Disney Springs may not be here in its entirety just yet but its effects are being felt throughout the area soon to be formerly known as Downtown Disney. Although Dockside Margaritas, now open, being an expanded version of the Margarita Bar kiosk that came before may seem like a small upgrade to the area, it is one that has just enough touches to make it feel like something vastly different and fitting with the overall plans for Disney Springs. And as always it begins with story.
Dockside Margaritas is themed to a “Fresh Picked Produce” farmers-market styled stand that is meant to tie both into the Disney Springs Floridian themed roots while providing an enhanced vision for Marketplace. It stands just in front of the relatively new Marketplace Co-Op that too brings a nouveau Marketplace shopping experience into the fold. The wooden awning provides some comfort from the often times harsh Florida sun and the wooden deck gives the new full bar a sizable footprint and a nice vista onto the recently opened Marketplace Causeway. The theming is light and simple but its a substantial difference between the former location and the one that stands today and for this we can all be thankful. Now onto the headliner, you know – margaritas.
The menu offers several specialty cocktails of which I sampled the Patron Añejo Margarita and the Habanero Lime Margarita. The Patron Añejo Margarita is a high quality traditional flavored margarita as one would expect and it was delightful. Still, I preferred the slight kick that you get when you step up to the spice of the Habanero Lime Margarita. The menu also includes traditional favorites like a Sugar Cane Mojito or a Frozen Strawberry Margarita, as well as, a decent beer selection including three Florida beers on draft. But as good as the drinks are the best part of the Dockside Margaritas experience might just be the accompanying live music.
Under the wooden awning adorned with stringed lights, a small stage area gives way to live performances that play throughout the day and into the night. Musical performances at every turn made Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District stand out to me and I came back wondering why this simple feature wasn’t being capitalized at Downtown Disney in the same fashion. Now with the advancement of Disney Springs musical performances are indeed becoming the norm and a much deserved focal point of the experience from West Side to Marketplace. Now you can lounge in the variety of seating and tables nearby or hang out at the bar and listen to really good live music and even support a band or musician by purchasing their music if you really enjoyed their good vibes. Dockside Margaritas was filled with good music, drinks and a dreamy Florida sunset peeking though, all of the ingredients necessary for a good time at Marketplace.
Disney Springs’ upgrades have come in all sorts of ways, many of them still yet to come. Some have been grand successes, others like Food Truck Park haven’t yet fully convinced me of their worth but there is little to question with Dockside Margaritas. It is clearly in the win column for Disney Springs. Now I just hope the rest of Marketplace continues to get place-making upgrades like this that really upgrade the look of Marketplace at Disney Springs even long after Disney Springs has officially opened.