Disney’s magical pricing energy cannot outpace inflation proper now

A Disney performer greets guests at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort on July 11, 2020.

(Photo by Matt Stroshane / Walt Disney World Resort via Getty Images)

Disney could now trade more like Netflix, with streaming subscriber growth being the main catalyst for stocks, but as Disney + adds declined in the third quarter, real-world costs continue to rise. And that means that even Disney has an inflation problem, at least in the short term, that is hurting its margins.

Disney has pricing power that most companies envy, but that doesn’t improve investor sentiment. The stock is negative for the year, and to be crushed on Thursday, and was way behind the 20% + gains of the S&P 500 index even before the disappointment.

Now may be a time for long-term investors who have the patience to buy in, but Disney is a show-me story into the first half of 2022, and rising costs are part of the headwind.

In some ways, Disney’s recent performance shows how strong its brand is with consumers. The Genie + app, launched to reopen the parks after Covid at a cost of $ 15 per day per ticket, was purchased by a third of guests at Walt Disney World every day.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek said on the conference call Wednesday that he was not sure people are realizing the “gravity” of this success.

“For us this is a very, very significant increase in the per capita figures, but also in the margins,” said Chapek. He expects “sustainable yield advantages”.

Walt Disney World visitor numbers rose double-digit in the third quarter, while per capita spending increased about 30% over fiscal 2019. The company’s management assumes that per capita spending will remain well above pre-pandemic levels in fiscal 2022, but this will be offset by increased costs due to inflationary pressures, among other things.

Inflation on the minds of Wall Street analysts

The Parks, Experiences and Products division saw margins decline in the third quarter, and Disney earnings call analysts asked about the inflation problem.

“It’s a concern of every corporate CFO and senior management team,” said Christine McCarthy, Disney CFO. “Inflationary pressures is something we all look at and try to evaluate and think about how we can get through.”

For Disney, there is inflation, which is not macroeconomic, but rather related to the intense competition for content in the streaming wars, as McCarthy noted. “Just because of the competition for talent, anything related to production, the cost of content has increased,” she said.

And that makes the real inflation problem worse for Disney, which said it spent $ 3.6 billion on investments last fiscal year and will increase that by $ 2.5 billion in 2022. as that’s key to a future blockbuster quarterly number from Disney + subscribers that will propel the stock higher. But “this capex number really caught our eye,” said Tuna Amobi, CFRA research analyst.

Disney noted in its earnings that despite strong cost-cutting efforts, management believes that certain costs will remain elevated in fiscal 2022 compared to pre-pandemic times due to inflationary wage pressures and costs associated with new projects.

Some analysts are dismissing inflation as an issue for Disney.

“Disney has pricing power. Inflation only kills you if you can’t raise prices,” said Laura Martin, an analyst at Needham & Co .. Streaming costs are an issue, she said, “but that’s content inflation.”

Park wages are rising and fewer people are being let in due to Covid safety precautions, but she said the parking business is doing well this year even if margins are lower.

Parks revenue of $ 4.17 billion surpassed analyst estimates of $ 3.96 billion, but operating profit fell far short of expectations and international parks suffered losses. According to Atlantic Equities, profits of $ 640 million were well below the consensus of $ 901 million. This marked the first time since the pandemic began that all Disney theme parks were open for the full quarter, but even so, the unit’s small profit wasn’t close to analysts’ predictions, according to CNBC earnings analysis.

And “inflation” as a keyword was found all over the Disney earnings summaries of analysts.

Atlantic Equities wrote that it was “more interested in what the company’s profitability will be when it is at full capacity” and that while Genie’s success was among the highlights in earnings, additional cost pressures were felt and “inflation may be.” most worrying. “

The park’s performance delivered “optimism, not clarity,” wrote Wells Fargo. “Inflation is a risk (wages, product COGS). Disney is buying it but wrote,” There is not enough data yet to argue with conviction. “

JP Morgan was also optimistic, but twice noted inflationary headwinds: “Although there are higher costs associated with new attractions and inflationary pressures in the short term, we are confident that, given the improvements the company has made, the parks will come out of the park with better profitability Pandemic can emerge to implement, along with innovations like Genie +. The previous Parks business has rallied above expectations and we expect the segment emerging from COVID-19 to promise more profit in the longer term, despite short-term cost pressures from inflation. “

Disney park managers plan to respond to rising costs

Disney’s CFO had no easy solution to the rising costs.

