For most adults and families looking for an evening out at Walt Disney World, Disney Springs tends to be the big draw. However, that’s not the only happening entertainment and dining district you’ll find at Walt Disney World. If my family is looking for a low-key way to spend a few hours you’ll typically find us at Disney’s Boardwalk located in the Epcot resort area of Walt Disney World. This area fashioned after a turn-of-the-century Atlantic City Boardwalk is filled with amazing, sights, sounds and eats. Here’s a taste of just some of the amazing offerings you’ll find here:
Boardwalk Inn & Boardwalk Villas: Nestled along the beautiful Crescent Lake, BoardWalk Inn and BoardWalk Villas sit above a collection of shops, clubs and restaurants that call this bustling boardwalk home. The ambience of the resort is pure 19th Century seaside glamour. The decor is a delightful mix of nautical stripes and florals with big wicker chairs, fluffy sofas and swaying palms. The Villas offer the perfect level of accommodation for larger families, those that like to spread out a bit or those that plan to take full advantage of the full kitchens. You’ll find a range of villa options here including studios, 1 and 2 bedroom properties. Many of the rooms even ofter breathtaking views of Crescent Lake. Other highlights of this property include a fun circus-themed central pool area with clown waterslide as well as gorgeously landscaped gardens.
Entertainment and Nightlife – Those looking for a night on the town will be spoiled for chose at Disney World’s Boardwalk. Here’s a look at a few of the entertainment options you’ll find here:
Atlantic Dance Hall: This spacious hall is the perfect place to put on those dancing shoes and boogie the night away. The Dance Hall also serves up light fare, cappuccinos, espresso and cognac. The bar also pours an impressive collection of signature martinis. Guests must be 21 to enter.
Jellyrolls: This duelling piano bar is an absolute must-do while at Disney World. Here guests will enjoy the saloon-like atmosphere while tapping your toes to some quick-witted pianists that will bang out some familiar tunes and will have you singing along in no time. Jellyrolls is a perfect out-of-the-ordinary venue for those looking to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, engagement or other special occasions. Jellyrolls welcomes visitors 21 years and older with a $12 cover charge after 7 pm.
ESPN Club: Sports fans, boy do we have a place for you. No need to worry about missing that all important game while at Walt Disney World. The ESPN Club is a sports broadcast and entertainment facility which also offers a full-service restaurant right on the Boardwalk. Inside you’ll find over 100 monitors and 10×10 video projection units. The club is divided into three distinct areas. Families flock to The Yard which offers sports games, virtual reality and so much more. Then there’s the main dining area or Sports Central which is themed to look like a sports arena and serves up tantalizing treats like Chili, Chicken Wings, and our favorite at Triple Play Turkey and Brie Sandwich. Finally, there’s Sidelines where fans can access ESPN.com and enjoy sports-themed trivia games.
Dinner & Drinks: Speaking of great places to grab some grub or a cocktail, Disney’s BoardWalk has them in abundance. Here’s a quick look at the dining and drinking options you’ll find here:
Abracadabar: This Houdini-inspired watering hole serves up amazing cocktails with a twist. The bar is filled with details honoring this much-loved magician with mystifying mirrors, vintage posters and incredible props. And the cocktails, we’ll they’re nothing short of amazing. Our favorite is The Conjurita featuring El Mayor Tequila, Cointreau, Simple Syrup, Lime Juice and a big dose of magic.
Ample Hills Creamery – Ice cream is the order of the day at Ample Hills where guests get a birds-eye-view of how ice cream and mix-ins are handcrafted the old fashioned way. The magic starts by catching a glimpse of the amazing treats on offer through the promenade windows. Guests can then enter the shop and try samples until you find your perfect treat. Our favorite is the Sally Sells Seashells Ice Cream featuring Fresh and Fluffy Orange Marshmallow Ice Cream with House-made Salty Chocolate Seashells.
Big River Grille and Brewing Works – We here at Chip and Co. consider Brew Works to be one of Disney’s most underrated eateries. But we guarantee that guests who venture here will be nothing short of impressed by Disney’s very own brewpub. There’s an indoor dining room or a patio for those that prefer to dine al fresco. The menu offers savory classics like BBQ ribs, garlic mashed potatoes, hotdogs, chicken sandwiches etc. But where this restaurant really shines is the award-winning, handcrafted ales and lagers that are brewed on the premises making it the perfect place to go for a pint.
Boardwalk Bakery – Indulge your sweet tooth with a visit to Boardwalk Bakery which is a cupcake lovers haven. You’ll find an eclectic array of colorful varieties here. Our favorite is the Oreo Cupcake which is an absolute treat. The restaurant also serves up coffees and light bites but the baked goods are definitely its strongest suit
BoardWalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas – On a warm Orlando night, nothing beats strolling around a beautifully lit Boardwalk with a margarita in hand and BoardWalk Joe’s definitely delivers. You’ll find a wide array of Margarita options available. Our favorite at the moment is the Roller Coaster Meltdown which features Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, Myer’s Original Dark Rum blended with Piña Colada Mix.
Flying Fish – Sustainable fish is the star of the show at this classy Boardwalk eatery. Highlights on the menu include dishes like Blue Crab Bisque with jumbo lump crab, melted leeks, aged sherry and tarragon creme fraiche; corn-crusted wild Gulf shrimp and Tour of the Coast featuring middleneck clams, rock shrimp and ice blue mussels. This restaurant is an absolute must-do for seafood lovers.
Funnel Cake Cart – Visitors to Disney’s Boardwalk don’t have to head to the parks to get satisfy their funnel cake cravings. You’ll find a vendor right on the Boardwalk who also serves up other midway treats like cotton candy and fried ice cream.
Pizza Window – If on-the-go is more your style then there’s a pizza window on the Boardwalk where you can grab a quick slice and tuck in while you enjoy the beautiful views of Crescent Lake. Pizza is available by the slice or you can order a whole pie for the family to enjoy.To-Go Cart – Those looking for a quick bite while bar hopping can stop here to pick up everything from chicken fingers and crispy fries to hot dogs and pulled pork sandwiches.
Trattoria al Forno: In the early morning, this Italian eatery plays host to one of Disney’s character dining experiences, the Bon Voyage Breakfast. Guests can tuck in to classic breakfast dishes while rubbing shoulders wtih Ariel and Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid as well as Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from Tangled. At dinner, hearty Italian fare is on offer with regional specialities as well as an impressive Italian wine-list.
We hope we’ve convinced you to pay Disney’s BoardWalk a visit during your next Walt Disney World visit. The BoardWalk is also conveniently located just a few minutes walk from the International Gateway entrance of Epcot or is a short boat ride from Hollywood Studios. Whether you opt to make the Boardwalk Inn your home-away-from home or simply want to pop over for an hour or two, we promise that you won’t be disappointed.
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