Review: Breakfast at Ale & Compass Restaurant in Disney World’s Yacht Club Resort

We’re starting our day in Disney World’s Yacht Club at Ale & Compass Restaurant!

Ale & Compass Restaurant opened just last November, replacing the long-standing Captain’s Grille as the casual Table Service location for the Yacht Club. (The other Table Service option here — Yachtsman Steakhouse — is a Signature restaurant.)

We’ve already visited for lunch and dinner, but I was particularly curious about breakfast, since this meal in particular had — in my opinion — more to live up to. I (and many others) always thought Captain’s Grille was a hidden gem in regards to breakfast. It offered both a buffet option along with some unique (and even memorable) a la carte items such as Dark Chocolate Waffles and the Lobster Omelet.

While many were ready for a change from Captain’s Grille lunch and dinner options, it left some rather big breakfast shoes to fill.

Ale & Compass Restaurant sign by the entrance

Ale & Compass Restaurant sign by the entrance

So, we’re here bright and early to how breakfast at Ale & Compass Restaurant fares.

[Read more…]

2018 Disney World Free Dining Offer Now Available!

TODAY’S THE DAY! Walt Disney World’s Free Dining Offer is officially coming back and will be offered to guests for select dates in August, September, November, and December 2018 (NOTE: There are no October dates this year, but if your check-in date is in late September, you can obviously take your stay into October).

Disney World Free Dining 2018 Travel Dates

free-diningFree Dining is being offered to guests ARRIVING during the dates listed below.

August 20* – September 29, 2018
November 24 – November 27, 2018
December 7 – December 23, 2018

UPDATE: The booking window — which originally closed on July 7th — has been extended to August 1, 2018!

*Canada Residents may book now for travel dates beginning August 2, 2018, and Disney Visa Cardholders may book now for travel dates beginning August 2, 2018.

(See below for participating resorts. Please note that the offer excludes several resorts this year, including campsites, 3-bedroom villas, and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – Little Mermaid Standard Rooms.)

Disney Resorts For Disney World Free Dining Offer

If you stay at a participting Value or Moderate Resort, you’ll receive the Quick Service Dining plan for FREE. (Note that you can upgrade to the standard or deluxe dining plans by paying the difference in cost per night.)

Participating Value Resorts include:

  • All-Star Music
  • All-Star Sports
  • Art of Animation Resort (Family Suites only)
  • Pop Century

Participating Moderate Resorts include:

  • The Cabins at Fort Wilderness (campsites excluded)
  • Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Coronado Springs Resort

If you reserve a participating Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort, you will receive the standard Dining plan for FREE. (You can upgrade to the deluxe dining plan by paying the difference in cost per night.)

Participating Deluxe Resorts include:

  • Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Beach Club Resort
  • BoardWalk Inn
  • Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Yacht Club Resort

Participating Deluxe Villas include:

  • Animal Kingdom Villas — Jambo House
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge — Kidani Village
  • Beach Club Villas
  • BoardWalk Villas
  • Old Key West Resort
  • Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

Minimum/Maximum Days for Disney World Free Dining Offer

You must book a minimum stay of 4 nights/maximum stay of 14 nights at a participating Disney-owned resort. You also need to purchase AT LEAST a 4-day Magic Your Way Disney World ticket with a Park Hopper AND/OR the Park Hopper Plus Option.

Will Free Dining Save YOU Money? We Break Down the Numbers For You…

2018 DFB Guide_Pot Roast_2D_01-001
Since Disney World’s Free Dining offer generally can’t be combined with other discounts, it’s often difficult to determine how to save the MOST money: with a Disney World hotel room discount or with the free dining offer.

We break down and compare the costs and options for several Disney World discounts, including the Free Dining offer, in our fully updated DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2018 e-Book to help you save the most money possible.

With over 650 pages of great Disney World dining advice, full color photos, and details, this book is a great deal.

Get your DFB Guide to WDW Dining here, and speaking of saving money — use code “WDW2018” to get 25% off today! With a full, money-back guarantee, there’s nothing to lose!

Ready to Book Free Dining? We’ve Got a Limited Time Offer From Our Trusted Travel Agent Partners!

The agents at Small World Vacations are ready to help you save time, headaches and best of all, money. They compare available discounts to find the best deal for you. This is why they are the preferred travel agent of the Disney Food Blog.

Book a new 2018 Walt Disney World® vacation valued at $3600 or more and get one FREE Mickey Themed insulated cooler filled with yummy treats and surprises delivered to your onsite Walt Disney World resort room. (Items may vary.)

bluecooler

This offer is good for check-ins August 2 through December 31, 2018. Offer must be booked with Small World Vacations April 24 through May 1, 2018. Restrictions apply. Substitutions may be necessary. Personalization not available. 

