Category: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Jiko – The Cooking Place Presents The Wines of Paul Cluver!
Jiko – The Cooking Place is pleased to present…
The Wines of Paul Cluver, featuring Jacqueline Harris
Thursday, March 6, 2014
6:00 pm Reception / 6:30 pm Dinner
$160, plus tax and gratuity
Dress Code – Business Casual Evening Attire
Meet in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Lobby, Sunset Lounge
For reservations please contact Victoria Thompson at Victoria.email@example.com. This event is limited to 36 guests and requires a credit card guarantee. There is a 3 day cancellation policy.
Paul Cluver is a family-owned, family-run wine business located in the cool-climate Elgin Valley, approximately 70km south-east of Cape Town. The property has been in ownership of the Cluver Family since 1896. Recognised as pioneers of wine in the area, the focus is on producing elegant wines that are expressive of the terroir. The wine business forms part of larger holistic farming business called ‘De Rust Estate’. In addition to the vineyards and cellar, there are apple and pear orchards, a Hereford stud and eco-tourism activities, including amphitheatre concerts, on the farm. This 2000+ hectare estate forms part of the UNESCO world heritage site, the Kogelberg Biosphere. Half of the estate has been set aside for conservation into perpetuity.
Za’atar Crusted Goat Cheese, Ghee Brik Pillow, and Zough
Seared Scallop, Crisp Cassava, Berbere Crème Fraîche, and Kaluga Caviar
“Beef Seswaa” Osso Bucco, Braised Oxtail “Marrow” in a Mealie Pap “Bone”
Paul Cluver Encounter Riesling, Elgin
Preserved Citrus Roasted Duck Breast, Morel Mushrooms, Ramps, and English Pea Nage
Paul Cluver Sauvignon Blanc, Elgin
Grilled Lobster Potato Salad, Rock Prawn Crunch, Avocado Bisque, and Tikka Masala Air
Paul Cluver Gewürztraminer, Elgin
Herb Roasted Lamb Chop, Early Spring Greens, Chick Pea Croquets, and Coconut-Mint Jam
Paul Cluver Pinot Noir, Elgin
Harissa-crusted Butter Fish, Fiddle Head Ferns, Baby Corn, Delta Asparagus, and Green Garlic Emulsion
Paul Cluver Chardonnay, Elgin
Chocolate Pot de Crème with Almond Crème and Raspberries
Paul Cluver Late Harvest Riesling, Elgin
Our Favorite Valentine’s Day Places At Walt Disney World
Happy Valentine’s Day!
We thought that to celebrate the day, we would share some of our ideal places to celebrate at Walt Disney World!
A fun unique way to spend Valentines Day at WDW for me is to take a stroll around the Boardwalk. Grab some dinner & drinks while taking in a view of Illuminations before ending the night at Jellyrolls for a fun sing-a-long.
One of the most romantic things I love to do at Walt Disney World is stroll around with that special someone. I have a few places in particular that I enjoy. One of my favorites is Epcot at night. The parks transforms when the torches are lit before Illuminations and the ambient noise from guests seems the die down. I especially love finding a quiet spot in France by the back gardens or tucked away while everyone else is getting ready for the fireworks and listening to the beautiful French accordion music. Enjoying a toast with an adult beverage or even a snack from the patisserie is a great way to cap off a romantic stroll around World Showcase.
If you are looking for romance outside the parks, also in the evenings I really enjoy walking around the gardens at Port Orleans French Quarter, maybe after enjoying some beignets! After all, the French do seem to know what they’re doing when it comes to l’amour <3! I also would never turn down a romantic walk around the Polynesian with the palms swaying in the breeze, ukelele and steel guitar music gently wafting through the air, sand beneath my toes, and a view of Wishes fireworks from the beach would make almost anyone swoon.
Dining options around Walt Disney World are prevalent, but it can sometimes be hard to picture a romantic place that is quiet and sans children. Of course if I had the choice, I’d pick dressing up with my man to go to Victoria & Albert’s at the Grand Floridian where no children under 12 are admitted and the tones are decidedly hushed. I’d also prefer not to pay that bill ;). Looking for something a bit more affordable, but still with a nice atmosphere, I like Artist Point at the Wilderness Lodge or Flying Fish at the Boardwalk. Both are quieter than most other restaurants I’ve found on property and have a nice ambiance, great food and wine to match.
There are many restaurants and places to go for Valentines day, depending on how extravagant one is willing to go.
