The number of attractions and features of Disney World can sometimes feel so overwhelming that it’s easy to forget that you don’t have to just go to the theme parks for fun! Disney’s BoardWalk space, located between EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, is a great alternative if you’re looking to enjoy a magical night that’s more about ambiance than thrills.
What is Disney BoardWalk?
Disney’s BoardWalk is a unique entertainment, dining, shopping, and hotel district about a quarter-mile long. With a design that was inspired by New York City’s famous Coney Island district, visitors can enjoy a fun walk down the actual boardwalk, with street performers, games, dueling pianos, and other unique features that will compete for your attention.
The district also includes the Atlantic City Dance Hall, multiple Disney BoardWalk restaurants, including a brewery, personal transportation rentals such as Surrey bikes, shopping, the Boardwalk bakery, and arcades.
What Hotels are on the Disney BoardWalk?
There are several hotels that connect to — or are nearby — the Disney BoardWalk, making this area one of the most walkable spaces in all of Disney World.
The closest hotel is Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and Villas, which is designated as a deluxe resort hotel for guests interested in receiving top-flight accommodations at Disney World. In addition, the resort connects directly to many BoardWalk restaurants, shops, and other attractions, making the Disney BoardWalk Inn and Villas one of the more versatile hotel locations in all of Walt Disney World.
Across from the BoardWalk’s location on Crescent Lake are two more resorts: Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and Disney’s Beach Club Resort. These two deluxe resorts offer a New England-style arrangement with marinas, pools, spas, Belle Vue Lounge, and multiple water amenities for fun and transport.
Nearby the BoardWalk are two of the area’s more iconic resorts, the Swan Hotel and the Dolphin Hotel. The Swan is a coral-colored resort that employs Renaissance-style elegance with beautiful views of waterfronts. Across the water is the sister hotel, the Dolphin, offering similar accommodations and style marked by its distinct triangular exterior design. Also nearby is the Swan Reserve, a new hotel addition. Disney considers the Swan, Swan Reserve, and Dolphin to be “other deluxe hotels,” meaning they offer deluxe resort amenities but are not actually operated by Disney.
All of these resorts are within walking and boating distance of EPCOT, and visitors can also quickly access Disney’s Hollywood Studios through similar transportation.
Looking to stay at a hotel along or near the Disney BoardWalk? Or perhaps somewhere else at Walt Disney World? Whatever your dream vacation looks like, the Disney experts at The Vacationeer can provide completely free help planning your trip!
These Diamond-level Earmarked Authorized Disney Vacation Planners can do everything from hotel and dining reservations to ground transportation and theme park tickets. Just let them know what you’re looking for, and they’ll do the rest!
Your trip won’t cost anything more than if you’d booked it yourself — and it might even cost less! They can set up a payment plan for your trip, in which you pay a small deposit and then make payments along the way.
Disney’s BoardWalk Restaurants
Several restaurants and eating options at Disney’s BoardWalk offer mainly American food, but there’s one Italian dining spot as well.
Table Service Restaurants
Let’s begin with the restaurants that offer sit-down service for guests:
Big River Grille and Brewing Works: This is your spot if you want to enjoy an American-style pub. The menu features shareable appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and other grilled protein options. Still, the highlight is that Big River is Disney’s only working microbrewery. As a result, adults can enjoy a variety of award-winning craft beers while sitting indoors or enjoying waterfront views on the patio. Meal prices range from $15 to $35.
Flying Fish: Guests who want a fine-dining experience on the BoardWalk should visit this restaurant that offers seasonal seafood and steak entrees. The Flying Fish staff emphasizes offering a premium experience for guests, including a diverse wine and cocktail menu, an evolving entree selection designed by the chefs, and a dress-to-impress style requirement for customers. In addition, guests can see the chefs at work with an open kitchen within the restaurant. Since the Flying Fish is the BoardWalk’s only fine-dining establishment, you should expect to pay between $35 to $60 per entree.
