Review: Dockside Margaritas at Disney Springs Marketplace

Remember the Margarita Bar that was at Downtown Disney Marketplace? Great news! It’s been given a new look and a new name…and voila, Dockside Margaritas is born!

We first told you about the new-but-not-quite new spot a while back. And ever since then, I’ve been eager to drop by and check out the new scene. So on a sweltering day last week, that’s just what I did. Let’s have a look.

Dockside Margaritas

I gotta say it — it looks awesome.

In keeping with the new Florida-forward Disney Springs theme, Dockside Margaritas looks like a little stand you’d find in the middle of a citrus grove. But they’re selling stuff that’s waaaaaay better than orange juice.

Dockside Margaritas at Disney Springs Marketplace

Dockside Margaritas at Disney Springs Marketplace

The distressed, faded sign gives the spot built-in age. But the bright citrus green and yellow palette keeps it feeling fresh.

Dockside Margaritas -- Other side

Dockside Margaritas — Other side

The open-air feeling of the bar lends to that “grove stand” feel. You can walk up and order from three of the four sides. And regardless of where you are, you always have a great view of Village Lake.

Overhead Bar Menu and the View. You Can Access the Bar From Three Sides

Overhead Bar Menu and the View. You Can Access the Bar From Three Sides

As you approach Dockside from the front — meaning the side that faces the shops, not the water — the largest area of seating is just to the right of the building. And I think that it’s really beautifully done as well. A pergola overhead gives a little protection, but still allows for plenty of sunshine. Strands of overhead lights and a stand set up for a musician hint at a scene that promises to be relaxed but festive as the sun goes down.

Seating Area

Seating Area

I can’t wait to meet friends here at night for a drink (or two).

Another View of the Patio

Another View of the Patio

Looking back onto Dockside from the larger seating area, you also note that there is bar seating. Upon closer inspection, you see two bars actually — you can face the bar and chat with the friendly staff, or stare out over the water.

Waterfront Bar Seating

Waterfront Bar Seating

View of the New Pedestrian Bridge

View of the Pedestrian Bridge

But at this point, after much deliberation, it was time to settle on a drink. So let’s take a look at the options. And this is where it gets good.

While the old spot was fine, just fine, for ordering a handful of tequila-based drinks and a couple of other options, things are way [Read more…]

Review: Flour and Sugar Cookie Kiosk at the New Downtown Disney Village Causeway

It was fun seeing some of the progress amidst all the Disney Springs construction on a recent trip to Downtown Disney. While the main purpose of my visit was to check out the new Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC, I was also able to do some exploring and check out a few new features in the area, including the recently opened Village Causeway on the Marketplace side.

Village Causeway

Village Causeway

This also gave me a chance to try a little something from Flour and Sugar, one of four new retail kiosks on the Causeway.The reason for interest in Flour and Sugar is that is specializes in cookies — and not just any cookies, but cookies inspired by the Sunshine State. Let’s have a look!

Flour & Sugar sign

Flour & Sugar sign

Atmosphere

As mentioned, Flour and Sugar itself is simply a kiosk. We’ll be exploring the stand itself momentarily, but the “atmosphere” I’m mainly referring to revolves around the Village Causeway itself, where Flour and Sugar finds its home.

Village Causeway

Village Causeway

We’ve been keeping an eye on the Causeway since its earliest construction days when it looked like this:

The beginnings of the Causeway

The beginnings of the Causeway (April 2014)

The Village Causeway allows easier access from the area surrounding T-Rex and the Lego Store to the Rainforest Cafe side of the Marketplace. The view below of Fulton’s Crab House is from the start of the bridge on the T-Rex side.

The view from the T-Rex and Lego side of the Causeway

The view from the T-Rex and Lego side of the Causeway

The Rainforest Cafe side of the Causeway

The Rainforest Cafe side of the Causeway

What used to be solely water space now provides a roomy passage, and if you’ve ever been caught in the gridlock around the World of Disney store (also rumored to receive its own expansion one of these days), I don’t need to tell you what a great thing the Causeway is.

