Maybe you have heard of Disney’s Boardwalk, but you are wondering what to do there with little kids.
The Disney Boardwalk is full of exciting activities, delicious dining, and kid friendly entertainment. In fact, it is one of my favorite places to take my two little girls when visiting Walt Disney World!
If you are planning a Disney vacation with a toddler, the Boardwalk is a fantastic place to visit AND it can even be quite relaxing!
This post is about the super fun things you can do with your kids at the Walt Disney World Boardwalk!
- What’s the Disney Boardwalk?
- Character Dining
- Hotels near the Boardwalk
What’s the Disney Boardwalk?
Disney’s Boardwalk is a waterfront walkway near Epcot Theme Park. You can stroll up and down the wide paths while enjoying beautiful views of the lake and resort areas.
The Boardwalk is full of outdoor entertainment options for families, and you will find lots of kid friendly places to eat.
Disney’s Boardwalk may seem like its in a hidden area of the Walt Disney World Resort, but it’s actually conveniently located to many popular places.
If you are wondering how to get to the Boardwalk, you have several different options.
If you are planning to drive to the Boardwalk, you can park at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, which is one of the Walt Disney World deluxe resort hotels.
This is the easiest place to access the Boardwalk since you can walk out of the resort and right onto the walkway where you will find dining, shopping, and entertainment options.
Similarly, if you are taking a cab or a Disney shuttle from one of the theme parks, choose one that is going to Boardwalk Inn and you will be steps away from this fun entertainment district.
If you are coming from one of the following resort hotels, you can take the Skyliner from the hotel to the International Gateway.
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
The International Gateway is the entrance to Epcot that is closest to the World Showcase. You will not need a ticket to Epcot as you will not enter the park gates. Instead you will take the roughly five minute walk to Disney’s Boardwalk.
How to Visit from Epcot
If you are coming from inside the Epcot theme park, you will need to leave the gates through the International Gateway exit. Then take the short walk to the Boardwalk.
How to Visit from Disney’s Hollywood Studios
If you are inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park, you have several options for getting to the Boardwalk.
- take the boat from Hollywood Studios to the Boardwalk
- walk on the waterfront pathway
- board the Skyliner to the International Gateway stop
How to Visit from Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom
If you are at Magic Kingdom Theme Park or Animal Kingdom, look for a Disney shuttle bus that is going to Disney’s Boardwalk Inn. You can then walk out onto the Boardwalk from the resort.
Similarly, you can easily walk to access the Boardwalk from these other resort hotels:
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
- The Swan
- The Dolphin
The Boardwalk is about a five minute walk from each of the above mentioned Epcot resort hotels.
The Disney Boardwalk is full of entertainment options for visitors of all ages!
Nightlife and Bars for Adults
If you are visiting Disney’s Boardwalk at night and looking for some adult entertainment options, these are the popular bars and lounges you will find:
- Atlantic Dance Hall- nightclub for ages 21 and up
- Abracadabar- cocktail lounge
- ESPN Club- family friendly sports bar
- Jellyrolls- dueling piano bar for ages 21 and up
Activities for Kids
In addition to entertainment options for adults, the Boardwalk provides lots of activities and things to do with toddlers and kids.
- Street Performers– As you walk up and down the Boardwalk, you will find all sorts of talented people entertaining passersby. One of our favorites is a juggler who has completely mesmerizing skills!
- Musicians– Another fun type of entertainment on the Boardwalk is the musicians. We had such a great time dancing and singing along to the popular Disney hits being performed right on the street.
- Carnival Games– I believe we paid around $2 for each of the carnival games that were set up along the Boardwalk. My five year old was too small to really play the games successfully, but she had a blast trying them out. We also found the cast members to be really generous with their time and with the prizes. I’m not sure if it was because we were one of the only families playing, but a couple of the booths allowed our little one to take extra turns until she won a prize. This was a really unexpected surprise, and it made her night!
- Surrey Bike Rentals– 2 and 4 person surrey bicycles are available for rent at Disney’s Boardwalk.
- Epcot Fireworks– We love to end our nights on the Boardwalk with dessert and fireworks. You can have a great view of the nightly show at Epcot right from the Boardwalk!
If you are looking for the best restaurants at Disney’s Boardwalk, you have several different options.
These counter service restaurants are great places to stop for a quick bite to eat while you stroll along the Boardwalk.
- BoardWalk Bakery– The BoardWalk Bakery is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Here, you will find pastries, desserts, sandwiches, and salads.
- Pizza Window– This fast option for counter service offers pizza and salads. It is open for lunch and dinner.
- Boardwalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas– Quick service snacks with options like nachos, pretzels, and roasted nuts.
- Funnel Cake Cart– This quick service snack cart serves treats like funnel cake, fried ice cream, and cotton candy.
