5 Things You Don’t Want to Miss at Disney’s Boardwalk

The Boardwalk is one of my favorite places to visit at Walt Disney World, and stopping here is a must do at least once during each Disney vacation I take. I usually stop here for a midday break from Epcot, or later at night after having visited Epcot or Hollywood Studios during the day. Whenever you decide to visit the Boardwalk, you’ll be in for a real treat, as this is one of the best entertainment venues (and resorts for that matter) at Walt Disney World. Here are my picks for 5 things you won’t want to miss at the Boardwalk:

5. Lobby/Pool Area

Even if you’re just visiting the Boardwalk to enjoy the entertainment and dining, I would recommend walking through the lobby and pool area. This resort is beautifully themed to look just like a mid-Atlantic boardwalk, and the lobby and pool definitely live up to this immersive theming. The lobby area features models of classic wooden rollercoasters, and a breathtaking carousel display. The pool is designed to look like a seaside carnival as well, with the water slide designed in the style of an old timey roller coaster, and the pool bar made to look like a carousel. If you’re interested in learning more about the Boardwalk, or any of the Disney resorts, stop by the front desk and ask about guided tours. The resorts periodically offer tours of the grounds, in which guests can learn more about the theming and how each resort was designed.

4. Restaurants

The Boardwalk is home to some of my favorite restaurants at Walt Disney World. The ESPN club is a great place to stop in for lunch or catch one of your favorite games. The Flying Fish Café, is one of Disney’s best signature restaurants, and is definitely worth a visit if you like to consider yourself a Disney foodie. Trattoria al Forno, the newest restaurant on the Boardwalk is now, in my opinion, one of the best Italian restaurants at Walt Disney World. In addition, you don’t want to miss the Boardwalk Bakery, which in addition to delicious baked goods is home to salads and sandwiches as well.

3. Surrey Bikes

If you’re looking for a unique way to get around the Boardwalk, check out the Surrey Bike rentals. These bikes are fun way to get from place to place in the Epcot resort area. The bikes are also designed perfectly to fit the theme of the resort, which makes for some great photo ops. Be sure to get a photo from the back of the bikes to capture the back plate which reads, “Follow me to Disney’s Boardwalk!”

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2. Entertainment

The boardwalk itself is home to a variety of entertainment that can easily provide an enjoyable alternative to a night at the parks or Downtown Disney. During a walk down the Boardwalk, you’ll likely come across street performers, carnival games, venues for caricatures, hair braiding and wrapping, margaritas, and classic carnival food like fried dough. The different venues at the Boardwalk have become my favorite place to go after spending a day at Hollywood Studios or Epcot, when those parks close early and I’m not ready to go home just yet. The close proximity (walking distance) to both parks makes it easy to unwind with some nightly entertainment after a long day at the parks.

1. Jellyrolls

Jellyrolls is a dueling piano bar located at the Swan & Dolphin end of the Boardwalk Inn. One of my favorite bars on Disney property, this is a great place to go after park close at Epcot to relax with a few drinks and enjoy the music. Guests are able to request songs throughout the evening, and popcorn is served in addition to drinks. This is a great alternative to Downtown Disney, if you’re in the Epcot area and looking for something to do later on at night. Although Jellyrolls is 21+, and the $12 cover might sound a little pricey, I would highly recommend stopping by if everyone in your party is of age, or if the kids are with a babysitter for the night. Jellyrolls also features nightly drink specials (generally served in a giant red solo cup) which gets you a bit more bang for your buck over typical Disney drink menus. The performers at Jellyrolls are excellent, so you’ll want to bring some small bills to tip with while requesting songs. Another great thing I’ve noticed about Jellyrolls (at least compared to other dueling piano bars I’ve been to) is that there are no breaks between sets—there are two different sets of singers/piano players, so they can easily switch off without a break in the music.

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About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."