When discussing dining at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Mythos typically steals the culinary spotlight. Even Finnegan’s tends to get lots of love within Universal Studios Florida itself, but it’s actually Lombard’s Seafood Grille where a great deal of Universal’s gastronomical delights are to be found. When its top-notch offerings and ideal location on the park’s waterfront are combined with its low profile, an unexpected bonus pops up: lower wait times (on average, at least) and a quieter, more relaxed ambiance. The result is that Lombard’s is not to be missed.
Is that a hyperbolic statement, given the totality of the resort’s high-class dining offerings? In a word, no. While it’s true that Mama Della’s is the best overall full-service restaurant at Universal Orlando, and The Three Broomsticks is the highest quality quick-service location – and let’s not forget Mythos itself, which has to easily take the crown for the best-themed eatery – Lombard’s has some of, if not the, best meals around, coupled with an atmosphere that is subtly themed but nevertheless sublime.
We looked at every bar and lounge across WDW property and came up with the list of best adult drinks. The only venue not eligible is the new Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, because they will be getting an article devoted entirely to them in the near future (we’re still in the honeymoon phase, and the Nautilus, Shrunken Zombie Head, Rum Flight, Tropical Dark & Stormy, Krakatoa Punch and Polynesian Pearl would fill up the list.) With that out of the way let’s begin the drink countdown, starting with….
# 6 – Grand Marnier Orange Slush (France Pavilion, Epcot)
Our first stop after crossing the International Gateway at Epcot isLes Vins des Chefs de France kiosk for a Grand Marnier Orange Slush. Similar in taste to an orange sorbet with just the right mix of Grand Marnier and Grey Goose vodka, this slush is absolutely delicious and the perfect drink during a hot touring day at Epcot.
An epic lightsaber battle took place between Princess Leia and Darth Vader for the fate of the galaxy.
Well, okay. It was last Sunday night in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Princess Leia was played by Minnie Mouse and Darth Vader was played by Goofy. And the fate of the galaxy might be a bit of a stretch. But this dining experience was, well, epic.
During Star Wars weekends, Hollywood and Vine’s dinner buffet is turned into Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine at Hollywood & Vine. Even if you’ve done more character meals than Mos Eisley has scum and villainy, there are some unique aspects to this meal.
There have been members of the Islamic faith vacationing at Walt Disney World for decades, but the growing number of adherents to Islam in the United States, along with increased accessibility from the Middle East (including non-stop flights from Orlando International Airport to Dubai, UAE) means that more Islamic guests than ever are visiting the parks.
Many times you can have luck requesting halal meals in the Morocco pavilion at Epcot. (Photo by Erwin Mascardo)
Like many Jewish guests, Islamic guests often have special dietary restrictions that they maintain while on vacation. In the past, many guests have reported that when it comes to halal meals, you had to create your own solution. Some people have suggested selectively ordering kosher meals, even though not all kosher meals are halal. Others have had luck visiting Restaurant Marrakesh in Epcot’s Morocco pavilion and talking with the chef to see what could be put together on that particular day.
Thankfully Disney has started to realize that with the large number of guests requesting and having a preference for halal food, better accommodations need to be made. In correspondence with the Special Diets Team at Disney, I have learned that there are a few solutions for eating halal at Walt Disney World.
The tiki drums are pounding, the tropical libations are now flowing, and there is cause for celebration. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is now open at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort to the delight of Disney fans and tiki lifestylers. There is so much to love about this East Coast installment of a Disneyland Resort treasure. But as is always the case with siblings, there are some characteristics that set the two apart. These little touches give a difference that is just distinct enough between these two enchanted tiki destinations.
A Dream Come True
Before we begin our list of differences, let’s take a moment to look back. About three years ago I sat at the Tambu Lounge on the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. I nursed a tall frosty mix of tropical juices and rum; like so many Disney fans, Tambu Lounge had earned its place on my regular rotation of Disney bars & lounges.
You’ve booked a Disney Cruise Line voyage, yay! One of the first things many guests ask (after “How am I going to pay for this?”) is “What should I wear?” This simple question is a hotly contested topic in some circles. I’m here to talk you through what you need to know.
What should I wear to dinner?
Disney Cruise Line ships each have three main dining rooms (MDRs). You will be assigned to eat at one of the three MDRs every night of your cruise.
One version of semi-formal.
The default dress code at the MDRs is “Cruise Casual.”
The MDRs may also have any of several possible other dress suggestions depending on the specifics of your sailing. These might include formal attire, semi-formal attire, pirate attire, tropical attire, Pixar attire, Frozen attire, or Star Wars attire. In the main dining rooms, everything other than cruise casual is simply a suggestion and is completely optional. I repeat EVERYTHING OTHER THAN CRUISE CASUAL IS OPTIONAL.
We now know another restaurant that will be opening with the Downtown Disney expansion to Disney Springs — Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar. This new restaurant will be aviation-themed and many will recognize the name Jock Lindsey as the pilot from the ever popular (and now Disney-owned) Indiana Jones films. The restaurant will be found in between Paradiso 37 and the BOATHOUSE and will be a Disney operated restaurant.
There will be seating available for 150 Guests and the details will be top-notch; everything will be within the storyline. (For example, Jock had a pet snake named Reggie…so Guests should be on the lookout for the name of the dry-docked boat that will also serve as a dining area for Guests.) Other details include correspondence between Jock and Indy, as well as aviation-themed memorabilia.
The restaurant is slated to open this fall and I’ll make sure to keep you updated on additional details as they become available.
One thing is for sure, I fully expect this to be an experience like no other and the perfect place for Indiana Jones fans to enjoy.
Yes, The Three Broomsticks may be the best quick-service restaurant at Universal Orlando Resort, and, yes, a lot of Broomsticks’s impressiveness is due to its immaculate theming, which is arguably in a league of its own.
But Mythos differentiates itself in a number of key ways, from the small (it’s a table-service eatery rather than a counter-service one) to the large (instead of being based on a pre-existent intellectual property, it has the double duty of creating another world for guests to inhabit from scratch while simultaneously transporting them there). When added together, it becomes quickly apparent that Islands of Adventure’s premiere venue is also its most immersive one, and that, indeed, Mythos takes top thematic billing at the entire resort.
What, exactly, is in a theme, and how does it impact your culinary experience? Let’s find out.
Here’s a construction wall-free look at the Great Movie Ride to make you smile, before I share my woeful tale of testing the new DHS food ordering mobile app (photos by Seth Kubersky)
On May 1, 2015, Disney’s Hollywood Studios marked its 26th birthday with…not much at all, aside from the removal of construction walls around the giant hat’s former home. But while there was no big celebration like there was for last year’s silver anniversary, DHS did gain one unpublicized addition last week. As Rikki Niblet reported, a new food ordering mobile app is currently testing at two locations in the park, and I stopped by on the (not so) big day to give the new system a whirl. To save some typing, suffice to say that things did not quite go according to plan. Keeping in mind that this new service is still in the testing phase, you may decide to stick with buying your Studios snacks the old-fashioned way by the time you finish reading about my experience.
Mother’s Day is drawing near, and the ever present question looms: What to get Mom to show you love her? Not all moms are the same, so the answers can end up being quite different. One mother may enjoy a little spa time and pampering, while another may want an adventurous outing. Here are a few Disney inspired ideas for those who will be in or near the magic, starting with my favorite: food.
1) Mother’s Day special Dining Options Making reservations as early as possible is recommended for these special occasion meals.