James Beard Award Celebrity Chef Dinner At The Four Seasons Orlando

If you are a serious foodie, you won’t want to miss the chance to attend the James Beard Award Celebrity Chef Dinner on Saturday, December 9, 2017, at 6:30 pm hosted by the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort.

Ravello Restaurant Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World James Beard Award Celebrity Chef Dinner 2017
Photo: Four Seasons Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World

Inside of the Resort’s acclaimed Ravello restaurant, Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi and Executive Pastry Chef Rabii Saber will host the dinner to be joined by:

  • Paula DaSilva, chef de cuisine at Burlock Coast at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale, and of Hell’s Kitchen fame. DaSilva was a Best Chefs in America semi-finalist in the 2012 James Beard Awards.
  • Kathleen Blake, chef/owner from The Rusty Spoon in Orlando. Blake is a 2013 and 2015 James Beard Award Nominee in the Best Chef of the South, a 2013 Best Chefs in America – Southern Region, and was nominated for both Golden Whisk and Community Service Awards by Women Chefs & Restauranteurs.
  • Dean Max, chef/owner of DJM Restaurants, a collection of seven restaurants in the US and Caribbean. Max was a semi-finalist for the Best Chefs in America in the 2011, 2010 and 2009 James Beard Awards.
  • James Boyce, chef/owner of Cotton Row in Huntsville, Alabama.  Boyce has a 2002 James Beard Award nomination for “Best Chefs of the Southwest” and is a two-time Mobil Five Star Award recipient.

The six-course James Beard Award Celebrity Chef Dinner dinner menu includes:

Course 1, presented by Chef Fabrizio Schenardi

  • Appetisers: crudo and oyster station, house-curend lonza and capicolla, Italian and Spanish cheeses, pickled vegetables
  • Passed butternut squash tarts with sage, speck, jalapenos and caciocavallo cheese
  • Ficattole with spinach, artichokes, lamb meatballs and mint garlic oil

Course 2, presented by Chef Dean Max:

  • Charred octopus with ‘nduja, clam and pepper broth

Course 3, presented by Chef Kathleen Blake:

  • Chestnut cavatelli with roasted beets, bitter greens and turtle creek goat cheese

Course 4, presented by Chef Paula DaSilva:

  • Roasted open blue cobia, crispy yucca, moqueca-style stew

Course 5, presented by Chef James Boyce:

  • Cider braised Snake River Farms wagyu beef short ribs, white truffle pollard grits, black trumpet mushrooms and sauce bordelaise

Course 6, presented by Chef Rabii Saber:

  • Nougat glace, with chestnut, fruits of the forest, Valrhona Bahibe 46 percent milk chocolate
James Beard Award Celebrity Chef Dinner At The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at the Walt Disney World Resort
Photo: James Beard Foundation

This phenomenal dinner experience, including with wine pairings, is available for $235 per person (includes tax and gratuity). Tickets must be purchased in advance using this link.

 

Magical Dining Month at Walt Disney World

DISCLOSURE: I just wanted to let everyone know that this post is in no way sponsored by Visit Orlando. I just really enjoy Magical Dining Month. I am just really excited to share that Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Restaurants are participating this year.

Walt Disney World Resort Restaurant Turf Club Visit Orlando Magical Dining Month 2017

For the first time select Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Restaurants are participating in Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month, and I couldn’t be more excited to share my experience!

If you aren’t familiar with it, Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month, happening from now until October 1st, gives locals and visitors to Orlando the opportunity to dine at over 100 restaurants around the City Beautiful with a prix fixe menu that only costs $35. The best part of the deal is that one dollar from of each meal goes locally to support Freedom Ride and BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation.

This year there are six participating Walt Disney World Resort hotel restaurants, and they include: (The links actually show the prix fixe menu offered at each location)

I had the opportunity to dine at The Turf Club Bar and Grill at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort with my family & friends, and we had a fantastic meal!

Walt Disney World Resort Restaurant Turf Club Visit Orlando Magical Dining Month 2017

We tried to order a few things so we could try as many dishes as possible, and the portion sizes are no smaller than they normally are so it was really easy to share.

Let’s look at what we ordered!

Appetizers

The Turf Club Grilled Romaine Salad

lightly grilled hearts of romaine, roasted tomatoes, balsamic vinegar glaze, Caesar dressing, and croutons

Walt Disney World Resort Restaurant Turf Club Visit Orlando Magical Dining Month 2017

Classical French Onion Soup

beef broth, julienne onions, Melted Swiss, and Gruyère cheeses with croutons

Walt Disney World Resort Restaurant Turf Club Visit Orlando Magical Dining Month 2017

Entrees

Pan Seared Corvina

lemon risotto and garlic-basil cream reduction topped with a fresh tomato relish

Walt Disney World Resort Restaurant Turf Club Visit Orlando Magical Dining Month 2017

Grilled New York Strip Steak

hand-cut rosemary Parmesan fries and béarnaise sauce

Walt Disney World Resort Restaurant Turf Club Visit Orlando Magical Dining Month 2017

Desserts

Chocolate-Espresso Torte

with raspberry sauce and vanilla-port wine ice cream

Walt Disney World Resort Restaurant Turf Club Visit Orlando Magical Dining Month 2017

