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If you’re looking for ice cream while wandering Walt Disney World’s Boardwalk area, you can find a quaint shop at BoardWalk Ice Cream. Over the summer, I had the pleasure of trying this shop which opened in May, replacing Ample Hills Creamery after its closure last spring. Let’s all scream for ice cream!
If you’re on Disney property, especially at one of the BoardWalk area resorts, it’s a lot of fun to walk over or hop a Friendship Boat to the Boardwalk Ice Cream shop. On the day I went it was super quiet; we were the only customers, so I really got a chance to explore. Ample Hills Creamery had a loyal fan base and I really have no idea the brand of the ice cream I ate at the new BoardWalk Ice Cream shop, but if you aren’t picky with your ice cream, this will do just fine, especially if it’s a spontaneous jaunt. It was perfectly pleasant on a warm day for myself, my husband and my teen son.
Even though we were guests at the Yacht and Beach Club Resort, which houses one of the most popular ice cream shops on Walt Disney World property, we chose to enjoy a boat ride over to something different and to check it out. We like to eat our ice cream as an impromptu stroll, and besides, isn’t it fun to hop on a boat for a few minutes across the lake as part of the experience? So we did.
The experience was clean and friendly and nicely decorated, similar to the Ample Hills Creamery space. Everything felt new and an old-fashioned ice cream shop feel. However, it is outside seating only. Maybe that will change as the season turns cooler because there was space for it inside.
Flavors were basic. You can get your usual: chocolate, vanilla, and mint chip. A small variety of flavors overall. All the go-to’s of a basic milkshake, and a variety of sundae options are available. They also offer plant-based options, some limited beverage options, and a no sugar added flavor. What was missing was my husband’s favorite vanilla chip, so he opted for the Surf’s Up Sundae with mint chip ice cream. My teen son ordered the Strawberry Splash Shortcake Sundae which offered vanilla ice cream. I enjoyed mint chip as well. The ice cream for me was a thumbs up, however my husband felt it was not flavorful. He is our family ice cream connoisseur, while I am not as choosy. My son loved his sundae and had no negative comments. It was enjoyable sitting and relaxing outside watching the people walk by, the Crescent Lake views, and chatting about our walk into Epcot through the International Gateway.
A few things, however, were missing. While we scored on the relaxed atmosphere, beautiful views, and price point compared to Beaches & Cream across the way, we may have also enjoyed a sit down option inside if the weather was too hot since it was summer. We felt some varieties of flavors were missing, including a soft-serve option. Lacking was a Disney or “Mickey” embellishment. Perhaps a Mickey ear cookie in a sundae, mini Mickey sprinkles, or Mickey ear chocolate pieces as a topping. Something “Disney-esque.” A souvenir cup or special BoardWalk memento to mark the occasion would be welcomed. Something was “missing” we felt overall.
It used to be easier to grab ice cream if you were staying on property at one of the Epcot resorts. Sauntering through the International Gateway and enjoying gelato in the World Showcase pavilions was easy. But with Walt Disney World’s Park Pass Reservation System, it is not as casual as it once was. BoardWalk Ice Cream Shop will do, for now.
While on vacation however, I think ice cream can be a better experience than this. It should be better…because you are on vacation after all. Whereas at home, I would tend to order my favorite go-to flavor; on vacation, I think it’s fun to splurge or try new things and have an adventure. BoardWalk Ice Cream has the bones, now it just needs the soul; the Disney je ne sais quoi.