‘Tis the season to start planning your holiday soiree! Though it’s not quite November, now is the perfect time to explore your options for this year’s seasonal celebrations. Whether you’re hosting your work team, your neighborhood friends or your family visiting from out-of-town, Disney Springs has a space that’s just right for the occasion. With so many options to fit groups ranging in size from just a few to a few hundred, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite places with space for entertaining. If you hope to be the “host with the most,” read on:
he BOATHOUSE: Known for “great food, waterfront dining and dream boats,” The BOATHOUSE offers two formal private dining rooms that can accommodate up to 50 guests each, or can be combined to make one large room with space for 100. On the menu? Steak, chops, raw bar and seafood dishes, plus some of the most amazing desserts you’ll ever experience. (Tip: Order the S’mores Baked Alaska – it’s their signature dessert for a reason!)
Bongo’s Cuban Café: Transport your guests to “Old Havana” with Cuban hospitality, flavorful dishes and creative cocktails. The iconic pineapple room can accommodate up to 54 guests. I recently enjoyed an incredible lunch here and can’t wait to return for another meal.
Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’: From a full buyout for 300 guests to smaller groups of 15-75 on the porch, this venue’s approach to upscale Florida fare will make every one of your guests feel right at home. Buffet or family-style service can showcase Chef Art’s signature fried chicken (it’s seriously the best I’ve ever had!), luscious shrimp and grits and much more. Be sure to save room for dessert – Hummingbird and Shine cakes await.
House of Blues Restaurant & Bar: With the ambience of an old Southern Delta Juke Joint, this 57,000-square foot venue features indoor and outdoor space, offering a rich setting for holiday parties, social gatherings, and corporate events for groups of 15 to 2,500 guests. Here, the best in live music and eclectic cuisine is served with a side of Southern hospitality. The restaurant just introduced new menu items including a Shrimp Po’ Boy which sounds perfect for a soiree!
Morimoto Asia: This gorgeous two-story Pan-Asian restaurant always makes me feel miles from Central Florida. Intimate private dining rooms can be reserved for smaller groups, or the entire second floor – including a private entrance, lounge, sushi bar, and outside patio – can be booked for groups of up to 150. In addition to the creative dishes available, you’ll also have access to an extensive cocktail and sake list, including the Morimoto signature line. The location can accommodate groups of 8 up to 600, and they offer sake tastings or sushi rolling classes for groups that want a more interactive experience.
Paddlefish: This newly redesigned location specializes in seafood, but offers options to please any palate. Here, you can experience plated lunches, dinners, chef’s table receptions, and chef demonstrations ideal for corporate lunch or dinner events, intimate wedding ceremonies, receptions or rehearsal dinners. Book a provide dining room for up to 24 guests or reserve the entire rooftop for much larger parties – it offers one of the most breathtaking views in all of Disney Springs!
Paradiso 37: Enjoy a “Taste of the Americas” featuring selections from the best of the 37 countries of the Americas along with an extensive selection of cocktails and a two-story tequila tower that boasts over 50 varieties of tequila. The waterfront venue can accommodate up to 409 guests on the main dining floor, with room for 75 guests on the second level. Three semi-private waterfront dining rooms can each host between 40 and 100 guests, or they can be combined into one giant space. Of course, smaller parties are welcome, too!
Planet Hollywood Observatory: With four floors of movie memorabilia, the recently transformed Planet Hollywood Observatory offers semi-private event space for groups of 15 or more, and private functions for groups of 75 or larger. American fare takes center stage, with burgers, ribs, pasta and more on the menu. If your guests are extra-hungry, point them towards the burger and sandwich menu by noted celebrity chef, Guy Fieri.
Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant: One of my top picks for over a decade, Raglan Road boasts three private dining rooms and three semi-private spaces and features classic Irish dishes like fish and chips and shepherd’s pie, plus a list of specialty libations and beers on tap. Live music and award-winning dancers make this an ideal spot to enjoy dinner and a show.
Splitsville Luxury Lanes: Roll in and rock out for an interactive private event showcasing famed sushi, salmon, and filet mignon sliders from this luxury bowling alley. The upstairs, which overlooks the promenade of Disney Springs West Side, can host 250-600 guests. Downstairs the party rolls on with the same energy for groups from 200-400 guests. Round out your experience with craft cocktails and other spirited offerings. I can attest that the ice-cold 18-ounce schooners are a popular choice with party-goers!
STK Orlando: When this venue first opened, I got a kick out of the description, “Not your daddy’s steakhouse.” Having dined there several times, I agree that it’s the perfect synopsis! This mix of classic steakhouse meets stylish lounge combines fine dining with a trendy, vibe-driven atmosphere. A robust a-la-carte menu offers the finest steaks, seafood dishes, raw bar options and more, alongside a cocktail list that rivals any you’ll find elsewhere. Two private dining areas can each accommodate up to 36 guests.
Ready to learn more? For a limited-time during the holiday season, you can call 407-587-5981 to speak with a Disney Springs Cast Member who can provide you with options for your group size, event budget and culinary preferences. For the best availability, book early in the season before space fills up.