For me, if I’m not planning on going to a restaurant or park, one of my favorite things is fireworks. So my recommendation would be to go to The Polynesian, pick up a coffee and a sweet snack and head down to the beach area. If it’s chilly be sure to take a blanket, which can be used to sit on too.
The view from the beach at the Polynesian is special as you don’t need park access, and the view is stunning as you get the reflections off the lake too. Just be sure to get there around 15/20 minutes before they begin so you can secure a good viewing spot.
Watching the fireworks with your loved one can be so romantic, especially snuggled up with a hot beverage by the beach! Don’t forget a selfie to capture your night!
I’d love to spend Valentine’s Day with a nice meal at Yachtsman Steakhouse followed by a night time stroll around Crescent Lake or World Showcase. Then cap the evening off with any of the firework spectaculars.
My ideal Valentine’s Day at WDW would have to be in the World Showcase at Epcot. I especially love wandering around at night when the pavilions are lit up. Maybe grab an ice cream cone at L’Artisan des Glaces in France – my favorite flavor is profiterole! – and do a little window shopping. Of course the night wouldn’t be complete without a viewing of Illuminations!
When I think romance (which I hardly ever do in general) around Disney World, I immediately think of Jiko at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Not only is it one of our favorite restaurants, but it tends to be quite one-on-one. It’s normally not loud and while it’s “fancy”, it’s got a laid back feel to it as well. And if you’re not looking to spend a bunch of money on dinner, a favorite of mine is to get a good spot on the train station and watch Wishes from there.
If I could pick somewhere to spend Valentines Day in Walt Disney World it would have to be experiencing a romantic candlelit dinner at the California Grill located within the Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Not only does this location have excellent food and atmosphere, but it also provides for some of the greatest views of the entire Walt Disney World property. Located on the 15th floor, the California Grill provides views of the Magic Kingdom, the Seven Seas Lagoon, Bay Lake and numerous other landmarks on Disney World property. There’s nothing quite like being able to catch a Florida sunset from the top of the Contemporary Resort while enjoying an excellent glass of wine and top notch cuisine. At the end of the night you can head out onto the balcony and top off your romantic evening with a breathtaking view of Wishes, the Magic Kingdom’s night time spectacular. In my opinion the California Grill is one of the most romantic dining options on Walt Disney World property and an excellent way to spend your Valentines Day.
My favorite date night with Dave is a little bit corny, but we love to head to the Magic Kingdom. We have a ‘light’ dinner of appetizer’s at Tony’s Town Square, take a stroll through the park as the sunsets, and then settle into our favorite spot for the rest of the night. We head over to Sleepy Hollow Refreshments to grab a funnel cake and a table near the castle. Sleepy Hollow is an awesome spot, because you can watch the Main Street Electrical Parade and Celebrate the Magic before heading to the castle to watch Wishes! I love our Magic Kingdom nights, because it’s a great chance to slow down and I don’t have to share my treats with Zoe!!!
Wherever you are celebrating today, we hope that your Valentine’s Day is awesome!Follow us for more updates:
Walt Disney World Decorations & Holiday Celebrations
Holiday cheer has begun to hit the Walt Disney World Resort, and we are so excited!!!
Here is quick rundown of some of the great Holiday parties, decorations, events, and more that you will be able to find at the Walt Disney World Resort!!!
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Select Nights November 8 – December 20, 2013
In case you aren’t familiar, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a separate ticket event that takes place on select nights at Magic Kingdom Park throughout November and December.
Parties give you an opportunity to celebrate with snow flurries on Main Street, U.S.A., Disney characters in holiday attire, and very special entertainment offerings, including Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade and Cinderella Castle Dream Lights. For the first time this year, the Celebrate the Magic! castle projection show and Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season fireworks will be enhanced with “Glow With The Show” ears – what an amazing sight this will be!
Also new for this year, attendees can experience Jingle Cruise, the first-ever holiday transformation of the Jungle Cruise attraction, which will feature seasonal decor, new holiday jokes and more. Party goers can also pick up a complimentary, event exclusive Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Card that features Donald’s nephews. And when it comes to character greeting opportunities, look for Merida’s Fairytale Garden to stay open for parties this year.
This year’s parties will take place from 7 p.m.-midnight on November 8, 11, 14, 15, 17, 21 and 22, and December 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19 and 20. Tickets (which are separate from a regular park ticket) are already on sale now and purchasing ahead of time can actually save you money. Click here to learn more!
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
November 8, 2013 – January 5, 2014
Marvel at millions of glittering lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music. Share in an awe-inspiring seasonal treat for the entire family. Brilliant multi-colored bulbs wrap the buildings, changing hues and brightness throughout the show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As joyful music surrounds you, a sea of twinkling lights form twirling carousels of heavenly angels, toy soldiers, a spinning Earth, and even Santa and his trusty reindeer. It’s something you have to see to believe!
