Following Walt Disney World’s lengthy closure due to the global health crisis, Disney Springs, Disney World’s shopping and dining district, started welcoming back guests in May. Many of the district’s restaurants reopened in May while others followed suit throughout the last three months.
Three more restaurants reopened, The Edison, Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, and Enzo’s Hideaway, a couple weeks ago and we had a chance to check one out! We decided to pop into The Edison and see if anything’s changed since the closure. (Spoiler: A LOT has changed!) Step inside the steampunk speakeasy with us and see what it’s like now!
Health and safety restrictions have been implemented at all Disney World restaurants. Menus have been pared back, tables are spaced out to allow for physical distancing, and business capacities are limited to reduce crowding. As such, we had a sneaking suspicion some of the entertainment would be altered and the food would be limited at The Edison. It also should be noted that The Edison is currently only open for dinner. Prior to closing, it was also open for lunch. Let’s see what we found… .
The limited menu is displayed outside the restaurant and accessible from the restaurant’s website. Appetizers and entrees have been cut way back, like many other Disney restaurants. Limited menus are put in place to assist the reduced and/or social distancing kitchen staff as well as potential production shortages. And for now, the famous DB ‘Clothesline Candied Bacon’ beckoned us to venture inside.
Outside, you’ll see physical distance markers on the ground leading to the entrance. These are meant to allow for space between guests while you wait to be checked-in. There wasn’t much of a line when we visited, but this could change once things start to pick up. We suggest you arrive at the restaurant about 15 minutes early to give yourself plenty of time if there are any lines.
The iconic steampunk-inspired clock welcomes you to the restaurant. It immediately gives you a feel for the gothic-industrial vibe you’ll see in other elements of The Edison.
The restaurant is designed to resemble a 1920s electric company with futuristic steampunk aesthetics. You’ll see this inspiration all around the restaurant in the furniture, funky decor, bars, and structures. Short video clips from the 20s are projected on the walls for your entertainment!
The check-in line had plexiglass barriers in place. These have been implemented all over Disney World to create a protective barrier between guests and employees. We visited The Edison the day after it opened on a Friday night. Even with limited capacity, the restaurant was considerably empty. Usually, the entertainment draws large weekend crowds. We didn’t have to wait long to get checked-in. Again, this may change as things ramp up!
The upstairs bar was closed while we visited. This could be because the crowds were lower than normal. We’ve seen this bar be unavailable during slow nights.
The downstairs bar located in front of the stage was also closed. There was a sign that told us the bar seating was temporarily unavailable at that time. There are tables placed immediately in front of the bar so it is likely this area was closed to avoid guests from crowding others while they are eating.
The main downstairs bar was open with available seating. This is where the bartenders were mixing cocktails for guests. Every few seats were blocked off to create distance between guests.
Even the hand sanitizer is themed correctly! Sazerac (yes, like the drink Sazerac) liquor company responsible for spirits like Southern Comfort began producing their own hand sanitizer from their distillery. The Edison cleverly chose the Sazerac Hand Sanitizer to accompany their prohibition-era theme.
The cozy corners filled with cushy leather couches are still available for seating! Guests can choose to cuddle up on the couches while they enjoy their meals and cocktails. The comfy seating is located at the back of the restaurant near the restrooms.
By the way, the “secret” passageway that connects The Edison to Enzo’s Hideaway was open too! You can find the discrete door by the restrooms.
The service was most excellent! Our server was extremely knowledgable and answered any questions we had about the food, cocktails, beer, and entertainment. He came back frequently to check on us even when the crowd picked up a bit. Also, the waitstaff is currently required to wear masks and face shields while serving guests. Most Disney Servers are only required to wear masks.
Prior to closing, The Edison boasted a HUGE cabaret that started at 10PM every night. The show consisted of a full live band that accompanied dancers and solo singers throughout the night. Aerialists would perform their act suspended from the ceiling in silks and hoops. Stilt walkers would roam the restaurant, dancers would interact with the guests, and steampunk-clad inventors would do sleight-of-hand tricks. It was more of a sultry burlesque show than a variety show. In essence, it was very unique to anything else on Disney World property.
