What is Disney's Boardwalk?

The Boardwalk at Disney World...
The Boardwalk at Disney World... / John Greim/GettyImages
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Walt Disney World has a score of terrific places for guests to relax and be entertained. But it may be overlooked just how amazing the Boardwalk area is. From shopping to dining and entertainment, there is tons to do, so what is this sometimes under-appreciated part of Walt Disney World?

Opened in 1996, the main part of the Boardwalk is the resort hotel. It’s modeled after the Atlantic City Boardwalks of the early 20th century, from the bold exterior to the pool area’s water slide designed like a wooden roller coaster. Set right between Epcot and the Hollywood Studios, the Boardwalk would be a great resort on its own without being next to a terrific quarter-mile-long shopping/dining/entertainment complex that offers something for everyone. 

Where can you dine at Disney’s Boardwalk? 

While it’s lost a few dining spots over the years (like the ESPN Cub), the Boardwalk still has some great places to eat. 

Sit Down Service Restaurants: 

  • Big River Grille and Brewing Works: A great American pub with sandwiches, burgers, appetizers, salads and other grilled protein options. It’s also Disney World’s only working microbrewery, allowing guests a variety of award-winning craft beers. They can sit either indoors or on the waterfront patio, with prices ranging from $15 to $40. 
  • Flying Fish: The only fine dining establishment on the Boardwalk, the fare here emphasizes seasonal seafood and steak entrees. It also has a diverse wine and cocktail menu, and the entrees often switch around depending on the chefs. It’s a bit more expensive in the $35-$60 per entree range but a great experience. 
  • Trattoria al Forno: This Italian eatery has everything from fried calamari to flat-bread pizza, lasagna, and more, with a great selection of Italian wines. It’s also open for breakfast with a great selection and prices ranging from $15 to $35. The open kitchen allows diners to see the chefs at work, adding to the appeal.
  • The AbracadaBar: If all you want is a drink, head to this magic-themed cocktail lounge. There are smaller appetizers like fries and pizza, but it’s the fantastic cocktail, beer, and wine options that make this a stand-out spot with prices in the $13-$18 range. 

Quick Service Restaurants

  • BoardWalk Deli: Stuffed sandwiches and deli meats galore.
  • BoardWalk Ice Cream: Sweet treats and sundaes can be found here.
  • BoardWalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas: Unique drinks with a handful of snack foods like pretzels and nachos.
  • Pizza Window: Grab a single slice or a whole pie, with Italian salads also available.
  • The To-Go Cart: A quick stop for street meats, including hot dogs, chicken breast nuggets, pulled pork sandwiches, and more.