Madagascar Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee

fresh fruit and butter breton cri that is gluten free

Walt Disney World Resort Restaurant Turf Club Visit Orlando Magical Dining Month 2017

Know Before You Go To Walt Disney World Resort Restaurant Magical Dining Month:

  • You still need to make an Advanced Dining Reservation using the Walt Disney World website, calling 407-WDW-DINE, or by using the My Disney Experience App. When making your reservation, you will not need to note that you will be ordering from the Magical Dining Month prix fixe menu.
  • If you have allergies or dietary restrictions know that no substitutions can be made to the menu, so talk with your server to make sure that the menu fits with your needs.
  • Applicable sales tax, gratuities, and beverages are not included in the Magical Dining Month prix fixe menu cost.
  • An 18% service charge is added for parties of six (6) or more.
  • The prix fixe menu is not available to those utilizing any Disney Dining Plan.
  • No discounts can be applied to the Magical Dining Month menu, and while there are great discounts available for Annual Passholders and Tables in Wonderland card holders they cannot be applied to your check unless they are additions to the prix fixe menu and are charged to a separate check which takes extra time to complete which is extremely time consuming.

 

New Show, Brew, and Bites at Raglan Road

Disclosure: I was invited out by Raglan Road to see experience the new show with Zoe and to try some new bites in exchange for my review. All opinions and exclamation points within this post are my own.

Rhythms of Raglan Road Disney Springs Walt Disney World

Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Disney Springs has always been one of our favorite stops for a great bite to eat and fun, and this summer they are debuting a new show and menu items that you won’t want to miss.

The new show is called ‘Rhythms of Raglan’, presented at no extra charge, is a 90-minute live spectacle of Irish music and dance featuring talented musicians and award-winning Irish Dancers that even lets the littlest of dancers take center stage.

Rhythms of Raglan Road Disney Springs Walt Disney World

The show itself is fantastic and was produced in Ireland, exported to Raglan Road, & is directed by David Hayes of Riverdance and “The Voice” Ireland edition with lead choreographer Ciaran Keating.

Rhythms of Raglan Road Disney Springs Walt Disney World

But the highlight of the show is when the little dancers get to take to the stage to try their hand at traditional Irish dancing. After the show begins, the Raglan Road dancers make their way around the restaurant to see which children are interested (and to offer words of encouragement to those who might be a little shy) in participating and to get their names for a fun surprise. The children get a chance to be on stage to dance with the dancers and musical performers, and afterwards are presented with a certificate and sticker. What an awesome souvenir!

Rhythms of Raglan Road Disney Springs Walt Disney World

The ‘Rhythms of Raglan Road’ show runs daily (including weekends) from 4 pm -5:30 pm. The show also is part of the Rollicking Raglan Brunch entertainment that runs each Saturday & Sunday from 12 – 3 p.m (so you can see it early or at 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday).

Rhythms of Raglan Road Disney Springs Walt Disney World

And as part of our experience we got to try two new dishes and a new craft beer that will be debuting at Raglan Road before this year’s Great Irish Hooley (you can see the entertainment schedule here & make table reservations here)!

Boaring Burger

Rhythms of Raglan Road Disney Springs Walt Disney World

This is a grilled wild boar burger with port and pear chutney, crispy onions, garlic and herb aioli, Cashel blue cheese, and arugula on a potato bun.

This was my first time trying a wild boar burger, and it was nothing like I expected! I was expecting the boar to be gamey, but it was a touch sweet which made the sweet and tangy toppings sing.

If you love a loaded burger, the ‘Boaring Burger’ should be on your list of things to try!

Gnocchi sea, gnocchi do

Rhythms of Raglan Road Disney Springs Walt Disney World

This irresistable dish is a handmade potato gnocchi with seared Georges Bank scallops, crispy pork belly, tomato and brood beans with a white wine butter sauce.

So I am going to be REAL here…I totally convinced Zoe that she wouldn’t like this dish so I could eat her’s…Does that make me a bad mom? Sure. Was it worth it? Totally!!!

The sweet Georges Bank scallops cut the buttery goodness of the potato gnocchi making it a lighter dish than you would expect.

Blagger – Organic Blonde Lager

Rhythms of Raglan Road Disney Springs Walt Disney World

Once again Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant has teamed up with Orlando Brewing to created a new craft brew that can be bought by the pint or as part of a flight.

I am not a gigantic beer drinker, but the Blagger was really refreshing and lovely.

The Blagger is light in color and low in bitterness at only 6 IBU. Made with organic malts, organic Hallertau hops and organic yeast, this brew has a crisp finish reminiscent of a dry sparkling wine.

Capa Hosts Louis Roederer Champagne Dinner

To help celebrate the third anniversary of the Four Seasons Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World, the rooftop Capa restaurant will host a special Louis Roederer Champagne Dinner on August 3, 2017. beginning at 6pm.

Four Seasons Orlando Resort at Walt Disney WorldCapa Sign Louis Roederer Champagne Dinner

The five-course dinner will feature rare pairings, including Cristal and Cristal Rose.

