Archive for the ‘Epcot’ Category

Lunch at the new Spice Road Table

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to try Walt Disney World’s newest restaurant, the Spice Road Table. It is located in the Morocco pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase. The restaurant is described as offering ‘small plates from around the Mediterranean’.

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The variety and quantity of items, both food and beverage surprised me.

Once you pass the maître de stand, you enter the center of the establishment, a seat-less bar. This bar serves the large assortment of wines, aperitifs, cordials and liquor based drinks that are offered on the menu. Continue reading

Photos From Around “The World” Part III

Our friend Leo DeCandia recently returned from a trip to Walt Disney World for the Flower & Garden Festival.  I wanted to share a few shots with you that he took.  This is Part III, so watch for more and in case you missed them, here are Part I and Part II.

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Photos From Around “The World”

Our friend Leo DeCandia recently returned from a trip to Walt Disney World for the Flower & Garden Festival.  I wanted to share a few shots with you that he took.  We’ll be doing this in a couple parts to spread out the fun and then share them one by one on our Facebook wall.

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Attention Runners! Free Dining Now Available for Disney’s Wine & Dine!

November 9 & 10, 2012 will be the annual Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend.  Today free dining opened to the general public for select dates in the fall at Walt Disney World resorts.  This promotion will coincide with dates for the Wine & Dine!    This is a great savings for your weekend stay at Walt Disney World.  We have a number of clients taking advantage of this deal.  Arriving on November 9, for three nights, they are receiving a free dining plan with their room and ticket package!  You can too!

Information on this runDisney event can be found here.  To get your reservation, just contact us at With a value resort, you will qualify for the quick service dining plan for free and with any other Disney resort, you will qualify for the plus dining plan for free! You can upgrade plans for just the difference in cost between the free plan and the plan you select. Packages require a three night minimum stay and two day base tickets for each person in your party. Deposits of $200 are required but are fully refundable until 45 days prior to arrival, so what have you got to lose?

Complete a half marathon at Walt Disney World, finishing in Epcot with an exclusive after-hours party in the middle of the International Food & Wine Festival. Enjoy free dining during your stay. This is a winning combination!

Tutto Gusto

We already had planned our trip to Walt Disney World when they announced the opening of Tutto Gusto.  Tutto Gusto is a wine bar in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot which opened on May 1.  I do enjoy wine and cheese so we just had to try this out.  We decided to go over there on May 5 for a late lunch.  Before we arrived at the bar, we heard from a number of friends that the service was very poor.  We also heard that there were only one or two free tables in there so we decided not to try it because we were hungry.

We came back during the week and were very glad we did.  The service was fantastic.  I wouldn’t have wanted “opening jitters” to cloud my judgement of this location.

We didn’t know in advance if this was going to be a counter service or table service restaurant.  I was pleased to see it was a table service location.  We could go to the bar and place an order as all the food was on display in a cold case, but the cool darker interior of the building offered a nice respite from the heat outside.

We started off with beverages.  I spotted a unique martini on the list so I had to try this.  It was a Bruschetta martini!  Made with tomato vodka and dry vermouth plus a bit of basil, and garnished with a cherry tomato, this drink was very tasty.  A little bit sweeter tomato taste, but not sweet.  I did look through the very lengthy wine list.  There were a lot of great choices on the menu with many wines served by the glass.  I definitely have to come back and try a few.

The menu contains a good selection of “small plates”.  While you can make a meal out of dining here, you can’t really do so with one selection.

We started off with some meats and cheeses.  To make things easy, we did the Chef’s Selection of Four.  This included Proscuitto di Parma, Salametto, Fior di Latte and Parmigiano-Reggiano.  This came with Focaccia Rustica.

Next we had some Piccoli Piatti (small plates).  We tried the Olive Finocchio e Arance (marinated cerignola olives, fennel, orange).  This was just ok.  I didn’t really notice the fennel or orange, in fact, I didn’t even remember they should have this until I just looked at the menu again.  We also ordered Asparagi Bianchi (white asparagus, lemon, Parmesan, extra virgin olive oil).  This was very good.  It is a cold dish and the combination of the mild asparagus with the Parmesan cheese is something I would have again elsewhere.

The small plates and cheese platter were served fairly quickly as they were all cold.  We also ordered some Cavatappi (“corkscrew” shaped pasta) which took a little longer, but not too long.  We tried the Gamberetti which was shrimp, calabrian chili, garlic and pomodorini.  This had a little kick, but not much.

We finished off the meal with a Mocha Tiramisu.  This didn’t have a strong espresso taste like some tiramisus that I have had in the past, which made it more enjoyable to me.

Tutto Gusto is not currently on the dining plan, but does accept Tables in Wonderland.  Our total before the discount was just under $92.  While this was a little pricy for a lunch, we very much enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere.  We will definitely go back again!

Tutto Gusto

Last week Disney announced that with the renovations being done to Tutto Italia in Epcot, they will be opening a 96-seat wine bar called Tutto Gusto (see Disney Park Blog).  The space sounds fabulous, almost as if you are sitting in a winery in Italy while you enjoy one of the more than 200 Italian wines.  In addition to the wines, there are also a couple dozen different “small-plate menu” items that you can enjoy. And Tutto Gusto will be on the Disney Dining Plan.

Sounds like a great quick service option, right?  Similar to La Cava in Mexico, but with wine and a few more food options.  Unfortunately, no.  This is going to be another table service option.  Details on whether or not reservations will be taken, will be required or if there will be counter service options have not been disclosed.

