Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is one of 3 deluxe resorts (the other 2 are Yacht Club and Beach Club) nestled around Crescent Lake between Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at Epcot. During each of the past 3 Augusts, Ben and I have stayed at one of these 3 gorgeous resorts, finishing our trio just a couple of weeks ago at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. This time, though, we were treated to something truly magical – a room upgrade to a 2-story loft cottage with Club Level access.
How We Got There
Back in April, when hotel deals for summer were released, Ben and I booked a Standard View hotel room at BoardWalk for 5 nights. We were extremely excited to stay at BoardWalk since it was the first time staying there for either of us. Ben’s favorite park is Epcot, and the ability to walk to World Showcase in 5 minutes flat is a dream.
Over the next few months, we had a few calls with Disney to switch to a Garden View room when rates fluctuated in our favor, to pay down the balance with gift cards from the wedding, to change my name on the reservation once I’d legally changed my name, etc. Each time, we were asked if our trip was in celebration of anything, and each time, I giggled with excitement at getting to say, “It’s our second honeymoon.”
I couldn’t tell you what leads Disney to select certain reservations for upgrades over others. I know a number of people who were upgraded without any celebrations listed on their reservations, but I’m guessing the “honeymoon” note may have played into this spectacular surprise.
The funny thing is that Ben and I had listed a preference for an upper-floor room since I was still a bit disappointed by our first-floor room at Aulani. When we arrived for the trip when Ben proposed, we also got a first floor room because it was all that was available so early in the day and Ben was eager to get settled. (Read all about that story here!)
While on board Disney’s Magical Express, Ben got a text that our room was ready, and seeing the room number beginning with a “1,” he knew we had a first-floor room. He asked if I wanted to speak to the front desk to see if anything else was available, and I insisted I did. (I said “no” in Aulani and deeply regretted it, after all!)
When I explained the situation to a very kind Cast Member a the front desk, she paused, puzzled. “Well, I could check with somebody, but we upgraded you to a two-story loft cottage with Club Level access. Is that ok, or do you want to switch?” I swear my mouth fell open. It was more than ok!
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn – The Room
The loft cottages actually have an extremely un-exciting name on the Disney website; they’re called “Outer Bldg – Garden Room – Club Level Access.” (To see all the room types at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, click here!)
The cottages (a much cuter name than “Outer Bldg – Garden Room”) are attached to the main hotel building, occupying a section of the first and second floor of the inner side of the hotel — facing away from the BoardWalk and Crescent Lake. Each cottage has a white picket fence-enclosed front yard facing either gardens or the leisure pool (the quiet pool).
Guests step across their own BoardWalk welcome rug (it’s much larger than a welcome mat) and into the living room space on the first floor. This space has an L-shaped couch, an enormous TV, a coffee table, a desk, and a chair.
Off to the side is a kitchenette with a sink, coffee maker, microwave, and fridge (where I left a delicious cannoli – RIP. I hope Mousekeeping ate it…). The first floor also has a sizable half bathroom and a large walk-in closet.
A wooden staircase hugs the wall up to the loft bedroom with a king-sized bed. This space has a second enormous TV, a sliding door closet, and a full-sized bathroom with a double vanity and an enormous bathtub. There is a separate space (with a door) for the toilet and a large walk-in shower.
While the space is gorgeous and sizable(with a ton of natural light from enormous windows (the one out of reach has a button-operated shade)), it’s only meant for two guests, so clocking in at a starting price of almost $850 a night, it costs a pretty penny.
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn – Club Level Access
While not on a “Club Level” (since they are first-floor rooms), the cottages give guests access to the Club Level lounge and all amenities that come along with that. Mousekeeping came by our room twice a day — for standard cleaning and for evening turndown service (when they left fantastic character cardstock images and chocolates on the bed)!
The Club Level lounge, or “Innkeeper’s Lounge” was located on the fourth floor of the main hotel. Because our room front door led out to our patio, we had to exit our room and re-enter the hotel to access the lounge. The lounge was open from 7am until 10pm daily and offered a continental breakfast, snacks, evening wine, cheese, cordials, and dessert. Ben and I stopped by there more than once and were even able to take snacks and bottles of water and juice back to the room for later!
Near the lounge, guests staying with Club Level access could also meet with a personalized front desk / guest services Cast Member, dedicated to assisting them with check-in and any other needs that came up.
According to the Disney website, Club Level access also gives guests “Access to Disney Signature Services – for personal assistance with your vacation,” fax assistance (do people use that?), and complementary health club access. Ben and I did not make use of any of these services.
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn – Hotel Amenities
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is a unique deluxe resort in that it doesn’t offer dining, except for by the pool, to its guests. At first, this may seem surprising, but when you remember that the Inn is surrounded by the BoardWalk, it suddenly becomes much less of a shock. The BoardWalk has SO much to offer and with Yacht and Beach Club just on the other side of the lake and Epcot a stone’s throw away, there were plenty of food options at our fingertips. (I highly recommend the BoardWalk Bakery, but don’t leave your cannoli in the room when you check out!!!)
I feel like one of the things the BoardWalk Inn is best known for is its pool — for better or worse. I kid. The pool is really fantastic. The mouth of the slide being an enormous clown head with glowing eyes that have star-shaped pupils is another story, but setting that aside, the pool is fantastic.
The pool and seating areas wrap around a carousel-shaped pool bar and quick-bite location called Leaping Horse Libations. Ben and I didn’t eat there, but did enjoy some cocktails. I had the Pina Colava (a pina colada with raspberry added — that was honestly really heavy on the raspberry) and Ben got the red sangira (very tasty).
The menu offers a ton of creative cocktails with fun amusement park names (like the “Tilt-a-Whirl,” the “Fun House,” the “Carousel,” and “The Roller Coaster Meltdown”), beers, non-alcoholic drinks, and some tasty-sounding food. I was most interested in the Pretzel Dog (a hot dog with a soft pretzel wrapped around it!!).
Back to the pool itself — for all the grief I’ve given it, the slide was a ton of fun. It’s tubeless and without any sudden vertical drops, so it’s great for most ages, but the way it twists and turns will still have you whipping around before you’re tossed into the pool. Ben and I definitely kept going back for more. On a hot day in the middle of a Florida August, maybe that creepy clown was really just looking out for us.
Have you ever stayed at the BoardWalk Inn? What did you think? Does the clown slide creep you out? I want to hear it all! Tell me what you think in the comments below or on IG @castleboundkim.