Capa Hosts Louis Roederer Champagne Dinner Menu

Amuse Bouche
Zanahoria PB&J Foie Terrine Tetilla Cheese Puff Fingerlings, Smoked Crema, Caviar Champagne Louis Roederer – Brut Premier NV

Primero
Lobster | Turnip | Ponzu Vinaigrette | Lardo
Champagne Louis Roederer – Brut Premier NV

Segundo
Oxtail Consommé | Yuzu | A5 wagyu | Artichoke
Champagne Louis Roederer – Brut Nature 2009 (zero dosage)

Tercero
Salmon | Burnt Leek | Champagne Sabayon
Champagne Louis Roederer – Brut Rosé 2011

Entrante Braised Veal | Potato | Truffle
Cristal – Brut 2009

Postre
Turron Helado | Apricot | Currant | Pistachio
Cristal – Brut Rosé 2007

If you haven’t had the opportunity to dine at Capa, this is an excellent way to experience the romantic, rooftop restaurant that offers fantastic views of the nightly fireworks at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot!

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Capa

The cost for this five-course celebratory Champagne dinner is $225 per person and reservations required and can be made by calling  407-313-6161.

 

Four Seasons Resort Orlando Offers Two Easter Brunch Options

If you are still looking for the perfect place for Easter Brunch, the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort has two options you will want to check out!

Ravello

Ravello Couple Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Easter Brunch
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

The Resort’s modern Italian restaurant Ravello will present a lavish Easter buffet.

The menu includes a wide array of offerings, ranging from a raw bar/seafood station to an antipasti and salad bar, a carving station with lavender honey glazed ham and braised lamb shank, and a hot entrée station with grilled salmon with lemon butter and capers, garlic marinated grilled chicken, and much more.

Classic brunch favourites will be offered as well, such as beer-braised brisket hash, lobster benedict, eggs made to order, a waffle station with choice of toppings, raspberry Nutella-stuffed French toast, and much more.

Guests with a sweet tooth will be delighted with the dessert station that includes mixed berry crème brulee, peanut butter chocolate pie, mixed berry truffle cinnamon coffee tiramisu, assorted macarons and more.

A special children’s buffet will be offered including items such as “ants on a log” and “pigs in a blanket,” tater tots, chicken fingers, PB&J sandwiches, chocolate dipped Rice Krispie treats, miniature fun-fetti cupcakes, and assorted Easter candies. 

Ravello Easter brunch will be offered from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm for $105 per adult and $45 per child ages 5-12. 

Plancha

Plancha Four Seasons Resort Orlando at the Walt Disney World Resort
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

For a brunch menu with a Cuban twist, celebrate Easter Sunday at Plancha, the Resort’s Cuban American restaurant.

Located at the Tranquilo Golf Club clubhouse, the lakeside restaurant offers a three-course brunch including bottomless Mimosas and Bloody Marys from an extravagant Bloody Mary Bar.

The appetizer buffet includes artisanal meats and cheeses, assorted salads with fresh herbs from a living wall garden fresh fruits, smoked salmon and bagels, breakfast pastries and much more.

Entrée choices include traditional brunch items such as eggs benedict with truffle hollandaise, very-berry French toast, shrimp omelet, chicken and white cheddar waffles, and oatmeal pancakes in addition to Cuban favourites such as el Cubano sandwich, the Plancha Burger with a chorizo and beef patty, churrasco with yucca fries, and Sunday fish with a tropical fruit salsa.

The children’s buffet offers kids’ favourites such as pancakes, chicken tenders, mac n’ cheese, mini burger, grilled salmon, cookies and fruit. 

Plancha brunch is offered every Sunday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm for $68 per adult and $20 per child ages 5-12. 

Reservations for Ravello and Plancha at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World can be made by calling (407) 313-6161.

 

George Miliotes Wine Pairing Dinner At Ravello

George Miliotes Four Seasons Resort Orlando Winebar George  Ravello

Four Seasons Resort Orlando will welcome Master Sommelier George Miliotes, owner of Wine Bar George opening at Disney Springs, for a special wine pairing dinner that is bound to be a memorable evening.  The dinner will be held on March 9, 2017 at 6:30 pm on the lovely terrace of the resort’s Ravello restaurant.

“We are looking forward to welcoming George Miliotes for a fun and informative dinner at Ravello,” says Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi. “His new wine bar will surely be an asset, and will further enhance Orlando’s positioning as a destination ideal for food and wine aficionados.”

Miliotes, one of only 230 worldwide industry professionals certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers, is opening Wine Bar George at Disney Springs.  Wine Bar George will be the only Master Sommelier-led wine bar in the Sunshine State. The menu will feature a range of varietals, vintages and prices, and a large selection of wines by the glass.

“I’m thrilled to share my enthusiasm and passion for wine with each and every guest, and look forward to a wonderful evening at Ravello,” notes Miliotes, who is sourcing wines not typically offered on the Ravello wine list for this exclusive event.

The five-course menu for the George Miliotes special event is as follows:

Course 1

  • Veal liver mousse, apple marmellata and balsamic gelatin
  • Antinori Vermentino

    Course 2

  • Red trout and roe, fingerling potato, green bean, quail egg and pickled vinaigrette
  • Princip Fruilano or Ceretto Arnies “Blange”

    Course 3

  • Bucatini pasta “paglia e fieno,” gorgonzola dolce, walnut, kale and sage brown butter
  • Medici Ermite Lambrusco (dry sparkling red)

    Course 4

  • Barbera wine-braised short rib, Acquerello rice “budino,” golden raisin and red mustard
  • Poderi Elia Barbara di Asti DOCG

    Course 5

  • Strawberry citrus granita, candied orange and warm biscotti
  • Perlina Moscato

    The menu is $175 per person, price includes tax and gratuity. Reservations: 407 313 6161.

