Take the Resort Boat/Bus to Magic Kingdom, take the Bus to the Swan & Dolphin – This actually isn’t a hard and fast rule. We usually go with the bus system here, and take whichever bus comes quicker, the Disney’s Hollywood Studios bus or the Magic Kingdom bus.
From Magic Kingdom, we take the bus again, and from Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we take the boat or we take the walking pathway. If you take the boat, get off at the Swan & Dolphin, which is the first stop (and only a 5 minute walk to BoardWalk, which is the last stop).
Make a point of checking out the lobbies of the Swan & Dolphin, to start. These hotels have some pretty impressive trees and other decorations, too. They proclaim themselves “Santa’s Favorite Resort” and while we aren’t sure about that proclamation, they do have some cool stuff. There’s an edible display, a large poinsettia Christmas tree, meet & greets, and other fun.
From there, it’s on to Disney’s BoardWalk Inn…
BoardWalk has a nice tree outside that is taller than a normal tree you’d find inside, but is still significantly shorter than one of the 9 icon trees. It’s a cute tree, but nothing spectacular.
I’m also not a huge fan of the cool blues of these (and other) LED lights around Walt Disney World. If Walt Disney World is going to use LED lights, they should go for lights with warmer colors. LED blues are just too overpowering, I think.
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn typically does a gingerbread display that recreates a condensed version of the promenade along the water at the resort.
You’ll see an edible version of BoardWalk Bakery, Flying Fish, ESPN Club, and a ton of cute details in this edible creation. It’s really neat, and although it’s not as cool as the full-size gazebo that used to grace the BoardWalk Inn lobby at Christmas ‘back in the day’, it’s better than what the resort had been doing for the previous few years.
Fortunately, the trees and garland inside by the fireplace are still beautiful and very tastefully done.
A bit of a lackluster “Happy Holidays” photo spot when you compare it to the grandiose icon trees in other Deluxe Resort lobbies, but pretty nonetheless.
The details on the trees are worth pausing for a closer look, as the ornaments are on-theme and charming. This is one thing about the smaller trees as opposed to the tall, icon trees that I’ve noticed. While the icon trees will stop you in your tracks as you approach, the oversized ornaments usually are as cool upon closer inspection. By contrast, smaller trees typically have a lot of detail in their ornaments.
The already beautiful lobby really comes alive at Christmas, and the decorations perfectly fit the turn-of-the-century boardwalk theme. Still, this is one of the weaker Deluxe Resorts at which we’ll stop on this tour. We stop here because it’s an easy diversion, and worth seeing given the minimal effort.
Walk from Disney’s BoardWalk Inn to Disney’s Beach Club Resort – Disney’s Beach Club is Sarah’s favorite resort at Christmas, but not because they have any extravagant display. The one edible display the resort features is pretty cool.
For Christmas 2021, this is an carousel with horses themed to the Little Mermaid. It’s already installed for those getting an early start on the holiday season. This hand-crafted carousel confection, features chocolate and fondant ponies, as well as hand-crafted snowflakes, a gingerbread castle, and a bunch of other details.
Just as cool as the carousel is the aquatic decor found throughout the resort. The ornaments are gorgeous and the color palettes look really good against that of the resort. In addition to the main lobby of Beach Club, we also highly recommend taking the path behind the resort to the Beach Club Villas. The decorations in there are different and smaller scale, but there’s still plenty of aquatic awesomeness.
The next one is a nice change of pace, and you don’t even have to go outside to get there!
Walk Next Door to Disney’s Yacht Club Resort – The Beach Club’s “sibling” resort, the Yacht Club always has a more refined atmosphere as opposed to the Beach Club’s playful and lighthearted feel.
This is no different at Christmas, when the star of the Yacht Club’s Christmas display is a meticulously crafted Christmas village featuring a working train. Meticulous is almost an understatement for this Christmas village.
I think it’s somewhat comparable to the train set in Germany at Epcot with regard to the sheer intricacy and ornateness of all the little details. The tree and wreaths at Yacht Club are also very neat, as they are themed with boats and other nautical items.
This covers it for the easy-to-reach Epcot and Magic Kingdom Area Resorts, and honestly, if you hit these resorts, you’re really seeing the very best of the hotel decorations at Walt Disney World. However, on page 3, we cover some of the hidden gems–plus one notable highlight–and what you might find if you continue on the tour…
Continue reading about the other Walt Disney World Resorts at Christmas on Page 3