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Disney’s Boardwalk - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Disney General

We were playing miniature golf at Disney’s Fantasia when we first learned about Disney’s Boardwalk. Whilst waiting for our ‘tee off’ time we were talking to some fellow ‘miniature golfers’ who had just come from The Boardwalk, a 10 minute walk away. Since our conversation we’ve always included The Boardwalk as one of our evenings during vacations in Orlando.

The Boardwalk is built around a large massive lake, called Crescent Lake, with entertainment, shops, restaurants, bars circling it. Pedestrians walk around the area over huge wooden boardwalk enjoying a pace that is much slower than that found in the parks, or even Downtown Disney. At night lights sparkle and shine all around the lake whilst the restaurants are brightly illuminated creating a wonderful atmosphere.

The architecture reminds me of the coasts I’ve visited in New England. Further research led me to find Robert A. M. Stern, the architect. His vision was to base it on the turn-of-the-century seaside towns in the Mid-Atlantic and New England. However, others have said it reminds them of the New Jersey coastline - one I’m visiting in 3 months time so should have an opinion on!

One side of the lake is Disney accommodation and a man made beach. Here at night time Disney movies play to children and adults relaxing in deck chairs on the sand. Further round the lake is an entrance from the Swan and Dolphin Resort. It is from here that we sometimes walk through after playing at the Fantasia Miniature Golf Course to enjoy some time at the Boardwalk. If your drive head towards Epcot Resorts Blvd, off Buena Vista Drive and look for the signs for Boardwalk.

Walking through this entrance you arrive where the main action is – restaurants, entertainment, bars and shops. Enjoy night time entertainment; sword swallowers, jazz bands, magicians and jugglers or choose a restaurant. The Flying Fish Café, as the name suggests, specialises in seafood, both traditional or with Mexican, Chinese and Italian twists. An average 3 course meal here costs around $60. Spoodles too specialises in fish favouring Mediterranean recipes and flavours whilst the Big River Grille and Brewing Works. Fascinated by its name I found out it made award winning ales and lagers as well as enjoying fresh ingredients. The Boardwalk restaurant has a brewer bar as well as an indoor dining area. American food, hamburgers, pasta, sandwiches and salads can be found at the ESPN Club along with 100 televisions – some can even be found in the restrooms! ! However, if you prefer a light snack there is the tempting Boardwalk Bakery, Spoodles Pizza Window or a variety of food kiosks.

But it’s not all food! There’s lots to entertain! In the daytime spend some time on the water. There are a variety of boats to experience – you can even charter a fishing excursion. Four and six seater bikes can be hired from Surrey Bikes and ridden with great gusto around the Boardwalk (this is a favourite with my daughters). Ring in advance as these are often booked up.

For adults there’s Jellyrolls, a bar with fantastic duelling piano players with a huge repertoire of songs. The atmosphere is lively with people of all ages . If its your birthday, honeymoon, anniversary or engagement you may be called to the stage for a serenade created especially for you! (Guests do need to be 21 or older and there is a $7 cover charge after 7pm). If you enjoy dancing , Atlantic Dance is the place to visit and is open Tuesdays through to Saturdays nights. Music videos are played on big screens. Admission is free and guests must be 21 and over. It’s open from 9pm – 2am.

The Boardwalk is open during the day and closes around 11pm (with Atlantic Dance staying open until 2am). There is no entrance fee to the Boardwalk but some venues do charge for entry.

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