Recently we had dinner at Art Smith's Homecoming (Disney Springs, The Landings) and had the most fantastic culinary experience. The food and presentation was beyond words. Our servers were Autumn and Marissa which provided us with GREAT service and offered an education into Art Smith and how his restaurant came to be. We asked many questions and they had great answers for all our inquires. They spent time with us and made us feel like home. We recommend Art's restaurant to everyone who wants a culinary experience not to forget. Thank you.
My husband and I tried this place for the first time to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. It was busy so we got two seats at the bar and the service was outstanding from the moment we sat down. The staff gave us a feeling of true professionals who took great pride in their work. The food was phenomenal. I mean, so good, it made me angry. I was asked if I liked my meal and I told him that the chef should be put in jail. It's not fair to give people an experience as outstanding as this. I highly recommend this place and if you don't care for seafood there are other options on the menu. Also, the Abracadabar is adjacent to the restaurant and has a great vibe if you need to kill some time waiting for a table. We will be going back soon! Also, they accept tables in wonderland.
This resort is a classical beauty! I was convinced the Polynesian would always be my number one favorite resort and remain unchallenged...........and then we stayed at the GF. The lobby is spectacular and the resort manages to remain cozy amongst all the opulence. I only wish they would complete a walkway to the Magic Kingdom. It would require a bridge over a small canal but would be a great amenity for guests. The service has consistently been outstanding over the years.
This is one of my favorite places to stay on Disney property. The location is excellent and it is within walking distance of two parks. Also, it affords some peaceful time if you want to put your toes in the sand on the beach or take a stroll around the lake. The pool is wonderful and the poolside bar is a great place to watch a game. There are so many great options for dining within a short walk or boat ride.
My wife and I just went to the Halloween Party at Disneyworld. We had a great time.
The Halloween party is a separate, ticketed event held at the Magic Kingdom of Disney World. It officially starts around 7 pm, though people with tickets for it are allowed in around 4 pm. The whole mainstreet area is lined with mickey jack-o-lanterns and other Halloween décor. Starting at 7 pm the lighting on all the buildings on mainstreet switches to Halloween colors.
We went the end of September . About a third of the adults, and at least half the kids there were in costumes. Many of the costumes were amazing. Trick or Treat stations are scattered throughout the park. All guests are able to trick or treat for candy.
The Halloween Parade, called the "Boo To You Parade", was typical Disney. There were several cool Halloween floats, including one from the haunted mansion which seemed to glow in the dark . There also were ghost dancers that were a lot of fun to watch.
There was a show in front of the castle which starred the characters from the movie "Hocus Pocus". There were cameos from classical Disney villains. The highpoint of the show was a rendition of " I Put a Spell On You", which was very well done. A note to parents: We enjoyed this show quite a bit, however it was geared more to adults than kids.
The Halloween fireworks show was great. The fireworks were perfectly synchronized to music from the Haunted Mansion and several Disney movies.
Most of the Park Rides remain open during the Halloween Party. We didn't go to many of them simply because there wasn't enough time. However, we did go thru the haunted mansion, which was fantastic. After the Halloween Party officially begins at 7, then all the workers in the mansion wear zombie type makeup which makes the atmosphere perfect for a haunted house.
One suggestion I have to those planning on going to this event has to do with souvenir shopping. We were surprised that the Park Stores had some, however didn't have a lot of Halloween Party Souvenirs. The Disney Stores at Disney Springs had a very nice selection of Halloween Party souvenirs. I'd recommend anybody interested in getting souvenirs of the event go to Disney springs.
We stayed at the All Star Sports Resort Sept 13-20, 2016. Overall our stay was okay. The theme for this resort is absolutely Kid Friendly or perfect for those who never want to grow up. The sports theme translates well through the lobby to the food court and out to the pools and the landscaping.
The room was great. There was plenty of room around the beds for our chair to maneuver freely. The King bed was lowered and was great for transferring. The double bed was not the most comfortable but it was okay. The roll in shower was large enough for a caregiver to help if necessary but the floor remained wet for longer than some other roll-in rooms we have had.
Mousekeeping was good and although we requested they not enter our room one day, the beds were made and towels were replaced each day.
