More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn Celebrates its 20th Anniversary Today

Allison Montgomery

by , Public Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Today marks 20 years of old-fashioned charm at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. This whimsical, waterfront resort has been welcoming guests since July 1, 1996 at Walt Disney World Resort.

Modeled after turn-of-the-century Atlantic City, the resort is steeped in nostalgia and playfulness of a bygone era. And there’s tons of unique dining and lively entertainment just outside of the resort on the Coney Island-style boardwalk along Crescent Lake.

If you’ve stayed at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn before, what are some of your favorite memories from your stay there?


  • I’ve stayed in a bunch of the on-property resorts and Boardwalk is by a long shot my favorite. For my wife and I, it’s perfect because it makes getting to our two favorite parks – Epcot and Movies – simple and uncluttered. Just walk out the back, get on the boat and be taken right to the entrance. And, for Epcot, not just any entrance, but the back entrance that’s right between England and France. Add to that the nighttime scene on the boardwalk itself with various entertainments. And then there’s the Flying Fish – one of my favorite table serve places in or out of the parks. Finally add a great property staff and comfortable rooms and it’s worth every penny for me. Just booked my next visit the end of January yesterday in fact.

  • I am so looking forward to checking in. I’ve been staying closer to the magic kingdom all the years my boys were growing up (easier for me ) now they’ve grown up and this will be our 1st time at the Boardwalk Inn.

  • We stayed at Boardwalk in October1996 for my wife’s and my 14th anniversary. We were just kids! We decided at that time to become vacation club members and have put it to good use, travelling over 50 times to the world since, mostly with our kids as they went through middle school, high school, college, marriages and beyond, but have also gone on our own, with our parents and friends. It has always been a place we can come together as a family.

    We always enjoy our time in Boardwalk, we like to walk around crescent lake stopping half way at Beaches and Cream, the back walkway to EPCOT, and sitting on the porch of our room and watching the activity on the boardwalk.

    Even when we stay at other resorts, we typically find the time to stop by there (typically to get an ice cream and hopefully not have it taken away by the birds 🙂 ) as it always takes us back to when we were first there and we reminisce of all our special times since.

  • We stayed at the Boardwalk for our honeymoon as well as my first visit to
    Disneyworld in May of 1999. I became very lost in the elegance and grandeur of the place. The castmembers went above and beyond. They put us in the concierge suite when we checked in because “it was our honeymoon”. They put us in a large two-floor exterior-doored garden suite. The best things I remember were the rabbits, roses and lavender everywhere in the gardens. The large jacuzzi tub was a relief every night because I had no idea Disney was so much land to walk. They provided an after-dinner time “Daily Dessert and Aperitifs” where I became fondly accustomed to iced Frangelico with heavy cream. Then we’d retire to our room where somehow the staff always knew when we were retiring, and the beds were turned down with mints and beautiful printed cards of different sleeping quotations and artwork. The sleep cards were a treasure which I framed for my bedroom at home and I now look at them daily in remembrance.
    Thank you, beautiful Boardwalk.

  • We stay at the Boardwalk the week it opened. Now have ownership in the Vacation Club and Boardwalk is our home resort. Stay there usually once or twice a year. Love walking the boardwalk in the evening enjoying the entertainment acts. Remember when you could get a crepe on a stick, my favorite.

  • My Husband and I got married at the BoardWalk (at Sea Breeze point). We have now been together for 16 years, and have a 4 year old son. We are from Pittsburgh, and now visit WDW twice a year. We collect Boardwalk merchandise (among other Disney merch!) in honor of our lovely wedding there. We haven’t been able to stay at the BoardWalk Inn resort yet, but hope to someday!

  • Wow, we have 20 years of memories. We were staying at the Beach Club the weekend the Boardwalk opened and were able to take the “tour” through. I still have my “Opening Day” buttons.
    My earliest memory though is actually from before the Boardwalk opened. In the day, there was a transportation tram that ran along the boardwalk from Epcot, to the Yacht Club near their Quiet Pool, to the front of the Dolphin, around their fountain, and back again. Remnants of the Tram Station at Epcot can be seen as large cement spaces where the station awning was housed.
    Hurricane Charley in 2004 was supposed to hit Tampa. We had just flown into Tampa for a vacation and saw signs all around recommending evacuation. We had a condo in St Petes at the time, drove to the condo to pick up a few items, made reservations at the Boardwalk, and drove over. The trip, which usually took 90 minutes took over 3 hours. Lo and behold, the storm changed course and hit, yep, Orlando, with us staying at the Boardwalk. Disney couldn’t have handled this epic storm in a more professional manner. From guest safety, to keeping us informed, to providing a very entertaining time, Disney came through. We, along with many guests gathered in the Belle Vue Lounge, swapped pizza, popcorn, stories, and had a few “beverages”as the storm raged. Disney provided food and entertainment too. I’m in no way trying to make light of this natural disaster, just saying I was so impressed at how Disney handled it. I actually became a Cast Member years later.
    But our favorite memories of the Boardwalk have to be our many dinners at Flying Fish. Great food and a relaxing venue to be sure, but I can’t say enough about the staff, many of whom have become friends over the years. When a Disney bus brings you back to your resort after a “hard day” at a park, you hear the words, “Welcome Home.” Over the years, Flying Fish has definitely conveyed that feeling to us. Thanks Boardwalk, and Happy Anniversary!!

  • The Boardwalk Inn is one of our absolute favorite resorts (tied with the Yacht Club and Beach Club)! You can’t beat the location (proximity to Epcot and Hollywood Studios) or the atmosphere! We just stayed there for a week about a month ago and it was amazing as always. Without a doubt my favorite place in the whole world is the bridge you walk on to get to Epcot from the Boardwalk!

Comments are closed.