Disney's BoardWalk Villas is an older Walt Disney World DVC Resort that shares a room layout with Beach Club, Boulder Ridge, and Saratoga Springs. Join the conversation as we discuss the pros and cons of studios, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom lock-off villas, and the grand villas at Disney's BoardWalk Villas. Episode 176.
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On July 1, 1996, The Boardwalk Villas became an excellent addition to the DVC family. Because of its large size, you have a good chance of scoring a room at seven months without owning points here. Being one of the larger DVC resorts is something that people like because of its energy and all there is to do here. However, it’s not a boutique-style resort that many others find attractive.
The layout of the resort is sprawling. Be prepared for the possibility of a long walk from your room to dining or the resort refilling mug station or quick-service breakfast at the Boardwalk Bakery Cafe. That goes for the Boardwalk restaurants – they are located outside the resort on the boardwalk where the shopping is also located.
Pro tip – if you do not like walking too far, request a room near the lobby or elevators. Another pro tip is if you’re planning to spend a lot of time at Hollywood Studios, ask for a room away from the lobby for easy exit access to the walking pathway. Either way, while you’re there, you’ll have plenty to do if you like activities such as Community Hall and lovely swimming pools. The main pool, known as Luna Park, does not have zero entry or a splash pad feature.
The room decor is considered grand carnival theming – colors are sage green and cream with some red. Disney describes the rooms as elegant and whimsical, turn of the century with an Atlantic City or Coney Island feel. The rooms are earlier DVC layouts with the u-shaped kitchen, which takes up a lot of space. The newer resorts such as Copper Creek and Riviera do not have the u-shaped kitchen layout anymore. You can request an area, and they often fulfill the request near the elevator or lobby. You can also request specific rooms and building numbers, although they are not guaranteed. See Touring Plans or Shannon Ford’s YouTube videos to learn more about the resort layout.
Room types include studios, one-bedrooms, two bedrooms, and three-bedroom grand villas as described below.
- Studios are 359 square feet and sleep five. Standard view studios are point stretchers. They have a queen-sized bed with a double sleeper sofa and a pull-down twin-size trundle bed in the dresser with a Dumbo theme. Note that it’s not a queen-size sleeper sofa. There is also a kitchenette with a small fridge, microwave, and dinnerware. There is one bathroom with a bathtub, a balcony with two chairs, USB ports in the room on the nightstand, and in a pull-down twin trundle bed. There is no washer or dryer, just access to the laundry room in the resort.
- One-bedroom units have 712 square feet but only sleep four; Standard view rooms are from 19 points per night and include a king-size bed plus a queen sleeper sofa. If you want to bring a fifth person you must bring your bed and no linens will be provided. Where you put them in the room is either move the kitchen table into the foyer or put them on the floor in the master bedroom, which is very tight! There are two balconies (one off the living room, one from the master bedroom). There is a full kitchen with full-size appliances, dishes, and a dishwasher. There is a smaller kitchen table for two, and two more can sit at the counter area. Also, there is a stackable washer/dryer. The bathroom has a pedestal sink with a shelf, a walk-in shower with subway tile, and one toilet. The master bathroom has a single sink vanity with storage and drawers, a jetted tub where you can open up a shuttered window to the master bedroom (can watch TV from the tub), and a walk-in closet with a safe. The master bedroom has a king-size bed with second TV and dresser. Nightstands have USB outlets built-in, but the dresser does not have USB outlets.
- Two-bedroom lock-off units have 1,071 square feet and sleep nine; Standard view rooms are from 29 points per night; The lock-off configuration is one king-size bed, one queen-size sleeper sofa on the one-bedroom side, one queen-sized bed, one double sleeper sofa, and one pull-down twin trundle on the studio side. All two-bedroom villas here are a lock-off option only as there are no two-bedroom dedicated units. Lock-offs are a studio and one-bedroom put together, which have a double balcony with four chairs. There are two bathrooms (one in the studio, one in one bedroom side). There is also a stackable washer/dryer. The kitchen has pots & pans, actual not paper plates, a full-size coffee maker, and a toaster, full-size appliances, and a microwave.