Trattoria al Forno: Welcome to the BoardWalk’s Italian restaurant, as the Trattoria explores all aspects of the country’s unique food. Dinner entrees include fried calamari, authentic flat-bread pizza, lasagna, and chicken parmesan, with a wide selection of Italian wines. The restaurant is also open for breakfast, offering fennel sausage, poached eggs, open-faced omelets, and more. The pricing is just as good as the meals, with entrees in the range of $15 to $35.
If you’re looking to just relax with a drink on the BoardWalk, head on over to the AbracadaBar, Disney’s magic-themed cocktail lounge. The bar does offer some appetizers like fries and pizza if you’re hungry, but the headline here is the adult drink menu, offering a variety of cocktails in the $13 to $18 range. Beer and wine are also available.
Quick Service Restaurants
The BoardWalk also offers a few quick service eateries with pricing of $15 and under, including:
BoardWalk Deli: Stuffed sandwiches and deli meats galore.
BoardWalk Ice Cream: Sweet treats and sundaes can be found here.
BoardWalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas: Unique drinks with a handful of snack foods like pretzels and nachos.
Pizza Window: Grab a single slice or a whole pie, with Italian salads also available.
The To-Go Cart: Stop on the BoardWalk for some street meats, including hot dogs, chicken breast nuggets, pulled pork sandwiches, and more.
Disney’s BoardWalk Shopping and Entertainment
There are a few stores located on the BoardWalk, located a few steps away from the Friendship Launch Dock:
Disney’s Character Carnival: This store stocks Disney apparel and accessories, houseware items, pins, and spirits.
Screen Door General Store: This is the shop if you’re looking to stock up on food and spirits. The General Store also stocks pins.
Thimbles and Threads: This shop includes Disney apparel and accessories, as well as those coveted Disney pins.
Wyland Galleries of Florida: Here is where you can browse and buy high-end art and collectibles.
You can also enjoy other fun and recreational activities at Disney’s BoardWalk.
Atlantic Dance Hall: Located at the west end of the BoardWalk, this entertainment venue plays music from the 80s, 90s, and today within this art deco ballroom. The Atlantic Dance Hall also has beautiful balcony views of the water if you need a break from the groove. Guests must be age 21+ to enter.
Jellyrolls: This popular music bar offers nightly entertainment with dueling pianists who take audience requests. Jellyrolls is found near the Atlantic Dance Hall on the west end of the BoardWalk. Guests must be age 21+ and pay an admission fee.
Finally, you can expect to see various individual entertainers and games along the outdoor BoardWalk, helping visitors transport themselves back when they walk down their favorite carnival midway.
Traveling To and From the Disney BoardWalk
Can you get to EPCOT from the BoardWalk?
The BoardWalk is so close to EPCOT that you can stroll on over without getting into a car, boat, or any other vehicle. In fact, you can enter EPCOT with a valid park admission through the International Gateway (World Showcase) entrance near the BoardWalk. It’s only about a 10-minute walk between the BoardWalk and the EPCOT side entrance, about a half mile in length.
Guests can also take a water taxi from the BoardWalk to EPCOT and back again.
Can you get to Hollywood Studios from the BoardWalk?
While it’s a little farther than EPCOT, guests can still walk 15-20 minutes south from the BoardWalk to reach Hollywood Studios via the EPCOT Resorts Hollywood Studios Connector pathway. It’s just under a mile in distance. So there are bus options to EPCOT or Hollywood Studios. You can also board a boat at the Friendship Launch Dock on the BoardWalk that can transport you to Hollywood Studios.
How do I get to Disney BoardWalk?
Almost all Disney transportation options, including bus and boat, can be used to travel to the BoardWalk. The BoardWalk’s close proximity to EPCOT means that you can also use the Monorail and Skyliner transports to access the BoardWalk if you don’t mind a little more walking.
If you have a car, limited visitor parking is available at the BoardWalk Inn. But, of course, you’ll have access to the resort parking lots if you actually stay at the BoardWalk Inn.
