News: Restaurant and Bar Refurbishments at Disney World’s Old Key West Resort

As those who have stayed there will know, Old Key West Resort in Walt Disney World has a special feel all its own. It was the first Disney Vacation Club (DVC) Resort, and, to many guests, it really is a home away from home.

Old Key West Resort

Old Key West Resort

Recently we stopped by to see the results of some recent refurbishments in the dining spots here.

Good’s Foods to Go

We’ll start with a change at Good’s Foods To Go, the Resort’s Quick Service option.

Good's Food To Go Sign

Good’s Food To Go Sign

While the menu is unchanged (you’ll still find the Conch Chowder!), the beverage refill station now opens up into a hallway that allows guests to enter the area from the side coming from the pool as well as the front.

Good's Food To Go

Good’s Food To Go

Beverage Station at Good's Food To Go

Beverage Station at Good’s Food To Go

This helps the area feel less cramped and more easily accessible, and the natural light coming in brightens the overall space.

Good's Food To Go facing beverage station area

Good’s Food To Go facing beverage station area

Gurgling Suitcase Updates

Our next stop is right next door at the Gurgling Suitcase. This little bar is well-loved… and with good reason.

Gurgling Suitcase

Gurgling Suitcase

Gurgling Suitcase

Gurgling Suitcase

While the general set-up is the same (the space itself remains in the same area and has retained its intimate size), the decor has gone through some changes. The difference that [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: March 21, 2010

fessparkerwineLots happening on the Disney news front this week as we mourn Fess Parker, a man known for deeply affecting both the Disney and Food communities with his careers. In case you haven’t seen it, Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide features a wonderful write-up of Mr. Joseph’s dinner with the late Fess Parker during the 1992 Walt Disney World Village Wine Festival.

Before we start the round-up, here’s a reminder of a couple of Disney food-related news items:

  1. The Wine and Dine Half Marathon and Mickey Halloween Family Fun Run 5K details and registration information have been announced.
  2. Napa Rose is holding a Wine Pairing Dinner this Wednesday, hosted by the Napa Valley Vintners. Click on the link for reservation information.

And now, on to the Round-Up:

Main Street Gazette allows me to breathe a sigh of relief that Artist Point seems to be regaining some of the culinary expertise I’ve found lacking in my recent trips. Absolutely gorgeous food here!

Magical Kingdoms Disney Blog has a review of Walt’s — An American Restaurant in Disneyland Resort Paris. Food pics here from the adult menu, teenagers menu, and kids menu, so go take a look!

Inside John’s Locker (John, of course, being Mr. Owner’s Locker himself) shares the story of Olivia Farnsworth, the namesake of Olivia’s in Disney’s Old Key West Resort.

Dining With the Mouse has posted some mouth-watering food photos from her several Disneyland trips over the past few months. Definitely getting me excited for my DL trip in a month!

MousePlanet reports that Disneyland Chefs will be participating in demo events at area Bloomingdales Department Stores the weekend of March 24-26.

Chip and Co has a lovely article reviewing Disney World’s Biergarten…with a pretty funny icebreaker story to boot!

Watch Me Eat takes us back to Tangierine Cafe this week! We just can’t get enough!

Tasty Chomps visits the Fife and Drum Tavern in Epcot’s World Showcase. (Note/Warning: very close-up photo of a Turkey Leg if you’ve never seen one…)

The Daily Disney has one of my favorite recipes this week: Pop Century’s Fried Chicken! (Also love this Mickey’s Premium Bar antenna topper that theme park ranger DeWayne Bevil found…)

Dining In Disney World With Kids: Part 1

Introducing the Disney Food Blog Dining in Disney World With Kids two-part series! Thanks to Zannaland for guest blogging Part 1, where she includes a few of her favorite family secrets. And stay tuned for tomorrow’s Part 2 in the series, where Disney World Moms Panelists determine the best dining locations for kids of certain ages. There are some very informative and surprising ideas that I think you’ll enjoy!

Parent or not, the wonderful dining options and experiences for kids at Disney World are no secret. But what if you don’t want to spend your entire vacation doing character meals? (Not that there’s anything wrong with those — they offer some of the best food on property!) What I’d like to share are some of the dining secrets we’ve discovered over the years as the best options for something different. They may just become regular favorites for your family!