- Grand Villas have three bedrooms, are 2,142 square feet, and sleep 12. There are seven of these located on floors three through five and cost from 76 points per night. If you want this location near Epcot, there are no Grand Villas at Beach Club, so this is your best bet. There is a king bed, four queen beds, and a queen-sized sleeper sofa for sleeping arrangements.
There are three booking categories: Standard, Pool/Garden, or BoardWalk View. The lower cost point rooms (standard) tend to be taken up first by owners at the 11-month mark, leaving the higher point per night rooms for those booking at 7-months.
- Standard view is a good value for the number of points! Owners book up at 11-months; however, there is more inventory than Boardwalk view. There are fewer Standard view rooms than Pool/Garden views.
- Pool/Garden view has the most inventory of all room categories and therefore is easiest to get.
- Boardwalk view has the least amount of rooms available.
DVC point value is good at the Boardwalk as standard view rooms start at just nine points per night which is affordable! Grand villas start at 76 per night in September. It is the same point cost for the “Boardwalk” view as the “Pool/Garden” view. Overall, it’s better value than Beach Club as points per night are higher over there. Lastly, looking at dues for 2021, they are $7.37 per point. The villas opened in 1996 and have a 2042 deed expiration which may turn off potential resale buyers because it’s not seen as a good value with only those years remaining.
There are both pros and cons of Staying at Boardwalk Villa. We’ll start with cons and finish on a positive note with pros. The first con is that one-bedroom villas only sleep four, and it would be nice to have that trundle bed for the fifth person. However, they state they will accommodate a fifth person if you bring your own bed and bed linens which is a plus. Unfortunately, the next soft goods refurbishment (bedding, curtains, etc.) won’t be until 2023. Another con is that rooms have the pull-out soft rather than Murphy beds (like Riviera and Saratoga Springs). Potentially there is lots of walking to your room at the end of the hallway (halfway to Hollywood Studios!), but you can request by elevator or lobby, which is a request, not a guarantee.
Other members have reported that ADA-accessible rooms are not by the elevator/lobby and not on the first floor, which seems strange considering they could be using a wheelchair. Other members report that studios and 2-bedroom lock-offs can get a bit tight with all of the beds pulled out (you need to find a place for the coffee tables/couch cushions). We’ve also heard people say the theming is too busy/too loud with the bright colors. The last con mentioned is that if you like to park your rental car right outside your room door, this might not be the resort for you. The walk to the parking lot will undoubtedly be longer than you might be used to at smaller resorts.
Regarding the pros of the villas, there are several that were mentioned. Since this is a massive resort with 532 total rooms in this vast resort, if its location near Epcot is essential to you, it’s easier to get at seven months than Beach Club. You will have a fair chance of getting something at the seven-month mark without owning here. Another pro is that the rooms were hard goods refurbished in 2016, and since that only occurs about every 14 years, it’s relatively recent.
Also, studios sleep five, which is excellent for families with three kids at a reasonable cost. Point charts are a good deal overall, especially for standard view, starting at just nine points per night, according to the 2022 chart. Another great perk is that two-bedroom villas sleep nine, whereas some DVCs only sleep eight in two-bedroom villas, such as Copper Creek. The Boardwalk view rooms make for great people and activity watching, such as seeing the evening Epcot show from the balcony. Even if not your favorite rooms within DVC or favorite theming, the number one pro mentioned was the location. These rooms have a great location. It’s an easy walk or boat ride to two parks, and therefore to some, it’s the best location on property!
Today's episode was produced, and show notes written by Sandy Symianick. Editing by David Kluver and audio mastering by Chad Pennycuff. Photo used under a Creative Commons License. Photo Credit to Frank Phillips on Flickr.
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