Posts Tagged ‘dining’

Best Things to Do Outside the Parks

by on September 3, 2014

Walt Disney World Resort has endless ways for you to fill your vacation days. When most people plan, save, and book a Disney vacation, the main idea is exploit all of the attractions the parks have to offer. And with four theme parks stuffed to the gills with attractions, restaurants, and characters, anyone can have a fabulous vacation just focusing on these options. However, the Walt Disney Resort isn’t just about the parks, as many locals and veterans of Disney vacations can attest, what keeps us all coming back are the endless options to have a magical time.

The Unofficial Guide recommends building in a “down day” into your vacation schedule. One day, set aside where you don’t go to a park, but enjoy the extra amenities that Disney offers beyond the parks. This is not only a great way to recover from 2-3 straight days of Touring Plan mania, but it can also save you a bit of cash from needing another day of park tickets. Here are some of best ways to spend your vacation days out of the parks.

No Disney vacation is complete without your favorite souvenir

No Disney vacation is complete without your favorite souvenir

Shopping. Ok, this option may end up costing you more than another day of park tickets, but what vacation is complete without a few souvenirs to take home with you? And with Downtown Disney undergoing the transformation into Disney Springs, this option is going to get even better!

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Menu Monday: The Best Recurring Items at Epcot Food and Wine Festival

by on August 18, 2014

The Hawai'i kiosk at Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Copyright – Disney

Walt Disney World’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival is a wonderful thing. Do you remember that episode of The Simpsons where Homer frolicked through a land made entirely of chocolate? That’s essentially the Food and Wine Festival in a nutshell, only with less cruelty-to-confectionaries and more damage to your wallet. All around the World Showcase you’ll find new kiosks set up celebrating food and drink from across the globe, with dozens of shareable sized dishes of everything you could ever hope to try available for purchase. While each year they offer a wide variety of new menu items, there are always some that are so popular they keep coming back. Here are some of the best items that will be back this year you should be reserving valuable tummy space for… and make sure to check out the official Food and Wine Festival 2014 menus for all the rest! (Food item prices range from $3.00 to $8.00 USD per.)

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Menu Monday: Best Sandwiches in Disney World

by on August 11, 2014

Welcome to Menu Monday. If your diet started today, we apologize. The TouringPlans Blog is trying out themed days for our content – starting with a consolidation of food and restaurant reviews on Mondays. Let us know what you think by emailing blog at touring plans dot com.

Sandwiches are pretty darn close to being the world’s most perfect food. No wonder they’re Anna and Hans’ favorite food (I mean, they’re always finishing each other’s sandwiches…). They aren’t expensive, cover most of the main food groups, can be simple or gourmet. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t like sandwiches. Even the pickiest eater can usually find a sandwich they enjoy. So, whether your have a family of picky eaters, frugal penny-pinchers, or just sandwich connoisseurs, here’s a list of the top ten places to find the best sandwiches in Disney World.

*If you’re looking to save some dough, be sure to ask the cast members at each dining location if they give discounts to DVC members, Annual Passholders, or if they accept the Tables in Wonderland discount. This information changes regularly, so it’s always good to ask to make sure you get the best bang for your buck!*

 

Earl of Sandwich - Full Montagu.

Earl of Sandwich – Full Montagu.

Earl of Sandwich (Downtown Disney): For me, no Disney vacation is complete without a visit to Earl of Sandwich, in the Marketplace of Downtown Disney. They have a huge selection of sandwiches which are priced around $6. With a choice of numerous side dish options and a beverage, you’re looking at spending a little less than $10 for a very tasty and filling meal. I can think of no better way to spend an afternoon than with my favorite Earl of Sandwich (The Full Montagu), a patio table and people-watching as families hustle and bustle into the World of Disney in search of vacation treasures.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Disney Dining: Splitsville at Downtown Disney

by on August 5, 2014

I went to check out the latest developments at Downtown Disney this past weekend and finally got a chance to stop by Splitsville for lunch. I have heard nothing but positive reviews since it opened in December, 2012, in the former home of the Virgin Megastore, but I often end up taking visiting friends and family to the Rainforest Cafe or T-Rex Cafe because of the theatrical nature of those restaurants. I personally enjoy going to House of Blues, Raglan Road, and Cookes of Dublin when I’m by myself or with friends, so it was high time to check out this relatively new venue.

Splitsville is located on the West Side of Downtown Disney, directly next to the AMC movie theaters.

DTD1

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Disneyland Dining: A Few of My Favorite Things

by on July 29, 2014

IMG_3771

Hello, my dears! If you haven’t had lunch yet you might want to save this one for later because I’m about to make you very hungry! We’re going on a culinary tour of some of my favorite Disneyland Dining options complete with photos. To get started we’re heading to Wine Country Trattoria at the Golden Vine Winery. In 2012, we just happened by at lunchtime and decided to try this spot on a whim. We both voted this our favorite meal of the trip and since this it’s a can’t miss for us! The shady, outdoor seating is right by Cars Land but feels a million miles away. My go to item here is the Quattro Pomodoro. It’s simple with just tomatoes, garlic, and basil in marinara sauce. 

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Favorite Parks Series: Disney’s Animal Kingdom

by on July 16, 2014

We’re at the half way point in our Favorite Parks journey! (Read about Disney’s Hollywood Studios here.) Before doing research for this article, I’ll admit that Disney’s Animal Kingdom was my least favorite park. However, the more I delved into the MAGIC* behind the park, the more I realized how spectacular and incredibly unique Animal Kingdom is.