- The To-go Cart– This kid friendly food cart offers items like hot dogs, corn dogs, sandwiches, burgers, french fries, and chicken nuggets.
If you do not have time for a sit-down meal, these quick service restaurants are great options for eating on the go. My toddler loves munching on chicken nuggets and french fries in her stroller while we walk around enjoying the live entertainment.
If you are looking to dine at a sit-down restaurant at Disney’s Boardwalk, these are all family friendly options.
- Trattoria al Forno– This super cute Italian eatery offers both indoor and outdoor seating. You can choose delicious meals like lasagna, pizza, pasta, steak, chicken, and scallops.
- Big River Grille and Brewing Works– Big River Grille offers seating both inside and outside on their patio. If you have picky eaters in your travel party, this restaurant is a great option because it serves a little of everything. Big River is open for lunch and dinner and serves entrees like quesadillas, tacos, nachos, burgers, sandwiches, seafood, soups, and salads.
- ESPN Club– ESPN Club is a lively sports bar and restaurant with a diverse menu. Serving lunch and dinner, ESPN Club offers favorites like soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches, fish & chips, wings, and nachos. They also have a great kid’s menu with hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and burgers among other kid friendly options.
During breakfast hours, Trattoria al Forno changes from an Italian restaurant to the site for the Boardwalk’s character meal. Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast is one of my favorite character meals in all of Walt Disney World!
The food here is really unique and so delicious.
At this character breakfast, you can meet Prince Eric, Ariel, Rapunzel, and Flynn Rider. Each character stops by your table to chat and take pictures.
The characters also start a parade around the restaurant while you dine. Kids can get out of their seats and follow along. It is super cute and entertaining!
If shopping is your thing, the Disney Boardwalk has you covered! There are several small stores set up along the boardwalk that you can easily browse through.
Most of the stores sell Disney inspired items including clothing, toys, art, etc.
There is also a General Store where you can purchase some grocery items for your stay. We like to use the General Store to buy snacks and necessities when staying at the Epcot resorts.
The prices are a bit high as you would expect, but the store is really convenient for picking up a few items you may have forgotten.
Hotels near the Boardwalk
The Epcot and Boardwalk area of Disney World are my family’s favorite places to stay. They provide easy access to both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
These are the resorts that are within walking distance to Disney’s Boardwalk.
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
- Disney’s Beach Cluv Villas
- Disney’s Boardwalk Villas
- The Swan
- The Dolphin
Disney’s Beach Club and Yacht Club are our top pick for places to stay. These deluxe resorts have great themes, amazing locations, and awesome amenities. The pool at the Beach Club and Yacht is arguably the best in all of Disney World.
If you are interested in this resort hotel, you may like this review:
If you stay at one of these resorts, your arrival and departure days are two great times to visit Disney’s Boardwalk. If you fly in or out of Orlando mid-day, you can use the other half of the day to spend time in this family friendly area!
These are the most frequently asked quetions I receive on Disney’s Boardwalk.
Disney Springs or The Boardwalk?
Disney Springs and the Boardwalk are not really similar experiences at all. I would classify the Boardwalk as a quaint place to visit with a low-key, resort type of feel.
Disney Springs is massive and more commercialized. That being said, since Disney Springs is so big, it offers many more restaurants, bars, entertainment, and shopping options.
Is the Boardwalk worth visiting?
The Boardwalk is worth visiting if you time during your Disney vacation. If you are visiting WDW for only a few days, you may not have time to fit in this area of the resort.
As mentioned above, we like to stay in the Epcot resort area right beside the Boardwalk. If you are staying at one of these resorts, I highly recommend setting aside an evening to explore the Boardwalk area with your toddler or kids.
Is the Boardwalk kid friendly?
With the exception of the few entertainment venues for adults mentioned above, the Boardwalk is TOTALLY kid friendly. The restaurants provide great kid’s menus and many offer patio dining. The street performers, carnival games, and treat stands all add to the family friendly vibe of Disney’s Boardwalk.
Is the Boardwalk free?
Disney’s Boardwalk is completely free to visit. You are free to walk around the whole area without a ticket. You can enjoy the street performers, Epcot fireworks, and beautiful scenery all without a paying for a ticket.
Do you need a ticket?
Disney’s Boardwalk does not require tickets to enter this family friendly area of Walt Disney World.
Final Thoughts on The Disney Boardwalk
I hope this information on the Boardwalk was useful to you. I tried to give an overview and full review of the area, including restaurants, entertainment, shops, and activities.
It truly is one of our favorite spots at Disney World. The Boardwalk allows families to enjoy a relaxing, yet fun-filled time with kids of all ages!
What are your favorite things to do at the Disney Boardwalk?
Comment below and let me know!