From Coffee to Margaritas: The Transformation of Disney World’s BoardWalk Joe’s!

Disney is always making headlines for their big changes.

The Slow Transformation of Boardwalk Joe's from Coffee to Margaritas

Park updates like MyMagic+, Disneyland’s Cars Land, Disney World’s New Fantasyland get tons of exposure, as they should.

But I think it’s always interesting to look at the not-so-publicized changes that happen without fanfare, too.

A case in point is a little kiosk called BoardWalk Joe’s, located across from Cat Cora’s Kouzzina on the Disney World BoardWalk.

Over the last few years, Disney World has really changed its tune at this spot, transforming it from a coffee stop to a margarita place! Let’s take a look… .

It’s easy to feel nostalgic while strolling the boardwalk where BoardWalk Joe’s once specialized in coffee — we even wrote a whole post that highlighted it!

Boardwalk Joe's was all about coffee!

But a couple of  years ago, Joe’s added some specialty seasonal items, like this Caramel Apple Margarita! This was the first sign of BoardWalk Joe’s transformation…

Caramel Apple Margarita!

And the Frozen Grapefruit Margarita made a seasonal appearance last summer.

Grapefruit Margarita!

Over a couple of years, we kept seeing more and more “specialty” items via this [Read more…]

News! Rix Lounge Announces Tequila Tasting at Coronado Springs Resort

Now and then we like to explore the lesser-known hang-outs at Walt Disney World. Tucked into the main building at Coronado Springs Resort and specializing in awesome tequilas (they’re run by the same folks who run Cava del Tequila!) Rix Lounge is a unique place to unwind!

Rix Lounge Entrance

We’ve got a photo tour of this fun nightspot for you below, but first I have some super fun news to share for those of us who love tequila and beverage tastings!

Rix Lounge’s FIRST EVER Tequila Tasting

Rix Lounge will host their first ever Tequila Tasting on Saturday, March 30th, at 8pm! A tequila ambassador (Hilda, maybe?) will guide guests through the history and production process of tequila, the different types and categories of tequila, and of course a tasting.

Rix Tequila Tasting

I’m guessing this will be a LOT like the tequila tastings from the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, which have now been turned into full blown tequila lunches! The tasting will include Milagro Select Barrel Silver, Partida Reposado, and Gran Centenario Añejo. A delicious Sangrita will be the finishing touch.

Tickets are available to the general public (ages 21 and up) at $30 per person in advance, or $35 per person at the door. A table reservation is required.

Rix Lounge Photo Tour

Now, for those of you who haven’t ever been to this little-known Disney hot spot, let’s take a gander around! Here’s a photo tour for ya!!

Rix Lounge Decor

Many special events are held at Rix Lounge, including kid birthday parties and romantic weddings! So, check the schedule before planning your evening. There is [Read more…]

Review: New Lunch Menu at Whispering Canyon Cafe in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

For years, the Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney World’s Wilderness Lodge has been known for bottomless milkshakes, all-you-can-eat skillets, and a rowdy atmosphere due to the fun antics of the servers.

And with a pretty drastic menu overhaul last month, I was eager to try some of the new dishes on the now skillet-less lunch menu!

Atmosphere

Whispering Canyon Cafe is located just off of the lobby in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge resort. This is the Wilderness Lodge’s moderately priced restaurant, and it’s definitely got a lot of personality!

Honestly, the fact that the restaurant is open to the lobby has pretty much required a noise ordinance to be placed due to the raucous (though good-natured) behavior that has characterized the restaurant in the past.

