From food trucks to new dining rooms, 2014 was a busy year for the Walt Disney World Resort chefs. Here’s a look at the top stories for Walt Disney World Resort Dining:
- DISNEY SPRINGS – The first two restaurants were announced for Disney Springs, an entertainment-dining-retail district re-imagined from Downtown Disney. Opening in summer 2015 at The Landing in the heart of Disney Springs, Chef Masaharu Morimoto is teaming up with Patina Restaurant Group to debut Morimoto Asia, the Japanese master chef’s first pan-Asian dining experience. Also coming to The Landings in spring 2015 is The BOATHOUSE: Great Food, Waterfront Dining, Dream Boats. The BOATHOUSE restaurant will immerse guests both on land and on water with live music and Captain’s guided tours aboard The Venezia, a beautifully crafted 40-foot wooden Italian water taxi featuring Champagne toasts and chocolate-covered strawberries. There also will be guided Amphicar rides that launch from land, entering the water with a splash, taking guests on a 20-minute tour of the landmarks of Disney.
- TRATTORIA AL FORNO (December 2014) – The newest Walt Disney World dining experience is Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk, featuring authentic flavors of Italy’s diverse regions – wood-fired pizzas, house-made pastas, hand-crafted mozzarella, imported charcuterie and cheese and a 100 percent Italian wine list. Trattoria al Forno is open 7:30-11 a.m. for breakfast, 5-10 p.m. for dinner, and accepts the Disney Dining Plan.
- EXPOSITION PARK (December 2014) – The Disney food trucks got a new home at Downtown Disney West Side – Exposition Park, where guests will always find one or more of the trucks, along with visiting food trucks. Nightly entertainment, plenty of seating. Hours may vary during peak times and special events, but daily hours are 4-11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 3-11 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
- EPCOT INTERNATIONAL FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL EXPANDS (September 2014) – The festival was expanded to a record 53 days – that’s a whole extra week to take in the marketplaces, cool concerts and some very special dinners.
- NEW PINEAPPLE LANAI AT DISNEY’S POLYNESIAN VILLAGE RESORT (August 2014) – Pineapple Lanai is the new spot for Dole Whip at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Also, getting ready for a major expansion, Captain Cook’s got a menu makeover (lobster rolls, blackened fish tacos, fried chicken and waffles) – and watch for the opening of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto in spring 2015 next door to Captain Cook’s.
- HOOP-DEE-DOO MUSICAL REVUE CELEBRATES 40 YEARS (August 2014) – Sept. 5 marked the official 40th birthday of one of the longest-running dinner shows in American history – Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Endless buckets of fried chicken and ribs play a starring role, too. The menu has only has one major change since its debut – the apple pie for dessert was changed to strawberry shortcake in way back in 1979. Hoop-Dee-Doo presents three shows nightly, seven days a week, at 4 p.m., 6:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
- 15 YEARS IN A ROW: AAA FIVE-DIAMOND AWARD FOR VICTORIA & ALBERT’S (April 2014) – The crème de la crème of Walt Disney World dining at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa was awarded the coveted Five Diamonds 15 years in a row, one of only 15 restaurants in North America that have this distinctive honor. Also, TripAdvisor honored the restaurant as one of the “Top 5 in the U.S.,” the only Florida restaurant on the illustrious list.
- NEW SMOKEHOUSE AT HOUSE OF BLUES (January 2014) – Popular House of Blues opened their new Smokehouse, a quick-service window where it’s easy to grab a generous smoked beef brisket sandwich, pulled pork or chicken sandwich, smoked turkey leg, St. Louis half-rack of ribs or an all-beef hot dog. That’s the menu, short and sweet. The Smokehouse opens at 11:30 a.m. daily, with closing around 10 p.m.
- SPICE ROAD TABLE (January 2014) – Spice Road Table opens in the Morocco pavilion at Epcot World Showcase, featuring regional flavors from the Mediterranean with small plates such as a Mediterranean omelet with sausage, potatoes and caramelized onion; mussels with preserved lemons and tomato sauce baked in an earthenware tagine pot, and Moroccan merguez sausage with a fresh tomato salad. Inspired by the outdoor cafes along the Mediterranean, there are 120 outdoor terrace seats and 60 seats inside with a scenic view of World Showcase lagoon.
We’re looking ahead to 2015!