The food court, End Zone, was as expected (busy) and the food options were acceptable. We shared a giant slice of pizza and a salad as a meal one day and were more than satisfied. Breakfast was our favourite meal at the End Zone. The CMs in the End Zone food court were by far, the friendliest, happiest and most polite of any CM's we experienced this trip.
We were at the resort during some heavy rains and found that the flooding on the walkways from the main lobby building to the others were very deep and a little dangerous.
I think we would have given this resort a higher rating had it not been for the very unwelcoming, and downright rude CM that checked us in. We did write to WDW regarding this CM (and the great CM's we came into contact with) and hopefully this was a one off situation.
This resort would be perfect for families with young children, tweens or adolescents who love all things sports. Or adults who want to take advantage of all that staying on a Disney resort has to offer at a budget price.
My wife and I had not eaten at Via Napoli in probably a month or so. A rarity as it is one of our favourites locations on property. We took advantage of the lower crowd levels recently and headed out for lunch on Monday, here was our experience.
We arrived around 2:30 PM with no ADR and were seated by 2:40 PM.
We were quickly greeted by Marko (not the server) who offered us water, bread, etc. He was really funny and visited our table often to crack a joke or three.
Our waitress Franchesca was over quickly after our water was delivered from Marko to ask about drinks, wine, etc. We order a bottle and cruised the menu for a few minutes before ordering our first starter, the Prosciutto e Melone.
The Cantelope was fresh and the Prosciutto's saltiness really paired nicely with the sweet melon. It was a nice refreshing tarter to begin our meal with on such a hot afternoon.
Next we ordered the Arancini to get into the Italian mood. It was very good though just not as hot as I would have liked it. Overall good though.
After the two starters (and another bottle of wine) we went in for Pizza! Nothing special here just their Pepperoni Pizza today.
As always, the pizza was very good, piping hot and just a great way to round out our meal.
Dessert was up next and we went with the Pistachio Gelati e Sorbetto. It was great as well. Just the right way to end our meal before heading back out into the blazing hot sun.
Overall our dinning experience at Via Napoli was on par with all of our other visits to this restaurant. The wait staff was excellent. Managers came by to ask about our experience and speak with us on a personal level. The food was great and we are looking forward to our next visit back!
This is still one of our favourite locations on property and we will be back very soon.
Kati (my wife) and I went to Animal Kingdom some weeks back for some fun and were able to check out the new restaurant Tiffin's and lounge area called Nomad Lounge. Here are a few observations from our visit.
First, the entire restaurant and lounge is really, really cool with the travel themeing. It reminded me a lot of a combination of the Poly & Wilderness Lodge (to me). Tiffin's has a lot of really cool artwork and hand carved poles that actually use to be out front of Pizzafaria. Though they have been stripped of the awful paint down to the bare wood work. These actually served as the inspiration for the trunk on the Tree of Life.
We did not sit or eat in Tiffin's itself, however we chose to hang out and eat at the Nomad Lounge. Apparently this location was not "officially" open yesterday and at one point, we were the only ones in the entire building other than the CM's.
The pricing here is to be expected and on par with other Disney restaurants. The appetizers at Nomad Lounge range from $7.00 to $21.00 and signature drinks go for around $10.25 a piece. They have a pretty good list of them in their menu.
We had a few item on their food menu including the Spring Rolls and Short Ribs. Both were very good along with the adult beverages we had on our visit.
They do offer (now) TiW so that makes it a much more appealing spot now at Animal Kingdom.
If you are looking for a cool, nice place to relax and hang out for a few during the Florida heat or rain showers. This is a great new place for you!
So, on their opening day, the wife and I headed over to Disney Springs to check out the new Frontera Cocina restaurant.
The restaurant itself was not very busy though Disney Springs was packed for a Sunday evening.
We had no intentions of eating an entire meal here this evening. We set up at the bar and had a few "beverages" and a starter off the menu.
First off, the prices here (even for Disney) seemed a bit steep to me. A local beer (Cigar City Amber Ale) was $11.00 and it was not even a full pint or a restaurant style "pint". It came in the same glass as our waters did. Will not be drinking here again.
