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The Boathouse Disney Springs – Review –

The Boathouse Disney Springs – Review –

Easily, one of the most enjoyable things about traveling to Walt Disney World is exploring all of the amazing restaurants it has to offer. From casual character breakfasts to exquisite fine dining, WDW offers some of the best eateries in Orlando.

One of our favorite, and highly recommended, restaurants is The Boathouse, located at Disney Springs. From the moment you enter The Boathouse, your dining reservation will turn into an unforgettable experience that your family will remember for many years to come.

From the beautiful Amphicar theater dock and lighthouse shop, to boat captains awaiting your arrival, and of course an exceptional array of food and drinks, you will truly feel like a VIP.

The Boathouse boasts a nautical ambiance and features three large beverage bars, including a floating dock set on the waterfront outside. There are four different dining areas that you can explore with little pops of character in each room including paddles, oars, and even booth seating in real antique boats.

One of the most impressive visuals at The Boathouse is the Oyster Bar featured in the very front of the restaurant (and yes, of course we tried them!)

The fresh oysters are shipped in daily from Blue Point, Connecticut and Martha’s Vineyard and are served with a choice of cocktail sauce and cucumber mignonette. The cocktail sauce paired well with the Oyster if you’re looking for a more traditional taste. The cucumber mignonette, however, absolutely blew us away with how well it complemented the Oyster and gave it a really light and refreshing taste.

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In order to get the best out of The Boathouse, we asked several employees and managers what were their highest recommendations for appetizers. Two of their favorites were the Hoison Chili Calamari, and The Yellowfin Tuna Poke.

The Hoison Chili Calamari was by far our favorite. The Calamari was mixed with Bell Peppers, Jalapeños, and topped with a Serrano-Chili glaze. The Calamari had a melt in your mouth texture and without being overpowering, the Jalapeño Serrano-Chili sauce adds tons of flavor and a big kick for those who like some spice.

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The Yellowfin Tuna Poke was incredibly refreshing and served on top of an Avocado and Mango mixture, drizzled in a soy lime vinaigrette. The dish was very light and refreshing, which was a great appetizer to pair with the fried Calamari.  The Poke was served with three large crisps, so we asked for more which was no problem at all.

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For entrees, we chose two different dishes: The Jumbo Crab Cake, and the Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos.

The Jumbo Crab Cake did not disappoint, and was gone in a matter of minutes at our table. A major recommendation by several of The Boathouse employees, the Crab Cake is stuffed full of fresh lump crab meat and served with coleslaw and tartar sauce. With such a large portion, it is easily shareable— which we shared between the four of us.

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The Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos are wild-caught fish, rubbed with Jerk Spice with Avocado, Serrano Chili Cream Sauce, and Crisp Vegetable Slaw. We thoroughly enjoyed how simple these Taco’s were. The Jerk Spice was super flavorful while the Avocado and Coleslaw were light, but tasty, complements. Again, the Mahi Mahi Tacos were great for sharing, with three delicious tacos served on one plate.

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Overall, we were all extremely satisfied with the quality of our dishes served to us at The Boathouse. Every dish had such delectable flavors, and were presented beautifully. The Boathouse really brings the elegance and beauty to food plating and design, while keeping the food really sharable, tasty, and flavorful.

Aside from the exceptional food, beverages, and service, The Boathouse also offers guests some fantastic options to enjoy after dinner – for a price of course. We chose a ride in their world-famous Amphicars, from their Amphicar Theatre. The Boathouse is the only place in the world that offers this tour, which truly makes it a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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Directly to the left of the restaurant, The Amphicar Theatre holds 8 brightly colored cars that both drive on land, and work as boats in the water. These Amphicars were built in Germany in the mid 1960s and are among the rarest cars in the world—with only approximately 300 left.

We took a ride on the 20-minute Amphicar experience, and it exceeded our expectations. We were welcomed by our very own Boathouse Captain, Adrian, who introduced himself and told us a little bit about the cars before driving us down the ramp and right into the water. The ride takes you on an adventure between Disney Springs and Saratoga Springs. Throughout the ride, our Captain gave us some interesting history and pointed out special landmarks, including a 200 year old boat docked behind the restaurant.

