News: Flying Fish and the NEW AbracadaBar Lounge Open in Late Summer

I’m already excited for one of my very favorite Disney World restaurants — the Flying Fish — to reopen from its current major refurbishment.

And now, we have more details regarding what some of the changes will be when this signature restaurant makes its debut as the Flying Fish (nope — “Cafe” will not be in the name moving forward).

Flying Fish

But first, let’s take a glimpse at concept art for the updated interior of the restaurant, which will have a new kitchen and dining room (as well as new options for private dining).

The chandelier you see on top of the artwork “mimics a school of flying fish swimming overhead,” and golden-winged room panels are also being added to the main dining room. Looks like quite a change from the previous decor — a whimsical celebration of life on a turn-of-the-century Boardwalk! In fact, is anyone else getting a kind of Bluezoo vibe from this?

©Disney

©Disney

Chef Tim Majoras — who will be leading the Flying Fish team (of which he’s been a member since 2011) shared a glimpse of what to expect from the refreshed menu. New among the starters will be a Seared Yellow Fin Tuna served with compressed watermelon, avocado slices, crisp radishes, and pickled daikon complete with a small edible viola flower and drizzle of blood orange oil. [Read more…]

First Look and Review! Ample Hills Creamery Soft Opens on Disney’s Boardwalk

We gave you a Sneak Peek last week…

… and now we’re back to give you a First Look at the brand new Ample Hills Creamery on Disney’s Boardwalk!

Just a few days ago, the walls came down around the newest ice cream parlor in Disney World and we were able to steal a glimpse of the spot located right next door to the ESPN Club. But now Ample Hills Creamery is currently in soft openings, and we were able to pop in for what we’ve all been waiting for… ICE CREAM!!

First, though, just a note that soft openings are like a “dress rehearsal” for new eateries and attractions around Disney World. This means that there are no guarantees that the spot will be operating at any given time, and — in the case of restaurants — the menu may not be finalized, or certain ingredients may not be available until everything is official. In the case of Ample Hills Creamery, the anticipated official opening will take place on May 15th.

Cast Members preparing for today's Soft Opening

Cast Members preparing for today’s Soft Opening

But we just couldn’t wait any longer to get a taste for ourselves so we could bring it to YOU… so welcome to the first Ample Hills Creamery location outside of New York State, right here in Disney World! [Read more…]

Sneak Peek INSIDE: Ample Hills Creamery on Disney World’s BoardWalk (And Rumored Opening Date!)

I’m having a TON of fun at Disney World this week! And my trip has been made all the better by seeing that the construction walls surrounding the soon-to-be-open Ample Hills Creamery have come down!

Ample Hills Sign on Disney World's BoardWalk

Ample Hills Sign on Disney World’s BoardWalk

This “re-imagined take on the turn-of-the-century ice cream parlor” will take over the spot that was previously occupied by the ESPN Club Arcade, next door to the very-much-still-open ESPN Club.

[Read more…]

News: Ample Hills Creamery To Open on Disney World’s BoardWalk

Hooray!! Ample Hills Creamery will open on Disney’s BoardWalk this Spring!

Ample Hills Creamery Goodness

Ample Hills Creamery Goodness

Yep, the initial speculation regarding this Brooklyn-based ice cream brand known for its creative and fun flavors (they made headlines with Star Wars ice cream) will become an actuality when this “reimagined take on the turn-of-the-century ice cream parlor” opens its first location outside of NYC — at Disney World.

…And I am BEYOND excited! I’ve been following their Instagram since the Star Wars Ice Cream debuted and I can’t get enough!!

[Read more…]

Rumor: Is Star Wars Ice Cream Coming to Disney World’s BoardWalk?

Well, if you’re bummed that Seashore Sweets has closed, removing your option for ice cream on Disney’s BoardWalk in Walt Disney World, then you may want to pay attention to this… umm, scoop.

Seashore Sweets

Seashore Sweets

According to the folks at wdwmagic.com, it seems that Ample Hills Creamery products might be served in a new ice cream shop coming to the former location of the ESPN Club Arcade (the ESPN Club is still open, but the arcade section has been closed). [Read more…]

News: Seashore Sweets on Disney World’s BoardWalk Scheduled to Close February 1st

Do you have your Advance Dining Reservation to enjoy the Flying Fish as we know it for this, its final week? Though the Flying Fish will reopen later this Fall, its refurbishment — beginning on Monday, February 1st — will bring major changes to this BoardWalk favorite. Not only is the location being “reimagined” with a new look, but the Chef’s Counter experience will offer table seating in order to accommodate more guests.