Reflecting the Cowboy-and-Indian days of the old West, just about anything goes here. From hobby-horse races around the restaurant to servers interrupting cell phone calls, and pledges to “never, EVER go to Universal Studios,” Whispering Canyon has always been a laugh and a half.

warning sign - click image for larger version

naughty people riding hobby horses

In my own experience at WCC, I’ve been brought a bucket of Diet Coke after asking for too many refills…and after drinking it all, I received my very own “fastpass to the bathroom” from my server! ;-)

However, recently the antics have been toned down a bit. Keep in mind that lunchtime guests seem to have a much quieter experience than breakfast or [Read more…]

Friday Happy Hour: New Margaritas at La Cava del Tequila in Epcot

As you know, La Cava del Tequila in Epcot’s Mexico pavilion is one of my favorite pit stops on my way “around the World.”

And I was excited to see a few new margaritas on the menu when I made my last visit a few weeks ago!

A Frozen Coffee Margarita has been added for $13 (building on the popularity of their regular coffee margarita), and an Azuñia Organic Skinny Margarita is now on the menu at $14!

Skinny Margarita Close-Up

La Cava Skinny Margarita

I’ve become a bit of a connoisseur of skinny margaritas recently, since so many of them are popping up on menus around the country. (By the way, the reason they’re called “skinny” is because they’re supposed to have fewer calories than other standard margaritas — usually due to the lack of sugary margarita and sour mixes as fillers.)

Most are sharp and biting, and some are slightly metallic, but I haven’t really found one that I love. So I was interested to see what La Cava could do with [Read more…]

Review: La Cantina de San Angel

After finishing a day of the conference (the reason I’m here in Disney World is for a food blogger conference), I knew I needed a quick bite!

We’d been at seminars in the Odyssey Center all day long, and it was so nice to get out into the Epcot sunshine that I decided to STAY outside and headed right over to La Cantina de San Angel to have a snack by the World Showcase Lagoon!

Atmosphere

La Cantina de San Angel, Mexico’s counter-service restaurant in Epcot’s World Showcase, offers a refuge by the water with ample amounts of shaded seating. If you enjoy Mexican eats, need a quick bite, and fancy a margarita with your meal, La Cantina makes a great stop in your world travels.

Front of Restaurant

This location opens at 11 a.m. (along with the rest of World Showcase) and lines quickly form since Mexico is often everyone’s first stop as they begin their tour around the World!

Queue Lines

Once you grab your food, there are several options for seating. A large, circular shaded area offers great views of the Lagoon, and possibly some nice [Read more…]

Review: Epcot’s La Hacienda de San Angel

It’s been over a year since Epcot’s newest Mexican restaurant, La Hacienda de San Angel, opened its doors to great fanfare.

Our first visit there (when it first opened) was good, but not entirely memorable; so we were eager to give this spot a second try. And this time we brought along AJ’s Mom and AJ’s Dad to get their feedback!

Atmosphere

La Hacienda is a beautiful restaurant. The contemporary decor, look, and feel of the place gives off a polished, sleek Mexico-inspired vibe without being kitschy and stereotypical. The high ceilings and simple furnishings give the space a fresh, light, airy feel; but the furniture is solid and steady — a fun contrast!

Carved Wood Tables

I think it’s got one of the most soothing vistas on Disney property — a long-windowed look out onto the World Showcase Lagoon and [Read more…]

Review: High Octane Refreshments at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

EDITOR’S NOTE: Please note that High Octane Refreshments closed in early April 2016 to make way for construction of Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. 

When I was a kid, my dad and I always celebrated that Thursday was the “day before the day before the weekend!”

I don’t know about you, but this week has taken its sweet time, so I thought we should celebrate this “day before the day before the weekend” with a little happy hour… whaddya think? :-D So, we’re headed over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a visit to a place that a lot of people don’t even know is there — High Octane Refreshments!

High Octane Refreshments

Atmosphere

This spot is next to the Studio Catering Company (where you can get your eats), and pretty much blends into the background unless you’re looking for it.

There’s plenty of seating between the two restaurants as well. Unless you’re visiting on a truly busy day, you shouldn’t have to search too hard for a place to plop down. We advise that you take your refreshment to the shaded seating closer to the restaurant. It’s all hot sunshine in front of the bar!

