Which Disney BoardWalk Resort is right for you?

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Thinking of staying in one of Disney’s lovely BoardWalk Resorts? Not sure which one is best for your particular needs? Here is a list of some pros and cons for each resort that I hope you’ll find helpful when making your decision. In addition to the resorts mentioned below there is also Disney’s Beach Club Villas as well as Disney’s BoardWalk Villas. Swan and Dolphin resorts are also located along the BoardWalk but they are not Disney owned. In order to simplify things, I am only focusing on Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and Disney’s Boardwalk Inn for now.

Beach Club Resort exterior

Disney’s Beach Club Resort

Disney’s Beach Club Resort features a refined yet casual New England-style beach theme. This resort is slightly less formal when comparing it to Disney’s Yacht Club and Disney’s BoardWalk Inn yet it’s still upscale and lovely. The colors are calming with muted shades of blue, yellow, cream and green.

Strengths

  • Located at Epcot’s back door, International Gateway entrance, this makes it a quick and easy stroll to the park. In addition to walking, there are Friendship boats you can take as well but walking will probably get you there quicker.
  • Quick Service: Beach Club Marketplace is located in Disney’s Beach Club Resort for limited quick service dining options. If grabbing a coffee with your refillable mug is important to you each morning, it’s easier to get to in comparison to the other BoardWalk resorts. You can also get limited quick service items at Hurricane Hannah’s by Stormalong Bay for lunch, hours are 11AM-6PM.
  • Table Service: Table service restaurants featured are Cape May Cafe which is a character buffet with Minnie and friends for breakfast and a New England Clam Bake without characters for dinner. Also located at Disney’s Beach Club is the casual and yummy Beaches and Cream where advanced dining reservations are not needed.
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort has Stormalong Bay which is an amazing pool that has a sand bottom featuring a lazy river, 3 whirlpool spas, kiddie pool with slide, huge zero entry wading pool and the Flying Jib water slide.
  • Sandcastle Club, which is a kid’s activity center for children ages 3-12 years is located inside Disney’s Beach Club.
  • Views offered are lagoon/pool, standard and garden view. Some lagoon views are available where you can see Tower of Terror including a few fireworks from Fantasmic.

Things to Consider

  • Located slightly further from Disney’s Hollywood Studios if walking.
  • Quick service options are located in a small store, Beach Club Marketplace, and are very limited, especially if you are used to large Disney food courts like many other Disney resorts have. There is very limited seating which is available in the hallway or inside the Solarium off lobby.
  • Half of the balconies are standing only, very small, no chairs.
  • Stormalong Bay while wonderful is very large and spread out which can be a challenge to keep up with family members.
  • Resort shares buses with other BoardWalk resorts. I recommend driving a car if you have one onsite. If you need to take a bus, allow ample time to get to Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
  • If you have a car onsite, there will be quite a walk from the parking lot to your room. I recommend using Disney’s valet service which is $15 per day + tip.

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Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort is decorated more formally after a New England Yacht Club. It features nautical details, lovely wood trim, touches of brass and fabrics in rich colors such as red, blue and yellow. Some say Disney’s Yacht Club is more refined and better for adults traveling without children but I believe it’s still very family friendly as it is Disney after all!

Strengths

  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort connects to Disney’s Beach Club Resort. It’s not too far to walk from one to the other and use both amenities, although it is a bit maze like.
  • Slightly closer walk to Disney’s Hollywood Studios compared to Disney’s Beach Club Resort.
  • Quick Service: You can get limited quick service items at Hurricane Hannah’s by Stormalong Bay for lunch, hours are 11AM-6PM.
  • Table Service: There is Signature dining restaurant onsite, Yachtsman Steakhouse as well as a table service restaurant, Captain’s Grille.
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort features a convention center.
  • Most rooms have a full size balcony.
  • Resort has Stormalong Bay which is an amazing pool that has a sand bottom featuring a lazy river, 3 whirlpool spas, kiddie pool with slide, huge zero entry wading pool and the Flying Jib water slide.
  • Views available are lagoon/pool, standard and garden. There are a few rooms that offer IllumiNations fireworks views but they are very limited and cannot be guaranteed. Keep in mind IllumiNations fireworks are shot off the water so they are low.

Things to Consider

  • Located slightly further from Epcot if walking.
  • Quick Service: There is no quick service restaurant located inside Disney’s Yacht Club. You will need to walk to Disney’s Beach Club or BoardWalk Bakery if you want to use your refillable mug for coffee. There is a small nook off the lobby that features specialty coffee but it will not be covered on the Disney dining plan and you cannot use your refillable mug. There are also very limited pastries available as well but no hot options.
  • Stormalong Bay while wonderful is very large and spread out which can be a challenge to keep up with family members.
  • Resort shares buses with other BoardWalk resorts. I recommend driving a car if you have one onsite. If you need to take a bus, allow ample time to get to Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
  • If you have a car onsite, there will be quite a walk from the parking lot to your room. I recommend using Disney’s valet service which is $15 per day + tip.

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Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn features the charm of turn-of-the-century Atlantic City.  Don’t be fooled by the whimsical, carnival details as it definitely has an upscale, formal feel to this lovely resort.

