There is SO Much to See at the Boardwalk
Disney’s Boardwalk area is a place to find entertainment, food, and many interesting things to do, many of which have no fee. For those who may not know, The Boardwalk is located near five resorts: Disney’s Boardwalk Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, and the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel. It is also close to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. You do not have to stay at a Boardwalk resort to enjoy the offerings on The Boardwalk.
Let’s take a look at all the great options for guests visiting Disney’s Boardwalk! We will start with the restaurants/eateries:
- Boardwalk Deli: This quick service location offers quite a selection. Guests can buy hot and cold deli sandwiches or subs and can choose from a large selection of baked goods. The deli also has salads, wraps, and more. Hours can change, but generally, it’s open from 7 AM to 10 PM. Guests can order at the deli or can pre-order their food using the mobile pick-up option in the My Disney Experience app.
- Boardwalk To Go: This is a kiosk on the Boardwalk that sells a variety of hot dogs, fries, and other fast food, such as pulled pork and chicken tenders. Soft drinks are also available here. Hours can vary, so ask a Cast Member if it’s not open when you are there.
- Boardwalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas: This is where to find a large selection of Margaritas (naturally), but there are also snacks, smoothies, wine, piña coladas, and soft drinks sold here. Similar to Boardwalk to Go, Joe’s is a Kiosk, and the hours can vary, although most days it opens at noon.
- Boardwalk Ice Cream: Here is the spot for ice cream cones/dishes (many flavors to choose from), sundaes with a variety of toppings, Tofutti (which is dairy-free), and sherbet. There is also bottled water and other soft drinks available here. There are no tables inside, so guests will have to eat their treats on the Boardwalk. Generally, the shop is open daily from 3 PM to 11 PM.
- Trattoria al Forno: This full-service Italian restaurant is open daily for breakfast from 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM. They do not serve lunch. Dinner is from 5 PM to 10 PM. Guests can eat inside the restaurant or outside on the Boardwalk. Breakfast options include Eggs, Pancakes, Bread Pudding, Avocado toast, Mickey Waffles, and sides such as bacon and breakfast potatoes. Dinner choices include a variety of appetizers, as well as pasta, salads, veal, shrimp, pizza, steak, and calamari. Desserts are also offered here. The restaurant offers soft drinks and adult beverages. There is a kid’s menu for the younger Mouseketeers. Although it is a full-service restaurant with plenty of seating, Trattoria Al Forno also has a “to-go” menu option. Additionally, a walk-up Pizza window here is available for guests from 12 PM to 12 AM most days.
- Big River Grille & Brewing Works: This is a microbrewery that also has other adult beverages (as well as non-alcoholic options) along with food. There is both indoor and outdoor seating. The restaurant is usually open from 11 AM to 10 PM; lunch and dinner share the same menu. Food choices include several appetizers as well as soups, salads, sandwiches, Mac ‘n Cheese, pasta, ribs, chicken, burgers, and fish. Big River Grille and Brewing Works has a couple of dessert options, and there are many selections on their kid’s menu.
- Flying Fish: This Signature restaurant offers premium service and top-quality food. It’s beautiful inside, with glass bubbles cascading from the ceiling and shout-outs to the Coney Island and the Atlantic City Boardwalks from long ago. Flying Fish is only open for dinner. Menu options include several appetizers and soups (lobster bisque, anyone?). The main course offerings include a large variety of fish (of course!), Steak, Chicken, and a vegan option with veggies and tofu. There are soft drinks and adult drinks, many desserts, and a kids’ menu at Flying Fish. The restaurant is generally open from 5 PM to 9:30 PM, and reservations are strongly recommended; it’s very popular.
- Abracadabar: While not really a restaurant, I am including this bar/lounge in this section. They do offer some snacks, such as pizza and fries, but the main attraction here is the large variety of drinks served. There are MANY cocktails, close to 20 to choose from. Champagne and wine are also available, as well as a number of beers. Abracadabar also has cordials, liqueurs, cognac and more. If you don’t see what you want on the menu, ask your server, they probably have it!