Can I take the Skyliner to BoardWalk?
The Disney Skyliner aerial gondola system does not officially stop at the BoardWalk or the BoardWalk Inn. However, the EPCOT station at the International Gateway is only a short walk away from the BoardWalk, so you can use the Skyliner to access the district.
Does Disney BoardWalk have Monorail?
The Disney Monorail does not stop at the BoardWalk or Disney’s BoardWalk Inn.
The closest the Monorail comes is at the EPCOT station near the main entrance to the theme park. Suppose you have a valid admission pass to EPCOT. In that case, you can walk through the park from the Monorail station and access the BoardWalk through the International Gateway entrance and exit. The walk is about one mile and can only be made during theme park operating hours.
Can you park at Disney BoardWalk and walk to EPCOT?
Disney BoardWalk parking lots are gated with security and are primarily for registered Guests staying overnight — or those with dining reservations. During some slower seasons, you might also be allowed to park to visit the district without reservation, but don’t count on it. If you do get in, pricey valet parking might be your only option. So, while visitors who park at the BoardWalk Inn lots could physically walk through the BoardWalk and access EPCOT through the International Gateway entrance, it’s not a viable option to use solely for the purpose of theme park parking.
Can you walk from Disney BoardWalk to Disney Springs?
No — we recommend taking vehicular transport (car, bus, or shuttle) from the BoardWalk to Disney Springs, which is a little over two miles away. You could theoretically hoof it there, but between the Florida sun, mileage, and no actual walkable path, we suspect you’d soon be a miserable Disney guest.
Disney BoardWalk FAQs
Can you go to the Disney BoardWalk for free?
Disney’s BoardWalk itself is absolutely free of charge and open to the public, including non-guests. However, the entertainment venue Jellyrolls has an admission charge. Therefore, you’ll need a valid admission ticket to enter any nearby theme parks.
Which Disney BoardWalk Shops have Disney Pins?
You can buy Disney pins at the Character Carnival, Screen Door General Store, and Thimbles and Threads.
Can you see fireworks from the Disney World BoardWalk?
Visitors will be able to see portions of Disney firework shows, such as EPCOT’s “Harmonious” (and possibly even Magic Kingdom’s “Enchantment”), from the BoardWalk. However, if you’re watching from the BoardWalk, it’s good to have a mindset that the fireworks are an added bonus and not a main attraction; there are better views of these shows around the Disney parks themselves.
Are Disney Springs and Disney BoardWalk the same?
No, Disney Springs and the BoardWalk are two completely separate destinations at Walt Disney World Resort. Disney Springs is a comprehensive entertainment, dining, and shopping district that rivals the size of one of the theme parks. The BoardWalk might be similar in the description but significantly condensed, with only a handful of shops, venues, and restaurants compared to the hundreds of vendors, dining, and attractions available at Disney Springs.
Is Disney BoardWalk worth visiting?
It depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a variety of attractions and entertainment or are ready to do damage to your credit cards with a big shopping day, you’ll find that Disney Springs is much more your speed. However, if you’re interested in having a relatively calm or romantic night at Disney World, the BoardWalk will provide you with fine dining, ambiance, and social entertainment and recreation.
What are Surrey bikes?
These two- and four-person bikes are built like golf carts but in bike form; the pedals are the only thing stopping you from going full Flintstones! Disney’s Surrey Bike rentals are another way visitors can get around outside the theme parks and Disney resorts.
Surrey bikes are for all ages and can be rented at the BoardWalk for a fee.
Ready to Book Your Walt Disney World Trip?
The Disney travel experts at The Vacationeer are happy to provide free help planning your Walt Disney World vacation.
From making hotel and dining reservations to securing theme park tickets and creating a day-by-day itinerary, they’ll help you have the best possible Disney vacation.
There’s never any obligation to book, and they don’t charge anything for their planning services — get your FREE quote today!