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Re: Walt Disney World Resort Non-Park Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:40 am
by Cj1990
Question for all you locals. How are the crowds first two weeks of February? I checked some crowd calendars, but I’d like to know what your experience with the parks this time of year are.

Re: Walt Disney World Resort Non-Park Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:43 am
by jedimaster1227
New Italian Trattoria Maria & Enzo's to Open Alongside Enzo's Hideaway and Pizza Ponte at Disney Springs

Nick Valenti, CEO of Patina Restaurant Group (PRG), confirmed plans to open three new modern Italian restaurant and bar concepts at Disney Springs this winter.

The restaurants, all new concepts created by PRG, each with unique menus, will form an expansive dining complex showcasing authentic Italian food and entertainment. They will be adjacent to The Edison, the lavish “Industrial Gothic”-style destination also being developed by PRG.

“I’m delighted to announce that we will be opening a trattoria named Maria & Enzo’s, as well as Enzo’s Hideaway, a separate restaurant in what were said to be rum-running tunnels, which is destined to become a local favorite,” said Valenti. “They are inspired by the cuisines of Sicily and Rome, the Italian family, and the best of Italian modern cooking.”

The new concepts tie into the Disney Springs storyline of a restored Florida waterfront town. “Our inspiration is to bring unforgettable food and wine from Italy to Florida, with the stunning scenery you only find at Disney,” said Valenti.

Maria & Enzo’s – an Italian trattoria set in the town’s storied abandoned airline terminal from the 1930s, now transformed into a restaurant. The dining room is open and airy, featuring 50-foot ceilings with views of Lake Buena Vista. The restaurant interiors showcase artifacts that reference air travel of the time, with maps and historic flight paths. The menu is inspired by Sicily, with a range of family-friendly dishes – Arancini di Carne (rice balls stuffed with meat), Melanzane Parmigiana (eggplant Parmesan) – and handmade pastas – Busiate con Granchio (spiral pasta with crab), ‘Ncasciata al Forno (Sicilian baked pasta) – served tableside. Other highlights include fresh fish, richly flavored steaks and chops.

Enzo’s Hideaway – a speakeasy inspired by Roman aperitivo bars, located in the storied rum-runner tunnels that adjoin Maria & Enzo’s. Inspired by Florida’s true history of rum running, Enzo’s Hideaway will pour Prohibition-era cocktails at its Tunnel Bar and serve a casual menu of hearty Roman dishes, such as the city’s legendary Bucatini alla Carbonara (hollow spaghetti with creamy egg and pancetta sauce) and Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe (square-cut spaghetti with pecorino and black pepper).

Pizza Ponte - a fast-casual concept and the perfect place for a quick bite serving pastries, pizza, Italian sandwiches, and espresso. Pastry specialties include Bomboloni (Italian doughnuts) Sfoglia di Riso (pastry with rice cream) and Tiramisu. Savory items include signature Triangolo (stuffed pizza bread) sandwiches, Porchetta (roast pork) and Pizza al Taglio, Sicilian-style pizza by the slice.

Maria & Enzo’s, Enzo’s Hideaway and Pizza Ponte are slated to open during this winter. For more information on Patina Restaurant Group visit

Re: Walt Disney World Resort Non-Park Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:22 am
by SharkTums
These all sound fantastic and I love Patina's Italian restaurants so um...yeah...delicious and exciting!!!!

Re: Walt Disney World Resort Non-Park Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:10 am
by jedimaster1227
Last night Theme Park Review was invited to dine at Raglan Road to experience some of the new entertainment and menu items added recently to this 12-year staple at Disney Springs (previously known as Downtown Disney). Raglan Road has always been a favorite of mine thanks to my personal reverence of Irish step dancing borne from visits to Epcot with my family (many years ago) to watch Lord of Dance performed live at the America Gardens Theatre. Raglan Road provides an outlet to get my live step dancing fix that, when combined with my love of delicious food and drinks and live entertainment makes this a fairly frequent go-to when I dine out.

Our visit this evening included a look at some of the changes recently undergone at the venue to improve the guest experience, from acoustic sound panels, new stage lighting and a reinvigorated show featuring a mix of classic and contemporary tunes that play a background to the step-dancing. The menu's many classic dishes have been joined by new options (the "Gnocchi Sea, Gnocchi Do" that I tried almost knocked my favorite "It's Not Bleedin' Chowdah" out of the top spot) and new exclusive brews created by local breweries for Raglan Road certainly add to the drink menu's appeal. One thing hasn't changed though--Raglan Road is still one of the top servers of Guinness Beer in the entire United States.

Check out our videos and photos below to get a taste of Raglan Road at home--I highly encourage you to visit in person as soon as you can. You won't regret it!

