My first stay as a DVC member was last October, a short 4-night trip to see my favorite band at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival. Pro tip: if you bought direct, definitely call Member Services for your first welcome home. Do not play with booking random rooms online first. I did, and almost lost out on my special opportunity, but my sales guide was kind and fixed it up for me. Although it was four months away, member services managed to get me a pool/garden view studio at BoardWalk Villas!
Besides one night at Yacht Club, I’ve only ever stayed in Value Resorts at Disney. Suffice to say, the BoardWalk was a pretty nice upgrade. The studio was very comfortable for two people. I offered to share my queen bed with my friend who joined me, but the pullout couch was very comfortable for her, so she stayed there for the trip. It made the room a little small with the bed always out but nothing too bad.
I think best in lists, so here are my pros and cons of my stay at The BoardWalk Villas:
- Location. Being able to walk to two Disney parks from your hotel is wonderful. Having all of those restaurants (and two other deluxe hotels!) nearby was also awesome.
- Transportation. The friendship boats were quite frequent and seemed to always be waiting for me at International Gateway each evening. The buses to Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom also seemed to never take very long, and our line was never long. It was the most pleasant bus experience I’ve ever had staying on property.
- Cast Members. The folks at bell services and check-in were lovely. We had a drain issue in our room, and housekeeping was on it within thirty minutes. And the little pumpkin contest they had going on was sweet, a sign of camaraderie among the staff who work there.
- Table Service Dining. There are so many great options nearby!
- The Pool. Values be damned, having a water slide and such vast seating at the pool is so lovely. And I had no issue with the clown, I hardly noticed him. 🙂
- The room was a little dated. Nothing too horrible, but noticeable wear-and-tear on the carpet, furnishings, and bathroom door. The door to the washroom always “fell” all the way open, blocking the sink. We did have issues with both drains not draining (we called regarding the shower one, and it was fixed quickly). They kindly gave us a new shower curtain I’m sure right before we checked in, but that did create a very strong plastic/vinyl smell in our room. I could have called I suppose, but I am not one to create too much of a fuss.
- Quick Service Dining. I love having a foodcourt-type place to grab a bite to eat that’s indoors. The Boardwalk doesn’t have that. What I did find at the Pizza Window and the Boardwalk Bakery left much to be desired, and only outdoor seating is available. This is not ideal when you’re looking to escape the Florida heat or rain. I know many DVC members eat in their villas, so this would not be as big of a con, but for me, vacation = never making food ever, so quick-service really matters to me.
Clearly, my pros far outweigh my cons here. I very much enjoyed my first stay at Disney’s BoardWalk Villas. I felt very “fancy” — it was a dream come true to be on Disney property as a DVC member. If you want to be in the center of all the action, the Boardwalk is the place to be!