15 Fantastic Reasons to Love Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
How much do I love Disney’s BoardWalk In? Let me count the ways…
When you enter the hotel lobby at the BoardWalk, you’ll encounter a remarkable piece of history.
The theme at this resort celebrates a halcyon era of yore, a time when everyone went to the boardwalk for family vacations.
Back then, kids loved carousels. Disney found one from the Northeast and lovingly restored it to its 1920s shape.
Of course, this one’s a miniature, but I always marvel at the attention to detail. I study this carousel every time I walk through the lobby.
The Character Breakfast
While developing BoardWalk Inn, Disney blurred the line between the resort and its accompanying entertainment district.
Many of the “hotel activities” actually take place on Disney’s BoardWalk itself.
For example, Trattoria al Forno resides adjacent to the hotel. It serves some of the finest Italian cuisines in Orlando.
The most beloved part of dining here happens at breakfast when characters from The Little Mermaid and Tangled host a character meal.
The Bon Voyage character breakfast isn’t available during the pandemic. Still, Disney fans are counting down the days until it returns.
Until this option returns, I’ll continue working on my Tangled Smolder. A good one scores points with the cast members.
Okay, I’m not talking about an actual clamshell. The technical term for the item I’m referencing is the Clamshell Mutoscope.
In the hotel lobby, guests may look into one of these devices and experience stunning technology from the Boardwalk era.
This device is akin to a Viewmaster, only it acted as a kind of movie display at the time.
Have you ever seen videos of Penny Arcades where the people would pay more pennies to watch more of a clip?
That’s a Clamshell Mutascope they’re using. At the BoardWalk, you’ll find one of the few working models still on display in the southeast.
Do you remember that 1980s Wang Chung song, Dance Hall Days? Okay, you probably don’t.
How about the movie Swingers? You’ve seen that, right? And you remember the swing dancing sequences?
People adore going to classic dance clubs and mimicking the steps of old.
At Atlantic Dance Hall, you’ll sometimes find special events that celebrate the classics.
In recent years, Disney has updated to 1990s music at the club, along with modern hits sprinkled in.
The locals know that this club is one of the best places to drink and dance at Walt Disney World.
The Dueling Pianos
Jellyrolls is the other popular club on the BoardWalk. This place offers an unusual hook.
Two performers appear on stage and compete in a battle of dueling pianos. Well, sometimes they play duets, too.
When you visit here, you should bring some cash to fill the tip jar.
Then, you can request your favorite songs and perhaps get rewarded for your generosity.
The acoustics in this place are genuinely stunning, and the party atmosphere ensures that you’ll have an unforgettable time.
Seriously, this place gets as loud as anywhere at Walt Disney World.
The carousel will draw your eye when you enter the lobby.
However, you shouldn’t forget to look up. Directly above the carousel is something called a Hippocampus Electrolier.
What is that? I guess I’d describe it as a chandelier full of golden horses. It’s…weird.
Technically, a hippocampus is half-fish, half-horse, which means that it’s probably even weirder when you inspect it up close.
Thankfully, that’s not possible since this 1 ½ ton monstrosity hangs from the ceiling.
Seriously, the hotel lobby of the BoardWalk Inn is mind-blowing.
I’m not even mentioning the creepy human-shaped chairs that seem like they will reach up and grab you.
The International Gateway
I love everything about the BoardWalk Inn and the accompanying entertainment district.
Let’s be real, though. The best thing about the hotel is that it resides about 600 steps away from the International Gateway.
That’s Disney’s fancy name for the rear entrance to EPCOT, the only one that deposits you inside the park right by the France pavilion.
You can leave your hotel room and be through EPCOT’s metal detector in about ten minutes. I’m not even joking.
Once you get spoiled by this perk, it’s hard to go back. You’ll want to stay at BoardWalk Inn every visit.
The Magic Bar
Did you know that Disney operates a magic bar on the BoardWalk?
At the AbracadaBAR, you can nurture a beverage that may change form while you watch.
Several of these smoky drinks include mystical ingredients, the kind that causes the colors to change while you watch.
When you order here, you’ll get dinner and a show. Some of the drinks come with a presentation that will make you feel like Merlin’s your server.