“We see it right in our parking business primarily through the hourly wage inflation we’ve seen through contract renegotiations and our commitment to pay our parking workers well. And then we have things on the cost side of the goods, ”McCarthy told analysts.

She told Wall Street that she spoke to Disney’s Parks senior team about reactions to inflation just last week.

“There are a lot of things worth talking about,” said McCarthy. “We can adapt suppliers. We can replace products. We can reduce the serving size, which is probably good for some people’s waistlines. We can look at the prices if necessary. .. We’re really going to try to get the algorithm right, to cut where we can and not necessarily do things the same way. “

“As I mentioned earlier, we also use technology to cut some of our operating costs, and that gives us a little headroom to absorb some inflation as well,” she said. “But we’re really trying to use our heads here to find a way to alleviate some of these challenges we face.”

That’s what Wall Street wants to hear, Amobi said, but there will also be a reorientation of expectations for the company, which is trading at a high markup to its entertainment competitors.

“They would be expected to find ways to alleviate margin pressures from inflationary costs,” he said. “The question is how far you can go and when.”

“You can’t just assume that all of these things will weaken completely. You are talking about things that could last for several quarters. But you want to create the impression that you are not sitting around idly,” added Amobi. “How far they can take remains to be seen.”

Morgan Stanley analysts wrote that the parks recovery must be directed against the “rapid return of the parks cost base”. This cost base is returning from its 2019 fiscal year level with multi-year labor cost inflation, including an increase in the minimum wage for park employees. We clearly have upside potential in our parks revenue expectations, but the journey to past peak margins will likely take longer than the journey to past peak earnings. “

A company with as strong pricing power as Disney has offered in the past increases cost problems as they arise and it will be some time before it becomes clear what lasting impact inflation will have on margins, if at all.

“The pricing power makes it even more surprising and says even more about how companies can’t pass these costs on to consumers,” Amobi said.

Measured by the annual price increases for its parking passes, Disney has always been able to outperform inflation by several orders of magnitude. “That should serve them well, but that doesn’t mean the pressure on margins will ease,” he said.

This quarter showed that the biggest catalyst for stocks, streaming growth, isn’t going in a straight line. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, as it was also evident in Netflix performance. Now Disney also has an unclear inflation problem: how much of it will be sticky, like wage inflation, and how much of it will be “temporary” and pass within a few quarters, making it easier for management to meet its financial goals?

McCarthy noted on the call with analysts that Disney had already done a lot of work after returning from the pandemic, “fundamentally changing” some of its business operations on both the revenue and cost sides to optimize margins . But the overall margins for the global business for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products were just under 12%, well below the pre-Covid level.

Wage inflation, raw material costs, labor costs, and the cost of goods and services are all inflationary factors that Disney is exposed to.

“As I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, I believe that because of some of the things we have … in the long run, these fundamental changes will result in higher margins overall,” said McCarthy.

Investor negative sentiment towards Disney could prove temporary – there have been moments in recent years when ESPN fears prematurely lowered the stock before it rebounded – but the stock’s current performance shows that investors need reassurance.

“We believe investors will, at best, wait and see the stock for a short time,” concluded Barclays.

Given all the macro data points on the rise in inflation over the past few months and this week 30-year high in consumer price inflation year over year, no company or investor is immune.

“Inflation will be paramount for some time, and maybe even delay reaching margins before the pandemic. They will get there, but it will take longer to get there,” Amobi said. “In the case of Disney, some costs might turn out to be temporary and others much more permanent, and nobody knows … we always knew we’d deal with them sooner or later.”

Disney+’s Quick Circuit Homages 80s Animation Model

Directed by Kim Hazel, ‘Dinosaur Barbarian’ brings 2D animation style and ’80s jams to season two of Disney + s Short Circuit.

Disney + Short Circuit Season 2 features five new animated short films from the creative minds of Walt Disney Animation Studios. Directed by a Disney animator, each original short film explores a unique idea and the creator is given the resources it needs to bring their idea to life. Animator Kim Hazel (Raya and the Last Dragon) was passionate about bringing back the 2D style of animation in a fun, enthusiastic ’80s-style musical number called “Dinosaur Barbarian”.

