Review: Gasparilla Island Grill at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

It’s time for lunch at Gasparilla Island Grill in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort!

The Grand Floridian dining scene is primarily defined by unique dining experiences such as Victoria and Albert’s (Disney World’s AAA Five-Diamond Restaurant) and Afternoon Tea as well as two signature restaurants (Citricos and Narcoossee’s) and character meals at 1900 Park Fare. It’s also home to one of my very favorite Disney meals in all of history: the Grand Floridian Burger at the resort’s more casual Table Service restaurant, the Grand Floridian Cafe (the name doesn’t convey the highlight of the dish: it’s the lobster-topped burger you may have heard about).

Even among all that, the Grand Floridian still remains a place where you can grab a quick Counter Service bite 24 hours a day thanks to to Gasparilla Island Grill.

Gasparilla Island Grill sign

Gasparilla Island Grill sign

The last time we paid a visit it had recently been through a refurbishment, changing from Gasparilla Grill and Games to its current name. While not much has changed in the way of atmosphere since that visit, the menu differs somewhat from its immediate post-refurb offerings, so we’re back to grab a quick bite (or three!) at Gasparilla Island Grill!

Gasaprilla Island Grill entrance

Gasaprilla Island Grill entrance

Atmosphere

The general vibe at Gasparilla Island Grill is decidedly — and expectedly — Floridian! Creamy colors, pale greens, and lots of natural sunlight keep it airy, while the lush, darker greens and palms associated with the state of Florida are represented in the seating decor.

Gasparilla Island Grill indoor seating

Gasparilla Island Grill indoor seating

Gasparilla Island Grill indoor seating

Gasparilla Island Grill indoor seating

Second seating area

Second seating area

At the same time, the resort’s Victorian style is reflected in the light fixtures (check out those hidden Mickeys!), and by a small display of dish and glassware.

Lighting

Lighting

Lighting

Lighting

Dish display

Dish display

Dish display

Dish display

Though not known for tons of Disney detailing, the basic scene here is very pleasant in that it’s fresh, clean, and simple.

Perhaps the most unique feature to Gasparilla is the amount of high-backed booths lining the perimeter. They do allow for a certain feeling of privacy in what can be a bustling place, depending on the time of day.

Booth seating

Booth seating

Outdoor seating is also available; however, it wasn’t much in use on the day my friend and I visited, due to to some classic spring showers.

Outdoor seating in the rain

Outdoor seating on a rainy day

Once the rain lightened up, I stepped outside once more to [Read more…]

Snack Series: Mickey Face Cake and Yet Another S’mores Cupcake

Disney’s Boardwalk Bakery is located seaside at the Boardwalk Inn, and while it’s small, there’s always a new and inviting treat beckoning to be bought and dissected for DFB readers!! :-)

You’ll remember when we devoured the Cheesecake Brownie, of course; and the yummo Peanut Butter Cupcake was out of this world!

The Mickey Face Cake

On my recent trip, though, I decided to sample something old AND something new! First up, a snack that I’ve been wanting to try for years and years, but have never gotten around to: The Mickey Face Cake (Amazing that when my main focus at Disney is food I still miss out on some of these, isn’t it? Just goes to show how much there is to try!!)

Mickey Face Cake

How can you not smile when you see that thing?? It’s a giant Mickey head for heaven’s sake — and it’s [Read more…]

Review: Gasparilla Grill at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Tucked into one of Disney World’s most iconic resort hotels — The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa — Gasparilla Grill is one of the only restaurants open 24 hours in Walt Disney World!

Atmosphere

Gasparilla Grill is the the counter service location at the Grand Floridian and is sandwiched between the Grand Floridian Cafe and the Grand Floridian Kids’ Club.

It offers both hot and cold (grab-and-go) items as well as bakery items and soft-serve ice cream.

Gasparilla Entrance

Gasparilla Food Area

You’ll find plenty of seating inside and outside. Outdoor seating has a fantastic view of [Read more…]

S’mores a la Wilderness Lodge

Disney World’s Wilderness Lodge carries the atmosphere of America’s great National Park Lodges — places where tall trees, fresh earth, clear lakes, and campfires are the backdrop for incredible vacations and explorations. And some quintessential eats at places like this are, of course, S’mores!!

For those who aren’t sure what S’mores are, they’re a campfire dessert made by smooshing a roasted marshmallow with a piece of chocolate (Hershey’s is standard) between two graham crackers. Sounds pedestrian, but it really is a very rich and satisfying dessert! The name? Just imagine kids saying, “May I have s’more?” after getting their first taste!

Wilderness Lodge offers two versions of S’mores in its restaurants: the S’mores cupcake at Roaring Fork, and the S’mores cheesecake at Whispering Canyon Cafe!

S’mores Cupcake

Over at Roaring Fork, Wilderness Lodge has introduced one of the most well-done S’mores cupcakes I’ve ever seen.

Usually, S’mores cupcakes use fully formed marshmallows, but I love that this version tops off with melted, gooey, browned marshmallow on top!

S'mores Cupcake

You’ll also find a graham cracker-flavored cake underneath the marshmallow topping. But where’s the chocolate? Two places! Inside the cake are hidden a couple of pieces of [Read more…]