The menu has a good selection and prices are to be expected on Disney property for food. Entrees range from $15.00 to $34.00. We had the chips & salsa ($4.00) and ordered the Coctel Rojo ($14.00) to share. Overall the food was good but nothing to write home about to be honest. Rocco's Tacos in Dr. Phillips is a better restaurant (to me) than Frontera Cocnia.
Overall the food & atmosphere were fine. However, I may reserve judgement for another visit to this restaurant as it was opening night. Very nice on the inside and the staff we encountered were very friendly and we had a good time there.
The usual suspects (my wife and I) shot over to Disney Springs a few days after they opened to check out the new Homecoming Kitchen for some starters and drinks. Again, this is not a full review, just our experience stopping in for a quick trip.
We sat at the bar which is really cool as it has a really nice wood top that changes from one tree type to another with huge corner pieces from massive trees at one point.
Looking over the menu, the prices again were a bit more than we expected even for Disney prices. Local crafts beers were going for $10 and up. That to me is just too much as other restaurants and bars in Disney Springs have the same beers for much less.
We had no intentions of eating a full meal, just for a few starters and drinks, just to check the new spot out.
We had the Church Lady Deviled Eggs ($10.00) These were very good and are prepared as traditional Deviled Eggs. Nothing over the top on anything here. Very good!
We also tried a bowl of the Addie Maes Chicken Dumpling Soup ($7.00) This was the best deal on the menu for the size of the dish to the amount of the dish. The bowl was a nice size and it is not a traditional chicken & dumpling soup. The "dumplings" are more like a long flat pasta than a dumpling. Still, very good as well. Sorry, forgot to post that picture before deleting from my phone.
We also tried their grits there as when we return I am looking forward to trying their Shrimp & Grits ($26.00). I did not like the fact they charged us $7.00 for a sample of their grits though. On the bill, they charged us for a side of Mashed Potatoes. The portion of Grits they brought out was in a bowl that could be best described as something a restaurant would bring out salad dressing in, not an actual "side".
The prices on entree are to be expected and on par with other Disney restaurants. Anywhere from around $21 to $46. However, their adult beverages are very high (to me). Just an example, our bill last evening was $106 for the following:
Deviled Eggs - $10.00
Chicken & Dumpling Soup - $7.00
"Side" of Grits - $7.00
4 Shots - $34.00
2 Glasses of Wine - $28.00
2 Beers - $20.00
Good news is they already accept both AP and TiW discounts! We'll be back soon to try some of their entrees for sure. Everything looked great as it came out around us!
My wife and I headed over to Disney Springs a few weeks back when Blaze Pizza opened to give it a try and here is our experience and pictures. Just a quick trip over one night for dinner.
First off, this is probably the best deal in all of Disney Springs as far as value to what you receive is concerned. We shared a build your own pizza and a fountain drink and the total was $12.12. Yes, they do an AP discount (10%) and that was around $1.27 or so off the original total.
We did as I said, the build your own with a half/half to share. We got this pizza:
Traditional Red Sauce
Double Mushrooms (wife's favourite)
They do not charge you any extra for double or [insert number here] of toppings. The build your own pizza is $9.99 and you get whatever and however much you want as far as toppings go.
All and all this was an enjoyable trip and meal at Blaze Pizza. The weather was awesome this evening after some rain storms rolled through earlier this afternoon so we elected to eat out side and it was great.
While this was not THE greatest pizza I have ever eaten, it was very good. We will be back soon to try our hand at some other toppings!
I always thought "ice cream" was all the same until I went to Ample Hills. Fantastic stuff!
In real estate, they say it’s location, location, location. For the Bay Lake Tower (BLT) it’s true. The best thing about the BLT is the location. You are less than a 5 minute walk to Magic Kingdom. That is huge! I took advantage of it many times. Many evenings, my wife and son were done for the day. I’d walk over to MK for the last few hours and it was awesome.
However, there is no food court. You have to use the Contemporary for all food and drinks. Kind of a pain for coffee in the morning.
The BLT theming is nonexistent. The lobby is super small with no Disney touches. Nice lobby for and an upscale office building but not for a Disney Resort. Rooms are a little small and pool is OK.
My son loves it. My wife and I are not as in love. I would much rather the Polynesian.