On this night we visited Raglan Road at Disney Springs for an evening of fun, food and entertainment!

The interior of Raglan Road has been upgraded with acoustic paneling to help with sound dampening inside of the venue.

A new video screen has been added to the stage inside of the main room at Raglan Road. It provides several vibrant backgrounds for the onstage entertainment seen throughout the day.

Enjoying “The Irish Show” at Raglan Road!

The updated entertainment features an even greater interaction between the performers on the center stage and those on the main stage.

The first drink we tried was the signature libation, PJ's Poison. It features Gunpowder Irish Gin, muddled orange, rhubarb bitters, lemon juice, orange whiskey marmalade and fever tree tonic with an orange twist... A delicious adult beverage!

Next up we sampled the Salmon Swoon and the Crock 'O' Pate. The Salmon Swoon is a serving of traditional Irish smoked salmon served with creme fraiche, capers and shallots.The Crock 'O' Pate is the house chicken liver pate serve with an apricot chutney. Pates are not typically my favorite but this one was creamy and flavorful to the point where I went back for seconds!

A several times throughout the evening, the younger children in the audience are invited onstage to try their hand at Irish step dancing.

Always a favorite of mine, the Scallop Forest is a hearty serving of batter-fried scallops. A must try for seafood lovers!

Similar to the Scallop Forest in presentation, the Dalkey Duo offers a meaty alternative with battered cocktail sausages served with a Dalkey mustard dipping sauce! Always delicious!

Bands rotate on the schedule at Raglan Road and their schedules can be found here:

Appropriately named, the Rack of Heaven is a slow roasted Guinness-glazed rack of baby back ribs and they certainly lived up to their name. Somewhere between a dry rub and a saucy coating, the Guinness glaze provides a sweet, sugary coat to the perfectly cooked pork ribs. A favorite for the table!

Reel Republic, the new band we saw during our visit brought a fantastic energy to the venue with a trio of performers, one with a guitar, one with an accordion and the other with a violin.

One of several recipes of soups that Raglan Road offers on a rotating basis, the Tomato Soup had a lovely flavor that could be attributed to the inclusion of gin in the recipe.

Dynamic lighting and a reinvigorated show experience really have amped up the entertainment aspect of Raglan Road's dining experience and I will happily return for more!

In the recent months Raglan Road has begun partnering with local breweries to offer signature brews made for their location.

Our samples included Miriam's Irish Coffee Stout (Coppertail Brewing Co), Bloomsday Pale Ale (Orange Blossom Brewing), Tri Wishes Grand Irish Red Ale (Crooked Can Brewing) and Planted Strawberry & Lime Hard Cider (Keel & Curley Winery).

The Dublin Donkey caught my attention with its unique take on the traditional Moscow Mule. Teelings small batch Irish whiskey, ginger beer, fresh lemon sour, candied ginger & lime made this drink strong but incredibly refreshing. I enjoyed this one thoroughly!

The "Braised Be. Beef" was a delicious serving of braised beef with colcannon mashed potatoes & roasted veggies.

Raglan Road's famous beer battered fish & chips has a storied history going back to John Cooke's (Cookes of Dublin is named after his family) family history in Ireland where his family served fish & chips during World War II.

The "Gnocchi Sea Gnocchi Do" caught my attention as a new dish on the menu that featured all of the things I wholeheartedly love... Homemade potato gnocchi, perfectly seared Georges bank scallops, crispy pork belly, tomatoes & kale in a white wine butter sauce. The gnocchi was light and pillowy (among the best I've had), the scallops were melt-in-your-mouth good and the pork belly added a nice crunch to the dish. Among my favorites I've ever tried here.

"The Keen Eye for the Shepherd's Pie" is Raglan Road's signature take on the traditional shepherd's pie and it did not disappoint! The mashed potatoes were smooth and buttery and paired perfectly with a fork full of the ground lamb beneath.

I give total credit to the entertainment team at Raglan Road for striking a fine balance between traditional Irish music and the introduction of unique takes on modern/contemporary songs...

During this set, the step dancers moved to the tune of Coldplay's Viva La Vida... Highly unexpected but incredibly enjoyable!

The new lighting really adds to the entertainment experience inside of Raglan Road!

And the new screen provides a great background for the performers.

Perfect for the season, good anytime but best with dessert, the new Spiced Caramel Apple Martini features Tullamore DEW Cider Cask, Calvados, Butterscotch schnapps, fresh muddled apple, Magners Irish cider, caramel syrup with a cinnamon sugar rim.

And then there was dessert... We tried the Fluffy Lemon Clouds (delicious and tart), the Chocolate Heaven (gluten & dairy free but no less indulgent), the Triful Sinful (Raspberry jam Swiss roll layers with mixed berries and custard--all of my favorite things) and the Dubrody Kiss (described as "Chef Dundon's gift to America--chocolate, add more chocolate, then add some more").

