Disney Boardwalk Villas Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Disney World, Orlando, Central Florida

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • All Suites (not Studios) have full kitchens.
  • On scenic Crescent Lake, with boating and fishing
  • For adults: free in-room Wi-Fi; fine dining; some of Disney's only nightlife
  • Large pool with waterslides and activities
  • Ideal location; Epcot within walking distance
  • Extended hours to access the parks, free shuttles, and other Disney resort perks
  • Free Wi-Fi on entire property

Cons

  • No shuttle to Epcot or Hollywood Studios (accessible only by boat or foot)
  • No daily housekeeping; only every four days

Bottom Line

Made to look like Atlantic City in the 1940s, the more subdued Boardwalk Villas rests beside a glittering stretch of great restaurants, bars, and carnival games on Crescent Lake, within walking distance of Epcot and Hollywood Studios. In addition to its pools, waterslide, and great gym, all of its large suites have washer-dryers and (in most units) full kitchens.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Service

Attentive service in the lobby and in restaurants, but housekeeping is only every four days

Service here is top-notch
Service here is top-notch

The service here is among the most attentive within Disney resorts -- none of the restaurants are self-serve (as you'll find at the "Moderate-" or "Value-level" resorts); the large bell staff assists guests with valet parking and luggage delivery; room service is available all day (though it's not 24 hours). However, unlike at Disney's Deluxe-level resorts (not villas), housekeeping only services suites every four days.

A major advantage of staying at any of the Disney resorts is that you're guaranteed a set of free services. These include free transportation within Disney, off-hours access to the parks, and the ability use the room key card to charge theme-park purchases to the rooms.

  • No daily housekeeping; suites cleaned every four days
  • No self-serve restaurants, unlike the lower-tier Disney resorts -- even deli food and coffee is served by an actual person
  • Free shuttle to and from Orlando International Airport; free delivery of one luggage item per person
  • Free shuttle bus to all Disney theme parks; buses can arrive, however, at irregular times (long waits are common)
  • Free access to facilities at any other Disney resorts; guests can charge activities and meals from the parks or other resorts to their room
  • Concierge desk. Mainly, the concierge can help guests book an activity or get tickets to an event.
  • During peak travel times, restaurant reservations are required to avoid long wait times (up to two hours, in some cases).
  • Valet parking charged per day (self-parking is free).

 Location

Centrally located and within walking distance of Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and several other resorts on scenic Crescent Lake

An Epcot resort, and one of the most central properties within Disney World, the Disney Boardwalk Villas is located on Crescent Lake, next to the Disney Boardwalk Inn and the Yacht and Beach Club resorts. It's extremely well situated next to Epcot and Hollywood Studios (as well as the other Epcot resorts), though the only way to get there is by boat or by foot -- no other transportation is provided. Getting to the other parks, including the Magic Kingdom, requires a car or waiting for the Disney shuttle service (which can be inconsistent).

  • Free bus transportation to Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Downtown Disney (all within five to 15 minutes, depending on traffic)
  • 15-minute drive to SeaWorld and Wet 'n Wild parks
  • 20-minute drive to Universal Studios and Universal's Islands of Adventure
  • 15-minute drive to International Drive, a 14.5-mile road parallel to Interstate 4 that's full of hotels, strip malls, outlet shops, and restaurants
  • 25-minute drive to Orlando International Airport (Disney provides a free shuttle service)

For groceries:

  • Goodings, though expensive, will deliver groceries to the resort ($50 minimum order); online orders also available.
  • The Winn-Dixie is more affordable, and it's just a 10- to 15-minute drive from the resort on South Apopka Vineland Road.

 Rooms

More like upscale condos than luxury hotel rooms, these suites are among the best in Disney.

