Tag Archives | Disney dining

Downtown Disney is Now Disney Springs

Disney Springs Illustration

Thanks to the official name change, we can finally put our Downtown Disney related confusion to rest— It’s officially called Disney Springs, ladies and gents. The name isn’t the only thing that has changed: Disney Springs is nearly twice as large as Downtown Disney, and a plethora of new shops and restaurants have either opened or are in the works.

ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Be sure to read our complete guide to Disney Springs before you set off to visit this Orlando shopping attraction.

For visitors that are unfamiliar with Disney and all of its offerings, Disney Springs is one of the few properties accessible with no theme park tickets or reservations required. Guests are free to walk around and explore, experiencing Disney Springs however they want— whether that means souvenir shopping, fine dining, or some casual family fun (bowling, anyone?)! Some of the new shops and restaurants are already opened, and business is booming— what foodie wouldn’t be curious about the dining at Morimoto, Disney Springs’ new pan-Asian restaurant from Iron Chef’s Masaharu Morimoto himself?

While construction is much more manageable now than it has been in the past months (parking is finally back on track with the recent completion of the “smart” parking garage, which tells guests how many spots are available on each level), visitors should expect to see some walls up as Disney continues developing the four, distinctive sections that will eventually make up Disney Springs. With parking availability and massive construction finally at manageable levels, the real hassle is the masses of people flocking to see the new and improved entertainment hub!

With shops and restaurants opening day and night, Disney Springs is a great option for all different types of visitors. With dining, shopping, and kid-friendly activities available on site, guests are bound to find something fun to do at this Orlando attraction. Whether you’re hitting Ghirardelli’s for ice cream or taking the classic hot air balloon out for a spin, both old and new aspects of Disney Springs will leave you with memories you won’t soon forget.

Spotlight: Victoria & Albert’s restaurant

The elegant Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa offers a unique dinner menu each night.  Both the restaurant and the resort itself inspire romance.  This upscale restaurant offers exquisite cuisine as well as ambiance.  You’ll enjoy a 2 – 3 hour dining experience of a 7-course meal, with a gentle harp playing in the background.  They have received the prestigious AAA Five Diamond award for 10 years running, as well as Zagat’s National Top Ten Restaurants Award, along with their award-winning wine cellar.

The menu is prepared daily based upon fresh ingredients, and includes a wide variety of items, which may include Ocala Rabbit, Smoked Niman Ranch Lamb, Elk Tenderloin, or Australian Kobe Beef.  You are sure to find something unique and pleasing to your pallet. Valet Parking is available at no additional cost.  And, they do not allow small children; they must be over age 10.

There are 3 dining options to choose from, and proper attire must be worn (see website for specific details).  Dining options:

  • Victoria & Albert’s Dining Room: Menu Prix Fixe begins at $125.00 per Guest. Wine Pairings from $60.00 per Guest. (Pricing does not include tax and gratuity.)
  • Queen Victoria’s Room: Menu Prix Fixe begins at $200.00 per Guest. Wine Pairings from $95.00 per Guest. (Pricing does not include tax and gratuity.)
  • Chef’s Table: Menu Prix Fixe begins at $200.00 per Guest. Wine Pairings from $95.00 per Guest. (Pricing does not include tax and gratuity.)

$$$$, dress code applies, American cuisine, reservations required (book online or call 407-939-3862 up to 180 in advance), full bar, dinner nightly
(Note: guests must be 10 years of age or older)
Location:
4401 Floridian Way, Orlando, FL 32836, (407) 939-3463
Cuisine:
American
Experience:
Signature Dining
Service:
Prix Fixe menu
Price Level:
$$$$ (over $60)

Spotlight: La Hacienda de San Angel, Restaurant at Epcot

If you’re a fan of Mexican fare, be sure to check out La Hacienda de San Angel when you are at Disney World’s Epcot.  This is the newest Orlando restaurant at the Mexico pavilion, and is modeled after a classic ‘Hacienda, which for us gringos means ‘estate, farm, or plantation’.  This restaurant is right on the water, and the view is fantastic.  The whole building was actually geared to World Showcase Lagoon and the fireworks, and during the day it’s great for enjoying the waterfront.

Dine on traditional Mexican dishes, including appetizers such as Taquizas, a taco trio that includes rib-eye, roasted chicken and marinated pork.   Dinner selections offer a variety of grilled combinations including Parillada Del Mar (shrimp and scallops), Arrachera (strip steak), and succulent Pescado a la Talla (grilled red snapper).  Sweet desserts include chocolate churros, fruit empanadas, sorbet, and sweet tamales.

To make La Hacienda stand out, Disney has brought in taco specialists from one of the best taquerias in Mexico to teach them this authentic cuisine. Corn tortillas are a major component of a great Mexican meal, so Disney makes them fresh right there every day.  The salsas are made fresh as well and not just tomato salsa. They have salsas made with unique flavors from different regions of Mexico like chipotle and Serrano peppers, tomatillos, mangos.

La Hacienda de San Angel even boasts an on-site Tequila ambassador and an expert mixologist.  (Now, I wonder how one gets to be a Tequila ambassador?  I want that job, lol.)  This expertise helps them create some very unique and inventive Margaritas.  Guests over age 21 can try some of the best-sellers, which include passion fruit and lime-raspberry, orange mango fire margarita with a dash of Tabasco, chili powder and ginger liqueur, or even their coffee margarita.

$$-$$$, casual dress, Mexican cuisine, reservations suggested, full bar, lunch and dinner
Location:
Mexico Pavilion at Epcot
Cuisine:
Mexican
Phone: (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463
Experience:
Casual Dining
Service:
A la Carte
Price Level:
$$ ($15 to $35.99)