the shortcuts and exterior exits if you are in these areas to shorten your walks to the bus stop or Hollywood Studios, but if you are concerned just ask your travel agent to note on your reservation that you would like to be conveniently located, or close to the lobby.
4. Nightly Entertainment
A huge perk to staying at the Boardwalk, whether it is the Inn or the Villas, is the nightly entertainment you can find along the Boardwalk. There are the carnival games like you would find on a typical Boardwalk along with live entertainers doing magic shows that get the whole audience involved. You can rent a surrey bike to ride along the Boardwalk and Yacht & Beach Club resort areas, visit Ample Hills Creamery for a scoop of delicious ice cream, or just sit on one of the benches and people watch. Jellyrolls is another fun place for adults with the dueling pianos. If you are staying at the Boardwalk you should factor in some time to enjoy it in the evenings.
3. Anyone can stay here!
Although the Boardwalk Villas are part of the Disney Vacation Club resorts, you do not have to be a member to stay here. Disney Vacation Club is a timeshare property that members buy into with a certain number of points. Members buy into a “home” resort that gives them an advantage for the booking window, but they are not restricted to staying at that resort, so even if your home resort is Saratoga Springs, members could still use their points for a stay at the Boardwalk Villas. But, if you are not a Disney Vacation Club member and still want to stay here don’t despair! Rooms that are not occupied by members are available to book with “cash” just as any other Walt Disney World resort room, so contact your travel agent and get booking! Availability does tend to go pretty quickly on the villas, especially in certain sizes and view categories.
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2. Large Families
While it is pretty obvious that the 2 and 3 bedroom villas are great for larger families, it is good to keep in mind that even the Studio can sleep a family of 5. With a queen bed, a queen sleeper sofa and a fold down “day bed” the studios work well for families. While 5 adults would not be comfortable, 2 adults with 3 children would. The daybed is a bit short, but I am 5’ 1” and was comfortable on it—an added bonus is the adorable painting of Dumbo that is on the back of the bed once you fold it down. And it is nice because during the day that second bed can be folded into a couch allowing for more floor space and a nice seating area. Add in the kitchenette and you have some options for microwave meals, popcorn at night or pop tarts in the toaster which works really well for many families.
The Boardwalk Villas are in one of my favorite locations in all of Walt Disney World. They are within easy walking distance of the International Gateway entrance to Epcot which places you right in the heart of the World Showcase. I love this—add the park hopper option to your tickets and you can go to whatever park you like during the day, then come back to the Boardwalk, change clothes, freshen up and head into Epcot for an amazing dinner at a different country every night! If you want to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios there is a boat that can take you down the canal to the park, you can take the Skyliner directly to the park, or you may decide you want to use the walking path alongside the canal. And since it is located across Crescent Lake from the Yacht & Beach Club it is like you are in a whole resort area—you can walk around to those resorts for dinner or a Kitchen Sink at Beaches and Cream, or just go relax on their beach. The Swan and Dolphin are close by if you wanted to dine in one of their restaurants. And just across the road is the Fantasia Gardens mini golf and Fantasia Fairways if you’re looking for something outside of the parks and convenient to the resort.
Boardwalk Villas is one of my favorite places to stay, have you stayed there? What did you think?