Posts Tagged ‘Downtown Disney’

Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs: The 30-Dish 3-Hour $600 Dinner Review

by on October 19, 2015

Summary If you’re reading this to decide whether to eat at Morimoto, go ahead and make a reservation now. While it’s not Nobu or Morimoto Philadelphia, there’s a lot to like, at moderate prices. Order the Peking duck for the table.

Most people know chef Masaharu Morimoto from his time on the Iron Chef television shows.  Others through his tenure at New York’s Nobu in the late 1990’s, or from his own chain of restaurants since 2001. Those places serve high-end, modern Japanese cuisine, at equally high prices – ordering the full omakase (chef’s choice) dinner can easily set you back $150 per person. We’ve done it several times, and it’s worth every penny.

Those prices wouldn’t fly at Disney Springs, and “modern Japanese” might be too narrow a focus for the Disney World tourist market. That’s why the menu at Morimoto Asia is pan-Asian, with dishes from China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand available, at a median entree price of around $15.

It’s a huge menu, too – more than 30 appetizers and 25 entrees to choose from.  To cover as much of the menu as possible, some friends joined me for a 9 PM dinner reservation last Saturday night: our own Erin, Beci from MEI/Mousefan Travel, the lovely and talented Scarlett, and two of my favorite Disney food reviewers, Kendra and Mark. Kendra and Mark have two of the most descriptive culinary vocabularies I know, and I think you’ll enjoy what they have to say.

A couple of us had already been to Morimoto Asia, and together we brought 6 pages of research to the start of dinner. That research included everything from the typical seasonings in Shrimp Har-Gao (sesame oil, scallions, and soy), to the proper way to prepare L.A. BBQ Kalbi (marinated, thin cuts, across the bone, cooked fast, in 2- to 5-inch segments easily eaten with chopsticks), to the dark magic that makes Peking Duck so delicious (a 72-hour process involving a maltose-and-soy glaze).

One good thing I’ll say right up front: Every single dish we tried – all 30 of them – was prepared correctly, in the right style and at the right temperature. We may have wanted more spice in some things, or slightly different flavors or ingredients, but the kitchen seems to have got things down pat, right from the start.

To make it easy for you to find the best food, I’m going to organize our ratings into 3 categories:

  • Things We Loved
  • Things That Were Okay
  • Things We Wouldn’t Order Again (a very short list)

Each dish has its own set of comments, which I’ll keep anonymous. Also, I apologize for the lack of photos. I was trying to do this without attracting management’s attention – they started following me on Twitter a couple days after I made our reservation – and 6 people taking flash pictures of half the menu would look suspicious.

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Twenty Eight & Main Coming to Marketplace Co-Op

by on October 16, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

Do you remember when the Marketplace Co-Op first opened? Disney mentioned how the store found in the Marketplace at Disney Springs was going to be a testing ground for new products and that we would, on some occasions have to say goodbye to some of the boutique shops within as others would take their place. Well, soon, we must say goodbye to the Trophy Room, but we will be saying hello to Twenty Eight & Main! The name of the shop comes from the year Mickey Mouse was created, as well as Main Street U.S.A.

Twenty Eight & Main will feature stylish men’s clothing and accessories designed for those who enjoys visiting Disney Parks. The boutique well sell items like lounge pants, leather messenger bags, hats, polos, mugs, artwork, and more. One major feature of much of the merchandise that will be available will be a lion prominently displayed on items. The lion is symbolic, as it was taken from the Walt Disney Family Crest, which can be seen on all the castles world-wide.

The Trophy Room will close on November 1 and Twenty Eight & Main will open on November 6.

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Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine Coming to Disney Springs

by on October 9, 2015

Disney Springs

©Rikki Niblett

The newest restaurant for the Disney Springs shopping and dining complex has been announced. It is being brought to life by celebrity chef Art Smith and will be called Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine. Homecoming will feature southern, yet sophisticated favorites and will be bringing a taste of real Florida to Disney Springs because Chef Smith is actually from the town of Jasper, Florida.

