As you all know, we’ve recently highlighted a theme on this blog: “Bringing Disney magic home.”
Now, I could sit here at my trusty laptop and wax poetic about my massive Disney Parks mug collection, my son’s Magic Kingdom bedtime music playlist, or my campaign to serve nothing but massive turkey legs at this year’s McNanna family Thanksgiving dinner — but, in the immortal words of our friend Lou Mongello, I ask that you all go with me here for a different way of thinking about bringing the magic home.
One of my favorite Disney pastimes — here in suburban New Jersey — is to discover in the natural carousel of acquaintances who come in and out of my life, like-minded Disney lovers with whom I may converse and re-share the same old Disney origin stories I bore my unfortunate yet understanding family and friends with.
That said, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting one such like-minded person this past summer.
Long story short: I drive a shuttle van each day to the camp in which I do my summer work, and in my travels, I discovered the father of a pair of my kids shared my Disney obsession. Becoming a bit of a running gag on our hour long trips through Union County, New Jersey, this man — Mr. Scott Knaul of Westfield, NJ — and I would trade Disney trivia through our intermediaries — his daughters Victoria and Abby; and one might say a sincere friendship ensued.
And when I found out that my new Disney pal would be travelling to Orlando on business and eating at the brand new Boathouse restaurant in Downtown Disney this summer, I, of course, told him I needed a review!
So, here it is: Mr. Knaul’s review.
The same Mr. Knaul who brought the magic home for me the way so many of us live vicariously through other friends’ experiences.
I hope you find his post satisfying on two levels: 1. it is a fantastic peak into a location so many of us have yet to see, yet eagerly await; and 2. it shows that no matter where you are, we Dis-nerds — as Mr. Knaul likes to call us — love to share our experiences at home.
Let’s just hope we get a chance to, perhaps, experience it together some time!
by Mr. Scott Knaul
I admit it; I’m addicted to Disney Parks, a bona fide Dis-Nerd (it’s a thing, look it up!) So when I had the opportunity to travel to Orlando for business I went through my usual process of booking the Hilton by Downtown Disney…I mean Disney Springs, so I could work during the day and spend my evening strolling through the shops and soaking up as much of the Disney atmosphere as I could. I normally grab fish and chips at Cookes of Dublin but when my friend Robert suggested I go to The Boathouse, who was I to argue.
I made a reservation on my trusty Disney World app on my iPhone and was good to go.
Downtown Disney has gone through a lot of changes since I was last there about a year ago and a lot of it is still under construction but when I turned the corner just past Fulton’s Crab House I got my first glimpse of The Boathouse and it was glorious!
It wasn’t like seeing Cinderella’s Castle but since I wasn’t going to venture into the parks it was the next best thing. My reservation was for an early dinner so it wasn’t crowded when I got there so I could wonder through the attached shop and take it all in. Apparently rubber ducks are their thing here so they had a big selection of them in different sizes and themes.
Just to the left of the restaurant was the Amphicar Launch, you can check out an early post on those here Amphicar Fun @ Disney Springs’ The Boathouse
As you can imagine there is a strong nautical theme in the restaurant. As you walk in there is a bar area to the left which will be a great place to cool off and grab an adult beverage if you happen to be there in the heat. Since I couldn’t wait to get to my table and get down to business I decided to skip the bar. My server’s name was Chris and he was great, as you would expect. He noticed my Aulani t-shirt right away and struck up a conversation about the resort and how much he enjoyed it.
Simply put, the menu is amazing.
I had two options: Order everything on the menu or ask Chris for his recommendation. I chose the second option and he made some great choices for me. I started with some East coast oysters for an appetizer. For my entre I had the Coriander Seared Ahi Tuna. I’m not a professional restaurant reviewer but I can tell you that it was amazing. The combination of grilled peppers and dual tuna steaks were a great combination. I’d love to include a picture of the dishes but in my hunger and excitement I dug right in
The choices on the menu are what you would expect from a quality seafood restaurant with some amazing looking steaks. The prices are higher than most restaurants in the ‘World’ but on par with some of the finer dining establishments.
When I’m visiting with the family I don’t normally venture out of the parks or the resorts but The Boathouse might be an exception going forward. The location right on the water is a perfect setting and it makes a great fit into the updated Downtown Disney/Disney Springs area. It definitely gets a recommendation from me.
So there it is, this was enough to hold me over until I head back down to Orlando in November for the Jingle Jungle 5k and the Wine and Food Festival!
Photos c/o Scott Knaul.