Sunday, October 24, 2010

Disney's Boardwalk: A College Student's Perspective

Image (c) James
I had known for a while that Disney had a Boardwalk area at the Boardwalk Resort, but I had never been there until our August trip.  I have been to the real Atlantic City Boardwalk many times, and though I knew that's what Disney's was based off of, I also knew that Disney's Boardwalk was a pre-casino rendition of Atlantic City's, which I had never seen.  I was sort of clueless about Disney's Boardwalk, so I did what any podcast loving Disney fan would do when they had a question: I emailed WDW Today.

I asked the guys of WDW Today how long they thought two college students, too young to drink, would probably spend on the Boardwalk and what they would do.  The guys said we could spend a few hours at most, and we would mostly just walk around, enjoy the sights, and that's about it.  And that was pretty accurate.  I'm not sure what I was expecting, maybe something more like Downtown Disney, but Disney's Boardwalk was just what it said it was - a boardwalk.  There were some street entertainers that were quite interesting, but none took very much of our time.  We strolled in and out of some of the stores and such, but that didn't take much time either.  And we took lots of pictures and enjoyed the atmosphere.  It really was beautiful and very romantic as it started to get dark, but it certainly wasn't a huge attraction in itself.

Overall, I think Disney's Boardwalk is a nice area, especially if you're staying at one of the Epcot resorts.  It's nice to visit, to take pictures, and to enjoy the atmosphere.  It's not somewhere you can spend copious amounts of time, however, if you're looking for something very stimulating.  It's sort of relaxing, and I can certainly see staying for quite a while if you were having dinner or spending time at Jelly Rolls or the Atlantic Dance Hall, but the guys of WDW Today were right.  We spent about an hour on the Boardwalk, and then we moved on to Hollywood Studios.  It was a nice experience, but it wasn't super exciting.

What do you think of Disney's Boardwalk?  Do you make it a point to visit every trip or just if you have a reason to be in the Epcot resort area?  Do you spend a lot of time there, or do you just spend an hour or two taking in the sights like James and I did?  Or have you never been to the Boardwalk area at all?  Let me know what you think in a comment, on Twitter (@discollegeblog), or on Facebook!

This post is part of the 13th Disney Blog Carnival!  Click the link to see more great Disney articles!


  1. If you are a sports fan, eating at the ESPN club is really fun. Last December, my wife and I enjoyed the Eagles game with lots of other fans. We had so much fun, we plan on returning this December for another game. Also, im pretty sure you don't have to be 21 to sit in the dining room.

  2. I'm not really a sports fan, but we did have dinner that night at Beaches and Cream, so we certainly weren't hungry for any more food lol!

  3. My best friend and I had the same sort of reaction when we stopped at the Boardwalk in April. We walked up and down once, checked out a few stores, and got back on the boat to Epcot. There really was nothing to do, especially in the middle of the day. I'm sure it's a great nighttime/dining experience, but for us, it wasn't anything to go out of our way again for.

  4. I completely agree with your assessment of the Boardwalk itself. While the proximity to the Boardwalk and it's nightlife spots is definitely a plus if resort amenities are hight on your priority list, for most people it's not going to be a deal breaker. It's fun to spend an hour or so walking around, enjoying the performers, and looking at shops. If you're going to Jellyrolls or getting something to eat, you could be there longer. But it is certainly not even a half-day experience.

  5. I've visited the Boardwalk on my past 2 trips.. 2009, we were curious and wandered into a restaurant for dinner. This past June, we had an ADR for Kouzzina.. it was delicious. I do love hanging out there and would love to stay there, but they're right.. there really isn't that much to do.. but its so cute!

  6. We go there every trip but just to eat the ESPN Zone. I always end up without any time to wander around. But hearing about Jelly Rolls makes me want to go there! But then again, I'm old enough to drink.

  7. We love the boardwalk! We grab pizza or corn dogs if we haven't eaten at beaches & cream already, watch the performers, grab dessert,then stroll over to the bridge area to catch illuminations. We shop a little too, but not too much. It is a must in every trip if we can manage it!

  8. Beth, I agree, we probably wouldn't go out of our way to visit, but we would likely stroll along if we were in the area for some reason.

    James, agreed! I'm not sure what I was expecting. It was nice, but it wasn't anything huge.

    DisneyBabies, Kouzzina is on my want-to-try-one-day list! I've heard lots of good about it! And it is so cute!

    Jessica, I definitely plan on hitting up Jelly Rolls once I'm old enough to drink!

    Maria, I never realized you can probably see IllumiNations from the Boardwalk area. Nice!

  9. I love the boardwalk... but I guess anytime I've ever stayed there I've had ADRs at one of the restaurants or gone to Jelly Rolls. Did you walk around the Beach and Yacht club as well? Every one of my trips to the Boardwalk results in a meal and an ice cream from Beaches and Cream! Also one night as we were strolling past they were just starting to play Walle on the beach, so we stopped to watch it :)

    Jelly Rolls really is a lot of fun though... I forgot you American's can't drink until you're 21 hmm... But most of my trips we DON'T do it and I still walk around the area each trip and fine plenty to do! Resort exploring is my favourite though!

  10. Yes, we loved Beaches and Cream! I soooo want to stay at Beach Club one day! And that's awesome about WallE! Love resort exploring, I was just expecting something more than it was.

  11. Ya I guess I had no expectations at all when I went, that probably makes a huge difference. also one of my favourite times at the boardwalk was when I stayed one night at the Beach Club and woke up early that morning to have coffee and a muffin with my best friend while walking around the boardwalk before anyone else was awake it seemed :)Special memories always make a place better...

  12. I love a nice cocktail within WDW. And I love the Boardwalk.
    But.............Boardwalk without drinking??????