Dueling pianos? A magic-themed cocktail bar? Most guests to the Walt Disney World Resort know at least a little bit about Disney Springs, but some don’t know much about Disney’s Boardwalk Inn. This Disney deluxe resort also features one of the most fun areas on property, modeled after the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
There, you’ll find some fabulous Disney Boardwalk Restaurants, as well as shops, bars, and entertainment. If you are looking for something a little different on your next Walt Disney World vacation, definitely spend some time at Disney’s Boardwalk. Even if you aren’t staying at the Boardwalk Inn resort hotel, you can still visit the Boardwalk at no cost.
Disclosure: I am a past member of the Disney Parks Moms Panel. I have experienced the Boardwalk during press trips (at no/limited cost) as well as personal trips (at my expense). All thoughts are my own.
All About Disney’s Boardwalk: Restaurants, Resort, and Entertainment
Location of Disney’s Boardwalk
Disney’s Boardwalk and Boardwalk Inn is located in the Epcot resort area between Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot’s World Showcase. It’s centrally located if you are planning to visit those two parks, because you can either walk or take a boat to either location.
In addition, it’s near the Swan and Dolphin, as well as the Beach and Yacht Clubs. If you are staying at either of those resorts, definitely plan to visit the Boardwalk, whether it’s for dinner or for activities. It’s an easy walk, and there’s also a boat that travels between Epcot and Hollywood Studios that stops at each of the resort areas.
Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Resort Hotel
While the Boardwalk does feature bars, shops, and restaurants, there is also a deluxe Disney resort and DVC property that’s the centerpiece of the area. The Boardwalk Inn offers several room types including standard view, water view, and garden view rooms. Club level rooms are also offered.
I’ve stayed at the Boardwalk Inn on one occasion, and really enjoyed it. While I was initially worried that the rooms may be loud due to the activity on the Boardwalk, I found that my room was quiet when I stayed there. Rooms offer comfortable beds, a coffee maker, a refrigerator, a hairdryer, and complimentary WiFi. It’s in the deluxe room category at Walt Disney World.
Disney’s Boardwalk Inn offers the same amenities that you’ll find at the other deluxe resorts, including a pool with waterslide, surrey bike rentals, tennis courts, an arcade, a self-service laundry room, valet parking, and a fitness center. It’s also a fabulous place to stay due to its location near both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You can also walk to Disney’s Fantasia Gardens miniature golf course. You’ll have all of the Disney Boardwalk restaurants as dining options, but you’ll also be near the restaurants at the Swan and Dolphin, the Yacht and Beach Clubs, and Epcot’s World Showcase.
Disney Boardwalk Restaurants
There are several different Disney Boardwalk restaurants and bars. If you love dining at the Walt Disney World Resort, you’ll find that the Boardwalk area contains a nice concentration of restaurants. For the table service restaurants, you’ll want to make advance dining reservations because they can be popular.
Our favorite Disney Boardwalk Resort is the Flying Fish, which was recently renovated. Offering delicious seafood and steak, this restaurant is in the signature restaurant category, so there is a minimum dress code. Like the other Disney restaurants (with the exception of Victoria and Albert’s) it’s also kid-friendly. We’ve visited a number of times with our children and they’ve always enjoyed it.
Adjacent to the Flying Fish is AbracadaBar, which offers delicious, unique cocktails. It’s a magic themed lounge, and is such a fun new bar. Try Pepper’s Ghost, which is one of the best alcoholic drinks I’ve ever had.
Love Italian food? One of the newer restaurants is Trattoria al Forno, which offers authentic Italian cuisine as well as Italian wines. For breakfast, Trattoria al Forno hosts a popular character breakfast called the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast. There, you’ll see characters from Tangled and The Little Mermaid like Ariel, Prince Eric, Rapunzel, and Flynn Rider. Characters are only at the breakfast, however, so plan accordingly.
There’s also the Big River Grille & Brewing Works, a micro-brewery and restaurant that is also family friendly. At the Big River Grille, you’ll find sandwiches, burgers, ribs, chicken, and so much more.
Sports fans will enjoy visiting the ESPN Club. This table service restaurant has over 100 video monitors and is a popular destination on game day. Entrees include fish and chips and burgers, and the restaurant does have a kids’ menu. Because of the popularity during game days, they only accept reservations for lunch on weekdays, but not for dinner or at all on weekends. Seating is first-come, first-serve, and be sure to arrive early if a popular game is on.
There are also several different Boardwalk quick service locations. These include the Boardwalk Bakery, Boardwalk Joe’s Magnificent Margaritas, Ample Hills Creamery, a Funnel Cake cart, and a pizza window. These are great for a quick snack or drink while exploring the Boardwalk area.
Disney Boardwalk Entertainment
When I’m on an adult trip to Walt Disney World, I love visiting the Boardwalk area. There’s so much entertainment and other things to do.
In the evening, you can enjoy a visit to Jellyrolls, featuring dueling pianos. There’s also the Atlantic Dance Hall nightclub, which hosts limited events. AbracadaBar, the newest bar on the scene, is my new favorite.
For kids, you can enjoy midway games, an arcade, and surrey bike rentals. There are also shops on the Boardwalk – the gift shop there is one of my favorite souvenir shops.
If you aren’t staying near the Boardwalk, it can be a bit challenging to get there. It’s best to take a bus to the hotel, but that may not be as easy if you are arriving from another resort. If that’s the case, you’ll need to take transportation to a park, and then walk or take the boat to the Boardwalk.
Parking is offered at the Boardwalk, but is subject to availability. Sometimes, valet is the only option. If you are traveling for breakfast, I’d recommend taking an Uber, Minnie Van, or cab if possible, so you don’t have to wake up too early to take resort transportation.