Aside from the walkway, there are a few benches here and there to relax and take in the views, and the [Read more…]

Review: New Samosas and Naan Dipping Safari at Namaste Café Food Truck in Downtown Disney

When the Namaste Café Food Truck made its debut in Downtown Disney’s West Side last November, we happily sampled the Butter Chicken (BUTTER CHICKEN!!!!!!!!!!), a favorite dish of ours from Sanaa.

The dishes at Namaste Café were chosen to reflect some of the best cuisine to be found in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Lodge, and I remember thinking, “Cool… now, if only we could get a little of Sanaa’s fabulous bread service, we’d be set.”

But I didn’t really think it would happen. I just didn’t think the setting was conducive to it.

Well, apparently I was wrong, because IT HAS ARRIVED… kind of! Introducing, the Namaste Café Samosas and Naan Dipping Safari!!

Namaste Cafe Menu

Namaste Cafe Menu

Samosas and Naan Dipping Safari on Menu

Samosas and Naan Dipping Safari on Menu

Now, we’re talkin’!!!

Before we “dip in,” I should let you know where I found Namaste Café, because the Food Trucks are still moving all around Downtown Disney as they await their ultimate destination in the upcoming Food Truck Park.  On this most recent visit, I found it right outside of the World of Disney Store in the Marketplace.

Namaste Cafe in the Marketplace

Namaste Cafe in the Marketplace

A few [Read more…]

News! Disney Kitchen Goodies at the NEW Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney

The Marketplace Co-op just opened on Friday in Downtown Disney in Disney World, and if you’re looking for items to add to your Disney dream kitchen, your search may be over.

New Marketplace Co-op in Downtown Disney

New Marketplace Co-op in Downtown Disney

When we got a glimpse of some of the merchandise earlier this year, we thought, “Okay, this could be pretty cool.”

As it turns out… it is COMPLETELY cool!

The Marketplace Co-op is six separate “boutiques” housed inside of what once was one large store (formerly Team Mickey): Beautifully Disney, D-Tech On Demand, The Trophy Room, Cherry Tree Lane, Zoey and Pickles, and Disney Centerpiece.

Marketplace Co-op Stores

Marketplace Co-op Stores

Marketplace Co-op Stores

Marketplace Co-op Stores

The space for each section is not huge… but you will not believe the amount of fun stuff they’ve got packed in there! Being the food fans we are, we’re focusing on what’s available at the Disney Centerpiece.

Disney Centerpiece

Disney Centerpiece

The good news is, some of these items are available online, in case you aren’t able to visit the Co-op anytime soon. If you see a clickable link in our description, it will take you to the place where you can buy it!

Oh, my… where to begin?! How about Adventureland section?

Adventureland

Ceramic Dole Whip Keepsake Box

How can we not start with Dole Whips? At first glance, this ceramic Dole Whip appears to be only that – just a ceramic figurine.

Dole Whip Keepsake Box

Dole Whip Keepsake Box

However, you can lift off the lid and store a keepsake in the Dole Whip’s bowl.

Dole Whip Keepsake Box

Dole Whip Keepsake Box

I think this would look SO AWESOME on a desk!

Aloha Isle Hurricane Glasses

If you prefer a different homage to your beloved Dole Whip, these Aloha Isle Hurricane Glasses might do the trick.

Aloha Isle Hurricane Glasses

Aloha Isle Hurricane Glasses

Cheers!

Aloha Plates

These “Aloha” plates measure in at 7 inches, for appetizers or desserts… or both ;) .

Aloha Plates

Aloha Plates

Color choices are red, blue, and green.

Aloha Bowls

The companion “Aloha” bowls also come in three color choices: [Read more…]

News and Photo Tour: The Downtown Disney Marketplace Starbucks is Now Open!

So, we thought we’d give you a quick glimpse at the newest java stop in Downtown Disney… the Marketplace Starbucks is open and ready for business (with another one coming to the West Side soon). Let’s have a look!

