We first told you about the new-but-not-quite new spot a while back. And ever since then, I’ve been eager to drop by and check out the new scene. So on a sweltering day last week, that’s just what I did. Let’s have a look.
I gotta say it — it looks awesome.
In keeping with the new Florida-forward Disney Springs theme, Dockside Margaritas looks like a little stand you’d find in the middle of a citrus grove. But they’re selling stuff that’s waaaaaay better than orange juice.
The distressed, faded sign gives the spot built-in age. But the bright citrus green and yellow palette keeps it feeling fresh.
The open-air feeling of the bar lends to that “grove stand” feel. You can walk up and order from three of the four sides. And regardless of where you are, you always have a great view of Village Lake.
As you approach Dockside from the front — meaning the side that faces the shops, not the water — the largest area of seating is just to the right of the building. And I think that it’s really beautifully done as well. A pergola overhead gives a little protection, but still allows for plenty of sunshine. Strands of overhead lights and a stand set up for a musician hint at a scene that promises to be relaxed but festive as the sun goes down.
I can’t wait to meet friends here at night for a drink (or two).
Looking back onto Dockside from the larger seating area, you also note that there is bar seating. Upon closer inspection, you see two bars actually — you can face the bar and chat with the friendly staff, or stare out over the water.
But at this point, after much deliberation, it was time to settle on a drink. So let’s take a look at the options. And this is where it gets good.
While the old spot was fine, just fine, for ordering a handful of tequila-based drinks and a couple of other options, things are way more interesting here. In addition to several interesting margaritas, check out the Florida Draft Beer options!
There are also some exciting beer choices available in cans — note the Schöfferhofer Pink Grapefruit Hefeweizen, which has been such a huge hit in the Epcot Germany Pavilion.
And did you catch the Snacks? Flavored Nut Mixes pair with the offerings on hand.
I’m a sucker for coasters. Isn’t this one pretty? Couldn’t resist showing you.
After much thought and himming (with a little hawing thrown in for good measure), I decided to bypass the Margaritas. They sounded great! But our DFB readers have been asking about something else. And rum sounded awfully refreshing…
And so I went with the Orange Grove Rum Runner.
The recipe is just very slightly different than the old one, which featured Myers Dark Rum. This go around, it’s Siesta Key Spiced Rum (that’s right! Made in Florida!) with all the classic flavors — Blackberry Brandy, Creme de Banana, and Citrus Juices. It’s topped with a floater of Gosling’s 151 Rum.
It was quite good, but not…awesome. It’s probably me. My rum runner bar was set high by a local bar several years back, and this one didn’t quite top it. Still, it’s smooth and refreshing, and will answer the call if you’re looking for a rum punch-type drink.
DFB reader Jon Aoki has also visited Dockside recently and sent us pictures of the drinks he tried — the Habanero Lime Margarita and the non-alcoholic Orange Frost.
The bartenders told me that the Habanero Lime definitely leaves a lingering warmth behind, but that it wasn’t too spicy. Still, if you aren’t a chile lover, I’d say order that one at your own risk!
But overall, I really love what they’ve done with this spot. While it’s clear everything is going to be freshened up with, at the very least, new signage and a coat of paint, I think it’s a vast improvement in this case. And I’m pretty confident that just about everyone will think so.
So now let’s hear from you guys! Will you be savoring a drink at Dockside Margaritas during your next visit to Downtown-Disney-Soon-to-be-Disney-Springs? Leave a comment and tell us what you think sounds good to you!