 

Muppets Fun at PizzeRizzo at Hollywood Studios

Muppets PizzeRizzo Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World
Muppets Caricatures

PizzeRizzo at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the fun new Muppets themed quick service restaurant located in the building Pizza Planet previously occupied. While I haven’t yet had the chance to eat at PizzeRizzo, I did get the opportunity the other day to explore some of the awesome Muppets details throughout the restaurant. I ducked in to avoid the rain while waiting between fast passes and this may be my new favorite quick service restaurant in Hollywood Studios even without eating there! Check out some of these great Muppets throwbacks, plus some other things you may just notice from other areas of the park.

Like many establishments, PizzeRizzo attempted to frame their first dollar, but Pepe left an I.O.U. for Rizzo apparently needing some cash.

Muppets PizzeRizzo Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World
PizzeRizzo framed I.O.U.

The ordering area and seating areas both upstairs and down are now huge. I kind of forgot to get a picture since we were trying to escape before the downpour started, but it is gigantic improvement over what it was when it was Pizza Planet with the switchbacks in the ordering area and with the games taking up a big part of the restaurant. Here’s a picture that just shows a portion of the lobby where you order to give you an idea of the size.

PizzeRizzo Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World
PizzeRizzo ordering area

Much of the time I spent exploring was in the upstairs, which can be reached by really cool backlit stairs in the center of the dining room or by an elevator just to the side. Upstairs is also where the banquet room is located, where they were playing YMCA when we were there. The outdoor seating area is also amazing. It looks down over the Muppets Courtyard and what remains of New York Street and the construction of what will be Star Wars and Toy Story Lands.

PizzeRizzo Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World
Banquet room
PizzeRizzo Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World
Upstairs seating
PizzeRizzo Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World
Outside seating

For Disney fans, and those who miss the Streets of America, a piece of it survived and hangs proudly on the wall in PizzeRizzo. Another fun nod to Disney history, and tying in to the New York theme of the L.A. based pizza restaurant, is a picture of the Unisphere from where the 1964 World’s Fair was held.

PizzeRizzo Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World
Walt Disney subway sign
PizzeRizzo Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World
Unisphere

Rizzo even likes to have fun with his trash cans and recycling bins in his restaurant. These fun sayings are found, some repeated, throughout PizzeRizzo, making taking your trash out more fun.

PizzeRizzo Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World
Recycling is a gouda for the Earth!
PizzeRizzo Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World
I’m trying to run a business here! Pick up after yourself!
PizzeRizzo Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World
Can it, youse guys!
PizzeRizzo Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World
Clean it up! Your ma don’t work here.
PizzeRizzo Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World
Don’t fuggedaboutit toss your trash!

My favorite details though come from the bulletin board beside the banquet room. Many of the Muppets are advertising their services with fliers and business cards and they are priceless. I have two shots of the entire boards that I suggest you zoom in on and peruse, but I’ve also included a few of my choice faves to share. I’ll let you explore some of the others to discover on your own so as not to take away all the fun of finding all of them.

PizzeRizzo Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World
Bulletin board 1
PizzeRizzo Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World
Bulletin board 2
PizzeRizzo Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World
Tossing Penguin Tuxedo Rentals and Pyrotechnics by Harry
PizzeRizzo Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World
Mahna Mahna Choir – good luck not getting that one stuck in your head from the first episode of the Muppet Show

There are so many other great puns and nods to New York and the Muppets and just pop culture throughout PizzeRizzo. I highly recommend that you check out this fantastic remodel and I hope that I get to eat there soon as I’ve heard good things about the antipasto salad. The space is great with tons of seating inside and out, and on both floors with accessibility. This may be my new place to hideout and spend time in between fast passes because they play great music too (think Rat Pack, Rosemary Clooney, Perry Como, etc.). Although I would also kind of love to hear the Mice Girls sing some of these hits from this record.

Mice Girls

Valentine’s Day At The Four Seasons Resort Orlando

If you are looking to spend Valentine’s Day in a luxurious way, consider experiencing the wonderful restaurants or relaxing spa at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort.

Their Ravello and Capa Restaurants are each offering delicious prix fixe menus, while The Spa has special offers for couples.

Ravello at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

Ravello Couple Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

Ravello has quickly become one of our go-to places for a fantastic meal out! The restaurant’s authentic Italian cuisine is prepared by Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi, originally from Torino, Italy. I love taking a peek into their lively open kitchen.

For Valentines’s day they are offering a four course meal for $75 per person (not including tax or gratuity) that looks delicious!

  • First course: Focaccia Pugliese, tomato, mozzarella and herbs
  • Second course: Speck, burrata and asparagus flat bread, roasted cherry tomato thyme, extra virgin olive oil; or, oyster and eggplant, white balsamic gelee, salmon roe, watercress
  • Third course: Veal medallion, red beet tortellacci, kobocha and caciocavallo cheese, black truffle sauce; or, pan seared “Florida hog” snapper, lobster-chives mashed potatoes, lemon caper sauce, and warm cauliflower-sun dried tomato salad
  • Fourth course: Rotolo dolce, Florida strawberry, crème fraiche

Capa at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

Capa Couple Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

If you haven’t had the chance to dine at Capa, the Resort’s rooftop level Spanish-inspired steakhouse, you are missing out!