Flying Fish

Flying Fish

Even the menu will receive a makeover (though Disney has promised that the Potato-wrapped Snapper and seasonal approach will remain. I’m personally crossing my fingers for the return of my favorite Char-crusted Angus New York Strip Steak). [Read more…]

Review: Dinner at the Flying Fish Cafe on Disney’s BoardWalk

Welcome back to the Flying Fish Cafe!

While all the dining talk on Disney’s BoardWalk has centered around the opening of the brand new Trattoria al Forno as of late, I wanted to bring you back to the Flying Fish, which is not only my favorite restaurant on BoardWalk, but also one of my very favorites in all of Disney World. Period.

During the interim between the closing of Kouzzina and the opening of Trattoria al Forno, the Flying Fish served a stint as a breakfast location, previewing some of the dishes that are now on the breakfast menu at Trattoria al Forno.

But this signature restaurant is now back to its regular dinner-only schedule, and if you haven’t enjoyed dinner at Flying Fish before, I’ve gotta say it: it’s practically a must-do.

Flying Fish

Flying Fish

Come see what I mean…

Atmosphere

The decor of the Flying Fish pays tribute to two things: first, the atmosphere honors its place on Disney’s BoardWalk through some insanely fun murals depicting things like turn-of-the-century roller coasters, those old school parachute swing rides, and other carnival-style attractions.

Boardwalk murals

Boardwalk murals

Boardwalk murals

Boardwalk murals

The theme is continued as you move further into the restaurant with a gorgeous backlit ferris wheel, and the most enviable seating space of all right underneath the circus tent.

Backlit Ferris Wheel

Backlit Ferris Wheel

Circus Tent seating

Circus Tent seating

The second design element plays on the star of the culinary scene here: seafood. And nowhere is that theme more evident than in the parachuting fish “flying” above as you dine!

Flying Fish!

Flying Fish!

Notice the bait hooks mixed in with some of the underwater themed lighting fixtures.

Lighting fixtures

Lighting fixtures

With everything going on, you may not notice the open kitchen (unless you’re seated at the Chef’s Counter directly in front of the show), but try to take a moment to observe, since what happens in this kitchen is some of the best of Disney culinary feats in action.

Bar seating in front of the kitchen

Chef’s Counter in front of the kitchen

Of course, if you’re just looking for a quick dinner, the bar area is very comfortable, too.

Bar seating in front of the kitchen

Bar area

I have no idea if “upscale-whimsy” is an interior design term, but if it is, that pretty much sums up the Flying Fish. It manages to be both sophisticated and super fun at the same time.

Eats

The name of this restaurant gives guests an idea that there is a focus on seafood at the Flying Fish, but don’t let that scare you or anyone in your party off who isn’t a seafood fan. Remember, I said this was one of my favorite restaurants, and seafood isn’t exactly my ultimate choice in cuisine. There’s plenty of meat and pasta to go around, too.

But I’m getting ahead of myself… let’s start with the complimentary bread served with butter, which was hard to hold back on thanks to the unique touches of herbs and cheese tucked inside the nooks of the rustic bread.

Bread

Bread

My friends and I enjoyed some the bread while scoping out the [Read more…]

First Look! Photo Tour: Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is officially open for business, and we’ve enjoyed our first dinner there!

Trattoria al Forno at Disney's Boardwalk

Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk

The restaurant began serving breakfast and dinner yesterday to a packed house (see our Trattoria breakfast menu review here). When we left late last night, the waiting area was standing room only!

We’ll have a review of all of the dishes we tried this first time out on Monday; but in the meantime, we wanted to give you a look around the newly remodeled space. Thanks to our friend Mealtrip for bringing his fabulous photography back to the blog in this post!

Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk

Trattoria al Forno occupies the space that was previously Spoodles, and most recently the home of Kouzzina by Cat Cora. Many Disney food fans were sorry to see the Greek-themed restaurant close.

Trattoria Entrance

Trattoria al Forno Entrance

Now, Disney takes the space back to its original roots with a “family Italian restaurant” that has grown in its physical space and has evolved in its culinary approach over time.

Trattoria Sign at the Hostess Station

Trattoria Sign at the Hostess Station

While the dining room of Kouzzina was open, basically occupying one large room, the Trattoria designers claim you’ll see smaller rooms as you travel the length of Trattoria al Forno, with subtle differences in decor signaling your progression from one room to the other.

The backstory of the restaurant holds that an Italian family ran a modest tavern and boarding house on the boardwalk, which expanded over the years into a popular restaurant. As the restaurant was growing, boardinghouse rooms were converted into additional dining spaces — each family generation adding their own touches to the menu and the restaurant’s design.

