Disney insider tips - Disney's BoardWalk
Disney's BoardWalk is an area that is under the radar for many Disney guests. It isn't heavily advertised and there doesn't seem to be a big push by Disney to go check it out. When most people are booking a Disney vacation their first thought is "monorail resort" for convenience and deluxe accommodations if their budget allows.
Although we’ve been to Disney numerous times, it dawned on us that the BoardWalk was something we needed to go see firsthand. My family and I recently stayed at Yacht Club, which allowed us the opportunity to have time to explore this hidden gem.
After experiencing the BoardWalk area and all it has to offer, we think we have found a great solution for families looking for convenience, deluxe accommodations, accessibility to parks, great pools, and rates sometimes less than the monorail resorts.
Resorts, Dining, and More…
The BoardWalk area is comprised of three deluxe resorts: BoardWalk Villas, Beach Club Resort, and Yacht Club. There is a quarter-mile promenade, restaurants, bars, shops, a dueling piano bar, and street entertainers such as jugglers and magicians. If you walk a bit farther around the BoardWalk, you'll come to the famous Beaches & Cream at Beach Club Resort. The opposite far end of the BoardWalk is home to the ESPN club.
The convenience of this area was one of the things that left the biggest impression on us. Having the flexibility to walk to Epcot and Hollywood Studios as well as access to the entire BoardWalk was hugely impactful! There are boats that will take you from one side of the BoardWalk to the other to cut down on the amount of walking if you choose. Finishing our full days out with a fantastic dinner on the BoardWalk and then being able to walk back to our resort when we were ready was awesome. It was freeing not having to make our way to a bus stop to head back to our resort.
Renting a small watercraft can be done at the lighthouse outside of Yacht Club Resort and you can also rent a surrey bike in front of Boardwalk Villas. There are also numerous other carnival-style games along the boardwalk. One of our favorite touches was the ample benches scattered along the BoardWalk for sitting and enjoying the view.
We dined at a number of restaurants in the BoardWalk area, including Trattoria Al Forno (on BoardWalk), Ale & Compass (in Yacht Club Resort), and Cape May (in Beach Club Resort) and enjoyed them all. Trattoria Al Forno had one of the best wine lists we've seen in Disney as well as some delicious signature cocktails. Ale & Compass had a menu with references of New England throughout. The food, service, and atmosphere at both of these dinners was fantastic. We went to Cape May for breakfast the day before we headed home and also enjoyed it very much! We found it less hustle-bustle than Chef Mickey's for breakfast with equally great character interaction.
We also tried out the Boardwalk Bakery as we walked to Hollywood Studios one morning and we unanimously agreed they were the best breakfast sandwiches we've ever had. Not only were they delicious, but they were also giant! A trip to Beaches & Cream was also a delightful treat that lived up to its hype. The cast members at Beaches & Cream were wonderful. Is it us, or does everything taste better at Disney?
While the majority of restaurants on Disney property are family friendly, there are a few that are geared more towards adults. Children are of course welcome at these establishments, but the restaurants appear adult-oriented. Flying Fish Cafe and Yachtsman Steakhouse on the BoardWalk are two of them. They have a well established following touting their delicious food and great atmosphere. If you are adding one of these to your trip itinerary, take note they do have a dress code in place. Men may wear khakis/slacks/jeans or dress shorts with a collared shirt, while women can choose from dresses, skirts, pants, dress shorts or capris.
If you are going to dinner at Flying Fish or Yachtsman for a date night without the kids, consider finishing out your night at Jellyrolls, the dueling piano bar. The bar was named for Jelly Roll Morton, a legendary jazz pianist. There is a cover charge for entry and guests of Jellyrolls must be 21 years of age. Bring cash for your music requests and to tip!
Combining convenience with the elegant beauty of this area of Disney made it a win-win situation. Even if you aren't staying in one of the resorts located on the BoardWalk, we encourage you to pop over to the Boardwalk area to explore if you have the time.
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