Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside: 1251 Riverside Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Over the years, Boatwright’s Dining Hall at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort has been a favorite of ours for it’s southern-style menu offerings. In our opinion, Boatwright’s is a signature restaurant at a table-service price. If you’re fixin’ for an affordable table-service restaurant with good food and great service for your next trip to the Walt Disney World Resort, we highly recommend making a reservation at Boatwright’s in Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside.
Located just steps away from Port Orleans Resort – Riverside’s Main Lobby and Reception, Boatwright’s Dining Hall warmly welcomes diners to the South with relics of shipyards past. Serving dinner nightly from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., Boatwright’s Dining Hall is an intimate dining venue that transports diners to a one-of-a-kind and simply southern shipyard where good food and friendly service are the name of the game.
With so many restaurants at The Walt Disney World Resort, it’s hard to visit each and every one of our favorites on every trip. However, this little spot off the lobby at Port Orleans Riverside has been a family favorite of ours since its opening in 1992, and this is one table-service that has consistently exceeded our expectations.
Upon arrival to the former shipyard warehouse that is Boatwright’s Dining Hall, you will certainly notice the restaurant’s calling card – the enormous wooden remains of a partially constructed sailboat hull which are suspended high above the main dining room. No, you’re not at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club – this is Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside. If you’re lucky enough to have an early dinner seating, the open dining room is abundant with natural light. While making your way to your table, see if you can spot the tasteful nautical touches throughout the rustic dining rooms such as a wall of vintage shipbuilding tools, compasses, blue prints, and a captain’s wheel.
Once seated, you’ll start your meal off right with a deliciously sweet (and complimentary) cornbread and butter service. It’s light, it’s fluffy, it’s TDF (To.Die.For.)! In all honestly, if Boatwright’s was open for lunch, we would stop by JUST for the all-you-can-eat cornbread and cocktails! Yes, it’s that good.
Now it’s time to get down to business. Boatwright’s is a far cry from the typical Walt Disney World table-service restaurant. The menu is cleverly crafted from a list of more appealing and thematically appropriate entrees than the standard theme park fare of burger and fries.
The restaurant’s Creole and Cajun-style eats are popular among many Walt Disney World guests and include a Jambalaya (be warned: there’s a bit of a kick) that is totally our jam, Charleston-style “Deep South Shrimp and Grits,” and of course their world famous “Sassagoula Boneless Beef Short Ribs!” From the crispy fried “Voo Doo Chicken” to the Short Ribs, at Boatwright’s Dining Hall southern foodies will be in heaven. For dessert, don’t forget to try the practically perfect “Bourbon Street Pecan Pie” because it doesn’t get any more Southern than that.
The vibe here is down home comfort cookin’ at its finest, and we can’t help but think this is a venue where Mark Twain himself would have dined at. The decor is simple, and the service is spectacular.
Although the noise level can become higher in the main dining room, Boatwright’s Dining Hall does a great job of providing an intimate setting to diners, especially in their smaller dining rooms, but don’t let that fool you. This restaurant seats over 200 people!
Prices for entrees range from $17.00 for the Vegetarian Jambalaya to $35.00 for the Big Easy (New York Strip Steak with Crawfish Mac & Cheese). Boatwright’s Dining Hall does accept the Disney Dining Plan at 1 Table Service Credit per guest for dinner. The venue also participates in the Tables in Wonderland discount program as well as the 10% Annual Pass discount.
Travel Note: Boatwright’s Dining Hall at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside is one of the few places left on Walt Disney World Property that still serves Prime Rib regularly on its menu.
Currently, Boatwright’s Dining Hall is the only table service restaurant presently being offered to guests of Disney’s Port Orleans Resort which can be found at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, but you will get no complaints from us as each and every one of our meals at Boatwright’s has always been a hit.
For Port Orleans Resort guests of the past, many will remember Bonfamille’s Cafe which was the table-service location located just off the Lobby at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter from 1991 to 2000. Although the Cafe has reopened seasonally over the years, it has not been in full operation since 2000. However, we have heard rumblings from Port Orleans Resort
spies staff that management has recently considered the introduction of an additional table-service option at French Quarter. This would be a wonderful addition to an already fabulous Resort, and it would quiet a lot of critics who note that Port Orleans’ offering of only one table-service location is a major downfall of this Resort. However, these are strictly rumors at this point – watch this space.
Boatwright’s Dining Hall is a hidden Disney gem where comfort food shines. This is one Walt Disney World Restaurant that isn’t on many guests’ radars, so if you’re looking for a relaxing and out of the way spot for your next Disney Date Night – this is the place for you. After your meal, stop by the River Roost Lounge to catch Disney Legend, YeHaa Bob Jackson.
Have you dined at Boatwright’s Dining Hall? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!