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Today is a big day for Disney Springs as Paddlefish, formerly Fulton’s Crab House, reopens after months of renovations. A media preview was held last night and we got chance to explore the revamped restaurant and try a few of the items that will be found on the new menu.
The restaurant originally opened on May 1, 1976 as the Empress Lilly and the boat-themed structure has a long history in Disney history. It was actually the first location to offer character dining and in 1996, Levy Restaurants re-branded the restaurant as Fulton’s Crab House when they took on a 20 year lease to operate the premises.
The latest re-branding as Paddlefish comes in good time as Disney has re-branded Downtown Disney to Disney Springs. A fresh more vibrant dining experience was needed to match the new look and Paddlefish now fits the bill superbly.
The exterior design sees a nostalgic throw back to the Empress Lily days as the smokestacks and the paddle wheel are back in a neat modern concept.
The restaurant keeps its three stories but it now has an opulent and inviting atmosphere for guests. Each floor has a different dining room layout and ambiance. Tables line the expansive windows giving diners excellent views of the Disney Springs area and a bar is stationed on each level making it easy to order one of the new cocktails offered.
On the first floor, one section is dedicated to seafood boils as huge kettles of seafood are tended to by staff in a glass enclosed room to one side. Guests will enjoy being able to create their own mix or choose from some of the specialty combinations on offer.
On the second floor we found a serving station offering lobster guacamole but the third floor was our favorite as it featured a superb outdoor seating area where you could simply chill out and enjoy the live music on offer. In addition to the expansive seating areas at the stern of the restaurant, lounge chairs and small tables for couples to sit and chat were also situated along the steamboat’s sides facing Disney Springs.
As with all restaurants the menu makes or breaks a dining experience. Executive Chef Mark Boor and his team have put together an extensive and delicious menu for lunch, brunch or dinner and you can expect to see popular dishes like Florida Stone Crab, Alaska King and Queen crab as well as tasty lobster corn dogs.
Paddlefish is a welcome addition to the dining scene at Disney Springs and is sure to prove very popular with visitors. The smaller dining areas make it feel more intimate than most of the other restaurants in the area and we expect that the outdoor seating will prove a popular option combined with its enchanting view.
Paddlefish is open 11.30am to 11.00pm everyday and is another great reason to visit Orlando in 2017! Make sure you check it out!
More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com