First Look! Ghirardelli Opens in Disney California Adventure

After a successful week of soft openings, Ghirardelli has “officially” opened its doors at the Disneyland Resort inside of Disney California Adventure’s Pacific Wharf area.

We were lucky enough to be invited to the ribbon cutting ceremony, where Mickey and Minnie helped welcome the park’s first independently owned and operated establishment.

Disney California Adventure Park Vice President Mary Nivan & Disneyland Resort President George Kalogridis along with Ernst Tanner CEO of Lindt & Sprungli AG

First, we’ll take a peek inside and try a sundae. Then I’ll show you a very special surprise that makes this Ghirardelli location more incredible than any other in the world… (we even have a little video of what makes it so cool).

The Unveiling!

This Ghirardelli location is the first store to be built inside of a theme park (though there is a location in Downtown Disney in Orlando, that’s not, technically, a theme park). Although the cast members at Ghirardelli have had some Disney cast member training, they are actually employees of Ghirardelli and have been taught specifically by the chocolate company. 

Ghirardelli Entrance with Some Added "Chocolatiers"

After the ribbon was cut, we were invited in to see the gorgeous new Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop! 

As you enter the shop, there are menus to peruse as well as a few registers. You place your order at a register and are then sent to one of the three pick up windows where you will be handed your order.

As a “Grand Opening” guest, I was handed one of these tasty little treats!

Mini Sundaes? Yes Please!

It wasn’t easy to eat a sundae and take photos of the store at the same time, so unfortunately I had just a few bites and then got to work. My favorite thing about a Ghirardelli sundae? Definitely the [Read more…]

First Look! Food Photos From Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe in Disney California Adventure

Update: Check out the discreet integration of Starbucks into Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe.

We’ve had a great time sharing sneak peeks of many of the new dining locations opening soon in Disney California Adventure! Be sure to check out the great menu options at Flo’s V-8 Cafe, Sally’s Cozy Cone Motel, Carthay Circle Restaurant, Trolley Treats, and Clarabelle’s Ice Cream!

And one more of the places on Buena Vista Street I am really looking forward to is the Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe. Why? Because Disney California Adventure NEEDS a good counter service spot where one can grab a great sandwich and a STARBUCKS beverage

Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe

At a recent media preview I was able to check out some of the items that will be served at the Cafe, and it looks like there will be some pretty tasty options…

Menu

I got some great photos of the dishes that will be served here at the Fiddler. The first thing I noticed about the menu, though, was that the items appeared to be very similar to what is being served over in Disneyland at the Jolly Holiday Bakery

This is not a bad thing by any means; Jolly Holiday is fantastic! Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Fiddler, Fifer & Practical will be serving a wide variety eats:

  • Breakfast: Freshly baked pastries & cinnamon rolls, breakfast sandwiches and wraps
  • Lunch and Dinner: Hot and cold sandwiches, salads, and two daily soups

A Sampler of Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe Offerings

I don’t have the “official” names of the sandwiches pictured below, but some appear to be identical to [Read more…]

Guest Review: Coronado Springs Resort’s Pepper Market

Bill Iadonisi returns with a colorful and impressive review of the Pepper Market at the Coronado Springs Resort. Take it away, Bill!

When guests vacation to Walt Disney World, they are looking forward to going on their favorite attractions, seeing World-Class shows and entertainment, and of course meeting the Disney Characters. A trip to Disney is an exciting adventure for all. But for many, the rides and attractions are just the tip of the iceberg.

I know that for myself, dining at Disney is a whole world of fun! With menu options from around the world and a huge diversity of food choices, the dining scene is a theme park unto itself.

Welcome!

While most guests hanker to dine in the parks, the resort venues are just as impressive. We know the classic restaurants such as Citricos, the California Grill and Jiko, but the resorts are also home to some of Walt Disney World’s “sleeper” restaurants.

These eateries are hidden gems with mostly low crowds, fantastic menus and easy access. Many times when the parks are booked, you can usually walk right in or have just a short wait before dining. Some of my favorites are the Kona Café and the Captain’s Grille. And here we will review; Coronado Springs Resort’s Pepper Market restaurant.

Atmosphere and Ordering Process

Pepper Market is an open food court located in the main building area of Coronado Springs Resort, called “El Centro.” It is a counter-service restaurant, although your drinks are brought to the table by a server.

But what makes this eatery special is its extensive menu and expansive dining area. Even during crowded times, you can usually find a table. It is themed after a south of the border-feel marketplace. Huge and airy, it is also very colorful, bright and gives the feeling of space versus claustrophobia — something we love in Disney restaurants.

Dining Area

As you make your way to the entrance, (next to Coronado’s table-service restaurant, the Maya Grill) you walk on terracotta tiles and past wrought iron fences adorned with green plants. Everything is vibrant and very colorful. It puts a smile on your face before you are even seated. At the entrance is a [Read more…]