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The Pros and Cons of Disney’s Boardwalk and Epcot Resort Area Restaurants

The Pros and Cons of Disney’s Boardwalk and Epcot Resort Area Restaurants

The entire Epcot resort-area is full of great places to eat. You can always dip into Epcot to grab a bite, but if you are looking to dine somewhere outside the park, you’ll have plenty of places within walking distance to choose from – including the entire Boardwalk area.

Here’s a rundown of the pros and cons of Disney’s Boardwalk and Epcot Resort Area restaurants……

Disney World dining basics

While dining at Disney World isn’t all that different than eating in the “real world,” there are few things to know about in order to make your experience easier.

Disney groups their restaurants into two main categories: Quick Service (which is like fast food) and Table Service (which are places that are a little bit nicer, where the food is brought to you).

Here is what you should know about each:

Quick Service

  • Sometimes referred to as “Counter Service”
  • Many locations offer Mobile Order which allows you to skip the line
  • Advanced Dining Reservations are not required or offered

Table Service

If you would rather stay at Epcot to dine, check out the pros and cons of all of the Epcot restaurants.

Disney’s Boardwalk

Disney’s Boardwalk area is a charming, bustling entertainment district located within walking distance of both Epcot and Hollywood Studios and although it isn’t a “must-do” – if you are looking for a chill way to spend an evening outside the parks, this might be a good option.

Designed to capture the nostalgic charm of turn-of-the-century Atlantic City, this lively waterfront promenade is lined with a delightful array of restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues including Jellyrolls and The Atlantic City Dance Hall – two of our favorite spots for an adults-only evening!

There are also several places to eat or grab a drink, and in the evenings, there are often carnival games and street performers to watch.

We love to head over here for grilled cheese and tomato soup or a drink at one of the several lounge options.

Located behind Disney’s Boardwalk are 2 resorts: Disney’s Boardwalk Resort and Disney’s Boardwalk Villas. But – you do not have to be staying at either of those resorts to enjoy all that the Boardwalk area has to offer!

Quick Service

The BoardWalk area has several Quick Service locations. You don’t need reservations to eat here, but Mobile Order is available, which is definitely handy during peak dining times.

BoardWalk Deli (formerly BoardWalk Bakery)

BoardWalk Deli serves a range of items including the popular grilled cheese and tomato soup, breakfast sandwiches, salads, plant-based options, desserts, cocktails, and more.

boardwalk deli boardwalk resort

Location type: Bakery
Type of food: American
Meals served: Breakfast, lunch, & dinner

  • On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, 1 Quick Service credit(s)
  • Pros: Large selection of baked goods and sandwich options, mobile ordering in My Disney Experience available
  • Cons: No indoor seating
boardwalk deli case boardwalk resort

Pizza Window

The Pizza Window is mainly known for serving pizza, but there are also limited breakfast options here.

pizza window boardwalk resort

This is along the lines of a grab-and-go spot for those who want a quick breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can find a range of items, like breakfast platters, pastries, cookies, sandwiches, salads, and flatbreads.

Location type: Pizza Window
Type of food: American
Meals served: Breakfast, lunch, & dinner

  • On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, 1 Quick Service credit(s)
  • Pros: Convenient to grab a pizza to eat on the Boardwalk or back in your room, mobile ordering in My Disney Experience available
  • Cons: No indoor seating

BoardWalk Ice Cream (formerly Ample Hills)

boardwalk ice cream boardwalk resort

Location type: Ice Cream Shop
Type of food: American
Meals served: Snack

  • On the Disney Dining Plan? N/A
  • Pros: Convenient to grab some ice cream during a hot day or for dessert after dinner
  • Cons: No mobile ordering, limited outdoor seating

BoardWalk Ice Cream serves a range of ice cream, including sundaes and milkshakes.

boardwalk ice cream boardwalk resort

Table Service

BoardWalk has a variety of Table Service restaurants. Reservations are recommended for the following. You can book up to 60 days in advance online or in the My Disney Experience app. Some may even have a walk-up list that you can join.

