Old Key West vs Boardwalk Inn: Best Disney Resort?

Boardwalk Reflections” by Chad Sparkes licensed under CC BY 2.0

Determining which Disney World resort you want stay in can be a tough task, so if you’ve narrowed down your choices to the Old Key West resort and Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, you’ve done well.  Still, there are noticeable differences between the two, so in this battle between Disney’s Old Key West vs Boardwalk Inn resort, I’ll help you understand how these resorts differ in terms of price, rooms, dining options and more. 

Let’s get started!

Disney’s Old Key West vs Boardwalk Inn Resort

Let’s begin by discussing Old Key West in a bit of detail.

Old Key West Resort in Paradise

If you are looking for a home away from home, check out the Old Key West Resort. You cannot go wrong with this resort as it is conveniently located to all four Walt Disney World parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom) as well as Disney Springs. 

The overall theme will make you feel like you are in paradise in the sunny Florida Keys, and the rooms have a comfortable feel that will make you want to never leave. Beautiful palm trees line the resort and add to the tropical feel. If you have a bigger party, the villas are the perfect option for you. Below is some more information regarding suites and villas for all resorts. 


The Sandcastle Pool and More

Old Key West has a fantastic pool complete with a Sandcastle slide. Guests will love climbing the spiral stairs on the inside of the caste and swirling down into the refreshing water below. Decorative dolphins provide a playful splash that you will love! 

Children always have a blast at this pool as there are many options for entertainment. The kiddie pool is conveniently located next to the sand lot that has shovels and buckets to make sandcastles. 

If that is not enough, there is a playground in the sandlot that is loads of fun. Pool games are hosted by the Disney cast members daily that are a blast for everyone. The activities include dancing, water balloon tosses, hula-hooping and many more. An arcade can also be found walking distance from the pool area.

The Sandcastle Pool will never leave you feeling bored, however there is a shaded spot that can provide guests with some down time. Hot tubs can be found here as well as a steaming hot sauna located inside of the lighthouse! For guests that need a little more quiet time, Old Key West has three leisure pools that provide a more relaxing atmosphere for adult guests. 

Whether you had a long day at the parks or you are in need of some serious lounging, these pools are exactly what you’re looking for. This resort also offers a whirlpool spa and a dry sauna as well. Guests might want to check into extending their stay prior to checking out these amenities.

Dining at Old Key West

Whether you need some breakfast before the parks, lunch by the pool, or a nice dinner to end the night, Olivia’s Café has everything you will need! Eggs, waffles, and a refreshing mimosa are offered to start your perfect day. For lunch, you will love the crab cakes and a conch flat club sandwich, and you cannot go wrong with the buttermilk chicken for dinner. 

If you still have room left, the key lime tart will make your mouth water. A kid’s menu is also provided along with soft drinks. Alcoholic beverages are available for guests 21 and over as well. Olivia’s Café will make you want to book your stay at the Old Key West for your next Disney vacation!

As stated earlier, this resort is perfectly located next to Disney Springs. Just in case you had Olivia’s café for breakfast and want a different option for dinner, Disney Springs has many places to dine. There is The Boathouse, City Works or Raglan Road, three of my favorite restaurants to choose from. If you are craving seafood The Boathouse has tasty oysters and a stunning waterfront view. 

City Works is Disney Springs one and only sports bar! You can’t ever go wrong with fried pickles, a bacon cheeseburger, and a cold beer from their large selection. For a family fun option, make a reservation at Raglan Road because this Irish bar makes everyone want to come in and dance, literally because there is an Irish dance performance at night. The fish and chips will leave everyone full but not too full for their outstanding bread pudding.

Boardwalk Inn Resort’s Perfect Location

If that does not meet your Disney vacation dream, then it is not called the Boardwalk Resort for nothing! This resort provides a true Atlantic City feel for guests from the pool to the waterfront location. The lobby encompasses this as well with its authentic décor. 

If you have plans to travel to Epcot and/or Hollywood Studios during your Disney vacation, then book this hotel as soon as you can. Disney’s Boardwalk Resort is located walking distance from both parks. 

If your vacation plans include Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom as well, Disney busses are available for your travel needs. Guests planning on attending Epcot will be walking into the France Pavilion. Be sure to check out Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure ride and have a glass of champagne, that is my favorite start to Epcot!

