Archive for Disney Springs

Celebrate the Season of Love and Friendship at Disney Springs

This February, take a fresh approach to celebrating Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day (Feb. 13) or any fun night out with friends by exploring what’s new at Disney Springs.

Recently recognized by The New York Times as one of the top places to go in 2018, Disney Springs is home to Central Florida’s hottest new restaurant and entertainment venues. It’s the place to set sail for romance aboard a stunning 40-foot Venetian water taxi or treat friends to a vintage amphicar ride. And it’s the destination for one-of-a-kind entertainment that ranges from a hyper-reality Star Wars experience and luxury bowling to an eclectic array of street performers and live entertainment.

Here are some memorable ways to surprise your Valentine, gal pals or best friends this month – or any other time of the year.

From Romantic to Electrifying Dining

In honor of Valentine’s Day, a number of restaurants at Disney Springs are offering special menu items. The list includes surf-and-turf for two at STK Orlando, fresh catch selections at Paddlefish, a delectable special menu at Paradiso 37 and a specialty cocktail at Morimoto Asia.

Friends and lovers can also check out some brand-new Disney Springs restaurants. Guests can share plates of spaghetti and other tasty Italian dishes at the new Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante. Following the Disney Springs story line, this chic restaurant is set in a once-abandoned airline terminal from the 1930s. The open and airy dining room features 50-foot ceilings and views of Lake Buena Vista. For a more casual experience, head below ground to Enzo’s Hideaway – a speakeasy located in storied rum-runner tunnels – that serves up Prohibition-era cocktails and hearty Roman dishes.

Next door, The Edison dials up the excitement with electrifying entertainment, craft cocktails and contemporary American fare. At night, this “industrial Gothic”-themed space transforms into a nightlife hot spot with weekends featuring live bands, cabaret dancers and aerialists. Visit TheEdisonFLA.com for more details.

These are just some of the options at Disney Springs, which is home to more than 50 food and beverage locations including five by James Beard Award-winning chefs. To book dining reservations, call 407-WDW-DINE or contact the restaurants directly.

More to See and Do Together

Shared time together is arguably the best gift of all. At Disney Springs the options for sharing time with friends or that special someone are off the charts.

Venture to The VOID and embark on the new hyper-reality, multi-sensory experience, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire. In groups of four, teams suit up and go undercover as Stormtroopers to capture imperial intelligence vital to the budding rebellion’s survival. The experience is untethered and unbelievable. Tickets are available now at TheVOID.com.

At The BOATHOUSE, couples can set sail on The Venezia, a breathtaking Italian water taxi, for a romantic guided tour of Disney Springs complete with chocolate-covered strawberries and a champagne toast. There are also vintage amphicar rides – rare vehicles that travel both on land and in the water.

Other favorite hotspots for a fun night out include Splitsville Luxury Lanes, a modern upscale bowling alley, and AMC Fork & Screen Dine-in Theatres. Or, simply stroll the promenade and catch some of live performers and entertainment – more than 25 acts nightly.

Indulgent treats

Nothing says Valentine’s Day better than chocolate. Stop by The Ganachery and watch expert chocolatiers create richly exotic treats. Sample in store and take home an elegant, hand-packaged gift box for that special someone. Decadent hot-fudge sundaes – perfect for sharing – can be found at the world-famous Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop. There is also a gallery of goodies at Amorette’s Patisserie – a sophisticated pastry shop filled with Disney-inspired cakes, cookies, cheesecake, macarons and eclairs.

Step beyond everyday gift giving

It’s easy to get creative with gift giving at Disney Springs. For the guy who likes a little pampering there’s The Art of Shaving. This handsome shop features high-end grooming products for the modern man. Guys can even get a haircut and shave onsite in The Barber Shop.

Ladies will enjoy the fairytale ambiance of Ever After Jewelry Co. & Accessories, the ultimate destination for Disney-themed baubles, handbags and fashion. For elegant fine jewelry and designer watches, Luxury of Time by Diamonds International offers a wide selection in their upscale boutique.

Complimentary self-parking is available at all Disney Springs garages and surface lots. Walt Disney World Resort guests enjoy complimentary transportation between their Disney Resort hotels and Disney Springs.

Wine Bar George Set to Open at Disney Springs in Spring 2018

Master Sommelier George Miliotes will bring his renowned wine expertise to Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort when his new venture, Wine Bar George, opens in spring 2018. Wine Bar George will be the only Master Sommelier-led wine bar in Florida.

Miliotes is widely regarded as one of the restaurant industry’s foremost wine experts with accolades and awards from national publications including Wine SpectatorMiliotes is no stranger to Walt Disney World Resort – he was part of the opening team of California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and managed the venue from 1995 to 2002. While there, he met and worked alongside Ron Rupert, who will serve as the Executive Chef for Wine Bar George.

