The BOATHOUSE at Downtown Disney (Disney Springs) to Open in April 2015; Our Interview with Creator Steven Schussler

Hi everyone!

The BOATHOUSE restaurant will be opening next month (April, 2015) at Downtown Disney, soon to be Disney Springs. As Schussler Creative CEO Steven Schussler told us, it really makes use of the underutilized waterfront. While we did tour the restaurant, we weren’t able to take photos or video this time within the walls since it wasn’t quite show ready. Each room in The BOATHOUSE is different from the next, with unique light fixtures featured throughout. Schussler is a stickler for lighting, and the restaurant even has someone who is in charge of making sure that any burned out lightbulb is replaced immediately.

This is the 4th concept that Steven Schussler has developed at Walt Disney World, the third at Downtown Disney. I’ve been reading his book “It’s a Jungle In There”, which is all about Schussler’s passion for themed restaurants. His tenacity in getting his Rainforest Cafe concept backed included turning his own home into a Rainforest Cafe of sorts, sparing no expense to create the environment he envisioned. The other restaurants he has developed at Walt Disney World are the T-Rex Restaurant and Yak & Yeti at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. Each restaurant has been affiliated with Landry’s until now. While there has been a misconception that The BOATHOUSE would be affiliated with a similarly named restaurant chain in Canada (which happens to be part of Landry’s), The BOATHOUSE at Disney Springs is a one-of-a-kind restaurant with meat supplied by Gibsons Steakhouse out of Chicago. It will be an upscale experience, with a menu that is printed fresh daily. There will also be a separate bar menu, as well as a raw bar.

The BOATHOUSE from Characters in Flight

We have been asked about reservations, and those aren’t being accepted yet (but they should soon). Another question we’ve been asked is what discounts might be accepted. That we don’t yet know either.

Schussler Creative CEO Steven Schussler

This is our entire 10 minute interview. Schussler mentioned afterwards that he hadn’t talked about how much room the kitchen is taking up – 8000 square feet, about one-third of the entire restaurant. We were told the restaurant seats about 630, with 400 inside and 230 outside. And the six amphicars should be extremely popular, especially later in the day and into the evening. There will be one Italian water taxi, which also will be highly sought after. Tickets for the amphicars will be sold at the restaurant gift shop, which Schussler talks about in the interview. The BOATHOUSE will be open from 11 a.m. – 2:00 a.m. daily.

The interview also includes some food photos provided to us, along with concept art and views we had the other day from the Characters in Flight balloon and the Downtown Disney water taxi. The BOATHOUSE is located in the former Pleasure Island area.

Will you be visiting The BOATHOUSE during your next trip to Walt Disney World?