Review: Shula’s Steak House at the Walt Disney World Dolphin

If you love steak like I love steak, then you are going to enjoy today’s review, my friend.

Today we’re FINALLY headed back for a classic meat-stravaganza at Shula’s Steak House! Seriously, it’s been way too long since I’ve reviewed this place.

Located steps away from the International Gateway entrance to Epcot, Shula’s is one of the superb restaurants that call the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort home. To be more specific, you’ll find this fine dining spot in — you guessed it — the Dolphin. (Get it? Don Shula? At the Dolphin? I knew you would.)

Let’s head inside the wood-paneled walls to see if the steaks and sides here are just as good as I remember!


Step into Shula’s and you’ve entered a decidedly masculine domain. With dark wood walls, rich colors, and very low lighting (no joke; the servers have flashlights for you to read the menu sometimes), you feel as though you’re in an exclusive club dining here.

And just like many other Disney restaurants, Shula’s is “themed!”

Seating Along the Back Wall and Giant Picture of Coach Shula

This place is all about The Miami Dolphins’ 1972 “Perfect Season!” Now those of us who are true Buffalo Bills fans and still, in our (utterly broken) heart of hearts, despise the Dolphins…well, we have to come to a decision on how much we love steak to eat here. Me? I really love steak. I love the Bills. But I love steak.

Anyway, large photos from the 1972 team are lavishly framed throughout the comfortable dining room, so you can’t really escape them.

Two Top Seating

And speaking of steak, another prime decor element in the restaurant is the plaque displaying the proud members of Shula’s 48-Ounce Club. To have your name engraved on the plaque, just finish a 48-Ounce Porterhouse. Are you up for the challenge?

Seating with Steak Club Plaque

While I wasn’t quite sure we were up for making ourselves famous, we were quite hungry… Let’s get to the menu!


OK, so this kind of cracks me up, but it shows that the restaurant — though very high end — doesn’t take itself too seriously.

While you’ll get an actual menu, too, the main Shula’s cut steaks are hand painted on an official NFL game football. So while it might seem a little, well, odd to be handed a football when you’re preparing to order dinner, it all sort of makes sense. ;-)

Football Menu

Soon after you start looking at your football, it’s time of a bit of Shula’s education. In addition to [Read more…]

Guest Review: Wild Africa Trek (Plus Eats!) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Please welcome back guest author Alex Freeman, who’s brought us a review of the Wild Africa Trek featured at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park. After getting an awesome view of the animals on the savanna, trekkers are treated to some wild eats! Jambo, Alex!

On December 27, my sisters and I took part in the Wild Africa Trek offered at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Some of you are probably wondering why I am writing this review for a food blog, but this Disney tour includes a wonderful treat at the end.

Great views await from The Boma!

Checking In

At least 15 minutes before your scheduled tour time, you check-in at the Wild Africa Trek desk located to the left of Tusker House Restaurant. Even though I have been to Animal Kingdom many times, I did not know the area where the desk is located even exists.

There are outside tables for people who want to bring food from other quick service places and eat in a relatively quiet and peaceful atmosphere.

Outdoor Seating

Once you check-in, you are reminded of the Trek conditions (you must be over the age of 8 and you must be between 45 and 310 lbs).

Also, you are given a waiver to sign, which not only covers a variety of medical situations, but also permission for Disney to use any pictures they take of you in their promotional materials.

Trek Logo.

After everyone is checked-in (which was 11 people for our tour), you are greeted by your two Trek guides. Our Trek guides were named Lonnie and Paul and they were absolutely fantastic — hilarious, informative, and very friendly.

We followed both of our guides through a gate that led us to uncharted territory for the general public.

Trek Guides!

Gearing Up

In this area, you are given a locker to hold any of your personal belongings. You are not allowed to bring anything besides a camera (as long as it has a wrist strap that can be attached to your harness). Everything else, including your phone, must be stored in the locker.

You are then weighed and given a suitable harness, which they help attach to you. This harness includes a gear loop (which will attach you to the bridges), a souvenir water bottle (which you get to keep), and a headset so that you can hear both of the guides even when they are not right beside you. This headset was an absolute necessity when we were in the middle of a crowd.

Get your Trek gear!

Once you are strapped to your harness, you are asked to practice walking across a suspension bridge. This bridge is much [Read more…]

Review: Yak and Yeti at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Luckily, I recently got to attend a business meeting at Yak and Yeti in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

I haven’t been there in a while, but I’m pleased to report that this location is still offering great eats for those who want a bit more than pizza and chicken nuggets for their theme park dining.

