As much as we all enjoy eating at Walt Disney World, you can find yourself feeling sticker shock when the wait staff brings your bill (unless you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, where the sticker shock comes well before your trip).
But, don’t fret. I’m here to help and to tell you that, yes, dining values can still be found on Disney property. Here are a few of my picks for great meals, snacks and drinks on a budget. This doesn’t mean that these are necessarily the least expensive items, but rather the best items and experience for the price. If you’re on the dining plan, you’ll likely want to go for the most expensive item you can get with your credit, but if you’re paying out-of-pocket for food, this list is for you.
Share your thoughts in the comments, along with your picks for dining values.
Table Service Appetizer: Bread Service with all 9 Accompaniments at Sanaa, $13.99
Sanaa Bread Service with all 9 Accompaniments
This one lives up to its reputation as a unique, filling appetizer that will satisfy multiple people. First, Sanaa, the table service restaurant at Animal Kingdom Villas Kidani Village, is an outstanding value overall with unique cuisine, beautiful decor and animals wandering just outside the restaurant. The bread service is simple in concept, but complex in flavor. You get a variety of freshly made naan bread to enjoy with dipping sauces arranged in order of spiciness. One version of the bread service comes with three sauces, but we recommend getting the full nine, which is a mere $2.50 upcharge. This is also one dish where the restaurant actually increased the portion. In 2014, when the photo above was taken, we were given three pieces of naan, but when we returned a year later, it came with five pieces of naan, which makes this an appetizer that can be comfortably shared among a table of four.
Do you seek adventure? How about fortune and glory? If so, you may want to add Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar to your next travel itinerary! Last year, Disney Springs gained Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, themed after Indiana Jones’ pilot, Jock Lindsey, from Raiders of the Lost Ark. This incredibly themed dining destination has been on my to-do list for months; but as you probably noticed by this article’s title, I’m somewhat of a teetotaler and was a little apprehensive about dropping in a self-proclaimed bar and ordering a soft drink! But a few weeks ago, after an especially long and hot trek through Disney Springs, I decided to venture in to finally check it out for myself. So if you’re curious about my adventure, or you’re a fellow non-drinker who may have had the same concerns, here’s A Teetotaler’s Review of Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar.
As with everything at Walt Disney World, it’s always about the story and Jock Lindsey’s maintains that tradition. The story behind this Disney Springs addition is that Jock came across this particular part of Florida while on an adventure with Indy. He, and his famous pet snake Reggie, returned in the 1940s and bought a waterfront piece of property to operate a seaplane tour operation. His hangar eventually became a popular hangout for fellow globe trotters, particularly for members of The Society of Explorers and Adventures, and now Disney World travelers.
Note: The story behind Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar has ties to the storyline of the Magic Kingdom’s Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen, as The Society of Explorers and Adventures also frequented that location and references to Jock, Reggie, and Indy have been found there as well. Keep an eye out for them if you have the opportunity to visit!
At Disney Springs, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar can be found at The Landing, a charming waterfront area between the Marketplace and the West Side and directly across from the newly opened Town Center. Of all the new spaces to be discovered at Disney Springs, The Landing is by far my favorite. I love the convenient, central location; and as I was staying at Disney’s Old Key West Resort, having the resort boat launch right next to Jock Lindsey’s was quite a perk.
Unlike other bars or lounges I’m familiar with at Walt Disney World, Jock Lindsey’s opens each day at 11:30 A.M. and stays open throughout the afternoon and into the evening until Disney Springs closes for the night. During my first visit, I dropped in around 1:00 P.M; and while there were a few guests sitting both inside and out, I still pretty much had the place to myself which was great for exploring and taking a few photos without interfering with anyone’s meal. It would also be the ideal time for families to visit so kids could freely look around too.
It’s time to celebrate America with a bang and Disney will be doing so in red, white, and blue style! If you’re looking for fireworks spectaculars, Walt Disney World is the place to be! Here’s what you can expect to experience when saluting all nations, but mostly America.
Celebrate the country’s highest office by enjoying a stop at the infamous Hall of Presidents. This inspirational Liberty Square show which includes all 43 U.S. Presidents tracing the history of the office, takes place every hour and half hour. Another must see is the Flag Retreat which takes place at 5:00 p.m. each day.
The Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade will be shown twice on both July 3 and 4 – once at 12:00 p.m. and once at 3:30 p.m.
Guests will have two chances to catch the spectacular fireworks extravaganza that is “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.” The 14 minute showcase will take place on both July 3 and 4 at 9:00 p.m.
There will also be two showings of the Main Street Electrical Parade, once at 10:15 p.m. and once at 12:15 a.m.
Following that terrible alligator attack last week, the beaches and recreation around the Walt Disney World Resort are now available to Guests once again, with some modifications.
