BoardWalk Inn is at the moment within the midst of development and adjustments a part of a resort reimagining. This publish shares particulars about what’s on the horizon and work that Walt Disney World has already accomplished at this iconic inn. (Up to date April 27, 2023.)
About one 12 months in the past, Walt Disney World introduced that they’d be making “a seaside splash at Disney’s BoardWalk!” The multi-year challenge would see Walt Disney World reimagining components of the beloved turn-of-the-century promenade and contained in the Deluxe Resort, iwith an enthralling new foyer design, close by espresso bar, delectable eating choices, refreshed visitor rooms, and different particular touches.
This follows reimaginings of Disney’s Up to date and Polynesian Village Resorts final 12 months, which introduced with them a spread of enhancements together with character-inspired visitor rooms (Incredibles and Moana, respectively). It additionally comes after foyer overhauls to quite a lot of resorts, and as Walt Disney World converts quite a lot of visitor rooms at Grand Floridian to Disney Trip Membership villas. Anticipate components of these enhancements to look at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, too.
Inside Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, gentle and ethereal touches will reinvigorate the foyer, lounge, and visitor rooms. Simply off the foyer, a brand new espresso bar is now open that provides artisanal drinks and fast bites. One main addition providing storybook candy treats and dreamy desserts is The Cake Bake Store by Gwendolyn Rogers, a brand new desk service restaurant and bakery.
Anticipated to open in Late 2023, the Cake Bake Store replaces ESPN Membership and can supply each savory and dessert menus. The restaurant will even serve afternoon tea service in a whimsical ambiance that enhances the magic of the idyllic attraction of Disney’s BoardWalk Inn that visitors know and love.
Throughout the development, all different venues at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn stay open. This contains the inventively-named BoardWalk Ice Cream. (Hey, no less than it’s higher than “BoardWalk Ice Cream: An Edy’s Consuming EXPERIENCE! ~ at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort.”)
I’ve poked enjoyable at BoardWalk Ice Cream (solely as a result of I nonetheless miss Ample Hills), however I do have to present Disney credit score–they changed the non permanent signage with a pleasant, dimensional one. I’m unsure when this occurred, nevertheless it’s not new. I observed it just a few months in the past and didn’t have wherever to say it till now. Didn’t appear worthy of its personal publish. Additionally to Disney’s credit score, no less than this venue isn’t sitting empty. (Ample Hills’ downfall wasn’t Disney’s fault.)
Inside Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, it’s laborious to inform whether or not work on the foyer is completed.
Earlier in 2023, the foyer was beneath development. When the partitions got here down, the most important change was that the uninterrupted check-in desk (singular) had been changed by smaller kiosks that permit Solid Members to extra freely transfer round them. That is in step with different resorts, and isn’t actually a cloth change. Until you had been particularly in search of it, you in all probability wouldn’t discover something is totally different.
To the most effective of my information, nothing else has modified. Perhaps they swapped out a pair items of furnishings (as just a few objects did look brisker), however even that I doubt. In evaluating my previous versus new pictures aspect by aspect, I can’t spot any materials adjustments.
As such, I’m skeptical that the foyer work is completed, and can proceed to pop in for to maintain checking. Each time we’ve been within the Crescent Lake space currently, I’ve popped into the foyer for one final look “simply in case.” I do not know when work right here will start, and am hoping some advance discover will probably be given. From my perspective, that is pointless. BoardWalk’s foyer is a thematic gem with quirky attraction and character.
Hopefully the foyer challenge is completed, as it doesn’t matter what Disney does right here, there’s no means it’ll have the identical persona. The foyer is already the right mixture of charming, well-appointed, and exquisitely themed. It’s not dated in a Nineties means, and is unlikely to profit from any reimagining.
I concern that any adjustments to the foyer will quantity to introducing design thrives touches that sign it’s a contemporary luxurious lodge, however are at odds with the underlying themed design. That’s already occurred at different Deluxe Resorts, with the refreshed Yacht Membership foyer in all probability being the most effective instance of the adjustments that’ll come to BoardWalk Inn.
I additionally fear that a number of the quirky (and admittedly, creepy) particulars will probably be misplaced. There’s minimal upside that may come from Imagineering messing with BoardWalk’s foyer, and lots of draw back.
If additional adjustments are made, they’ll probably substitute the carpet with one thing that alerts “trendy” (splashes of paint or broad brushstrokes) together with the elimination of whimsical particulars (creepy clown chairs) and substitute of furnishings with up to date couches from Wayfair. That has been the Walt Disney World playbook on this sort of challenge.
And actually, that’s exactly what we’ve seen occur with the reimagining of Belle Vue Lounge.
I can’t actually say I’m up in arms about this, however I don’t actually see the purpose of those adjustments. The brand new-look Belle Vue Lounge is usually a half-measure. The eclectic and extra antique-looking furnishings was changed with extra trendy and generic-looking furnishings, as was the carpet and a few objects displayed on the partitions.
