Review: Creamsicle Float and Nutella Brownie Sundae at Vivoli il Gelato in Disney Springs

Boy, oh boy… do we ever have a treat for you today!

Actually, make that TWO treats. Because when we saw a sign at Vivoli il Gelato for the new Creamsicle Float and Nutella Brownie Sundae, it was a no-brainer to to get them both.

Vivoli il Gelato celebrated its one year anniversary in The Landing of Disney Springs in June. Since its arrival last summer, we’ve gained so many new eateries all over Disney Springs that it’s been difficult to have a chance to revisit some of the additions that joined the scene waaaaay back in the day — as in, 2015 ;) . But there is still so much to discover about these relatively new spots that we’re excited to step back into Vivoli il Gelato — the second storefront for the family-run gelato shop based in Florence, Italy.

Here’s the shop (it can be hard to spot, so just head towards the higher profile landmark of The Boathouse, look across the street, and Voila!)…

Vivoli il Gelato

Vivoli il Gelato

And here’s that sign we mentioned for the two new creations: The Nutella Brownie Sundae and the Creamsicle Float! [Read more…]

News: Vivoli il Gelato Debuts Tiramisu Gelato for a Limited Time

We’d like to wish a very Happy Birthday to Vivoli il Gelato!

That’s right – the Disney Springs gelateria is turning a year old! This spot has been serving scoops of housemade gelato (with many ingredients imported directly from Italy), sorbet, specialty espresso beverages and baked goods since last June when it first opened its doors.

What a difference a year makes, huh? Since Vivoli il Gelato opened, it has been joined in Disney Springs by spots like Joffrey’s Tea Traders Café, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, Morimoto Asia, and The Ganachery… and that’s JUST in The Landing neighborhood alone!

All of that makes this first birthday for Vivoli il Gelato even more momentous, seeing as it can now be considered one of the bona fide veterans of the Disney Springs dining locations added over the past year.

Vivoli il Gelato

Vivoli il Gelato

And to celebrate the anniversary, the spot will be serving a limited-run flavor for THIS WEEKEND ONLY! While supplies last, Disney Springs guests will have the chance to try a custom-made Tiramisu Gelato, based on the traditional Italian dessert. [Read more…]

Review: Lunch at Magic Kingdom’s Tortuga Tavern (Updated BBQ Menu)

AHOY, me mateys!

Are ye ready to join us for some grub and grog while we check out the updated menu over at Tortuga Tavern?

We let you all know a couple of months back that a new menu was being introduced at this seasonally-open spot in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland. Granted, it wasn’t a huge surprise at the time, considering that Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café had also debuted a new Mexican-based menu of its own that greatly resembled the Tavern’s previous menu.

These days when you find the Tavern open, you’ll instead find barbecue options. Which makes total sense because everyone knows that pirates love nothing more than feasting on brisket and Texas toast or veggie salads while taking a break from all their pirate-y adventures. (I know, I know, there IS some great BBQ in the Caribbean. ;-D)

Tortuga Tavern Sign

Tortuga Tavern Sign

Either way, it’s time to step back into this hangout for land-bound pirates once more. Goodness knows it’s rarely serving, so we need to get it while the gettin’s good! [Read more…]

Review: Candy Cane and Gingerbread Gelato at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

One of my favorite parts of this time of year is seeing all of the Gingerbread House Displays at the Disney World Resort Hotels! Better yet, I love spying all of the new festive sweets available at the displays. And this year, The Boardwalk Inn is hosting not only an updated display, but a few new treats as well… .

For the past few years, the BoardWalk Inn has returned to celebrating its turn-of-the-century Atlantic seashore theme with its gingerbread display.

Ginger’s Bread and Cookie Shoppe

Ginger’s Bread and Cookie Shoppe

For 2015, the simultaneous display and shop (a la the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House) has been reimagined as Ginger’s Bread and Cookie Shoppe. [Read more…]

Close-Up! The 2015 Disney World Resort Gingerbread Displays

All over the World, it’s GINGERBREAD TIME!!! It’s a wonderful holiday tradition to feast your eyes on the larger-than-life Gingerbread Displays at several Deluxe Disney World Resorts before you feast your tummy on all the festive treats available during your visit!

