Guest Review: Photo Tour of NEW Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar and Grill at the Yacht and Beach Club Resort

We’re thrilled to introduce guest author Bob Sikon with a review of the re-opened Hurricane Hanna’s quick service restaurant and pool bar at the Yacht and Beach Club Resort.

The poolside dining area at Stormalong Bay has been under refurbishment for the past several months, and now re-opens with a fresh feel and brand new name! There are also several more items on the bar menu and counter service menu for guests to enjoy! Scroll down to see pictures of a few of these!

Let’s take a look at the updated name, atmosphere, and menu…

The quick-service outdoor restaurant at the Beach Club resort has re-opened after a lengthy refurbishment. It’s now known as Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar & Grill!

New Sign

Poolside Dining

View of Hurricane Hanna's

Atmosphere

As you look at Hurricane Hanna’s, the bar is on the left, the food ordering queue and counter is in the center, and the mug wash and condiment station is on the right.

Bar Area at Hurricane Hanna's

The updated yet classic nautical feel offers guests a “sit and stay a while” feel. We like the new sturdy wooden bar chairs and great-looking lanterns lighting the bar area.

Outdoor Bar

Enjoy a beverage at the bar!

View from the Bar

The counter-service ordering area is set up as usual to the right of the [Read more…]

Guest Review: Meadow Snack Bar at Fort Wilderness Resort

Welcome back guest author Melissa Sue Sorrells Galley with another guest review! This time she takes us to the Meadow Pool Bar at Fort Wilderness. And I love the awesome extra look around Fort Wilderness in this review — Yee-haw!

Deep in the winding wilderness, there’s an oasis of family fun waiting for you at the Meadow Recreation Area. Located near the center of Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, the Recreation Area is themed like a real old-fashioned swimming hole, with rustic wood touches; lots of open, grassy spaces; and stone-work details. It feels like an upscale summer camp … with very well-appointed bathrooms!

Meadow Swimmin’ Pool signage, which hangs over the entryway of the Snack Bar.

Atmosphere

As you enter the Recreation Area, the Meadow Snack Bar—our stop for an afternoon cocktail—is on your right. The area reminded me less of the [Read more…]

Guest Review: ‘Ama ‘Ama Lunch at Disney’s Aulani Resort

Aloha to guest author Anderson Dun! A native of Hawai’i currently living in Arizona, he brings us a delicious review of ‘Ama ‘Ama at Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawai’i. Let’s hear it from an expert!

While I didn’t have a chance to stay there, I just knew that I had to visit the Disney resort and have a meal there during my trip home to Hawai’i. I thought about eating at Makahiki buffet, but after reading some good reviews of lunch at ‘Ama ‘Ama, I decided to try it out.

Sign

Pre-Lunch Visit to Off the Hook Pool Bar

When we first arrived at 11:10 AM, my mom and I were told that they were closed and didn’t have any openings until 12:45 PM. I was a bit surprised, but we took the time to wander about the resort.

The first thing we did was head next door to the Off the Hook Pool Bar. The pool bar is right next to the restaurant and offers food and drinks, but of course, we were [Read more…]

Must-Do Milkshake: Frozen Hot Chocolate at Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort

Those of you who have been lucky enough to visit Serendipity 3 in New York City know the wonders of frozen hot chocolate!

Made with blended milk, ice cream, and hot chocolate and topped with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and a cherry, this chilly treat is the perfect addition to an afternoon by the pool.

When I first tried the original recipe at Serendipity 3, I was bowled over with how different it was from a regular milkshake. Using the hot chocolate gives it a stronger chocolate flavor and a sweeter overall impression.

There’s just more taste there than you get in a standard chocolate milkshake, and the same rings true with the version served at Beech, the pool bar at the Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort. The flavor itself is truly an indulgence, so don’t plan to sip quickly! By the way, this version is technically sold “for two,” but I promise it’s OK if you drink it all yourself… ;-)

Beech at Hilton Bonnet Creek

The next time you’re in Disney World, grab a cab or take your car to the resort, which is located right in between Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Downtown Disney in the middle of Walt Disney World [Read more…]

The Loss of the Leisure Suit

Wildberry Margarita From the WDW Lounge Standard Menu

In the post text and comments of our recent Tony’s Town Square review — and in the comments sections of a few other recent posts — the subject of homogenization of menus and condensation of purchasing down to just a few vendors across Disney’s restaurants has become a frequent topic of conversation.

Studios Central’s Matt Hochberg suggested a while back that I cover this issue and has since written a great post about it himself. I’ve also had some reader comments and emails that make it clear that this type of “uniform” experience might be making a dent in the magic for many of us.

There’s a concern that this is happening across the food and beverage service in Disney World and may be starting in Disneyland as well. But nowhere do I feel it more than where I first noticed the switch — the Disney World pool bar and lounge menus [Read more…]

Disney’s Aulani Resort Restaurants and Dining Details

Thanks to Werner Weiss at Yesterland for the heads up on this great news. Here are all the details on Disney dining at Aulani Resort, Disney’s newest Vacation Club property at Ko Olina on Oahu, Hawai’i. Details can be found at DVCMember.com for those with log-ins and passwords.