Raglan Road's signature Bread & Butter Pudding? SOLD!

It was a pleasure get the chance to meet the owners of Raglan Road. The stories of their inspiration for the venue, the origin of the rooms inside (the main atrium was built to house a carousel even before the venue was the Pleasure Island Jazz Company or the food court before it) and discussions about the last twelve years of evolution at Raglan Road were incredible to take in. Raglan Road has been designed from day one to present authentic Irish cuisine and entertainment in a setting unlike any other in Orlando. And they continue to invest to better that experience as the years at Disney Springs continue.

Raglan Road has always been a favorite of mine but having not been back in a while, it was incredible to see just how much has changed since my last visit. The new lighting, video wall, decor, sound panels and entertainment have plussed an already fantastic experience. New menu items have added a greater variety to an already stellar dining experience. What hasn't changed is the focus on quality service in a lively, family-friendly environment that has stood out in the Disney Springs lineup for years and continues to do so!

Re: Walt Disney World Resort Non-Park Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:34 am
by ytterbiumanalyst
You had me at "Guiness-glazed rack of baby back ribs." Great report!

Re: Walt Disney World Resort Non-Park Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:16 am
by jedimaster1227
^They taste even better than their description lets on! Some of my favorite ribs in town!

Re: Walt Disney World Resort Non-Park Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:46 am
by Ape
I am looking for some guidance on a decision thoughts and suggestions of any kind are welcome.

When we booked our trip I booked it flying out of Indy (we live in Cincinnati) because it was much cheaper than CVG. I have regularly checked flights since and nothing has come close to matching the price. well now it has. for only a $30 difference we can fly from Cincinnati. My predicament is this the return flight does not leave Orlando until 9pm. I am not sure on adding a 4th park day to make up the time from checkout to takeoff since we are a family of 4 that adds a good chunk of change. We are using Disney Transportation to and from the airport. the latest I can get checkout is 12pm. Our kids are 4 and 2.

What would you do in this situation? Are there any suggestions on things we could do to kill time if we don't go into one of the parks?

Re: Walt Disney World Resort Non-Park Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:57 am
by The Great Zo
The easy answer is to spend your park days totally focused on the parks, and leave all the non-park stuff for that extra day. Disney Springs is fun to walk around even if you don't plan to shop much. Not sure where you're staying but maybe a hotel pool day? You can probably do that even after checking out. If you like mini golf, do not skip the Fantasia Fairways course outside the Swan/Dolphin. I have to play it every time I'm at WDW. Oh, and there's always DisneyQuest....... oh. :lmao:

Re: Walt Disney World Resort Non-Park Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:03 am
by Ape
We are staying at Art of Animation. We will be there jan 28th -feb 1

Re: Walt Disney World Resort Non-Park Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:39 pm
by MayTheGForceBeWithYou
The Disney Parks Blog released some new details including renderings of some of the stations:
Earlier this year, we shared the news the Disney Skyliner transportation system will give our resort guests an unforgettable journey and a picturesque view of Walt Disney World Resort as they take to the sky to travel from select Disney resorts to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Today, we have a new details on what you can expect from the Disney Skyliner system.

Select Disney Skyliner cabins will have iconic Disney characters incorporated into their exterior design to give the appearance that a Disney pal is riding along with guests, such as characters from the ‘Fab Five,’ figures from Disney attractions, fan favorites from movies, and more.


The design of the Disney Skyliner station at International Gateway at Epcot will be inspired by the park’s nearby European Pavilions, and will be covered with metal and glass canopies, hand-painted murals and ornamental steel structures that harken back to the early 18th century Art Nouveau style. Guests traveling to Epcot via the Disney Skyliner will be welcomed to the park with a rare birds-eye view of World Showcase.


The Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort station will be the hub of activity for Disney Skyliner. This station is inspired by the open air village marketplaces of the Caribbean and will showcase the nearby resort’s architectural detailing and color schemes. At this station, passengers will be able to transfer gondola routes to reach their destination, or are invited to sit and admire the waterfront resort setting.


The design style of the station at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will fit with that of the park’s main entrance and bus stations. Passengers traveling here from the Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort station can expect a new aerial perspective of the park’s iconic attractions, like The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will share a Disney Skyliner station that feels whimsical and contextual with both resorts. Upon departing the gondola station, Skyliner passengers will ascend over Hourglass Lake and enjoy a panoramic view of these two colorful resorts.

Finally, cabins will slow down at the Disney Skyliner turn-station along Buena Vista Drive, where guests can see the mechanical and aerial components that make up the Disney Skyliner.

Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for future updates, including an opening date on this incredible new guest option.