Disney World Gingerbread House Tour

Disney World Gingerbread House Tour

We’re going to take you on a visit to the major Gingerbread hot spots in Disney World, and we’ll start our Gingerbread tour at the Epcot area resorts…

Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts

My  personal favorite is the Gingerbread Carousel found at the Beach Club. I always love to spot the new horses each year making their way on the Merry-Go-Round!

Beach Club Gingerbread Carousel

Beach Club Gingerbread Carousel

We’d love to introduce you to this year’s team of horses… here’s Julia! [Read more…]

First Look and Review: The New Vivoli Gelateria in Disney World’s Disney Springs

Welcome to your newest cold snack stop in The Landing at Downtown Disney… Vivoli Gelateria (also known as Vivoli Il Gelato)!

Vivoli Gelateria outside 3

Of course, calling it a “cold snack stop” hardly does it justice. For a brand new place on the Disney dining scene, it’s rich with a history that began in Florence, Italy, in 1932, when Raphael Vivoli became one of the founders of the business.

Vivoli Sign

Vivoli Sign

Plus, that little “cold snack” we’re referring to is gelato crafted using many ingredients such as cocoa powder, pistachio, and hazelnut directly from Italy.

Just a few flavors in store

Just a few flavors in store

I can’t wait anymore! Let’s [Read more…]

News! Vivoli Gelateria Coming Soon to The Landing in Downtown Disney

Things got pretty exciting a few weeks ago when Disney announced more future Disney Springs dining spots.

Concept Art for Disney Springs' Town Center

Concept Art for Disney Springs’ Town Center

After all, some of the names on the list were already familiar to plenty of DFB readers, based in many cases on their location in the country. Some folks may be lucky enough to live near a Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, and The Edison in Los Angeles already has quite a name for itself. Sprinkles Cupcakes? Yeah, I know that place! There’s one not too far from me, and it’s pretty rad.

However, there was a name on the list that didn’t ring quite as familiar… and there’s a pretty cool reason why. Vivoli Gelateria is a family-run business that only has one other location — and that’s in Florence, Italy.

Silvana Vivoli of Vivoli Gelateria ©Disney

Silvana Vivoli of Vivoli Gelateria ©Disney

Disney has announced that its second-ever storefront will be opening soon at The Landing of Disney Springs (the same area that The Boathouse and Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC now call home).

In fact, during a walkthrough of Downtown Disney the other night, we happened to spot the signage for ourself, right across from where Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar will be located. Here are a few shots of the brightly lit sign and the list of flavors posted outside the door. (Apologies for the not-great shots. :-) )

Vivoli Gelato Sign at Night

Vivoli Gelato Sign at Night

Vivoli Gelato Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Vivoli Gelato Menu — Click to Enlarge

The new location will use the same recipes from its original location (the business itself was founded in 1932). And it will also [Read more…]

New “Frozen” Gingerbread Display Debuts at Disney World’s Contemporary Resort

It’s time to ring in the season with the famous Disney World Resort Gingerbread Displays!

While displays throughout various resorts are in different stages towards completion, the Contemporary Resort has debuted its brand new 2014 Gingerbread Display themed to (shocker, I know) Frozen!

Contemporary Resort Gingerbread Display

Contemporary Resort Gingerbread Display

This impressive display brings together current and classic as the Frozen characters are designed in the vintage style of Mary Blair, as is fitting for the Contemporary. And the whole thing (which looks a lot like a Norwegian Stave Church) is set against a pretty familiar looking background. It’s Arendelle meets “it’s a small world.”

Contemporary Resort Gingerbread Display sign

Contemporary Resort Gingerbread Display sign

Frozen Friends

Frozen Friends

"It's a Small World" design

“It’s a Small World” design

As always, there are some great fun facts regarding the ingredients that make up this enormous display!

Ingredients!

Ingredients!

And those 14 Hidden Olafs? Just look among the characters to locate a few.