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A truly amazing experience, the Amphicars bring together the whole feel of being on your own private lake house.

It is clear to see why The Boathouse is more than just a restaurant. It continues to be a top selection among guests and employees at Disney Springs. A quick bite to eat turns into a culinary journey and a fun night out turns into an unforgettable experience enjoyed by all ages.

My VIP Tour Review:

Rating: 5 Stars!

Where: Disney Springs

Hours: 11am-11pm

Cost: $$$ $30-$60 per guest

Disney Dining Plan not accepted

Beverages: Full bar (wine by the glass from $10)

Attire: Casual

Attractions : Amphicar Rides ($125 per group of 4), Italian Water Taxi ($75 per person – includes champagne and chocolate covered strawberries)

Call: (407) 939 2628

The Rollicking Raglan Brunch — Disney Springs

The Rollicking Raglan Brunch — Disney Springs

When vacationing at Walt Disney World, character breakfasts and dinner reservations are usually the go-to meal options for families. However, there are some amazing Brunch options that are definitely worth checking out (and who doesn’t love a reason to have champagne at 10 o’clock in the morning?) Recently, we checked out The Rollicking Raglan Brunch at Raglan Road, located at Downtown Disney (transitioning into Disney Springs).

Upon arriving to Raglan Road, we made a quick

stop to the bar to order our first round of mimosas.

The mimosas were made with fresh Florida orange juice and sparkling wine, which came in a small bottle, but enough to fill up for a second! The bartender also gave us all complimentary homemade berry and banana smoothies that were served in large shot glasses.

After being seated, a delicious Irish soda bread was brought to the table, along with a Guinness and sugar dipping oil. A second round of complimentary smoothies were then brought to the table while the waitress explained any specials of the day.

The menu did not shy away from the items you would typically see listed in a restaurant located in Ireland. Brunch options consisted of Roastie Potatoes, Gammon and Eggs, Pancakes, Omelettes, Eggs Benedict, a Black Dog special, and more. You also have the option to order something more towards the lunch side like a Burger or Sandwich.

 What did we order??

Eggs Benedict:

A common item you will see on an Irish menu, and true to its form, this traditional meal was so tasty! The eggs come poached on top of sliced pancetta, covered with hollandaise sauce, and placed on an english muffin. The side consisted of their famous ‘Roasties’, aka potatoes covered with select herbs and spices.

Pancake Diaspora:

6 full sized pancakes were served topped with creme fraiche, fresh strawberries and blueberries, maple syrup, and garnished with mint. The pancakes were fluffy and consistent all the way through and just melt in your mouth delicious!

Full Irish Breakfast:

A favorite at Raglan Road, the Full Irish Breakfast offers everything you could expect as if you were dining in Ireland itself. This dish includes eggs, black dog, schnitzel, three times a boxty (gammon topped with cheddar), veggies, and roasties. Each of the flavors blended so perfectly together and made the experience that much better.

Burger ‘R Way:

This large beef burger was topped with a Dublin cheddar cheese, tomato chutney, and avocado. With a side of Irish style chips (steak fries), this combo was an authentic Irish taste combined with an all-American favorite.

Desserts are offered as well, which include:

Strawberry and Apple Crumble

Raspberry Pavlova

Bread and Butter Pudding

Triful Sinful

Lemon Curd Tart

Orange Pudding

Black Forest ‘Kiss’

Upon finishing our Brunch at around 12pm, the Irish band and tap dancers started to set up on the large indoor stage. The band were very interactive with the crowd, asking questions and sharing knowledge on each song they played. Irish tap dancers took turns to head up on the main stage, as well as the smaller stages in the middle of the room to perform.

All together, Raglan Road is a wonderful experience for all to enjoy, even little toddlers were clapping their hands and dancing with excitement!

Brunch at Raglan Road is available every Saturday and Sunday from 10am-3pm. We suggest making a reservation for around 11am-12pm since the band and tap dancers don’t set up until around then, and they are definitely worth seeing.

Prices at Raglan Road for Brunch range from approximately: $15- $30 per main course and $8.50 for all desserts.

 For more information on Raglan Road, or other brunch options at Walt Disney World, contact My VIP Tour at (407) 913-8375.