“I’m thrilled that Ron is joining our team and I’m looking forward to working with him again,” Miliotes said. “Ron is incredibly creative, and his expertise will bring a menu that’s designed to complement the wine list. With our menu, guests will have the opportunity to explore endless food and wine pairings.”

Rupert began his culinary career at Walt Disney World Resort in 1988. He was part of the opening team of California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, where he teamed with Miliotes and Chef Clifford Pleau. During his 14 years at Walt Disney World Resort, Rupert was also part of the opening teams at Jiko – The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Ariel’s at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts.  Rupert and Miliotes have worked closely to create a menu that will pair with a wine list of more than 100 selections by the bottle and glass.

“The menu will include a selection of small plates, sharable plates, cheese and charcuterie boards, and desserts. Offerings will feature seasonally relevant items and everything will be made in-house,” Rupert said. “I’ve worked jointly with George to develop a menu that represents both global and local cuisine. Guests can expect to experience food that is familiar, yet new all at once.”

When the two-story 210-seat wine bar opens, it will join a growing and remarkable group of dining, shopping and entertainment offerings at Disney Springs. The design for the 6,000-square-foot space will be similar to a winemaker’s home estate with a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere.

“Guests will experience a feel reminiscent of the ‘Old World’ as if they are on the bottom floor of a gravity-flow winery surrounded by their best friends,” explains Miliotes. “The upstairs floor includes seating for groups of all sizes, space for private events and sweeping views of Disney Springs.”

Future patrons can expect their experience to include wine education, which will be served up in an approachable and fun manner. Every part of the Wine Bar George experience, including special events and visits from renowned winemakers, will educate and enlighten guests about food and wine.

Wine Bar George is currently accepting applications for positions online. Interested applicants can visit winebargeorge.com/join-our-team/ for more information. Follow George @WineBarGeorge on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and join the #WineBarGeorge conversation. Visit WineBarGeorge.com for news and updates.

Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante Opens, The Newest Italian Dining Gem at Disney Springs

Patina Restaurant Group (PRG) yesterday opened the doors for a media preview and soft opening that showcased the stunning new Italian restaurant located at the reimagined Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort — Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante.

The new dining destination brings to Disney Springs the warmth of Italy and the dreamiest Italian cuisine this side of the Atlantic, courtesy of Executive Chef Theo Schoenegger. The restaurant will officially begin serving dinner to the public on January 5. Lunch and brunch service will begin later this month (updated hours and special events available on the restaurant’s Facebook page).

Fittingly, the media sneak peek on January 4 coincided with National Spaghetti Day, providing the perfect Italian backdrop for the occasion. A dedication ceremony featured Italian ambassadors, chefs, executives from Patina Restaurant Group, Delaware North (Patina Restaurant Group’s parent company), Disney; and very special guests Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

Disney restaurants often have a backstory, part of the company’s tradition of immersive storytelling. Mirroring that tradition, Patina Restaurant Group collaborated with Walt Disney Imagineering to create the story for Maria & Enzo’s.

“The story behind Maria and Enzo is one of travel, food, love and friendship, all steeped in Italian tradition,” said Valenti, referring to the backstory of Maria and Enzo, an Italian couple that immigrated to Central Florida in the 1920s. “Their story is set in a long-forgotten sea-plane air terminal that became the setting for the restaurant.

“We couldn’t be happier to have a chef as talented as Theo Schoenegger,” Valenti continued. “A native Italian with an incredible repertoire, his cooking has a delicious authenticity that brings the story to life.”

Following the dedication, media and special guests enjoyed the food and hospitality at Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, where Chef Schoenegger presented a variety of signature dishes including, of course, spaghetti in honor of National Spaghetti Day.

Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante

An intimate Italian trattoria set in the once-abandoned Disney Springs 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 recall air travel of the time, with brightly illustrated pictographs, reimagined air terminal boarding gates and a First Class Lounge where randomly selected guests are upgraded upon arrival. The menu, created by Michelin star-rated Chef Theo Schoenegger, features a variety of handmade pastas including Busiate con Granchio (spiral pasta with crab), Rigatoni all Norma (eggplant, chile, tomato, ricotta salata) and ‘Ncasciata al Forno(Sicilian baked pasta) – served tableside. Other highlights include Braciola di Maiale (Berkshire pork chop, plum mostarda), Nodino di Vitello (grilled veal chop) and Tonno (grilled ahi tuna steak, pistachio pesto) all served with rosemary potatoes and tempura fried vegetables. The spectacular wine list of more than 100 bottles is – lovingly — primarily Italian. The restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m. to 12 midnight daily, with weekend brunch coming soon.

The backstory is that the restaurant was the dream of Maria and Enzo who met in Italy before moving to Florida and wanted to introduce Italian cuisine to the townfolk of the bustling Disney Springs. An airline pilot, Enzo was drawn to an abandoned airline terminal, which became the spacious setting for the restaurant. 

Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar

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 pours Prohibition-era cocktails and serves 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). In honor of the weekly dinners Enzo hosted for family and friends, the tunnel bar hosts Sunday Supper, a family-style meal each week. Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar is open from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily.

The backstory tells the tale of Enzo and Maria discovering a long-hidden cavern below the terminal that connected to abandoned sections of the next-door power plant (which today is called The Edison). To Enzo’s astonishment, he came across a Prohibition-era hideaway where a team of flying rum-runners once gathered. Evidence of smuggler activity was everywhere, untouched for decades. Bottles and casks of rum were found along with a roster of flying operatives and their code names. It was a fascinating glimpse at an unknown chapter of the town’s past. Enzo shared his discovery with the local historical society and also decided that the space might make an irresistible spot for dining and socializing. Now it is a cozy gem of a hideaway for Enzo to highlight the family recipes he grew up on, featuring specialties from Rome and nearby regions.

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. Pizza Ponte is open from 8 a.m. to 12 midnight daily.

The backstory reveals that Maria began a simple cafe inside the lobby of what was once the bustling Disney Springs air terminal. Pastries and pasta were the initial offerings, but eventually the family was able to install wood-fired pizza ovens that helped make them even more successful. Pizza Ponte is accessed from the entrance beneath the air terminal’s old Control Tower. Within this entrance, guests can view family photos from Maria and Enzo’s many cousins, uncles, aunts and others who began to arrive as their business began to thrive. An elegant wraparound window anchors the space and catches a lot of attention from pedestrians crossing the bridge from the Disney Springs West Side. Offerings reflect many of the most popular foods from both Maria’s roots in Southern Italy and Enzo’s favorites from the region around Rome.

For more information on these Patina Restaurant Group restaurants, visit www.patinagroup.com or visit the restaurants on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @MariaAndEnzos, @EnzosHideaway and @PizzaPonteFla.

About Patina Restaurant Group

Patina Restaurant Group (www.patinagroup.com) is a bicoastal boutique company and leader in the premium segment of the restaurant industry.  In New York, its portfolio features Lincoln Ristorante, STATE Grill and Bar at the Empire State Building, Stella 34 Trattoria at Macy’s Herald Square, The Sea Grill at Rockefeller Center, Brasserie 8 ½, The Grand Tier Restaurant at the Metropolitan Opera, La Fonda del Sol at Grand Central, Yellow Magnolia Café at Brooklyn Botanic Garden and The Rink at Rockefeller Center. Other East Coast properties include Tutto Italia Ristorante and Via Napoli at the Epcot World Showcase in Lake Buena Vista, Fla, and Morimoto Asia Orlando at Disney Springs.

On the West Coast its portfolio includes the renowned Los Angeles Times’ four-starred and Michelin-starred Patina Restaurant in Walt Disney Concert Hall, Café Pinot, Ray’s & Stark Bar, Catal, Tortilla Jo’s, Catal and Naples in Anaheim’s Downtown Disney District, Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge, and catering and food service in museums and cultural centers throughout California.

Electrifying! The Edison at Disney Springs Opens With an Over-The-Top New Year’s Eve Party

Corks popped, performers dazzled, searchlights painted the skies and The Edison – the newest hot-spot at Disney Springs – rang in 2018 with a gala, grand opening party Sunday night.

The Edison, a lavish, “Industrial Gothic”- themed restaurant and entertainment venue, toasted the new year with an eye-filling spectacle of world-class entertainment, bountiful food stations, craft cocktails and an unforgettable fizzy Champagne toast for the countdown to midnight.

The showy soiree began with a Hollywood-style red carpet made from the train of a red ball gown. Hosts in flapper attire and inventors on stilts greeted special guests amid the dazzling step and repeat photo ops reminiscent of a Tinseltown premiere. Inside, a live band, cabaret dancers, aerialists, variety acts and a DJ created an otherworldly scene and grand celebration as guests welcomed in 2018.

The ticketed grand opening party was the glittery lift-off for The Edison. By day, the new venue will be a playful dining experience for families, while at night, the space transforms into a destination focused on craft cocktails, contemporary American fare and entertainment unique to Central Florida, all within an eye-popping, waterfront setting.

The Edison creates a completely unique combination of style, art and design with great food, cocktails and world-class entertainment.  A fully immersive experience, The Edison features multiple themed areas to explore, such as the Lab performance space, The Ember Parlour, Telegraph Lounge, The Patent Office, The Tesla Lounge, The Radio Room, and the Waterfront Patio.

“The lights are officially on at The Edison and we’re delighted that guests can now experience the extraordinary entertainment, craft cocktails and cuisine unlike anything else in Central Florida,” said Nick Valenti, CEO of Patina Restaurant Group. “The reimagined power plant celebrates an era of invention and imagination in a new and distinct way.”