Flying Fish

flying fish boardwalk resort

Location type: Fine/Signature Dining
Type of food: American, Seafood
Meals served: Dinner

  • On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, 2 Table Service credit(s)
  • Pros: Though they serve many great fish dishes, their steak is especially good; select plant-based options
  • Cons: Pricey

Flying Fish is a more upscale restaurant (Disney calls it “Signature Dining”) that serves seafood and steaks, along with appetizers and desserts. The menu also has plant-based items.

flying fish boardwalk resort plant-based option

Trattoria Al Forno

trattoria al forno boardwalk resort

Location type: Character/Casual Dining
Type of food: Italian
Meals served: Breakfast & dinner

  • On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, 1 Table Service credit(s)
  • Pros:  Unique breakfast offerings and the only place to see Rapunzel and Flynn Rider & Ariel and Prince Eric together; often easy to get in without a reservation, all wines are Italian
  • Cons: Service is inconsistent and can be slow at times, food is often mediocre

Trattoria al Forno is an Italian restaurant attached to Abracadabar. The servings here are large and the food is good.

In the past, breakfast was character dining known as the “Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast”; however, that is currently unavailable and Disney has not mentioned when – or if – it will return.

When it was operating as a character meal, this spot was extremely popular because it was the only character dining where you could meet couples together (Ariel & Prince Eric and Rapunzel & Flynn Rider).

trattoria al forno boardwalk resort plant-based pasta

The Cake Bake Shop by Gwendolyn Rogers (former ESPN Club; opening in 2024)

cake bake shop concept art boardwalk

The Cake Bake Shop is both a Table Service restaurant and a bakery. The menu will feature savory and dessert menus, plus tea service.

Location type: Table Service/Bakery
Type of food: American
Meals served: TBD

  • Link to menu — stay tuned!
  • On the Disney Dining Plan? N/A
  • Pros: N/A
  • Cons: N/A

Big River Grille & Brewing Works (PERMANENTLY CLOSED)

big river grille and brewing works boardwalk resort

Big River Grille & Brewing Works was a family-friendly microbrewery and restaurant that served award beers and pub food.

It closed on January 21, 2024.

Everything Else

If you want to grab a beverage to drink by the pool, while you’re hanging at the resort, or need something quicker to eat, you may want to try one of the following dining options.

Abracadabar

abracadabar boardwalk resort

Location type: Lounge
Type of food: American
Meals served: Breakfast, snacks, small bites

  • On the Disney Dining Plan? No, 0 Quick Service credit(s)
  • Pros: Fun themed drinks and atmosphere
  • Cons: Small with limited seating, limited food options

Abracadabar is a lounge attached to Trattoria al Forno with a fun atmosphere serving a range of drinks and lounge-style food. You can also grab quick bites here for breakfast.

abracadabar boardwalk resort

Leaping Horse Libations

leaping horse libations boardwalk resort

Location type: Pool Bar
Type of food: American
Meals served: Lunch, dinner & snacks

  • On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, 1 Quick Service credit(s)
  • Pros: Convenient location, especially if you have a room near the pool
  • Cons: Limited menu and hours

Leaping Horse Libations is the carousel-themed bar by the Luna Park Pool. Enjoy frozen cocktails, beer, wine, sangria, snacks, and more.

leaping horse libations boardwalk resort

BoardWalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas

boardwalk joe's margaritas boardwalk resort

Find small snacks and frozen beverages, including margaritas, piña coladas, and the Captain’s Seaside Sensation — a pineapple smoothie with a shot of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum.

Location type: Bar and snack stand
Type of food: American
Meals served: Snacks

  • On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, snack credits, 1 Quick Service credit(s)
  • Pros: Quick place to grab a margarita and a snack (like a Mickey pretzel)
  • Cons: Limited menu

Blue Ribbon Corn Dog (formerly The To-Go Cart)

boardwalk to go boardwalk resort

Opening sometime in 2024, the beloved Blue Ribbon Corn Dog will be housed in the former Boardwalk To Go space and will serve delicious hand-dipped corn dogs.