Olaf... and teeny tiny Olaf

Olaf… and teeny tiny Olaf

See the sliver of silver on the bottom left? That’s one!

Directly next to the display is a counter topped with gingerbread selling [Read more…]

Review: Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

In my opinion, Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano in Disney’s Hollywood Studios has always been hit or miss.

But on my last two visits, it was exceptional. I couldn’t wait to re-visit another year later and see if that was still the case. And, I gotta say, this place is still a hidden gem. I would, in all honestly, choose this restaurant over several signature restaurants on Disney property right now. Let’s take a look at the details.

Atmosphere

When we arrived for a late night advance dining reservation during an Extra Magic Hours night, Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano was teeming with hungry guests. You get a sense of Mama’s random story before you ever enter the doors. The Mona Lisa, wearing shades, in front of the Hollywood Sign? Yeah, I don’t get it either.

Outside Wall

Outside Wall as You Approach Mama’s

The flimsy “backstory” unfolds: Mama was once an aspiring actress who began to cook her traditional dishes for friends while she was trying to become a star. Her dreams of acting fame may have faded, but she found another route into the hearts of the masses — her cooking. And Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano was born.

Entrance

Entrance to Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano

Even if the backstory still doesn’t make any sense to me after all this time, that doesn’t mean the restaurant isn’t kind of fun to look around. It’s a mix of old world meets Hollywood…and every year that goes by means Mama’s decor becomes even more antiquated.

One of my favorite touches is the wall-o-1980s-stars. These headshots crack me up! It’s like a who’s who of the year the Studios opened. (I always have to scout out Mary Fran.)

Podium and Entrance from the Waiting Area

Podium and Entrance from the Waiting Area

Other decor elements feature kitschy goodies from Mama’s collection.

In Vino Veritas!

In Vino Veritas!

More chances to look for your favorite late 20th century actors await you at the restroom entrance. And check out this guy we saw above the doorway…

Celebrity Pictures Outside the Restrooms

Celebrity Pictures Outside the Restrooms

These little Olafs-on-a-stick are part of the Frozen promotion in Hollywood Studios! Guess someone thought he’d be right at home here on a gondola?

Olaf -- This Guy is Everywhere

Olaf — This Guy is Everywhere

Walk through the large arch and past the kitchen, and the restaurant opens before you. Be sure to peek at the pizza oven as you walk by!

Show Kitchen

Show Kitchen

Once you’re in the dining area, pause to take a look around. The walls are covered with some fun stuff, including tons of albums. That’s right, kids — [Read more…]

Review: Espresso Gelato “Affogato” in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

We’re in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion, and that means it’s GELATO TIME!!!

Unless, of course, it’s pizza time, but for now we’re just going to focus on the sweet stuff :).

Italy’s simple Gelato Stand is located just before you enter the Pavilion coming from Germany.

Gelato Stand

Gelato Stand

We’ve enjoyed grabbing Gelato Ice Cream Sandwiches during a stroll or two around World Showcase, and you can always get a scoop of your choice of gelato in a cone or cup.

Gelato Selections

Gelato Selections

But there are some additional items on the menu as well. For instance, the Coppa Delizia pretty much rocked our world. Given that bit of awesomeness, we were curious to try one of the other “Gelato Creations” (designated as such on the menu): the Espresso Gelato “Affogato.”

Gelato Stand menu

Gelato Stand menu

I’m going to steal the description directly from the menu: this creation is “Italian Espresso poured over Fior di Latte Gelato topped with chocolate coffee beans.” And here’s what it looks like:

Espresso Gelato Affogato

Espresso Gelato Affogato

You’re getting a few treats in one here: a scoop of vanilla gelato, a shot of espresso, and several accompaniments: two simple cookies, chocolate coffee beans, and a wafer “straw”. By the way, am I right that the cookies stuck just so into the scoop of gelato make a Mickey?

Mickey?

Is that you, Mickey?

Affogato means “drowned,” and that pretty much sums up the consistency of this gelato creation. The weird thing is, even though [Read more…]