First, the resort beaches are not going to be open at night. They are now currently available to Guests one hour after sunrise until one hour prior to sunset. In addition, temporary signage and barriers are now up to keep Guests safe. Cast Members will be on hand to assist Guests’ needs. In addition the “Movies Under the Stars” that had been held on the beaches for years will now take place on the hotel lawns.
Also, the marinas at the hotels are now offering boat rentals for all Guests, including Sammy Duvall’s Watersports, who will be offering activities from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
During the hunt for the alligator who attacked in Bay Lake, six alligators had been trapped from the area.
Are you a fan of that delicious, buttery goodness that you can smell from a mile away? That’s right, I’m talking about popcorn found throughout the Walt Disney World Resort.
Well, I have good news for those who may be making a trip (or a few trips) to the resort between June 26 and September 1. Disney will be offering a souvenir popcorn bucket that may be refilled. (For a price, of course!) The bucket can be purchased for an initial cost of $10 and refills will cost $1.50 each after.
Guests can purchase the bucket at select cart locations and the refillable popcorn can be purchased at the four theme parks, two water parks, Disney Springs, and ESPN Wide World of Sports wherever you see a popcorn cart.
Honestly, I’m hungry just thinking about it and I plan on eating as much popcorn as possible on my next trip!
As we’ve highlighted the past fewweeks, Disney Springs is really stepping up its dining game with a ton of new restaurants. Today, I take a look at a meal I recently enjoyed at one of the new higher-end offerings, STK Orlando, located in The Landing just across from Paradiso 37. STK is a popular modern take on the classic steakhouse with locations in big cities like Miami, LA, NYC, and Chicago; it definitely trends towards a younger crowd with a DJ located on the main floor of each of the restaurants (and Disney Springs’ location is no different). I was interested to see how this restaurant would fit with Disney’s typical family clientele, so I picked an early dinner reservation slot for my meal; the restaurant also serves lunch with a few sandwiches added to the salad, steak, and side dish staples. I was seated immediately upon arrival in the bar area of a nearly empty restaurant (save for a lot of furniture – you will definitely get to know the table next to you here, given how closely you sit next to them). My initial impression was that the ambiance was pretty low-key – the music wasn’t loud, but the place also just wasn’t busy yet. All in good time…
After a few greetings by several servers and wait staff, my server arrived and gave me a quick introduction to the food and cocktail menus (though oddly, he skipped over the steak section, which I expect is why most people would stop here). Several salads and hot appetizers are on offer to start your meal off, followed by a large selection of steak cuts as well as local seafood and other meat entrees. I was also informed that they were a “full order kitchen”, so I would need to order everything all at once, and he would pace it out for me. I wasn’t too surprised by this – many upscale restaurants prefer guests order like this to keep everything timed out just right for the kitchen – but it was the first time I’d had it flat-out explained to me, which is probably a good thing for most guests not used to restaurants like this. I started the night off with the Green Intensity cocktail ($14), one of their more unique offerings in a short, sweet-leaning, pretty standard craft cocktail menu. This drink is pure shtick – the subtlety of Absolut Elyx (a copper-distilled, high quality version of the Absolut vodka you’re probably used to) is completely drowned out by whole jalapeno slices and tons of seeds, a bit of basil for some earthiness, and lime to cut a little of the spice. This is legitimately spicy stuff, which may scare you in cocktail form, but it’s refreshing and definitely wakes you up. I give them credit for creating something a bit off the beaten path, but next time, I’ll stick to the Elyx served straight-up.
Did you know that when you first walk into the Magic Kingdom, you’re actually closer to parts of the Jungle Cruise than you are to Casey’s Corner at the end of Main Street U.S.A.? Seems crazy, because from that point in the park, it would take you several minutes to walk to the queue of that attraction. The reality, however, is that if you were to walk through the large doors by the Harmony Barber Shop where the parades enter and exit and walk to the west, you’d find yourself at the backside of the Jungle Cruise (which also houses the backside of water!) within a few steps; as the crow flies, you are very, very close to the Jungle Cruise the moment you walk into the park.
Wouldn’t it be great if there were a shortcut that would zip you backstage and directly where you wanted to go? Heck yeah, it would! Unfortunately, there is no shortcut to save the general public the trouble of walking all the way around to the Jungle Cruise, but there ARE several shortcuts or alternative routes within the park that will help those in the know move around much more quickly — sometimes because they are less congested, and sometimes because they are just more direct. Read on to learn more about Magic Kingdom shortcuts!
We know you all have been anxiously booking your 2017 Walt Disney World vacation and now I am able to bring great news.
The 2017 Walt Disney World Vacation Packages will be available to book beginning on June 21. These vacation packages will be available for Guests who are looking to arrive at the Walt Disney World Resort beginning January 1, 2017 and after. One thing that you do need to keep in mind is that the last date of your vacation cannot be booked more than 499 days into the future.
So contact your favorite travel planner and get ready to officially start the planning process for your 2017 vacations now!