Favorite Disney Restaurants of 2015 From My VIP Tour

Favorite Disney Restaurants of 2015 From My VIP Tour

(Cinderella's Royal Table at Magic Kingdom. Photo courtesy of disneyworld.disney.go.com)
(Cinderella’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom. Photo courtesy of disneyworld.disney.go.com)
Lets talk about one of our favorite topics: Food. Funnel Cakes, Turkey Legs and Buttered Popcorn used to be the staples of Walt Disney World Dining; however, there are currently over 300 restaurants for you and your family to choose from. When booking a Disney vacation, making reservations can be extremely overwhelming, and let’s be honest, who has time to look through 300 different menus?! From character meals to fine dining, we’ve come up with a list of our favorite Walt Disney World Dining spots for you and your party to enjoy while you’re here. Reservations are highly recommended for all of these restaurants.
Look out for our ‘My VIP Tour Price Guide’ as follows:
Price: $-$$$ (per adult)
$= $15-$29.99
$$= $30-$59.99
$$$= $60 and above
Victoria and Alberts – The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Our ultimate #1 spot will take your senses through a culinary journey with everything from Caviar, to Japanese Kobe Beef to Hawaiian Chocolate Souffle. Victoria and Alberts graces our top spot because of their impeccable service and menu items, being our favorite place for date nights or for a special occasion. Dress code and reservations required. Ages 10 and up.
Price: $$$ ($130 per guest + $65 for wine pairings)
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(Grand Floridian’s Victoria and Alberts dining room. Photo courtesy of: disneyworld.disney.go.com)

California Grill – Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Placed on the 15th floor of The Contemporary, enjoy tasty Californian cuisine from sushi to goat-cheese ravioli. Yum! We love that the California Grill offers spectacular views of Cinderella’s Castle, which makes it a great place to watch Magic Kingdom’s Wishes Nighttime Spectacular.
Price: $$
  (Photo courtesy of: disneyworld.disney.go.com)
Le Cellier Steakhouse – World Showcase Epcot (Canada)
Feel like you’re dining in a Canadian Chateau with delicious cuisine that features fresh seafood and juicy steaks. If you love a good steakhouse, this place is perfect for you. Make sure you save room for their delicious Maple Creme Brulee dessert.
    Price: $$
The Hollywood Brown Derby – Hollywood Studios
In this authentic replica of the famous Brown Derby, the walls are covered in caricatures of familiar faces of Hollywood. There is something on the menu for everyone to enjoy, from a mouthwatering cobb salad to a juicy filet of beef. We love that you can sit outside and enjoy the sunshine and magical Disney atmosphere with a glass of wine and yummy appetizers.
    Price: $-$$ ($15-$29 — $30-$59)
 (Brown Derby Patio. Photo courtesy of: disneyworld.disney.go.com)
Tusker House (our favorite character lunch) Animal Kingdom
Donald Duck’s Dining Safari includes American Cuisine with an African flare. Your favorite Characters are dressed up in Safari gear and come to your table for pictures and autographs. We personally love the wide variety of food for all ages, including make-your-own PB&J’s for the kids, a delicious salad bar and tons of great vegetarian options. Don’t worry meat lovers, there’s a carving station and lots of chicken dishes too.
    Price: $-$$ Breakfast- $15-$29, Lunch & Dinner- $30-$59
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(photo courtesy of: disneyparks.disney.go.com)

