Are you planning a Disney World trip? Want to learn a little more about all the fun things to do at Disney Boardwalk?
Awesome. You are in the right place! This is a complete guide for the boardwalk at Disney World Orlando!
In this post, we are going to explain all the fun things to do at Disney Boardwalk area, as well as list the best Disney Boardwalk hotels, restaurants, and even Disney Boardwalk entertainment options including Disney nightlife boardwalk options.
Let's get started and learn all about the best things to do at the Disney Boardwalk area!
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What is Disney World Boardwalk in Orlando?
The Disney World Boardwalk is a themed area with shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. It is located between Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
It is a small area, unlike Disney Springs which is massive! The Disney Boardwalk area is a fun place to visit if you are staying at any of the Boardwalk hotels or just have some extra time and want to check out the Disney nightlife scene at Disney World.
This area is great for all ages during the day, however, at night there are some adult-only attractions. There are so many fun things to do at the Disney Boardwalk area you won't be disappointed. Let's keep exploring all your options!
Disney Boardwalk Hours
Disney Boardwalk hours vary. Typically the boardwalk on Disney opens at 6:30 am. Not many stores will be open but you can walk around and enjoy the view. Some stores close around 10:30 pm or maybe a little later during busy times.
Don't let these times confuse you because the Disney Boardwalk nightlife is actually a thing. There are a few clubs in the Disney Boardwalk area that are open till 1:45 pm. You can have fun even after the amusement parks close.
Is Disney Boardwalk Free?
Yes, Disney Boardwalk is free! You do not need park admission to come and explore this area.
Does it Cost to Get onto Disney Boardwalk?
The Disney Boardwalk activities happen at all times of the day and are free to anyone visiting Disney World. You can also visit any of the restaurants located in the Disney Boardwalk area absolutely for free.
We will talk more about the Disney Boardwalk nightlife later, but there is a cover charge for some locations. Other than that, to answer your question “Is Disney Boardwalk free,” it is a defiant yes.
How to Get to Disney Boardwalk in Orlando
There are a few ways to get to the Disney Boardwalk area. If you are staying at any of the Disney Boardwalk resorts you can easily walk to the boardwalk. All of these hotels are connected to the WDW Boardwalk.
Epcot to Disney Boardwalk
If you just want to check it out, it is a short distance from the back entrance of Epcot. This is the closest park to the Disney Boardwalk area.
Hollywood Studios to Disney Boardwalk
If you are at Hollywood Studios jump on the boat and it will take you to the Disney Boardwalk. You can also walk but it is a little over a mile. The boat is an awesome way to get to the boardwalk at Disney.
Animal Kingdom or Magic Kingdom to Disney Boardwalk
If you are wanting to head over to the Boardwalk after a day at Animal Kingdom or Magic Kingdom the bus is the best option. The Disney transportation system is so nice. You can use this system even if you are not staying at the Disney resorts.
You will want to jump on the Boardwalk Inn bus. You can also jump on the Yacht and Beach Club bus. Both will get you pretty close to Disney's Boardwalk.
Parking at Disney Boardwalk
There are no designated parking spots for the Disney Boardwalk. You can try to park at the Boardwalk Inn but security may turn you away if they do not have any spots.
They typically only let you park there if you have a reservation for a restaurant and the resort is not booked out. If they do let you they will not charge a parking fee.
Things to Do at Disney Boardwalk
Now that you know how to get to the Boardwalk and the Disney Boardwalk hours let's dig into all of the fun things to do at Disney's Boardwalk.
Don't worry if you were wondering what to do at Disney Boardwalk, we have you covered. This Disney Boardwalk Florida guide will help you know exactly which Disney Boardwalk activities you want to do.
Let's start with some Disney World Boardwalk favorites!
1. Walk Around Disney Boardwalk
I think we are ready to get into all the fun things to do at the Disney Boardwalk area. One of the best things to do at Disney Boardwalk is seriously just walk! The views all along the boardwalk are absolutely beautiful!
The Disney Boardwalk is about a .25-mile walk along Crescent Lake. It is best if you can go at night when everything is lit up.
You might want to plan a stop at Disney's Boardwalk when walking from Epcot to Hollywood Studios if you have a park hopper ticket.
2. Disney Boardwalk Shops
Another one of the best things at Disney's Boardwalk is the Disney Boardwalk stores. The first thing you need to know about the shops located in the Disney Boardwalk area is that these are the best places to buy your souvenirs because they are not as crowded as other places at Disney World.