Absolutely loved this resort and it would definitely be a huge contender to stay at again. We stayed in the cabanas section and the rooms were so nice and felt very private. The views were absolutely amazing! The staff was friendly and for the most part helpful and it was very clean and welcoming. It's a moderate resort but it felt very deluxe to us! I highly recommend!
- stunningly beautiful
- very nice rooms
- awesome pool with huge hot tub
- easy to navigate, we never got lost
- 4 different bus stops with easy access
- food court with tons of options
- only two drink stations, long walks to refill cups
- not necessarily a con for some, but the majority of the food is Mexican due to the resort theme. Something to think about if that's not your taste.
We stayed at Coronado Springs for 8 days the week after Thanksgiving in 2014. This was the second moderate resort we have stayed at since 2011 (2 previous trips were at Port Orleans French Quarter). Now to understand the context of this review, I was 48 at the time, my sister was 43, and my mom was 68. Neither my sister nor myself have children. So this trip is from a kid-free adult vacation point of view.
First, the things I loved!
- The grounds are beautiful. It is really nice to walk around and just chill... lots of space and walkways to wander around.
- Pepper Market (Food court). Excellent service, excellent quality and quantity of food. Had one small issue that was quickly and courteously resolved with no issues.
- Pool area. Huge, relatively quiet. Great place to chill and relax. Nice pool bar - and the Siestas Cantina serves a limited but adequate breakfast menu.
- Very nice rooms. Excellent housekeeping staff.
- Very quiet around our rooms.
- Outstanding front desk staff.
Second, the things I didn't love (and this is purely subjective and personal preference):
- The place is HUGE. There are very few rooms near the main complex (registration desk, resort store, food court). Ours were nowhere near this area, so it made for a looooong walk to hit the store or food court. This came into play for breakfast. The long walk easily added 45mins to our mornings if we wanted to grab some breakfast before we left the resort for the day. We later found out Siestas Cantina at the pool had a limited breakfast menu, and the pool was easily 1/4 the walk to the food court, so that made for a good time saver. Wish we had known about it earlier in our trip!
- CS has a large convention center. A convention center in and of itself isn't that big of a deal, it just depends on what convention is going on lol! During our visit, there was a sizable cheerleading competition going on. So areas of the grounds (mainly every step of our walk from our building to the bus stop) were saturated with tween to teen aged girls practicing, celebrating, consoling, and in all stages of full blown drama laden meltdowns. Hundreds of them. It was by no means a major disruption to our day... but rather a noticeable distraction. At least we didn't have any teenage boys with us lol
- Bus service was spotty. I understand the resorts now have monitors at the bus stops that give you an idea how long the wait is for the bus you are looking for, so I would see this as an improvement. Looking forward to this addition on our trip in Nov/Dec 2016!
All and all it is an excellent moderate resort. As I have really bad knees (thanks to a brutal fire fighting career), I would prefer to save my knees for the parks. So the long walks to get to the main complex was a negative for me. But I wouldn't say it spoiled our stay in any way. It was just an inconvenience. I would definitely say the pros outweigh the cons! Such a beautiful resort!
Absolutely beautiful resort that is meticulously maintained. The suite was the perfect space and use of space for our party of 3 adults (myself, husband, and my mother) along with our 4 and 2 year old daughters. Splash pad and pools were amazing.
I literally have two complaints about our entire stay there. 1. There was no dish soap provided in the suite or in the food court for washing reusable mugs, meaning that we had to just rinse it for a week. 2. The room was hot and the air conditioning was not even attempting to cool the room below 77. We called the front desk and they had someone up there to fix it quickly and the problem was resolved for the remainder of our stay.
If this is the entirety of my complaint list, that should tell you something.
We tried Frontera Cocina twice, during our five day trip. I'd looked forward to it for a long time because I like the way Rick Bayless approaches cooking. Fresh, quality ingredients, and using flavors that work together or contrast in a way that contributes to the dish rather than defining it.
On our first visit I had the Carne Asada and my wife had the Red Chile Chicken Enchiladas. It was good. My beef was a little overcooked, but not enough to send it back. The flavors were good. My wife's Enchiladas were about the same. The chicken was a little dry, and the cheese could have used another minute or so under the broiler to evenly melt it. Both dishes were good, but not what I'd expected.