Enter code DFBFD18 to qualify when you request a price quote from Small World Vacations*.

If you already booked your 2018 Walt Disney World vacation directly with Disney within the last 30 days and it’s valued at $3600 or more (without airfare and not yet paid in full) for an arrival between August 2 – December 31, 2018, it’s not too late to get the Mickey Themed Insulated Cooler with goodies! Transferred reservations qualify! Offer expires May 1, 2018. Restrictions apply. For details email Small World Vacations at guestrelations@ smallworldvacations.com and mention DFB code DFBFD18.

If you are ready to begin planning a trip, simply fill out Small World Vacations’ no obligation quote form! Small World Vacations is happy to share over 20 years of Disney expertise and firsthand experience with MyDisneyExperience, dining reservations and FastPass+ so you can sit back, relax and get ready to enjoy your vacation.

Click here to get a no-obligation quote from Small World Vacations! Don’t forget to enter code DFBFD18 to qualify when you request a price quote*.

* In-room gift courtesy of Small World Vacations. Comparable approximate value at Disney Florist is $59.95. While supplies last. One tote per qualifying new 2018 Walt Disney World vacation reservation valued at $3600 or more for check-in August 2 – December 31, 2018. No cash value and void if cancelled. Non-transferable. Substitutions may be necessary. Offer valid on bookings made April 24 – May 1, 2018 for travel dates August 2-December 31, 2018.

Click Here to Join the Disney Food Blog Newsletter for More Great Discount Updates!

2018 Disney World Free Dining Offer for Canada Residents

More big news today regarding the Free Dining Offer that has been released for guests traveling to Disney World!

free-dining

This batch of news is specific to Canadians who can book the 2018 Disney World Free Dining Offer now for arrival dates starting on August 2nd. (Arrival dates for U.S. Residents begin August 20th.) 

So, for Canadian guests, eligible arrival dates to book Free Dining are as follows:

  • August 2 – September 29, 2018
  • November 24 – November 27, 2018
  • December 7 – December 23, 2018

All other details as released this morning  remain the same for Canadians (including that the offer must be booked by July 7th).

Click Here to See the Disney World Free Dining Offer For USA Residents!

Will Free Dining Save YOU Money? We Break Down the Numbers For You…

2018 DFB Guide_Pot Roast_2D_01-001
Since Disney World’s Free Dining offer generally can’t be combined with other discounts, it’s often difficult to determine how to save the MOST money: with a Disney World hotel room discount or with the free dining offer.

We break down and compare the costs and options for several Disney World discounts, including the Free Dining offer, in our fully updated DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2018 e-Book to help you save the most money possible.

With over 650 pages of great Disney World dining advice, full color photos, and details, this book is a great deal.

Get your DFB Guide to WDW Dining here, and speaking of saving money — use code “WDW2018” to get 25% off today! With a full, money-back guarantee, there’s nothing to lose!

Ale & Compass Restaurant Review: Is it Worth A Visit to Disney World’s Yacht Club Resort?

The Yacht Club’s Ale & Compass Restaurant hit the Disney World dining scene just this past November.

But our first visit was for lunch, so it’s time to step back in for our dinner review. And since there are some fairly major menu changes from day to night at this still-new spot, it’s a great reason to check it out again.

Now, before we move forward with the review, just a reminder that the Ale & Compass Restaurant is one third of an entirely new Ale & Compass dining concept at Disney World’s Yacht Club, so it’s not to be confused with the Ale & Compass Lounge and The Market at Ale & Compass (a Counter Service meets Grab-and-Go setup).

The Ale & Compass Restaurant is the Table Service component of this trio, serving Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (each one Table Service Credit on the Disney Dining Plan).

Ale & Compass Restaurant sign by the entrance

Ale & Compass Restaurant sign by the entrance

And now that we’ve got the details out of the way, let’s check out the digs!

Atmosphere

We have a full tour of Ale & Compass Restaurant available from our first visit, and you can peruse it by clicking here.

[Read more…]

Review: Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar and Grille in Disney World

You know how sometimes we tell you about a slightly out-of-the-way place and say it’s totally worth the effort to get there? This will not be one of those times. Hurricane Hanna’s Waterside Bar and Grille is located adjacent to (the stupendously awesome) Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts and offers alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and a small menu of snacks for hungry swimmers (and any hungry passersby).