Memorable Moments

Since Animal Kingdom is known for its hot environment, Kali River Rapids is just the attraction to cool you off. As the unpredictable rapids decide which way the raft spins, no one is safe from the surprising splashes and torrents. Once you’ve become thoroughly soaked, dry yourself off by enjoying two delightful shows; Finding Nemo – The Musical and the Festival of the Lion King. Adrenaline junkies will love running into the Yeti on Expedition Everest, while those looking for further adventure can experience DINOSAUR. An underrated attraction at Animal Kingdom worth attending is Flights of Wonder, an educational and entertaining exotic bird show. You’ll be ‘squawking’ about it for days!

How many animals can you spot?

How many animals can you spot?

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Universal Dining: Emeril’s Tchoup Chop at the Royal Pacific Resort

by on February 11, 2014

TchoupChop_SignI’m a big fan of all three of Universal’s on-site hotels but the Royal Pacific Resort is definitely my favorite. Even though I have been going to the hotel for years, I have always eaten my meals at the parks or at CityWalk. After having a terrific breakfast buffet experience at the Islands Dining Room earlier last year, I realized I needed to start checking out all the eateries at the Royal Pacific. First I tried lunch and drinks at Jake’s American Bar, followed by the Royal Pacific’s Character Breakfast (also at Jake’s). In January of this year, Emeril’s Tchoup Chop made some major changes by bringing in a new chef de cuisine, Ryan Vargas, and completely updating their lunch and dinner menus. Seth Kubersky wrote an article on the TouringPlans blog recently that explored the new menu, and that sealed the deal for me. I needed to try Tchoup Chop ASAP.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Universal Orlando CityWalk Antojitos Review

by on February 9, 2014

Universal Orlando CityWalk Antojitos review

Our Antojitos review is in, as Universal Orlando CityWalk’s newest restaurant opens its doors.

After months of construction and speculation, and a week of soft-opening service, Antojitos Authentic Mexican restaurant officially opened to the public on February 5, 2014, as the newest dining upgrade in Universal Orlando’s ongoing CityWalk overhaul. I was among the few journalists invited to taste-test the menu last month, and since the first public seating I’ve dined there three times, including the grand opening media party. While I haven’t yet eaten everything on the menu, I have sampled enough to provide this preliminary Antojitos review, which we’ll refine as the restaurant finds its rhythm.

Atmosphere

As you’ll instantly notice from the photographs, Universal’s replacement for the former Latin Quarter restaurant isn’t some sedate hacienda.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

First Look: Review of Spice Road Table at Epcot

by on January 14, 2014

IMG_3049Spice Road Table opened up on Saturday for previews, and I was able to head over there on opening night.

This new restaurant is found in the Morocco Pavilion at Epcot, situated along the water’s edge. It serves up Mediterranean-inspired small plates, along with an extensive drink menu. The restaurant’s inspiration is drawn from outdoor cafes found along the Mediterranean. You really get the outdoor cafe feel, as most of the restaurant is outdoors, with only a small portion of seats situated inside. In the same complex as the restaurant is a Henna tattoo artist station, as well as a Moroccan shop.

The night the restaurant opened, as my husband and I were walking through Epcot, it started sprinkling. Then it started raining…by the time I reached the restaurant, it was POURING! I looked like a drowned rat, seeing as I’d left my umbrella back at the hotel. (So dumb on my part! I always bring it, and then the one time I don’t, downpour!) So, I ran into the restaurant, observing its beauty with rain water-filled eyes. (PS: keep the rain in mind when dining here. While it is covered, there is the potential for you to get a bit wet, depending on the way the wind is blowing.)

My first impressions were that the whole complex was quite pretty. Disney did a great job in the design and theme. As I walked in, I marveled at the incredibly blue wall behind the bar area. I was also in awe of the lights that hung above.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Observations from the Universal Orlando Resort for December 22, 2013 (Antojitos, Blues Brothers Christmas, NBA City)

by on December 24, 2013

ANTOJITOS

Antojitos concept art

This week Universal NOW‘s Brandon Glover and I went to the Universal Orlando Resort to experience Grinchmas and see the latest construction work at CityWalk and Universal Studios Florida. We also wanted to see the Blues Brothers Holiday Show. We had heard a lot of great things about this show and wanted to see if it lived up to the hype. Spoiler Alert: it does, but more on that later. Lastly, we were determined to finally go into NBA City and check out the legendary Towering Cheesecake dessert.

Our first stop was the upcoming Mexican restaurant Antojitos.  Earlier this month, Morgan Crutchfield was at the Universal press event that detailed the upcoming dining venues including Antojitos. Her writeup of the event details all the upcoming restaurants in the massive CityWalk renovation, including concept art for each.

IMG_1027

Antojitos, the former home of Latin Quarter

The above picture was taken on a Friday and the one below was taken on Sunday. Universal is using a lot of color on the outside of this restaurant. I personally don’t like it. The overuse of color is perfect in Seuss Landing, but – to me – just seems out of place in CityWalk.  I think the front of this restaurant looks gorgeous and all the wacky colors just take away from it. Maybe I’m alone on the island on that one though. I am looking forward to trying the restaurant out as I’m a huge fan of freshly made guacamole and quality Mexican food.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print