The restaurant’s overall feel will be rustic-chic including a glass-walled show kitchen. The building’s design is inspired by turn of the century Florida architecture of the late 1800s and will be able to seat 200 Guests.

As far as the rest of the restaurant’s menu, items will include a fresh-from-Florida menu, with the majority of the dishes including seafood, produce, poultry, and beef from local areas. Some of the farm-to-fork cuisine that will be restaurant staples will include southern treats like homemade pimento cheese, deviled eggs, low country shrimp and grits, fried chicken, kale salad with Sweet Grass Dairy cheese and spiced pecans, and a grilled Blackstrip pork chop with sawmill gravy.

Desserts also sound incredible, featuring pies, cakes, and other sweets, including the signature dessert of Mockingbird Cake.

In addition, the restaurant will feature the Southern Shine Bar which will serve cocktails, punches, and coolers.

Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine will be opening in Disney Springs in the summer of 2016 and I’ll keep you posted as we find out more!

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The Ganachery Coming to Disney Springs

by on October 6, 2015

Disney Springs

©Rikki Niblett

A brand new chocolate shop will be opening soon in The Landing section at Disney Springs. Called The Ganachery, this Disney owned and operated venue will specialize in custom-blended chocolates and feature flavors from around the world.

The shop will offer handmade ganache, bonbons and other sweet treats developed by Disney Chocolatiers. (Oh I can just imagine the delightful smells coming from here already.) The Ganachery will also give Guests a chance to participate in tastings as well as purchase treats to enjoy immediately or take home to savor.

While no official date has been announced as of yet, The Ganachery is scheduled to open later this year. This is one stop I know I’m gonna be making on my next trip to Disney Springs! I’ll make sure to keep you posted as I learn more!

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Downtown Disney is Officially Disney Springs

by on September 29, 2015

Disney Springs

©Rikki Niblett

Today is the day! Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World officially became Disney Springs.

If you couldn’t tell from all the construction walls, Downtown Disney has been under construction for the past few years to convert the shopping and dining district into an updated, one-of-a-kind destination.

Disney is touting Disney Springs as “The Place to Be” according to their brand new website, which is gorgeous and features detailed information about shopping, dining, and entertainment that can be experienced by Guests.

For Guests looking to keep updated via Twitter, a new account, @DisneySprings is now live, as well as a new Facebook page for Guests to follow.

Currently open at Disney Springs is The Marketplace, a family friendly section; the West Side, more of the entertainment district; and The Landing, a thriving commercial district.  When the area is fully completed, it will also feature the Town Center, which will be a mix of shopping and dining along a relaxing promenade.

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First Impressions of Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar

by on September 24, 2015

When the news of Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar first hit the newsreels, the natives became restless. The general consensus was that the idea of a themed bar based on a very obscure character from the Indiana Jones films just wouldn’t cut it. The hangar doors have now opened. The time to explore and probe this unique establishment has come. I braved the crowds and operational hiccups of opening day to get a first impression of the Hangar Bar (you’re welcome). Let’s take a look at this highly anticipated establishment.

DSC02076

The Arrival Experience

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar is located on hallowed ground. Once the site of countless epic nights of entertainment at Pleasure Island, this re-born section of Disney Springs is now known as The Landing. The Hangar Bar is ideally nestled along the shores of the glistening lake. With Paradiso 37 and The BOATHOUSE as neighbors, this artfully aged hangar building with its rigged, scrapped metal sign stands out in a good way.

 

DSC01992

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A Destination Wedding in Disney Springs

by on September 23, 2015

Have you ever dreamed about having a destination wedding at Walt Disney World? Have you then had your dream crushed when sticker shock hit? It wasn’t until recently that I learned there was another option for a Disney wedding – a destination wedding in Disney Springs! More specifically, I’m talking about Fulton’s Crab House, the beautiful replica riverboat that you’ve most likely noticed, if not visited, during your time in Disney Springs.

A Destination Wedding in Disney Springs

A beautiful place for a wedding!