Known for its fresh seafood and prime meats, the stunning ambiance in hues of crimson, black and grey features an open kitchen and wood-burning grill, plus an expansive terrace where guests can enjoy views of the nightly Magic Kingdom Park fireworks.

Capa was named to Wine Enthusiast magazine’s list of 100 Best Wine Restaurants in the US.

And exclusively for Valentines’s day, you can enjoy a four course meal for $95 per person (not including tax or gratuity).

  • First course: Sopa – lobster bisque, saffron crème fraiche, tortas; or, ensalada – endive, honeydew, sorrel and mint
  • Second course: Vieira – scallops crudo, tomatillo salsa verde, blood oranges; or, alcachofa – artichoke confit, black truffle, wagyu beef
  • Third course: Pescado – branzino, fennel, orange and burnt leek vinaigrette; or, carne – prime beef tenderloin, brown butter-polenta croquettes, green beans and black garlic; or, for an additional USD 30 per person, opt for the tomahawk for two, served with rioja sauce and twice baked potato with smoked crème fraiche and caviar
  • Fourth course: Fundido de Fresa y Chocolate, Bahibe milk chocolate cremeux, strawberry ice cream

Both menus will only be available on February 14th, and to make reservations call (407) 313-6161.

Couples Sweet Retreat at The Spa at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

For couples who like to unwind and relax with their sweetheart, The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Orlando offers a luxurious Valentine’s Day package for two to enjoy.

From Saturday, February 11 to Tuesday, February 14, 2017, connect with a couple’s massage performed by one of The Spa’s expert team of therapists in a beautiful candlelit and rose-petal-strewn couple’s suite. Each couple’s massage is set to beautifully soothing ambient music while intoxicating aroma-therapeutic notes of jasmine, rose and ylang ylang essential oils fill the air.  Two glasses of rosé to sip, and special Valentine truffles from local chocolatier Norman Love Confections are also included.

This couple’s experience is $385 for a 50 minute massage, $545 for an 80 minute massage or $715 for a 110 minute massage. Couples who reserve 80 minute or 110 minute massages may enjoy complimentary day access to the Resort’s pools, including the adult-only Oasis Pool.

Outdoor lounges Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

The Spa is also offering a “Tennis Love Match” special where couples can enjoy a tennis lesson for two for USD 100, plus an hour of complimentary court time, available February 11 to February 14, 2017. Lessons are held on the Resort’s Har-Tru tennis courts by tennis professional Alain Labrecque, in partnership with PBI International.

To reserve a Spa appointment or tennis lesson, contact The Spa at 407 313 6160.

Dining with a Food Allergy at Walt Disney World

Dining with a Food Allergy at Walt Disney World Pizzerizzo Allergy Menu
Pizzerizzo Allergy Menu

Dining with a food allergy can be very tricky and a source of stress when you are traveling. However Walt Disney World has quite a number of options available to those with a food allergy, dietary restriction, or lifestyle choice for their diet. I wanted to share a few of the things that you can do ahead of time to help you in your planning if you do have a food allergy or sensitivity to make your dining plans easier (and safer).

Dining with a Food Allergy at Walt Disney World

With Walt Disney World being one of the most visited destinations in the world, they see millions of guests annually. Accordingly, they have started to recognize that many of us have food allergies and/or dietary sensitivities and restrictions.

The process starts when you are making reservations or going to a dining location, because you will always want to make the cast members aware of your allergies or dietary restrictions so they can accommodate your needs in the best way possible.

If you are calling Disney Dining to make a reservation, let them know you have an allergy so that when you check-in the host or hostess can easily mark your table as having a special dining request. Or if you book a dining reservation online, simply check that boxes that best fit your dietary needs. But don’t worry if you forget to do either of those, because you can always let them know when you arrive at the restaurant. You can also contact the Special Dietary Requests Line for further assistance at 407-824-5967.

If your allergy isn’t listed in the most common ones online or on the My Disney Experience app, there is an “other” box that can be selected and you can explain the specifics to the server when you arrive.

Dining with a Food Allergy at Walt Disney World Advance Dining Reservation Food allergy question

In the last few years Walt Disney World’s restaurants, both table service and counter service locations, have started to provide guests with what they call Allergy Menus. These menus address the most common food allergies, which include: milk (dairy), corn, egg, wheat (gluten), peanut, soy, shellfish, fish, and tree nuts.

Here is an example of the allergy menu I received on our last visit to Narcoosee’s.

Dining with a Food Allergy at Walt Disney World Narcoossee's Allergy Menu
Narcoossee’s Allergy Menu
Dining with a Food Allergy at Walt Disney World Narcoossee's Allergy Menu Back 2016
Narcoossee’s Allergy Menu
Dining with a Food Allergy at Walt Disney World Narcoossee's Allergy Menu 2016 desserts
Narcoossee’s Allergy Dessert Menu

Another option at the restaurants of Walt Disney World is to speak with a chef if you don’t see any choices that meet your needs on the Allergy Menu.

When the chef comes to your table, they will ask you more about your food allergies or sensitivities to better discuss all the options you have at their dining location.

