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The Boathouse, from the creators of T-Rex and Rainforest Cafe, is coming to Disney Springs


We’ve been chronicling the coming of Disney Springs since before its official announcement in March of 2013. By changing to the Disney Springs concept, Disney is expanding shopping, dining, and entertainment options at the Downtown Disney location with the goal of keeping more guests on property during their entire vacation and not shuttling off to local malls or other theme parks.

The first area of Disney Springs to open will be The Landing, which is a water front area approximately where Pleasure Island was before. The largest building in the area is what will become The Boathouse – a new concept restaurant from the team at Schussler Creative. Previous concepts from them at Walt Disney World include: Rainforest Cafe, T-REX Cafe, and Yak & Yeti. Opening Spring 2015 The Boathouse will be an upscale, waterfront dining experience featuring spectacular floating artwork: dream boats from the 30’s, 40’s & 50’s.

The Boathouse restaurant will immerse guests both on land and on water with live music. Among many special dining opportunities, there will be a romantic Captain’s guided tours aboard The Venezia, a beautifully crafted 40-foot wooden Italian Water Taxi featuring champagne toasts and chocolate-covered strawberries. There also will be the exhilaration of guided Amphicar rides that launch from land, entering the water with a splash, taking guests on a 20-minute tour of the landmarks of Disney Springs.


To add to the atmosphere, the Harbor Master will orchestrate daily flag ceremonies, accompanied by a lively musical performance of beloved bugle songs, performed aboard a classic 1800’s antique steam boat. Authentic nautical items, custom engraved paddles, distinctive lake-themed merchandise, and other unique items “Made on Earth” will be available at The Ship’s Store, adjacent to The Boathouse restaurant.


“Combining dining with interactive entertainment, The Boathouse helps bring to life our vision of Disney Springs as a welcoming place for guests of all ages to enjoy with their friends and family amid the charm of a waterfront town center,” said George A. Kalogridis, president, Walt Disney World Resort.

“We are very excited that The Boathouse is joining the Walt Disney World family at Disney Springs,” said creator Steven Schussler. “The outstanding cuisine, the excitement of Amphicars, the Italian Water Taxi, and live music will make The Boathouse a must-see destination for Walt Disney World guests from all around the world. Walt Disney Imagineering has created a wonderful, interactive, culinary and entertainment experience at Disney Springs. We are proud to be part of this magical experience.”

The incredible culinary experience of The Boathouse will be showcased in an expansive restaurant with three distinctive bars including The Captain’s Raw Bar, The Admiral’s Club Bar and The Dock Bar, which is built over the water. Other spectacular nautically-themed rooms include The Runabout, Twin Transoms, and The Lake House. There will also be two private dining rooms for special events, conventions and presentations: The Regatta and The Trophy Room.

Schussler Creative Restaurant, The BOATHOUSE: Great Food, Waterfront Dining, Dream Boats, to Open in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort in 2015

The Boathouse restaurant will be managed by the award-winning Gibsons Restaurant Group, celebrated for exceptional food and extraordinary service (recently named Best Steak House in Chicago). Guests will enjoy a gourmet menu served daily until 2 a.m. featuring steaks, chops, fresh seafood and a raw bar.

I’ve been watching The Boathouse construction with growing excitement. I can’t wait to see what Disney and Schussler bring to the table with this latest project. Can you?

The Boathouse is scheduled to open in Spring of 2015.

5 thoughts on “The Boathouse, from the creators of T-Rex and Rainforest Cafe, is coming to Disney Springs”

  1. I could not be more excited about this, and the rest of Disney Springs! Downtown Disney has become such a pass (with the exception of a quick Earl of Sandwhich grab of course), and I would love for it to be a must hit (like California’s Downtown Disney). This restaurant concept looks like a step in the right direction for what’s to come!

    Thanks for keeping us up to date!

  2. This feels unimpressive. With Rainforest and T-Rex, you almost eat with your head on a swivel trying to catch all the interactive elements. This seems much less immersive and the wall of outboard motors fails to catch my fancy.
    I’m also not familiar with any beloved bugle songs. I just remember in M*A*S*H when Radar’s bugle got run over.
    I’ve seen amphicars in Seattle and Vancouver (Duck tours) and I don’t know that exhilaration is the adjective I’d use. Is it using the same launch system as Rock n’ Roller Coaster?

    Or maybe I’m skeptical because of my lingering Adventurer’s Club bitterness.

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