We’ve been making our way around Disney Springs for its re-opening today.
Disney-owned locations won’t be opening until May 27th, but third-party stores and restaurants opened today with new health and safety guidelines. So we’re heading to the dock for a bite to eat and a view of the lagoon!
The Boathouse and The Boathouse Boatique have officially re-opened as of 11AM this morning. Along with the new health and safety measures being taken by Disney Springs, The Boathouse has previously stated that they will be taking “extra precautions to ensure the safety of our staff and customers.” Here is what we experienced while we were there.
When we first arrived to check in at The Boathouse there was already a line formed behind the host stand, and parties were spacing themselves apart without any markers on the ground.
The restaurant is limiting capacity to 25% in dining rooms. In order to dine there, guests can book their reservations in advance for guaranteed inside seating. Walk-ups will also be accepted for outdoor seating where the patio tables are spaced six feet apart.
Guests were required to be wearing masks at all times, unless you are seated at your table.
The interior of The Boathouse looked similar to how we remember it, but they had taken away chairs from certain tables and placed black table cloths over them to denote guests were not to be seated here.
We were seated outside with a great view of the water.
However, the outdoor bar was not in service. You are still able to order drinks to your table, though.
The Boathouse was using disposable paper menus, which isn’t much of a change-up for the restaurant. Before the closure, they used paper menus with the specific date printed at the top, but now they just aren’t passing menus to the next guest.
MENU: paper menus (they have always had disposable menus with the date printed, but now they aren’t passing to next guest. So you can keep it as a historical souvenir. -clambake isnt on the menu
That means you can take home your menu if you would like — our server referred to it as a “historical souvenir.” The menu was still extensive — especially for this being the first day back — but the Clambake was not available during our visit.
Since this was our first time back at The Boathouse, you know we had to get a rubber duckie drink. You may know it by its proper name, the Duck Duck Razz.
We watched the little duckie bob up and down as our server carefully delivered him to the table. Our server was not wearing gloves, but she was careful to only touch the bottom of the glasses.
She mentioned the staff was given training packets a week ago and were brought in yesterday for additional training. She said she has worked in several restaurants and said this is the cleanest she has ever seen a restaurant — even before the closures.
The food runners wore gloves to deliver our plates and noted they change out their gloves between each table.
They also shared that the chefs are on 15 minute timers to remind them to stop, wash their hands and change gloves.
Our server cleared our plates for us once we had finished and she told us that the staff was given the choice to come back to work, so everyone there seemed excited to be back.
Our drinks were served with regular glassware and the silverware was traditional flatware wrapped in a cloth napkin.
We ordered a Jumbo Lump Crab Cake that was served with Coleslaw and Brandied Cocktail Sauce.
The crab cake was delicious. It had more crab than breading, but it still had a great sear on the outside — adding a little extra crunch to every bite. The Brandied Cocktail Sauce made for a tangy, creamy addition as well.
And you know we can’t resist some fries OR truffles (Don’t believe us? Find out just how many truffles we can pack into a meal here.), so we ordered Truffle Fries to snack on. Lil Rubber Duckie looked jealous in the background… .
The fries were another tasty, crispy addition to the Crab Cake. Our plates did not have an extra “handling plate” like we saw at Margaritaville in Universal’s CityWalk, but we appreciated the food runners using gloves and the plates were plenty big to prevent the runners’ hands from coming in contact with the food.
Once we were finished, our server brought us the check just like The Boathouse normally would pre-closure and we paid with a card. Margaritaville in CityWalk eliminated an extra trip to the server station by allowing guests to add a tip immediately when their checks were delivered. However, The Boathouse took the two trips we are used to seeing at restaurants — one check with your subtotal and another once your card has been processed.
The Boathouse Boatique
After we ate, we visited The Boathouse Boatique to see if they had any nautical masks to add to our stash, but they said they are not selling masks at this time.
The Amphicar Launch was scheduled to open today, but when we stopped by, there were not any guests using them. There were markers on the ground for guests to observe the cars — er, boats — er, amphicars.
After our visit to The Boathouse, we thought that the new health and safety measures were well thought out and executed by the staff. Everyone we interacted with seemed happy to be back and were kind and attentive to guests. Although we felt like the servers were being careful and safe, we noticed The Boathouse’s approach was much less overt as Margaritaville in CityWalk. Margaritaville thoughtfully explained what was going on and how they were handing each item for our safety. The Boathouse was careful with distancing and sanitizing, but it felt like they were looking to maintain a similar guest experience to a pre-closure meal whenever possible.
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What restaurant will you be visiting first when you go back to Disney Springs? Let us know in the comments below!