DIN­ING AT DIS­NEY SPRINGS

WDW Magazine - - Disney Springs - BY JA­SON DICK

Dis­ney Springs, for­merly Down­town Dis­ney, is one of the places on Dis­ney prop­erty where no matter how of­ten you visit, you are bound to find new ad­ven­tures—espe­cially when it comes to din­ing.

Of course, there are restau­rants that have stood the test of time, like Ful­ton’s Crab House and, more re­cently, Cross­roads at House of Blues, but these days it’s all about the new and ex­cit­ing op­tions open­ing al­most monthly.

Let’s look at the clas­sics first.

Ful­ton’s Crab House is hard to miss even among all of the con­struc­tion around ev­ery cor­ner. It’s the big float­ing restau­rant that looks very much like the steam ship in Magic King­dom. Don’t let the out­side fool you, though. Not only is this still one of the best restau­rants on prop­erty, it is also one of the high­est-end. Price is al­ways some­thing to con­sider when go­ing to Dis­ney, but here, it’s best to leave your Scrooge per­sona at home, and just in­dulge.

Ful­ton’s has seafood in abun­dance, so get your bib on and get ready to dive in to so many deca­dent dishes you won’t know where to start. Go for the “tow­ers,” so you can try a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing. I re­mem­ber go­ing here as a child, back be­fore I un­der­stood what money was, and wast­ing my par­ents’ money on ex­pen­sive desserts that I didn’t even know I didn’t like.

When I was a bit older, I re­mem­ber want­ing noth­ing more than to ex­pe­ri­ence the rock and roll bar-type sur­round­ings of Cross­roads at the House of Blues. To a teenager, the food, at­mos­phere and mu­sic here re­ally are sec­ond to none in the area. Cross­roads is all about the com­fort food. Slid­ers to start, then fried chicken or ribs are a great way to uti­lize this restau­rant’s as­sets.

Look­ing for some­thing quick to wet your whis­tle at Dis­ney Springs? Stop in at Ghi­radelli’s Soda Foun­tain and Choco­late Shop right next to World of Dis­ney for some ice cream, a salted caramel hot choco­late, or one of the most amaz­ing shakes you will ever have in your life.

If you’re in the mood for some­thing light and you’re closer to The Land­ing, check out The Tea Traders Café by Jof­freys. The choco­late pu-erh tea and pretty much any of the pas­tries are a great way to keep your stom­ach from rum­bling through­out the day.

FOOD REVIEW Morimoto Asia - Dis­ney Springs - Walt Dis­ney World

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But if you are in the mood for a meal but don’t have reser­va­tions and don’t re­ally want to wait, the op­tions are al­most end­less. Restau­rant-wise, Wolf­gang Puck Ex­press has some of the tasti­est quick op­tions on all of prop­erty; their soups, sal­ads, sand­wiches, piz­zas, and more are unique and de­li­cious. Also, the ba­con-wrapped meat­loaf is ab­so­lutely drool-wor­thy.

If it’s sand­wiches you’re look­ing for, there may be nowhere bet­ter on the en­tire planet than Earl of Sand­wich. The Orig­i­nal 1762 and the Hol­i­day Turkey are def­i­nite fa­vorites. A word of ad­vice, though: grab some­thing to share. Even with two peo­ple, these sand­wiches can eas­ily make an en­tire meal.

Maybe you’re so pressed for time that you can’t even sit down to en­joy a meal. Dis­ney has thought of that too. Re­cently, food trucks have made their way to Dis­ney Springs. Each truck is themed after one of the parks in Walt Dis­ney World.

At Na­maste Café, you can taste food in­spired by An­i­mal King­dom. Su­per­star Cater­ing fea­tures fa­vorites found around Hol­ly­wood Studios. World Show­case of Fla­vors fea­tures some of the top dishes Ep­cot has to of­fer, and, of course, Fan­tasy Fare gives you a taste of some of the best quick dishes in Magic King­dom.