Makahiki Buffet Restaurant

This restaurant will have an open-air dining room featuring murals created by local artists depicting the story of Makahiki, the Hawaiian harvest festival. This location will be on the Main Building’s lower level, and will offer character breakfasts and casual dinner buffets with cuisine reflecting local favorites. These will include fresh, line-caught sustainable seafood and chef-inspired dishes.

The ‘Olelo Room

This will be a fun, interactive lounge serving tropical beverages, Continental breakfast, traditional Afternoon Tea, and cocktail service. You’ll find it adjacent to the Makahiki Buffet.

‘AMA’AMA Beachside Restaurant

Ah, yes! The beautiful Aulani beachside restaurant we speculated about so many months ago! Seating will be inside hale (beachside houses) and will serve traditional and locally-inspired meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You’ll be able to get omelets, bakery items, hot and cold sandwiches, salads, seasonal and sustainable seafood, steak, duck and vegetarian selections, and other menu selections.

'AMA'AMA Beachside Restaurant concept art

Beachside Lounge/Pool Bar

Right next to the ‘AMA’AMA Beachside Restaurant, this lounge will serve favorites like the Mai Tai, Pina Colada, Blue Hawai’i and Long Island Iced Tea. Of course, you’ll be able to get anything from the full bar, such as margaritas, sangria, sparkling cocktails, wine, and local beer. Be sure to ask about the ‘Ike Mua, the discovery drink of [Read more…]

Pool Bar Series: Uzima Springs Pool Bar

Uzima Springs Pool Bar

I’m not sure about you, but a fruity drink in hand, a thatched roof over my head, and a few flamingos frolicking in the background is just about all I need on vacation ;) If that’s your dream come true, you can have it! Even the flamingos! Just stroll out to the Uzima Springs Pool Bar at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jambo House.

View of the Pool Bar Across Uzima Springs Pool

View of the Pool Bar Across Uzima Springs Pool

Relaxing at the Pool Bar

Relaxing at the Pool Bar

Besides the thatched roof and generous umbrella-ed seating, what makes this spot so enticing is the enchanting themeing around the pool. Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of Disney World’s best-themed resort hotels, without a doubt. From the indentations of leaves, brush, and children’s footprints in the red dirt-tinted cement, to the whirlpool spas hidden by foliage, to the numerous savanna ponds scattered around, the Uzima Springs Pool area is a jungle of fascinating imagineering touches.

Even if you’re just there for a drink, it’s impossible not to go peek behind that grove of trees or jagged fence to see what treasures (and you KNOW there are treasures) lie beyond it! The place is a mini-theme park in itself.

Behind Curtain Number One...A Whirlpool Spa!

Behind Curtain Number One...A Whirlpool Spa!

Behind Curtain Number Two...Hakuna Matata Playground!

Behind Curtain Number Two...Hakuna Matata Playground!

Although we’re having fun exploring the pool grounds, let’s head back to the bar! In addition to the ubiquitous Disney Pool Bar standard menu, Uzima Springs Pool Bar also features some wonderful African beers and South African wines. And don’t forget, they’ve still got that rolodex of old recipes back there, too; if there’s something you’re pining for, be sure to ask!

Pool Bar Menu

Pool Bar Menu

And once you have your delicious bevvy, head over and find those elusive flamingos!

Ah Yes...the Flamingos.

Ah Yes...the Flamingos.

I told you so!

Thanks to AKLResort.com for contributing photos for this blog post! Also, quick reminder — there’s no pool hopping to Uzima Springs, so although you can visit the pool and get a drink, don’t swim unless you’re an AKL guest.

Pool Bar Series: Petals at POP Century Resort

POP Century sign

I’ve mentioned on the food blog before how much I enjoy Petals Pool Bar at POP Century Resort, and I thought it’d be fitting to dedicate a colorful TGIF blog to this great place.

Petals Pool bar

Again, there are some truly wonderful bartenders here (I don’t know how Disney finds so many of these top notch CMs), and Petals rivals Banana Cabana at Caribbean Beach Resort, Uzima Springs Pool Bar at Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House, and Trout Pass at Wilderness Lodge for my “favorite folks” award.

Frozen Drink Machines and Flat Screen TV

Frozen Drink Machines and Flat Screen TV

POP Century Resort is themed around the pop culture of the past half century, and giant, two- and three-story icons represent nostalgic items and characters from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. Petals is located at POP’s Hippy Dippy Pool, which is shaped like a giant flower and plopped down in the center of the two 1960’s buildings. This is the resort’s main pool, situated right behind the building housing the lobby, food court, and gift shop.

