Unbelievably Fun Things to Do at Disney’s Boardwalk

Maybe you have heard of Disney’s Boardwalk, but you are wondering what exactly to do on your visit to this hidden gem at Walt Disney World. The Disney Boardwalk is full of exciting activities, delicious dining, and fun entertainment for both kids and adults. In fact, it is one of our favorite places for my family and I to visit when vacationing at Walt Disney World!

If you are planning a Disney vacation, the Boardwalk is a fantastic place to visit, AND it can even be quite relaxing! With it’s beautiful scenery, low crowds, and unique attractions, Disney’s Boardwalk will leave you coming back for more. So, continue reading below to find out all about the super fun things you can do at the Walt Disney World Boardwalk!

Disney’s BoardWalk

Disney’s Boardwalk is an entertainment district near Epcot Theme Park. You can stroll up and down the wide paths while enjoying beautiful views of Crescent Lake and the resort areas. While the Disney Boardwalk is home to two popular Disney resorts, the Boardwalk Inn and the Boardwalk Villas, it also sits close to even more Disney hotels, restaurants, shops, and activities.

Disney Boardwalk lit up at night
View of Disney’s Boardwalk Resort from across Crescent Lake

The Boardwalk is full of outdoor entertainment options for families, and you will find lots of kid friendly places to eat. It’s also a fun place to visit on an adults-only trip to Disney World. We highly recommend visiting Disney’s Boardwalk while at the Walt Disney World Resort as it’s rarely busy. Plus, as you can see from the photo above, the Boardwalk is absolutely beautiful when lit up at night.

Fun Things to Do at the Disney Boardwalk

The Disney Boardwalk is full of entertainment options for visitors of all ages! Whether you’re looking for clubs to dance the night away or more adventurous activities like renting bicycles, the Disney Boardwalk has something to offer. These are some of our favorite things to do at the Disney Boardwalk:

Enjoy 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
  • Jellyrolls- dueling piano bar for ages 21 and up

Watch Street Performers

During the evening hours, you can often find street performers like jugglers and musicians providing free entertainment on the Boardwalk.

Play Carnival Games

Disney’s Boardwalk offers several stands with carnival games that kids love to play. I believe we paid around $2 for each of the games.

Disney Boardwalk Carnival Game
Carnival Games at Disney’s Boardwalk

My girls were a bit too small to really play the games successfully, but they had a blast trying them out. We also found the cast members to be really generous with their time and with the prizes.

Boardwalk Carnival Game
More Carnival Games at the Disney Boardwalk

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!

Rent Surrey Bikes

Two and 4 person surrey bicycles are available for rent at Disney’s Boardwalk. You can ride them around the lake while taking in views of the surrounding resort hotels and Epcot.

View Epcot Fireworks

We love to end our nights on the Boardwalk with dessert and fireworks. You get a great view of the nightly fireworks show at Epcot right from the Boardwalk!

Dine at One of the Many Restaurants

The Disney Boardwalk is home to lots of dining options no matter your tastes. From sit down restaurants to quick service options to dessert shops, you definitely won’t go hungry on the Boardwalk.

Ride the Friendship Boats

Visitors can ride the water taxis on Crescent Lake for free during their visit. You can ride to Epcot, the Yacht Club, the Swan and Dolphin, and even Hollywood Studios.

BoardWalk Restaurants at Disney World

If you are looking for the best restaurants at Disney’s Boardwalk, you have several different options. My family and I love dining at the table service restaurants as they offer small outdoor patios with views of Crescent Lake. We also enjoy grabbing to-go items to enjoy while strolling on the Boardwalk.

Quick Service Restaurants

If you do not have time for a sit-down meal, these quick service restaurants are great options for eating on the go.

Boardwalk to go cart

My toddler loves munching on chicken nuggets and french fries in her stroller while we walk around enjoying the live entertainment.

  • The Cake Bake Shop Bakery – Stop into The Cake Bake Shop Bakery to grab your favorite dessert items like cheesecakes, cookies, croissants, and more!
  • BoardWalk Deli – The BoardWalk Deli serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It specializes in sandwiches and salads, and it offers lots of grab-and-go items.
  • Pizza Window – This fast option for counter service offers pizza and salads. It is open for lunch and dinner.
  • Boardwalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas – This is a quick service option with snacks like nachos, pretzels, and roasted nuts plus beverages.
  • 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.
  • BoardWalk Ice Cream – BoardWalk Ice Cream offers ice cream inspired by Disney’s Beaches and Cream Soda Shop.

Table Service Restaurants

If you are looking to dine at a sit-down restaurant at Disney’s Boardwalk, these are family friendly options.

  • The Cake Bake Shop Restaurant – The Cake Bake Shop Bakery and Restaurant is set to offer delicious food items with a view of Crescent Lake. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This restaurant will sit in the space that ESPN Club used to occupy.
  • 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.
Disney's Boardwalk
Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
  • 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.
  • Flying Fish – Flying Fish is an upscale restaurant serving seafood and steaks. If you dine at Flying Fish, it’s important to remember to adhere to the dress code for signature restaurants at Disney World.

