Lunch AND Dinner Review: The Edison in Disney Springs

IT’S TIME to step inside… THE EDISON.

Officially announced in May of 2015 (and rumored long before that), The Edison’s Disney Springs debut has been a long time coming. Of all the dining additions that have come to Disney World’s shopping, dining and entertainment district since the beginning of the enormous expansion of the area formerly known as Downtown Disney, The Edison was — from the start — one of the most highly anticipated of the new offerings. (Originally slated to open in 2016, it has also been one of the most long delayed.)

After all, with the passing of Pleasure Island, options for adult nightlife in Disney Springs have been pretty much non-existent, even with all the terrific new places to dine. But the announcement of The Edison — inspired by its sister location in Los Angeles and a collaboration between Patina Restaurant Group and Kinetescape’s Andrew Meieran — brought the promise of a space geared towards adults, offering classic American food, craft cocktails, and live late night entertainment including cabaret, music, and palm reading in a lavish, “Industrial Gothic” setting.

And, what, exactly, does that mean? Well, we showed you much of that in our First Look at The Edison.

The Edison

The Edison

But now that we’re back with our full review of both Lunch AND Dinner, it’s time to take a closer look…

Atmosphere

Approaching The Edison, you are entering a building that once served as a power plant providing electricity to Disney Springs during its earliest days as a growing town (according to the backstory).

The Edison with Outdoor Patio

“Power & Light”: The Edison with Outdoor Patio

In fact, a working clock tower still stands as the very first thing you see when you step inside.

Clock Tower at the Entrance

Clock Tower at the Entrance

It sets the scene for what awaits you: a celebration of the “Golden Age of Innovation.”

The Edison atmosphere

The Edison atmosphere

In other words, it’s steampunked to the hilt!

The Edison atmosphere

The Edison atmosphere

Much of what surrounds you were once functional working pieces. Wherever possible, the designers used authentic pieces (as opposed to trying to “age” new items).

Edison Lighting

Edison Lighting

The Edison atmosphere

The Edison atmosphere

The Edison atmosphere

The Edison atmosphere

The upstairs area (which is the floor in which you enter the building) is primarily made up of standalone tables and chairs.

Upstairs at The Edison -- Entrance Level

Upstairs at The Edison — Entrance Level

Upstairs Seating

Upstairs Seating

Though there are a few booths and comfy chairs along some of the perimeter.

Upstairs Seating

Upstairs Seating

More Upstairs Seating

More Upstairs Seating

Downstairs, there is even more seating.

Downstairs Seating

Downstairs Seating

Plus, a few more cozy nooks.

The Edison atmosphere

The Edison atmosphere

No matter whether you’re upstairs or down, there are four things you can see from just about every vantage point. First, the Grand Staircase, which stands as the centerpiece.

The Grand Staircase

The Grand Staircase

The Grand Staircase

The Grand Staircase

The Grand Staircase

The Grand Staircase

The Grand Staircase

The Grand Staircase

Second, you can also see silent film reels playing on the walls (from back in the day before those “talkies” became all the rage).

Silent Film

Silent Film

Silent Film in the background

Silent Film in the background

Third, from most spots you can check out what’s going on on the other floor, so even if you’re on the top floor you might be able to see the entertainment from above. (The restaurant is not divided into sections or “labs,” as was originally anticipated.)

Upstairs and Downstairs

Upstairs and Downstairs

And, fourth and finally, you can always spot a bar! You have your choice of three, with two downstairs and one up.

The Breaker Bar

The Breaker Bar

The Breaker Bar

The Breaker Bar

Bar Area Nearest to Dance Floor

Bar Area Nearest to Dance Floor

And chatting about the bars is probably a good a segue as any to lead into…

Late Night Entertainment

It’s best to note that The Edison offers distinctly different service styles from the day into the night. The Edison is a family-friendly location for lunch and into the early evening. Though entertainment is not the focus, you may encounter a strolling entertainer or hear some live music in the evenings.

Rory, the Strolling Entertainer

Rory, the Strolling Entertainer

However, once that clock tower strikes 10:00 pm every night, The Edison becomes an adults-only location open to guests 21-and-over.