You’ll find this spot in the park’s “Asia” area, near Kali River Rapids. The decor and backstory are a blast, and it’s well worth wandering around the restaurant a bit to take in all of the imagineering detail after your meal.


The desire to stand and stare, taking in every detail, begins before you ever enter the Yak and Yeti. The striking purple building beckons you to come in and discover more.

Yak and Yeti Outside

Once inside, you start to peel back the layers of the restaurant’s backstory. In a nutshell, a wealthy merchant from Anandapur, Arjun, has fallen on hard times. As a result, he’s turned his regal home into a fine hotel and restaurant. You are his honored guests!

The Story behind the Yak and Yeti

Throughout Arjun’s extensive [Read more…]

Epcot Food & Wine Festival Food Pictures and Review: Australia and China Booths

We’re back with another 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival booth review today with pictures from two more Marketplace hot spots: Australia and China!

Looking for your other favorites? Check out our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Pages.

To see detailed information, menus, photos, and prices, just click on any booth or country name, and you’ll see our all-new photos from the booth!


The China Marketplace Booth has been known for large portion sizes and fun cocktails at the Festival since 1996. It’s a very popular booth this year!

China Marketplace Booth

This year’s menu got a relatively big renovation, although a few of the items remained (or were tweaked and renamed.)

2012 China Marketplace Booth Menu -- Click to Enlarge

First up — making its debut in 2012 is the Mongolian Beef with Chinese Steamed Bun. The stir-fried beef had excellent flavor from the traditional vegetables, and I really loved the creamy sauce.

Mongolian Beef with Chinese Steamed Bun

Pork Pot Stickers were an item that stuck around from the past few years. I imagine there [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Review of 1901 Lounge in Disney California Adventure

When standing in front of Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure, you will notice three entrance doors. The two on the left lead you into the restaurant while the one on the right takes you somewhere very, very special.

Carthay Circle Restaurant Marquee


1901, a private lounge reserved for Club 33 Platinum Members and their guests, is perhaps one of the most tranquil spots in all of Disney California Adventure. A variety of eats and treats are served here, which are also served at Carthay Circle Lounge (a spot that all park guests can access — no membership needed there).

With a simple 1901 plaque at its entrance, behind the door is a spectacular space filled with historic mementos that Walt himself would’ve probably chosen to put on display.

1901 Entrance Plaque

As with Carthay Circle Restaurant, when you walk into 1901, you are immediately taken back to the 1930’s. The colors, decor and furniture are inviting, almost as if you are walking into someone’s home. 

The lounge is divided into two areas.

The hallway that divides the room in two.

On one side of the room you’ll find comfy couches surrounded by some chairs, loveseats, and a few little [Read more…]

Review: Citricos at Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort

Come along with us on a great date night destination at Walt Disney World — Citricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa!

If you haven’t had the pleasure, there are so many reasons to give this wonderful restaurant a try. It’s a little easier to get an Advance Dining Reservation here than other, more popular spots in the Magic Kingdom area.

But with food that rivals the hottest spots at Disney World — and a quiet, comfortable atmosphere — this has become a restaurant we return to again and again. Does it continue to wow? We shall see…


Citricos is tucked back behind Victoria & Albert’s (another review we’ll be treating you to soon!) on the Grand Floridian’s second floor. And with that “hidden” location, Citricos is often the overlooked signature dining spot here in the Magic Kingdom resort area. Diners often gravitate to California Grill or Narcoossee’s over Citricos in favor of spectacular fireworks views.

But don’t underestimate this place. While the fireworks viewing potential is pretty small here, sometimes being the “odd man out” can make a restaurant even more compelling. Citricos’ strengths come in the form of warmth, elegance, and a very quiet, comfortable atmosphere. I keep saying “comfortable” over and over again, and I’m pretty sure it’s because these dining chairs are some of the best on property! No kidding!

Seating Area

Warm light, sunny colors, and copper details make this an inviting space. (And did I mention the chairs? They’re comfortable.) A full bank of floor-to-ceiling windows lets in plenty of natural light during daytime hours.

Seating Area Near Windows

I like the whimsical, colorful glass touches on the tables. The candle holder and bread plates really add a pop of color to the formal place settings.

Table Setting

It’s always fun to watch the action in the open kitchen. The setting is beautiful, and the staff is poised and professional as they go about dinner service. (Don’t forget to take a peek as you walk to your table to see what items you might want to try!)