Disney Boardwalk Shops

If shopping is your thing, the Disney Boardwalk has you covered. There are several small stores set up along the Boardwalk at Disney World. Most of the stores sell Disney inspired items including clothing, toys, art, etc.

shop at Disney's Boardwalk
Disney Boardwalk Shops

You will also find 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.

Directions to Disney’s BoardWalk

Disney’s Boardwalk may seem like its in a hidden area of Walt Disney World, but it’s actually conveniently located to many popular places, including theme parks, resorts, and transportation options.

Disney's Boardwalk
Disney Boardwalk

If you are wondering how to get to the Disney Boardwalk from various places on WDW property, you have several different options.

Parking

If you are planning to drive to the Boardwalk, you can park at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and Villas, which is a Walt Disney World deluxe resort hotel.

Disney's Boardwalk Inn and Villas
Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Resort

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.

Skyliner

If you are traveling from one of the following resort hotels, you can take the Disney Skyliner from the hotel to the International Gateway.

  • Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Art of Animation Resort
  • Pop Century Resort
  • Riviera Resort

The International Gateway is the entrance to Epcot that is closest to the World Showcase.

skyliner at Epcot
Skyliner near Epcot

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 Disney BoardWalk from Epcot

If you are coming from inside 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 the BoardWalk 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 the BoardWalk at Disney 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.

water shuttle at Disney's Boardwalk
Boat Transportation to Epcot and Hollywood Studios

Similarly, you can easily walk to access the Boardwalk from these other resort hotels:

  • Beach Club Resort
  • Yacht Club Resort
  • The Swan
  • The Dolphin

The Boardwalk is about a five minute walk from each of the above mentioned Epcot resort hotels.

Hotels near the Disney Boardwalk

The Epcot and Boardwalk areas of Disney World are my family’s favorite places to stay. They provide easy access to both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Since many of the Boardwalk area resorts are classified as deluxe hotels or deluxe villas, you can often find really great prices on these conveniently located resorts. My family and I like to use David’s Vacation Club Rentals to reserve a room at the Boardwalk Villas or Beach Club Villas since these hotels offer such easy access to the parks and nightlife.

Disney's Beach Club Resort in background with Stormalong Bay pool in front
Disney’s Beach Club Resort

When you use David’s website to book a room, you can often snag a reservation at one of these deluxe resorts for the price of a moderate hotel. Just use the cost calculator to price out your room, and you’ll be amazed at how much money you can save!

For more information on this reputable company that saves our family so much money on Disney trips, check out our post on the best DVC rental site at Disney World! In that article, we explain exactly how the process works. In addition to the Boardwalk Villas and Beach Club Villas, the following resorts are located within easy access to Disney’s Boardwalk, Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

Disney’s Beach Club resorts and the Yacht Club are our top picks for deluxe hotels at Disney World. These deluxe resorts have great themes, amazing locations, and awesome amenities. The pool at the Beach Club and Yacht Club is arguably the best in all of Disney World. And they sit within walking distance of the Disney Boardwalk!

Disney's Yacht Club Resort

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 super fun entertainment district at Disney World!

carnival games with text overlay Things to Do with Kids at the Disney Boardwalk

If you are looking for tips on choosing the right Disney World hotel, join our Facebook group for personalized help on finding the best resort for your family!

FAQs

These are the most frequently asked quetions I receive on Disney’s Boardwalk.

Disney Springs or the BoardWalk-Which is better?

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.

live music Disney Springs
Live Music at Disney Springs

Disney Springs is massive and more commercialized. Since Disney Springs is so big, it offers many more restaurants, bars, entertainment, and shopping options.

Is the BoardWalk worth visiting?

If you have time during your Disney vacation, the Boardwalk is worth visiting. However, those visiting WDW for only a few days may not have time to fit in this entertainment district. 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 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. You can read even more about this incredibly fun spot at Disney World on the official website.

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!

Whether you’re looking to stroll along the Boardwalk to take in the scenery or you want to experience the fun activities and entertainment, your sure to have a blast at this hidden gem at Disney World.

Don’t forget to join our Facebook group for personalized help on finding the best resort for your family! What are your favorite things to do at the Disney Boardwalk?Comment below and let me know!

carnival stands with text overlay things to Do with Kids on Disney's Boardwalk

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2 Comments

  1. If you were to want to watch the new years fireworks from the boardwalk, which restaurant patio would give a good view?

    1. Hi Chris,

      We typically watch the fireworks from the bridge that connects the Boardwalk to the Epcot entrance. However, you should be able to see the fireworks from the patios at Trattoria al Forno and Big River Grille. It’s so nice to view the show away from all the crowds inside the park! Hope you have a great trip!

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