If you are dining at a buffet, the chef can walk you through the line and tell you exactly what you can and can’t have. At a table service restaurant if you see something on the regular menu that you’d like, but has something you can’t have in it you can ask your chef, and more often than not, they can tweak it for you. The chefs are great and like to be creative and will even sometimes make completely off the menu custom dishes if you don’t see something to your liking on the Allergy Menu.

It never hurts to ask! Always make sure you let them know what you like, too. My friends and I have been amazed with some of the dishes the chefs have come up with when we let them run wild with a little freedom.

Dining with a Food Allergy at Walt Disney World food allergy gluten free rolls
Gluten free rolls

I recommend looking at menus online before you make your reservations to get an idea of what the restaurant offers to make sure they have something you may be able to eat, keeping in mind that items are subject to change. Some of Allergy Menus will be more extensive depending on the restaurant.

When you are On the Go, there are tons of great snacks being added to the parks and resorts for guests with allergies all the time.

Throughout the resort you will find snacks ranging from fresh fruit to other vegan and gluten free items readily available in the Snacks with Character line that was recently introduced.

Dining with a Food Allergy at Walt Disney World food allergy snacks Snacks with Character cookies
Snacks with Character – Cookies
Dining with a Food Allergy at Walt Disney World food allergy snacks Snacks with Character Cinnamon Bun Bar
Snacks with Character – Cinnamon Bun Bar
Dining with a Food Allergy at Walt Disney World food allergy snacks Snacks with Character pretzels and cookies
Snacks with Character – Pretzels

If you have a sweet tooth AND food allergies or dietary restrictions, a visit to Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC at Disney Springs should be in your plans. All of the treats in this special bakery are nut free, vegan, Kosher, and gluten free. I’m allergic to pistachios and am gluten free, and I am usually restricted in what I can have…but not here. It is amazing!

The bottom line is don’t be afraid to eat at Disney restaurant because of a food allergy or if you’re vegan or have a food sensitivity. I promise that whatever dietary sensitivity you may have, in the 45 plus years Walt Disney World has been operating there’s a 99.99% chance that they’ve handled it successfully multiple times over.

Doing a little homework before you arrive never hurts, but Walt Disney World will always do their best since your safety is their number one priority during your visit.

Planet Hollywood Observatory Menu Highlights

Planet Hollywood Observatory Menu Highlights Disney Springs

Planet Hollywood Observatory launches a new menu into orbit at the Orlando Flagship Location

Burgers and Sandwiches by Guy Fieri, Florida Craft Brews, and Colossal Appetizers Among New Offerings

The Planet Hollywood Observatory will be opening later this fall at Disney Springs with a menu full of familiar favorites, burgers and sandwiches by Guy Fieri, Florida Craft Brews, gigantic appetizers, and over-the-top sweets.

“We’ve spent an enormous amount of time developing new menu offerings for Planet Hollywood Observatory and striking a balance with keeping our favorites in place,” said Robert Earl, Founder and Chairman, Planet Hollywood International. “We’re excited to offer even more options for our guests, ranging from appealing starters, to light and healthy salads, to indulgent steak and lobster—and everything in between. And they really must save room for dessert—I always do!”

Of the new and returning favorites, here’s a look at what you’ll find once Planet Hollywood Observatory reopens!

Planet Hollywood Observatory Menu Highlights Disney Springs

Fans will embrace the return of classics such as World Famous Chicken Crunch with Creole mustard sauce playfully plated in a chicken-shaped dish.

Planet Hollywood Observatory Menu Highlights Disney Springs

Nachos Grande return with piled high with chipotle chicken, cheese and black bean sauce, cruda salsa verde, pico de gallo, queso fresco and sour cream.

Planet Hollywood Observatory Menu Highlights Disney Springs

Of the six featured burgers from Guy Fieri, the award-winning Bacon Mac-N-Cheese with applewood smoked bacon, six-cheese mac-n-cheese, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, crispy onion straws, Fieri’s signature Donkey Sauce, and garlic-buttered brioche bun looks crazy!

Planet Hollywood Observatory Menu Highlights Disney Springs

The Lobster Feast Fra Diavolo is a spaghetti favorite served in a whole lobster shell and a Sesame Ginger Salmon with cilantro rice is one of eight gussied-up specialty offerings.

Planet Hollywood Observatory Menu Highlights Disney Springs

Healthy options for guests include a selection of five fresh salads like the Citrus Kale, a combination of kale, julienned broccoli, slivered Brussels sprouts and cabbage, feta, grapefruit, oranges, cranberries, sunflowers seeds, agave dressing; and Spinach & Berries with candied walnuts, bleu cheese crumbles and balsamic vinaigrette.

Planet Hollywood Observatory Menu Highlights Disney Springs

For a sweet finish “Hand-Dipped and Whimsical Milkshakes” include Chocolate Comet and Strawberry Borealis. The dessert menu is filled with goodies such as the Cosmic Cream Challenge, a blind tasting of 12 flavors of house-made ice creams and sorbets; Planet Melt Down, a chocolate hardshell dome, melted tableside by hot chocolate sauce to reveal double chocolate fudge cake, fresh strawberries and whipped cream; and Brownie Sundae Martini, 12 decadent chunks of freshly baked brownies layered with six scoops of vanilla and chocolate ice cream with toppings.