November 29 –December 30, 2013
Share in the sights and sounds of some of the world’s greatest holiday festivities during Holidays Around the World at Epcot. Amid joyful music and seasonal food favorites, time-honored traditions come alive as costumed performers share their country’s holiday heritage throughout World Showcase.
Although subject to change, holiday festivities may include:
- American Adventure
Meet Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, celebrate the traditions of Hanukkah and discover the spirit of Kwanzaa.
Follow the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs on a musical tour as you explore seasonal customs of the Great White North.
Watch the agile Monkey King weave his tall tale with twists and turns celebrating Chinese New Year.
Discover the magic of Père Noël and the joy of the season through a Christmas letter from a child.
Listen as Helga tells the story of the first Christmas tree and the tale of her first Nutcracker.
Meet the kind-hearted witch La Befana who arrives on the eve of the Epiphany to grant gifts to good children.
Hear the fascinating story of the Daruma doll and the Japanese customs of the New Year.
Celebrate with Los Tres Reyes Magos, the Three Kings, as they tell of their journey to the Posada and traditions today.
Join Taarji, a Moroccan drummer, as he reflects on family traditions commemorating the holiday of Ramadan.
Spend time with Sigrid and learn about Julenissen, the Christmas Gnome.
- United Kingdom
Share in the vivid stories of Father Christmas, dating back to 15th-century England.
Be sure to check the Times Guide for a complete list of appearances and performance times.
November 29 – December 30, 2013
Each night, a celebrity narrator tells the biblical tale of a savior born to a virgin in Bethlehem. All the while, gorgeous choral pieces are woven into the narration as an orchestra and choir provide an inspirational backdrop with songs of hope and joy.
For the hearing impaired, an American Sign Language interpreter translates the legendary account, allowing Guests of all kinds the opportunity to enjoy the event.
This year, an exciting line-up of narrators—including a few all-new additions to the Candlelight Processional—are set to lend their voices to the storytelling, including:
- Gary Sinise
November 29 to December 1, 2013
- Neil Patrick Harris
December 2 to December 3, 2013
- Ashley Judd – NEW!
December 4 to December 5
- Whoopi Goldberg
December 6 to December 7, 2013
- Sigourney Weaver – NEW!
December 8 to December 10, 2013
- Dennis Haysbert – NEW!
December 11 to December 13, 2013
- James Denton
December 14 to December 16, 2013
- Edward James Olmos
December 17 to December 19, 2013
- Trace Adkins
December 20 to December 22, 2013
- Steven Curtis Chapman
December 23 to December 25, 2013
- Blair Underwood
December 26 to December 28, 2013
- Amy Grant
December 29 to December 30, 2013
Show times take place 3 times during each day of the event at 5:00 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:15 PM, except on December 8, 2013, when show times take place at 6:45 PM and 8:15 PM only. Celebrity narrators, dates and other entertainment are subject to change without notice.
November 15 – December 29, 2013
Celebrate the holidays with live entertainment, photo opportunity and so much more!
The Downtown Disney area invites you to embrace the spirit of the season as you enjoy the twinkling lights, a grandiose tree and yuletide touches at every turn. Be sure to bring your little ones to see Santa Claus and then shop for unique gifts at the specialty shops.
Discover a variety of delightful diversions with plentiful holiday sights and sounds.
Joyous live entertainment includes:
- Holiday carolers
- Latin, jazz and pop performances of cherished holiday songs
- Costumed stilt walkers and street performers
- A lively holiday dance party with deejay
Visit with Santa
You can even visit with Santa, share holiday wish lists and enjoy a unique photo opportunity!
November 7, 2013 – January 2, 2014
Ring in the season with some familiar faces in a wild, yet whimsical setting!
This music-filled celebration offers a seasonal twist to the popular Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade. Enjoy a harmonious mix of holiday wonderment, colorful creatures and festive music as Mickey and his friends parade through the park.
Disney’s Contemporary Gingerbread House
November 14, 2013
While the Gingerbread house is always up, you are able to purchase gingerbread goodies of your own from 10:00 am – 10:00 pm!
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa Gingerbread House
November 16, 2013
Construction of the Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is well under way, and once it its open you will be able to purchase gingerbread goodies from the house of your own from 10:00 am – 10:00 pm!