Now, in all honesty, the overall space is pretty much the same general area that it was when the restaurant was Kouzzina. There’s an entryway and waiting room, a big dining room (which Trattoria has outfitted with brick columns to indicate said “rooms”), and an open kitchen. The room used in the past as a private dining room has been included as a general dining area, but that’s pretty much the only completely separate dining room in the place. But we can chat more about that later. Let’s get inside!

Beginning in the Entrata, or entrance, the space has been overhauled to create a warm but open area with minimal detail. No more Cat Cora cookbooks or merchandise. Just a wine “wall,” very little seating, and a hostess podium.

Entrata

Entrata

Stone, wood, and warm lighting accent the space. Framed wall hangings give it that “family Italian” restaurant feel. You know the deal.

Seating While You Wait

Seating While You Wait

It’s very comfortable when it’s not crowded. While we didn’t have to wait long for our 5 PM advance dining reservation, the seating area was inviting.

Waiting Area

Waiting Area

Once your party is called, you’ll travel through frosted glass doors to your table.

The open kitchen remains the restaurant’s main focal point.

Wide Shot of the Trattoria Kitchen

Wide Shot of the Trattoria Kitchen

Kitchen

Kitchen

Here, you can see the open oven, which serves to anchor the Cucina portion of the restaurant. This is Trattoria’s first dining area, and offers a casual, “eat-in kitchen” vibe.

Forno Up Close

Forno Up Close

Kitchen from the Cucina, the Restaurant's First Dining Room

Kitchen from the Cucina, the Restaurant’s First Dining Room

Beyond the more casual Cucina, you travel into the slightly more opulent

[Read more…]

Disney Recipe: Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie From the Boardwalk Bakery

And now…a recipe for a super-interesting new dessert in Disney World!

When the brand new BoardWalk Bakery reopened earlier this year, we were there bright and early on the very first morning to bring you a full account of what was new, and what was returning.

And while we found many brand new things to love, like the Lemon Meringue Tart (sigh), one of our top pics was the Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie!

Sounds pretty keen, doesn’t it?

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Candied Bacon Pie

Well, it kind of is! The combination of [Read more…]

FULL Review: The NEW BoardWalk Bakery in Walt Disney World!

OK,  I promised you on Saturday that I’d have a full, extensive review of the new BoardWalk Bakery for you soon…and here it is!!

Last Friday, I was up bright and early to be first in line for the grand re-opening of the brand new BoardWalk Bakery at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn! And while I wasn’t FIRST in line, I came pretty close. :-)

Long a fan favorite, this tiny bakery needed a major overhaul in the space department, and we couldn’t wait to see what Imagineers had dreamed up.

We’ll start with atmosphere pics and lead into the goodies. If you want to dive right into the super sugary part, scroll to the bottom section called “What Did I Pick?”

Atmosphere

When looking for the BoardWalk Bakery, head down the steps from the hotel’s main lobby to the BoardWalk, and you can’t miss it.

Sign Leading Down to the BoardWalk

I wasn’t disappointed to see that the bakery had tripled in size. This place really needed to be larger!

The NEW Boardwalk Bakery -- three times the size of the old one!

You can see that there are now two entrances to the bakery — one for those queuing up for food, and one for BoardWalk Inn and Villas guests who just need to refill their resort mugs. A great system!

Mug Filling Station Has a Separate Entrance from Bakery Queue

And, of course, Hue G. Krazont is still the proprietor. :-)

Bakery's Windows and Proprietor's Name

Time to head inside!! Guests who were there first thing received these snazzy celebration buttons. (Okay, they’re the regular celebration buttons with handwriting. But still.)

Celebration Buttons to Mark the Grand Re-Opening!

We are ecstatic to see a lot more room inside the bakery, even though most of it is reserved for the actual queue line.

The classy red walls and checkerboard floor along with wrought iron, brass, and dark wood accents give this spot a been-there-forever kind of classic feel. The schoolhouse lighting is another fun addition!

Note, however, that the display cases have multiplied by about four! They’re not kidding around with the focal point here!

Bakery Display Cases and New Queue Setup

If you do find yourself in that long queue line, at least the large windows make people watching on the BoardWalk an easy sport.

Looking Out from the Inside Onto the BoardWalk

Soon you’ll get up to the bakery and dessert cases to make your selections. We’ve got LOTS more pics of these in our “Eats” Section of this review…so scroll down for the goodies!

Assorted Pastries in the Bakery Case

After you’ve made your selections and check out, it’s time to [Read more…]