Take a stroll along Disney’s BoardWalk and you’ll feel as if you’ve taken a step back in time. Just a short walk from Epcot, this vibrant 1940s America themed promenade stretches for a quarter of a mile around the glistening Crescent Lake, but fits in more fun and excitement than you could ever imagine.
It’s an area bursting at the seams with incredible dining experiences, unique shops and a nightlife like no other. You can hire surrey bikes and enjoy carnival games on the waterfront during the day, but it’s at night that Disney’s BoardWalk really comes to life, with excellent street performers perfectly complimenting the rest of the timeless fun to be had along the way.
Whether you’re looking to sit down and enjoy a full three course meal or just grab a quick bite while on the go, you’ll find plenty of excellent dining options on and around Disney’s BoardWalk.
If you haven’t made a reservation anywhere, then the Pizza Window and the To-Go Cart are both quick and easy counter service options, but there is seating outside if you did want to take a break while you eat. The BoardWalk Bakery is also a really popular spot to get breakfast or lunch, whether you’re after a sandwich, soup, salad, quiche or pastries. It’s so popular, in fact, that it tripled in size in 2013. Another great place to head to for breakfast is the rather unique Belle Vue Lounge. Resembling a 1930s sitting room, it serves up a delicious continental breakfast and is open in the evening as a lounge too.
For those planning on visiting Luna Park Pool, Leaping Horse Libations is a convenient pool bar to fill up on snacks after building up an appetite. And for those who prefer to watch sports rather than taking part, you’ll love the ESPN Club Entertainment, Dining & Store. It has the best wings in town and even has TV screens in the bathrooms. Be sure to make a reservation on game days though, otherwise you’ll be queuing out the door.
Big River Grille & Brewing Works is an excellent restaurant that features a real brewing factory, so you can sample a few freshly brewed beers as you tuck into one of the tasty burgers, steaks or nachos dishes that they have on the menu. Trattoria al Forno is a relatively new Italian restaurant that replaced the Greek restaurant Kouzzina by Cat Cora. And for the seafood lovers among you, the Flying Fish Cafe is the place for you, although it’s currently undergoing a full refurbishment and will reopen in autumn 2016.
Got a sweet tooth? Then be sure to visit the brand new ice cream parlour, Ample Hills Creamery. The Funnel Cake Cart is great too, if you’re looking to satisfy a craving whilst on the go. And for something a little stronger, head to BoardWalk Joe’s Marvelous Marvelous Margaritas.
When it comes to shopping at Disney’s BoardWalk, there are a number of different stores to explore; the majority of which are connected in the middle, turning them into one large shopping experience. Most of the stores sell your classic Disney Character merchandise, but there are places for clothes, groceries, games and the like too.
Ladies and children looking to get some new clothes to take home with them should head to Thimbles & Threads. You’ll also find a selection of adults clothing at Disney’s Character Carnival, alongside all the popular character merchandise. The store sells a range of golf clothing too, but for all other sport related goods and attire, the place to head is the ESPN Club Entertainment, Dining & Store.
Screen Door General Store on Disney’s BoardWalk’s sells everything from food and drink to souvenirs and stationary and even home décor. And for all other bits and bobs that you can’t find anywhere else, try Dundy’s Sundries, which is located in the main lobby of the resort.
For the avid collectors among you, Disney’s BoardWalk is home to a well-stocked Pin Station, which gives you the opportunity to buy pins to add to your collection or, on a Sunday evening, trade existing pins for the ones you don’t already have. But maybe art is more your kind of thing? In which case, you should definitely visit the Wyland Galleries – BoardWalk, which contains a number of beautiful pieces of marine life art by internationally renowned artist, Wyland, as well as other unique Disney inspired artwork.
Evenings are the best time to be heading to Disney’s BoardWalk, as this is when the place springs into action. The night air is filled with the sound of 1940s jazz music as you walk along the waterfront, stopping at all the different street performers as you go; everything from magicians to comedians and all things in between. Try your hand at the Midway style carnival games or visit the caricature artist before taking your pick out of the two main venues to spend your evening.
The Atlantic Dance Hall is the only club along the waterfront and the place to be if you want to dance the night away to everything from motown classics to the hits of today. The stunning Art Deco ballroom is perfectly lit, making it all too inviting to get on there and show off your best moves. And when you need to take a break to cool down, the balconies give you an amazing view of the twinkling Crescent Lake.
For something really lively, a night at Jellyrolls should definitely be on the cards. This incredible, over 21s piano bar is the home of the famous duelling pianos, which have to be seen to be believed. These two piano maestros can play anything – no request is too obscure. Watch as they battle it out, dazzling the audience with their amazing showmanship and be sure to have your vocal chords well lubricated for all the sing-a-longs.
Disney’s BoardWalk is definitely still worth a visit in the daytime too, especially with so many great places to shop and grab a bite to eat. But if you’re wanting to make a day of it, then Luna Park is the perfect spot to while away your time by the pool.