Dining

25 Drinks of Christmas – Day Nineteen: Swedish Fish at Todd English’s bluezoo

by on December 19, 2015

We’re back with everyone’s favorite theme park advent calendar: a daily countdown of our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld building anticipation to the Big Day. 

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where the drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY NINETEEN: Swedish Fish at Todd English’s bluezoo (Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort)

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Swedish Fish at Todd English’ bluezoo

One of our all time favorite drinks at Walt Disney World was the Bazooka Joe at Todd English’s bluezoo. Vodka infused with Bazooka Joe gum and served with a Bazooka Joe comic on top. Th drink was bluezoo in a nutshell: wildly original and tasted incredible. While the Bazooka Joe is currently off the menu, in its place we recommend the Swedish Fish. Similar to the Bazooka Joe, the Swedish Fish takes a treat many of us grew up with, infuses it with vodka, and immediately puts a smile on our face.

Because bluezoo is at the Dolphin, many WDW guests don’t consider it when listing their favorite bars on property, but it is just steps away from the BoardWalk area and Epcot. A bar crawl of bluezoo, Crew’s Cup, Belle Vue LoungeLa Cava del Tequila, Tutto Gusto, a Grand Marnier slush in France and a beer and pretzel in Germany goes toe to toe with any list on property.

Ingredients: Imperia Russian vodka infused with swedish fish. Shaken with fresh lemon juice and rock candy syrup, served up and topped with a swedish fish foam.

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Swedish Fish at Todd English’ bluezoo. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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25 Drinks of Christmas – Day Seventeen: Under the Florida Moon at The Wave

by on December 17, 2015

We’re back with everyone’s favorite theme park advent calendar: a daily countdown of our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld building anticipation to the Big Day. 

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where the drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY SEVENTEEN: Under the Florida Moon at The Wave… of American Flavors (Disney’s Contemporary Resort)

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Under the Florida Moon at The Wave. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Let’s head over to one of our favorite Disney resorts, The Contemporary,  and look at one of the most underrated restaurants on property, The Wave… of American Flavors. Within walking distance of the Magic Kingdom and offering one of the best breakfast buffets at Disney World, The Wave is also a fantastic place to get a drink  with your significant other, or better yet, on your next monorail bar crawl. For our recommendation it was a battle between two drinks we absolutely adore. We first leaned towards The Wavesicle, which was like drinking an orange creamsicle mixed with vodka. Wait, there is something better than that?! Yes, and it is called the Under the Florida Moon. Think of it as a Mimosa topped with a beer, except even better. The combination of citrus flavors is smooth, light, and refreshing while not being overly acidic.

Run, don’t walk, to the real best kept secret at Disney, The Wave… of American Flavors.

Ingredients: 4 Orange Vodka, St – Germain Liqueur, Agave Nectar, and Orange Juice topped with Blue Moon.

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Under the Florida Moon. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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The Wave at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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25 Drinks of Christmas – Day Sixteen: Pear Cider with Firewhisky at Leaky Cauldron

by on December 16, 2015

We’re back with everyone’s favorite theme park advent calendar: a daily countdown of our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld building anticipation to the Big Day. 

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where the drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY SIXTEEN: Pear Cider with Firewhisky at Leaky Cauldron (Universal Studios Florida)

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Pear Cider with Firewhisky at the Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley. (photo by Brandon Glover)

To celebrate the release of the trailer announcement for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, we ourselves are heading back into the Wizarding World. Today we make a stop in Diagon Alley and try the Pear Cider with Firewhisky found inside the Leaky Cauldron. While the Wizarding World has blessed us Muggles with some fantastic beers such as Dragon Scale and Hog’s Head Ale, Blishen’s Firewhisky is our first taste of liquor enjoyed by wizards and witches. Known for filling one’s body with courage, Firewhisky can be purchased as a single shot, a double, or as we recommend: mixed with pear cider (you can’t go wrong having it with apple cider either). Here’s a toast to Alastor Moody, Cedric Diggory, Fred Weasley, Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks and all the great people we have lost over the years but will live forever in our hearts.

Ingredients: Pear cider, Blishen’s Firewhisky, and a pinch of magic.

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Our fearless editor Megan Stump in front of the actual Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley.