A One Bedroom Villa
A One Bedroom Villa

Often occupied by Disney time-share members, Disney's Boardwalk Villas is an all-suites resort -- all of the guest rooms are either studios, one-, two-, or three-bedroom suites. They are among Disney's largest and best-furnished rooms: Only the Grand Floridian and Polynesian resorts' basic rooms start bigger than the guest rooms here, and furnishings, though themed differently, are also comparable. But like most Disney resorts, the suites here aren't quite up to the same standards set by luxury resorts elsewhere in Orlando, like the Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, or Universal's resorts (such as Portofino Bay) -- polyester bedspreads (rather than down duvets), dowdy decor, small flat-screen televisions, and technology that's just catching up to the greater hotel industry's curve.

  • All guest rooms are large suites, starting with 412-square-foot studios that sleep four guests. There are also one-, two-, and three-bedroom units that sleep from four to twelve guests; all are among Disney's biggest rooms.
  • Full kitchens with stoves and ovens in all but the studios; studios have microwaves and fridges, but no stoves.
  • In-room laundry machines
  • Small balconies and ground-floor terraces on every suite
  • Comfortable, but not overly luxurious beds: pillow-top mattresses; cotton-polyester-blend sheets; polyester bedspreads (not down duvets)
  • Small, 27-inch flat-screen TV and a DVD player; In the one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites, there's a TV in the bedroom(s) and the living room.
  • No alarm radios or iPod hookups (unlike at other top-tier Disney resorts)
  • All but the studio suites have large bathrooms with separate bathtubs and standing showers (studios have a combined tub/shower)
  • Bulgari-brand toiletries; better than the bath products at most Disney resorts
  • Free wi-fi property-wide

 Features

Huge pool with waterslides for kids, a quiet pool for adults, and a full set of resort amenities for kids and adults

Fitness center is open 24-hours
Fitness center is open 24-hours

A wide range of features is dispersed throughout the property, so that there's a good distance between the waterslides and the 21-and-up piano bar. So while you might have to walk a few minutes to find what you're looking for, just about anything a traveler could ever need is on-site.

  • The Atlantic City-themed Boardwalk, bordering Crescent Lake, is lined with several activities, shops, and restaurants, including art galleries and carnival games. To tour the Boardwalk, you can rent a four-person surrey bike.
  • From the Crescent Lake Marina, guests can schedule guided fishing tours and rent boats (open seasonally).
  • Muscles and Bustles, the on-site fitness center, is open 24 hours and has several cardio and weight machines.
  • Massages available by appointment, both in the guest rooms and in treatment rooms just outside the fitness center; no dedicated spa facilities
  • Video-game arcade
  • Screen Door General Store and Dundy's Sundries, the resort's convenience shops, sell an exhaustive collection of Disney souvenirs and products, as well as a small selection of snacks (at typically inflated resort prices).
  • Business center and convention center
  • Free parking on premise and throughout all Disney theme parks
  • Free Wi-Fi

 Family

For a Disney resort, the Boardwalk Villas is a bit more subdued, but extremely well equipped for families.

Carnival games on The Boardwalk
Carnival games on The Boardwalk

Since the Boardwalk Villas' 1920s Atlantic City theme is relatively void -- though not completely -- of larger-than-life Disney characters, the resort can feel are a bit more subdued than some of the other Disney resorts, like the Animal Kingdom Lodge or the Polynesian Resort. Still, the hotel does a great job catering to families, and the three-bedroom suites can sleep up to 12 people.

  • Studio suites contain one queen bed and double-size sleeper sofa (maximum occupancy is four).
  • One-Bedroom Suites contain one master bedroom with a king-size bed and a living room with a sleeper sofa (sleeps four). Two- and Three-Bedroom Suites (sleeps eight or tweleve people, respectively) also have a second (or third) bedroom that has a queen-size bed and a sleeper sofa.
  • Concierge can arrange for private in-room babysitters through a separate company.
  • Kids' menus with reasonable prices are available at almost all restaurants and from room service.
  • Luna Park pool has kid-friendly waterslides, activities, and lifeguards on duty.
  • In-room washing machines and dryers (other resorts just have coin-operated laundry rooms).
  • Kitchens in the one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites; small kitchenettes (no oven or stove) in the Studio units.
  • Playground located near the pool
  • Harbor Club (the kids' club) provides supervised kids' activities (by reservation only).