Before we get into the details of this venue, let’s back the story up a little bit. I couldn’t have been happier when my brother texted a picture of the ring he bought to propose to his girlfriend. My brother and I live about 600 miles apart, and I’d spent only a little time with his girlfriend and her 4-year-old. (On a joint Disney World trip, of course!) It was obvious from the beginning that the three of them made a beautiful family, and only two days into the trip I was asking him when he would pop the question.

A Destination Wedding in Disney Springs

I knew from the beginning this would lead to a wedding!

Fast forward half a year and my wish (yeah, yeah – my brother’s wish) came true. When he called to say she’d accepted his proposal, I was thrilled beyond belief. Then he texted a few hours later with the greatest mission I could ever be assigned. “I NEED YOU TO RESEARCH AND REPORT BACK ON WEDDINGS IN DISNEY WORLD.” I think my heart stopped.

In a stroke of good fortune, a few weeks prior the Touring Plans Blog published an article about weddings in Disney World (including the pricing structures). I sent the article to my brother about 30 seconds after I received the assignment. I loved that I appeared like some sort of Disney magician who could instantaneously summon information at will! (True credit goes to Laurel!) It became clear pretty quickly that Disney World itself was priced out of the running as a venue. (Shocking, I know.) So now it was time to get creative.

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Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar Now Open

by on September 22, 2015

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar is now open at Downtown Disney! This new restaurant is aviation-themed and is named after the pilot from the Indiana Jones films. Jock Lindsey’s is located in between Paradiso 37 and the BOATHOUSE. It is a family-friendly waterfront lounge with seating for 150 guests and seating is available both indoors and outdoors.

©Disney

©Disney

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Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar to Open Soon at Walt Disney World

by on September 14, 2015

Jock Lindsay's Hangar BarIf you are excited about Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, I have extremely good news for you. You will be able to visit the unique dining establishment beginning next Tuesday, September 22 at Downtown Disney in Walt Disney World.

This new restaurant will be aviation-themed and is named after the pilot from the Indiana Jones films. The restaurant is located in between Paradiso 37 and the BOATHOUSE with seating both indoors and outdoors for 150 guests.

Menu items for Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar will include Dr. Elsa’s She-Deviled Eggs, which are brined in beet juice and include lump crab filling; “Good” Dates which are goat cheese-stuffed dates with Marcona almonds and pickled veggies; Snack of Ra is a taste of Africa with salads and dips served in injera (bread) and naan crisps; Tanis Tacos, filled with falafel, shredded lettuce, and cucumber-tomato salad; pretzels with house-made mustard and beer-cheese fondue; Rolling Boulder Sliders, three spicy meatballs served on mini-buns with yogurt sauce; Brody’s Brats, grilled bratwurst with mustard and pickled cabbage; Lao Che’s Revenge will be spicy Asian chicken wings; and a fried calamari flatbread with spicy harissa called “Squid! Why’d It Have to Be Squid.”

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Force Friday Merchandise Event Now Open To All Guests

by on September 3, 2015

Copyright Disney

©Disney

As you may have read in my earlier post, tonight/tomorrow (depending on how you view things) both Walt Disney World and Disneyland will be having a special Force Friday merchandise event. For those who must have the newest collectible merchandise, I have good news!  Disney has announced this this event is no longer a ticketed event and it will now be open to all guests, “due to overwhelming guest demand.”

The event will take place on both coasts at Disneyland at the World of Disney Store and at Walt Disney World at Once Upon a Toy on September 4, at 12:01 a.m.

Guests who attend will be able to purchase new Star Wars, as well as new Star Wars: The Force Awakens themed merchandise including Disney theme park exclusives and licensed products. These theme park exclusives will include apparel, pins, toys, MagicBands (Walt Disney World only), Vinylmation figures, and more. For those attending, keep in mind that purchase limits will apply.

Guests who had previously purchased tickets will get a full refund of the $50 they spent originally on the event and  will be the first guests to enter the store. They will also receive the messenger bag gift that was promised to them for participating in the event. A separate queue will be setup for those who did not register for the event.

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