This hotel was designed to be reminiscent of the boardwalks that were famous along Atlantic City and Ocean City, New Jersey in the 1920s–1940s. The sherbet-colored façades, flagged turrets, striped awnings, and "Keister Coaster" water slide resembling a wooden roller coaster were all inspired by that by-gone era.
Disney's BoardWalk Inn offers three swimming pools. The main pool, located in the Luna Park themed area, is open to all family members and is considered the family pool. The "Keister Coaster", a 200-foot (61 m)-long water slide, is located at the south end of the main pool. The "Keister Coaster" is an amusing slide in that the end of the slide is a clown's face, which represents the clowns on the Atlantic City boardwalk, though this clown face was removed in October 2020 during a refurbishment. There is a quiet pool located just south of the main pool, and another is located at the east side of the property. Other recreational activities include watercraft rentals, tennis courts, fishing, bike rentals and a biking/jogging trail, an arcade, and an exercise room.
On June 29, 2000, a waiter and a child were held hostage by the child's father in a hotel room over domestic issues. During the hostage situation, guests were evacuated and were given alternative accommodations in the resort. The man released the both the waiter and the child and handed himself to the authorities in the early hours of the same day.