Later in our trip we found ourselves in Disney Springs again, and we were both ready to eat, so we decided to try again to find out if we just came in on a bad day or time. We switched entrees this visit. I'm glad we visited a second time, and that we switched entrees! The Red Chile Chicken Enchiladas that day is probably one of the best 3-5 meals I've ever had anywhere on property. The flavors worked perfectly together. The texture of the corn tortillas made from scratch was perfect. The chicken was a hair on the dry side but tender and flavorful, but still tasted like chicken. The sauce was fantastic, with complimentary flavors, and depth. The black beans were just as good, with a nice creamy texture, and a comforting richness to them.
My wife prefers her beef cooked a little closer to well than I'd prefer. Actually she prefers med-well, while I tend to think of medium as being overcooked more often than not. It come to the table cooked perfectly to med-well as ordered. The side of guacamole was outstanding. Lots of flavor as expected, but it complimented the rich, creamy, avocado. The salsa had some mild heat, but more than enough flavor to balance that out. The refried black beans were just a little on the dry side, but neither one of us sampled them for some time with all of the other food to enjoy, so I can't hold the kitchen responsible.
Both visits were good or better. The second has earned Frontera Cocina must visit status on each trip. With a slightly larger group we would add some appetizers to share, but the two of us left comfortably filled just ordering our entrees. When taking the quality into account, we felt like it is one of the better values anywhere on property. Crowds were light, and our second meal was at 3 PM. The place was almost empty. Visit soon, because I expect the wait to grow as more people start hearing about this place.
We spent 3 nights of a 10 night split stay at the Poly, in August 2016. It was awesome! The location is amazing, access to the MK via monorail and boat was so convenient. We stayed in a DVC studio room, main floor Tokelau, on the pool side. The room was beautiful, queen bed was super comfortable. There is a sofa bed for two, (very comfy) and room for a 5th person on a pull down bed under the very large tv. Mousekeeping was wonderful, room was very clean.Check in was fast and friendly. Check out was great but the computer system was down when we left so I couldn't get a copy of my room charges. I explained it needed before my flight and they went above and beyond to get it to me, even called my cell when the email address on file didn't work. We also had some pixy dust at Ohana when I requested bread pudding to take back to our room. They made us a great take away package and when I tried to pay I was told it was on the house - super nice surprise ! We have started at 6 Disney resorts and the Poly is our favorite.
Last evening my wife and I headed out to the Boardwalk to give the "new" Flying Fish a go for dinner. The decor is a little different from the older version of the restaurant but still, very nice on the inside and comfortable for dinning.
We started with the Corn-Encrusted Wild Gulf Shrimp & the Blue Crab Bisque. The shrimp were prepared very well with just enough breading to not over due it. The shrimp itself were fresh and cooked perfectly.
The Blue Crab Bisque was also very good! It had a good amount of ample crab meat to make it a filling starter though not too much. Again, prepared perfectly.
For our entree, we shared the Wagyu Filet Mignon (FYI ... The steak was already cut in half for us) This was one of the best meals I have had in some time. Easily in the top-10 best steaks I have ever eaten. It was prepared perfectly. The bordelaise sauce was awesome and the vegetables were cooked to perfection.
Again, this was easily the best meal I have had on Disney property since moving here three years ago. Everything was cooked to perfection and was delicious. If you were apprehensive about eating here after the refurbishment, don't.
In my opinion this meal/steak was easily better than Le Cellier, Yachtsman & Shulu's. The only other steak that was this good (no better no worse) was at Bull & Bear.
We will be eating here again in the very near future. New favourite restaurant on property!
First time I rode this was in 1996, and since then I have been to Disney on 9 holidays, so have enjoyed this attraction everytime I have been. I can't remember what it was like before Cap'n Jack and Davy Jones, but I believe the Cap'n Jack animatronic is essential for the attraction as most kids nowadays will believe the ride is based on the movie rather than the other way round. I am sure when I last went on it, the song was there, but not too sure.
I really enjoy these types of rides, with heavy theming but this does drag a little and can be quite boring in parts. The part with the dog & keys, the ghost pirate and any bit where Jack Sparrow pops up are all the best bits so it is still worth going on.
