Unless you have ventured off to find what lies behind the Skyliner entrance at the back of the World Showcase in EPCOT, you probably haven’t stumbled upon Disney’s Boardwalk.
Disney’s BoardWalk area is located behind Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and Villas, but anyone can visit this quaint quarter-mile walkway inspired by coastal cities such as Coney Island and Atlantic City.
Keep reading for our full guide to Disney’s Boardwalk including dining, entertainment, and shopping.
Disney’s Boardwalk Hotels
There are a few hotels situated right around the Disney Boardwalk which can be great choices if you want to explore the area.
BoardWalk Inn and Villas
As the name suggests, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and Villas is attached to Disney’s Boardwalk. This hotel is designated for deluxe resort guests and Disney’s Vacation Club owners. The resort hotel is themed after Disney’s Boardwalk as well, with a slight focus on the Atlantic City charm.
Disney’s Yacht Club & Disney’s Beach Club
While these two resorts are separate resort stays, they share many aspects of theme and amenities, such as the huge Storm Along Bay pool.
Both deluxe resorts offer a New England feel and ambiance. Disney’s Yacht Club is a little more of a quiet hotel and more of a formal feel with the darker colors while Disney’s Beach Club is lighter and feels more like a traditional beach house. You can just picture the sand everywhere.
Yacht Club is also the only dog-friendly resort in the area. The Beach Club is also part of the Disney Vacation Club, having its own separate space at the resort.
With several restaurants, pools, spas, lounges, and amenities, these two resorts are inviting and just a short walk to The Boardwalk.
Swan and Dolphin
The Swan and Dolphin hotels are technically on Disney property, are considered deluxe resorts, but Disney does not own or operate them.
There are a few notable differences between the two hotels. The Swan is slightly smaller and the Dolphin slightly larger. These two hotels are known for their business-convention guests, but are still great options for families as well.
The two sister hotels share pools, but the spa is located at the Dolphin. The Dolphin includes laundry facilities, whereas the Swan does not. Overall, they are both intriguing options if you want to be in the BoardWalk area without staying at a Disney owned hotel.
This is the newest hotel in the Boardwalk area, opening in 2021, and is also the most up-scale resort. The Swan Reserve does not share its amenities with the sister hotels, the Swan and Dolphin. This hotel is the longest walk over to The BoardWalk area.
Discount Disney World Tickets
Save money and have a wonderful vacation with a little bit of help from our friends at Get Away Today! They offer Disney-verified resale tickets that will be sure to save you a pretty penny. Visiting another Orlando theme park? You’ll find discount tickets for those, as well! They offer the best of the best so that you can have the vacation you and your family deserve.
Also, their wonderful customer service team is available any time of day to assist with any of your needs. They’ve been working with Disney for over 33 years, so you can always bet that anything you need will be accommodated.
Planning a trip, but don’t know where to begin? Let Get Away Today provide you with a free vacation quote! Let the team know what type of vacation you’re looking for, what experiences you want, and more. With that information and the magic of their skills, they’ll provide you with a great pricing quote for the trip.
How to Access Disney’s Boardwalk
The BoardWalk is located directly behind Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and Villas. Guests who are staying at this resort have prime access to all of the entertainment, dining, and recreation The BoardWalk has to offer.
If you keep walking along Crescent Lake, guests will hit International Gateway, the back entrance to EPCOT, Disney’s Yacht Club Resorts, and Disney’s Beach Club Resorts. The Swan and Dolphin hotels are not in the direct loop of Crescent Lake, but are also a quick walk from The BoardWalk. Centrally located, many Disney guests have access to this great entertainment activity area.
Pop Century, Art of Animation, The Riviera, and Caribbean Beach Resort guests can use the Skyliner access at the International Gateway, located at the back of EPCOT to access The BoardWalk. Once you arrive at the EPCOT station, turn right to go towards The Boardwalk Hotels instead of left to go to EPCOT.
Guests who are visiting Hollywood Studios but want to pop over to Disney’s Boardwalk are able to walk to The Boardwalk. There is a path to the right of the admission gates that leads to a path. This walk will take about 10-15 minutes. Visitors can board one of the Friendship boats that docks right at The BoardWalk. Guests can also use the Skyliner, but the transfers may take a while since you need to be on the EPCOT Gondola Track – this is not the recommended way.