Walt Disney World Resorts
have these great decorations to come soon:
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Gingerbread House
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort Gingerbread Carousel
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort Holiday Train and Village
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Christmas Tree
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa Christmas Tree
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Christmas Tree
If you are looking for a really unique gift, you may want to kick off your holiday shopping at this weekend’s Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney November 8-10, 2013!
We will be bringing you great information and photos of these great Holiday Celebrations at Walt Disney World! So make sure you follow our holiday adventures on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!
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May Tables In Wonderland Events – Hosted By Jiko
Jiko – The Cooking Place is pleased to announce the following Wine Dinners…
South African Winemakers Tour – Saturday, May 4th 2013
The Wines of Warwick Estates – Thursday, May 16th, 2013
The following details apply to both events:
6:00pm Reception/6:30pm Dinner
$160, plus tax and gratuity
Business Casual Evening Attire
Meet in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Lobby, Sunset Lounge
Please see below for Menu Offerings for Each Dinner
For reservations please contact Victoria Thompson at Victoria.j.thompson@disney.
Each event is limited to 40 guests. Each event requires a credit card guarantee, and there is a 3 day cancellation policy.
Jiko – The Cooking Place presents the South African Winemakers Tour
Abrie Beeslar, Kanonkop; Peter De Wet, Excelsior; Gavin Slabbert, Raats Family Wines
Saturday, May 4th, 2013; 6:00pm
Spinach and Mushroom Dumpling, Paneer Cheese, and Harissa Sauce
Fire Roasted Corn Cake with Applewood Smoked Bacon
Braised Beef Short Rib, Cracked Pappadom, and Peppadew-Cucumber Raita
Excelsior Chardonnay, Robertson
Grilled Moroccan Spiced Quail, Chickpea Puree, and Wilted Greens
Side By Side Chenin Blanc Tasting
Raats Original Chenin Blanc, Coastal Region
Raats Chenin Blanc, Coastal Region
Tunisian Olive Oil Poached Butterfish, Chorizo Bobotie, and Crispy Okra
Side By Side Chenin Blanc Tasting
Raats Original Chenin Blanc, Coastal Region
Raats Chenin Blanc, Coastal Region
Watermelon and Tomato Salad, Sherry Vinaigrette
Kanonkop Kadette, Stellenbosch
Ostrich, Herb Pasta, and Spring Vegetable Medley
Kanonkop Pinotage, Stellenbosch
Chocolate Chile Molten Cake and Drunken Cherries
Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon, Robertson
Jiko – The Cooking Place presents the Wines of Warwick Estates
Thursday, May 16, 2013; 6:00pm
Braised Curried Tomatoes, Toasted Millet Bunny Chow, and Gooseberry Marmalade
Rooibos Honey Smoked Quail, Compressed Orange, and Sweet Potato
Cinnamon-Dashi Oysters and Chili Pearls
Warwick “Professor Black”, Sauvignon Blanc, Stellenbosch
Berber Spiced Duck Confit, Potato Gaufrettes, and Mango Sambal
Warwick “Old Bush Vines” Pinotage, Stellenbosch
Creamy Zellwood Corn Soup with Jumbo Lump Crab
Warwick “The First Lady” Chardonnay, Stellenbosch
California Delta Asparagus, Exotic Greens, and Wild Mushrooms
Warwick “Three Cape Ladies”, Stellenbosch
Ember Charred Buffalo, Curried Lentil Puree, and Roasted Vegetables
Villafonte “Series C”, Paarl
Cape Town Malva Pudding
Warwick Estate “The First Lady” Cabernet Sauvignon, StellenboschFollow us for more updates:
My Favorite Restaurants At Walt Disney World
We haven’t really focused much on food specifically and thought it was about time we explored this huge part of most guest’s Walt Disney World vacations. Dining in the parks and at the resorts ranges from Uncrustables to hot dogs, sandwiches and other typical park fare like burgers and fries to some of the finest dining in the world. Today I wanted to share with you some of my favorite signature restaurants at WDW. If you have a Tables in Wonderland membership you are able to save 20% (with an automatic 18% gratuity added back in) at these restaurants. The other great feature of the TiW card is that it allows you complimentary valet parking at the Disney resorts with validation showing you used your Tables card on your dinner receipt.
5. Todd English’s Bluezoo (Walt Disney World Dolphin) The restaurant sits on the lower level of the Dolphin at the bottom of the escalator. The decor reminds me of an upscale club or bar, but more subdued with subtle lighting and lots of blue accents. I’ve only been here once back in November of 2009, but the food was fabulous. My mom and my brother treated me to dinner for my 30th birthday, and it was amazing. The seafood seemed so fresh and the service was great. We started the night off with the zooberry (a twist on the blueberry martini). They were so fresh the perfect way to begin our meal. We shared the beet salad and the classico flatbread for appetizers. For an entree I had the teppan seared jumbo sea scallops, which were magnificent and perfectly cooked. The dessert was a lemon meringue pavlova and was complimentary for my birthday, which made it taste even better.
