BoardWalk Inn at Christmas
Our holiday walk around Walt Disney World’s Epcot-area resorts continues with BoardWalk Inn. This picks up after a short walk around Crescent Lake following our evening visits to Yacht Club and Beach Club for Christmas. We’re going to start picking up the pace of these individual hotel posts since Christmas isn’t getting any further away and we’re still not even close to having our Free Self-Guided Walt Disney World Yuletide Resort Tour update completed.
As previously noted, we recommend doing the Yuletide Resort Tour in the morning before attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party starting at 4 p.m. in Magic Kingdom. That way, you don’t waste a full day of your regular park tickets. Hitting up all of the Epcot and Magic Kingdom resorts, plus perhaps Animal Kingdom and a couple of Moderates makes for an exceptional half-day at Walt Disney World.
We’ll be honest: Disney’s BoardWalk Inn has been a hit or miss option for Christmas over the last several years. A while ago, the hotel’s Bakery and Engineering Team did a life-size gazebo that featured Donald and Daisy for a few years, followed by Lilo & Stitch.
Along with that, Stitch’s Bakery Store was added, which was a miniature replica of the BoardWalk Bakery, featuring Cast Members inside the creation decorating gingerbread houses and (more to the point) selling mini gingerbread houses, stollen bread, and gingerbread shingles.
This replica was pretty much just a 10′ by 14′ wood hut covered with gingerbread shingles–nothing even remotely as elaborate as the Grand Floridian gingerbread house–but it was a nice supplement to the gazebo.
At some point, the gingerbread gazebo was cut (this was at least 5 years ago, but I’m not entirely sure when). This left only Stitch’s Bakery Store, which itself changed names over the years but always retained the same basic form of a storefront. By itself, this hut was nothing special.
It was basically just plywood covered in gingerbread shingles. It wasn’t something you’d seek out on a Christmas tour; it was the bare minimum so it’d be appropriately “themed” to sell treats in a Deluxe Resort lobby.
Fortunately, last year a miniature model of the BoardWalk’s waterfront promenade was created.
This year, an expanded version of that same “Showplace of the Shore” edible creation is the centerpiece of BoardWalk Inn’s Christmas decorations.
The gingerbread display takes creative liberties in bringing this scene to life and condenses the actual Showplace of the Shore (National Treasure Ample Hills is omitted!), but is nevertheless pretty cool.
There are a lot of little details and cool references that help bring this to life, and it’s a neat scene.
BoardWalk Bakery is the star of the show in this display, and you can peak inside to see Mickey Mouse and the rest of the Fab Five at work on various goodies and treats.
This includes a few familiar favorites that are actually served at the real BoardWalk Bakery, among other details inside.
All in all, it’s a cute display that fans of Disney’s BoardWalk Inn will appreciate, and we appreciate the self-referential nature of the display.
It’s certainly better than what BoardWalk did for a few years, but it still doesn’t compare with the glorious gazebo of yesteryear.
If this re-creation is going to be the approach going forward (and we’re fine with that), it’d be nice to see even more detail, and a fully-realized version of Showplace of the Shore, featuring all of the facades.
Nevertheless, this is a good start in returning BoardWalk Inn to its former glory as one of Walt Disney World’s elite holiday-time resorts.
Outside of this gingerbread display, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn mostly just features garland and a few oversized Christmas trees in the lobby that are adorned with vintage ornaments.
Many of these evoke amusement parks, circuses, and carnivals of a bygone era.
The Christmas decor is very much on-theme, and we’d recommend spending some time exploring the details of these trees.
Some of the ornaments are clever, and like puns come to life. (Given Walt Disney World’s penchant for puns in signs, restaurant names, etc., these details are incredibly fitting.)
In the courtyard outside between the promenade and the Inn itself, BoardWalk has a Christmas tree adorned with ornaments and lights.
This Christmas tree is significantly smaller than an icon tree and the details aren’t nearly as impressive as the Christmas trees inside the hotel lobby, but it’s fine.
Overall, even with the edible gingerbread creation, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is still one of the weaker Deluxe Resorts in terms of Christmas decor at Walt Disney World. Its ornaments are neat and on-theme, but there’s no giant icon tree (the height of the lobby precludes that) nor is there any wow-factor. The good news is that this year’s gingerbread display is a step in the right direction, and if it expands further, BoardWalk might just have that wow-factor it needs in 2019. Nevertheless, given that Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is just a short walk from Yacht and Beach Club–two must-visit resorts at Christmas–you might as well also pay this hotel a visit during your Yuletide Tour of Walt Disney World resorts!
Finally, a few plugs. First, the 2018 edition of our free Vacation Kingdom at Christmas eBook is now available for download! This free eBook is 90 pages, with 100+ photos, and tons of great tips & info for the holiday season at Walt Disney World. For more details on how to get this totally-free ebook, click here. Did we mention that it’s free?! 😉
For comprehensive tips for planning your Christmas-time trip to Walt Disney World, check out our Ultimate Guide to Christmas at Walt Disney World. For Walt Disney World trip planning tips and comprehensive advice, make sure to read our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide and related articles.
What do you think of Disney’s BoardWalk Inn at Christmas? Are you a fan of the latest incarnation of the Showplace of the Shore edible gingerbread display? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment that BoardWalk is one of the weaker Deluxe Resorts at Christmas? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
Hey it was cool to run into you guys today 🙂 my husband and I have been following your blog for a while now. Love your photos and info. Has been really informative and helpful. Coming from Australia – we really needed to maximise our time. You’ve helped us do that beautifully. Enjoy the rest of your stay. Maybe we will see you again !! Thanks guys x
Didn’t they also used to have a carousel that went up by the gingerbread house? Or am I just hazy from waking up from my 4 hour nap?
When did the gingerbread display go up? My girlfriend and I arrived at Disney World on Saturday, November 24 and spent that evening on the Boardwalk. We went inside the Boardwalk Inn to look around but we didn’t see that gingerbread display.
It went up overnight on the 25th.
I headed over there this afternoon. Sadly my pictures are a lot less impressive!
We stayed at Boardwalk the weekend the gingerbread house went up. It was so fun to walk out and be surprised with the “after”’not realizing we started with the “before” versus just assuming it was a low key lobby!
We stayed at Boardwalk last December NFC’s enjoyed the Boardwalk replica in gingerbread. It has s really adorable, like an edible dollhouse. Of course, I am a fan of miniatures so maybe my enthusiasm is not typical. But the others in our party enjoyed the decorations and lobby too. This year we are going to Grand Floridian. While the lifesized gingerbread is always impressive, the tree and decorations are such a marvel.
The gingerbread carousel at BC is truly incredible. And Wilderness Losge captures the beauty and fun if the great West. What can we say? We really enjoy WDW.
Oh, we love Walt Disney World at Christmas, too–including all of the resorts you mentioned.
The current (and last year’s) display is definitely adorable, and a HUGE improvement over what was here the previous few years. We still hope the gazebo will make a return, but that now seems unlikely. Either way, pretty cool!