Shops at Disney Boardwalk
- Screen Door General Store
- Thimbles and Threads
- Disney's Character Carnival
- Wyland Galleries of Florida
Most of these stores are general souvenir shops. They have pretty much the same merch as you will find in the parks with the exception of Wyland Galleries of Florida which sells fine art.
3. Disney Boardwalk Restaurants
Another one of the best things to do at Disney Boardwalk area is eat. There are a few fantastic table service locations as well as a few quick service options.
Table Service Restaurants at Disney's Boardwalk
- Fly Fish
- Trattoria al Forno
- Big River Grille and Brewing Works
Trattoria al Forno was a popular character breakfast dining location (Pre-pandemic) and one of the best things to do at Disney Boardwalk with kids. It featured Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Ariel, and Prince Eric.
I am hoping they bring this back! I will let you know if and when they do.
Counter Service at Disney's Boardwalk
- Trattoria al Forno Pizza Window
- BoardWalk Bakery
- BoardWalk Deli
- BoardWalk Ice Cream
- Carousel Coffee
- Joe's Marvelous Margaritas
- Funnel Cake Cart
Can I Eat at Disney Boardwalk Without a Park Ticket?
Yes, grabbing dinner at Disney's Boardwalk is one of the best things to do at Disney Boardwalk area and afterward enjoy some Disney Boardwalk entertainment.
4. Disney Boardwalk Entertainment
The Disney Boardwalk is known for live entertainment. It is not uncommon to see street performers and sideshows. These are all family-friendly and free. I love the Disney Boardwalk free activities.
5. Performers at Disney's Boardwalk
The best time to see the performers are in the early evening hours. You can grab a snack and enjoy a show.
The Disney Boardwalk entertainment is phenomenal and so fun to watch.
6. Arcade and Carnival Games
There is an arcade and a few carnival games that you can do. These activities are fun things to do at Disney's Boardwalk with kids. My kids love arcades! They could spend hours getting tickets and playing games.
These WDW Boardwalk attractions do have an additional cost to them.
7. Rent a Surrey Bike on the Boardwalk
One of the best things at the Boardwalk at Disney is the surrey bikes. You can rent regular or surrey bikes during the day.
If you are looking for Disney Boardwalk activities that your whole family will enjoy, this is a winner. We watched lots of families peddling around the wooden planks around the Boardwalk.
This is one of the best Disney Boardwalk activities!
8. Watch The Fireworks
Disney Boardwalk is not the best place to see the fireworks however, you will still be able to enjoy the Epcot fireworks from the Harmonious show from the Boardwalk.
This is just an added bonus of hanging out on the boardwalk.
9. Nightlife Disney Boardwalk
There are lots of fun Disney Boardwalk nightlife options. Some of these options are only for adults. The adult scene starts around 9:00 pm.
Atlantic Dance Hall
The Atlantic Dance Hall is a dance club for guests 21 years and older. There is no cover charge. It opens at 8:00 pm and closes around 1:45 am.
After 9:00 pm is when the place picks up. There are a few bars inside and a huge dance floor with a big music video screen.
Jellyrolls and Dueling Pianos
Jellyrolls is a little more popular, you will need to get there early to get a seat. It can hit capacity.
This is another area that only caters to those 21 and older. It opens at 7:00 pm but the music doesn't start until 8:00 pm. It is also open until 1:45 pm.
The main attraction at Jellyrolls is the dueling pianos. These very talented musicians put on a show. They can play and sing almost anything, but tend to sing more Disney songs.
Jellyrolls does have an $18 cover charge to enter. You will be able to order drinks and popcorn is on the house.
10. Disney Boardwalk Nightlife for Kids
Don't worry if you are like me, the over-21 nightlife scene doesn't mix with my family vacation lifestyle. I like to find more kid-friendly activities!
Movies Under the Stars
Most of the Boardwalk hotels have a movie under the stars. There is a large projector set up so you can watch an outdoor movie. (Disney of course!)
Disney Boardwalk Shows
There are also performers on the Boardwalk. These are free to watch and usually put on pretty fun juggling or jump rope shows.
11. Go on a Boat Ride Around Disney Boardwalk
After you have enjoyed your time on Disney's Boardwalk make sure to jump on a Friendship Boat and take a joy ride around the lake. Either day or night it is a great experience and a great way to spend your time.
The boats run about every 15-20 minutes. It is a great transportation option but also it is just something fun to do at the Disney Boardwalk!
12. Stay at a Disney Boardwalk Resort
Another amazing thing to do at Disney Boardwalk is stay at one of the resorts near the Boardwalk. We are going to dive into all of your options!
I have stayed at almost all of these because it is my favorite area of Disney World.
