Disney World food is second only to Disney World attractions when it comes to popularity. Guests sometimes even hit the Disney parks with the sole purpose of finding nourishment that’s shaped like Mickey Mouse’s head. Of course, Disney is well aware of this fact, and the powers that be are keen to capitalize on the popularity of Disney cuisine by changing things up on a regular basis. Here are a few truly unique dining locales that may be coming soon to what will eventually be The Landing at Disney Springs. Two of these are confirmed by Disney, while one is still just a (really awesome) possibility.
1. The BOATHOUSE
The BOATHOUSE (yes, all caps) is a fantastic new restaurant that’s in the works at what is currently Downtown Disney but will soon be Disney Springs. It’s set to open in early 2015 (springtime, hopefully), and the design sounds pretty epic.
First of all, about three-quarters of the restaurant will be on water, which requires some pretty interesting construction procedures. When my husband and I visited the area in September 2014, we noticed lots of metal beams being dropped into the water. Obviously, this piqued our interest. Since then, the creator has explained that the beams will be used for supports in the construction of the restaurant.
The BOATHOUSE will be located at The Landing at Disney Springs once Downtown Disney officially switches to the Disney Springs name. This area was formerly called Pleasure Island and was a hotspot for after-hours entertainment. The BOATHOUSE will be next to Fulton’s Crab House on the lagoon.
Unlike Pleasure Island, the BOATHOUSE will be a family-friendly restaurant. It will be an upscale restaurant that features live music and an extensive menu. In fact, word on the street is that the offerings will include three bars—a Captain’s Raw Bar, The Dock Bar, and presumably a typical, alcholic drink bar. The menu will include steaks, seafood, and additional fare for landlubbers. It will be part of the Gibson Restaurant Group, which currently holds the top steak restaurant in Chicago. They’re also famous for their seafood, so you just know this food will be great.
There will be two private dining rooms and a total of 400 seats in the restaurant. These seats are spread throughout six total rooms, and each room will be decorated with different nautical elements. The creator, Steven Schussler, wants the restaurant to look like an old boathouse, with the illusion that various rooms were added on over the years. Schussler also created the Rainforest Café, T-Rex, and Yak & Yeti, so the concept will most likely be impressive once it’s a reality.
The BOATHOUSE will also feature guided tours of the waters around The Landing area via a 40-ft. Italian water taxi called the “Venezia” (apparently, they’d like to emphasize that the water taxi is Italian). The tours will last about 20 minutes and include champagne toasts with the captain and chocolate-covered strawberries.
As you may have guessed, experts assume that the BOATHOUSE will be amazingly popular, so guests who want to dine here as soon as it opens should probably keep eyes peeled for an exact opening date. You should be able to snatch up dining reservations once an exact date is announced.
2. STK Orlando
Disney execs are obviously focusing on new, upscale dining options for the Disney Springs area; you can add STK Orlando to the list of fancy new restaurants coming to the area.
STK is a revolutionary steakhouse that encourages guests to socialize. These restaurants also double as a lounge and feature a DJ and high-quality food and drinks.
STK Orlando will be one of the largest in the chain of restaurants with around 14,000 square feet of space. It will feature two levels of dining, with a rooftop seating area available for guests.
Assuming that the Orlando restaurant is styled the same as the other STK locations, we can expect a mostly monochromatic color scheme throughout, modern furniture with sleek lines and no frills, and an upscale menu. The STK website shows young adults in cocktail attire, dancing and holding drinks in their hands.
The site’s events page showcases Happy Hour specials, New Year’s Eve parties, and 7-course meals complete with wine pairings.
This is certainly a different design than the typical Disney World restaurant, but it’s obvious that Disney execs are attempting to branch out a little. For guests who come to Disney World for variety and fun, STK Orlando may be just the place to cut loose without the kids.