Dining and Entertainment at the Boardwalk Inn

The view from the water-side resort rooms is stunning! Guests can see the entire boardwalk, including both the Yacht Club and Beach Club Resorts which are directly across. A boat is also available to take you to the opposite side which is such a fun experience as well. What makes this stay so special is the entertainment that is located all around. The boardwalk has magic shows, carnival games and restaurants such as the Flying Fish, AbracadaBar, and even a walk-up Pizza Window

The Flying Fish is definitely a crowd favorite and is located walking distance right next to the Boardwalk Resort. This restaurant has a fabulous selection of handpicked wines, crafted cocktails, and a tasty dinner menu of gourmet seafood. Guests are required to attend the Flying Fish in a sophisticated attire that adds to the overall experience of the restaurant. 

If you are looking for smaller bites and delicious cocktails, make your way over to the AbracadaBar. This place will bring you back to a different time of magic as it is an extraordinary lounge. If you are too hungry to wait, you can never go wrong with a Pizza Window! Salads and mouthwatering pizzas can be ordered here as well as a tangy sangria. Be sure to complete your time at the Pizza Window by finishing your meal with a cannoli. 

At the end of your night, adults should check out The Dance Hall and Jelly Rolls. Both places are for guests 21 and up. The Dance Hall is perfect for singing and dancing while enjoying your favorite adult beverage. Jelly Rolls is located right across from The Dance Hall. It is a piano bar with spectacular music. These are the perfect places to end your night and are very fun to attend. 

You cannot go wrong with either! For a more family friendly option, do not miss the Epcot fireworks show which can be seen directly from the Boardwalk Resort. Outside of the side entrance to Epcot a fantastic view of the fireworks can be seen from the bridge. If you have time in your vacation, be sure to take a stroll around the entire boardwalk. That way you can be sure you did not miss anything. 

Boardwalk Inn Pool

Now for the best part of the resort, the pool. Aside from the amazing location, this will be your favorite spot, it sure is mine! This pool area has a vintage feel to it and resembles an old carnival. The slide looks like a red rollercoaster with twists and turns all the way down until you splash into the pool below. Decorative circus elephants can be seen around the pool that have water coming out of their trunks. There is a bar themed like a carousel with red and white striped poles and a creative canopy top. Guests can enjoy food and drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, by the pool.

For adults in need of some relaxation, this resort offers two leisure pools. Both have whirlpool spas that will leave you feeling refreshed. While you are enjoying your relaxing vacation, a kiddie pool is also located walking distance that is the perfect size for your little ones. Everyone is sure to have a fantastic time at the Boardwalk Resort!

Old Key West vs Boardwalk Inn Rooms

When choosing between the Old Key West or Boardwalk Resort, you may notice that both resorts have similar amenities, magical pool slides, amazing dining options, and entertainment that will make your stay at Walt Disney World memorable. Both options are incredible, however be sure you plan your trip accordingly, as stays at any of the Disney resorts are always in high demand. 

The average room price for one night at the Old Key West Resort is around $500, while guests at the Boardwalk Inn can expect an average $600 a night. Prices can vary dependent on the size of your party however, Disney resorts have options for everyone. 

If you are looking for a stay with five guests or more, check out the suite and villa options available at each of the resorts. The villas can range from one to three-bedrooms and provide a comfortable and spacious vacation for larger groups staying together. Disney’s Old Key West and Boardwalk Resort have both suites and villas available. The pricing for the villas can range anywhere between $700-$3,000 dependent on how many bedrooms and seasonal factors. Be sure to check and see if these are the best options for you! 

Guests planning to travel to Disney frequently should look into the Disney Vacation Club Membership. This is a points-based program available for purchase that is very convenient for guests who stay at the resorts one to two times a year. A DVC Member also receives tons of benefits offered such as dining, events and experiences, shopping at Disney stores, and for tickets as well. If this is something you would be interested in, be sure to do some Disney research!


If I had to choose between a stay at these two resorts, I would choose a night at the Boardwalk Inn and here is why. Personally, I have been traveling to Epcot more recently than the other Disney parks. The location of the resort is a factor in my choice, as well as the entertainment surrounding the resort. 

My last stay at Disney was at the Boardwalk Inn, and I enjoyed being able to walk from the resort straight to the side entrance of Epcot. This reduced my travel time and made it a lot easier and less stressful leaving the park. I very much enjoyed the entertainment on the boardwalk as well. 

Either way, you can’t go wrong with either choice.

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