And if you want to go back to ba­sics, Dis­ney Springs of­fers a whole va­ri­ety of choices. Some restau­rants have been around for ages—per­son­ally, Raglan Road has al­ways been a fa­vorite, as old-school fla­vor in a plate of fish and chips, shep­herd’s pie or bangers and booz al­ways re­minds me of home. And yes, it does taste just like mom used to make, as­sum­ing your mom is from the UK.

For the past few years, a new restau­rant has be­come a sta­ple in our vis­its. T-rex Café, by the same peo­ple who brought us Rain­for­est Café, not only has the am­bi­ence to en­ter­tain kids and adults alike, it also has some of the great­est tast­ing, stan­dard dishes you can get (plus the names are just plain fun!). What­ever you try, start with the Me­ga­losaurus Moz­zarella, and fin­ish with the Choco­late Ex­tinc­tion—you won’t be dis­ap­pointed.

Re­cently, there’s been some­thing new and ex­cit­ing on ev­ery visit to Dis­ney Springs. We vis­ited Walt Dis­ney World twice in 2015, and both times we ate at restau­rants that weren’t there 6 months be­fore. We were lucky enough to try out two of them re­cently, and we have to say both ab­so­lutely blew us away.

We started out at Jock Lindsay’s Hangar Bar with a cou­ple of ap­pe­tiz­ers. The bar is based on In­di­ana Jones’ friend Jock Lindsay, and if you en­joy am­bi­ence, you won’t find more of it any­where else. From replica props, to ac­tual props, to hid­den Mick­eys and even hid­den in­fer­ences to other Dis­ney sta­ples, you could spend days and still not scratch the sur­face of this bar. If that wasn’t enough, the ap­pe­tiz­ers (note that ap­pe­tiz­ers, rather than full meals, are all you’ll find here in the way of food) are to die for. The Rolling Boul­der Slid­ers quite lit­er­ally melt in your mouth, while the Good Dates were an un­ex­pect­edly rich and sat­is­fy­ing dish.

We later made our way to The Boathouse for din­ner and have to say that for a fine din­ing es­tab­lish­ment, it was more than rea­son­ably priced, and the food was de­li­cious. The ap­pe­tiz­ers def­i­nitely cen­ter around seafood but once you get to the main cour­ses, your op­tions cer­tainly open up. The steaks ri­val that of even top steak­houses, like The Yachts­man, on prop­erty.

And this fall also saw Iron Chef Masa­haru morimoto open up his first pan-asian themed restau­rant that is upmarket yet ca­sual - and chic yet fam­ily friendly. Folk have been rav­ing about food like sticky ribs, bao, deep fried oreos, and the fa­mous buri bop - so I can’t wait to make an Ad­vanced Din­ing Reser­va­tion for my next trip!

Which leads us to what’s up and com­ing this year for Dis­ney Springs. Two restau­rants def­i­nitely grab your at­ten­tion in the early an­nounce­ments of what’s open­ing soon.

STK Steak­house has been deemed one of the great­est steak­houses in the world, so it will cer­tainly be in good com­pany among the other world-class steak­houses on prop­erty.

The most in­ter­est­ing an­nounce­ment thus far has to be The Edi­son. It al­most sounds like a re­place­ment to the Ad­ven­tur­ers Club of old. A 1920’s-themed restau­rant rem­i­nis­cent of a clas­sic din­ner theatre, it will fea­ture live per­for­mances ( con­tor­tion­ists, DJS, and palm read­ers, among oth­ers) while you en­joy your meal in themed rooms like the Ra­dio Room, the Ember Par­lor, and the Lab Per­for­mance Space. I can’t even talk about this restau­rant with­out get­ting goose­bumps.

The bot­tom line, re­ally, is that Dis­ney Springs is al­ready THE place to be when you are hun­gry, and it just keeps get­ting bet­ter each and ev­ery day.

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