During a press conference attended by CBR, Hazel broke up the collaborative process behind her superhero creation and her incredibly catchy musical theme song. Since all directors working on short circuit shorts were given 90 seconds cutoff time for their animated short, Hazel “deliberately” chose a musical format to get her story across in a timely manner.

CONNECTED: Turner & Hooch Creator is working on the adaptation of the classic film for Disney +

“[I] work[ed] with the composer, along with the voice [actor]Said Hazel. “Before we even had an animation, we had the song. And it was pretty much done. This is the audio Brian used to storyboard the entire short film. It was designed like a snack from the start. “

“Dinosaur Barbarian” follows a superhero 2D style hero who fights against evil. To bring this hand-drawn style to life, Jennifer Newfield, Director of Production at Short Circuit, helped connect Hazel with the “pipelines” needed to “make something bespoke for her”. The end result produced an 80s Saturday morning style cartoon that was exactly the vibe Hazel wanted.

CONNECTED: Chip ‘n’ Dale: The Park Life series director talks about the couple’s enduring legacy

When asked what it was like to develop the musical theme, Hazel had nothing but praise to share. “That process was amazing,” she said. “They were so cooperative, so enthusiastic, so fun.”

Describing the process in a little more detail, she noted, “Our relationship was working creatively when I submitted my pitch for ‘Dinosaur Barbarian’ to the program, I had written it, I called it my poem because I’m not a trained songwriter, but I had the beats that I wanted to play in a storytelling way. I passed that on to the composers and they came back with something that just blew me away, both in terms of the melody and the adjustments they made my poem what made it a bajmillion times better. “

CONNECTED: The creator of Centaurworld creates a magical animated musical about self-discovery

Reflecting on the finished product, Hazel added, “Honestly, it felt very magical because I gave them a word salad about what I was trying to achieve with the song, and on their first go through, I remember I was there sat and ate a sandwich on the weekend and they emailed me their first passport. In my head, I didn’t even know how to react. To be honest, I was speechless at how much they took everything I wanted and did exactly that in 90 seconds. “

The official synopsis of Kim Hazel’s “Dinosaur Barbarian” reads:

Fighting evil is part of the daily business for Dinosaur Barbarian, but what about taking out the trash? Sometimes even a superhero has to clean up.

The second season of Disney + “Short Circuit” is now streamed on Disney +.

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Titans’ latest trailer is giving away a very, very small part of the third season

About the author

Cass Clarke
(605 published articles)

Cass started writing for CBR in 2016, but they paused after piping a call from the mythical land of Midian. In 2020, they returned from their secret, monstrous ventures to rejoin the CBR ship as the review editor and crew interviewer. Cass holds an MFA from Emerson College, majoring in fiction, and a BA in English literature from Suffolk University. Her lyrics have previously been published on B * tch Flicks, Electric Literature, Catapult, and other sites that love the geeky and fantastic. Her favorite comic series is Alias ​​and her favorite superhero film is Hellboy from 2004. You have a soft spot for horror and are always open to upcoming projects in the field. Follow them @Cass__Clarke. Check out her previous work on her author page here. All press inquiries can be directed to their CBR email address: cassandra.c@cbr.com.

More from Cass Clarke

REVIEW: Tusker Home Returns With Household-Model Character Breakfast at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Tusker House in Disney’s Animal Kingdom open again for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We sat down for the family breakfast, which is $ 42 for adults and $ 27 for children. Breakfast includes a basket of pastries, fresh fruit and a breakfast plate, with vegan options available on request. The restaurant was a buffet before COVID. Mickey and friends also cross the restaurant for a detached meet-and-greet.


The Tusker House Restaurant is located in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.


We were some of the first guests to check into the reopened restaurant.

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After checking in, we waited for a text message telling us that our table was ready.

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Inside, a crowd of cast members greeted us warmly with “Jambo!”. They were all wonderful during our meal and seemed happy to be back.

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You were done with a lot of jungle / POG juice.

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With such a large dining area, it’s pretty easy to distance yourself at Tusker House.