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The Ganachery Now Open at Disney Springs

by on December 15, 2015

We know you probably already read this on the Disney Parks Blog, but the Ganachery is open for business now. This retail shop in Disney Springs sells hand-made chocolates in an exquisitely themed storefront in The Landing area of Disney Springs.

TouringPlan Chat moderator extraordinaire, Susan Weaver, sent these photos to get you excited:

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25 Drinks of Christmas – Day Fourteen: Schweitzer Slush at Skipper Canteen

by on December 14, 2015

We’re back with everyone’s favorite theme park advent calendar: a daily countdown of our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld building anticipation to the Big Day. 

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where the drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY FOURTEEN: at Schweitzer Slush Skipper Canteen (Magic Kingdom)

First concocted by the noted explorer and humanitarian, Albert Slush.

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Sweitzer Slush at Skipper Canteen. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Fresh off the opening of Thirsty River Bar late last week, Walt Disney World saw a new table service restaurant soft open yesterday with the Jungle Navigation Co LTD Skipper Canteen. The first new table service at the Magic Kingdom since Be Our Guest Restaurant, Skipper Canteen continues the trend of being magnificently themed inside with a ton of references for Disney fans. Skipper Canteen does not feature any alcohol, but it does have two signature drinks, including the one we are going to spotlight today: Schweitzer Slush. Cleverly referencing one of the longtime gags in the Jungle Cruise (Schweitzer Falls), the Schweitzer Slush is visually interesting as it is one of the only drinks featuring boba balls that puts the balls on top of the drink. Most drinks featuring boba balls have them at the bottom, such as Fishy Green Ale in Diagon Alley.

As big fans of good Disney souvenir cups, we recommend getting the Schweitzer Slush served in the great Jungle Skipper Canteen souvenir mug. While not technically a Moscow Mule mug (because – while metal – it is not made out of copper), it has the look and feel of one and includes the Skipper Canteen logo and Adventureland. It’s the little things we love.

Ingredients: Frozen apple juice and passion fruit topping with bursting green apple boba balls.

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Schweitzer Slush and #StoryCoasters at Skipper Canteen. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Jungle Navigation Co. LTD. Skipper Canteen. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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First Look at the Brand New Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom

by on December 13, 2015

The Skipper Canteen — officially the unwieldy Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen — soft opened today in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom. It is a brand new restaurant themed to be the mess hall for the skippers from the nearby Jungle Cruise. “Soft opening” is a phrase meaning that the venue is still being tested and not officially open, so it may close at any time without warning.

That said, friends of the blog Darren Wittko and Brandon Glover managed to saunter in and take some photos for us this morning. Have a look! (And don’t forget to check out Derek Burgan’s look at the Skipper Canteen’s signature drinks including the Schweitzer Slush).

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Main Dining Area of Skipper Canteen

Main Dining Area of Skipper Canteen

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Side Dining Room and former secret meeting place of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (S.E.A.)

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25 Drinks of Christmas – Day Twelve: LeFou’s Brew at Gaston’s Tavern

by on December 12, 2015

We’re back with everyone’s favorite theme park advent calendar: a daily countdown of our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld building anticipation to the Big Day. 

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where the drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY TWELVE: LeFou’s Brew at Gaston’s Tavern (Magic Kingdom)

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LeFou’s Brew in Gaston’s Tavern.

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A cinammon roll and LeFou’s Brew at Gaston’s Tavern. Not recommended unless you want to go into an immediate diabetic shock. (photo by Tom Bricker)

The very first entrant in our 25 Drinks of Christmas countdown that is here “due to guest demand.” After last year’s list by far and away the most asked for drink was LeFou’s Brew. Disney’s answer to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter‘s Butterbeer (an indescribable smashing success that helped Universal completely return its Potter investment within six months), LeFou’s Brew allows younger guests to drink what appears to be a frothy cold beer in the gorgeously themed Gaston’s Tavern. It can even be served in the whimsical souvenir stein, adding even more to the illusion that guests are drinking an adult beverage.

Ingredients: Frozen apple juice with a hint of marshmallow and topped with a passion fruit mango foam.

