Disney’s BoardWalk may just be the most photogenic and lively spot in the whole of Disney World Resort come nightfall. This is basically a pretty promenade set next to a Crescent Lake, with an eclectic range of cafés, restaurants, bars and boutiques creating a colorful reflection across the water.

Though the area is best visited at night, when the atmosphere is at its best, you could come in the day too as most of the wining and dining options are open from mid-morning. The area is open to the public, so you don’t need to be a resort guest or have a theme park day pass, though certain venues have a cover charge or enforce age policies.

Disney's BoardWalk Orlando - one of the highlights of 10 Best Things to Do in Disney World Florida and 10 Best Nightlife Experiences at Disney World Florida (Read all about Orlando here)

Nightlife highlights at Disney’s BoardWalk

Jellyrolls – A night of guaranteed fun and laughs, Jellyrolls is a famous venue that specializes in live piano duelling performances that often result in tipsy sing-alongs. The talented musicians are happy to take requests, and often swap seats with audience members who fancy a go at tinkling the ivories themselves. Open from 7pm to 2am, it’s about $12 to enter, but you have to be at least 21 years old.

Atlantic Dance Hall – Don your dancing shoes for a night of boogying down to dance hits from the ‘80s and ‘90s at this all-out nightclub on Boardwalk. The venue itself is beautiful, taking on a classic art deco ballroom theme. When you need a rest, be sure to head to one of the balconies upstairs for some excellent views over the lake. It’s open from 9pm until late between Wednesday and Saturday, with an age limit of 21 and up.

ESPN Club – This expansive bar is all about the sports, with live feeds showing the latest game and interviews with celebrity athletes. A range of classic American comfort food is served throughout the day, though things get livelier as more drinks orders come in at night. It’s open from midday on weekends and 11am on weekends, closing at 11pm every day.

Dining highlights at Disney’s BoardWalk

Trattoria al Forno – Classic Italian cuisine in some relatively refined settings; open for breakfast, but it’s best to come for their hearty mains in the evening.

Flying Fish Café – A highly rated restaurant (it’s not really a café) that specializes in fresh fish, seafood and steaks, all served up in a beautifully designed dining room. The Flying Fish definitely leans more towards the fine-dining side of things, so plan $50-a-head if you’re coming for dinner.

Big River Grille & Brewing Works – Disney’s best microbrewery is the place to come if you’re into your good beer. This all-day diner also serves plenty of American pub favorites to line your stomach like burgers, mac ‘n’ cheese, ribs and meatloaf – most of which are around $10-20. Despite being a brewery, kids are allowed in.

Pizza Window – If you’re in a rush or just fancy a quick snack, don’t miss Pizza Window and its famous thin-crust slices. Go for a slice of their Broadwalk Signature Pizza, then slowly stroll down the promenade eating it (and trying not to let the melted cheese drip all over your top).

The To-Go Cart – Another good option if you fancy a quick and rather unhealthy fill, this popular vendor specializes in one thing: thick, juicy hot dogs with a range of toppings to choose from.

Disney's BoardWalk Orlando

Location: 2101 Epcot Resorts Blvd, Kissimmee, FL 34747, USA

Paul Smith | Compulsive Traveler