The Hollywood Studios park is a great option because you can arrive on a bus to Hollywood Studios or drive to Hollywood Studios and access The Boardwalk without having to use a park ticket. Guests cannot arrive on the bus to EPCOT and get to The Boardwalk without having to scan into the park and go through security.
Guests wanting to visit The Boardwalk from Disney Springs can take a bus from Disney Springs directly to The BoardWalk Inn Resort.
Disney buses cannot transfer guests from resort to resort. You will need to get from your home resort to a park, then from the park to The BoardWalk if you do not want to risk not being able to park.
Disney advises all other guests who want to visit The Boardwalk that self-parking may not be available, unless you have a direct reservation for a restaurant, and valet parking may be the only option.
The great thing about visiting The Boardwalk Area is once you get there, it is free to walk around and explore.
When to Visit Disney BoardWalk
The Disney Boardwalk typically opens at 6:30 AM and stays open until 10 PM or later. Individual restaurants, shops, and entertainment options will have their own hours.
The Disney BoardWalk looks the best at dusk and nighttime when it is all lit up. If you can stay until the lights come on, this will provide the most ambiance for your visit.
Disney BoardWalk Entertainment
What fun things are there to do while visiting The Boardwalk? While The Boardwalk is typically nicknamed the adult’s form of fun, Disney has made sure there activities for visitors of all ages. Read on to find out what exciting activities your family can join in on.
One of the great ways to entertain the kids at The Disney Boardwalk is to stop and watch the Street Performers.
You will see all kinds of entertainment from illusionists doing fancy magic tricks to jugglers performing awesome coordination skills. There are also dancers and much more that you have to keep your eye out not to miss as you walk by.
One of the entertainment venues that you will see crowded, especially on the weekend is Jellyrolls. A dueling piano bar located at Disney! Performing pairs rotate and take requests (typically encouraged by tips) and everyone sings along!
This venue is strictly for guests 21 and up, and guests are asked to pay a cover charge when visiting. Drinks and popcorn keep guests full as they sing along to the fun classics. Jellyrolls is one of the locations that stays open later than the rest of the BoardWalk attractions.
Atlantic Dance Hall
At the far end of The Disney Boardwalk, guests 21 and over can enter this music entertainment venu. With songs featured from the 80s, 90s, and today’s hits, guests can dance or chill out after a long day in this art deco ballroom.
When you eventually get tired, make sure to take a break on one of the balconies that overlooks Crescent Lake.
Movie Under the Stars
While not technically on The Disney Boardwalk itself, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn offers nightly movie showings on the lawn. Since you don’t need a hotel reservation to attend, this can be a great family friendly activity if you are already in the area.
Disney BoardWalk Recreation
Surrey Bike Rentals
One popular entertainment (and exercise filled) adventure is the Surrey Bike Rentals. Surrey Bikes are built for 2 – 6 people. They are similar to golf carts, but have bike pedals instead of a gas pedal. The people on your bike work together to pedal around Crescent Lake. This option is a great way to see the entire boardwalk area while also getting in some great exercise. The rides do cost $25 per person.
Disney BoardWalk Games
When visiting a traditional BoardWalk, the games spread throughout are part of the ambiance. Disney also added some of these games to their BoardWalk as well. Guests can stop to play vintage fair games like Lob-A Lobster and Boardwalk Hoop Toss for a small fee.
Disney Boardwalk Inn Resort Arcade
Not too far from The Boardwalk itself is the Boardwalk Inn Resort. The deluxe resort has an arcade that is typically reserved for guests of the hotel, but as you are a guest of The Boardwalk area, you can also go and use the arcade on the resort property.
Other Entertainment Around The Disney Boardwalk
Right around the corner from The Disney Boardwalk is the Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf Course. This is a great way to spend a good afternoon of fun for both kids and adults. Kids will enjoy the Fantasia Gardens, but adults who are looking for a bit more of a challenge should try the Fairways course.
If you really want to relax, Disney’s Yacht and Beach Resort has a scenic sand area where guests can sit on the beach watching the water or swing in the chair as their toes touch the sand.
Cruise the Friendship Boats if you love the water and being out in the breeze. The Friendship boats take guests to all of the different resorts by The Boardwalk as well as Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. The boat makes a full loop, so instead of getting off at a destination, just stay on and enjoy the ride.
Disney BoardWalk Shopping
Of course, it wouldn’t be Walt Disney World property if there wasn’t a place to purchase souvenirs, snacks, and all things Mickey Mouse. The Disney Boardwalk has its own share of shops for guests to peruse and explore.
