Guest Review: Gasparilla Grill and Games at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort


Editor’s Note: The lobster mac and cheese is no longer offered at Gasparilla Island Grill.

Thanks to Chantel B. for sending along these great photos and mini-reviews from Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort’s Gasparilla Grill and Games!

Gasparilla Grill and Games overlooks the marina at Disney’s Grand Floridian. Open 24-hours (!!!), this quick-service restaurant makes a great late night stop when leaving the Magic Kingdom. Dinner items are served until 11:30 p.m., then late night snacks are available overnight.

Dining indoors can be a bit noisy since this space also functions as the arcade. For a view of Cinderella’s Castle (and a quieter atmosphere) in the distance, dine at an outdoor table.

View from Gasparilla Grill

You can check out our full review with more atmosphere pics here! But let’s take a look at Chantel’s reviews of some very popular Gasparilla dishes…

Lobster Macaroni & Cheese

If you’re not staying at the Grand Floridian, this dish is worth a trip to the resort! The Lobster meat was small, not chunked. And the gruyere cheese blend had a nice creamy texture.

Lobster Mac and Cheese

Chicken Sandwich plus Mozzarella & Tomato Salad

Served on a wheat bun, this sandwich had a nice flavor (obviously marinated) and not dry! The salad was [Read more…]

News! Disney Chef Scott Hunnel Named James Beard Award Semi-Finalist; Wolfgang Puck To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Each year the James Beard Foundation spotlights the best food and beverage professionals by bestowing the Beard Awards — considered one of the highest culinary honors in North America!

The semifinalists in the 2012 Restaurant and Chef categories have been announced, and we’re thrilled to see two Disney chefs on the list! In addition, several Orlando-area chefs were also named. The finalists will be announced on March 19, 2012, in Las Vegas. And we’ll be cheering on our faves when the winners are announced on May 7th in New York City!

Best Chef – South, Semi-Finalists

Scott Hunnel, Victoria & Albert’s Restaurant
Congratulations to award-winning chef, Scott Hunnel of Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa! Under Hunnel’s innovative leadership, Victoria and Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort has won many prestigious local, national, and international nods.

This exclusive restaurant has also won nine consecutive AAA Five Diamond Awards and twenty consecutive Mobil Travel Guide Four Star Awards.

Chef Scott Hunnel

James and Julie Petrakis, The Ravenous Pig
The Ravenous Pig is located in Winter Park, FL, very close to Orlando and Walt Disney World. Stop in for “an American gastropub experience” — casual dining with [Read more…]

Guest Review: Grand Floridian’s Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Lounge

We’re welcoming back guest author Melissa Sue as she shares a review of the Grand Floridian’s afternoon tea!

My husband, Rob, and I headed to the Grand Floridian for an afternoon tea experience in December.

Grand Floridian

Atmosphere

After hopping off the monorail we found the waiting area for the Garden View Lounge, which is located on the bottom floor of the Main Building lobby. The waiting area is extremely charming — though too small — and has Beauty and the Beast characters Chip and Mrs. Potts inlaid into the tile floor. How cute!

Mrs. Potts is the perfect Disney touch outside the tea room!

This Chip won’t blow bubbles in your tea!

The check-in podium was easy to locate and well-appointed. Unfortunately, there were only two seats in the waiting area, so we were mostly standing while we waited.

The check-in podium, on the south east side of the Main Building at Grand Floridian.

And, boy, did we wait. I should preface this by saying that the Tea Room was obviously either overbooked or understaffed the day of our tea. Our party of two waited for [Read more…]

Walt Disney World New Year’s Eve Dining and Special Events

Ringing in New Year 2012 from Walt Disney World? It’s going to be a memorable night! Call 407-WDW-DINE for holiday dining information and reservations! Here are some of your options for dining on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day:

Disney Resorts and Event Spaces

Boardwalk
Atlantic Dance Hall
Dance into the New Year at Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk
8 p.m. to 2 a.m., ages 21 and up.

Video DJ Tony Zapulla will play hits on the main dance floor. Beverages will be for sale from three different bars. There will be limited viewing of Epcot’s fireworks.