What else is there to do on the Boardwalk? Plenty! Some things are just for those aged 21 and up, specifically Jellyrolls, Dueling Piano Bar, and Atlantic Dance Hall. Jellyrolls is generally open from 7 PM to 1:45 AM seven days a week, and there is a cover charge. It can get very crowded, so if you really want to get in, be sure not to get there too late. There are alcoholic beverages available as well as snacks, but the main reason to go to Jellyrolls is to enjoy the music. Two pianos face each other to “duel it out,” and the pianists take requests from the audience. Guests are strongly encouraged to sing along and sometimes to dance along too! It’s a lot of fun, especially if you bring friends to share the experience with. Since the pianists make almost all requests, what music you hear depends on the crowd.
Atlantic Dance Hall is a place to dance. It is not open every evening, so be sure to check with a Cast Member for the schedule if you’re hoping to enjoy this nightclub. Guests can generally enjoy Atlantic Dance Hall Thursday through Sunday from 8 PM until 1 AM.
It’s not just a place to hear music and dance; guests are also treated to large video screens playing. The dance floor is HUGE. The music, played by a DJ, is mainly from the 80’s and newer. No food is available for sale here. Bonus: There is no charge for this club. Fun Fact: Atlantic Dance Hall can be rented out as a wedding venue! (There IS a fee for that).
Other Fun Things Offered on the Boardwalk:
- Midway Games (generally evenings only, fee).
- Entertainers such as magicians (7 PM to 11 PM). During bad weather, check the lobby of the Boardwalk resort; often, the entertainers will perform inside the lobby when it’s raining. No fee.
- Shopping! There is a row of stores, all of which have different names on the various entrance doors outside (Screen Door, Character Carnival, Thimbles, and Threads), but all are connected once you are inside. You can find just about anything you might want or need here: A large variety of Souvenirs, toys, clothing, pins, and more. If you have forgotten any sundries, this is the place to find them. Additionally, there is a huge grocery area and a display case with fresh goodies such as dipped apples and fudge.
- Promenade Fine Art Gallery: Open every day, this is a great place to view (or buy) gorgeous artwork. Both Disney and non-Disney artwork is on display.
- Photo Booth: Guests can take pictures or make custom postcards in the booths found on the Boardwalk. There is a fee for this.
- Inside the Boardwalk is a lounge called the Belle Vue. It is smaller than Abracadbar and more laid back. Fun Fact: There is a balcony off of the lounge with tables. It’s a great place to watch the Boardwalk while you enjoy a beverage.
- Also inside the lobby of the Boardwalk, Carousel Coffee offers coffee, tea, pastries, and snacks. This quick service is open daily from 6:30-11:30.
- Guests can rent Surrey bikes for an extra fee.
- Although some tables are reserved for the Boardwalk restaurants, plenty of tables are available for everyone. It’s great to enjoy a snack or ice cream sitting at a table on the Boardwalk, watching the people in the area and the boats on the water, as well as the Boardwalk itself and the surrounding resorts.
- Coming soon! The Cake Bake Shop Bakery by Gwendolyn Rogers is set to open on the Boardwalk later this year. Yum!
So, if you aren’t staying at the Boardwalk, how would you get there? If you are staying at the Beach Club, the Yacht Club, Swan, or Dolphin, it’s less than a five-minute walk to the Boardwalk. For others, there are several options:
- Take a bus to the Boardwalk Resort from any of the major theme parks at Disney World. Sometimes there is no bus option from Epcot; if so, see below. If you are not already at a theme park, take the bus from your resort to one of the Disney theme parks, then the bus to Boardwalk.
- If you are at Hollywood Studios, you can walk the path that goes along the canal and ends at the Boardwalk. It is a very nice stroll; you’ll often see rabbits and waterfowl on the way. The walk is under fifteen minutes. I happen to really enjoy this walk, as few guests seem to avail of it. I think of it as a hidden gem. You can also take a Friendship Boat from Hollywood Studios to Boardwalk.
- If you are at Epcot, you can take the Friendship Boats by the International Gateway entrance/exit or walk from there; it’s about a five minutes stroll.
- If you are at a Skyliner resort, take the Skyliner to the Epcot station and take the boat or walk to the Boardwalk from there.
- If you have reservations at a Boardwalk restaurant, the guard will let you park at Boardwalk. There is a three-hour limit for parking.
- Hire a car service to take you to the Boardwalk.
If you haven’t already been to Disney’s Boardwalk area, I hope this blog inspires you to visit. As the title of this blog says, there’s so much to do! See you on the Boardwalk!