A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to tour some of the event space at Disney World. As I’ve mentioned a few times on this blog, I’m intrigued by Disney from a purely hospitality standpoint (intrigued sounds better than obsessed, right?). While most people think of the theme parks as the most exciting place to hold an event, the bulk of available space within Disney World is actually in its resort hotels, which have tons of fun details that enhance the environment.
Epcot is my favorite Disney park, and I was excited to see some different options for hosting an event within Epcot. But right outside of Epcot are the Epcot area resorts and there are a few different event spaces, including my favorite: The Attic at the Boardwalk Inn.
The Epcot Area resorts include the BoardWalk Inn and the Beach and Yacht Club Resorts, plus the Dolphin and the Swan (which are owned by Starwood, not Disney, so they don’t have all of the same on-site benefits as Disney owned resorts). All of these resorts are located within walking distance of Epcot and Hollywood Studios (which I still call MGM). So these resorts would be my first choice of accommodations were money no object since they are all in the “deluxe” category – the rack rate for a standard room at the BoardWalk Inn is $405/night.
The deluxe resorts are the most themed of the Disney hotels, and Disney takes the little details very seriously. The theme of the BoardWalk Inn is turn-of-the-century Atlantic City. There is an actual boardwalk and the resort is on Crescent Lake. The boardwalk itself has carnival games and entertainers which add to the charm.
The BoardWalk Inn has a conference center with 20,000 square feet of meeting space on one level, including the 10,000 square foot Promenade Ballroom. The decor is very whimsical, which may not be appropriate for your meeting, but is a breath of fresh air compared to most ballrooms.
The space that I really loved though was The Attic. The Attic is in the main hotel building. It is a bit challenging to get there, it is quite a hike from the elevator which might be a deal breaker if your guests were older or not as mobile. But once you arrive, you find a small little room filled with charm. The room itself is small, maximum capacity is 50 guests, but there is an adjacent covered porch which gives you some room to spread out if the heat isn’t too overbearing (which can be a problem in Orlando). The Attic has views of Crescent Lake, the boardwalk and Epcot.
Wouldn’t you love to watch the Epcot fireworks from here?
The existing furniture on the patio is wicker, indoors it’s covered upholstered chairs. There’s an indoor bar that can be used for your event. The rooms are filled with antiques that fit the turn-of-the-century theme, such as carousel horses.
The pros of the space are its charm and the Disney details. The cons are that it’s out of the way and difficult to find (I would recommend using lots of signage if I were hosting an event). There’s also only one bathroom which isn’t too much of an issue since the capacity is so small, but still isn’t ideal.
I think this space would be perfect for a bridal or baby shower – it would be perfectly on theme and you wouldn’t have to add to the existing decor. It would also be nice for a small, intimate wedding (remember, only 50 guests). Corporate events might be a good fit for the space, depending on how the guests took to the theme of the space. The proximity to Epcot is definitely a huge plus.
Check back later today for my post on event space at the Grand Floridian Resort.