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The tables were all set.



The characters were the highlight of this culinary experience. They all kept busy with every guest and most of them took a break at each table to take photos. They loved showing off their safari costumes.

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Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Mickey circle the restaurant.

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Daisy threw kisses when she arrived.

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The characters visited regularly while eating.

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Since the characters don’t stop for autographs, guests will receive an autograph card at the end of the meal.

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Snow Leopard Vodka, Bols Peach Schnaps and Tusker House “Jungle Juice”

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Before dinner we ordered two of the specialty cocktails. The jungle juice tastes exactly as you expect it to be. If you like POG juice then this is an excellent morning cocktail.

Made with Snow Leopard Vodka, a dash of African Berbere sauce and garnished with candied bacon

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This is a lovely and flavorful Bloody Mary. The mixture is thick with a lot of tomato paste and tastes fresh as if it was homemade. We could barely taste the vodka.

Pastry basket / board

Safari bread, multigrain croissants and corn bread, served with whipped butter, chocolate-hazelnut spread and strawberry jam

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The corn bread was warm and tasty. It was hearty but with a hint of sweetness. It goes well with a dash of butter and the strawberry jams.

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The safari bread is a dense brioche-style bread. It is hearty and chewy and goes well with the chocolate and hazelnut spread.

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The croissant remains remarkably light and flaky because it is multigrain. It’s a little boring in and of itself, but with a little strawberry jam it will perk you up.

Vegan pastries and fresh fruit

With honey yogurt sauce

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Each table gets a bowl of fresh fruit with a honey yogurt sauce. Even so, we preferred the vegan yogurt that came with this tray. It was thick and fluffy and tasted like coconut based.

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The vegan pastry option was good but not great. They didn’t seem ready to bring the vegan options so it took a while.

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The pastry itself was still a bit frozen in the middle.

Breakfast plate

Scrambled eggs, Mickey & Simba waffles and Durban Chicken & Egg Curry with jasmine rice served with bacon, sausage and fried potatoes

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The chicken and egg curry was excellent. It reminded us of the biryani in Sanaa. It was spicy but not really hot.

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Everything was cooked to perfection. The chicken and chickpeas are tender. We were skeptical of the hard-boiled egg, but it actually works well with the dish.

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The rest of the breakfast is pretty standard.

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The potatoes stand out. With more spice and flavor, they were better than the potatoes at other similar breakfasts.

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The sausage was the worst on the plate. It was greasy and not particularly hot. It had a decent sausage taste. The eggs were typical scrambled eggs.

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The waffles were a little off. They were a little doughy and seemed overcooked on the outside and undercooked on the inside. Maybe the waffle irons just needed more time to be seasoned.

Vegetable breakfast plate

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Instead of something more interesting, the plant-based platter just had vegan versions of the same food on the standard platter. That being said, the plant-based sausage was actually better than the real meat version. It was similar to falafel and had a more interesting flavor.

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The vegan curry was good. It tasted just like the chicken and egg curry, but without the chicken and egg. It didn’t come with rice either.

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The waffles weren’t great. They tasted like flour and were similar to the vegan waffles you get at other breakfasts.

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The vegan eggs are best to avoid. The texture was okay, but the taste wasn’t close enough to egg to be called vegan eggs.

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A total of

This is a pretty standard but good breakfast. In terms of food we liked it better than the Cape May Cafe, which also recently reopened. Plus, the service was better and we got to see the characters we loved.

Is it better than the buffet version? We kind of doubt many will think that way, but it still provides an enjoyable experience.

As always, follow WTWNT for all of your Disney Parks news, and for the all-new, follow WDW News Today on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

A Information To Disney’s BoardWalk Eating & Leisure

We’re sure we can all agree that Disney is really, really good at a lot of things: television, movies, theme parks, resorts, cruise ships, dining concepts, customer service, merchandise, and heck, even fireworks. Another thing they’re good at? Nostalgia. And we don’t just mean the nostalgia you get for your childhood when you watch classic Disney movies, or when Disney+ releases reimagined versions of your favorite One Saturday Morning cartoons or TGIF sitcoms – although those are good too. 