Disney Boardwalk Hotels
If you want to be close to Epcot or Hollywood Studios you will want to stay at a Disney Boardwalk hotel. All of these resorts are within walking distance to the parks.
These hotels will give you complete for access to all of the Disney Boardwalk activities. You will also have access to the Disney boat transportation system.
One of my favorite things to do on a non-park day is tour the hotels. You can walk around and check out what each offer!
Disney Boardwalk Hotels
All of these resorts are Disney properties except for the Swan and Dolphin Hotels and the Swan Reserve. These are owned by Marriott but are actually on Disney World property.
I have stayed at all of these resorts except the Boardwalk Inn. My favorite is Beach Club.
David's Vacation Club
The Beach Club Villas and the Boardwalk Inn Villas are all Disney Vacation Club properties. These properties are very nice! Typically they are reserved for DVC members however, you can stay at these resorts and save a lot of money if you go through David's Vacation Club.
I love using David's Vacation Club. It allows normal people like you and me to stay in these really nice resorts for a fraction of what the Disney website offers. Just as an example I used them for my Disney Aulani Stay and saved $1000 for 1 night! Seriously!
Disney's Boardwalk Hotel
The Disney Boardwalk hotel is a deluxe-level hotel on Disney property. It is the heart of the Boardwalk. All of the fun things to do at Disney Boardwalk area is literally below your hotel room
The Disney Boardwalk Inn has traditional rooms as well as villas that sleep up to 6 people. Club level is also available at this resort. There is a large pool with a water slide as well.
David's Vacation Club
Disney Boardwalk Inn is part of the Disney Vacation Club, this means that if you use David's Vacation Rentals you can save money on this hotel compared to the price listed on the Disney website.
This is a great resort for single adults or couple trips but Boardwalk Inn did not appeal to me for our family vacation. I would much prefer the other Boardwalk hotels.
However, if the price was right, I would stay here because my favorite parks are both Epcot and Hollywood. You really can't get any closer than the Disney Boardwalk hotels.
Swan and Dolphin Hotels and Swan Reserve
I love the Swan and Dolphin resorts! They are so close to the Disney Boardwalk area. These resorts are owned by Marriot and typically are half the price of the other Disney Boardwalk resorts. These resorts only sleep up to 4 guests.
They still have the same perks as the other Disney Boardwalk resorts such as offering early admission to all the parks.
The Swan Reserve is new and offers bigger rooms for families. It can sleep up to 6 guests. It is a great option!
I recently stayed at the Swan Hotel on my last trip. I thought it was great. It helps that I have platinum status because it allows me to get a free breakfast! We loved how close we were to the Disney Boardwalk.
We could easily walk over and check out all the fun things to do at Disney Boardwalk! We actually went every day of our trip!
Beach Club Resort
Beach Club has my heart! It is my favorite resort in all of Disney World!
One of the main reasons is the pool. It has the best pool of all the Disney World resorts. The bottom of the pool is sand! There is also a cool pirate ship slide.
We have stayed on the Club level as well as the villas at Beach Club and loved it. It is very close to the Disney Boardwalk area. Making it super easy to do all of the Disney Boardwalk activities.
David's Vacation Club
Because Beach Club is a DVC property you can check out David's Vacation Club to see if you can find a good deal on a villa!
Yacht Club Resort
The Yacht Club resort is a sister resort to Beach Club. They share a pool!! The rooms are really nice. The Yacht Club is more high class and the Beach Club has a more relaxed feel.
The Yacht Club is just as close to the Disney Boardwalk area. It is a great choice! It is easy to catch the Disney Boardwalk entertainment from the Yacht Club Resort.
Is Disney Boardwalk Worth it?
Are you wondering if the Disney Boardwalk area is worth visiting? If you fall into any of these categories you will probably answer yes to this question.
Is Disney's Boardwalk Worth Visiting?
- If you are staying in a nearby hotel
- If you want to experience Disney nightlife
- If you are walking from Epcot to Hollywood Studios
- If you are looking for something fun and free on a non-park day
- If you are at the back entrance of Epcot and have time
- If you have extra time
Are you Excited About all the Fun Things to do at Disney Boardwalk?
Hopefully, this helps you plan the perfect trip to Disney's Boardwalk! We have always had so much fun with all the things to do at Disney Boardwalk. I know you will too!
If you have any questions be sure to ask!
If you need help planning your Disney Vacation GetawayToday is a great option. They usually have great vacation packages with discounted tickets. You can use my coupon code Planaway10 for $10 extra off your vacation package.
Also, join my Planningaway Travel Community on Facebook. This is a place where I post travel deals, and you can ask any questions about your Disney Springs trip or any other upcoming trips!