Paddlefish: One of Disney Springs' Newest Renovations
Paddlefish, formerly Fulton’s Crab House, reopened early this year after several months of renovations. Other than its new name, the restaurant has taken on a new menu, theme, and a totally new atmosphere. The only things that have remained are the chefs, staff, and the three-story vessel. Paddlefish overlooks Lake Buena Vista. It is the only restaurant in Disney Springs to offer rooftop, waterfront seating.The serene lake adds an additional aspect to Paddlefish's gorgeous views from your dinner table or lounge chair on the third floor.
The Fulton Crab House menu focused mostly on seafood. However, Paddlefish has a large selection of both meat and seafood. Paddlefish also has a broiler on the first floor where your seafood can be broiled and brought out to in a silver platter with the protein you selected, surrounded by corn and potatoes. The Fulton Crab riverboat theme has been replaced by a contemporary nautical theme, fitting in even more closely with the newer look in Disney Springs. The atmosphere is sophisticated casual. However, you're at Disney Springs, so as grandiose as the food presentations may be you will still see some of the guests wearing Mickey Mouse ears, shorts, or flip flops.
I went to Disney Springs with my husband last weekend. Like all Disney properties, it was magical and majestic. We walked straight ahead in search of Paddlefish, but we didn't have to look far. The three-story vessel seemed to hover in the sky above all of the other buildings. I pointed towards the large tanker and started to gain a skip in my step to see this new restaurant.
We walked inside to a beautiful ship with dark wood walls and calming shades of blue. Our hostess took us up the stairs to the second floor. We were indoors, in a semi-circular room overlooking the serene waters of Lake Buena Vista. Our server was extremely nice and very knowledgeable about the menu.
We started off with drinks. My husband ordered the "Not Everyone's Margarita" and I ordered the "Southern Sangria." The margarita came with a jalapeno cascading above the drink! I had to take a sip! The drink is nice and smooth, but after a few seconds of each sip you get a kick that reminds you that a jalapeno is sunbathing in your drink. This was my first jalapeno drink. When you visit Paddlefish, you should definitely try it. My sangria was more along my speed; a little wine, fruit, and a twist of sweetness. The bread served at each table is amazing! It's an entire loaf and it is served with flavored butter. I tried to stop at one piece but I couldn't help myself!
For dinner, I debated between the one of the broils and a regular seafood entree. However, I chose the scallops and my husband chose the sea bass. The scallops came with brussel sprouts, and I am one of the few people that can say that I love brussel sprouts! The softness of the scallops were a nice contrast to the crunch of the brussel sprouts. My husband's sea bass came with coconut milk, crab broth, tomatoes, and ginger.
Overall, the Paddlefish restaurant's ambiance is inviting. It could serve as a place to have a family dinner or a romantic evening out. The price is on the higher side, but that is expected with many Disney dining establishments. Everyone on the staff is very friendly, and if you're lucky you might be able to meet the chef.
There is a lot of traffic outside of Disney Springs so make sure that you leave enough time to get to the restaurant on time.
This is not the first time that this restaurant has changed names. Before Fulton Crab House, it was known as the Empress Lilly, originally opened in 1977 and named after Walt Disney’s wife.
If you're visiting the restaurant, make sure to stop by the other sites at Disney Springs. The entire property is absolutely gorgeous.
Would I recommend it: If you're at Disney Springs and you're in the mood for a great view or relaxing on the third floor lounge with some music, then you should stop by.