©The Edison

Edison Dancers ©The Edison

A few other changes take place at that hour. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, a $10 cover charge kicks in promptly at 10 PM. [Editor’s note: the cover charge has just changed to a “seasonal” charge; so if you’re visiting during a busier season like the Holidays or Spring Break, etc., it may apply. Basically, bring $10 just to be safe.] A dress code is also enforced. Though it’s not super strict, there are no ball caps or flip-flops allowed. Men may not wear sleeveless shirts (jackets are optional), and slacks, jeans, or dress shorts are required. It’s much like the dress code when dining at a Signature Restaurant.

And these tables you see? They are cleared away to become a dance floor.

Downstairs Tables Cover What Becomes a Dance Floor

Downstairs Tables Cover What Becomes a Dance Floor

Floor Cleared for Dancing Just Before 10 PM

Floor Cleared for Dancing Just Before 10 PM

The biggest change of all, though, is the nightly entertainment, which may include anything from live music and DJs to live cabaret, aerialists, contortionists, palm readers, and more.

Aerialist ©The Edison

Aerialist ©The Edison

According to our server, some adult entertainment costuming at night may “leave little to the imagination.” This only takes place once it is verified that all under-age guests have left for the evening, but it’s still good to know for your group’s comfort level and preference.

As far as food is concerned, the anticipated Late Night menu hasn’t been released yet (our server informed us it’s still being tweaked). So, let’s take a look instead at BOTH meals we tried at The Edison!

Lunch Eats and Drinks

Classic American food (with a twist), and craft cocktails are on the menu day and night at The Edison!

Catalog of Parts -- The Menu

Catalog of Parts — The Menu

Though there are differences between the Lunch and Dinner Menus, many of the items available during Lunch (including all the dishes we chose) are also available for Dinner. Lunch options are divided into Shares & Nibbles (Appetizers), Entree Salads, and Burgers & Bites (Entrees).

Lunch Menu

Lunch Menu

The Drinks menu begins with Edison Signature Cocktails, including shareable sizes for 8 – 10 guests  (to the tune of $100).

Edison Signature Cocktails

Edison Signature Cocktails

During our First Look, we particularly enjoyed The Mistress, a fruity-yet-mature cocktail with Stoli Elit Vodka, Amaro Montenegro, and Domaine Chandon with lemon and pomegranate.

The Mistress

The Mistress

Classic Cocktails include a Negroni and Sazerac, and Mocktails are also listed below.

Classic Cocktails and Mocktails

Classic Cocktails and Mocktails

The next two pages are devoted to Beer and Hard Cider.

Beers and Ciders

Beers and Ciders

Beers and Ciders

Beers and Ciders

And next up is the Wine List.

Wines by the Glass

Wines by the Glass

Wines by the Bottle

Wines by the Bottle

The extensive Spirits list includes Bourbon, Rye, Whiskey, and Scotch.

Spirits

Spirits

Followed by Vodka, Gin, Tequila, and Rum.

Spirits

Spirits

Now we’ll look at how you might soak some of that up, starting with our Appetizers, which include the Dancin’ Corn Dogs. What makes them “Dancin’”?

Dancin' Corn Dogs

Dancin’ Corn Dogs

Edible silver “spray paint” is sprayed on the corn dogs to give them a glistening appearance. The spray paint doesn’t add any flavor, but it’s not meant to. It’s basically for kicks. But despite the unique appearance, they’re just your basic Corn Dogs when it comes down to it. (Note that when Edison first opened, these doggies were totally covered in the spray paint. So we’re making progress?)

Dancin' Corn Dogs

Dancin’ Corn Dogs

And hot dogs stuffed into fried corn batter are never a bad thing. But while these would serve a fun purpose for an easily shareable snack on a late night out with friends, they aren’t particularly memorable.

Next up, I had to take a second shot at the already famous/infamous DB ‘Clothesline Candied Bacon, dripping with maple glaze, seasoned with black pepper, and served with sour pickles and mostarda (jam with candied fruit and a mustard base). It’s famous for being bacon hanging on a clothesline; infamous for running $13 for four strips of bacon.

DB Clothesline Candied Bacon

DB Clothesline Candied Bacon

For that reason alone, I wanted to hate it. Well, that and the fact that it kind of looks like a horror movie.

I did want to hate it. I tried really hard. It’s $13 for four strips of BACON? But I just can’t. This is SERIOUSLY good, thick cut, just slightly sweetened bacon, and I kid you not when I say it melts in your mouth. Just bite the bullet and get the clothesline.

