Make a Splash at Disney

From swimming to boating to dining by the water, here's the ultimate guide to finding water during your Walt Disney World vacation.
Annette Thompson

Tastes of the Sea: Seafood Picks
If you spent the day on the water, complete the experience with wonderful seafood. Our favorite restaurants include the Flying Fish Café at the BoardWalk Inn and the Coral Reef Restaurant at Epcot. Flying Fish, open for dinner only, costs more (entrées from $20), but serves up the best seafood at Disney. The menu changes daily based on what's fresh. We really like the potato-wrapped snapper and plank-grilled salmon. At the Coral Reef, dine in a dark blue room with the Living Seas aquarium filling an entire wall. Try the grilled skewered shrimp over Swiss chard ($19.50; lunch entrées from $13).

Other favorite places to savor fresh seafood include Citricos at the Grand Floridian (sautéed shrimp or scallops), Cap'n Jack's Restaurant at Downtown Disney (don't pass up the chowders), and Fulton's Crab House near Pleasure Island (order oysters any way you like them).

Romance on the Water: Boat Tours
End the perfect day with a boat ride on Breathless. The 24-foot solid mahogany runabout is a reproduction of a pre-war classic speedboat. It zooms around Crescent Lake from the Bayside Marina. Breathless will also take you to a seemingly private viewing of Epcot's IllumiNations (the fireworks and laser-light spectacular) from the bridge area at the France pavilion. Rates start at $178.40 plus tax per boatload; it holds up to seven guests, but two is the sweetest number.

The most extravagant boat ride at Disney comes aboard the 45-foot Grand 1. The charter cruise on Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake departs from the Grand Floridian's marina. This exquisite vessel comes completely furnished with three bedrooms, two baths, kitchen, living room, and dining room. Up to 16 passengers can take in the Magic Kingdom fireworks, while being served dinner catered by the Grand Floridian. Reservations are difficult to obtain, so call as soon as possible ($352.11 plus tax per hour includes driver and deckhand; catered dinner is extra).

Walt Disney World: (407) 824-4321 or www.disneyworld.com. To make reservations for activities, call (407) 939-7529. One-day, one-park admission: $82 plus tax  adults, $74 plus tax ages 3-9.

The Best of the WetMost fun water ride: Kali River Rapids at Animal Kingdom
Best swimming pool at Walt Disney World: Stormalong Bay, shared by the Yacht and Beach Clubs
Most popular family pool: Polynesian Resort
Best lounges for a cocktail: Victoria Falls at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and Mizner's Lounge at the Grand Floridian
Best pool for swimming laps: Dolphin and Swan Resort
Most fascinating wine list in the Kingdom: Jiko-The Cooking Place restaurant at Animal Kingdom Lodge--all South African
Best uncontrolled watery thrill: wiping out Goofy-style at Typhoon Lagoon's surfing classes
Best place to rent a boat: marina at the Contemporary Resort. Be sure to explore the connecting canals; one crosses over a road.
Most outrageously romantic spot to watch fireworks: from the Grand 1 on Seven Seas Lagoon
 

This article was updated May 2011. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.

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