For a Different Pace, Head on Down to Disney’s BoardWalk

Filed in: Walt Disney World Resort, Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Disney’s BoardWalk revives and energizes the mid-Atlantic waterfront villages of the 1940s.  As Walt Disney World Resort guests walk along the lively waterfront promenade, they can stroll into the shops and enjoy the unusual vendors, or dine at one of three restaurants or experience entertainment found nowhere else, like the up-to-the-minute sports action at the ESPN Club or the hip sounds at Atlantic Dance Hall.

The two grand waterfront lodges at Disney’s BoardWalk feature striped awnings and breezy balconies reminiscent of the grand oceanside resorts of the early 1900s.  This was the era when the whole family went down to the Jersey Shore for the summer and escaped to the beach on a big yellow streetcar for the day.

While folks sat in rocking chairs on the verandah or wheeled along the boardwalk in wicker rolling chairs, fun-seeking couples and younger families played arcade games, danced the Bunny-Hug, filled up on snacks and sweets or strolled along the moonlit walkway.

Disney’s BoardWalk is an idealized re-creation of this romantic past.

Noted architect Robert A.M. Stern’s “village across the water” includes an array of dining, entertainment and shopping experiences; meeting facilities; Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, a 378-room deluxe hotel; and Disney’s BoardWalk Villas, a vacation ownership resort with 280 units (2-bedroom equivalents).  Adjacent to Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is an elegant 20,000-square-foot conference center with meeting rooms, outdoor gazebos and pavilions for intimate gatherings.

BoardWalk Inn and Villas

Nestled along Crescent Lake, BoardWalk Inn and BoardWalk Villas sit atop a collection of shops, clubs and restaurants overlooking the boardwalk and village green.  The inn and villas share an expansive, naturally lit lobby with a barrel-vaulted ceiling.  An eclectic mix of stripes and florals, fan-back wicker chairs, overstuffed sofas and giant palms create a relaxed elegance.  Antique-finished, hardwood flooring with hand-woven floral rugs completes the intimate setting.

Vintage furnishings with floral patterned fabrics and vibrant colors provide a cozy environment at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn.  Two-, three- and four-story buildings surround private courtyards and manicured gardens.  Additionally, there are 14 two-story garden suites with private entrances.

Developed by Disney Vacation Club, Disney’s BoardWalk Villas range in size from studios to one- and two-bedroom vacation suites to three-bedroom grand villas.

Entertainment Options Are Endless

Guests can dance the night away to the sounds of a variety of music at Atlantic Dance Hall.  The spacious hall offers a sophisticated ambiance with a palette of rich blues, maroons and golds surrounding a parquet dance floor, and sparkling gold stars and twinkling lights adorn the ceiling.

Light fare, cappuccino, espresso and cognac are offered into the evening, and the bar pours a tasty selection of signature martinis.  Atlantic Dance Hall is open nightly to those 21 years and older.

Singing and drinking to the banter of dueling pianos welcome the party crowd to Jellyrolls,
and a main attraction within this rustic, saloon-like club is the crowd itself.  Here, people of all ages
join together in song as quick-witted pianists bang out old-time favorite singalongs.  A visit to Jellyrolls for a birthday, anniversary or engagement may get you on stage for a rambunctious and satirical
serenade created especially for you.  Jellyrolls welcomes those 21 years and older, with a $12 cover charge after 7 p.m.

No matter what season, catch the best games in all the top sports every day at ESPN Club, the sports broadcast and entertainment facility and full-service restaurant anchoring Disney’s BoardWalk.

No score or play will be missed with 100 monitors and a 10×10 video projection wall filling the 13,000-square-foot sports club, including televisions in both men’s and women’s bathrooms.

ESPN Club is divided into three distinct areas designed to appeal to sports enthusiasts as well as families.  Kids and adults will be sure to flock to The Yard, an “urban playground” with an arcade of sports games, the latest in virtual reality and interactive arcade games.

The main dining area is Sports Central, themed to look like a sports arena with a basketball hardwood floor and giant four-sided scoreboard projecting the big game of the day.  Sports Central also houses broadcast-ready facilities, including a television and radio broadcast booth where guests can periodically observe and participate in live sports celebrity interviews.  Additionally, ESPN Club has originated television shows such as “Baseball Tonight,” “Up Close” and “Sunday Sports Reporters,” as well as local and national sports radio segments.

Ballpark fare served from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. includes creations like “Boo-Yah!” Chili, Red Wings and the Triple Play Turkey and Brie sandwich.

Disney’s own sports experts will get the crowd roaring with ongoing sports-trivia contests, pre-game “pep rallies,” a half-time set and post-game commentaries.  Sports hosts also will referee “Sports Talk Live,” during which current sports issues are discussed in a talk-show setting, sometimes with the major stars in the sporting world.

Sidelines features booths and tall tables where guests can watch games displayed on overhead monitors and tune in to the competition of their choice.  Computer monitors allow fans access to ESPN.com and sports-trivia games.

Dining and More

Dining opportunities for a broad range of tastes include:  Flying Fish Cafe, offering fresh grilled seafood and steaks; and Big River Grille & Brewing Works, featuring a full grill menu and handcrafted specialty beers.  Seashore Sweets’ and BoardWalk Bakery appeals to the “sweet tooth” with baked goods, hand-dipped ice cream and specialty coffees.

More than 9,000 square feet of retail shops open onto the boardwalk.  Shopping includes Screen Door General Store, for groceries and sundries; Disney Character Carnival featuring Disney character merchandise and clothing for youngsters; Thimbles ‘n Threads, offering resort apparel for men and women, and Wyland Galleries.

Hotel resort guests can enjoy Muscles & Bustles health club, Harbour Club children’s activity club, arcade, tennis courts and lawn croquet.  A roller-coaster-style slide propels youngsters of all ages into Luna Park — a carnival-themed pool with a carousel pool bar.  In a second pool area guests play in fountains spraying from the trunks of a herd of playful elephant statues.

A promenade connects Disney’s BoardWalk to four other Epcot resort area hotels on the shores of the lake: Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Walt Disney World Dolphin and Walt Disney World Swan.  Walkways and water taxis connect the hotels to Epcot and to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

For reservations and information, call 407/W-DISNEY or your travel agent, or online at disneyworld.com.