Where to stay: The Club Level at Disney's Boardwalk Inn at Walt Disney World
Written by Amanda Jenkins
For our quick trip for Star Wars Weekends in May, I decided to stay as close to the Disney Hollywood Studios as possible. With this in mind, I looked at each of the resorts that are within walking distance to both the Studios and Epcot. After much research, we picked The Boardwalk Inn and Villas. This was a first time visit to this resort, in that we tend to stay closer to the Magic Kingdom (Contemporary, Bay Lake Tower, and Grand Floridian). I was extremely excited about this trip, since it was one of many firsts. We were doing our first Star Wars Weekend, first time at the Boardwalk, and we decided to book our first ever concierge/club level room. We became annual passholders this past December for the first time and with these was able to book a club level room for the price of a regular room. Oh yes, we are definitely moving on up.
We arrived via Magical Express to our resort. As with others that we have visited, we were greeted immediately after disembarking the bus. We were quizzed with whether we have ever visited the Walt Disney Resort, have we visited the Boardwalk, and then given some quick directions to how to get around the resort. First off, when you enter in the lobby of the resort, you are actually on the second floor. The first floor takes you to the pools, Friendships [resort transport boats], and outside Boardwalk area. To get to the bus transportation, you do not go to the first floor, you exit on the second floor via the lobby.
After soaking up this quick two-minute conversation, we were ushered into another time period. The Boardwalk is decorated in the early 20th century of a New Jersey boardwalk. The second floor boasts hardwood floors and a staircase with decorative carpeting. As you walk across the lobby you see an antique carousel under glass atop a round cushioned seat. A large decorative lighting fixture is directly overhead, with window and doors looking out over Crescent Lake. Jazz music plays throughout the resort giving an even more feeling of stepping into the 1920's.
After some confusion, mostly because I did not inform them on checking in that I had a club level room, we were not supposed to check in at the lobby. Quick note to everyone staying in a concierge/club level room at Disney: tell them immediately upon entering in the building so that you will not wait in line in the lobby. We were taken to the elevators, then up to the fourth floor. After going down a hallway, we were immediately taken to the concierge desk. There we were checked in, given all of our dining reservations, our room keys, and a schedule of times and food at the Innkeepers Club Lounge. Our room was not ready so we decided to leave and go to the parks. We were only gone a couple of hours before we were texted our room number. When we returned we discovered that our room was directly across from the Innkeepers Club Lounge. How fortuitous.
We entered the lounge and found that they were cleaning things up and preparing for the evenings' tastings. There were still snacks such as cookies and fruit and water/soft drinks/coffee and tea available. The castmembers of the lounge were friendly and helpful but thankfully did not hover over you. The lounge was decorated with a large gilt mirror, dark wooden furniture and comfortable couches. The floor is covered in decorative carpets, that if one looks carefully will find a hidden Mickey of two. We were encouraged to come back around five in the evening to try the desserts and appetizers. When we came back we found an array of items that had a bit of an Asian flavor. We found that each item we tried was delicious. There was also a display of evening liqueurs for the discriminating guest. We would snack here quite often during our stay. At breakfast the next morning, they had hot beignets (my absolute favorite), oatmeal, fresh fruit, muffins, and many other continental breakfast items.
As nice as the food was at the lounge, it wasn't something that you could actually feel full, at least for dinner. During our evening of the 3am Star Wars weekend day, we decided to try out the room service. The Boardwalk's room service comes from the different restaurants that surround Crescent Lake. We couldn't decide what to order, plus we were exhausted, so we stuck with a hamburger and fries along with a tomato and mozzarella sandwich with homemade potato chips. It arrived quickly to our room, was hot, and it was quite tasty.
A "Minnie" lamp
Our room was decorated with many hidden Mickeys and even some Minnies. The room was bright and airy with its white bedspread and sea-foam green sofa. Our bathroom had the same type of decorative mirrors that one finds throughout the resort, with Mickey's as the decorative part. The light fixtures even boasted of Mickey's silhouette. I'm always surprised at how Disney manages to make a refrigerator blend in with the motif of their resorts, but here again they managed to place it in a dark wood cabinet that matched the wood of the desk in our room. The balcony opened out to views of Crescent Lake and the Boardwalk.
The way our balcony was positioned, I was able to see the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom! I'm sure you can imagine my surprise, especially as I was thinking how I used to stand on the balcony of the previous resorts to watch Wishes. Here I was at an Epcot resort and I still get the magical view. Not too shabby. During our evenings that we were out late, we returned to find our covers pulled down.
Instead of the typical chocolates, we were given salt water taffy along with a card that had sayings such as, "The moon belongs to everyone, the best things in life are free. The stars belong o everyone, they gleam there for you and me." One of my favorite songs that Mel Torme sang in the classic musical "Good News". Sigh. Perfect, especially since the movie was set in the 1920's. Now that's theming!
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