We went back to The Edison this time knowing that entertainment would be considerably different. This assumption was mostly due to the Actors’ Equity Association disagreement. The entertainment union took a while to reach an agreement with the theme parks. In doing so, many live performances have been on hiatus until Disney decides to bring them back. The second reason behind our prediction is the fact that the stage space is confined and doesn’t allow for a lot of social distancing. Audience interaction would be out of the question too!
Our predictions were mostly correct. The nightly cabaret is currently not running. Our server explained to us that the full cabaret show will “most likely not be available for a long time.” He did note that live music still plays every night, and consists of a soloist or trio.
While visiting on Friday, we enjoyed watching a soloist play the piano and sing some soothing popular tunes. We’ll continue to watch for entertainment options at The Edison now that Disney has reached an agreement with the Actor’s union.
While it wasn’t the full show, we thoroughly enjoyed our evening. It might not have been an exciting night of singing, dancing, and aerialists, but we were happy to have some live entertainment. Given the lack of performers around Disney World, it was nice to hear the talents of a local musician.
As we noted before, some big cuts were made to the menu. You can currently view the old menu on disneyworld.com. The new menu is on posted the restaurant’s website and is significantly smaller. Most notably, the deviled eggs and Edison Wings are missing from the appetizers while three of the five salads were missing.
Many of the sandwiches, including the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich and Mahi Wrap, were unavailable as well.
A few crowd-favorite desserts and entrees made the cut! The popular Edison Burger and Lollipop Tree with bubble gum whipped cream are still available. The Edison Burger is so nice, we reviewed it twice!
We opted for the Anchor Steam Beer Battered Fish & Chips and the Samantha Sterling cocktail (which we’ve had as a punch bowl as well!). But to start, we couldn’t resist that luxurious DB ‘Clothesline Candied Bacon’! The thick-cut bacon is coated with maple syrup and black peppercorn. The appetizer comes with four strips of bacon, a side of fruit mostarda dipping sauce, and spicy dill pickles. The price is $16.
This is one of the most popular dishes at The Edison, and we’ve enjoyed it several times before — despite the kind of rip-off price (which is even MORE of a rip-off now since you’ll pay $4 more for it than we did when the restaurant first opened). The meat has a definite heft to it, especially with the thick and sweet coating. Which, by the way, wasn’t too sweet, and the peppercorn balanced the sweetness well. Both elements worked together to create a good balance of sweet and salty.
As far as texture, know that it’s closer to jerky than a crispy piece of bacon. The candied maple syrup makes it a little tough to eat. That’s especially true once the bacon has cooled down and the syrup hardens a bit. All that said…we wish it came with more than 4 strips for two reasons: 1) it’s really yummy, and 2) then it might be more justifiable for the price!
The Fruit Mostarda is a mix of fruit purée and grain mustard. Again, it wasn’t overly sweet and also had a bit of a kick to it. The mostarda tastes close to a jam, but with a purée texture. The grain mustard flavor was hardly noticeable at all and acted as a neutralizer for the sweetness of the fruit. It was a nice compliment to the bacon.
Let’s move on to the sweet and spicy pickles, which will be a HUGE surprise if you haven’t had this dish before. We were expecting a regular sweet pickle, but hot dang! They were spicy, sweet, and delish! The server said they are soaked with red pepper flakes, which is what gives them a bit of heat. We wish the appetizer came with more than three pickles!
To cool down that heat, The Samantha Sterling is $16 and mixed with Grey Goose Vodka, Lillet Rose, lime juice, watermelon juice, and cinnamon cordial. Last time we ordered this it was served to us in a literal PUNCH BOWL as part of their sharable drink options; and we were excited to try it this time, you know, in a normal human-sized glass. 😉
This cocktail is a great choice for those of us who like our drinks a little sweet but don’t want them to taste like sugary syrup. It had a light sweetness that was balanced with a hint of lime. We couldn’t really taste the watermelon or Lillet Rose, but we imagine that’s why the drink is so pink and a little fruity. The element that really came through was the cinnamon cordial. That hint of cinnamon really made the cocktail taste fantastic!
