This is The Boathouse Restaurant Review in Disney Springs. Over the last few years Disney Springs has been going under a massive overhaul and adding literally dozens of new restaurants to the property. One of the first new restaurants was The Boathouse, so as it was being built we followed it’s progress the whole time. Once it was done and people were telling us how good The Boathouse is, our mouths were watering just at the description given to us and we had to do a review. Since that first time The Boathouse has become a family favorite of ours and a can’t-miss restaurant, not just in Disney Springs, but Walt Disney World.
The Boathouse is a Table Service Restaurant and is owned by the Gibson’s Restaurant group. If you aren’t familiar with Gibson’s they are consistently ranked one of the best steakhouses in Chicago, and the first time they’ve left Chicago to go anywhere else! It’s listed as Fine/Signature Dining with a Seafood focus, but it isn’t a place that’s stuffy, you can come down in your shorts for a burger and fries or some oysters and not feel out of place at all. The Boathouse has a wonderful spot right down on the water in Disney Springs and offers great views and has a wonderful atmosphere.
If you want to use the Disney Dining Plan at The Boathouse then being a Signature Restaurant it requires 2 Table Service Credits. If you are a Tables in Wonderland cardholder, I’m sorry to tell you that The Boathouse isn’t participating at this time. However they do Annual Passholder Discounts of 10%, which isn’t as good but at least it’s something. Just keep in mind it’s only for Dinner. They do accept ADR’s 180 Days in Advance at The Boathouse, but it’s such a big restaurant you can usually get a table unless you have a big group. In that case book a reservation anyways.
Let’s dive into our The Boathouse Lunch Review so we can find out if it is truly as good as everyone says:
As you can see on the map, to get to The Boathouse just head down to The Landing in Disney Springs by the water and look for the dock:
Once you are there, it’s really a grand entrance with a beautiful brick courtyard leading to door. We went at lunch and it was a perfect sunny day:
Right this way please…
Leading up to the Boathouse entrance you’ll find the Captain’s Wheel:
You can give it a turn if you want, but it’s heavy!
So one of the most interesting things about The Boathouse (besides the food of course) is the fact that they have an actual dock for speedboats, and even cooler, Amphicars! Amphicars are cars that are able to drive on land, and also go on water like a boat. Here is the landing:
One is more gorgeous than the next. There were less than 4,000 of these Vintage Amphicar vehicles produced during the 1960’s and now less than 400 exist worldwide today!
Wow would I love to take her out! 😉
It just so happens you can take a Captain’s Guided Tour in a vintage Amphicar out onto the lake. While this is an incredible experience no doubt, come with your wallet cause it’s not a cheap one. It’s $125 for 20 min and the cars hold 3-4 passengers depending on the size. That even blows away Gondola rides in Venice, which is now easy task to do.
Either way I’d love to do it some day so maybe the next time down we will. If you have been out on the Amphicars please let us know your experience in the comments section below the Boathouse review.
Let’s go inside:
So The Boathouse restaurant is HUGE!! There are 3 Bars, 3 beautiful nautically Themed Rooms and 2 Private Dining Rooms with a total seating capacity of up to 600 Guests!
When you walk in you’ll see the Oyster Bar directly ahead of you. Here you can get a drink and also check out the Raw Bar so you have an idea for later!
The Bar here is very big and spacious. There are TV’s right there if you are looking for the game. Pull up a stool and make yourself comfy. The whole room here is beautifully decorated in warm wood, from the rafters, right down to the floor. Very welcoming and homey:
Of course since this is The Boathouse, you expect to see boats. Well before going out to the back patio, you can take a look at the motors up on the wall for decoration, along with the many pictures of these beautiful machines:
The inside bar however should only be used on extremely hot days, instead let’s go out the back door and check out the amazing terrace on the docks:
If you really are looking for a good view, then the Dockside Bar is the spot. Grab a chair here and relax as your wife is out spending your money in the Disney Springs shops. Trust me, you’ll need the drink!
This whole area back here is just amazing and quite possibly the best seating area in all Disney Springs, which is hard seeing there are so many amazing spots by the water:
The patio is really huge too and there are a ton of tables. Thankfully they are shaded for those hot days, and there are also heated lamps for the chilly Winter nights:
Eat your heart out!
Finally we see some actual Boats at The Boathouse! Here you can find Retro Dream Boats or Italian Water Taxis, truly remarkable machines:
- TIP: If you are looking for a really romantic time, book a Venezia Champagne Cruise out on the water. These Captain-guided tours of Lake Buena Vista put you in a 40-foot Italian water taxi, perfect for a special occasion like an anniversary, engagement or other celebrations. Each ride comes with Chocolate-covered Strawberries and Champagne. For 30 Minutes: $75 per adult, and for 60 Minutes $115 per adult.
