Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is somewhat unique among its on-property peers, as it includes not only a wide variety of rooms (and of course all the amenities that Disney fans have come to expect from staying at a deluxe resort), but also its own sprawling shopping and dining area that is open to all guests. Because of the openness of this area, it's easy to find guests casually strolling around the various shops or grabbing a meal at one of the many restaurants that call the BoardWalk Inn home. And even though this resort isn't as massive as nearby Disney Springs, many guests in recent years have found that shopping and dining at this smaller complex is often a preferable alternative, as it doesn’t involve parking garages or traffic jams!
However, even though the BoardWalk Inn has offered guests a comfortable and consistent shopping and dining experience through the years, substantial changes have been confirmed to be coming to this resort in the next few months. Though the resort isn’t getting a true overhaul (like the recently completed refurbishment of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort or the in-progress facelift of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge), and the actual rooms at this hotel aren't changing, guests who frequent the shopping and dining areas at the BoardWalk may notice some differences the next time they drop by this resort.
1. Seashore Sweets in front of Flying Fish Cafe to close permanently
Disney has confirmed this week that Seashore Sweets, the charming old-fashioned candy shop perfectly situated in the heart of the BoardWalk, will be permanently closing next week on February 1st. While Disney has yet to make an official statement on the matter, guests with an upcoming stay at this resort were notified of the change a few days ago via letter. While there are plenty of other places around Walt Disney World to get treats like cookies, salt water taffy and ice cream, this location was well-loved by resort-goers for its early twentieth century vibe and super convenient location right on the BoardWalk's waterfront.
Though this might be sad news for those who love stopping in at this location for something sweet, another nearby construction project that is kicking off next week might shed some light on why Disney is shuttering this popular snack location so quickly...
2. Flying Fish Café dining room expands (and potentially gets a new bar area)
Late last year, an extensive ten-month long refurbishment was announced for the Flying Fish Café. Though Disney doesn't typically reveal much about refurbishments, they confirmed last year that both the dining area as well as the kitchens at this popular table service restaurant would be getting massive updates. And now that the refurbishment is upon us (it officially kicks off next week), rumors have been circulating that this "major overhaul" will also include a dining room expansion, which explains the closure of Seashore Sweets.
Though it seems certain at this point that part of the Flying Fish Cafe will take over the spot currently occupied by Seashore Sweets, reports have been mixed as to how this extra space will be used. Some believe that the dining room will simply be extended out into the former store space, but a more prevalent theory is that this space will become a shared bar/lounge between the Flying Fish Cafe and the nearby Trattoria al Forno and Flying Fish Cafe. These restaurants already share a restroom (which patrons may already know can only be accessed by going through the sweets shop), and if this rumor is indeed true, it could link these restaurants in an interesting (and more natural) way than just the shared bathroom.
While we know that the dining room is getting an upgrade and the décor is being completely overhauled, one thing that is not expected to change is the menu. Flying Fish café has always enjoyed a cult following and if you count yourself among this dining establishment’s fans, you won’t have to worry about your favorites being gone when this eatery re-opens several months from now. While we'd expect to see a few new items, favorites like the potato-wrapped snapper should still be there when the restaurant opens back up, either late this year or in early 2017.