Inside the Magic of Disney’s BoardWalk

in Disney, Travel, Walt Disney World

Disney’s BoardWalk, located near Disney’s Hollywood Studios, sets the stage for Atlantic City and Coney Island nostalgia in Central Florida.  The entertainment district and adjoining hotel arrived on July 1, 1996.

Replacing saltwater surf with lakeside vistas, BoardWalk’s cluster of dining, dancing and shopping recreation is one of Walt Disney World’s hidden gems.  True to its name, a quarter mile of wide wooden walkway skirts Crescent Lake’s waterfront.

Aside from a taking a few steps out the back door of Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, reaching this dining and entertainment experience is best accomplished by resort bus or via Friendship boats which make their way between all four hotels, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which are all connected via the same waterway.  Located at the intersection of E Buena Vista Drive and Epcot Resorts Boulevard, very limited vehicle parking is available for non-BoardWalk Inn guests.  A walking path also connects Boardwalk to Epcot.

Expect engaging entertainment experiences.

From a nostalgic magic themed bar to its sing-along dueling piano bar, Boardwalk offers several selections of entertainment enjoyment options. In the evenings after 7 pm (until 10 pm), BoardWalk comes alive with select street performers.

AbracadaBar

Located with the Flying Fish restaurant, AbracadaBar brings illusion into the spotlight as it pays homage to the fine art of performance magic and cleverly crafted cocktails.

“According to boardwalk lore, prestidigitators would gather here after nearly every show, often staying up all night as they attempted to out-charm each other with extraordinary tricks before gathering at the bar to conjure up new cocktails.

But then, just as soon as it had appeared, the secret lounge vanished into thin air, never to be seen again… until today!” -Disney

Atlantic Dance Hall

Art Deco décor compliments a large dance floor at the Atlantic Dance Hall.  Atlantic Dance Hall is open to guests over 21 years of age. Second story balconies provide a perfect perch for gazing over the calm waters of Crescent Lake.

ESPN Club

When live athlete interviews or sports broadcasts aren’t taking place here, ESPN club sports scores of screens (over 100) keep the action alive.  This ultimate sport’s fan’s paradise is open to teens and adults.

Jellyrolls

From atop the raised stage, a pair of piano playing performers pleases the crowd with their comedic collection of request driven songs.  From pop to parody and almost anything in between, musical requests are all but required.  Jellyrolls’ popularity makes early arrival the best bet, but be prepared to pay a small cover charge.  Guests must over the age of 21 to enjoy this BoardWalk night spot.

Surrey Bikes

Resembling a small early automobile, these pedal powered, canopied vehicles accommodate either two or four riders.  Surrey Bikes rentals can be found near the center of Disney’s BoardWalk area.

Discover delicious and diverse dining destinations

With ten taste-bud tempting possibilities, Disney’s BoardWalk boasts a sumptuous selection of satisfying food finds.  From hand-made ice cream to fine Italian fare, any appetite is easily tamed.

Ample Hills Creamery

A New York City original Ample Hills Creamery creates its own unique handmade ice cream, including several original flavor selections (Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, Nonna D’s Oatmeal Lace Ice Cream, Sally Sells Seashells, Lemon Sky, and much more).  Samples are offered, paving the way for finding just the right favored flavor and added mix-in extras.

Big River Grille & Brewing Works

Brewed on site, favorites like Sweet Magnolia Brown Ale or Rocket Red Ale compliment grill greats including barbeque ribs and gravy doused grilled meatloaf at Big River Grille & Brewing Works.  For adults (over 21), a full bar can be found within.  Children have their own “Jungle Grub” menu to choose from.  Mouth-watering meals (lunch and dinner) may be enjoyed via indoor seating, offering vistas of the brewing process, or by way of waterfront outdoor dining.

BoardWalk Bakery

Within the display case, a variety of 20 different sweet treats tempt the tummy.  Light fare (salads, sandwiches, soups), along with soft drinks, coffee or tea can be found within this shore-side bakery. BoardWalk bakery is also a great place to purchase a quick breakfast.  Menu prices range from $2.00 to $10.29.

BoardWalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas

Frozen favorites like Captain Morgan Spiced Rum spiked pineapple smoothies, frozen pina coladas or magical margaritas offer cool refreshment at BoardWalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas.   Roasted nuts and not-so-hidden Mickey shaped pretzels pair well with these brilliant beverages.  Beverages and bites range in price from $3.00 to $14.25.