Hawkers’ Box of Balls, on the other hand, is not something I would recommend spending the money on. The box contains lamb meatballs and comes with a side of tzatziki sauce, and the dish itself isn’t a star — I enjoyed the tzatziki sauce more than anything.

Hawkers' Box of Balls

Hawkers’ Box of Balls

And of course lamb always costs a bit more, but $14 for such a small portion just didn’t cut it for me, and if you’re really looking to share with your group, this isn’t the dish.

Hawkers' Box of Balls

Hawkers’ Box of Balls

The Electri-Fries are definitely a shareable portion, though. The plentiful fries are topped with bacon, blue cheese crumbles, green onion and “Edison Special Sauce,” which is similar to a Thousand Island dressing.

Electri-Fries

Electri-Fries

It’s a good, addictive dish, and there’s plenty to it. Again, not particularly memorable, as you can find loaded fries pretty much anywhere. Here’s the thing, though: if your entree comes with fries, skip the Electri-Fries altogether. I actually preferred the fries without toppings, because they’re really good just on their own.

Under Burgers & Bites (the entrees), I wanted to give The Edison burger another chance since it’s the signature. And I’m glad I did… but not for the reasons you might think.

The Edison Burger

The Edison Burger

This huge burger (a blend of sirloin, shortrib, and brisket) is topped with cheddar, onions strings, bacon, housemade pickles, lettuce, tomato, and more of the Special Sauce. (The side of fries is what convinced me of their quality more than the loaded version — good stuff.)

The Edison Burger

The Edison Burger

So, the toppings are tasty and solid. But unlike our first experience, when the patty was great, this particular patty was flavorless. Even though it was prepared to my medium rare request, there was very little taste to it.

The Edison Burger

The Edison Burger

My usual picks at D-Luxe Burger top it by a mile. I don’t know what was up with the beef blend that day, but it just didn’t work on my lunch visit.

There’s a bright side with the Organic Tomato Soup & Gooey Grilled Cheese. Now, the tomato soup was slightly spicy (we were informed it had recently been toned down, but it still has plenty of kick). But the texture was off. That Gooey Grilled Cheese, tho…

Organic Tomato Soup and Gooey Grilled Cheese

Organic Tomato Soup and Gooey Grilled Cheese

A four cheese sandwich with fontina, muenster, gruyere, and Alpine Swiss, it really is wonderfully gooey. Plus I love grilled cheese on sourdough due to the way it keeps its crunch. Winner!

Gooey Grilled Cheese

Gooey Grilled Cheese

But know this: this dish is $16 for lunch, but $20 at dinner. I can’t imagine it’s that much different of a portion — you’re just paying the premium for having it at dinner.

You’ll see the same Dessert Menu for Dinner, so we grabbed three for lunch.

Dessert Menu

Dessert Menu

Casey’s Apple Cobbler is topped with vanilla bean ice cream.

Casey's Apple Cobbler

Casey’s Apple Cobbler

The fresh apple and crumble give this one a really enjoyable homemade quality, but if you prefer your crumble to have a gooey texture, you should know that this version is less buttery, presenting more crisp and crunch than moistness.

The Bittersweet Chocolate “Mile High” Cake is served with just a touch of raspberry coulis and dollop of whipped cream. Those layers of frosting you see carry a hint of mocha flavor.

Bittersweet Chocolate "Mile High" Cake

Bittersweet Chocolate “Mile High” Cake

But all you see of it is all there is. I think “Mile High” is something of a misnomer. And you guys know how I feel about my frosting. Basically, I WANT LOTS OF IT! And while the cake itself was fine, there weren’t any super remarkable qualities about it.

Bittersweet Chocolate "Mile High" Cake

Bittersweet Chocolate “Mile High” Cake

Meh.

It is the Lollipop Tree that really stood out among our sweets, and not simply due to its fun presentation. These chocolate-covered pops aren’t simply cake pops… they’re CHEESECAKE pops. And that cheesecake is sweet, creamy and decadent.

Lollipop Tree

Lollipop Tree

It’s served with bubblegum whipped cream for dipping. Sounds weird, right? And it totally is, yet… it works. The flavor isn’t even remotely subtle — we’re talking straight-up Bazooka Joe in whipped cream form. I didn’t love it for dipping the pops, but I totally dug in to just enjoy it on its own.

Bubblegum Whipped Cream

Bubblegum Whipped Cream

Remember how I mentioned that the Corn Dogs fulfilled their purpose of being a fun shareable, but not particularly memorable?