Seating

The Signature drinks here — Stoplight Margarita, Long Island Iced Tea, Grand Margarita, Pina Colada, Rum Runner, and Frozen Golden Margaritas — aren’t necessarily mind-boggling in their creativity, but I can speak from experience that they’re highly enjoyable. Especially the Stoplight Margarita; but more about that later.

Menu and Full Bar

First, let’s look through the menu and options… [Read more…]

Review: Maya Grill at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

Hidden in Coronado Springs Resort’s El Centro, between the lobby and the Casitas section of the resort, Maya Grill offers a Latin American menu in the midst of Mayan architecture.

Atmosphere

You really do feel like you’re at the entrance to a Mayan pyramid when dining in this restaurant, and the decor — with soaring ceilings and moody lighting — is stunning. But many folks shy away from Maya Grill due to its distance from…well…just about everything.

Maya Grill sign

We arrived without a reservation, and although I could see many empty tables, we were told there would be a 45-minute wait. This was disturbing, since I think of Maya Grill to be one of the lesser-populated restaurants in Disney World. But since we were already staying at Coronado Springs (and since we had to eat here anyway so that we could cover it on the blog), we just told the hostess that we’d come back in 45 minutes, and spent the time catching up on work in our room.

When we returned, she’d [Read more…]

Disney World Margarita Gallery

This post was originally going to be a throwdown, but I had so many margaritas I wanted to share with you that it ended up being a curated gallery for heaven’s sake!

Also, I hope you guys are willing to share with me in the comments section your favorite margaritas (and maybe even your pictures of them to add to the gallery!).

Take a look through the reviews below and let me know what I’m missing! Let’s work together to make this comprehensive! :-)

Multiple Locations: Margarita Flight

Finally, if you just can’t make up your mind, head over to one of Disney World’s Mexican restaurants (they’re all run by the same company) and order a Margarita Flight! I’ve mentioned it a couple of times already here on DFB, but it’s really a great option if you’d like to try multiple different flavors.

Margarita Flight

As daily readers know, my favorites here are the Lime, Mango Blueberry, and Pineapple. Not so much with the veggies and the flowers. ;-)

You can get these at most of Disney’s Mexican food locations, including Maya Grill and Rix Lounge at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot’s World Showcase.

If you’re very, very lucky, you can also get one in my favorite place in all of Disney World — La Cava del Tequila. They are only served on certain days here.

Paradiso 37: Twisted Margarita and Regular Margarita

Paradiso 37 in Downtown Disney offers this fabulous concoction that’s half frozen sangria and half frozen margarita. Yes please! They call it the Twisted Margarita…

Twisted Margarita -- half sangria half margarita

Their classic margarita is fantastic — and just about the farthest thing from watered down you can get. Boasted as their famous Souza margarita, the Paradiso 37 lived up to its accolades!

Paradiso 37 Margarita

High Octane Refreshments: Stoplight Margarita

Over in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this little outdoor bar has quite a few offerings. Now I expected this Stoplight margarita to be the same high-alcohol, low-flavor type that we see at the Epcot Margarita kiosk (see below). But boy was I wrong!! After years of fiesta margaritas in Epcot, this was a breath of fresh air!

Mixer-mass-produced, yes — flavorless, no! I loved the mix of melon, strawberry, and lime flavors in this frozen drink. Kudos, High Octane Refreshments!

Stoplight Margarita

La Hacienda de San Angel: Orange Mango Fire Margarita

Margaritas are a specialty at La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot, and you can’t go wrong with the classic margarita here.

But for something different, try the [Read more…]

Review: Margaritas at Epcot’s La Cava del Tequila

You guys know how much I love Epcot’s new tequila bar, La Cava del Tequila. Located in the pyramid of Epcot’s Mexico pavilion, the Cava opened in August 2009 and has been a huge success!

The interior of this place is so cozy; it’s one of those hidden Walt Disney World gems that you just cherish once you find it. Heavy, painted furniture sits on large, rough tile. And the mural along the wall depicts [Read more…]