Walking into any resort lobby on Walt Disney World property instantly transports you into the genre, movie set or theme Disney is trying to replicate. With resorts boasting different themes it must have been a huge undertaking but the Imagineers at Disney accomplished it. All details are implemented, no stone left unturned towards the most accurate authenticity, with the ever entertaining 'Hidden Mickey's' present throughout, be it in carpet designs, woodworking decorated by lovely Wainscoting, drapery, tile work.....just about everywhere, even where you least expect it.
The BoardWalk Inn and Villas promenade.
The BoardWalk Inn and Villas promenade.
The large circular covered driveway protects you from elements as you unload your luggage. As you approach the two sets of sliding doors, your journey back into the 1920's seaboard style of living begins.
The BoardWalk Inn and Villas lobby takes you to the seaboard of the 1920's-30's where you'll find creamy walls of Wainscoting blending in with rich drapes depicting embroidered scenes of boardwalks and entertainment, decorated tables of mid-way entertainment such as the old, wooden rollercoasters and whimsical carousel models. The shiny, wooden floor gleams with the reflections of the fancy chandeliers above all contributing to the light, airy but very elegant atmosphere. Faintly, through your imaginative powers you hear the faint sounds of the boardwalk from the arcades, magicians, the kaliope and of course these images evoke the mouth watering aromas of caramel popcorn, candy apples and corn dogs. All of this is just steps away.
Of course, for convenience, families can relax on the plush sofas and chairs while you take care of your needs at Guest Services, Bell Services or Concierge which are beside each other. That's convenient. Often you'll see Cast Members walking around looking for Pin Traders or handing out balloons.
Enter the main lobby to be greeted by a completely circular couch, crowned with a fancy carousel.....and it really works too! Gazing at this will completely distract you from your task at hand as you forget everything you came from and are now in Walt Disney's world of fantasy. This miniature carousel (Walt loved miniatures), was actually made at Coney Island, by M.C. Illions, a designer and manufacturer of carousels.
Photo: courtesy of WDW for Grownups.
Be prepared to perch yourself on your knees while watching the carousel turn, there's no other way to enjoy this ornately detailed masterpiece.
You cannot help but gaze around at all of this splendor below.
Disney gets down to business with detail. I mean, Disney really gets down to business with detail. What other hotel would you find a corridor filled with old movie machines. Complete and total immersion into that particular early '20's time period. Just beyond, through the windows lays the BoardWalk Promenade waiting for you to easily spend at least an entire day here.
We've had the pleasure of being guests at the BoardWalk Villas and spending time at this resort is incredibly entertaining. This resort is the primary reason why we now follow a pattern of one day at the theme parks and one day at the resorts. You cannot miss out on spending time here and marveling.
In fact, one of my most solitary pleasures is to wake up very early and watch the sunrise from the rocking chairs on the vast verandah. Rain or shine, you'll find me there whenever possible just basking, sipping coffee with my book and newspaper in tow. Many a time have I met people from different walks of life and parts of the world here. Everything is easy and casual here.
With the fans gentle breeze, it's actually quite quiet here but wonderful for watching the Friendship Boats, the Yacht and Beach Club Inn and Villas, the BoardWalk Promenade or just snoozing. At night you have a direct view of the Illuminations Fireworks from EPCOT, imagine that!
At Christmas thick, abundant, colourful garlands are everywhere.
The layout of the BoardWalk Inn and Villas is interesting and while it does not boast an official food court, one cannot help but be drawn to the BoardWalk Promenade towards the delicious aromas of the BoardWalk Bakery, but if you feel like a bit of quietude, then head on over to the Belle Vue Lounge with its' library-like atmosphere where you can grab a hot beverage, a muffin, or some pastries. It's quick and convenient and on your way to the theme parks.
Thank you Frugaldinks.com for the photo, showing the ever inspiring Magic Lantern on the right. An early projection device used by magicians, later prompting the film industry.
Thank you Frugaldinks for the photo.
Care for a game of checkers or chess?
Notice all the vintage board games on the shelves, one in particular being Monopoly, who's creator Charles Darrow was inspired by the Boardwalk at Atlantic City, subsequently naming all the streets on the board game after it.
Even if you're enjoying another Disney resort for your vacation, you really need to spend at least an afternoon or evening at Disney's BoardWalk Inn and Villas strolling along the Promenade enjoying the arcades, jugglers, magicians, bountiful shopping for souvenirs and the yummiest treats or dining at one of the many delicious restaurants such as Kouzzina's by Cat Cora, the Big River Grille, the ESPN Zone or Flying Fish Cafe. The pizza window at Kouzzina's makes some of the best pizza on property and don't forget to enjoy an ice-cream while enjoying a direct view of Illuminations Fireworks from EPCOT!
All photographs are mine unless otherwise noted.
Walt Disney's legacy lives on, even through all of the Disney resorts!