I’m wondering, did this actually transfer the needle for anybody who didn’t like Belle Vue Lounge earlier than and thought it was too quaint? It nonetheless seems to be comparable; solely astute eyes are going to identify the adjustments–the precise form of visitors who’re extra discerning and recognize well-themed designs.
For me, the most important distinction is that it’s missing in thematic cohesiveness. The brand new furnishings additionally seems to be low cost and missing in sturdiness–actually like somebody went to the “common” web page on Wayfair and ordered objects at random.
To make sure, the utilization and attraction of this lounge may undoubtedly be improved, however Belle Vue does have a passionate fanbase as a ‘secret spot’ or ‘hidden gem.’ I can perceive Disney wanting to present these areas refreshes to present them new life and extra mainstream attraction, however both do it proper or don’t do it in any respect. The tasteless half-measures solely alienate, and don’t appeal to new followers.
From our perspective, a great template right here could be Barcelona Lounge at Gran Destino Tower. Clearly not in fashion–as fairly as that’s, it clearly shouldn’t be replicated at BoardWalk. That has an iconic look and does a pleasant job of embracing café society, with a day-to-night espresso bar that transitions to a Spanish-style Gin Tonic hub within the night. Granted, Barcelona Lounge was purpose-built with this in thoughts and it’s unlikely Belle Vue Lounge might be retrofit into one thing like this, nevertheless it’s the correct concept.
Then there’s Carousel Espresso, which replaces the foyer reward store.
This makes the reimagined Belle Vue Lounge appear to be a thematic exemplar by comparability.
Carousel Espresso is as bland as might be, with the one “theme” coming by way of selective coloration (???) pictures on the partitions.
This has been roasted on-line by Walt Disney World followers, and for good purpose. Whereas I don’t hate it as a lot as many individuals, it nonetheless boggles my thoughts that the design group seemed on the foyer and different areas on the BoardWalk and thought this was a great match.
Clearly, it’s bland and generically trendy. That this seems to be like one thing you’d discover within the foyer of a Hilton Backyard Inn is just a part of the issue.
The larger concern is that it’s completely incongruous with its environment. Even should you like this for no matter purpose (hey, to every their very own!), it’s unimaginable to say that that is stylistically and thematically coherent with the remainder of the foyer–or actually anything at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn.
Then once more, I hope it stays that means. I don’t wish to see the remainder of the foyer reworked to mesh with this (lack of) fashion. I’d relatively it’s the outlier and every thing else stay well-themed.
The visitor rooms at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort may undoubtedly use a reimagining. The lodge aspect rooms are well-themed and have some nice particulars, however they really feel increasingly like relics from the Nineties with every passing 12 months. As a lot as I’d personally love themed-to-the-hilt lodge rooms, there’s additionally the sensible actuality of visitor expectations, and these merely don’t comport with the ~$700 nightly worth level.
The room refurbishment is at the moment underway as of Spring 2023, and a few rooms are literally completed. We now have but to remain within the new rooms, however they really look respectable from pictures. We’ll withhold full judgment till seeing them in individual, however preliminary impressions are optimistic.
Then there are the Disney Trip Membership rooms, that are among the many dullest villas at Walt Disney World. These had been refurbished initially of the ‘modernization’ wave, earlier than Imagineering hit its stride balancing theme, performance, and high-end finishings. They’re underwhelming as in comparison with the newer rooms at Riviera, Saratoga, Grand Floridian, or the Poly Villas.
In line with the 2023-2024 Disney Trip Membership Resort Refurbishments & Building Timeline, these rooms will probably be up to date in the course of the BoardWalk reimagining. No phrase but as to timing, nevertheless it needs to be inside the subsequent 12 months.
In the end, it’ll be attention-grabbing to look at how work progresses across the promenade and contained in the lodge over the following 12 months or so. We’re massive followers of Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and hope its quaint fashion is preserved by this reimagining and that no matter modernization happens isn’t too jarring from a time interval perspective.
Nonetheless, we additionally understand that there’s lots of room for enchancment, with lots of areas which have stagnated for years and will use a shot within the arm. It’ll be good to see some new eating choices, and right here’s hoping that others are refreshed. As a complete, I’m cautiously optimistic in regards to the adjustments on the BoardWalk. Hopefully Imagineering makes use of a deft contact to carry BoardWalk into the twenty first century whereas sustaining its (final) flip of the century persona.
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What do you consider the development and adjustments coming to Disney’s BoardWalk Resort? Unhappy to see ESPN Membership eliminated, or prepared for one thing new? Suppose this reimagining will work with the lodge theme, or is it pointless? Have you ever stayed on the BoardWalk Inn or Villas in the previous few years? Do you suppose the resort is dated and drained, or nonetheless has a great look? Suppose the foyer, visitor rooms, or each want an overhaul? Do you agree or disagree with our evaluation? Different ideas or issues? Any questions we may help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even whenever you disagree with us–is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas beneath within the feedback!