No, we’re talking about Disney’s uncanny ability to transport you to a different time and place by simply turning a corner – like at the Disney World BoardWalk, the streets of Hollywood Studios, or Magic Kingdom’s Main Street U.S.A. How? Well, it’s all thanks to that (Disney) magic combination of some clever forced perspective, well-placed and authentically inspired architectural and atmospheric details, music, tasty snacks and beverages, and maybe a sprinkle of pixie dust along the way.  


And, if we’re being honest, it’s one of our favorite things about visiting Disney World. That’s why we love visiting Disney’s BoardWalk resort and entertainment area. Nestled over near Epcot’s World Showcase and the Yacht and Beach Club resorts, it’s a fun place to visit for dinner, drinks, dessert, evening recreation, or even just some idle wandering after a day at the parks. Keep reading for everything that’s available at this old-timey entertainment district in the heart of Walt Disney World. 

What Is Disney’s BoardWalk?

Disney’s BoardWalk immerses guests in the charm of turn-of-the-century boardwalks like those at Coney Island and Atlantic City. Stretching for a quarter mile along Crescent Lake, the waterfront promenade is packed with shops, dining, nightlife, midway games, street performers, and even a resort. Keep walking, and you’ll not only hit International Gateway, the back entrance to Epcot, but 3 other resorts as well. So, whether you’re looking for an afternoon escape from Epcot with a slice of pizza, a shake, and a ride on a surrey bike or dinner and drinks followed by an evening stroll, a street magician, and some dueling pianos, you’re sure to enjoy your temporary trip back in time along Disney’s BoardWalk.  

The Disney World BoardWalk is also one of our favorite places to explore on Disney property that doesn’t require a park ticket. That’s right, Disney’s BoardWalk is not only open to the public, it is also entirely free to enter and there’s no obligation to buy anything if you don’t want to. However, there are some activities, like Jellyrolls, the dueling piano bar, that do require a cover charge for entry. 

Getting to Disney’s BoardWalk

Disney BoardWalk hours typically run from around 6:30am to 10pm or later depending on the season. Individual Disney BoardWalk restaurants, shops, and recreation may have different hours, however. So, be sure to look up the operating hours if you have someplace specific in mind for your next Disney vacation. 

While Disney’s Boardwalk is open all day long, our favorite time to visit is in the evening. With the huge BoardWalk sign glittering in lights, street performers dazzling the crowd, and, if you’re lucky, fireworks streaking through the sky, it’s a truly magical place to explore with an ice cream cone or margarita in hand. 

Disney BoardWalk Parking

Unfortunately, as the area is part of Disney’s BoardWalk resort, parking is extremely limited. So, while you are more than welcome to mention that you’re visiting the BoardWalk at the security gate, you may find that self-parking is unavailable or that you can only valet park your car. Typically, we find more often than not that self-parking is available, but it will fill up during the busy season.

Disney BoardWalk Transportation: Bus, Friendship Boat, Disney Skyliner & More

Of course, a safer alternative is using Disney’s complimentary transportation. That’s right, completely free. At the BoardWalk, that means busses, the Disney Skyliner, Friendship Boats, and if you’re visiting from Epcot, maybe even the Monorail. Or, for a paid option, call a Minnie Van. 

Busses are located at each of the Disney resorts around Crescent Lake and connect throughout the Disney property. For a relaxing boat ride to Epcot or Hollywood Studios, Friendship Launches are available at the center of the BoardWalk promenade between Flying Fish and the Screen Door General Store, and also at Disney’s Yacht Club and the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort. Or, for a different kind of tranquil transportation, hop on the Disney Skyliner to soar between Disney’s BoardWalk, the Caribbean Beach, Riviera, Pop Century, and Art of Animation resorts, and Epcot and Hollywood Studios parks.  

Disney World BoardWalk During COVID-19

Restaurant dining with brewing tanks

As with the rest of the Walt Disney World Resort, things look a bit different around Disney’s BoardWalk area as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While Disney’s BoardWalk villas are open and accepting reservations, the rest of the BoardWalk Inn is closed for now. Several dining outlets are also unavailable, including Flying Fish and the ESPN Club, along with a few snack and drink stands. Many of the BoardWalk’s entertainment offerings are also on pause including Jellyrolls, Disney BoardWalk games, street performers, and surrey bike rentals. However, we do expect this to return to normal as the pandemic recedes. 

