New information on the Flying Fish restaurant makeover

May 16, 2016 in "Flying Fish"

New look Flying Fish concept art
Posted: Monday May 16, 2016 11:18am EDT by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney has released new information on the Flying Fish Cafe refurbishment currently taking place on the BoardWalk.

First up, a new name - Flying Fish. The cafe is no more, and the restaurant is heading more upscale, despite being a signature restaurant before the makeover.

In this new concept art, you can see the new look interior space, with an an all new kitchen and dining room. There is more interior space including private areas, and even a flying fish chandelier.

Fish will continue to be the basis of the menu, with Chef Tim Majors taking the lead in the kitchen.

Next door in the former Seashore Sweets will be a new cocktail lounge - AbracadaBar.

According to the official Disney Parks Blog announcement:

The new “curious cocktail lounge” combines the Golden Age of Magic with the magic of Disney storytelling, so look for whimsy in the design from the Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) team, who create stories in true Disney fashion. According to WDI, the lounge was once a secret stomping ground for famous touring magicians, local boardwalk illusionists and the loveliest magician’s assistants of the day. After every magic show, these prestidigitators would gather at the bar, where they’d conjure up new cocktails, swap magic tips and tricks, and often stay up all night attempting to “out-charm” each other with their extraordinary illusions.

According to BoardWalk lore, it was on just such an evening that every single magician in the lounge vanished into thin air, never seen again… And after sitting vacant for nearly 70 years, the secret magician’s lounge is now back in the spotlight.

AbracadaBar guests will get a special peek into the sophisticated social club, and while it’s rumored that the magicians who frequented the lounge vanished without a trace decades ago, their magic still remains strongly intact, and can be seen, heard, and even savored in the bar’s signature cocktails. From its enchanted magic show posters and mystifying mirrors to vintage props and tricks left behind years ago, AbracadaBar promises to be just as surprising and magical as its name suggests.

No opening dates or menu specifics are yet available, but an opening is expected in the late summer of 2016.

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NeXuS1000Aug 07, 2016

Great review of the re-imagining of FF from WDWNT: http://wdwnt.com/blog/2016/08/photos-video-review-flying-fish-returns-to-disneys-boardwalk-as-an-entirely-new-restaurant/ So far, I've only heard great receptions since it re-opened.

rael ramoneAug 05, 2016

The signature appetizer that was removed (crab cake with ancho remoulade) is quite doable at home. Or just make the remoulade and put it on a home made po boy...

BocabearAug 05, 2016

I think adding the bar next door will address some of the waiting area concerns while adding money to the coffers... Honestly all signature restaurants should have a longe area...

DisneyPrincess5Aug 05, 2016

I haven't read anything about this-weren't they suppose to do something about a lack of a waiting area for reservations or did I imagine that one up? I could've sworn I heard that part of the rehab was creating a little more of a space for waiting. The review was very informative. Food looks good as does the new ambiance! My mom will be eating there in November-excited to see what she will think.

PleakleyAug 04, 2016

I couldn't agree more. It's nice, looks like a high end restaurant. I was just really hoping for something grand and unique. Disney set that bar and that's how I got interested in design as a kid. If you put yourself back fifteen to twenty years ago, FF really had that wow factor. You'd expect that again, just today's equivalent. It's like they hinted at an art deco/Hollywood regency feel, but really played it safe. They could have gone very dramatic in the style and it still would have been very classy. The theme offers such an opportunity to be opulent and transportive that it feels like a bit of a waste. But I will say, the photos on this site look much nicer than those on others. The first few I saw appeared incredibly dark and very different from the concept art. Initially I really disliked the look for this particular space, and I like dark colors normally. I thought the palette almost looked like Jiko. However, now seeing it in proper light, the colors seem fine. I suppose they went for "under the sea" as the review says. I would have loved to have seen them gone with some lighter blues though.

TheGuyThatMakesSwordsAug 04, 2016

All personal opinion - I'm not right, no one else is wrong..... I really LIKE what they have done to the Restaurant finishings..... it looks comfortable, upscale, and really nice. But I also looked at the menu :(. Generally, I see very little SHELLFish. There is no Alaskan King Crab, not even a really good sized Lobster. SOME Clams, Mussles, Oysters - but only in the Appetizer area. No one wants to spill the facts on the Wagu size.... at $58 a head? My guess is you are getting a 4 Oz. Filet. Thinking this would be best introduced in the "Appetizer" section, and really not sure how it actually fits the Restaurant's Focus. All in all - I personally love the decor. But I won't be going there, due to the limited menu. Good news? Menus can change - I'll keep an eye on the offerings. Again.... All personal opinion - I'm not right, no one else is wrong..... :).

BocabearAug 04, 2016

and that was sort of my point...a lack of originality to the decor...espcially with it being a Disney restaurant VS a commercial venture at a competing hotel... You would always expect the Disney version to be much more original and spectacular...well in the past anyway. Blue Zoo has also been open for about 12 years... so that might be why it feels dated to you...

ABQAug 04, 2016

Todd is a tool, in my personal opinion. Going way back in the day, dealing with him at Figs, the old Brookline, MA location, he was a nice guy, but dang has he become more and more of a hat made of a butt, if you get my meaning. As for the decore of Flying Fish, I think it's nicer than that of BlueZoo, but the resemblance is not hard to see.

TeriofTerrorAug 04, 2016

Every review I've read has been positively glowing. I think Chef Tim is fantastic, and I can't wait to give it a try!

trampdogAug 04, 2016

Flying Fish is a Disney owned restaurant, Blue Zoo is not. If Todd wants to keep his other restaurants in the Marketing mix, he has to step it up. Personally, I think Blue Zoo is very dated. Looks more like an early 90's nightclub, than a restaurant. It's like eating in Mannequins. Food-wise, I liked the old FF menu but this one looks equally good. I have my ADR in October. Can't wait!

BocabearAug 04, 2016

Not only do we have similar things here, but I used a similar chandelier in a client's house about 4 years ago...so what I am saying, whether you have seen it before or not, Disney used to do extremely creative, original interiors for their different signature dining... this new interior, while very nice, doe not have any of the unique custom touches the previous interior had...and located practically next door, Todd English's restaurant has similar fixtures and theming, but is done in a way that is more dramatic... And yeah, everyone has an opinion...and that is what a forum is about.

Brian SwanAug 04, 2016

Although I have eaten at the "old" FF, I had no special attachment to either the menu or the decor. The food was good, but on the whole it was my least favorite of the Disney Signatures, and one I only went to if I was with a group that wanted to go. A lot of that was the atmosphere. I'm kind of a coaster nut and I loved the tie-in with the old Flying Turns coaster from Coney Island, but to me the setting and menu were a disconnect. With the bright colors, whimsical fish, and NOISE level, it was a place I would expect to get chowder, fish and shrimp baskets, crab cakes, maybe a lobster, hamburgers, hot dogs, etc - NOT $75-100 per person upscale fine dining. I love the new look, and FF will be on my "must do" list, along with Tiffins, on my next trip.

LuvtheGoofAug 04, 2016

Sorry, not trying to make it personal. But we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. I think the new look is miles better than the old one. You had stated that you have something similar where you live near Miami, and I was simply making the statement that the vast majority of us do not, so to us it is different, and better.

BocabearAug 04, 2016

Don't be sorry... I am glad to live somewhere that has some decent architecture... but that is not the point...the point was, the original interior was much more custom and special than what replaced it... Also the fact that the 10 year old BlueZoo having a similar but more dramatic version of the interior kinda makes Flying Fish look less remarkable... that was my point, but thanks for trying to make this personal.