If you like boats a lot, how about eating lunch in one too? But not on the water this time, inside The Boathouse restaurant!!
This awesome custom-built Chris Craft Boat Table holds 6 people and is gorgeously crafted:
Wonderful spot for a really unique lunch!
This is the first dining room near the bar where the boat-table is located:
Many evenings you can find live entertainment here at The Boathouse, and musicians get up on this stage to perform. That makes for a really fun atmosphere and a lot of the entertainers are actually quite good!
Don’t forget the BOATIQUE Gift Shop for some nifty nautical presents to take home!
Going past the bar area, we come across another dining room. Boat theming is everywhere, so either you’re in your happy place or running for the door right now! ??. I really like the spinning fans on the ceiling in the shape of paddles:
Here there are a lot of regular tables and also some comfy booths too. Again, not too stuffy for a signature restaurant and most guests were dressed casually.
On to the next dining room, this is where the Admiral’s Bar is located. This room is a bit more reserved but carries the teal-color scheme and tasteful nautical photos on the walls. Reminds us a bit of Paddlefish theming. A totally different feel from the all-wood rooms before:
The Admiral’s Bar:
So far all the seating we’ve seen has been more on the casual side. Now we move into the Private Dining Rooms where they use when The Boathouse is really packed or when someone books a private party. Onto the Regatta Dining:
Just stepping in you can tell that this dining room is more upscale and fancy:
The chairs carry the color-scheme from the previous rooms, but the walls are a richer red color. Notice the huge round tables as well as the smaller square ones:
This is where the good stuff is stocked:
Beautiful stained-glass lamps adorn the ceiling:
This is the second private dining room, The Trophy Room, and can be used in conjunction with the other or complete separated:
Same color scheme and design as the Regatta Room:
Of course what’s a trophy room without trophies??
Really beautifully crafted boat replicas are on top of the shelves in the room:
These must be some famous catches or something! 😉
So the atmosphere is top-notch, and if you are a boat lover this will be you new favorite spot! But let’s get to why we are really here, and that’s to eat!! We were able to score this perfect table outside on the patio, in a nice shady spot with a breathtaking view of the water!
So again, The Boathouse restaurant is a great place for Surf and Turf, in that no matter if you are a seafood lover or a meat lover, you are going to love the options available to you! The Boathouse prides itself on quality and that means the fish is brought in fresh daily and anything breaded is done that day.
They have an amazing Raw Bar with Oysters, Shrimp, Lobster, Tuna and Crab; Fresh Fish of the Day, Fried Seafood, Lobster Roll, etc. But even though it’s known for seafood, having the Gibson’s name means that it also excels in Steak, and the options from the land are just as good. Steaks, Chops, Burgers and even award-winning Baby Back Ribs. In fact The Boathouse restaurant is part of the Gibson’s restaurant group and therefore has access to their USDA Blue Star Heritage Angus, one of the highest quality pieces of meat you can find anywhere!
I really love that The Boathouse has it’s own Specials Menu which changes everyday. Often times when visiting our favorite items have come from here:
And with 3 Bars in the restaurant you know they are going to have an extensive drinks menu:
So here we go! First we really enjoyed the pitcher of Ice Water and lemons they brought to us and left on the table. That was great because we drink almost as much water as camels do so it was nice to not have to pester the waiter every 10 minutes for a refill:
But we weren’t going to stop there. First up was a Cucumber Cooler ($12):
We really enjoyed this. It was light and refreshing with a strong cucumber taste, so if you like them, you’ll love this! It is what it’s supposed to be…doesn’t hang with you and doesn’t have a heavy boozy feel to it. Very enjoyable!
Next was a Pineapple Rum ($12):
This was pretty straightforwardly too, but really good. The sweetness of the juice and alcohol were perfectly blended together and it too was really refreshing. Very islandy.
Next was the the Blueberry Lemondade ($15), which has more in it than just blueberry and lemonade! 😉
This is one of The Boathouse’s more expensive drinks, but it’s significantly bigger than the previous two. If you want to bring home the signature glass as a souvenir then it’s $6 more. Being a hot Florida day, all of our drinks were perfect for the weather, and this had a strong blueberry and lemon taste that again we just loved!
Lastly was probably our favorite drink, the Margarita ($15):
Like the Blueberry Lemonade, this was gigantic too! Usually the Margarita costs $15, but since we never ordered it and the waiter made a mistake, we got it for free! It has a perfect blend of sour and sweet and you can tell the ingredients are top-notch! We absolutely love this margarita and have gotten it multiple times at the Boathouse, and we put it right up there with Frontera Cocina as one of the best margaritas in Walt Disney World.
Onto the Bread Service: