Family Trip Report - 12/2 to 12/4, Boardwalk Inn

Hello, Touring Plans users! Our family recently spent a weekend at the Boardwalk Inn, enjoying Disney and attending the ACC football championship game. We had a blast despite doing very little pre-planning, and the lack of planning was a major change from our previous trip in August.

We wanted to share a trip report with comments from both me (Mom) and DS8. We’ll kick things off with a photo, but be back soon with the rest of the report!


Before the Trip: Planning (Limited!)
Mom here. :slight_smile: We had already visited WDW in August 2016 for an intense and very planned “see everything” type of tour (6 days onsite, booked 6 months out, custom touring plans for days, etc.). We never expected to be back anytime soon! But our family, in particular DH, are huge Virginia Tech football fans, and we’ve always felt that when Tech football earns a trip to Orlando, our family will go! This has only resulted in one previous Disney trip, so it is probably not as crazy as it sounds! :slight_smile: Anyway, a perfect storm of the team being good and the ACC championship game getting moved to Orlando from Charlotte meant that we were unexpectedly Orlando-bound twice in one year! For huge Disney fans like we have become, this was a super exciting development!

We didn’t officially know that VT was going to the game until one week out, which is nuts! But thanks to this forum, chat, and the TP blog, I knew I could book Southwest flights and the change them without a change fee (we could use them later in the year to do something else, if needed), and I knew I could get our deposit for a WDW resort back as long as we cancelled at least 5 days out. So I booked a room only reservation and flights about 2 weeks before the game and crossed my fingers we would not have to cancel it all. Instead, once the team locked up the division, I was buying park tickets and making FPP at the 7 day mark (which felt equally nuts to a TP devotee, but was much more fun than cancelling everything!).

2 weeks out, the Disney website was sold out of all Values and Moderates. Since it was only a 2 night trip, we decided to splurge on a water view (the only price level available, but I can’t say I was disappointed about that!) room at the Boardwalk Inn! Having only stayed on the bus line before (at CBR and AoA), we were excited to walk to parks and have access to the fun beach/boardwalk area. Not to mention it would be fun to check out a Deluxe resort, having eaten in several but never stayed in one before.

We didn’t make any ADRs, but we did reserve the Kids Club at the Beach Club for the kids for Friday night (their first request, isn’t that funny?), FPP for DH and me for Friday night at Epcot, and FPP for everybody for Sunday morning at AK. We would be in town for 48 hours, and see a football game, so it would be quick, but since we had just been there, there wasn’t much pressure to do it all again. We just felt lucky to be back!

(more to come!)


Son here. :grinning: I am going to be talking about our second day of our Disney trip.

To start off the second day, We woke up and went out to the board walk bakery. I ordered a Mickey brownie. :chocolate_bar: My sister ordered a Rainbow Sprinkle Cookie. :cookie: And my mom got a blueberry muffin. :cake:

Then headed over to a souvenir shop where I bought a plastic sword, :straight_ruler:My sister got some sparkly Minnie ears, :blue_heart: Then we ran over to our hotel pool, and we looked around. Then we went to the playground and we had a sword fight.

Then we went to a mini golf course and had a small mini golf game. The golf course was named Fantasia Gardens. I think we all enjoyed it. Here is a YouTube video of our mini golf:

Then we headed over to our arcade and played 20 dollars worth of games!

After, we went to a football game. :football: AND THAT RAPS UP OUR SECOND DAY! ENJOY OUR YOUTUBE VIDEOS IF YOU WATCH THEM!


Mom note - this got a little out of order, but this is DD11’s contribution, logging the arrival day of our trip!

Hello, people of Touring Plans! For a while, my mom and brother have been writing about the trip that we took earlier this month, and now it’s my turn. I am going to give my opinion so you can know what the trip looked like from an 11 year old girl’s perspective. Let’s go!!

Day 1: arriving at the Boardwalk Inn
Before I start this section, I need to say that the Boardwalk Inn is the coolest hotel in the world, because it’s not like a hotel at all. The whole thing is just like a real boardwalk, and instead of there just being a lobby and a restaurant and some rooms, there’s a whole boardwalk downstairs. Plus, the food was SO good, and it was really cool to have access to Epcot and two other hotels. The whole place was beautiful, and it was definitely an awesome place for kids.
Anyway, on Friday at 10:55 in the morning, our family flew to Orlando. The ride went really fast, and before we knew it, we had landed! I love the Orlando airport because, even though we weren’t going to Universal, I could still get a Harry Potter t-shirt, which I wore the next day! We had to get a rental car, which meant we had to wait for 5 or 10 minutes. Then, it was off to the hotel! When we got there, we got our magic bands, checked into our rooms, and then started to record a vlog for our YouTube channel.

Sidenote 1: Vlogging
My brother and I vlogged a lot of our trip (for those who don’t know, that’s video blogging). It was easy on our non-park days, because of lot of the time we were just walking around, but even when we were in the park it was pretty easy to find a bench and record a quick clip. If anyone is wondering whether they should vlog, it’s definitely a good idea. It also gives you a great way to look back on your trip.