Lollipop Tree

Lollipop Tree

Well, the Lollipop Tree accomplishes both: it’s both easily shareable and totally tasty and memorable.

But wait… we’re not done yet. The Edison begins offering its Dinner Menu around 5:00 pm.

Dinner Eats

You’ll find the primary difference of the Dinner Menu is under The Patented Specialties (entrees), which include both surf and turf with Lump Crabcakes and Scottish Salmon listed among Fried Chicken, Prime Rib, and Meatloaf and Gravy.

The Edison Dinner Menu

The Edison Dinner Menu

Patented Partners (sides) like Mashed Potatoes, Mushrooms, and Creamed Spinach may be purchased a la carte, though some of the entrees do come with sides included.

But first we’ll pick up with a few more drinks, both of which are under the Classic Cocktails on the drinks menu we showed in the previous section. The Blinker — Knob Creek Rye, grapefruit, lemon, and raspberry — is enjoyable, and even a little spicy.

Blinker

Blinker

I give them credit for not just doing a “basic” drink with this. The rye adds something here, for sure.

The Lightning Rod Margarita is made with Maestro Dobel Reposado, Montelobos Mezcal, lime and thai chili honey. This one has a super spicy finish and the Mezcal made it VERY smokey. So, be warned: it’s not at all what you typically expect from a margarita, and you’ll want to skip it if you don’t like smoky drinks. But I loved it!

Lightning Rod Margarita

Lightning Rod Margarita

It’s very good and quite complex; you just need to be prepared for it. After my first sip, I think I audibly gave a “Whoo!” ‘cuz that spicy finish was SURRIOUS.

I’m going to start our Entrees with a bang: the 28 Day Dry-Aged Prime Rib

Prime Rib

Prime Rib

Beautifully prepared and bold with flavor, it was just awesome — and definitely THE thing to order if you are at The Edison for dinner. It’s complete with a wonderfully soft and airy Cheddar Popover for sopping up all of that juice.

Cheddar Popover

Cheddar Popover

I also ordered some Gratin Potatoes on the side (these typically come with the Centennial Steak).

Gratin Potatoes

Gratin Potatoes

The goat cheese here gives these a different flavor than you’d expect, but — as someone who doesn’t like goat cheese — these were still very good. Everything about this meal was right. On the other hand…

The Crisp Fried Chicken is just weird. Let’s start with the odd presentation: the drumstick is a complete piece, but everything else is off the bone and kind of smooshed together into two other pieces. The batch is tempura batter fried. Plus, the chicken itself was really dry, and — except for the skin on the drumstick — was rather tasteless. 

Crisp Fried Chicken

Crisp Fried Chicken

Now, the plate looks pretty plain, doesn’t it? That’s because the mashed potatoes that come with it were served on a separate plate from the chicken. When I asked, I was told the mashed potatoes on the plate mess up the presentation of the chicken; but, frankly, that was lacking anyway.

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes

It’s just a strange dish overall that I would NOT recommend.

Coming in smack in the middle of the other two entrees is the Old Fashioned Meatloaf and Gravy, which came highly recommended. 

Old Fashioned Meatloaf and Gravy

Old Fashioned Meatloaf and Gravy

It was fine, and I do believe they’re still playing with the recipe. It wasn’t as good as the Prime Rib, but the flavor was there and I would recommend it as my second favorite.

The Desserts at Dinner are the same as Lunch. You may remember the Black Cherry Cream from our First Look (if not, check it out here).

Black Cherry Cream

Black Cherry Cream

And, of course, our selections from above. LOLLIPOP TREE!!

Three Edison Desserts

Three Edison Desserts

And NOW… we’re ready to wrap it up ;) .

Nosh or Not?

You might want to dine at The Edison if:

  • You can’t resist the whole steampunk vibe, especially when it’s done as well as it is here.
  • You want a taste of the new Disney Springs night life, including some creative drinks and not-your-typical-Disney entertainment.
  • You can’t not go after all the hype!

You might want to pass on The Edison if:

  • You’d rather dine at a spot where food is more of the focus over entertainment and vibe. (In which case, I’d recommend Morimoto Asia if you’re looking in Disney Springs… or anywhere, really.)
  • You or someone in your group is uncomfortable with burlesque-style entertainment (applicable to late night only).
  • You’re not into crowded nighttime spots. We learned that crowds start kicking in around 5:30 each night and so far — at least in this honeymoon stage — the weekend nights have been pretty packed.

