Some friends and I went to the New Year’s Eve gala opening of The Edison in Disney Springs, housed in what was once the Adventurers Club. It was a $150 ticket but came with an open bar and tons of food samples from what will be the menu. Tl; dr: A unique, fun space while it lasts, but overpriced and doomed to fail. Outside looks amazing. Goes for the restaurants in the complex as well, has the feel of a 1950s/60s PanAm airline terminal next to an old power plant. Once inside, the Edison still largely mirrors the general shape of the AdvClub, just with all the walls removed, making the space feel cavernous (in a good way). The library stage and bar are in basically the same location, but can now be seen from the main bar. A new front stair cases has been added and the back stairs remain roughly where they were. The back patio was also expanded, for more relaxed lakeside sitting. The décor is definitely “steampunk”—comparisons to Toothsome are obvious, but it feels more lived in and realistic. Not a perfect analogy, but if Toothsome is the Jungle Cruise, Edison is Harambe. It feels unique in the area, and is very well done. Design team hit a home run. Costumes fit the theme perfectly. In addition to the two expanded bars downstairs, there is another bar upstairs. Current plan is 11 bartenders per night. A truly staggering selection of whisky, and a wider variety of tequila, rum and vodka than you’re going to find in most bars. I sampled the Air Pirate cocktail, a nice tropical punch, before moving onto Old Fashioneds and beer. Would definitely order it again, especially in Summer. Food is phenomenal as well. Best cannoli and tiramisu I’ve had in Florida—makes me think I need to try that $7 pizza (I imagine all the venues share the same kitchen). Had a slider version of the Edison burger that strongly suggests it will be a contender for best burger on property. And the truffled mac & cheese could probably win the 2018 Mac Down in Kissimmee. As good as the food and drink are, tho, the main draw is the entertainment. I can only go on what I saw last night—I assume the plan is to repeat nightly but, as you’ll read, not sure that will last long. The first half of the night is a mix of three shifts. A Post Modern Jukebox-style band plays actual 30s/40s standards as well as jazzy interpretations of current hits (Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” works remarkably well as a 1930s torch song). There’s also a DJ who does sets of similar period music. And finally a rotating series of live acts—a silk dancer who actually did acrobatics with a metal cube and a full-on burlesque trio. The trio was … entertaining. Also highly sexualized in a way I can’t see Disney being comfortable with. I suspect they will end up limited to private events, which is a shame, they add a lot to the atmosphere. Later on, probably around 10 (remember: open bar), the entertainment changes. Alternating shifts between a standard corporate cover band—think Dre C or Herb Williams or any other local bar band who covers Journey—and a wedding DJ playing radio-edit top 40 cuts. Yes, as the evening progresses, we go from boas between live girls’ legs to bleeping out the b-word in “Sorry Not Sorry.” It does nothing for the theme of the place, basically turns it into Atlantic Dance Hall 2.0. The burlesque girls stuck around to do photo ops but again, the vibe was now completely gone. [Also, random thought, but for a bar with 300 capacity, they have one mens room with a stall and two urinals. I hear ladies room had four stalls.] As for the much discussed dress code, at open, was about 1/3 in steampunk cosplay, 1/3 dressed up (suit & tie or cocktail dress), 1/3 more casual attire. But as the night went on, became about 1/2 in casual attire. If that was a grand opening gala NYE, I imagine by Spring Break we’ll be lucky if they still require collared shirts and closed shoes. Overall I had fun, tho much more fun earlier in the night. But I still think it’s doomed. Prices are ridiculous even by Springs standards--$11 for a Sam Adams (16 oz at most, ,maybe 12). I’m sure it’s to compensate for lack of a cover, but the lifestylers who will be drawn to this place will be nursing a Coke all night (as happened to another venue in this same location). Also, as I said, the unique vibe disappears after 10 and the place turns into Red Coconut. I don’t think Springs supports enough people looking for that to keep this place open until 2:00 seven nights a week—not when everything else is only open until 11:00. Ultimately, this place suffers what I’m terming “the Ice Bar Effect.” Ice Bar Orlando is a blast—but it’s not the kind of place you randomly hit up after work or before a movie. It’s a special event to go there, when you want to enjoy the experience and know you’ll drop a lot of coin. Birthday, anniversary, bacherlotte party (my friend is looking to have a PG-13 bachelor party in April, Edison has sprang to the top of that list). But you’re not going to attract locals on a regular basis, and it’s not family-friendly enough for those with kids. Putting a lot of stock in convention business, but not sure how many will go for the concept. To say nothing of Disney pulling the plug on the burlesque numbers sooner rather than later. I used the analogy before, but don’t be surprised to see this become Atlantic Dance 2.0. And then replaced within a couple years.