Even by Disney standards, AbracadaBAR is magical.
The Marvelous Margaritas
Fans of BoardWalk Joe’s spend their days wasting away again in Margaritaville.
This BoardWalk kiosk has earned a solid reputation among Disney regulars. Many believe that it serves the best Margarita in Orlando.
As a reminder, there’s a full Margaritaville entertainment complex only a few miles from Disney. So, the competition for this title is fierce.
When guests stroll on the BoardWalk, they stop at their friend Joe’s shack and order some snacks like Roasted Almonds or Mickey Pretzels.
Then, they wash it down with grab-and-go beverages. Obviously, the Marvelous Margarita is the people’s choice.
However, you should try the Captain’s Seaside Sensation, too. It’s a Dole Whip spiked with Captain Morgan’s rum. DEElicious!
The New Look Pool
Even if you’ve never spent time at the BoardWalk Inn, you’ve probably heard about its most alarming feature.
The pool includes a waterslide with the face of a clown. And I mean the type of clown you’d expect to find offering you candy from its home in a sewer.
Thankfully, someone at Disney finally recognized that the Pool View room type would sell better if it didn’t overlook a sewer clown waterslide.
So, Disney recently modified the waterslide with a new facing.
This one shows members of the Fab Five like Donald Duck in their current Disney cartoon style.
Conveniently, this look mirrors the one Disney uses at the nearby Disney Skyliner. It’s like a matched set!
Also, the pool is terrific. You’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time to the 1920s, only every bathing suit shows some ankle today. Tawdry!
The Roller Coaster Model
I think you’re figuring out that I’m a sucker for old-timey stuff, especially model figurines.
In the BoardWalk’s lobby, you’ll find one of the most impressive scale models on display anywhere in Florida.
This roller coaster displays the classic tracks that comprised all the original thrill rides from the era.
However, the most impressive part is the way the model sets the scene.
Back in the 1920s, roller coasters qualified as next-generational technological marvels.
Teenagers of the era would flock to these beachfront coasters and spend the day watching the sights.
The loving detail on display in the model shows more than just a roller coaster. It captures an entire way of life.
The Sports Bar
Who doesn’t love a good sports bar? You will sometimes want to watch the big game even at Disney, and I speak from experience here.
Well, ESPN Club on the BoardWalk is legitimately one of the best places to catch a game at Walt Disney World.
Whenever there’s a significant sports event occurring, you’ll want to book an Advanced Dining Reservation here.
I’ve learned the hard way that the wait-time for a table can and will exceed an hour on such dates.
Otherwise, it’s relatively easy to grab a booth here with little warning.
ESPN Club has become one of my fallback options when I want a relaxing meal in a comfortable setting.
The Street Performers
Nighttime is the right time to roam Disney’s BoardWalk.
After the sun goes down, street performers appear to juggle, perform magic, and sing.
I would describe most of these acts as Vaudevillian in nature, a fitting style for the throwback theme of the BoardWalk.
I love leaving EPCOT for the night and walking a few hundred steps to the BoardWalk.
Then, I can unwind while watching these performers display their craft.
The entire experience can elevate a park visit, making a Disney day even more magical.
The BoardWalk Inn faces Crescent Lake, the waterway behind EPCOT’s World Showcase.
When you stay or visit here, you will look across the water at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, idyllic hotels in their own right.
Plus, the BoardWalk itself features stylish neon signs and throwback skylines that add a touch of serenity.
So, your view covers the back of EPCOT, a gorgeous waterfront BoardWalk, and two breathtaking resorts.
Even better, Imagineers added the Disney Skyliner in 2019. Now, you can also watch guests float through the air as well.
When you stay at the BoardWalk Inn, always spring for a room with a view. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth.
Okay, I’ve discussed the Creepy Clown pool already. In truth, the most unsettling part occurred on the waterslide.
You would literally shoot out of the clown’s mouth, which fundamentally disturbs me, almost triggering an existential crisis.
Now, that part is over forever, although it’ll haunt my dreams through the end of time.
In its place, you can enjoy a roller coaster track waterslide that many enthusiasts believe is the best at Walt Disney World.
The BoardWalk Inn waterslide: now 100 percent less creepy!!!