Disney Springs

Julia’s Best Week Ever, June 8, 2017: Birthday Girl Weekend Requests

by on June 8, 2017

Our little girl is growing up so fast. Unfortunately, the week before her seventh birthday, she ended up breaking her glasses and catching a cold, so we pushed her actual birthday celebrating back a couple weeks. She had a couple unusual requests: another round of mini-golf at Winter Summerland (but this time on the Summer course), and a meal at Rainforest Café (a restaurant where we’ve never dined). Ah, the wants of a seven-year-old, eh?

Winter Summerland, the mini golf course next to Blizzard Beach, had a decent crowd when we arrived shortly after opening. Still, it was less than a 20 minute wait before our “tee time” came up.

 

Many of the holes have themes that are similar to its winter counterpart, but looking at the fun themes, poems, and décor for each hole still makes for an amusing time out.

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Premium Parking Now Available at Disney Springs

by on June 2, 2017

Disney Springs ParkingIf you are looking to park at Disney Springs, you now have a brand new option, though it will come at a cost. Two new “Preferred Lots” have been introduced. For only $10 Guests can conveniently park in either the Lemon lot (near World of Disney on the Marketplace side) or Grapefruit Lot (on the West Side.)

Parking is still available for free in both the Orange and Lime garages, as well as the Watermelon and Strawberry surface lots.

In addition, Disney is currently building a third garage located across from Disney Springs near the Casting and Speedway parking lot that will add approximately 2,000 additional parking spaces for the area.

The Walt Disney World theme parks recently rolled out preferred parking which is currently a $20 upcharge, in addition to regular parking fees.

 

New Restaurants Announced for Disney Springs

by on May 31, 2017

Disney Springs

©Rikki Niblett

Disney Springs has been rocking and rolling since its official debut one year ago, but the fun isn’t stopping, as there are still a few restaurants that are on their way and this week, a couple more got announced!

The first of these new restaurants is called Jaleo. This will be a concept brought to life by world-renowned Chef José Andrés and will bring flavors of Spain with a menu that features tapas, including paella cooked over a wood fire, hand-carved Jamon Iberico de Bellota and wood-grilled Iberico pork. This will be a multi-level restaurant that will also include a grab and go storefront with Spanish-style sandwiches on the first floor. The restaurant’s design will feature vibrant decor that represents the colorful culture of Spain. This new restaurant will open in 2018 on the West Side.

Wolfgang Puck will be represented with a new new concept that will open in Town Center. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill will modernize the bar and grill concept. The restaurant will be inspired by traditional farmhouses with a touch of elegance. The restaurant, which will be designed by tonychi, will capture the essence of laid-back California dining made popular at Spago. The menu will highlight the best of Puck’s signature dishes with Mediterranean influences, innovative takes on comfort food classics and handcrafted specialty cocktails, beer and wine. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill will open in 2018.

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Springs Street Eats Food Truck Rally at Disney Springs This June

by on May 22, 2017

Disney Springs Food Trucks

©Rikki Niblett

Looking for a unique weekend at Disney Springs? On June 2 and June 3, Guests will be able to take part in the Springs Street Eats Food Truck Rally!

During the event, Guests will be able to sample delights from eight different food trucks, both in the form of Disney food trucks, as well as some Central Florida favorites. Here is a list of the different trucks you’ll be able to find:

  • Fantasy Fare: Fan favorites from around Disney theme parks from around the globe, including the famous hand-dipped corn dog
  • World Showcase of Flavors: Sandwiches inspired by cuisine found at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Marketplaces
  • Philly’s Best Cheesesteaks – Plain and simple. The best cheesesteak sandwiches
  • 900 Degreez Pizza – Pizza cooked in 90 seconds courtesy of an imported Italian wood-fired oven? Ok!
  • Magic 4 UR Palate – Dishes that are appealing to the eye as they are to the stomach
  • The London Fish and Chippy – Beer battered haddock and chips, as well as other fresh fried seafood flavors.
  • Caketeer – Gourmet cupcakes and custom cake products
  • Tikiz Shaved Ice – Ice Cream, as well as Hawaiian Shaved Ice where Guests can dispense their own custom shaved ice syrup creations.

 

There will also be live entertainment to enjoy too!

The event will take place on the West Side of Disney Springs, outside of Cirque du Soleil from 4:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. on Friday, June 2 and from 12:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 3.

 

The Polite Pig Debuts With Satisfying Southern Barbeque

by on April 25, 2017

Polite Pig Review

The Polite Pig, a new fast-casual entry into the Disney Springs dining scene, recently opened to much fanfare, and we were there to try it out! A new concept and location from the minds behind the renowned Orlando eateries Ravenous Pig, Cask & Larder, and Swine & Sons, Polite Pig offers Southern barbeque, beer, and bourbon in a “quick service” atmosphere. Here, I’ll give you some of my first impressions from the restaurant, and a few thoughts on all of the dishes we sampled in our visit for our Polite Pig review.