Best Location For a Nap

    maya

  • Maya Grill - This restaurant became a favorite of ours during a stay at Coronado Springs Resort when we were unable to secure a breakfast reservation anywhere else. We had been to Maya Grill for dinner on its opening night, but hadn’t tried it for breakfast. We were so pleasantly surprised by the food as well as the fact that it was not crowded at all. It was nice to enjoy a peaceful, leisurely breakfast for a change. For that reason, it makes it a great location for a stroller-bound child to enjoy a nap without interruption. The location also makes for some lovely scenery as you walk off your meal.
  • Columbia Harbor House - Magic Kingdom’s hustle and bustle excitement is sometimes too much for the littlest guests, and all the over-stimulation leads to not wanting to nap at all. Columbia Harbor House is a respite from that stimulation. The dark paneling and dimly lit interior ensure no distractions for tired kids. Even on the hottest of days, it’s always cool and calm inside. Sometimes, the second floor is open for even more secluded dining. Once they wake up, there are some great kids’ favorites here like Mac & Cheese and Chicken Nuggets.

Best Entertainment

    sanaa

  • Sanaa - Animals are perhaps the most engaging entertainment for little kids. Young kids are just learning different animals’ names and habitats, but even older kids will be fascinated by the on-going show happening just outside the dining room windows at Sanaa, located in Disney’s Kidani Village in Animal Kingdom
    Lodge. The best part is the show is completely unpredictable and different each time you visit. Your server is also able to tell you more about the animals as well as the unique cooking options offered at Sanaa, making it a great learning experience for all.
  • Germany’s Biergarten - One of my fondest childhood memories at Disney World is seeing the German Ocktoberfest show in Epcot’s World Showcase for the first time. More than just the great music and singing, guests are invited onto the dance floor to show off their best polka moves. Wonderful memories and photo opportunities are to be had here watching kids dance with parents and grandparents. It’s also an easy-to-walk-in location if you don’t have reservations.

Best Kids’ Activities

  • Olivia’s - Disney Food Blog’s recent entry about Olivia’s reminded me of this favorite spot, located at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. Amazing food and scenery aside, Olivia’s offers a special treat for all children – Olivia’s Artist of the Day. Upon arrival, kids are given a coloring sheet and crayons to color however they wish. Then they turn in their masterpieces, and twice a day – morning and evening – cast members choose an Artist of the Day. The chosen artwork is displayed at the front hostess stand, and the winning child gets to ring a bell in celebration. Despite the sibling rivalry when my son was chosen first, both kids were chosen during our stay and it made for quite the memorable experience.
  • Whispering Canyon Cafe Warnings

    Whispering Canyon Cafe Warnings

    Whispering Canyon Cafe - This is perhaps not a real secret to many Disney World fans, but I couldn’t pass up talking about it. Whispering Canyon Cafe offers some of the best entertainment around, and there really isn’t a set show at all! Here, your servers are the entertainment, often yelling back and forth to each other and joking around. For even more fun, ask for ketchup. (If you’re shy, sit back and wait for someone else to ask for it; I’ve never been there when someone hasn’t asked for ketchup, and the fun ensues.) There are also several times when kids can engage in pony races using wooden hobby horses. There is definitely no shortage of entertainment for kids and adults here.

Olivia’s at Old Key West Resort

Tucked into the beautiful dock-side Turtle Krawl district at Disney World’s Old Key West Resort is Olivia’s restaurant. This relaxed table-service spot is probably one of the more underrated dining spots in Disney World.

One of the Photo Walls at Olivia's

One of the Photo Walls at Olivia's

The atmosphere is right-off-the-beach — casual and classic Florida keys. The walls are covered with memorabilia, including sections dedicated to the Old Key West Resort’s Disney Vacation Club family album. After all, Old Key West was Disney’s premier Vacation Club property and has quite a family tree by now!

Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you can stroll in anytime for a bite. And although you can make advanced dining reservations for Olivia’s, you may not need them during less busy seasons at Disney World.

Dining Table and Photo Wall

Dining Table and Photo Wall

Olivia's Has a Relaxed, Casual Atmosphere

Olivia's Has a Relaxed, Casual Atmosphere

Olivia's Menu

Olivia's Menu

The menu is just as casual as the decor, and there are some delicious options to try. For breakfast, consider the Banana Bread French Toast with Bahamian Banana Rum Butter Sauce and Vanilla Whipped Cream; for lunch, consider the Key West Salmon Salad; and for dinner, try the crab cakes and pork chop with barbecue sauce and cheddar grits!

Crab Cake Appetizer

Crab Cake Appetizer

Mixed Greens Salad

Mixed Greens Salad

Grilled Pork Chop with Chipotle Barbecue Sauce and Smoked Cheddar Grits

Grilled Pork Chop with Chipotle Barbecue Sauce and Smoked Cheddar Grits

Finish off your meal with a yummy dessert. My mom’s favorite is the Key Lime Tart!

Key Lime Tart

Key Lime Tart

Key Lime Tart on the Inside

Key Lime Tart on the Inside

And, after your meal, take a few minutes to wander around the grounds of this beautiful resort, or jump on the next boat for Downtown Disney — the Disney Transportation boat will bring you to Disney World’s shopping and entertainment district in no time! Have a great time!