$37 (gratuity not included) for access to the main floor of the Dance Hall.
$80 for a VIP ticket that allows guests entrance to a private 2nd floor area with guaranteed seating and access to a private upstairs balcony for “limited” viewing of the fireworks. In addition, you’ll be able to indulge at a Dessert Station and private VIP bar. Cocktail service will also be offered.

Dress Attire: Business Casual or Formal

Parking:
Parking passes for the self parking lot will be given with advance purchases. Parking not guaranteed to be available for same day purchase.
Contemporary Resort
Chef Mickey’s (New Year’s Day brunch)
California Grill will host an evening of elegance!
$550 per person.

View of Castle from our California Grill Table

Entertainment will include casino-style games, live music and Disney characters. Enjooy food stations and beverages while watching [Read more…]

2011 Gingerbread Holiday Display Pins

New pins were released to commemorate the 2011 Gingerbread Holiday Displays. These pins would make wonderful gifts for the Disney food fan and/or pin trader in your life! Get them at the individual Gingerbead locations in the Deluxe Resorts, or by calling WDW Mail Order (info at the bottom of this post)!

The Beach Club‘s traditional carousel is highlighted on this adorable pin.

Beach Club Pin

Beach Club Resort 2011 Gingerbread Carousel

Stitch has taken over the bakery at the Boardwalk Inn. Stop by to see this gingerbread display and pick up a pin!

Boardwalk Pin

Boardwalk Inn Gingerbread Display 2011

Stitch Took Over the Bakery Display in the Lobby!

At the Grand Floridian, the Gingerbread house beckons guests to [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: December 11, 2011

Gluhwein in Epcot's Germany

We’re in Walt Disney World this weekend eating lots of good stuff and capturing tons of great photos to share with you as you plan your upcoming Disney trips, including a new caramel apple margarita, an ice cream cookie sandwich filled with pumpkin ice cream, and even a caramel-fudge-cookie sundae that only costs one Disney Dining Plan snack credit!

Speaking of upcoming trips, here’s a bit of Disney food news to keep you in the loop!

Weekly Disney Food News

Want more news? Stop by our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis! And don’t forget to follow along on our 2011 Holiday Dining page!

Disney Food Blog Gift Certificates Make Great Gifts For Disney Fans!

Our popular Disney Food Blog Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, and new DFB Dining Adventures e-Books have been very popular, and now there’s a way for you to give them as gifts to your friends and family!

Using our new Disney Food Blog e-Book Gift Certificates, you can instantly give all of this great dining info and advice to your favorite Disney fan, and it’s EASY! Get all of the details — and great holiday discounts — at http://dfbguide.com/giftcertificates!

Don’t let your friends and family go to Disney World unprepared. Get a DFB Gift Certificate for your favorite Disney fan today!

On to the Round-Up!

WDW For Grown-Ups takes a look at Adult-Friendly Character Meals! Great idea!!

WESH.com names Top 5 Holiday Food Picks at Walt Disney World — written by yours truly!

Goofy at Cape May Cafe -- an Adult-Friendly character meal!

Daveland Blog reminisces about a long-lost Disneyland coffee shop.

DisMarks has another great Disney Blog Carnival this week with lots of fun Disney food articles!

Stuff from the Park travels back in time to take a look at a 1970s menu from the American Egg House at Disneyland.

MiceChat.com reviews dining with diabetes aboard the Disney Dream.

BabyCakes NYC Blog shares the news that Downtown Disney’s Babycakes Bakery will now fulfill vegan and gluten-free cake orders for Disney World resort guests!

Main St. Gazette checks out the scene at Epcot’s Sommerfest! Happy Birthday, Ryan!!

Disney Weddings Blog highlights a new trend — mashed potato bars!

2011 Gingerbread Displays at the Grand Floridian and Contemporary Resorts

Each holiday season, magical (and edible!) gingerbread creations are made for the enjoyment of guests of many Walt Disney World resorts.

It takes thousands of hours to build the enormous gingerbread displays, along with countless cups of sugar and a whole lot of patience. And in addition to the displays, storefronts are devised (the ones at the Grand Floridian and in Epcot are inside the Gingerbread Houses) to sell holiday goodies.

Let’s take a look at the 2011 displays fashioned for the Grand Floridian and Contemporary Resorts. Thanks to my Dad who shot these photos just after Thanksgiving!