Hurricane Hanna's

Hurricane Hanna’s

The style of this outdoor bar is slightly nautical, with clean lines and neat hanging lanterns. There’s seating at the bar, which is covered and provides some shade.

Bar Seating

Bar Seating

[Read more…]

First Look and Review: The New Ale & Compass Lounge in Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Welcome to the all-new Ale & Compass Lounge in Disney’s Yacht Club Resort!

Well, that’s not actually the full story… Ale & Compass Lounge has been around for ages. But HUGE changes in dining options at Disney’s Yacht Club have brought such a major refurbishment to the lounge that it really is — for all intents and purposes — a whole new place!

Previously, Ale & Compass Lounge was just a teeny little spot to grab a drink or enjoy a coffee or continental breakfast in the morning without much in the way of seating. Like the Resort itself, Ale & Compass presented a nautical theme which was certainly pleasant.

But now, the Ale & Compass Lounge has re-opened as part of the re-imagined Ale & Compass dining concept for the Resort, which also includes The Market at Ale & Compass and the brand new Ale & Compass Restaurant.

Ale & Compass Lounge sign

Ale & Compass Lounge sign

So let’s check out the changes that make up the all-new Ale & Compass Lounge! [Read more…]

The 2017 Gingerbread Carousel at Disney’s Beach Club Resort

I love all of the larger-than-life Gingerbread Displays around Disney World during the Holiday Season. You know this. But I must confess… I’ve got a favorite. It’s just not the Holidays until I see (and sniff!) the Gingerbread Carousel at Disney’s Beach Club Resort!

That’s why it’s especially good news that it is now up and spinning for guests visiting the Beach Club!

Gingerbread Carousel

Gingerbread Carousel

One of the reasons I love the Gingerbread Carousel so much is that it’s new every year. The theme last year, for instance, was the Fab Five, with horses for Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy. (As man’s and mouse’s best friend, Pluto got his own display placed just outside of the Carousel). And for 2017, the Carousel is themed with Lilo and Stitch! [Read more…]

NEW!!! The New Ale & Compass Restaurant in Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Welcome to the brand new Ale & Compass Restaurant in Disney’s Yacht Club Resort!

The Ale & Compass Restaurant has taken the spot of Captain’s Grille as the casual Table Service Restaurant option in the Yacht Club. (The Resort’s other Table Service restaurant, Yachtsman Steakhouse, is a Signature Restaurant.) It comes to us as part of the new Ale & Compass dining concept for the Resort, which also includes the newly reopen and majorly refurbished Ale & Compass Lounge as well as The Market at Ale & Compass which opened earlier this year.

The Captain’s Grille was — in my opinion — something of a hidden gem. It offered a cheerful, comfy nautical feel and some decent options for surf-and-turf style eating for lunch and dinner, and a terrific breakfast which featured not only a buffet, but also a better-than-average a la carte menu.

The Ale & Compass Restaurant, though, has been completely re-imagined with its own unique feel.

Ale & Compass Restaurant Sign and Entrance

Ale & Compass Restaurant Sign and Entrance

Let’s step in!

Atmosphere

If you ever paid a visit to Captain’s Grille, you’ll remember a somewhat busier appearance to the entrance, since the check-in took place just outside the restaurant. Now, you step inside to see if there is walk-in space available (there was plenty on opening day), or check in for your Advance Dining Reservation. [Read more…]

Sneak Peek INSIDE The NEW Ale & Compass Lounge and Restaurant in Disney’s Yacht Club — PLUS A New Opening Date!

Disney’s Yacht Club has some major dining changes in store. The refurbished Ale & Compass Lounge and new Ale & Compass Restaurant will complete the rollout of the Ale & Compass dining concept for the Deluxe Resort, in cohesion with the previously opened Market at Ale & Compass.

Ale & Compass Lounge sign

Ale & Compass Lounge sign

Since there is currently a Private Event happening in the soon-to-be opened spaces, we were able to get a Sneak Peek TODAY!!

[Read more…]

Holiday Preview: The 2017 Walt Disney World Gingerbread Displays

Gingerbread displays at Walt Disney World have become such an exciting part of the holiday celebrations that guests can literally plan an entire day around seeing them all. (We even include some tips on how to do so in our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Holidays!)

2016 Grand Floridian Gingerbread Store

2016 Grand Floridian Gingerbread Store

And it is not hard to see why! Gingerbread is done bigger and better at the Disney Resorts, with literally HUNDREDS of pounds of ingredients being shaped and engineered — you might even say “imagineered” —  in unbelievable ways that you just have to see with your own eyes! [Read more…]