Downtown Disney Marketplace Starbucks

Downtown Disney Marketplace Starbucks

You’ll find the location tucked in between the front entrances into the World of Disney store.

Marketplace Starbucks at World of Disney

Marketplace Starbucks at World of Disney

The first thing you’ll likely notice is the Starbucks Coffee signage in front of the signature green siren logo. The A frame mirrors those of the entrances to the store.

Starbucks Coffee Signage

Starbucks Coffee Signage

From that point, what you see is what you get! This location is walk-up only, with no seating other than the regular tables around Downtown Disney. This is a spot for grabbing your beverage and continuing your stroll.

Front view of Marketplace Starbucks

Front view of Marketplace Starbucks

Speaking of beverages, all the Starbucks favorites are here… as well as some of that new “Oprah Chai” you may have heard about.

Beverage Menu

Beverage Menu

Beverage Menu

Beverage Menu

One day I’m gonna order that, just to hear myself say it: “Oprah Chai me!”

Anyhoo, there is also an assortment of standard Starbucks snacks, including pastries from the new “La Boulangerie” line of treats that may have made it to your local store.

Starbucks food window

Starbucks food window

Cookies by the register

Cookies by the register

You simply walk up to one of the two ordering windows…

Ordering windows

Ordering windows

… then pick up your beverage on the side. After that, you’re all set to visit the rest of the shops and restaurants, with a little caffeine boost to help you along.

Left side pickup window

Left side pickup window

Right side pickup window

Right side pickup window

While that’s the basic gist, there are a few cool details to share. Only viewable from [Read more…]

Construction Update: Two Starbucks Locations Coming to Downtown Disney Orlando

As Downtown Disney begins its transformation in earnest into what will be Disney Springs, signs of change are popping up everywhere!

Disney Springs Artwork on construction walls

Disney Springs artwork on construction walls

Disney Springs Artwork on construction walls

Disney Springs artwork on construction walls

Disney Springs Artwork on construction walls

Disney Springs artwork on construction walls

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the two (that’s right… two) areas that are adding Starbucks locations for guests to grab their skinny half-calf extra hot no foam sugar-free vanilla lattes.

Starbucks arriving to Downtown Disney in the spring

Starbucks arriving at Downtown Disney in the spring

We thought we’d give you a glimpse of their future homes so you can know where you’ll be able to find your triple venti upside-down Caramel Macchiato after polishing off a Full Montague at Earl of Sandwich.

First up: Starbucks at the Marketplace. This location will be [Read more…]

News! Lava Lounge Opens at Rainforest Café in Disney World’s Downtown Disney

Woo!! After a lengthy renovation, the Lava Lounge recently opened in the Rainforest Café in Disney World! Here’s another great “no-reservation-needed” location to pick up a full meal in the World…

Lava Lounge

The big draw here is the possibility of having NO wait to dine. While it’s truly a jungle in the dining room, the Lava Lounge is equally appealing.

Lava Lounge underneath the erupting volcano!

With waterfront views, a quieter ambiance, and a family-friendly atmosphere, it’s a place for the whole family to unwind outdoors. In fact, it might just be the place for your family if you have kids that are timid about the simulated thunderstorms and loud animals inside the dining room.

Gorillas can get loud inside!

Of course, your crew will have to be somewhat adventurous as you’ll hear the volcanic “eruptions” that take place each evening.

Recent exterior renovations added an erupting volcano that puts on a mighty display in sync with a light and sound show. Don’t be surprised if your kids ask to dine here while wandering Downtown Disney! And without a reservation, you now know to head to the Lava Lounge!

Eats

And we love that not only can you order from the full restaurant menu, but the Lava Lounge also has some exclusive menu items! We can’t wait to try the Volcanic Sliders or Tectonic Tacos. And the Jungle Runner is one of the more popular adult beverages!

We already know that a meal at the Rainforest Café is made more memorable when ordering the Sparkling Volcano for dessert. (Seriously — this thing is awesome! You can see our [Read more…]