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Disney Springs’ Portobello Country Italian Trattoria Closed for Refurbishment

by on April 24, 2017

©Rikki Niblett

The table service dining establishment, Portobello Country Italian Trattoria is now closed for a lengthy refurbishment.

James Beard Award winner Chef Tony Mantauno is helping to lead the charge on the reimagining of this restaurant, which is located in The Landing section of Disney Springs. When it reopens, the restaurant is expected to feature an authentic Italian concept that will include a family style menu, alongside craft beers and wines.

Portobello is expected to welcome Guests once again when it reopens in early fall.

Stay tuned to the blog for further information about additional changes coming to this restaurant.

STK Orlando Debuts New Brunch Option

by on April 5, 2017

STK Orlando

©Rikki Niblett

If you’re a fan of brunch, you very may well want to try the brand new brunch offering at STK Orlando located in The Landing in Disney Springs.

Menu offerings include starters like Cinnamon Monkey Bread or a Bag of Stuffed Donuts. Appetizers include seafood dishes like a half dozen or dozen oysters on the half shell, shrimp cocktail, tuna tartare, and the house specialty of Lil’ BRGs.  Entrees include Beef Short Rib & Egg Sandwich, 6 oz Filet Medallion, 16 oz Sirloin, Shrimp & Grits,  Crab Cakes Benedict, Fried Chicken & Funnel Cake, and Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes.

There is also a brunch for two option which includes Dry Aged Tomahawk Steak, Butter-poached 2 lb. Lobster, King Crab Scrambled Eggs, and a Bottle of Veuve Clicquot for the price of $275.00.

As far as beverages are concerned, STK will offer mimosas, frose (raspberry sorbet in rose), martinis and more for brunch.

Brunch at STK Orlando is only available on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Polite Pig to Open at Disney Springs This Month

by on April 5, 2017

©Rikki Niblett

The Polite Pig (which is the sister restaurant to the Orlando restaurant The Ravenous Pig) will officially open on April 10 in the Town Center section of Disney Springs! Award-winning Orlando Chefs, husband and wife team, James and Julie Petrakis are opening this newest concept with James Petrakis’ brother Brian.

The Polite Pig will be a fast causal dining experience that will feature an open kitchen and is going to be a southern delight!  The 5,000-square-foot eatery will be open daily, and will offer seating for 190 guests. In addition to indoor seating, The Polite Pig will have a great outdoor patio for Guests to enjoy.

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The Best Disney Springs Table Service Restaurants

by on March 27, 2017

Best table service restaurants at Disney Springs

TouringPlans gets thousands of user surveys each year from Disney guests. In recent posts, we shared the best restaurants at Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, Epcot and the best restaurants at the resorts. Today we’re talking about the best Disney Springs table service restaurants. Disney Springs has definitely seen the most new restaurant openings in recent history, but how do they fare?

To note, Fulton’s closed in 2016 and reopened as Paddlefish in 2017. Planet Hollywood was closed the entire year and reopened in February as Planet Hollywood Observatory. Homecomin’, BOATHOUSE, Morimoto, Frontera Concina, and STK are all part of the “new” Disney Springs. BOATHOUSE opened April 2015, Morimoto October 2015, the others in the last year. Paddlefish has not had enough responses to make the list yet.

In this chart, restaurants shown in green did significantly better the average Walt Disney World restaurant, while those in red did significantly worse.

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New Cake Decorating Experience at Amorette’s Patisserie at Disney Springs

by on March 23, 2017

Amorette's Patisserie

©Rikki Niblett

Have you ever wanted to go to a cake decorating class before? Well, take the education to the next level with a brand new cake decorating experience at Amorette’s Patisserie located in the Town Center section of Disney Springs.

During the experience, Guests will be able to work side by side with the experts at the bakery to learn how to decorate their own Mickey Dome Cake. They will teach how to do the gorgeous mirror glaze called glaçage and will decorate the cake all the way down to the finishing touches, including mouse ears, tail, belt, and buttons. During the event, Guests will be able to enjoy complimentary specialty coffee, mimosas and bellinis.

Oh and the best part! You get to take the cake home with you! The cost is $129 plus tax for up to two Guests who will work on a single cake. A second cake can be purchased for an additional $40. Guests must be at least 10 years of age to participate and space is extremely limited.

This experience begins on March 31 and will take place from 8:45 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. every Friday through May 5. Reservations can be made by clicking here.