Finally! The main course. The Anchor Steam Beer Battered Fish & Chips cost $23 and came with a side of tartar sauce and a lemon wedge. Fish and Chips fans won’t be disappointed when it comes to this entree, but that said, most of the taste came from the breading. The outside of the breading had a thick and crispy texture. The inside was moist and almost doughy. It was exactly what we expected when it comes to fish n’ chips.
The fish is a battered cod fillet. It wasn’t overcooked and it didn’t have an overly “fishy” taste. The cod had a nice flake to it too.
But here’s where it gets a little rough. There definitely could have been more fish inside the breading! And eventually, the grease from the breading seeped into the fish and onto the fries. By the end of the meal, the fish was falling apart because it was practically soaked in grease. If you don’t love greasy food, we suggest trying another entree. The Edison Burger is a good standby and tends to be our go-to choice here.
The house-made fries were seasoned and crispy, but nothing super unique. They were a standard french fry you might find at any restaurant. But honestly, a standard french fry is all we really needed for this dish. We didn’t feel like we were missing anything when it came to the fries! This was hearty, enjoyable fish. Does it beat our long-time favorite fish and chips over at nearby Raglan Road Irish Pub or Cookes of Dublin? Nah, probably not, but it’s still a decent fish and chips option.
Nosh or Not
You might want to dine at The Edison if:
- You’re looking for live music. Sure, the entertainment has been reduced, but you can still enjoy the musicians. Take in the sweet sounds of a piano soloist or musical trio!
- You’re looking for a swanky night out. The dark and moody vibe is the perfect atmosphere to dress like a character from The Great Gatsby. It’s a great place for a Friday night cocktail!
- You’re looking for a unique atmosphere. This restaurant has a super cool steampunk/industrial/gothic theme. The beauty is in the details everywhere you look!
You might want to skip The Edison if:
- You’re looking for a full dinner show. The live music is nice, but it’s hardly comparable to the full show it used to be. Raglan Road is currently showing their Irish dancers accompanied by a live band if you’re looking for something a little more substantial.
- You’re looking for something fancy. The food is good and the atmosphere is super neat, but you can find fancier (and more expensive) dining options at Disney Springs.
- You’re looking for a child-friendly atmosphere. We find that the prohibition-era theming is more adult-centric. Plus, there are, like, three bars here. It’s definitely marketed for adults! Still, there are plenty of food options for kids (CHEESECAKE LOLLIPOP TREE) and they will most likely enjoy themselves.
Every Disney World restaurant has been affected by the current health and safety protocols. The Edison has been considerably affected because a lot of its popularity was due to the entertainment. People flocked to the restaurant to watch the dancers, aerialists, and musicians do their thing. Once 10PM hit, there was never a dull moment. The lack of performers put a bit of a damper on the experience. This, of course, is no fault of the restaurant.
Given the circumstances, they did their best to make up for the lack of performances. If you’ve never been to The Edison, then you will most likely enjoy yourself. If you’ve only visited for lunch or dinner (i.e. without the big show), then you will get the same general vibe. If you’re looking to experience the restaurant and entertainment as it was prior to closure, you might feel disappointed. We suggest going into it with the notion that things changed to fit the current safety requirements for the staff, guests, and performers.
All that aside, we really enjoyed our evening at The Edison. The service was quick and attentive. The candied bacon was on point and the cocktails are still some of the best on property. Plus, the ultra-cool ambiance is really where it’s at! We sat in a cozy corner, watched some of the “talkies” projected on the wall, and listened to a talented pianist sing us some classics. The place oozes with a hip vibe that is hard to compare to any other Disney Springs restaurant. Strike that. The vibe is hard to compare to any restaurant at Disney World! It’s a solid Disney Springs choice and we’ll happily come back to The Edison in the future.
We’ll be curious if/when the full entertainment lineup will return to The Edison. We will keep you updated when we learn more information about this in the future. In the meantime, we’ll take another Samantha Sterling, please!
Will you be visiting The Edison soon? Let us know in the comments!