The first stop was Ample Hills, my new favorite ice cream place. I got ooey gooey and it was SOOOO good. We ate our ice cream on a shady bench, and then walked over to the Beach Club. My parents were having a date night in Epcot, so me and my brother got to go to the Sandcastle Kids Club. I was really happy that we were going to get to go because I want to go as much as I can before I turn 13. Once we were at the Beach Club we had some time before 4:30 when the kid’s club opened, so we played on the fake beach. (which, by the way, was fenced off from the water). It was super fun for me, but my brother didn’t like it because it had little pieces of sticks and stuff in it.

After that we went to the kid’s club, which is the most awesome place for kids. It’s basically perfect. It has video games and toys and coloring pages like all the places like that, but a few times a generic character like a pirate or a chef comes in and teaches you something like cooking or pirate training. It’s super awesome and I want to go every night until I’m 13. Me and my brother stayed for the whole time, we were some of the first ones there and the last ones out. We got home at about 11. To find out what my mom and dad did on their date, you have to read my mom’s report!


Mom again! Here are some pics from so far:

View from hotel room (BWI 3249):

Kids on the Beach behind the Beach Club:

Fantasia Gardens mini golf (in the Boardwalk area near the Dolphin resort):

Sword fight on the Boardwalk:

Boardwalk Inn Pool:


Mom again! I wanted to tell you about our date night in Epcot, on the Friday evening we arrived at WDW!

The loop around the Beach Club/Yacht Club, Swan/Dolphin, Boardwalk, Epcot International Gateway is less than a mile. It encircles a pretty lagoon with boat service across it to Epcot IG and between hotels (there is also a canal that runs from lagoon behind the Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin to Hollywood Studios). I have read about this area on TP but didn’t really understand how it all fit together, and it is Disney genius! I love walking, and walking to Epcot and the mini golf were real treats - no rental car or Disney transportation needed. The walk was not too long for the kids, either.

Once we dropped the kids at the Sandcastle Club, we walked into the IG in 5 minutes from the Beach Club - score! The turnstiles were not crowded and it felt like our own special entrance. Our first stop was something we failed to do on the last trip because the kids were fairly boooored in the World Showcase (at least until we signed them up for the Perry the Platypus game). And that was - the British Revolution band in the UK pavilion, followed by a pint and some fish and chips. All lived up to expectations and it was fun to take the World Showcase at a different pace and explore the architecture and the things to eat and drink. The weather at sunset was just perfect, too. Equally comfortable in shorts or jeans (we got cold later, though!).

On recommendations of many of you, we tried the Grand Marnier Orange Slush and the Grey Goose Lemonade Slush in France. It was really hard not to spill these as they melted! But we especially liked the Grey Goose one. We meandered through a few more pavilions (I tried and failed to find the giant “pillar” in Morocco - next time!). We milled around the America, Germany, and Italy areas as a Candlelight Processional was seating and then starting. We did not wait for seating but could hear Whoopi Goldberg and the singers fairly well just standing behind the pavilion. I’ll mention that we grabbed a slice of pizza at the window near Via Napoli. We loved VN last trip but this pizza was only OK and definitely not very similar. We finished the circuit with hopes of a standby ride on Frozen Ever After, a ride we loved in August. No dice, though - the line was over an hour so we settled for a glass of Norwegian wine!

We had fast passes for Future World but knew we wouldn’t use all of them because we wanted to take our time in the World Showcase. We ended up using FPP for the new Soarin’, which we hadn’t done over the summer, and for Mission Space Orange. MS made me queasy last trip and I wasn’t sure I should mix it with cocktails, but it was fine! :slight_smile: Illuminations was starting, but we decided to beat the crowds out of the IG and head to Crews Cup at the Yacht Club for a few more snacks and drinks. It was a fun night for us and a testament to the Kids Club that our kids were neither bored nor sad when we picked them up at 11:30 - a full 7 hours after dropping them off! They are magicians over there (and pirates, and chefs, etc.).

Before I forget, I second my daughter’s review of the BWI. Our room was not huge, just your standard 2 queen beds and nice bathroom with double vanity. My son liked the daybed (although obviously he could have shared a queen - it was just something different). And the balcony was amazing! We have now stayed at all three levels of resort, and although I loved the location and the balcony of the BWI, I honestly would prefer a suite at the AoA on any longer trip. Yes, it’s Value versus Deluxe, but separate living and sleeping areas and two bathrooms just work better for our family (especially for half the price of a Deluxe room). Different strokes! But if anything, knowing we were unlikely to stay Deluxe again just made this visit sweeter. :slight_smile: Since neither kid mentioned the pool, I’ll say that the clown slide was awesome (and again, in perspective, swimming outside in December was awesome)! And we had a good lunch at ESPN on the Boardwalk, which was shockingly un-crowded for a football Saturday.

