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.
But now that we’re back with our full review of both Lunch AND Dinner, it’s time to take a closer look…
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).
In fact, a working clock tower still stands as the very first thing you see when you step inside.
It sets the scene for what awaits you: a celebration of the “Golden Age of Innovation.”
In other words, it’s steampunked to the hilt!
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).
The upstairs area (which is the floor in which you enter the building) is primarily made up of standalone tables and chairs.
Though there are a few booths and comfy chairs along some of the perimeter.
Downstairs, there is even more seating.
Plus, a few more cozy nooks.
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.
Second, you can also see silent film reels playing on the walls (from back in the day before those “talkies” became all the rage).
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.)
And, fourth and finally, you can always spot a bar! You have your choice of three, with two downstairs and one up.
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.
However, once that clock tower strikes 10:00 pm every night, The Edison becomes an adults-only location open to guests 21-and-over.
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.
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.
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!
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).
The Drinks menu begins with Edison Signature Cocktails, including shareable sizes for 8 – 10 guests (to the tune of $100).
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.
Classic Cocktails include a Negroni and Sazerac, and Mocktails are also listed below.
The next two pages are devoted to Beer and Hard Cider.
And next up is the Wine List.
The extensive Spirits list includes Bourbon, Rye, Whiskey, and Scotch.
Followed by Vodka, Gin, Tequila, and Rum.
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’”?
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?)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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…
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!
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.
Casey’s Apple Cobbler is topped with vanilla bean ice cream.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Remember how I mentioned that the Corn Dogs fulfilled their purpose of being a fun shareable, but not particularly memorable?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
I also ordered some Gratin Potatoes on the side (these typically come with the Centennial Steak).
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.
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.
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.
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.
And, of course, our selections from above. LOLLIPOP TREE!!
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.
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 Ristorante, Enzo’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!