Exhibition Kitchen and Expediting Station

Off to the side of the restaurant — just next to the kitchen — is the Chef’s Domain. I’ve had the pleasure of eating in this private dining room recently for a good friend’s birthday dinner, and it’s very nice. You can order from a specialized menu or stick with the regular offerings. For events ranging from a private dinner party to a more elaborate affair, this is a great spot. This must be booked well ahead of time, and there’s a food and beverage minimum cost.

And as a bonus, you can get a really good view of the pastry specialists working at their craft – yum!

Pastry Chef Preparing Desserts

Now, back to our regular old dining room experience! Just walking to our table was enough to excite us about the meal! We were ready to get started.


The menu at Citricos focuses on [Read more…]

Review: Crispy Fried Shrimp and Bacardi Frozen Mojito at Epcot’s Refreshment Port

Note: As of 7.22.2012, the Crispy Fried Shrimp Basket is once again being served with french fries instead of tostones. Thanks to reader Billie Jean for the heads up!

Today, it’s time to talk about another delicious snack available at that culinary gateway to World Showcase — Epcot’s Refreshment Port!

I told you in the not-so-distant past about my favorite new treat there that’s worthy of the calories, the Spicy Chicken and Cheddar Poppers. (I know, they’re frozen, probably bought in bulk from Sysco or something, but they’re wonderful!)

Well, in the name of research (and with a new, shrimp-loving friend to join me), I decided once more to forego a sit-down meal during a recent visit to Epcot in order to sample a few more items on the Refreshment Port Menu (hidden gem of fried-ness that it is).

Menu - click image for larger version. See overall section for info on menu changes.

After looking over the menu (and NOT succumbing to the temptation of more spicy chicken cheddar poppers…because I’m strong like that), we decided to try the Crispy Fried Shrimp with French Fries and Cajun Tartar Sauce.

Just as before at this location, we had to wait for a bit to get our food. But since we were surrounded by British teens having the time of their lives (cheerleading competition, maybe?), at least we made some new friends while we waited.

While I didn’t eat too much of this, I did have a taste. The shrimp were piping hot when they emerged, fried perfectly with a good, crunchy breading. The dip reminded me of a tangy remoulade (but I’m not a connoisseur).

Crispy Fried Shrimp, French Fries, Cajun Tartar Sauce

And I couldn’t resist trying the [Read more…]

Review: Cape May Cafe Clambake

Ready for a beach vacation and a seaside buffet meal? We’re headed to Cape May Cafe in Disney World’s Beach Club Resort to enjoy a guest favorite dinner buffet — The Cape May Cafe Clambake!


The Cape May Cafe Clambake was a dinner I’d never been to, and one my mom had been dying to try. So when my parents were in Disney World at the same time we were recently, we gave it a go!

Cape May Cafe is an open and airy buffet restaurant adorned with pastel impressionist paintings depicting beach scenes, colorful beach umbrellas and folding chairs, carpet that brings beach balls to mind, and the stick style architecture seen throughout Disney’s Beach Club Resort.

Cape May Cafe Decor

Tables are set up as booths, banquettes, and full tables, and there are [Read more…]

Sharing is Caring: Three Great Appetizers That’ll Feed A Crowd

I loooooooove appetizer platters. Give me a way to sample everything on the menu at once and I’m there. (I know. You’re so surprised to discover that about me, right?) Seriously, though, appetizer platters are a good way to give food-loving families a little taste of everything, and to give picky eaters a better shot of finding something they’ll enjoy as well. They bring peace and harmony wherever they go, and this is why we always have to order them when available.

So, going through my photos the other day, I realized that I’ve had three such delights in the past few months! This sampling covers three distinct food themes — Irish at Raglan Road, California Cuisine at Napa Rose, and Italian at Portobello — so I thought it’d be especially interesting…

Appetiser D’Lirrah for Two: Raglan Road Pub, Downtown Disney, Disney World

Raglan Road

At Raglan Road, amidst the stained glass, live Irish music and dancing, and imported bars (yep — they imported the actual wooden bars themselves from Ireland), you’ve got some incredible, authentic Irish food with a modern twist designed by Celebrity Master Chef Kevin Dundon).

Located in the Downtown Disney district of Walt Disney World, Raglan Road offers a great spot to while away an evening on some imported beer, keen cocktails, or incredible food — including this piece of foodie decadence called [Read more…]