I’m not sure how a small-plate menu is going to translate into a table service credit and if this option will be enough to satisfy as a meal.  From what we’ve heard about this restaurant so far, I wish they would have made it a quick service restaurant or at least have the option of quick service here, like they have at Yak & Yeti at Animal Kingdom Park.  I think I will enjoy sitting down with a glass or two of wine and some of the small plates, probably in lieu of a full meal, but I don’t see myself using my table service credits here or making an advanced dining reservation here either.  We typically will stop in the Italy pavilion for a glass of wine and having a snack to go with the wine will be great, but timing this with an ADR will not.

I am looking forward to checking out this restaurant in early May when we visit Walt Disney World.  I do hope to be able to just drop in for some wine and cheese.

Florida and Disney Fantasy, Here I Come!

Today, I’m leaving the cold, snowy North and heading to warm, sunny Florida!  Except it’s not cold or snowy here!  Spring has sprung a bit early for us.  Which is ok by me.  I spent last weekend getting my yard ready for the upcoming seasons.  Today, I’m heading down to Disney World where the temperatures are very similar to what I’ve been experiencing for the last week!

On tap for the rest of this week will be trips to at least a couple of the parks.  Will be going to Epcot tonight and Magic Kingdom at least for a bit to check out what’s open in the New Fantasyland expansion.

Wednesday I will be touring several resorts in Disney World, including Art of Animation I believe.  I will be checking out the room layouts, pools and dining options if available.  I’m hopeful we’ll get to see the new Royal rooms at Port Orleans Riverside.

Lastly, but most importantly, I’ll be going on the Disney Fantasy on Friday for a three night sailing!  We’ll have a day at sea (or as I have renamed it – A day to explore and learn all there is to know about the Fantasy) and a day at Castaway Cay.  I will be checking out the differences between the Dream and the Fantasy and exploring all areas of the ship just to report back to you.  You can count on more blogs about this amazing ship in the weeks to come!

Three Tweens + 1 Grand Villa + 2 parks + 26 rides + 4 character meals + (3.5 x Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique) = 48 hours in Disney

Editor’s Note:  This blog was provided by ToaD friend Mary Beth.  Thank you Mary Beth!

It all started out innocently enough during our Disney trip last August, when my 9 year old daughter asked to call her friend back home.  As my daughter narrated the sights and sounds, I heard her friend say, “I wish I could go to Disney World” in exactly the same way that Cinderella says, “I wish I could go to the ball.”  By the time Wishes started that night, I had already booked three character meals for a weekend in January and was able to confirm airfare and a Theme Park View Grand Villa at Bay Lake Tower once DVC opened the next morning.  When my daughter called her friend  to ask what kind of mouse ears she wanted for her trip to Disney in January, her friend said, “I need to ask my mom if I can go.”  I don’t think this child believed she was actually going to Disney until her feet touched the ground in Florida 4 ½ months later.

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Port Adventures for Disney Cruise Line’s NYC to Bahamas Cruises

Today we are seeing on the Disney Cruise Line® site that Port Adventures are available for the New York City sailings from NYC to Nassau, Castaway Cay and Port Canaveral.

Three excursions are offered in New York City on the date of debarkation only with airport transfers.  These will only be able to be booked onboard and you should remove any return transfers before embarking to avoid double charges.

Guests will have an opportunity to go to Midtown Manhattan, including a trip up to the observation deck on the 70th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza followed by a drive towards Grand Central Station, ending at JFK, LaGuardia or Newark airports on this tour.

The second option will take guests for a land and sea tour of the city.  You will board the Zephyr, a luxury catamaran, for a 60 minute tour of the waterways around New York City including views of the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Staten Island, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.  You will be dropped off at the South Street Seaport for free time before heading to one of the three area airports.

The last option will include visits to the American Museum of Natural History & Central Park.  In Central Park you will have a walking tour, seeing such sites as Strawberry Fields, Bethesda Fountain, The Boathouse and The Alice in Wonderland Sculpture.  Next you will go to the American Museum of Natural History with time to explore on your own and enter the planetarium as well before boarding the coach for your trip to the airport.

The first two tours and transfers are $129 for adults and $89  for children with the museum tour at $129 for adults/$99 for children.  Each of the tours is approximately 4 to 4.5 hours.  Depending on the number of people, those going to JFK and LaGuardia may be on the same bus.  Flights should not be prior to 3:00 pm for domestic flights (4:00 pm for international) to participate in these offers.

In Port Canaveral, there are many offerings at Walt Disney World® Resort, plus other tours in and around Cocoa Beach including the Cocoa Beach Shuttle, Kennedy Space Center and Real Florida Airboat Adventure.

At Walt Disney World Resort, guests can participate in any of the following tours:

  • Best of Walt Disney World Resort for Young Families – A VIP Tour
  • Illuminations Fireworks dessert Party at Epcot Theme Park
  • Thrills of Walt Disney World Resort – A VIP Tour
  • VIP Tour – Private VIP Tour Experience at Walt Disney World
  • Wild Africa Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park Via Complimentary Transportation
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park Via Complimentary Transportation
  • Epcot Theme Park Via Complimentary Transportation
  • Magic Kingdom Via Complimentary Transportation

One day park hopper passes are included with your cruise vacation.  The VIP tours will include FASTPASS entrances to maximize your time in the parks.

All Guests disembarking at Port Canaveral will have to go through Customs and Border Protection Inspection so you will need to bring your passports or birth certificates with you.

Hopefully soon we will get a glimpse of the Port Adventures for the Canada and New England Coast cruises too!

Videos from the Magic Kingdom and Epcot

Last week we were at Walt Disney World for a quick stay (about 11 hours of actual park time).  We made it to Magic Kingdom to see The Magic, The Memories and You plus Wishes the first night.  I took a short video of The Magic, The Memories and You when the snow started to fall on Cinderella’s Castle.

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