In anticipation of The Edison’s Grand Opening on New Year’s Eve with a celebration on December 31st, the DFB was invited to take a hard hat tour of the new Disney Springs location, as well as its upcoming neighbors, a trio of Italian eateries bound together by story: Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar, and Pizza Ponte!
Before we share the details, a note: hard hat tours do not allow photography, so the majority of the pictures below in this post were provided by the Patina Restaurant Group, which runs all four upcoming locations.
Step inside what was once the power plant for the town of Disney Springs: The Edison.
A working clock tower complete with all the cogs and gears will prepare you to enter The Age of Innovation.
Think steampunk for the restaurant’s themed areas, which will include The Ember Parlor, Telegraph Lounge, The Patent Office, The Tesla Lounge, The Radio Room, Waterfront Patio, and The Lab.
We’re also looking forward to bellying up at the Boiler Bar.
AND the Breaker Bar!
And something cool to know: a lot of the decor elements you will see throughout the space were once functional working pieces. Thank goodness for eBay, because the designers preferred to go with original, genuine pieces wherever they could rather than trying to “age” new items.
The Boiler has a bar attached to one side: the Boiler Bar, of course! The seating area will transform into a dance floor later in the evening. The Edison will be family-friendly by day, serving lunch and dinner daily (and no dress code to worry about). However, around 10:00 pm each night, the spot is dedicated strictly to the 21-and-over crowd with entertainment ranging from contortionists, aerialists, palm readers, live bands, and DJs and more.
Think live cabaret as opposed to burlesque. After all, you’re still in Disney World, people. That said, the space will offer entertainment unlike anything else in Disney World (without being too inappropriate).
If you’re planning to check out the late evening entertainment, know that some clothing items won’t be permitted such as basketball shorts, flip flops, or baseball hats. Also, there will be a cover change after 10:00 pm. The cost has not yet been revealed; however, the cover will be waived for guests who dine. Guests who arrive earlier than 10:00 pm won’t be kicked out, though (except for those under 21, that is).
And the late night will feature its own unique eats with a menu by name of the Bartenders Breakfast. Think late night Eggs Benedict, my friends (YASSSS!!).
But while The Edison has been on our radar for some time now, three more restaurants were recently announced that will help to form the entirety of The Edison Complex.
Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante
Alongside the former power plant of Disney Springs, there is also what was once the Air Terminal for the town. Since the closure of the terminal, the space is now home to three Italian restaurants, including Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante.
You see, Maria and Enzo are an Italian immigrant couple who ran a bakery in the Air Terminal. Upon its closure, they opened a small pizza-by-the-slice business by the name of Pizza Ponte. The success of Pizza Ponte among the residents of Disney Springs enabled the couple to purchase the old Air Terminal, which they transformed into Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante!
The Ristorante makes the most of what was the terminal’s lobby, retaining much of the glitz and glamour of the Golden Age of Travel. A large staircase leads to the main dining room with the large lobby windows showcasing waterfront views of Lake Buena Vista (the very same windows that the Clippers — large sea planes — used to fly into). You’ll spy elements of the terminal everywhere you look, from gate numbers to the large circular ceiling with an Art Deco mural highlighting various cities.
In fact, the entire space will remain true to the aesthetics of the original terminal, with an Art Deco style reminiscent of the era when men wore a suit to travel. (However, we’ll all still feel welcome in the establishment even in our park clothes).
A silver globe hanging like a chandelier will provide some classic Disney whimsy in the luxurious space. And three highlighted points will mark Disney World, Disneyland, and Marceline, Missouri (Walt Disney’s childhood home and inspiration for Main Street, U.S.A.).
And I LOVE this already: off the main dining room is the First Class Lounge. You can make a request to be seated there upon making your reservation. But some lucky guests — just like when we fly in regular life — may just be “bumped up” to First Class! Adult guests will receive a complimentary glass of Prosecco, while children will receive a Wings pin.
The southern Italian menu — created by Chef Theo Schoenegger from Sinatra Restaurant in Las Vegas, the “pioneer of modern Italian food” — will include items like Fritto Misto, Arancini de Carne, and all homemade pasta (which is unusual for a restaurant this size). Some items will even be prepared tableside. Chef Schoenegger, similar to Chef Morimoto at Morimoto Asia, will work at the Ristorante quarterly.
The wine selection will feature over 100 wines, and Maria & Enzo’s will be acquiring the sommelier from Epcot’s Tutto Gusto.
Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar & Restaurant
What is now Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar was a discovery that Enzo made once he and Maria purchased the terminal. During the Prohibition era, bootleggers utilized the space — located beneath what is now Pizza Ponte and the Ristorante — turning it into something of a hot spot during the dry years.
Graffiti on the walls tells some of the story with signatures, drawings, and quotes dating back to 1919.
And at least one offers some particularly good advice: “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.”
Thankfully, those dry years are long gone, and we can look forward to enjoying unique craft cocktails and a bar featuring the largest selection of “antique” and specialty rums on property.
And to help soak it all in? The Roman-inspired menu will feature items like short ribs, Italian sausages, and small plates. Guests will be able to see the chefs slicing the fresh meats and assorted premium cheeses.
Something that will make Enzo’s unique to other bars and lounges on property are special events including Enzo’s Sunday Supper, hosted at a large built-in table where guests will be able to bring their own wine — with no corkage fee! The menu is still being finalized, and we can’t wait to learn more.
The Smugglers Series is a hard-ticketed event offered once a month with its own imaginative menu and creative cocktail selection with an emphasis on mixology. Guests will be able to purchase tickets online, so we’ll be keeping an eye on enzoshideawayfla.com for further details!
Maria and Enzo’s original business venture of the three restaurants was Pizza Ponte — a spot serving Sicilian pizza by the slice to folks in Disney Springs!
This spot will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and will offer much more than just pizza. Made-to-order sandwiches and freshly baked pastries including Bombolini (Italian cream-filled donuts), and tiramisu will also be available for Disney Springs visitors looking for a fast-casual dining experience.
So, When Can We Go?
As mentioned, The Edison will kick off its Grand Opening on the evening of December 31st for a ticketed event celebrating New Year’s Eve. A specific opening date has not yet been announced for Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar, and Pizza Ponte, but according to Disney all spots are anticipated to be operational in early January 2018.
And then all we’ll have to figure out is… which one do we go to first?!?
Which of the four new locations coming to Disney Springs are you hoping to visit first? Please let us know with a comment!