 Pools

A large, kid-friendly pool with waterslides on premise, along with two smaller pools at the neighboring Disney Boardwalk Inn

Large pool with many kid-friendly features
Large pool with many kid-friendly features
  • Luna Park is an enormous, 190,000 gallon pool and 200-foot waterslide; lifeguard duty and hours vary seasonally.
  • Luna Park Crazy House play area, located next to the pool and waterslide, is a large playground with slides, bars, and bridges for kids.
  • Two smaller, quieter pools are located on the adjacent Disney Boardwalk Inn property.

 Cleanliness

Very clean, but housekeeping is only every four or eight days (depending on the length of your stay)

The grounds and rooms are extremely well kept, but the villas are treated as vacation homes with less frequent housekeeping services than a more traditional hotel. For guests staying seven days or less, trash and towel service is only provided on the fourth day. Guest staying longer get alternate full housekeeping service and trash and towel service every four days.

 Food

Wide range of options on-site, including some of Disney's best restaurants and in-room kitchens for self-catering

Kouzzina, an upscale Mediterranean restaurant
Kouzzina, an upscale Mediterranean restaurant

Formal or informal, in-room or on the boardwalk, cheap or expensive, the resort has an exhaustive range of options. Plus, with a full kitchen in all of the one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites, guests can also save cash by preparing their own meals (see the Location section for info on nearby grocery stores).

  • Kouzzina -- an upscale Mediterranean restaurant run by the first female Iron Chef, Cat Cora -- is the resort's star restaurant, open for breakfast and dinner .
  • Flying Fish Café serves New American cuisine for dinner.
  • ESPN Club serves American bar and grill food for lunch and dinner, under 100 flat-screen TVs and along with live game commentary.
  • Big River Grille & Brewing Works serves American grill food and a wide variety of beer.
  • Boardwalk Bakery serves coffee, snacks, drinks, and deli sandwiches (about $9) all day long.
  • Seashore Sweets candy shop sells packaged and bulk candy and has an ice cream counter.
  • Belle Vue Lounge, off the lobby, serves breakfast (pastries, cereals, fruit, and coffee a la carte) and it becomes a full bar in the afternoon and evening.
  • Pizza Window serves slices or whole pizzas to go.
  • Room service available throughout the day offering a narrow range of traditional breakfast, lunch, and dinner entrees.

 Drinks

Several entertainment and bar options along the boardwalk, two of which are for adults only (a rare thing, at Disney World)

  • Atlantic Dance Hall hosts dance nights and music on the boardwalk; adults only (21+).
  • Jellyrolls piano bar hosts dueling piano shows and sing-along on the boardwalk; adults only (21+).
  • ESPN Club hosts live sports game commentary and has over 100 television screens.

 Bottom Line

Made to look like Atlantic City in the 1940s, the more subdued Boardwalk Villas rests beside a glittering stretch of great restaurants, bars, and carnival games on Crescent Lake, within walking distance of Epcot and Hollywood Studios. In addition to its pools, waterslide, and great gym, all of its large suites have washer-dryers and (in most units) full kitchens.

Things You Should Know About Disney Boardwalk Villas

Address

  • 2101 Epcot Resort Drive, Orlando, FL

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Disney Boardwalk Hotel
  • Disney's BoardWalk Villas
  • Disneys Boardwalk Hotel

Room Types

  • One Bedroom Villa
  • Studio
  • Three Bedroom Villa
  • Two Bedroom Villa

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 517
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Kids Club: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Disney World, Orlando
Address: 2101 Epcot Resort Drive, Orlando, FL
(See Map)
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