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The Edison Opening Night Review

Discussion in 'Disney Springs' started by SeventyOne, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. SeventyOne

    SeventyOne Veteran Member

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    I rolled in around 9:30. Agreed it was very busy, despite a moderately heavy Friday night crowd at Springs at best. Tables full, at least a dozen people stalking out seats at the bars. That said, I saw zero evidence of a dress code. Plenty of t-shirts, plenty of baseball caps (backwards and forwards), and apparently pink floral "booty shorts" (or whatever the kids call them these days) are "dress shorts"? If anything, I'd say the crowd at Raglan was slightly better dressed, I think because it was mostly from one convention. Nick, curious what people were being turned away for?

    Saw a lot of "hey, check out that," so the newness obviously hasn't worn off yet. That said, Edison has the same problem later-years PI had. To walk up, I had to dodge strollers and packs of selfie-taking 13 y.o.s. And too many of them were still there when I left after midnight. Also, a bit of a Margaritaville problem--announced more than once, "the dance floor is open!", but when it's lined with tables where people are still dining, just not very inviting. When the next big thing opens on Sand Lake or I Drive, I expect the crowds to migrate there.

    BTW, was the PMJ clone all night, mixed with the DJ doing modern versions of period tunes. No strictly modern music. The "Pearls" came down at 10, but didn't perform. Not sure if because dance floor still not clear, a couple straggler kids still eating, or what.

    Finally saw a menu, and prices are more in line with the resort than I was led to believe my initial night. Either bartender screwed up or they did a last minute re-do.

    Final thoughts, still more restaurant than bar, and I still fear doomed by Fall to change drastically.
     
  2. Nick

    Nick Staff Member Moderator

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    I saw some people being turned away for what seemed to be their overall tourist aesthetic. People with garish shirts, backpacks, etc. However every once in awhile the bouncer would go to check on something and I saw some of those people still sneak in.

    I think it's more of restaurant still too, i'm going to try to have a positive outlook on it though that they'll get past your stated "Margaritaville problem". I think the comparison to the PI-later years is the biggest hurdle here. With it being the only "nightclub" in Disney Springs, The Edison needs to impress people on their first visit to make sure they stay a popular place to come and not just popular because it's shiny and new. Newness always wears off.
     
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  3. SeventyOne

    SeventyOne Veteran Member

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    Weird. Other than on a couple of girls didn't see any shorts--it was a cooler night--but again, plenty of sports team t-shirts, baseball caps, obvious sneakers, things dress codes usually prohibit. Jeans were the rule, not the exception. In fairness, I walked in without even talking to anyone, there was a line at the host stand but I assumed that was for tables.

    If it's a nightclub that only gets going once everything else has closed, I don't see it lasting. It's fine to be busy on Friday, but a place this size needs to find a way to make money 7 days a week--needs to find a way to get people in the door on Tuesday. I don't see a long term path forward for that.
     
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  4. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    Good points. I've seen way too many similar establishments, over my many years, open to much bravado but that were unable to sustain crowds on days other than Friday & Saturday. That will be the true test.
     
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  5. Nick

    Nick Staff Member Moderator

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    Well, it has shorter hours on a Tuesday than a Friday for one thing, making success on those days slightly easier to accomplish. I believe it's 11 on your average Tuesday compared to 2am from Thurs-Sat.

    I think the key for them - if they hope to continue as a nightclub in any capacity - is cutting reservations for dinner off earlier so you allow for a buffer period to get restaurant guests out and those who are there for the nightclub aspects in without still having tables on the dance/performance floor.

    On Tuesdays though I still don't see it struggling too much because The Edison itself excels as a restaurant without the entertainment, much like Toothsome. The food is good enough to draw people in and leave a good enough impression to make them come back on their next trip. It's tough for them to juggle the place as both a family restaurant and a 21+Bar/Nightclub. I hate to see it happen, but i'm afraid that the nightclub aspect will be lost sooner than later (although they will do many private parties and special events, i'm sure).
     
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  6. Tobias

    Tobias Rookie

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    Well the cover charge didn't last long...



    An' if the cover was one of the things which helped fund the entertainment, any bets on when that might go as well?

    *Also, from personal observation SchuckJH feels the dress code is shot as well, which lines up with what's been reported on here.
     
  7. Nick

    Nick Staff Member Moderator

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    Getting rid of the cover actually might save the entertainment, oddly. It's off-putting in Disney Springs, where every venue is free to enter, to then come upon a venue where you need to pay $15/person. By not having the cover charge, there will be less people that decide to just say "screw it" and walk away and actually go inside and have a drink or two at the least.

    I do feel like the dress code is pretty much shot though.
     