Disney’s BoardWalk Resort Area

Not just a bunch of restaurants and shops, Disney’s BoardWalk and the rest of the area surrounding Crescent Lake is filled with a slew of resorts. 

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas

Take a trip to turn-of-the-century Atlantic City at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas. With cozy rooms and villas overlooking Crescent Lake and the BoardWalk entertainment district, a stay at Disney’s BoardWalk resort is a charming journey to yesteryear. A deluxe Disney Vacation Club resort, this is one of the pricier stays on Disney property. Here, guests can swim in the whimsical Luna Park Pool then swing by Leaping Horse Libations for an icy refreshment. Afterwards, you can play board games over a classic cocktail or cup of coffee at the Belle Vue Lounge, a lounge made to feel like a 1930s sitting room, to a soundtrack of shows from a bygone era played on vintage radios. 

Disney’s Beach Club Resort

Disney's Beach Club Resort Panoramic view in the Evening

Continuing on past the ESPN Club, the nostalgia continues over at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. Another deluxe DVC resort, Disney’s Beach Club evokes the elevated yet laid back style of a classic coastal New England resort. Kiddos here can dive into one of the coolest resort pools on Disney property which is also shared with the Yacht Club next door – the sandy, shipwrecked Stormalong Bay – or sit down to breakfast with Minnie and friends at Cape May Café. Adults will enjoy the seafood buffet at Cape May or a glass of wine at Martha’s Vineyard. And whatever you do, don’t miss Beaches & Cream Soda Shop for some creamy, dreamy ice cream mounded with toppings. Trust us, they throw in the whole Kitchen Sink (har har). Though not technically part of Disney’s BoardWalk, it’s just a short walk away, and a worthwhile visit for an ice cream or more. 

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Next door is Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, the Beach Club Resort’s statelier sister. Think, a buttoned-up linen suit and tie with a pair of boat shoes. Yet another deluxe resort that’s part of the DVC family, the New England theme can be seen here as well, though this time it’s more nautical than coastal. These two resorts share many amenities, so young guests staying here have access to Stormalong Bay too. Meanwhile, adults will love having access to some prime dining, namely surf-and-turf centric Yachtsman Steakhouse. And bonus, the Yacht Club Resort is one of the few pet-friendly resorts at Disney World, so even Fido can get in on the relaxation. 

Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Hotels

As you continue on around the lake back towards the BoardWalk, the next stop you’ll come to is the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Hotels. Though on Disney property, the Swan and Dolphin are technically Westin and Sheraton properties, respectively, not Disney resorts. That being said, there is still tons of family-friendly fun and delicious dining to be had here, including a character breakfast at Garden Grove featuring Goofy and Pluto. For more sophisticated palates, be sure to try one of the resort’s signature dining restaurants like Italian at Il Mulino, Japanese at Kimonos, seafood at Tod English’s bluezoo, or carnivorous classics at Shula’s Steak House. Finally, round out your stay by finding your zen at the Mandara Spa. 

What Is There to Do at Disney’s BoardWalk?

Margaritas with sugar and lime

From restaurants and nightlife to midway games and surrey bike rentals, there are plenty of things – both free and paid – to see, do, and eat. 

Disney BoardWalk Restaurants

Whether you’re in the mood for a prohibition-era cocktail at a magic-inspired speakeasy, a fried snack from a food cart, delicious handmade pastries, or a plate of something delicious and some glorious A/C, there are several Disney BoardWalk restaurants and other dining outlets waiting to be had. 


Said to have once been a speakeasy where stage magicians and streetwise illusionists could swap tricks Now, it’s a sophisticated hideaway filled with magical memorabilia from a bygone time. Cocktails – both mystically inspired sips and nostalgic favorites – are the highlights of the menu. And speaking from experience, the bartender has an especially magical pour, if you know what we mean. Ok, we’ll spell it out for you: they’re strong. Beer and wine are also available, as are a small selection of Italian-ish bar snacks from the attached Trattoria al Forno.  