ESPN Club

Enjoy the game over lunch or dinner in this casual sports-centric restaurant.   Expect ESPN Club to be busy on nights and weekends or during major sporting events. Seating is first come, first serve as reservations are not offered at those times. However, weekday lunch (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.) and limited dinner (4 p.m. – 6 p.m.) tables can be reserved by calling 407-WDW-DINE (939-3463). ESPN Club is open daily until 11 p.m.  Featured foods like chicken strips, crunch burgers, and chicken Philly sandwiches, along with mouth-watering desserts (s’mores bread pudding, Carolina buttermilk pie, and more) as well as a children’s dining options, can be found on Disney’s menu webpage for the restaurant.  Prices from $15 – $34.99 per adult.

Flying Fish

In addition to its magical AbracadaBar, Flying Fish features gourmet seafood (and other exquisite delights) prepared with fresh ingredients.  Selections like Canadian blue mussels and Hokkaido scallop gargenelli pasta pair well with the host of hand selected wines offered.  Decadent desserts and well-crafted cocktails are also on hand, adding to an already elegant experience.

Prices range from $35 to $59.99 per person (full menu). Reservations are strongly recommended (call 407-939-1947 or online); these can be made up to 180 days in advance.

To maintain its “Signature Dining experience,” Flying Fish requires guests to follow the following dress code:

“Men must wear khakis, slacks or dress shorts and collared shirts. Jeans may be worn if in good condition. Sport coats are optional.

Women must wear Capri pants, skirts, dresses or dress shorts. Jeans may be worn if in good condition.

Not permitted are tank tops, flip-flops, swimsuits, swimsuit cover-ups, hats for gentlemen, cut-offs, torn clothing and t-shirts with offensive language and/or graphics.” –Disney

Funnel Cake Cart

Choose from toppings of powdered sugar or chocolate syrup to cover this flavorful fried snack. Ice cream and soft drinks and other snacks are available to accompany the funnel cakes from this cart located near the center of the BoardWalk.

Pizza Window

Walk-up service selections served by the slice or as a whole pie include cheese or pepperoni pizza, sangria, beer and soft drinks. BoardWalk’s Pizza Window can be found near the entrance of the Italian restaurant Trattoria al Forno.  Selections at this dining location can range between $2.99 and $23.99.

The To-Go Cart

Take-out treasures like chicken fingers, hot dogs, pulled pork sandwiches, corn dogs and French fries are featured at this quick service location found along the BoardWalk.

Trattoria al Forno

Mornings at Trattoria al Forno bring “Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast.” Start the day dining with characters from “Tangled” (Rapunzel and Flynn Rider) and “The Little Mermaid” (Ariel and Prince Eric).  Reservations for this character meal may be made by calling 407-939-5277or checking availability online.

With over 60 different bottles of wine available to complement the wide range of authentic dishes delivered at Trattoria al Forno, feasting Italian style is almost complete.  Add in delicious desserts like Budino (Italian Custard with Amaretti cookie), Zeppoli or Affogato al Caffe (espresso paired with either hazelnut or vanilla gelato) and mealtime magic is achieved!

Breakfast prices range from $15 – $34.99, while dinner can cost between $35 – $59.99 per adult. Details can be found on the full menu.

Shopping

Opportunities to peruse for perfect souvenirs, coveted collectibles and artwork can be found within four stores located across Disney’s BoardWalk.

  • Thimbles & Threads sells clothing, accessories and collectible pins.
  • Screen Door General Store offers munchies, beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and collectible pins.
  • Disney’s Character Carnival contains clothing, accessories and other Disney souvenirs.
  • Wayland Galleries gives guests a selection of artwork and collectibles to purchase.

With a half mile of turn of the century ambiance enhanced with nighttime street performers, visitors to Disney’s BoardWalk get a taste of Coney Island and Atlantic City shoreline adventure. Disney’s BoardWalk also delivers on Dining, either by way of a quick casual bite or fancy feast.  Entertainment experiences like Atlantic Dance Hall, Jellyrolls, and ESPN Sports Club round out the excitement of this waterside Walt Disney World wonder.

Source and images: Disney, Wikipedia, YouTube, ITM Archives

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