Okay, pardon the cheesy Mass Effect joke in the headline, I couldn't resist. This IS my favourite ride in the world. Not just Disney World, I think the world... I can't think of another ride I'd rather go on. If someone said to me "you can only go on one more ride ever" I would choose Haunted Mansion.
Why, you ask? I mean, it's not as technically impressive as something like the Tower of Terror or the Rock'n'Roller Coaster... but I would argue that super fast, super scary and thrilling rides are not necessarily the "best" rides, and even moreso it's not really what Disney is all about.
Disney - to me - is about theming... it's about immersion and experience. If I'm already boring you, Haunted Mansion is probably not going to be your favourite ride, as it is mine. However you should still give it a try! It's a lot of spooky fun. It's also the only place on property where the cast members don't smile, and will tell you to "have a dreadful time".
It's very family-friendly goth in that Addams Family way. It's all the kitsch and most of the fun of a dirty, rundown, sketchy circus sideshow without the actual dirt and spilt beer and stale popcorn... or risk of being stabbed. Plus ghosts! It has great music, and is a great place to put your arm around your sweetheart and just enjoy being pulled outside of your everyday reality into something else.
To my mind, Haunted Mansion is Disney at its best. The line is usually not long and even when it is, there is so much to look at and explore in the graveyard, the time passes quickly and at its best it just adds to the ambiance and anticipation. It also has one of the only gift shops - Memento Mori - which you actually have to go out of your way to get to and I actually consider a worthwhile destination in and of itself!
If you're at all into spooky things, kitschy things, or just good old school Disney immersion and atmosphere, Haunted Mansion is not to be missed.
Dinosaur is, in my humble opinion, the very best ride in all of Animal Kingdom. Yes, I enjoyed Dinosaur even more than Expedition Everest! My girlfriend and I loved it so much we went twice, standing in a fairly long line the second time, and it was well worth it!
It might not be as fast or "thrilling" as Everest, but for me it is more exciting. A large part of this is the theming and the atmosphere. Entering into the "lab" and boarding the vehicles felt the LEAST like "getting on a ride" of anything I experience at all of WDW, which is pretty great, as immersion goes. I love things that take me out of my normal reality, and Dinosaur does that very well.
I know it's not a Jurassic Park ride, but it almost felt like it, getting in the vehicles and having dinosaurs pop out at us. Honestly, it's sort of like an extreme motion track haunted house. The articulation the vehicle is capable of helps make the ride more exciting even if it doesn't move as quickly as some others, and the dinosaurs - especially the carnotaurus - really give you a good jump.
Ultimately you really shouldn't miss this or Everest, but personally if I could only ride one ride at AK, it would be Dinosaur.
I stayed here for the first time in August, I did preparation on the computer and although I had seen pictures, and maps I wasn't expecting this hotel to be what it was in person... Although it was pouring with rain when we arrived we were greeted by the super-friendly staff and from that moment on everything was perfect, especially when you consider the $70 price per night! If this hotel wan't priced well I would not give it such a good review, but when you put the price with the beautiful grounds, oversized (but not tacky as I've heard some people call it) instruments sprinkled around and the amazing, friendly staff it was so worth it, it made me want to stay on the property again and maybe spend a little more next time! I would even skip a theme park one day just to lounge around the hotel!
We stayed one night. $100.
The Good: We had good service as is to be expected from Disney. The staff was professional, pleasant and very nice. Price was reasonable and the facilities were clean. Rooms were clean and air conditioner worked very well.
The Bad: No frills in the room...felt like and looked like Motel accomodations. Paint on the interior and exterior are very dated. Everything looked old...furniture, paint, wallpaper, tile. Beds were a bit hard and pillows somewhat flat. Carpet looked old and the room has a slight "old" smell to it. Pools were just that...pools...no slides no hot tubs. Pool towels are plain white and the same type of towel you get in your rooms for bath towels. No luxury.
Overall...if you are looking at just sleeping there then it serves it purpose however if your looking for "Resort Style" amenities and a bit more luxury then look at another Disney resort. You will feel safe and this resort will take care of your basic needs. I personally like a more luxury feel to my vacation accommodations and was a bit let down staying here.