After seeing these pictures I’m even more excited to give Planet Hollywood Observatory a try!

Celebrate Yelloween at STK Orlando

STK Orlando Yelloween Disney Springs WDW

Celebrate Yelloween at STK Orlando

If you are looking for a fun Halloween without having to head into Downtown Orlando, why not try something new! STK Orlando at Disney Springs is hosting their first Halloween event called “Yelloween”.

The “Yelloween” fun starts at 8 pm, and for two hours you’ll enjoy champagne toasts, an open bar, drink specials from 10 pm to midnight, little bites, haunting tunes from a live DJ, performers and interactive performers as you party on the rooftop!

Tickets are $50 and can be purchased in advance online.

A Trip To Vivoli Il Gelato At Disney Springs

Vivoli Il Gelato At Disney Springs

What better way is there to celebrate National Ice Cream Cone Day than by visiting Vivoli il Gelato at The Landing in Disney Springs!

For 85 years this world-famous gelato shop from Florence, Italy, has shared their family’s hand-crafted recipies with the world. And just last year the family opened their second storefront in history at Walt Disney World.

Vivoli Il Gelato At Disney Springs

Vivoli il Gelato was founded in 1932 by Raphael and his two brothers, Vivoli Gelateria started out as a dairy – at that time, it was not easy to find raw materials such as milk, eggs and sugar and there were no gelato machines and freezers.

Vivoli Il Gelato At Disney Springs
Photo: Vivoli Il Gelato

After World War II, technology enabled the brothers to follow their passion and produce gelato every day – a far cry from the early recipes that relied on barrels filled with ice and snow from the nearby mountains to keep their concoctions frozen.

With a “cone-a-copia” of 24 authentic flavors to choose from, Vivoli il Gelato offers everything from a classic cream to a sultry brandied cherry. Fresh ingredients such as cocoa powder, pistachio, and hazelnut add rich and succulent undertones to these sweet masterpieces that could have easily served as Michaelangelo’s muse.

Vivoli Il Gelato At Disney Springs
All the regular flavors at Vivoli Il Gelato are gluten and free, and the flavors with the blue handles are dairy free.

There is no better way to celebrate National Ice Cream Cone Day than by taking a quick trip to Italy through Vivoli Gelateria at The Landing in Disney Springs.

Vivoli Il Gelato At Disney Springs

Raglan Road Hosts 5th Annual Great Irish Hooley

Great Irish Hooley Raglan Road Disney Springs 2016

Great Irish Hooley Celebrates 5th Anniversary Labor Day Weekend at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Disney Springs

NEW: ‘Rhythms of Raglan’ show, plus top Irish Bands, Dance, Food and Craft Beers 

The Great Irish Hooley is returning to Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Disney Springs for the 5th year with new live music and dance entertainment, fresh menu creations and plenty of craft beer and cocktail options are on tap Labor Day weekend September 2-5, 2016.

Great Irish Hooley Raglan Road Disney Springs 2016

Celebrating Irish song, dance, food and drink over the long Labor Day weekend, the Great Irish Hooley is Central Florida’s only boutique Irish festival with performances beginning at noon Friday and continuing each day and night through late Monday.

Raglan Road Disney Springs Mighty St Patricks Day Festival Great Irish Hooley Raglan Road Disney Springs 2016

The highlight of this year’s Hooley is the brand-new Rhythms of Ragland which is a 90-minute live show of music and dance that was produced in Ireland, exported to Raglan Road and directed by David Hayes (Riverdance, “The Voice” Ireland edition) with guest choreographers including Michael Donellan (Lord of the Dance). You can catch a debut of this new show at 4 pm on September 2nd, and at 1 pm and 4 pm September 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

A traditional Irish social celebration, the “Hooley” combines music ranging from traditional to rock tunes with entertainment and fun for the whole family (no cover charge). And this year the music will feature headliner Screaming Orphans and other bands popular on the festival circuit.