I really like the ability to stop into the food court or gift shop to get any items that might be needed, then stroll outside to grab a cocktail and have a seat in the shade. Because the pool is so close to the main building, you really don’t feel out of place having a cocktail at the pool bar when you’re not swimming. This is a great feature at value and moderate resorts, which don’t have indoor lounges.

There are no food offerings at Petals, but there’s a good variety of frozen, on-the-rocks, and non-alcoholic drinks. If you need something to nosh on, just pop into Everything POP Food Court for a snack, and bring it back out to the pool area!

Petals Pool Bar Menu

Petals Pool Bar Menu

Petals Pool Bar Menu

Petals Pool Bar Menu

Once you’ve settled in with your drink, pass the time by watching a ping-pong match on the nearby table, or ponder which Disney tattoo or hair wrap you might treat yourself to — those kiosks are just across the pathway from Petals!

Ping Pong Table

Ping Pong Table

Hair Wrap Station

Hair Wrap Station

Overall, Petals is a great place to comfortably relax. Even when I’m not staying at POP Century, I love popping by the resort for a bite to eat in the food court (one of the best on property in my opinion) and grab a drink at Petals. Good drinks, good people. I’m a big fan.

Disney Pool Bars: Hurricane Hanna’s

Hurricane Hanna's Sign

After a truly amazing recent stay at the Yacht Club, I really wanted to share some info about Hurricane Hanna’s as the second installment of the Pool Bars series.

Stormalong Bay

Stormalong Bay

This is the pool bar for Stormalong Bay, that mini-water-park nestled between Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. I’ve spent many lovely afternoons lounging by this pool, taking advantage of the super-duper long shipwreck slide, and greatly enjoying the poolside service by Hurricane Hanna’s waitstaff.

Hurricane Hanna's Bar and Grill Sections

Hurricane Hanna's Bar and Grill Sections

But even though you need a wristband proving that you’re staying at Y&BC to swim in Stormalong, you can visit Hurricane Hanna’s even if you’re not a resort guest! Strolling on the Boardwalk? Head over to Hanna’s for a hot dog or a Mai Tai! There are several tables with umbrellas available for guests to sit and relax.

Arrows Point You to the Correct Side of the Queue

Arrows Point You to the Correct Side of the Queue

Hurricane Hanna’s menu includes your standard Disney Pool Bar drinks (though I think I remember, back in the day, they had a drink called the Hurricane Hanna — anyone recall this?)

Disney Pool Bar Drink Menu

Frozen Selections

Frozen Selections

On the Rocks

On the Rocks

And Hanna’s also has a varied food menu. You’ve even got a well-stocked condiments bar situated in a “canoe!”

Hot Items and Kids' Picks

Hot Items and Kids' Picks

Cold Selections and Snacks

Cold Selections and Snacks

Beer, Beverages, and Ice Cream

Beer, Beverages, and Ice Cream

Condiments Canoe

Condiments Canoe

Don’t forget that you can pop behind Hanna’s and play some ping pong!

Stormalong Bay Ping Pong Table

Stormalong Bay Ping Pong Table

If you’re not at the pool, pop over to the Yacht Club beach to get a hair wrap, pick a pearl, or just relax on a lounge chair.

Yacht and Beach Club Hair Wrap Station

Yacht and Beach Club Hair Wrap Station

Pick a Peark Station

Pick a Peark Station

Hurricane Hanna’s, because it’s situated properly to be rather available for use by those just visiting the Boardwalk, is definitely one of the more accessible pool bars on Disney property. It’s also a great way to grab a glimpse at the largess of Stormalong Bay!

The next time you’re out and about between Epcot and Hollywood Studios, take a stroll over to the Yacht and Beach Clubs and enjoy a nice, relaxing beverage on the beach. You’ll thank yourself!

Pool Bars: Banana Cabana

I’ve long wanted to do a series on pool bars, and Brad over at DisneyCaribbeanBeach.com tribute website has kindly offered the photos for me to start!

Banana Cabana

Banana Cabana holds a special place in my heart as it’s always so relaxing, and I continuously find the kindest and most engaging bartenders there!

Banana Cabana Bartenders

Banana Cabana Bartenders

And, as all Disney World pool bars do, Banana Cabana serves the standard Disney drinks as well as a few of its own special concoctions! Indulge in mixed drinks, frozen or on the rocks; all servings of bears; wines; and non-alcoholic drinks — including a non-alcoholic pina colada!

Disney World Drink Menu

Disney World Drink Menu

Banana Cabana Drink Menu

Banana Cabana Drink Menu

When you get a bit peckish, just head inside Old Port Royale to the Market Street Food Court and visit one of the several food court locations for a bit to eat.

Banana Cabana Seating

Banana Cabana Seating

This is a great place to watch the sunset, keep an eye on the kids in the (AWESOME!) theme pool, or just enjoy some time with your friends and family on vacation. Sit back, relax, and take in a little of that caribbean calm!

What’s YOUR favorite pool bar? I’ll add it to the list for the series! Let me know via facebook, twitter, or email!