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  8. JoeCamel

    JoeCamel Premium Member

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    I have been in places that had a cover after a certain time and was wondering how they applied it here. Do they go table to table at 10 and tell the guests to pony up and give them money?
     
  9. SeventyOne

    SeventyOne Veteran Member

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    That guy seems pretty smart.

    Never saw it first hand, but I think the idea was for the entertainment to start at 10 (the cover charge was specifically intended to pay the entertainers). They'd clear the show room of tables, to give it more of a bar feel. and anyone who arrived after 10 would pay to get in. It's basically the model much of CityWalk worked off of for years (Pat Os, Margaritaville on busy nights, I think Marley's). The idea was doomed at Disney Springs from the start, but it literally lasted one week. I take it as a sign they plan this be more of a restaurant, giving up any hope of it becoming a late night bar/nightclub. Cf Splitsville, STK.

    FWIW, was crowded but not packed last night, cleared out after 11. Curious how much longer they choose to keep a 50-person staff for two dead hours on weeknights.
     
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  10. Joe

    Joe aka TestTrack321 Staff Member Moderator

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    In the end Toothsome is popular so they could always default to a themed restaurant. Would not live up to the hype and expectations and will end up being a “remember when” story.
     
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  11. SeventyOne

    SeventyOne Veteran Member

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    I feel I also should add for $28 I had a massive hunk of expertly prepared prime rib. If I still had my Tables card, that would be an outright bargain. The entrees are very reasonably priced--it's the drinks and apps that are crazy expensive. Again, we'll see how that goes if/when it shifts from bar to restaurant. But in the meantime, you could do worse if you're looking to eat in Springs.
     
  12. rhino4evr

    rhino4evr Veteran Member

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    yeah, I just don't see Disney operating a successful nightclub. The folks that hang until 2am at a bar, aren't your typical Disney crowd in my experience.
     
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  13. Nick

    Nick Staff Member Moderator

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    I feel like they'll try their hardest to make some sort of nightclub element work at this venue. Getting rid of the $15 cover already isn't surprising as I said when it opened earlier in this thread I expected many tweaks to happen in the first month or two to try to make it work. If they can't make it work though after testing out lots of different formulas, I think that's when we see the entertainment go.

    As Joe said though, Toothsome is incredibly popular as a restaurant and I see no reason why this can't be as well. It's just that we were promised so much more and unfortunately, it's hard to make a nightclub work in Disney Springs.

    Still, I do expect lots of convention buyouts of this space to be used the way it was intended (like the NYE party).

    It's weird how that changed though given how popular Pleasure Island was for most of it's existence.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
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  14. SeventyOne

    SeventyOne Veteran Member

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    My take: you need a certain critical mass to make a nightclub successful. No one wants to be one of the five people on the massive floor at Atlantic Dance.

    Even with a unique vision and the full force of the Disney marketing team behind it--not to mention new on-property hotels to market to--PI took a year or two to take hold. They would hire models to just drink in the bars and park empty limos up front in order to sell to casual visitors, "hey, this place is happening!" Boardwalk only gets that when there's a large convention in town, and those are the few times ADH and Jelly Rolls are actually fun.

    Contrast that with a single venue in a place where conventional wisdom for the past decade has been "there's no nightlife there anymore." WDW should have kept Mannequins and 8-Traxx, maybe a comedy club, open during the transition to Hyperion Wharf/Disney Springs. Had this opened when there was still a PI crowd around, it might've been able to pull off the restaurant/nightclub hybrid more easily. Same goes for Splitsville and STK. Tho having seen Maragaritaville try and fail over 18 years now, maybe that hybrid model is just doomed to fail. Only Bob Marley's and Rocco's Tacos seem to pull it off.

    You'd be surprised. The convention crowd is huge during non-peak times. You didn't really think $9/hour CMs and families with 2.5 kids were keeping STK and Boathouse afloat, did you? Fair number of weddings as well--even on a slow night you'd see three or four bachelorette parties in PI. Plus anniversary trips, young adult children in their 20s here with family, three or four weeks of college Spring Break, Daytona 500/Citrus Bowl spillover ... it added up. Also LBV is a small metropolis on its own at this point--locals may not have a lot of money, but offer half-price beers on Thursday night you'll pack your place out. PI was also great at attracting the "single mom" market--women who can only make it out every couple months, can't keep up with the ever-changing scene downtown (hip hop clubs have something like a 6-month lifespan) and liked the feeling of security the Disney name lent.
     
  15. Nick

    Nick Staff Member Moderator

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    Totally agree that they should've kept open the clubs that were actually profitable. Mannequins, Comedy Warehouse and 8-Trax would all be a great little complex and The Edison would do much better with them there.