Overall

Okay, let’s talk setting, then let’s talk food. Even beyond the late night entertainment, for which this spot is vying to be known, a daytime or early evening visit still has a vibe of its own, thanks to the cool atmosphere of the restaurant itself. The obvious comparison in the Orlando area is Universal’s Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, which also presents a steampunk theme. While both spots execute the style really well, everything in Toothsome appears sparkly, new and whimsical…and even a little mysterious; whereas the decidedly sophisticated Edison feels like a genuine trip back to an era based on setting alone.

But after years of anticipation (this place was announced in 2015, remember? ) I have to say… I wasn’t blown away by the food. And based on that fact I wouldn’t call The Edison “must-do dining.” Now, the drinks are creative; I’ll definitely give them that. I would make a visit to the bar (or bars, as it were) for a couple of those. And if you’d really like to experience the nightlife (along with fun servers and bartenders), then by all means, grab a cool cocktail and enjoy. But they haven’t quite figured out the food yet, in my opinion. So I’ll be curious to see what future visits yield.

Cost-wise, it’s NOT insane. I was expecting it to be a lot more expensive than this. So while it IS a pretty penny compared to off-property dining locations, it’s middle of the road for Disney — especially for a place with great live entertainment and that will potentially be a 2-credit restaurant.

Just a note: on our visit they had not yet confirmed the Disney Dining Plan situation just yet, as it was still to-be-determined whether the spot would require one or two Table Service credits.

But hey… did you know The Edison is part of a new Complex of restaurants? Also newly open are Maria & Enzo’s RistoranteEnzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar and Pizza Ponte, and you can check out each review by clicking on any of those links!

For now, we’re signing off from THE EDISON!

Are you adding The Edison to your list of new restaurants to try? Please let us know with a comment!

Comments

  1. Billy says

    They should have just rebuilt the Adventurer’s Club. Thanks for your perfectly worded reviews — as always!

  2. says

    Thank you for reinforcing my decision to stick with my Homecomin’ dinner reservation for my visit in 2 weeks. (I always want the first meal of the trip to be awesome.) I’ll stop by the Edison after dinner to check out the drinks and entertainment.

  3. says

    Have a reservation for April so plenty of time for other reviews but based on this I think I may look elsewhere. It’s been so hard to narrow down Disney Springs restaurant choices!

  4. Raymond says

    We have this restaurant on the west coast and I have only been there twice, but I wasn’t impressed. It felt like they paid too much attention to the presentation of the food and not enough to the food itself. The entertainment is not what I would call “Disney-friendly” even as a night version, but I am guessing Disney is giving it a toned-down version at Disney Springs. I was wondering why this was even coming to WDW, and I wonder if it will survive. I have seen other over-rated places stick around (looking at you, Planet Hollywood). I certainly won’t be going there.

  5. Roger Dornbierer says

    Have been waiting for this to open and everything you’ve shown makes me want to book a return just for the Edison.

  6. DFB Sarah says

    Melinda, you can always ask! Sometimes restaurants are able to create a lunch menu at dinner and vice versa. Can’t hurt to ask!

  7. Justin says

    The one in LA is truly a unique experience. It’s a bar/club/lounge first and foremost. Lots of cool seating dynamics and spaces, none of the traditional restaurant seating like they have at Disney Springs. Drinks are primary, food is secondary. It’s a shame that this version seems to be a restaurant that masquerades as a club at night. The photos make it seem like the club vibe still feels like a restaurant with the furniture out of the way. Should have just been a cool lounge with light bites all day but alas they had to monetize it.

  8. Mike says

    Are they really thinking about going two credit signature on the dining plan? Nothing I’ve seen here warrants that stature!

  9. Tricia says

    I find it interesting that Disney has completely copied the Lollipop Tree exactly from David Burke’s old restaurant in NYC, down to the bubblegum whipped cream, from about 15 years ago. Not a new idea but a fun and delicious one.

  10. DFB Sarah says

    Tricia, good eye! Chef David Burke is the consulting chef for The Edison in L.A. and in Orlando. The lollipop tree is actually imported directly from his kitchens.

  11. Betty says

    I had lunch there when it first opened and thought the decor was nice, food was decent, especially the bacon appetizer however the prices were out of sight.

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