Coming up - our half day at AK!


I love your reporting style! It’s a great idea to get the kids to post their thoughts on the trip :grinning: Sounds like you got off to a good start, I would love to tour Epcot as adults only!
Look forward to the rest


Loving your report and hearing it from the kids perspective!

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Thanks, @AllmadhereUK and @missoverexcited (I’m feeling lots of love from the UK!)! It was fun getting the kids to type this up on Christmas Eve as a little project, but also neat to see what they wrote. I am glad you liked it! @missoverexcited, your last trip report truly inspired me as I wrote both of mine!

Happy New Year and off to finish up!


Mom here for the final chapter of our December trip report - Sunday in Animal Kingdom before our afternoon departure

Saturday night, we had attended a college football game in Orlando. It wasn’t over until after 11, and we still had to walk back to the car and drive back to WDW. So, we were dragging on Sunday morning! Still, it was nothing an automated wake up call couldn’t fix (I love these at Disney for some reason! They are definitely part of my morning routine.). Armed with coffee, and the leftover cookies the kids had made at kids’ club, we checked out of the Boardwalk Inn and drove to Animal Kingdom by around 9:45. We would only have about 3 hours in the park before we left for the airport, so our mentality was totally different than a normal day of touring. We had 3 FPP for Primeval Whirl, Dinosaur, and Expedition Everest, and we planned to ride only those rides as many times as time allowed, and eat lunch.

The kids kept up the filiming in the park, and it was a total team effort keeping the iPad from flying out of the PW car as we spun down the track. No harm done, though! We wrote that twice. There is something I just love about Dinoland USA. I have enjoyed it all three times I have been there, so I think it just must be one of my special spots in the parks! You obviously can’t tell, but I think I was grinning as I took this picture! :wink:

DS was hesitant about Dinosaur, and since it was down this summer, none of us had been on it before to reassure him. So we let DH and DD go first early in our FPP window, with thoughts of maybe returning to ride it after they did. He and I rode Triceratopspin and then waited for them outside Dinosaur. Apparently, I posted wait times for all three rides in Dinoland that morning, because on the Lines app, I have a “badge” for Dinoland USA - fitting since I like it so much! Another fun thing about touring a limited area of the park was having time to do things like record wait times. There wasn’t as much to keep track of as on a full park day. Anyway, while we waited for DH and DD outside of Dinosaur, an enormous teen tour group joined the FPP line. The Cast Members were roping off areas outside the ride to create a maze for the FPP line! It was bad luck for my getting a chance to ride it, but since DS still didn’t want to, I was happy to skip it.

We had a quick family meeting/meltdown on our way to the Boneyard to decide where to eat lunch. We still had FPP for Everest in the noon hour, and had to leave for the airport by 1, so I managed to convince/force the kids to do a Quick Service lunch at Flame Tree BBQ. Their menu has always sounded tempting when I browse menus online (I am sure I am not the only one who does that!). We had smoked pork BBQ (DH), smoked ribs and chicken (DD), a smoked turkey sandwich (DS), and the smoked chicken salad (me). I tried everything and thought it was delicious, but DD was a bit put off by the smokiness of everything. It was fun being able to pick a place with outdoor seating on a December trip - in August we were more guided by A/C than menus! There were exotic birds roaming around the pavilion, which added to the AK experience of lunch!

We zipped through the EE FPP line. I love this ride! DS tried it in August and wasn’t a fan, so he waited for us right outside. We made a quick stop at the Asia food truck with the ice cream floats (one of these days, I will make it to Tamu Tamu to try a Dole Whip with coconut rum!), and then began our walk to the exit. I was so proud of us that we were able to do a day like this, enjoy the park for a few hours even if we weren’t able to experience everything. Animal Kingdom was a great destination to do just that, with easy parking and lots of FPP availability (even seven days out!).

A quick flight later and we were in sub-freezing temperatures in Northern Virginia once again!

I hope 2017 or 2018 brings a chance to plan another trip, but I’ll be living vicariously through all of you in the meantime! Keep the trip reports coming, and thanks for all the fun and good advice!



Thank you!

What a great end to your trip!

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Thank you for sharing your trip!! Your family has inspired my DD to want to write a trip report…even though we went back in August! We went to Dinoland at night this last trip and we really loved it! I cant wait to get back to AK!! Glad you guys got to make this extra trip!!

Thanks, @Hi-Ho! Hope you get back there soon!

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Thanks for posting your trip report, I enjoyed reading it.

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How fun! Thanks for sharing.

Thanks! It sounds like you had a really good last day :grinning:
Thanks for sharing.

Thank you for mentioning the smokiness at flame tree BBQ. We’re going in June, and I really wanted to eat there, but I’m sure by lunch time we will want to get out of the heat and into the A/C! Even the best sandwich might not be worth that, and now that you mention the smokiness I don’t think I would even like it much. A/c it is!

Good plan! When we went in August it was Restaurantosaurus for us for A/C!