Strengths

  • Located next to restaurants, clubs and shops along the BoardWalk.
  • Complimentary nightly entertainment can be found along the BoardWalk featuring magicians, jugglers and midway games which is fun for all ages.
  • It is located closest to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (approximately one mile). There are also Friendship boats you can use should you choose not to walk. If you miss a boat from Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, it’s an easy walk to Swan/Dolphin where you can board a Friendship boat as well. It’s also located close to Epcot.
  • Luna Park is the main pool featuring a 200 ft water slide as well as a kiddie pool and whirlpool spa. There are also two quiet pools onsite.
  • There is a 20,000 square foot conference center.
  • Most rooms have a full size balcony.
  • This is a great resort for all ages but particularly for adults traveling without children since you can visit restaurants, bars and dance clubs conveniently.
  • Views available are standard or water view. There are some rooms that offer views of Spaceship Earth, France’s Eiffel Tower and IllumiNations fireworks views but they are limited and cannot be guaranteed. Keep in mind IllumiNations fireworks are shot off the water so they are low.

Things to Consider

  • There are no restaurants located inside Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. You’ll need to walk to the BoardWalk restaurants. If you want to use your refillable mug for coffee in the morning, you’ll need to to go Boardwalk Bakery or the Bellevue Lounge. Seashore Sweets and Leaping Horse Libations offer refills for lunch/dinner. If you want a Signature restaurant there is Flying Fish Cafe and you can find table service restaurants such as Kouzzina, Big River Grille and Brewing Works and ESPN Club. There are also limited options available at Leaping Horse Libations (main pool), the Bellevue Lounge and carts along the Boardwalk.
  • There are long hallways if you are located at the end of one of the wings. You have to go through lobby in order to have access to BoardWalk.
  • The BoardWalk is pretty lively so noise may be an issue.
  • Resort shares buses with other BoardWalk resorts. I recommend driving a car if you have one onsite. If you need to take a bus, allow ample time to get to Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
  • If you have a car onsite, there will be quite a walk from the parking lot to your room. I recommend using Disney’s valet service which is $15 per day + tip.

Each of the Disney BoardWalk resorts are lovely. They each have similarities yet they are all unique in their own way. I highly recommend giving the BoardWalk area a try. I think you’ll be happy you did.

Feel free to contact me at corby@travelwiththemagic.com. I’d love to help you choose the one that is perfect for YOU!

Discovery Cove

Are you looking for a tropical island paradise that is located just a few miles from your hotel?  Look no further than Discovery Cove, located in Orlando, Florida.  Discovery Cove offers an interactive adventure that will thrill both young and old with lush scenery, beautiful beaches, and one-of-a-kind interactions with tropical wildlife.

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            Discovery Cove is an all inclusive experience.  For the cost of $199-$319 per person, visitors will receive unlimited snorkeling with tropical fish, swimming with stingrays, and the ultimate experience of a thirty minute swim with the dolphins.  Also included in the cost are locker rental, wetsuits, towels, swim mask, sunscreen, beach chairs, parking, and food, drinks, and snacks for your entire visit.  As an additional bonus, the Discovery Cove ticket also gives you unlimited admission to Sea World for up to fourteen days!  Visitors receive an incredible array of experiences and amenities with the single cost of admission to Discovery Cove.

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            What can you expect during this exciting experience?  Visitors can anticipate a truly immersive experience that feels like a private tropical island.  Sand, palm trees, exotic birds, and beautiful ocean creatures will surround you.  Resverations are not required, but are recommended to help maximize experience.  Guest should plan to arrive early, as reservations for swim times are assigned on a first come, first serve basis.  Arrival at 8:00 a.m. will insure a good choice of possible swim times.  Swims are done in groups of eight, so if your party is larger than this, it may be necessary to divide into two groups.  While resting and relaxing between tropical adventures, visitors can enjoy a wonderful selection of food and beverages.  Breakfast offerings include eggs, bacon, sausage, french toast, potatoes, biscuits, cereal, croissants, juice, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.  The lunch menu features spaghetti, fresh fish, jambalaya, burgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers, french fries, and corn on the cob.  Snacks are available throughout the day and include chips, hot pretzels, cookies, icees, fresh fruit, soda, and beer.  All of these amazing food choices are included in your ticket cost.

            There are a few options available for an additional charge to enhance your experience.  Private cabanas are available for approximately $229 for the day.  Included in your cabana rental is an underwater camera, t-shirt, stuffed toy, themed buoy handed to you by a dolphin, and a discount on the photo package.  There are only thirteen cabanas available, so booking in advance is wise.  Cabanas can be booked three weeks prior to your scheduled visit.  Photo packages are also available for an additional charge.  Packages range from $69-$219, and can help capture your memories so that you can enjoy them for years to come.

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            Is Discovery Cove worth it?  Speaking from experience, I can say that Discovery Cove was an amazing experience.  Swimming with the tropical fish and stingrays was incredible, and the encounter with the dolphins was more rewarding than I ever thought it could be.  The dolphins have so much personality and character, it was truly amazing to interact with them.  The park itself was breathtakingly beautiful, and the food was delicious.  I would have to say that our day at Discovery Cove was one of our best family memories, and one that we would definitely enjoy experiencing again.  Discovery Cove is a truly unique experience and one that everyone should consider when vacationing in Orlando.

Contact me Tammy Cain at TammyC@Travelwiththemagic.com or you can call me at 1- 800-670-4312 ext 137 for your next magical vacation.