Great Irish Hooley Raglan Road Disney Springs 2016 - Screaming Orphans
Screaming Orphans / Photo: Raglan Road
  • Screaming Orphans – Four talented sisters from Bundoran in County Donegal, Ireland, combine original pop/rock music with the Ceili (kay-lee) traditional music of their family roots. Their dynamic show has taken the festival circuit by storm.
  • Jake Richardson – Jake is a singer-songwriter and musician from Dublin whose passion for music inspires audiences as he entertains with unique vocals and catchy songs.
  • Flat Out – Flat Out is an award winning four-piece band from the West of Ireland that plays an exciting mix of folk, traditional, pop and New World music. Band members are all multi-instrumentalists combining Irish harp, guitar, fiddle, tin whistle, flute, button accordion, bodhran. They play fresh original music along with funky cover music and have been playing and travelling the world since 2013.
  • Marianne Fraser Band – Marianne is one of the most sought after guitarists and songwriters on the Irish music scene who is ably supported by Danny Hunter on fiddle and Ali Levack on whistles and pipes. The band performs a high-energy mix of traditional and modern tunes along with Marianne’s own compositions.
  • Swingin’ On the Gate – This four-piece band of multi-instrumentalists with roots in legendary Lisdoonvarna in Co. Clare have serious crossover credentials and musical pedigree including traditional and classical training. They are multiple medal winners at Fleadhs music competitions and have toured in Italy, Switzerland and the United States.
Great Irish Hooley Raglan Road Disney Springs 2016 - Raglan Roots
The Raglan Roots Coalition / Photo: Raglan Road
  • The Raglan Roots Coalition – 10 years down the road, Raglan felt it was time to shake its boogie – Roots style, with this new Irish house band.  Think soul-rocking Celtic bluegrass with some hip-swingin’, knee-shakin’ funky roots beats.
  • The High Road – These young, traditional Irish musicians met in University in Ireland.  A predominately Irish traditional group, they also play British folk, blues and soul, and their combined talents provide for a vibrant, exciting live show of music and song.
  • Cooney & Ryan – One of the finest traditional Irish music duos around, these accomplished, energetic musicians often invite the crowd to sing along.
Great Irish Hooley Raglan Road Disney Springs 2016 - Raglan Road Dancers
The Raglan Road Irish Dancers / Photo: Raglan Road
  • The Raglan Road Irish Dancers – Plucked from the cast and stages of the world’s greatest Irish dance shows, the Raglan Road Dancers perform throughout the long Hooley weekend.  You can even learn some traditional Irish dance steps – no experience necessary!
  • The Flyin’ Marys – A young, hip all-girl band that mixes it up with raucous tunes, beautiful ballads and strong vocals.

The Hooley is a perfect way for families to spend time together this holiday weekend! There will be Celtic face-painting Saturday through Monday.

Raglan Road Disney Springs Mighty St Patricks Day Festival Great Irish Hooley Raglan Road Disney Springs 2016

With contemporary Irish cuisine by celebrity chef Kevin Dundon, Irish craft beers, hand-crafted cocktails and day-into-night entertainment, the Great Irish Hooley promises a high-voltage music festival for all who drop by or reserve a table.

New Experiences At The 2016 Food & Wine Classic

Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic

New experiences announced for Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic

All-new brunch offering and two new seminars to join seventh annual event

 

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic will introduce a Sunday Champagne Brunch at Il Mulino New York Trattoria along with two new beverage seminars,Craft Cocktails and More than Malbec, when it returns for its seventh year Friday, October 28, and Saturday, October 29.

Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic

Guests can extend their Food & Wine Classic experience one more day at the first ever Sunday Champagne Brunch on October 30, featuring a lavish menu of traditional and unconventional dishes. The brunch, presented by J Vineyards and Winery, will include various cured meats and imported cheeses along with an array of sushi and trattoria-inspired entrees.

Walt Disney World swan and dolphin food & wine classic

The Sunday Champagne Brunch can be booked along with a 2-night stay or Saturday night stay festival package for $75 per person, which includes one glass of J Vineyards champagne or specialty mimosa. Available seatings are at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Along with the Sunday Champagne Brunch, event attendees can experience two new seminars that have been added to the selection of hands-on educational experiences taught by members of the hotel’s award-winning food and beverage team. The new spirits seminar, Craft Cocktails, educates guests on the origins of traditional cocktails and how to make them. More than Malbec introduces the world of popular Argentinian wines, with tastings and tips for pairing.

Walt Disney World swan and dolphin food & wine classic Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic

Returning beverage seminars will be Wine Blending, Italian Wines, Base to Bubbles, Beer Please and TQU: Tequila University, while The Cheese Course, Pasta Making and Fine Art of Sushi and Sake return as pairing seminars.

Beverage seminar tickets are $50 per person, and pairing seminar tickets are $70 per person and require the purchase of the general outdoor causeway ticket.

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Fans can visit www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com to view the 2016 food menu as well as book overnight packages and purchase tickets for the event, seminars and Sunday Champagne Brunch.

The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic offers guests unlimited tastings at more than 40 stations featuring culinary selections from the hotel’s award-winning restaurants and wine from more than 30 wineries amidst a festive backdrop of live entertainment on the hotel’s scenic causeway. Upgraded ticket options allow guests to enjoy access to a beer garden featuring a wide selection of craft beers and Oktoberfest-inspired cuisine.

 

Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe Hosts Kids Sushi Class

Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe Kids Sushi Making
Photo: Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe

Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe hosts an interactive Sushi Making Class for kids on June 25th 

Kids will learn how to wrap and roll their way to spectacular sushi 

Wolfgang Puck Grand Café (1482 East Buena Vista Drive), located in Disney Springs, invites kids to embark on a journey through the Japanese art of sushi making with a kids cooking class. Kids can roll up their sleeves on Saturday, June 25 from 12 to 2 p.m. and learn this exquisite culinary craft.

This interactive and engaging cooking class offers a crash course into exploring the exciting and intricate world of sushi with hands on experience. Class attendees will partake in various class projects learning how to make an array of sushi including hand rolls, nigari and maki rolls. Throughout the class, guests will learn how to properly prepare and season sushi rice, healthy eating habits, and basic cleanliness and food safety skills.

As an added activity, the culinary kiddos will also create refreshing and flavorful summertime drinks including Old Fashioned Chocolate Soda and a Grapey-Orange Cooler. The class is $35 per person, plus tax and gratuity.  Reservations can be made by calling 407.828.8996.

For additional information please visit www.wolfgangpuckcafeorlando.com.