Location type: Quick Service/Cart
Type of food: American
Meals served: Snacks

  • Link to snack menu – COMING SOON!
  • On the Disney Dining Plan? TBD
  • Pros: TBD
  • Cons: TBD

Belle Vue Lounge

belle vue lounge boardwalk resort

Location type: Lounge
Type of food: American
Meals served: Breakfast, lunch, & dinner

  • On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, 1 Quick Service credit(s)
  • Pros: Great place to grab standard breakfast items, often quiet, comfortable seating, great place to grab a drink (drink menu is fairly extensive compared to many locations), board games available
  • Cons: Limited menu

Belle Vue Lounge is located inside the main building near the lobby. You can get a quick breakfast (like pastries), coffee, a light lunch, and order from the bar, as well, including alcoholic beverages.

belle vue lounge boardwalk resort

Funnel Cake Cart (Temporarily Unavailable)

funnel cakes boardwalk resort

The Funnel Cake Cart serves funnel cakes, fried ice cream, cotton candy, coffee, and more.

Location type: Quick Service/Cart
Type of food: American
Meals served: Snacks

  • On the Disney Dining Plan? No, 0 Quick Service credit(s)
  • Pros: Delicious funnel cakes and fried ice cream available here
  • Cons:  Usually only open in the evenings

Beach Club Resort and Beach Club Villas

Disney’s Beach Club and Beach Club Villas are the closet resort to Epcot. Located just a short walk from Epcot’s International Gateway entrance, you’ll find a mix of Quick and Table Service options.

Quick Service

Although you don’t need reservations to dine at the Quick Service locations at Beach Club, you may want to consider using Mobile Order where available.

Beach Club Marketplace

beach club marketplace disney's beach club

Location type: Grab-and-go
Type of food: American
Meals served: Breakfast, lunch, & dinner

  • On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, 1 Quick Service credit(s)
  • Pros: Great place to grab quick breakfast basics, mobile ordering in My Disney Experience available
  • Cons: Limited menu, can be busy

This is a grab-and-go spot for those who want a quick breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can find a range of items, like eggs, breakfast sandwiches, Mickey-shaped waffles, salads, sandwiches, and baked pastas.

beach club marketplace disney's beach club

Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar and Grill

A pool bar at Stormalong Bay, where you can order signature cocktails, draft beers, and frozen drinks. Plus, there is both a pool bar menu and a lunch menu available. The former menu has select items that are offered until 10 p.m.

hurricane hanna's disney's beach club

Location type: Pool bar
Type of food: American
Meals served: Lunch

  • On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, 1 Quick Service credit(s)
  • Pros: Some tasty options for a pool bar, kids meals are served in a pail
  • Cons: Birds are often around and can snag your food
hurricane hanna's disney's beach club

Table Service

Table Service locations typically require Advanced Dining Reservations. You can make those online or inside of the Disney Experience app.

Beaches & Cream Soda Shop

One of the more popular resort Table Service locations. Beaches & Cream is a retro-style soda fountain where you can order burgers, milkshakes, sundaes, and plant-based items. There’s even an ice cream to-go window.

beaches and cream disney's beach club

Location type: Casual Dining
Type of food: American
Meals served: Lunch and dinner

  • On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, 1 Table Service credit(s)
  • Pros: Great burgers and ice cream (including The Kitchen Sink sundae which can be shared by several people) plus some amazing alcoholic milkshakes
  • Cons: Menu is kind of limited, seating is more limited than most other Table Service locations

Cape May Cafe

Cape May Cafe is a New England-style restaurant that serves both breakfast and dinner buffets. You can only meet Minnie, Daisy, Donald, and Goofy in beach attire during breakfast. While the dinner buffet doesn’t feature characters, you can enjoy a variety of seafood dishes for supper.

cape may cafe beach club disney

Location type: Buffet-style character dining, casual dining
Type of food: American, Seafood
Meals Served: Breakfast & dinner
Seating Available: Indoor

  • On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, 1 Table Service credit(s)
  • Pros: Get to meet Minnie, Daisy, Donald, and Goofy in beach attire; wide variety of seafood (all-you-can-eat crab legs are very popular); lots of non-seafood options
  • Cons: Reservations are hard to get, can be loud
  • Tips: Expensive if paying out-of-pocket

Everything Else

Looking to grab some appetizers or a cocktail? Here’s where you can do that.