Disney’s Character Carnival
This store specializes in all things character merchandise. If you are looking for clothing, sports gear, housewares, and plushies decorated with your favorite characters, this is the first store you will want to visit.
Screen Door General Store
The General Store has many of the items you may need quickly. With a stock of groceries, sundries, souvenirs, and stationery, you shouldn’t leave this store empty-handed.
Thimbles & Threads
Thimbles & Threads is a clever name for a clothing store, and while you won’t find fancy clothes here, you will find tons of Disney-inspired clothing items because where else would you need to purchase a Disney Swimsuit? T-shirts and stuffed animals are also great finds at this clothing store.
The Wyland Galleries is worth a stop to see the illustrious prints, paintings, sculptures, and jewelry inspired by the ocean. This may be the one shop on The Boardwalk not completely decked out in Disney characters. Even if you don’t plan to buy any of the art, it is still worth it to take a quick peek.
Dining at Disney’s BoardWalk
There are some awesome eats located at The Disney Boardwalk. Guests can get full sit-down meals, to lighter option meals as well. There is dessert, bars, and more located at The Disney Boardwalk. Not only are all of the restaurants on The BoardWalk delicious, but once guests arrive at The Disney Boardwalk, it is incredibly easy to find something scrumptious to eat at one of the neighboring hotels.
Full Menu Eats
Trattoria Al Forno
Trattoria Al Forno has the best of both worlds, a delicious breakfast spread and an upscale dinner. Fresh and classic options are available for breakfast. And, this table service restaurant is a fabulous place to grab delicious pasta and other Italian classics.
Pizza Window at Trattoria Al Forno
When my kids will not eat anything else, I can always grab a slice of pizza. The Pizza Window outside of Trattoria Al Forno is a great option. Order slices or full-sized wood-fired pizzas to take with you as you experience all The Boardwalk has to offer.
Big River Grille and Brewing Works
Kid and adult-friendly food plus a microbrewery, and you have yourself a Disney dining winner. The menu is filled with American pub favorites, slabs of meat, and some healthier options as well. A classic kid’s meal with specialty drinks to make them feel as special as their parents will charm the little ones. Adults can choose from a decadent dessert or a big pint of beer.
A quick-service counter deli serving selections for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sandwiches, assorted pastries, and desserts complete this menu. Grab something savory and sweet to fulfill all those cravings.
With a name like the Flying Fish, it is easy to guess one of the main menu staples is going to be seafood. What goes great with seafood? A nice juicy steak. You can order both here at this signature restaurant serving up lunch and dinner. Kids may not fully enjoy the menu as it is a pint sized version of the adult (i.e. no chicken fingers), but if your children have the finer palates and enjoy a good steak, this may be a great family restaurant to eat at.
The Cake Shop Bakery and Restaurant by Gwendolyn Rogers
One last mention for eating, is The Cake Shop Bakery and Restaurant that is coming soon. The dining experience will be both a table service restaurant and a bakery. After viewing the concept art, we can’t wait to see what the finished project looks like!
Snacks and Treats
Boardwalk Ice Cream
Nothing beats a nice cold ice cream on a warm Florida day. Ice cream, sundaes, and milkshakes are all on the menu. The featured item to order here though is the Kitchen Sink. Scoops of chocolate and vanilla ice cream are adorned with several different toppings, including an ice cream cookie sandwich and served in a souvenir Mickey-themed kitchen sink. It is a big task to undertake eating it all, but grab someone special to share it will, and it will be a memory you won’t soon forget.
Carousel Coffee is located inside the BoardWalk Inn Resort. Guests can order from a variety of iced, frozen, and hot coffees. There are also a few pastries available like the Raspberry Danish and the New Jersey Crumb Cake.
The AbracadaBar is a magic-themed cocktail lounge. The focus is mostly the adult drink menu full of a variety of specialty cocktails. Beer and wine are also available. There are a few snacks and appetizers, but the main focus is the drinks.
BoardWalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas
This little drink kiosk is serving icy beverages to go! Alcoholic and non-alcoholic cups are filled with the best tasting smoothies, soda, cocktails, beer, and wine. Make some of your own delicious concoctions by combining a few ideas together. And if you need a little snack, grab a Mickey Pretzel or roasted nuts.
Belle Vue Lounge
Located in the BoardWalk Inn Hotel, is a 1930s themed lounge with original radio prograpms playing throughout.
Funnel Cake Cart (currently closed)
The Funnel Cake Cart is nostalgia at its finest. Funnel cake with powdered sugar, cotton candy, and fried ice cream are all served up here.
Other Nearby Disney Boardwalk Dining Options
Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Villas
- Cape May Cafe – Character buffet for breakfast and a seafood buffet for dinner. A great option for families and couples.
- Beaches & Cream Soda Shop – A fun 50s-themed table-service diner that offers standard American fare with great ice cream options.
- Beach Club Marketplace – Quick-service breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- Martha’s Vineyard – A New England-themed beach house lounge that offers typical bar drinks and some appetizer options.
Disney’s Yacht Club
- Ale & Compass Lounge & Restaurant – Offering New England comfort food and classic seafood dishes. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- The Market at Ale & Compass – This quick-service option offers standard quick-service fare and grab-and-go options.
- Yachtsman Steakhouse – Fabulous steakhouse on property
- Crew’s Cup Lounge – This lounge adjoins the Yachtsman Steakhouse Restaurant. They share the same kitchen while offering up some tasty treats and cocktails.
Walt Disney World Swan Resort
- Il Mulino Restaurant and Lounge – A signature table-service Italian Restaurant found in the lobby of the Swan.
- Kimonos Restaurant and Lounge – Kimonos has terrific and fresh sushi. They also double down as a karaoke bar in the evenings.
- Garden Grove – A popular breakfast spot offering great value for a la carte offerings
- Chill – A poolside bar that offers a number of different frozen cocktails and some specialty sandwiches and snacks.
- Java – A coffee shop that offers fresh pastries and coffee inside the Swan lobby area.
- Splash Pool Bar and Grill – The pool bar and grill that services both the Swan and the Dolphin Resorts’ main pool area.
Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort
- Shula Steakhouse & Lounge – A signature steakhouse that is themed to famous football head coach Don Shula.
- Cabana Bar and Beach Club – Signature cocktails and appetizer options served at a chic illuminated bar.
- Todd English’s Bluezoo – This signature table-service restaurant that features fresh seafood and wine.
- Fuel – Typical quick-service location inside the lobby area, offering coffee and ready-made sandwiches and snacks
- The Fountain – A sit-down table-service restaurant that offers food and ice cream
- Phins Lounge – A contemporary lounge
- Rosa Mexicano & Lounge – A new Mexican restaurant that opened in March of 2023 offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Picabu – A Taqueria that also serves as a convenience store.
Walt Disney World Swan Reserve Resort
- Amare – This Mediterranean signature restaurant
- Grounds – Coffee bar that is open all day
- Stir – A lobby bar offering specialty cocktails and some light bites
- Tangerine – A poolside bar with burgers, sandwiches, and flatbreads
The BoardWalk is truly one of the hidden gems on Walt Disney World Property. While many of the activities and scheduled entertainment lean towards an adult audience, kids and families will always have fun exploring what Disney property has to offer. Make sure to add visiting The BoardWalk to your Disney Bucket list and take that trip soon!
Ready to Plan Your Next Vacation?
Have we convinced you that you need to take a trip to see what Disney’s BoardWalk has to offer, but you have no clue where to start planning? Don’t worry! We have you covered. Make sure to subscribe to our Free newsletter for the most up-to-date planning information, exclusive deals, and news for your upcoming trip. While waiting for your news to arrive, make sure to check out these other planning tips:
- Disney World Regulars Hate When We Reveal These Secret Spots
- Best Tips for Walt Disney World for Adults 2023!
- Most Expensive Disney World Experiences & Their Prices 2023
- Best Disney World Hotels 2023 (Top Option For Each Visitor Type)
- Here’s How the Ultra-Rich Do Disney
Yes, the BoardWalk is connected to one of the Disney owned resorts. It is much smaller than Disney Springs, not offering as many entertainment, dining, or shopping options.
If you are looking for ways to fill up a large amount of time, Disney Springs is going to be the better option than The Boardwalk. There are more things to do. If you are looking for something less crowded and relaxed to do one evening, the Boardwalk is a good option.
Yes, the BoardWalk is free to enter. The activities, entertainment, attractions, and dining will cost money, but you can visit the location and walk around for no additional cost.
Yes, you can get to the BoardWalk from Disney Springs by taking a bus directly to the BoardWalk Inn Resort Hotel.
Yes, you can walk from The BoardWalk to EPCOT. The walk is about 5-10 minutes.