Disney Springs

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.

 

Dani’s Best Week Ever March 23, 2017: Disney’s Hollywood Studios (again!) and Disney Springs

by on March 23, 2017

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind, and there are no signs of slowing down. I am very fortunate to have the ability to visit Orlando’s theme parks at least once during most weekends, even with a hectic schedule. This past weekend brought new adventures in a part of Florida I hardly ever venture to.

It also brought commitments, including my commitment to spend time in the theme parks. The conundrum: which park to visit. The further conundrum: visit the parks I want to visit just for fun, or head to where needed research could be completed. The latter won out and we ventured to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And just to add to the craziness of an already jam packed weekend we decided to throw in an trip to Disney Springs too! Won’t you join the madness?

 

Spring Break has arrived

The thing about Spring Break is, it’s not just a week anymore. It is spread out over a couple weeks before the Easter holidays. It has certainly arrived and Orlando is showing all the signs. Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and all of Orlando’s theme parks are showing elevated wait times, and definitely matching up to what is indicated in the Touring Plans Crowd Calendars.

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Celebrate Cars 3 at Disney Springs This Weekend

by on March 21, 2017

©Disney

This summer, Cars 3 will hit theaters and Disney is starting the marketing for the film early. (Hey, it worked for Beauty and the Beast, right?) This weekend, from March 23-26, Guests who visit Disney Springs will be able to take part in the kick off event for the “Road to the Races” nationwide promotional tour.

Guests who visit the shopping and dining district will be able to take part in Cars-themed activities for the whole family that include:

  • Get an extended sneak peek of the upcoming film
  • Take part in photo opportunities with three life-size character cars
  • A giant color mural will be available and is sponsored by Alamo Rent A Car
  • A racer pit crew tire-changing activity and photo opp sponsored by Coppertone
  • Prizes from the Piston Cup prize wheel and a digital postcard with Lightning McQueen courtesy of Crest and Oral-B
  • High-octane smoothies located at the Dole Refueling Station
  • Mattel’s interactive play area
  • The history and science behind NASCAR
  • Cars merchandise
  • special menu offerings at select food and beverage locations
  • DJ dance party

Guests will find the “Road to the Races” Tour in the Marketplace section located in the former Marketplace Bus Loop located near Disney Days of Christmas. It will be open on March 23 from 12:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.; March 24 and 25 from 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.; and March 26 from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Cars 3 will be in theaters on June 16.

SATURDAY SIX: Planet Hollywood Observatory – 6 Crazy Road Stops on the Highway to Flavortown

by on March 18, 2017

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at PLANET HOLLYWOOD OBSERVATORY!    After every trip to Walt Disney World, TouringPlans sends its members a survey to see how satisfied they were with each part of their vacation. In 2016, we received more than 122,000 responses on WDW restaurants. To put that number in perspective, TouringPlans has more surveys on WDW restaurants than Yelp and TripAdvisor combined.

In total, there were 909 options that readers could give a “thumbs up” or a “thumbs down” to and these included everything from table service restaurants such as the Grand Floridian’s Victoria & Albert’s to the turkey leg cart in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland and everything in between. In the list of over 900 WDW venues where a person could get food, Planet Hollywood in Disney Springs came in dead last.

But that was the old Planet Hollywood. In January of this year, the newly reimagined Planet Hollywood Observatory opened with a menu partly inspired by celebrity chef Guy Fieri. That’s right, Flavortown was coming to Disney.

Just as Finding Nemo taught us all drains lead to the ocean, in Orlando all roads lead to Flavortown. (photo by Kinny Brown)

With Downtown Disney’s recent transformation into Disney Springs, the area now boasts not just the greatest collection of restaurants at Walt Disney World, but possibly in all of Orlando. Restaurants such as Homecomin’, Morimoto Asia, and The BOATHOUSE have joined longtime favorites Raglan Road, the House of Blues, and Wolfgang Puck Express to deliver a murderer’s row of fantastic dining experiences. 

Would the reimagined Planet Hollywood Observatory completely change the restaurant and put it up there with the best of the best?

In a word: no. But, in a lot more words the Planet Hollywood Observatory is completely next level bonkers in a way that you need to experience. At Disney we’ve eaten ice cream out of 10 gallon cowboy hats, seen poop snacks at Animal Kingdom, and have even order the infamous Pop Tart sandwich at Pop Century and we still weren’t prepared for what we saw at the Observatory. Today we’re going to take a look at the most unique options at the Observatory, and let’s kickoff the countdown with…

# 6 – High Roller Platter Served in a Ferris Wheel

Talk about a “wow factor” right away, the High Roller Platter appetizer comes out a giant ferris wheel that will draw attention from anyone sitting near you. It is visually spectacular and includes chicken crunch, Texas tostados, Buffalo wings, five cheese dip, and peri-peri shrimp. The ferris wheel itself does not move, but it is an incredible visual. ($34.99)

(photo by Brian Carey)

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The Dress Shop To Open at Disney Springs

by on March 14, 2017

The Dress Shop

©Disney

Disney….you just love to find ways to part me from my money, don’t you? (Of course you do…that was absolutely a rhetorical question.) This time, I really think you’ve done it though. The Dress Shop, an all new shopping experience, is coming to the Marketplace Co-Op at Disney Springs.  This area will sell gorgeous dresses and apparel that are whimsical and full of great Disney fun.

Dresses emulate costumes that Disney Cast Members wear (hello easy way to Disney Bound!), as well as include fun Disney touches. (Oh, look! Orange Bird!) My favorite dress, hands down, is the one themed after Tower of Terror. Other designs feature Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, “it’s a small world,” and The Haunted Mansion, Minnie Mouse, Snow White from Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” and Alice from Walt Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland.”

Looking to accessorize? Handbags resembling an apple, the White Rabbit, or a Hollywood Tower Hotel suitcase will also be released.

There is no word on how much these dresses will cost. (I absolutely fear for my wallet.) Dresses will run all the way from XS to XL, with select dresses running up to 3-XL. Also, currently these dresses will only be available at select merchandise locations at the Disney parks. It is unknown if or when they will be added to the Shop Disney Parks app.

Oh and if you’re in Disneyland, you can pick up some of these items soon from this collection at Vault 28 in the Downtown Disney District.

For those who don’t know, Marketplace Co-Op is home to different specialty boutiques all located under one roof. The store’s purpose is to be a testing ground for new Disney retail concepts, shops, and products.

The Dress Shop is expected to open in the Marketplace Co-Op on March 31 and there will be special activities that day and throughout the weekend to celebrate.