Big River Grille & Brewing Works

Families looking for a casual table-service restaurant with plenty of kid- and adult-friendly options will love Big River Grille & Brewing Works. This microbrewery serves up a hearty selection of American pub favorites – from healthy-ish options like greens crowned with chicken or salmon to substantial eats like kobe burgers and ribeye steaks. Top it all off with the decadent Chocolate Confusion and a pint of Big River beer. Plus, with a classic kids’ menu and even a Shirley Temple on the menu, even the little ones can get in on the fun. 

BoardWalk Bakery

On the hunt for a savory handheld bite or a sweet treat? Step on into this quick-service café next to Trattoria al Forno. A delightful array of items are on offer from morning to night at the BoardWalk Bakery, with sandwiches available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as assorted desserts and pastries. Stop here in the morning for the indulgent Brioche Boston Cream Doughnut or Butter Butter Sandwich, then swing by in the afternoon for the Gobbler and a cupcake. 

BoardWalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas

Wanting an icy alcoholic beverage to go? Pay a visit to BoardWalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas. This little drink kiosk is filled to the brim with alcoholic and non-alcoholic sips like smoothies, soda, cocktails, beer, and wine. Or, put two of them together and have a boozy smoothie like the Captain’s Seaside Sensation with pineapple Dole Whip and spiced rum. Wash it all down with a salty or sweet snack like Mickey Pretzels and spicy cheese or roasted nuts. 


ESPN cheeseburger on a board

Searching for a place to eat for the sports fan in your life? Every day is game day at the ESPN Club. Seriously, there are close to 100 TV screens here showing sporting events from around the world. And with TVs in the bathrooms too, there’s no need to worry about missing the next big play. Plus, with the Sports Central television and radio studio on-site, you might even catch your favorite athlete making an appearance for an interview. Capping off one end of Disney’s BoardWalk, this table-service restaurant meets sports-bar offers up classic American bar food favorites for lunch and dinner. If you’re planning to visit on game day, this place fills up real fast. 

Flying Fish

Devour sustainable seafood and prime steak at Flying Fish, a signature restaurant serving both lunch and dinner. Peek into the open kitchen as chefs create classic seaside dishes with a contemporary, sophisticated twist. From the expertly plated entrees and artsy desserts, the food is as beautiful as the elegant, ocean-inspired décor. Although the vibe here is decidedly more adult, kids won’t feel left out with pint-sized versions of seared fish, grilled steak, or shrimp scampi on offer. 

Funnel Cake Cart

No visit to a beachside boardwalk is complete without a fried funnel cake dripping in chocolate and powdered sugar. Get your own here, along with other childhood favorites like cotton candy and fried ice cream. Or, grab a Funnel Cake Gift Kit and take your trip to Disney’s BoardWalk resort home with you.

Pizza Window

Looking to fuel your journey around Crescent Lake but don’t have time to sit down to eat? Pop by the Pizza Window outside Trattoria al Forno for slices and full-sized wood-fired pizza pies. While you’re there, be sure to grab something to drink, like a can of beer, a glass of red wine, or some refreshing sangria. 

The To-Go Cart

Pizza delivery window

In the mood for some portable eats to enjoy while you explore Disney’s BoardWalk? Then there’s no place like The To-Go Cart. There are tons of American classics on offer here, including hot dogs, corn dogs, mac & cheese bites, grilled cheese, burgers, pulled pork, and even burgers topped with pulled pork. Plus, with tempting add-ons like beer cheese, bacon, and chili, this is boardwalk-style dining with a tasty choose-your-own-adventure twist. 

Trattoria al Forno

Does strolling the boardwalk make you hungry for pasta? If so, be sure to visit Trattoria l Forno. This table-service restaurant dishes up old-world Italian classics just like Nonna used to make for dinner. In the morning, meanwhile, the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast starring Ariel and Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid and Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from Tangled features Mediterranean-inspired breakfast dishes with a side of Disney magic. 

Disney BoardWalk Entertainment

As with any boardwalk worth a visit, Disney’s version is made for guests of all ages to enjoy. Wander down this waterfront promenade during the day or night for fun-filled activities like Disney BoardWalk games straight off the midway, street performers, and more. 


