The Boardwalk Inn and Villas is one of Walt Disney World’s deluxe resorts and is themed after the turn-of-the-century mid-Atlantic/New England seaside resorts. As such, it has a replica of a Coney Island-style entertainment, shopping and dining area known as The Boardwalk.
While not as big as Disneyworld’s Downtown Disney, there are still a few nightlife options for guests to partake in.
First of all, while there is free self-parking at the resort, it can be quite a walk for some. The resort does have valet parking, but as of this article, it’s around $10-12. Another option, if you happen to be staying in one of the other resorts on Crescent Lake (Disney’s Beach & Yacht Club or the Swan and Dolphin), is a free water shuttle that loops around the lake connecting all the resorts to Epcot, Hollywood Studios and each other.
One of the first buildings you’ll probably notice while strolling along The Boardwalk is The Atlantic Dance Hall. The building itself looks like it’s floating on the water. Inside, guests can dance the night away to music provided by both DJ and the occasional live cover band. This club is 21 and over, but there is no admission charge.
Dueling pianos fans will be right at home at Jellyrolls. Take two guys, two pianos, and a night full of audience requests and sing-alongs, and you have the gist of this club. Named after ragtime jazz pianist Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton, this is another 21 and over club.
The Big River Grille & Brewing Works is a restaurant that serves up American pub grub (burgers, salads, sandwiches, etc), but what sets it apart from other WDW restaurants is that Big River is also a microbrewery.
Yes, they actually make beer on Disney property. And it’s actually really good! But that’s probably because the restaurant is run by the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group.
One of my favorite things to do is grab a sampler of the signature brews and sit on the outside patio around 9pm to watch the Epcot fireworks. There’s not a lot of patio tables, so get there early to grab a spot.
Speaking of beer, at the other end of The Boardwalk is the ESPN Club. A sports-bar themed eatery from the ESPN TV sports network (which is owned by Disney), this place has over 100 video monitors showing a variety of televised sports. It’s loud and noisy (especially on big game nights), but if you want a place to enjoy dinner, a beer and a game, this is it.
I should mention that both Big River and ESPN Club are all-ages (due to the restaurant factor), but you still need to be 21 and over to order alcohol.
The Boardwalk may not be huge, but it still has enough of a nightlife to make it worth checking out if you happen to be at Walt Disney World.
[Photos by Michelle Snow]