    The issue is, Disney wanted to get out of the business of actually running the clubs. Once they closed PI, they actually had plans to reopen some of the venues as clubs under third party management. Disney just wants to collect rent, they don't want to be the one employing the bouncers at the door.

    The Edison had poor judgement, imo in choosing Disney Springs if they thought they would have a successful nighttime venue.
     
  16. jtsalien

    jtsalien Hello. I'm the Doctor. Basically, run. Premium Member

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    Just got to the Edison. No cover charge. No dress code, but they said that's just because it's new and they plan on bringing it back. Sat downstairs at a serviced table. There's people here, but nothing crazy.
     
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  17. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    Thanks for the update. It's great to have eyewitness accounts.....Maybe next year for me, once I see what it becomes after the dust settles. Sounds like they're still searching for their identity.
     
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  18. jtsalien

    jtsalien Hello. I'm the Doctor. Basically, run. Premium Member

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    If it's open in its current form by then. I don't mean to pile on, but I am not encouraged about the future. I'll post a more detailed account in the next day or so. But the short version is I love what they tried to do, but they missed the mark.... By a lot.
     
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  19. SeventyOne

    SeventyOne Veteran Member

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    From the bar's own twitter last night:

    The entertainment starts now! Every Thursday, Friday & Saturday night starting at 10:30pm, enjoy our Aerialist, Cabaret Dancers, Live Band and DJ until 2am @DisneySprings! Will you be joining us?

    Reading too much into a tweet, or have they already shelved entertainment 4 nights a week?
     
  20. jtsalien

    jtsalien Hello. I'm the Doctor. Basically, run. Premium Member

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    So I've waited a couple days for this review, because I didn't want to write a knee-jerk scathing review. However time has not improved my view of the Edison.

    We showed up around 10PM last Monday night. We were understandably carded, and then were exposed to one of the many reasons this concept will die. The man who carded us proceeded to lecture us about what exactly he wanted us to wear should we ever want to come back (good news, we don't) and then let us know they are graciously letting "everyone" try out Edison for a few weeks. And I get wanting to appeal to a certain audience, but they just don't have the right attitude. My money is good here whether I have pockets on my shorts or not.

    Once you get inside, the place is pretty cool. But ultimately the tiered concept is flawed when one of the cornerstones of the venue is supposed to be seeing the entertainment. There was a juggler performing at the time we got in, and there's no good space to really see what's happening except for downstairs where the serviced tables are. But once you get down there, you realize even then most of the tables cannot see. Because you are either tucked behind a staircase or behind hightops with people in them. That being said, the band was great even if you didn't see them. I'm a big fan of PMJ from Youtube, so I was the prime audience for this. They played some notable pop hits like Forget You, Bye Bye Bye, Haven't Met You Yet and some other songs I couldn't quite place.

    The open table we found was tucked in the corner near one of the bars, so we didn't have much of a view of the entertainment. Which wouldn't be a big deal, if we also didn't get the worst service I think I've ever had at Disney. We got a menu pretty quickly after sitting down, put in a drink order in a reasonable amount of time, and then waited about a half hour for our drinks. This wasn't a packed house on a Friday night. This was a Monday with a moderate crowd. And to sit somewhere like the Edison, where there literally appears to be more bottles of alcohol around you than people, and not be able to get a drink is pretty frustrating. The folks next to us got so tired of waiting to place an order since they wanted food, that they left. We suggested they go to Jock Lindsey's instead.

    Once the drinks arrived, they were actually pretty good. The table had a Mistress (stoli elit vodka, amaro montenegro, lemon, pomegranate, domaine chandon, $14), Electric Mule (reyka vodka, lemon, strawberry & lemongrass cordial, ginger beer, $14) and the Edison (woodford reserve bourbon, pear brandy, lemon, honey, $14). They just don't overcome their pricetag or other drawbacks of the venue.

    There were also other little things that bothered us when you put the whole picture together. Like that after we got inside, we were carded again when we ordered drinks. I get that it's a law and they don't have much wiggle room. But at this time of night you know you're carding people outside. It just seems like a nuisance. Also the hightop we were at was wildly uncomfortable. Like imagine your worst nightmare of being a full size adult sitting in an elementary classroom wooden desk. Uncomfortable to the point that it may be on purpose, like they don't want people to stay very long.

    The Edison is a nesting doll of failed concepts. The venue doesn't belong in Disney Springs, the venue isn't built for the entertainment it's supposed to showcase, and the service is atrocious for the price you're paying. This will die a quick death.

    If you're thinking about going to the Edison, don't. Go to pretty much anywhere else in Disney Springs for better value and a better time.
     
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