Room Review: Preferred View at the BoardWalk Villas

Written By David Mumpower

Disney’s BoardWalk Villas Resort is a family-friendly resort with a classy, whimsical, “Northeastern Boardwalk” atmosphere. Time stops as you meander the vibrant resort and enjoy quality time with your family.

The resort has a large yard that offers fun family games and surprise character visits!

The resort is conveniently located within walking distance of Epcot and directly on the Disney’s Boardwalk. The BoardWalk is a quarter-mile promenade that offers dining, carnival games, and live entertainment. Families can stroll along the waterfront, indulge in sweet treats, and create lasting memories.

Today, I’ll give you an evaluation of a Deluxe Studio with a view, specifically the BoardWalk View. Is this room type worth the extra points? You may be surprised…

The view from a BoardWalk View Room

About Staying at BoardWalk Villas
You’ll love Disney’s BoardWalk Villas for any number of reasons.
For most DVC members, the essential element is the hotel’s proximity to the International Gateway and the Disney Skyliner. At the International Gateway, you can enter EPCOT’s World Showcase at a place that’s relatively close to the United Kingdom and France pavilions.

Given the recent addition of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and its expansion area, this rear entrance has grown more popular than ever.
Just as importantly, adult guests traveling without children can roam the World Showcase, dining and drinking to their heart’s content.
Bar crawls are a thing at the World Showcase, and when you imbibe too much, you’ll be grateful for the six-minute walk back to the hotel.
Yes, I said six minutes. It’s that short a distance from the hotel lobby to EPCOT.

The BoardWalk Villas & BoardWalk View

Just as importantly, you’ll pass the Disney Skyliner before you reach the International Gateway. This new transportation system allows you to ride a gondola to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and/or several other Disney hotels. So, when you stay at the BoardWalk, you’ll enjoy convenient access to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. You can also expand your dining options to Disney’s Riviera Resort and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, which are other destinations on the Skyliner.

Understanding the BoardWalk Differences
You’ll notice that many DVC members describe the hotel and the entertainment district interchangeably. That behavior may not make sense until you spend time at this resort. People do this because you exit the hotel lobby, walk down some stairs, and you’re at Disney’s BoardWalk.
So, the difference between the hotel and the surrounding area is negligible at best. I’d describe the situation like this. When you’re at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, you consider everything from the Great Ceremonial House to Pago Pago as the hotel, right? One’s the hotel lobby, while the other contains the exterior longhouses with DVC Villas in them. Walking from the Great Ceremonial House to Pago Pago isn’t that much different from exiting your BoardWalk Villa room and visiting a nearby shop. We might be talking about a five-minute difference in walking from the farthest hotel buildings to Atlantic City Dance Hall, but that’s it.

For this reason, you can consider yourself as staying at the BoardWalk when you choose this hotel. As we’ll discuss in a few moments, that’s not always a positive, depending on which room you choose.
Overall, you’ll love the proximity, the logistics, and the amenities, but there is one noteworthy drawback.

The Flying Fish Restaurant located at the Boardwalk

About the Studio at BoardWalk
The Studios at the BoardWalk are smartly designed and efficient, something you’ll recognize the moment you enter the room. On one side, you’ll notice the kitchenette, which is also always a good sign that you can navigate the room quickly. You can refrigerate items – in my case, it’s typically desserts – as soon as you enter the room. Alternatively, you can grab a cold drink on your way out the door. That’s why I’m all for the kitchenette right by the door. Across from this area is the dressing area, complete with a wall-length mirror and a single sink/faucet. In a perfect world, I always prefer double sinks, but I understand the logic here. The presumption is that you’ll use the kitchenette sink instead.
These rooms now sleep five, thanks to the addition of a pull-down Murphy bed. You’ll also find a Queen bed and a full-size sleeper sofa. I mention the Murphy bed because that’s a relatively new trend with DVC Studios, one that started at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort with the Lilo & Stitch Murphy bed.
At the BoardWalk, you’ll find Dumbo instead. And I love this setup. During the day, you’ll find a desk and chairs. So, it’s a mini-workstation.
Once you’re ready for bed, you pull down the bed, preferably for a little one. It’s tight for an adult, and I speak from experience here.
The best part as a parent is that the child sleeps right under the HDTV.
So, you have them in your line of sight, providing peace of mind while they snooze.
Then, there’s the second sitting area with the sleeper sofa. It’s MUCH better for lounging, but I prefer the other desk for working.
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the balcony, which provides an inimitable view of the surroundings. Alas, that’s a double-edged sword…

About Standard vs. Preferred
So, that’s the good part. Let’s talk about the potential drawbacks.
As a reminder, we’re reviewing Preferred View, not Standard View.
What’s the difference? Preferred View is also known as BoardWalk View, which should tell you everything. When you’re walking around the BoardWalk, you’ll notice some chairs on patios above the various restaurants. Those are DVC BoardWalk View rooms ! Suffice to say that the view is absolutely incredible.
You’ll feel as if you’re a part of the action when you sit on the balcony here and admire the view. But there’s a downside. Here’s a timestamped video:

Did you notice the change in audio volume? It was the difference between the TV verse the patrons on the BoardWalk. The Boardwalk shopping and dining areas can get loud some times. I’m not saying that will happen every time, but it DOES happen.
For this reason, I encourage people to book Standard View at the BoardWalk instead. No, you won’t be where the action is, and the view from your hotel patio/balcony is not as impressive, however you’ll sleep peacefully and will not hear any people out side you villa walking by. Also the last thing you want during a Disney vacation is to fall short on your sleep.

Final Thoughts
You’ll love staying at the BoardWalk. DVC members know from experience that it books up quickly during various EPCOT festivals.
That behavior stems from two different factors. The first is the proximity to the park, while the second is that you’ll enjoy everything in the immediate area. You don’t even need to visit the World Showcase at EPCOT. There are plenty of excellent restaurants and shopping options available at the BoardWalk itself. Still, as much as I love staying at this DVC resort, I still wouldn’t recommend BoardWalk View since it can get a bit too noisy at times.

Please let us know if you have any questions or if you’d like any additional information. If you’d like to rent a DVC Villa for your next Vacation or purchase a Disney Vacation Club property at a reduced price, our agents will be happy to assist you with any questions or information.

 You can reach our office at 800-550-6493 or email 

About David Mumpower is the author of Behind the Ride and the Disney Demystified series. He’s written more than 25 million words and been quoted as a subject matter expert by CNN, the Washington Post, USA Today, CNBC, and countless others. A DVC member for more than a decade now, his favorite resort is the Polynesian, his favorite park is EPCOT, and his favorite ride is Spaceship Earth.