Martha’s Vineyard

This is a New England beach house-inspired lounge, where you can order cocktails, beer, and appetizers, with the latter served until 10 p.m.

martha's vineyard beach club resort

Location type: Lounge
Type of food: American
Meals served: Appetizers and drinks

  • On the Disney Dining Plan? No, 0 Table Service credit(s)
  • Pros: Quiet spot to grab drinks and appetizers
  • Cons: Only open in evenings, Disney Dining Plan not accepted
martha's vineyard beach club resort

Yacht Club Resort

Attached to Disney’s Beach Club, Disney’s Yacht Club has a couple additional dining options that may interest you.

Quick Service

Yacht Club only has 1 Quick Service option:

The Market at Ale & Compass

This is a grab-and-go spot for those who want a quick breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can find a range of items that aren’t too out-of-the-box, like eggs, breakfast sandwiches, Mickey-shaped waffles, salads, and hot and cold sandwiches.

the market at ale and compass yacht club

Location type: Grab-and-go
Type of food: American
Meals served: Breakfast, lunch, & dinner

  • On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, 1 Quick Service credit(s)
  • Pros: Plenty of grab-and-go options and specialty coffee plus bakery cases and Coke Freestyle machines for drinks and refills, mobile ordering in My Disney Experience available
  • Cons:  Limited selection and no outdoor seating
the market at ale and compass yacht club

Table Service

Here’s what you’ll find for Table Service at Yacht Club:

Ale & Compass Restaurant

Ale & Compass

Location type: Table Service
Type of food: American
Meals Served: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

  • On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, 1 table service credit
  • Pros: Offers a big breakfast buffet for a lower cost than other Disney restaurants, often easy to secure a reservation or walk-up seating
  • Cons: Smaller menu for lunch and dinner, food can be hit or miss

Crew’s Cup Lounge

In addition to beverages, you can also order dinner here between 5 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., including a wedge salad, a prime rib, lobster bisque, and more.

crew cup lounge yacht club

Location type: Lounge
Type of food: American
Meals served: Dinner

  • On the Disney Dining Plan? No, 0 Table Service credit(s)
  • Pros: Specialty drinks available (in addition to standard drink options), good appetizer options, usually pretty quiet
  • Cons: Disney Dining Plan not accepted
crew cup lounge yacht club

Yachtsman Steakhouse

Yachtsman Steakhouse

Location type: Table Service
Type of food: Steakhouse, American
Meals Served: Dinner

  • On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, 2 table service credits
  • Pros: Some of the best steak on Disney property, along with seafood and a large alcohol menu
  • Cons: Dinner can be pricy, especially for a whole family, only a few plant-based options on the menu

Everything Else

Just want a drink or a place to relax with a snack? Here’s where you can do that at Disney’s Yacht Club:

Ale & Compass Lounge

This lounge serves both cocktails and appetizers beginning at 4 p.m. daily. Food is only available until 10 p.m.

ale and compass lounge yacht club

Location type: Bar and lounge
Type of food: American
Meals served: Drinks and appetizers

  • On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, 1 Quick Service credit(s)
  • Pros: Contemporary design with a cozy and intimate setting, good appetizers and drinks
  • Cons: Small seating area, limited food options

Swan, Dolphin, and Swan Reserve

In addition to the Disney resorts, there are 23 additional restaurants located at the Swan, Dolphin, and Swan Reserve resorts.

They range from quick service locations to fine dining.

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