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LeFou’s Brew souvenir cup. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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SATURDAY SIX: The Six Best Indiana Jones References in Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar

by on December 12, 2015

This week’s  SATURDAY SIX takes a look at The Six Best Indiana Jones References in Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar. 2015 has been a big year for Disney Springs. The BOATHOUSE and Morimoto Asia have elevated Disney Springs dining to the point where it competes with Epcot’s World Showcase as the best place for Disney foodies to go on property, but one of the the biggest surprises of the area has been the new Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar.

A bar themed to the world of Indiana Jones that is filled with references to our favorite movies? We haven’t been this excited since finding out about that Jaws themed restaurant at Universal Studios Japan. Today we are going to look at our six favorite references, and the film scenes where they came from. So sit back, grab a bowl of dates, and prepare yourself as we start off with…

# 6 – Voodoo Doll From Temple Of Doom

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is by far and away the darkest of all of the Indy films, including two scenes in which the Maharajah uses a voodoo doll to cripple Indy. Keep in mind the Maharajah is a child. Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar not only features a voodoo doll of Indiana, but also ones for Short Round and Willie Scott, the other main characters in the movie.

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Voodoo dolls of Indiana Jones, Short Round, and Willie Scott. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Indiana Jones being shown his voodoo doll as he is being attacked in Temple of Doom.

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Who among us hasn’t wanted to do this a Duffy the Disney Bear? (photo from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom)

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Top 5 Dining Choices for Solo-Travelers

by on December 11, 2015

For the well-versed Disney traveler, it’s common knowledge that meals and snacks are also considered attractions by many Disneyphiles. In fact, one of the biggest part of the Disney vacation planning is determining when your 180 day window opens to start making dining reservations. Food is a big deal, and Walt Disney World has so many options, it’s difficult to choose!

Dining at Walt Disney World can be tricky and usually involves making reservations six months in advance in order to secure a spot at your favorite restaurant. As a solo traveler this is less important since reservations for one are easier to come by. If you travel in peak times, however, you’ll still want to make a reservation at those popular dining locations.

I like to be adventurous and take advantage of some great spots that offer a unique setting for those dining alone. Here are my top five dining options for solo-travelers:

Jiko – The Cooking Place in Animal Kingdom Lodge

Jiko is a signature dining restaurant by Disney standards, which means dining here can cost you 2 table service credits if you’re using the Disney Dining Plan, and also means the menu prices might be a bit steeper than other general table service restaurants around the resort. Don’t let this deter you though, you can easily dine here on a budget. Focusing on the appetizers and creating your own tapas-style dining experience can really help you save some cash, if needed. Jiko features an inventive menu of African, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisine that offer a change a pace from traditional menus, but aren’t so spicy or bizarre to alienate a less adventurous palate. Jiko also boasts one of the most extensive wine provisions in Florida, so if you like a glass or two, this is the place for you!

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Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine

by on December 9, 2015

DSC03197It’s the most wonderful time of the year and holiday parties are always in vogue. Recently, Hollywood and Vine in Disney’s Hollywood Studios has begun to offer dining with Minnie and friends for the holidays, and it has been announced that this dining offering will continue after the tinsel is off the tree. Previously, I have had a fantastic meal at the now-retired Jedi Mickey meal during the also-retired Star Wars Weekends. How would this meal stack up?

 

The Character Touch

Your host is Minnie Mouse, but when you arrive, you are greeted by Santa Goofy for a photo opportunity. The characters will not sign autographs during the meal, and so you are given a souvenir autograph card with everyone’s signatures. Once seated, we were each given a small sample of Minnie’s hot cocoa. It was extremely rich and thick (more like a drinkable mousse than cocoa), but the chocolate taste was not overpowering.

A small cup of Minnie's hot cocoa arrives at the beginning of your meal. (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

A small cup of Minnie’s hot cocoa arrives at the beginning of your meal. (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

During our meal, we were visited twice at our table by each character: Minnie, Mickey, Donald, and Daisy, all wearing their holiday finest. Compared with the character interaction we saw during the Jedi Mickey meal, the characters seemed a bit more rushed at this meal, and the spacing was not the best. Within the first five minutes of our meal, we had seen all four characters at our table, and then we didn’t see them again until we were paying the bill. In some ways this was nice, as we could make trips to the buffet without fear of missing anyone, but it did feel a bit chaotic while trying to get settled at the table. (As a side note, Minnie was a gracious hostess, moving a chair out of the way to help me get a better picture of her beautiful dress.)

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