Contemporary Resort

It’s an enormous tree made from Gingerbread shingles in front of a Mary Blair-esque It’s A Small World facade.

Holiday Display

I LOVE that his year’s gingerbread shingles are embossed with a golden Mickey! These are an awesome take-home souvenir!

Gingerbread Shingle

But when a shingle isn’t enough, just get the whole house! Most gingerbread displays in Disney World will offer the option to purchase a decorated gingerbread house to take home.

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread Cupcake Ornaments! These [Read more…]

Walt Disney World Gingerbread Holiday Displays for 2011

Holiday Chef at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…in Disney World, anyway! And it will be looking even more so very soon!

As we look forward to the holidays in our favorite Disney parks, let’s take a look at when to expect the artful decor to go on display this year. And we’ll look back to the gingerbread displays from past holidays to warm our spirits (and appetites) for now!

These displays will be created by the WDW Food and Beverage team. Sometimes you can even watch the chefs put on the finishing touches! And don’t forget to check out the limited edition Gingerbread Display pins coming out this year!

Please note that information is subject to change.

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House

(Gingerbread House was scheduled to open on November 14th)

As your eyes try to take in the enormous Christmas tree in the lobby, your sense of smell will lead you toward the 16 foot tall Gingerbread House located in the lobby of the Grand Floridian Resort.

Grand Floridian 2010 Gingerbread House

It takes over 400 hours to bake the 10,000+ pieces of gingerbread! Last year’s house was amazing, and one of our colleagues snapped some pics of the construction this year! Thanks to Carla at Hoperatives for these!

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House Construction 2011

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House Construction 2011

Don’t forget that you can purchase a treat made from a classic Austrian gingerbread recipe right inside the Gingerbread House!! Freshly baked items will include [Read more…]

Guest Review: Epcot Food and Wine Festival’s Party for the Senses

Please welcome guest author Melissa Sorrells Galley with a review of the October 15th, 2011, Party for the Senses at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Thanks to Melissa for TONS of awesome and useful PftS tips!!

Party for the Senses is a truly magical dining event offered on Saturday nights throughout the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. Bringing food and beverage specialists from around the world in one giant, colorful pavilion, the Party takes place in the World Showplace, located between the United Kingdom and Canada pavilions on the west side of the World Showcase Lagoon.

Signage outside World Showplace

Atmosphere

Parties this year last from 7:30-10pm. Cost is $145 per person, and $260 for the Wine View Lounge (not including park admission, which is required). In addition to the wonderful food and drink, the ticket price includes performances by the artists and entertainers of Cirque Du Soleil La Nouba during the Party as well as reserved seating for the Eat to the Beat Concert prior to the Party.

Check In
When you arrive, there will be a huge throng of people gathering outside the gates of the World Showplace Pavilion. Resist the urge to join them! Check in for Party for the Senses is located near the [Read more…]

Review: Epcot Food and Wine Festival Party for the Senses

So this is pretty exciting — I finally got to attend a Party for the Senses at this year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

For those who aren’t sure what I’m talking about (I know — “Party for the Senses” can sound a bit odd!), the Party for the Senses is held most Saturdays during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival each year. This exclusive event impresses the taste buds, of course, but it also aims to awaken all of your senses. During this 2 1/2 hour extravaganza, food and beverages flow freely as awe-inspiring entertainment is performed by Cirque du Soleil, La Nouba.

Party for the Senses at World Showplace Pavilion in Epcot (Photo copyright Disney)

There are two more parties being offered this year — November 5, and November 12 — for $145 per ticket (plus you’ll need Epcot park admission). Note that the Wine View Lounge upgrade, which includes private tables ($260) is sold out. Reservations can be made at 407-WDW-FEST or at Disneyworld.com/foodandwine.

Interestingly, the artfully prepared menus (including chefs and vinters) change, so your party may not have the same offerings as the one that we attended.

Now that we have the specs out of the way, let’s get into the meat of the night!

Atmosphere

We attended the Party for the Senses during the “Deluge of 2011,” as I like to call it. That’s right; we got all gussied up and sloshed over to Epcot on October 8th. When we arrived at the World Showplace [Read more…]