Open for lunch and dinner, The Edison treats guests to menu creations of Chef PJ Finneran that consist of contemporary American fare such as Pork Belly Pops (chile-brown sugar glaze), Crispy Fried Chicken (cast iron buttermilk biscuits), and a signature The Edison Burger, (a juicy combination of house-ground sirloin, short rib and brisket, topped with Cabot cloth-bound cheddar, onion rings, smoked bacon, house pickles, lettuce, tomato, special sauce and served with hand-cut fries). The Edison will soon introduce Bartender’s Midnight Breakfast, a late-night menu that will include traditional breakfast fare at night and offer guests a perfect way to keep the party going as the evening is winding down.

The Edison’s beverage lineup focuses on artfully crafted cocktails, interesting beers and wines, and house-made punches that serve from two to 10 guests. The Edison Signature Series includes cocktails such as The Wonderlust (Pernod Absinthe, Nolet’s Gin, Crème de Violette, pineapple syrup, lemon), Lady Marmalade (Corsair Absinthe, Hangar One, Noilly Prat vermouth, Giffard Ginger, verjus, pomegranate), The Crimson Vesper (Absolut Elyx, Lilet Rouge, Plymouth Sloe Gin, orange) and The Edison (Woodford Reserve, Belle de Brillet Pear Liqueur, lemon).

The center of the restaurant is stage for a dance floor and performance stage, where an eclectic lineup of live entertainers including musicians, aerialists and dancers fire up the night.

The Edison is now open Sunday-Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Thursday-Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Guests at The Edison must be 21 years or older starting at 10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday nights. There is a cover charge of $15 per guest beginning at 10 p.m. Additionally, The Edison has an enforced dress code Thursday-Saturday evenings beginning at 10 p.m. Men must wear slacks, jeans or dress shorts. No ball caps, sleeveless shirts or flip-flops are permitted. Jackets are optional.

This destination restaurant will host a variety of unique events, chef-driven dinners and promotions throughout 2018. The restaurant offers savings for Disney Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club members, Tables in Wonderland cardholders and Disney Cast Members. For more information on The Edison, visit TheEdisonFLA.com.

Photos – Disney Springs Character Christmas Tree Trail

Take a look at Photos from the Disney Springs Character Christmas Tree Trail.  Click on the photos for larger views.

Menu for New Pizza Pointe at Disney Springs

Take a look at the menu for the new Pizza Pointeat Disney Springs.

Photos – Star Wars The Last Jedi Display at Disney Springs

If you are visiting Disney Springs soon head toward the AMC theater and make sure to get a picture with thisStar Wars The Last Jedi Display.

New Cirque Du Soleil Show in Development for Disney Springs

As we’ve previously shared, La Nouba™ by Cirque du Soleil® is taking its final bow at Disney Springs® on New Year’s Eve 2018. As the curtain closes on this fan favorite, it’s fitting that we share some exciting news about the future of the long-lasting relationship between Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Nearly twenty years after teaming up to bring La Nouba to the stage, the two entertainment companies are working together on a new collaboration.

This original show will be created by Cirque du Soleil and will pay homage to Disney’s rich history of animation, with a vivid story told in a way that only Cirque du Soleil can deliver. Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, elaborated, sharing “We are incredibly inspired by Disney’s immense creative universe. We are convinced that bringing Disney’s magic to life on stage will touch audiences and bring them back to their childhood.”

An opening date for the new show has not been announced. We’ll share details here as they are finalized.

EW Details Revealed for Terralina Crafted Italian, Coming to Disney Springs in Early 2018

Earlier this year, the Levy Restaurant group debuted Paddlefish, a seafood-centric signature restaurant located in the heart of Disney Springs®. Soon, they will unveil their newest venue: Terralina Crafted Italian, expected to transport guests to “la dolce vita,” (the sweet life) essence of the spectacular Lake District of Northern Italy.

Featuring an open rotunda that welcomes Guests with a rustic stone fireplace, a new outdoor patio with a veranda bar that spills out into the Disney Springs promenade, and a two-story glass conservatory that showcases stunning views of Lake Buena Vista, every element of the décor feels fresh and new.

The restaurant will open in early 2018 and details on the menu are expected soon. Stay tuned for more details about the dishes and drinks planned for Terralina Crafted Italian.

 

Video – Holiday Magic at Disney Springs

What could brighten the holidays for guests visiting Walt Disney World® Resort this season? How about a more relaxing way to shop! At Disney Springs®, they’ll not only discover unique gifts and great deals, but great times—together. They’ll also find delicious dining, live entertainment and plenty of enchanting surprises along the way—including a sleigh full of festive experiences, a newly expanded Christmas Tree Trail, Yuletide carolers and more.

Check out this video to see why ‘tis the reason to experience Disney Springs® this holiday season!