4. Flying Fish (Disney’s Boardwalk Inn) Situated on the Boardwalk, Flying Fish is decorated with whimsical fish flying through the air with parachutes. The resort’s atmosphere reflecting early 20th century seaside fun with rollercoasters and ferris wheels is carried through the restaurant as well. The first time I experienced the restaurant it was August of 2009, and more recently I returned in February of this year. So, the two times I’ve been here I ordered the same exact things for appetizer and entree and was so full that I didn’t get dessert. The cheese platter changes in the featured cheeses, but was great both times. I guess I really like the scallops in the Epcot Resort area because I have ordered the oak-grilled Maine diver scallops each time. Scallops aren’t even my favorite seafood, but I absolutely love them from here.
3. Citrico’s (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa) Featuring a Mediterranean theme, Citrico’s is located on the second floor of the Grand Floridian between Mizner’s and Victoria & Albert’s. The decor and the menu reflect the influences of Italy and Greece and are both aesthetically and gastronomically pleasing. Of the restaurants on my top five list, this is the one I have been to the most, having been more than five times, and most recently in the beginning of March. Each time I have been the food has been absolutely fabulous. One of my favorite seasonal appetizers, which they didn’t have this last time, was the gateau of crab. This past time we had a nice cheese and cracker amuse bouche to start our palates on our dining adventure. I tried something new for my entree and was not the least bit disappointed. The Madeira-braised short ribs were so tender, they were falling apart. Wild mushroom ragout and trofie pasta accompany the short ribs along with a truffle creme fraiche. For dessert I did repeat one of my favorites in the seasonal berry gratin with a champagne – Grand Marnier sabayon. It was just as incredible as when I had first had it in November of 2010.
2. Jiko – The Cooking Place (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge) This is the restaurant I have honestly been craving the most above all others on property. I love the atmosphere here with the gorgeous blue ceiling, setting sunset and beautiful (fake) birds flying overhead. It is an eclectic menu and I like to try different things each time I go. The first time I went was in July of 2008, when I first stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I remember having the ostrich filet as an appetizer and the Kenyan coffee barbecue braised short ribs (another favorite of mine apparently). They were both so tender and falling apart in my mouth as I took each bite. On subsequent visits I have had the Taste of Africa bread and dipping sauce service, kalamata olive flatbread, duck and stonefruit salad, oak grilled filet mignon with mac and cheese, and seared barbarie duck breast. I can say that each of the three times I’ve been, the last time being in November of 2010, the service and the quality of the food have been nothing short of fantastic.
1. Victoria & Albert’s (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa) Ah, la creme de la creme. Victoria & Albert’s is a 13 time AAA Five Diamond award winning restaurant. I’ve only been here once, and would love to go back if someone else is paying. This is not to say that the price isn’t worth it (I want to say it was about $475 for two with the wine pairing and gratuity included AFTER my Tables in Wonderland discount), it is. I’d just prefer to have someone else pay, and I’d like to do chef’s table next time. But I digress. This meal is easily within my top five, if not top three meals I’ve ever eaten. The service was beyond impeccable. Situated on the second floor of the Grand Floridian, Victoria & Albert’s is hidden behind large wooden doors with frosted windows. The decor is a refined elegance not to be found elsewhere at a Disney restaurant. It is one of only a few Five Diamond restaurants in the state of Florida. I went with my mom for my 29th birthday present in 2008 and it was an incredible dining experience. There were amuse bouche, palate cleansers, about seven courses, coffee, dessert, and the aforementioned wine pairing to go with each course. This is most definitely a culinary experience, not simply a meal. You need every bit of the three plus hours they warn you about when you book. One of my favorite aspects of the pre-arrival communications with the restaurant is the conversation about your allergies, likes and dislikes. This is so the restaurant can customize your menu to you so you are not being served something for hundreds of dollars that you do not enjoy. I don’t recall the specific menu items, as there were so many, but there wasn’t one I didn’t like. I’ve included a picture of the general menu for the evening. Each guest also receives a personalized copy of their menu to take home, which I am unable to locate at the moment.
Have you been to any of these restaurants? If so, what were your thoughts? Do you have any favorites?Follow us for more updates: