Posts Tagged ‘Grand Floridian’

SATURDAY SIX: The Top Six Vegan & Vegetarian Friendly Restaurants in Walt Disney World

by on January 16, 2016

This week’s  SATURDAY SIX takes a look at the Top Six Vegan & Vegetarian Friendly Restaurants at WDW. When readers come to the SATURDAY SIX for food they are generally looking for the most unhealthy (Pop-Tart Sandwich), most outrageous (Beaches & Cream’s Kitchen Sink sundae), or most likely to have been created out of a fever dream (Animal Kingdom poop snacks). But there’s actually another side to theme park dining: a healthy side. Today we are going to look the top six vegan & vegetarian friendly restaurants at WDW. Some people choose to eat vegan because of dietary restriction or allergies, some due to animal welfare concerns, and others for their health, but whatever the reason Walt Disney World is a great place to accommodate their needs. Today we reached out to an expert in this area, Emily Woesthoff, former general manager of Erin Mckenna’s Bakery NYC in Disney Springs (a vegan bakery). Emily is a lifelong Disney fan and just celebrated her 11th year of losing her mind eating vegan. There is no better person to guide us on this journey, so take it away Emily!

If I was given the good fortune to have a limitless supply of cash, and the superpower to make an ADR wherever I please, the following six-ish restaurants would be my go-to table service locations for vegan dining at Walt Disney World! While I haven’t yet managed to eat at every restaurant on property, I’ve dined at quite a few. The list below features my favorites, please keep in mind they are in no particular order. 

6 – ‘Ohana (Polynesian Village Resort)

OHANA_emily

‘Ohana.

Yup. The infamous meat-fest that is ‘Ohana made the list. Crazy, right? I waited a really long time to eat here for a few reasons. First, all anyone ever talks about when they mention ‘Ohana is that it’s very meat-heavy. I had only assumed that they basically sat you in front of a roasted pig with an apple in his mouth and said, “have at it!” Second, I’m not a huge fan of the stuff-your-face-as-much-as-you-can-we-are-not-going-to-stop-bringing-you-food restaurants. It’s just too much pressure! And finally, I had accidentally been reading the restaurant’s name as O’Hana for quite a number of years, and I just didn’t think Polynesian-Irish fusion food would work. 

Much to my surprise, the vegan options at ‘Ohana are outstanding! The same lettuce wraps that meat-eaters rave about can be made vegan! There was also a considerable portion of stir fried noodles, vegetables, and tofu from which to choose, along with a starter of crispy pita chips and hummus, too! Vegan ice cream was available for dessert, if one can manage to save room for dessert at ‘Ohana. There’s also a bit of during meal entertainment, which definitely enhanced the experience. Since this restaurant is “all you care to enjoy,” the price can be a little steep. I recommend coming here with a big appetite!

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Vegan dessert at ‘Ohana.

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Grand Floridian Gingerbread House and More 2015 Holiday Fun

by on December 3, 2015

Walt Disney World‘s theme parks are world famous for their holiday decorations, but their hotels aren’t far behind when it comes to decking the halls, and the flagship Grand Floridian resort is certainly no exception. The 17th annual erection of the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House is always a sure sign that Christmas is on it’s way, and 2015’s confectionary cottage looks as delicious as ever.

 

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House 2015

Wicker reindeer and green garlands greet guests arriving at the Grand Floridian. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

Let’s begin with a look around the Grand Floridian lobby, which once again sports one of the most magnificent indoor Christmas trees you’ll find on Disney property.

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25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 3: Godiva Chocolate Martini at Mizner’s Lounge

by on December 3, 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 TWO: Godiva Chocolate Martini at Mizner’s Lounge (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort)

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Mizner’s Godiva Chocolate Martini. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Located on the second floor of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Mizner’s Lounge has an intimate setting, indoor seating and a full bar menu. Because Mizner’s is located in the Main Building of the Grand Flo, it is nearby to the live jazz band that plays during the day and we have a hard time finding something more relaxing then sipping on a Godiva Chocolate Martini while listening to that wonderful music (the band even plays Christmas songs during the holiday season). As a bonus, Mizner’s offers mixed nuts to its bar patrons, and as one of the few “free” things you can get at WDW, be sure to take advantage.

Ingredients: Stoli Vanil Vodka, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, White Crème de Cacao, and Frangelico

There are many fantastic Cast Members at Walt Disney World and we’d like to send a big thank you for years of great service to Tammy, a longtime bartender at Mizner’s.

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Ingredients of Mizner’s Chocolate Martini. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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SATURDAY SIX: Six MORE Extreme Eats at Walt Disney World

by on October 31, 2015

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six MORE Extreme Eats at Walt Disney World. For some people, the thing they like most about their theme park vacations is the great attractions like Haunted Mansion. Others love the world class shows like Festival of the Lion King. Here at the SATURDAY SIX we say Nay Nay, because what we love are the EXTRME EATS. Candy apples the size of a newborn’s head? An ice cream sundae using, among other things, 8 scoops of ice cream and a whole can of whipped cream? A cupcake topped with peanut butter icing, candied bacon, and chocolate drizzle? YES PLEASE, we’ll take one of each. In fact, make that two. Today we are back for more of the most outrageous, the most insane, and definitely the most Extreme Eats on Disney property. So sit back, have a bottle of Pepto-Bismol handy, and let’s begin our countdown starting with…

# 6 – Pop-Tart Sandwich (Pop Century Resort)

No, you are not seeing things. What you are looking at actually exists. Over at the Everything Pop food court at Disney’s Pop Century Resort is what was once thought of as an urban legend. The Pop-Tart Breakfast Sandwich features egg, bacon, and cheese on a strawberry Pop-Tart. The egg is more of a hockey puck in (possibly) edible form. The cheese and bacon melt together in a scene straight out of the classic horror film The Fly. We’d like to tell you how this tastes, but we did not dare eat it as the Pop-Tart sandwich probably should be thrown directly into the fiery pits of Mordor.

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The Pop-Tart Sandwich at Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

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NSFW.

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My Top 10 Disney World Time Savers

by on October 26, 2015

Whenever I’m at Walt Disney World, I’m all about taking advantage of every valuable minute so I can squeeze as much magic and memories as possible. Unfortunately, there are number of factors and obstacles that tend to zap some of my valuable vacation time, ranging from long wait times for my favorite attraction to having to wait for buses. I’ve learned a few tricks over the years for how to better maximize my time in the magic, and today I’m letting you in on a few of the best in My Top 10 Disney World Time Savers.

TyphoonLagoon ClockTower10. Strategize Your FastPass+ Reservations – FastPass+ is all about saving guests time in line, but to truly maximize the service some strategy is necessary. For starters, do NOT book a FastPass+ for a show. Typically — although there are exceptions on especially busy days — FastPass+ does not get you into a show any quicker as you have to wait for the show ahead of you to end. By that time, the standby crowd has already caught up to those who used the service. In addition, the theaters for the shows at the parks are huge and almost everyone can secure themselves a great seat even without a FastPass+. What I’ve learned is to save those FastPass+ reservation slots for attractions. Secondly, don’t book a FastPass+ reservation for a time within the first two hours of park opening. Even on busy days, most attractions are walk-ons within that first hour and lengthy lines don’t really form until about two hours into the day. One of the best time saving strategies of all is to arrive at the park for rope-drop and then ride the most popular attractions first, saving FastPass+ reservation slots for the attractions you want to ride or re-ride in the afternoon or evening or for another park you plan to visit later in the day.

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Magic Kingdom Area Resorts: A Guide for Day Guests, Part 1

by on September 25, 2015

Checking out Disney World’s Magic Kingdom resorts has long been a popular activity for Disney World visitors eager to soak in more of the Disney magic, and an increasing number of people are realizing that these highly themed resorts are attractions unto themselves. These “day guests”—including both those staying off property and those staying at other Disney World resorts—have discovered that touring the Magic Kingdom resorts is an excellent way to enhance a Disney World trip.

Making Time for Resort Touring

A day (or evening) trip to a Disney World resort can be a great way to stay inside the Disney “bubble” while taking a break from park touring. But when should you fit a resort visit into your vacation? I recommend visiting the Magic Kingdom resorts on a day when you’re already going to Magic Kingdom. That way, you will spend the minimum amount of time traveling from the resort to Magic Kingdom and vice versa. In fact, a relaxing monorail or boat ride will only enhance a leisurely pace.

© Sarah Graffam

Piano entertainment is a highlight in the Grand Floridian lobby © Sarah Graffam

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Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever July 9, 2015: WDW Monorail Hotels

by on July 9, 2015

Best Week Ever WDW monorail hotels

Take a Best Week Ever grand circle tour of Disney’s Grand Floridian and the other WDW monorail hotels. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

Welcome aboard another Best Week Ever, where we’re off on a “grand circle tour” at the Vacation Kingdom. That phrase may have brought to mind the iconic Walt Disney World Railroad, but there is another kind of transportation loop at the Magic Kingdom — and this one is (mostly) free to enjoy, well without paying admission anyway. I recently spent an afternoon exploring Walt Disney World’s monorail hotels via foot, boat, and (of course) monorail.

 

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

I began my tour of the WDW monorail resorts at the recently retro-named Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort because it is the easiest to access from the Transportation and Ticket Center’s parking lot. (The hotel’s parking lot is reserved for guests with room or dining reservations, and we’d never sanction sneaking in…)

 

Current map of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

The “Poly” has seen plenty of changes in the last couple years, and the transformation isn’t finished yet, as you can tell by the construction walls that confront you along the approach from the TTC.

 

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Menu Monday: How to Order the Chocolate Glass Slipper Dessert

by on November 24, 2014

Looking for a way to make a special meal at a Disney World restaurant even more magical? How about something to commemorate a birthday, anniversary, proposal, or milestone? If so, this Chocolate Glass Slipper Dessert may be just what you’re looking for! What is it? It’s a perfectly royal way to satisfy your sweet tooth and to celebrate a special occasion at Disney World. It consists of a chocolate shell shaped as Cinderella’s famous glass footwear, along with a few other sweet compliments and a personalized message tailored to your celebration. Find out how to order the Chocolate Glass Slipper Dessert for your next special event at Disney World.

Chocolate Glass Slipper Dessert

Chocolate Glass Slipper Dessert

Location

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Things to Do at Disney World outside the Parks

by on November 21, 2014

It can be easy sometimes to forget just how much there is to do outside of Disney World’s four theme parks and two water parks. With so much contained within the parks, it might not even cross some guests’ minds that you could actually spend a whole Disney World vacation without ever going to the parks. Although I personally wouldn’t suggest skipping the parks entirely, you could do it and still have a great vacation. Maybe it’s the last day of your vacation or maybe you just want to explore the property a little to see what else Disney has to offer. With that in mind, here are just a few of the many things to see and do without ever having to pay for a park admission ticket.

Disney World Fantasia Gardens Mini Golf

Golf

Disney World wouldn’t be much of a resort destination without golf. With three courses (four if you include the onsite Four Seasons course) and one nine-hole walking course, there’s a wide variety of play options for fans of the sport. Even if you think you’re terrible at golf or you’ve never tried before, this is a good place to start. Resort courses are notoriously less punishing than most courses (people don’t need a stroke on vacation) and even if you do play horribly, at least you’re still in Disney so you can’t be that upset. If the full-fledged sport still seems like too much of an undertaking, Disney also offers two thematically different mini golf courses. Fantasia Gardens (located near the Boardwalk) is themed after its namesake film and even features a more traditional putting green course for those who want to just work on their short game. Winter Summerland Miniature Golf is located at Blizzard Beach and has two courses themed after winter and summer. For those concerned about having to purchase a water park ticket to play here, no need to worry. The mini golf course may be located at Blizzard Beach but it’s actually outside of the Blizzard Beach entrance.

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Disney World’s Electrical Water Pageant: The Original Light Show

by on July 6, 2014

When Disney Imagineer Bob Jani looked out over Seven Seas Lagoon at night he saw a black gulf, void of interest. It was late 1971 and Magic Kingdom, Polynesian Resort, and Contemporary Resort opened soon. The lifeless lagoon, formed from draining the swamp that dominated the land Magic Kingdom occupies, would presently be filled by ferries and water attractions, including a water ski show. But something was missing. His mind turned to his hometown of Los Angeles, where any body of water reflected myriad lights every night. Somewhere this need to fill the dark with twinkling lights sparked the idea of the Electrical Water Pageant: a train of barges sporting colorful animated lights.

The final float in the aquatic scene.

The final float in the aquatic scene.

A brochure given to guests in the Summer of 1972 entices the guest to “watch porpoises leap . . . seals play . . . even a sea monster breathe fire!” Guests were directed to see the Pageant nightly 9:00 PM through 10:00 PM along Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon, advice that is still good today. The whimsical attraction’s appeal eventually inspired the Main Street Electrical Parade even copping the song “Baroque Hoedown” as its theme.

Today the Pageant is one thousand feet long and features 25-foot tall screens on fourteen barges. The show is split into two parts: an aquatic theme featuring King Triton and various sea creatures followed by a patriotic salute. Total time, nose to tail, is about ten minutes.

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