My Favorite Disney Vacation Club Resort
I mentioned in my last article that the reason I bought into the Disney Vacation Club was to stay at the Boardwalk Resort. When we bought into the Disney Vacation Club (and when you buy in now) you have to buy in at the resort they are currently selling at (you can buy a DVC resale from any of the other Resorts, but Disney only sells what they have “open at the time”). When I bought in December of 2003, they were just building the Saratoga Springs Resort. Some other Resorts were just about sold out, and I got a pretty good deal on points (an extra vacation trip was thrown in), so I bought in at Saratoga Springs. This is considered my Home Resort. The only time this makes a difference is for booking purposes (at your home resort you can book 11 months in advance all the other resorts you have to wait until 7 months). The funny thing about this is that until the summer of 2010, we had not stayed at the Saratoga Springs Resort. At this point, we have stayed at all the DVC Resorts on Property except the Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Bay Lake Towers. Of the ones we have stayed in, the Boardwalk is My Favorite.
There are many reasons I like the Boardwalk. I like the feel of the Boardwalk, I like the atmosphere, I like the colors and the theme, and I like where it is located. Of course all the Disney Resorts are wonderful, they all have great Cast members; easy access to transportation and an awesome theme, but for everything that I look for in a resort when I am in Disney, the Boardwalk Resort seems to be the place that I am the happiest.
The Atmosphere of the Resort is laid back, and relaxed. From the circular Driveway that you drive up to under the big Archway that announces that you are at “The Boardwalk”, to the lobby, which is big and open, everything about arriving at the Boardwalk Resort is inviting. I especially like when you first walk in, you can actually continue out the back door and you are on an elevated back porch. How many Hotels have an elevated back porch? On this back porch, you can sit in wicker rockers and look out over the back courtyard and across to Disney’s Boardwalk. What a great way to relax after a long day or even better it’s a great way to start your day with a cup of coffee. The Lobby is also a great place to sit and relax. It has some neat touches to it that add to the theme of an early twentieth century Resort on the New Jersey coast. Things like the Face Chairs or the replica of Lucy the Elephant. They are fun and whimsical and they add to the feeling that everyone is invited to the Boardwalk and that everyone should be having fun.
The set up of the Resort is kind of interesting. From the lobby, the Villas for the Disney Vacation Club go to the left of the entrance and the Resort rooms go to the right. The Big Pool is on the DVC side of the Resort. This is different than both the Wilderness Lodge and the Beach Club Resorts, where the pool is closer to the Resort rooms and the DVC guests are a little further away. Not only is this interesting, but they way they separate these two areas in the hotel itself is kind of cool. The lobby area is like the middle ground, but as you head to the elevators for the DVC side, you pass the Concierge Desk and the gift shop (which is only one of two and isn’t really that big, only selling necessity items). As you go toward the Resort side, you pass the Belle Vue Lounge, before getting to the elevators. The Belle Vue Lounge is set up as a 1930’s sitting room. There is a small bar here, and they listen to classic radio shows and have board games and newspapers for your family’s entertainment and relaxation.
The Boardwalk Resort’s location I think is wonderful. It helps that our favorite park is Epcot and that I usually have my own transportation when we are in Disney World, but from the Boardwalk, you can get to anyplace in Disney very easily. Epcot and the Disney Hollywood Studios are the easiest. You can either walk or take a Friendship Launch. If I remember correctly form the Boardwalk boat dock, the boat takes twelve minutes to Epcot and you can walk there at an easy pace in seven. It does take a few more minutes to get back from the park as the boat first stops at the boat dock for the Beach and Yacht Clubs, and then they head to the Boardwalk. Of course, it takes a lot longer to either walk or ride the Launch to the Hollywood Studios, but it is nice to have this transportation option.
Getting to the Magic Kingdom from the Boardwalk is kind of easy, although takes a little while. Actually there are two different ways to get there. The first is to take the Disney Bus. These are great forms of transportation and are very easy as the Bus stop at the Resort is right down from the front entrance to the Resort. There is another way to get to the Magic Kingdom, that is a little more exciting and fun, but you need to plan out your time, because this way will take a little while. What you do is walk through Epcot, entering at the World Showcase Entrance and going to the front entrance. Once you get to the front, you get on the Monorail. This will take you to the ticket and transportation center. This ride is about 15 minutes. From there you can either switch Monorails or you can get on the Ferry and go to the Magic Kingdom by boat. The thing to remember about this way of travelling to and from the Magic Kingdom is that the two parks (Epcot and the Magic Kingdom) don’t always have the same operating hours. It is a fun way to get to the Magic Kingdom if you have some time and especially if you are travelling with little ones, because they can enjoy the thrill of the different modes of transportation.
To get to the Animal Kingdom, you need to either take the Bus or drive yourself. Driving anywhere around the Walt Disney Resort is rather easy, because their signage is great! The Drive from the Boardwalk Resort to Animal Kingdom is relatively short. The Bus ride is not a bad one either. You can also take the bus to Downtown Disney, Typhoon Lagoon, or Blizzard Beach. The bus ride from Downtown Disney during the day takes a little while, because the bus stops at Typhoon Lagoon and the Beach Club, Yacht Club and the Dolphin and Swan Resorts. Driving to Downtown Disney is a matter of three turns; a turn out of the parking lot, a turn at the main road and a turn into the Downtown Disney parking lot. It is also only about a seven to ten minute drive.
So, as you can see, the Boardwalk has it all, great location, relaxing atmosphere and a great theme. Add to that the actual Boardwalk with all its excitement and fun things to do and this is an awesome place to stay.
For More information about the Disney Vacation Club go to: http://disneyvacationclub.disney.go.com/
For more information on Disney’s Boardwalk and what it has to offer you can read my review at http://tinyurl.com/umwdw-epcotresorts