There are two things we know to be true: Disney World is known for its fun, and nothing says fun like a dueling piano bar. It will probably come as no surprise that this place tends to be very popular with the conference attendees at the nearby Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort and Convention Center. Performing pairs rotate and take requests through the night (you’re more likely to hear your song played if you offer up a tip), and the whole crowd is encouraged to join in during special singalongs. Is it silly? Yes. But it’s also a ton of fun! Drinks aren’t the focus here, especially with a basket of popcorn to munch on at the same time. If you do plan to visit, keep in mind that this is a strictly 21-and-up bar and you will also be required to pay a cover charge upon entry.

Street Performers

Trattoria Al Forno

Fall into the carefree spirit of the boardwalks of days gone by during impressive acts by street performers. From illusionists doing close-up magic to jugglers showing off their admirable hand-eye coordination, these evening interludes will have the whole family cheering, and maybe even getting in on the action. 

Disney BoardWalk Games

One of the best parts about visiting a boardwalk, as anyone who has ever strolled one before can attest, is getting to try your hand at all those midway-style carnival games. There are a few different challenges available here, like vintage fair games and basketball, for those willing to spend a few bucks for a chance at a toy. 

Surrey Bike Rentals

Don’t just walk down the boardwalk like mere pedestrians – ride around in style on a surrey bike built for 2 or 4 people. After all, there’s nothing quite like pedaling your way along the waterfront with one hand on the steering wheel and another gripping for dear life onto a drippy, melty ice cream cone. At $25 per person, we think this is kind of a steep add-on, but we can’t think of a more fun or family-friendly way to see the whole of Disney’s BoardWalk. 

Movie Under the Stars

While this next suggestion may be meant for guests staying at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, with its prime location in the center of Disney’s BoardWalk on a particularly soft patch of grass, we say you might as well take advantage of this complimentary perk for Disney resort guests. No hotels reservations or Magic Bands are required – simply plop down once the film starts rolling and enjoy. 

Disney BoardWalk Shops

Restaurant dining room

In addition to all that eating and recreation, you’ll want to be sure to save some time for another thing: the Disney BoardWalk shops. Whether you’re on the hunt for snacks, Disney souvenirs, or a piece of art for your wall, there’s a good chance you’ll find it at Disney’s BoardWalk. 

Disney’s Character Carnival

If you couldn’t already tell from the name, Disney’s Character Carnival is all about merchandise devoted to beloved Disney characters. Stop in here for plushies, children’s clothing, sports gear, and housewares emblazoned with Mickey, Minnie, and more. 

Screen Door General Store

Staying at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and needing to rustle up some grub? Or maybe you’re just looking for something to munch on as you walk. Whatever your craving, swing by the Screen Door General Store for a range of groceries and sundries, including some souvenirs and stationery. 

Thimbles & Threads

While you won’t be walking into Thimbles & Threads and expecting to get a tailor-made suit or dress like you might have along the boardwalks of yesteryear, you will find plenty of Disney-inspired clothing to wear here, like swimsuits and t-shirts, along with some character plushies. 

Wyland Galleries

Art store with dolphin statues

Even if you’re not planning on buying anything, you won’t want to pass up a visit to the Wyland Galleries. The whole store is positively filled from wall to wall with beautiful, colorful paintings, art prints, sculptures, and jewelry inspired by the beauty of the ocean and all the creatures that live there. Consider this like Disney’s Art of Animation store but with whales and dolphins instead of Mickey and the princesses. 

Well, that wraps up our guide to Disney’s BoardWalk entertainment district. With its waterfront location, delicious dining options, recreational offerings for the whole family, relaxing resorts, and fireworks views, the wholesome charm of the BoardWalk is a pleasant alternative to the craziness of Disney Springs whether you’re coming for a stroll or to stay. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the restaurants located at The BoardWalk you can find several of them on our Top Restaurants at Disney World rankings guide. Plus there are several ice cream places here that made out Top Ice Cream locations at the resort. For anyone who’s thinking about staying at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn be sure to read our review of the hotel.

Dean from Park Savers

Dean has been writing and blogging for over 10 years. He specializes in Disney theme park news including updates, openings, special events and general advice for travelers. He doesn’t shy away from the good, the bad and the ugly. His previous work includes being a Cast Member at Disneyland and working as a travel agent.

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