‘Ohaha – Polynesian Resort
If you’re looking for a night of great food and entertainment then look no more. Delicious skewers of sweet and sour pork loin, oak-grille shrimp and steak are brought to your table in addition to dumplings, stir-fried vegetables, lo-mein noodles and more.  Be entertained as your little ones partake in the coconut races, show off their hula-hoop skills and dance to the island music as you sip a mai tai or other tropical drink from the full liquor bar.  This is definitely a place that’s fun for the whole  “ohana”.
   Price: $$
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Citricos – Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
A beautiful American style restaurant with Mediterranean flare. Whether you’re enjoying mouthwatering veal shank, roasted chicken, filet of beef, or choosing a glass from their award winning wine list you will love every part of your dining experience. Just one monorail stop away from the Magic Kingdom this restaurant is the perfect place to go before the parade and other evening entertainment.
Price: $$
La Hacienda – Epcot World Showcase (Mexico)
If you’re planning a night at Epcot with the family this is the perfect dinner spot. With tall windows and waterfront views, you can watch Epcot’s fireworks while enjoying a freshly made authentic Mexican dish. Try the shrimp tacos and wash them down with a guava infused handcrafted margarita from the bar.
    Price: $
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 (Photo courtesy of: the disneydiningblog.com)
Cinderella’s Royal Table – Magic Kingdom
The perfect place for your little princess. Meet Cinderella and other Disney Princesses as you dine inside of Cinderella’s Castle. Large, colorful Banners, a suit of armor, and elegantly painted windows make this a truly royal dining experience. This is a prepaid experience and should be booked months in advance.
    Price: $$
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 (Photo credit: www.bestoforlando.com)
Teppan Edo – Epcot World Showcase (Japan)
A great dinner and show all-in-one for the whole family. Have your choice of chicken, steak, seafood, and vegetarian items as your chef cooks Teppan-Yaki style right at your table.
    Price: $
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Monsier Paul – Epcot World Showcase (France)
With stunning views of the World Showcase, Monsieur Paul is the perfect place to dine for a special occasion. Enjoy gourmet french cuisine and feel as if you have been whisked away to Paris for the night. This restaurant does not have a kids menu so keep that in mind if you have young children.
    Price: $$
Jiko – Animal Kingdom Lodge
If you have an adventurous palette, you will love this place. Jiko offers a large selection of delicious cuisine including African, Indian, and Mediterranean menu items. With a beautiful, bright ambiance, Jiko is a great place to get the whole family together and enjoy a delicious dinner after a long day at the parks. Also look out for the South African Jiko wine tasting.
    Price: $$
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 (Photo courtesy of: disneyworld.disney.go.com)
Via Napoli – Epcot World Showcase (Italy)
Sometimes, we just need a good slice of pizza and what better place to find it than the heart of Southern Italy. Pizza, fresh salads, and authentic Italian desserts will keep you coming back for more. Via Napoli was voted Critic’s Choice for “Best Theme Park Restaurant” by Orlando Sentinel.
    Price: $
Flying Fish Cafe – Disney’s Boardwalk
For the surf and turf lover, The Flying Fish offers an eccentric menu of sizzling steaks and scrumptious seafood. Watch the chef’s cook in an open kitchen as they use only the freshest ingredients. Fun décor and the lively atmosphere make this a great family dinner spot.
    Price: $-$$ ($15-$29 — $30-$59)
Okay, now we’re hungry 🙂 When booking your next Walt Disney World Vacation, remember to refer back to this list to help make your Disney dining decisions a little easier. We are happy to recommend other restaurants that will be the best fit your family and can book all your dining reservations for you.
BOOK A PRIVATE DISNEY VIP TOUR AND BUILD BETTER MEMORIES WITH YOUR FAMILY
Call My VIP Tour today at (407) 913 8375 and let us start building your dream vacation!
Did you know the city of Orlando has a culinary scene not to be missed?

Did you know the city of Orlando has a culinary scene not to be missed?

 

If you are looking to spread your “foodie” wings outside Disney property, there are a few Orlando restaurants you must experience— only a short drive away.

Ravenous Pig: Local and Fresh
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Since opening in October 2007, The Ravenous Pig and its chef owners, James and Julie Petrakis, have garnered national acclaim for culinary creations inspired by the best seasonal foods Florida has to offer.

As one of Florida’s first restaurants to champion local farmers, fishermen, and artisanal purveyors, the Pig’s menu features such year-round favorites as Canaveral Shrimp ‘n Grits, Pork Porterhouse, Gruyere Biscuits, Steak Frites and a decadent Pig Tails with Chocolate Espresso Sauce dessert. Fresh Florida seafood—flounder, cobia, grouper, clams and shrimp—takes its place in the spotlight according to season, as does veggies, greens, and eggs supplied by a select group of small farmers.

Pastas and charcuterie are handmade daily. Specialty desserts like Plant City Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp and Zellwood Corn Crepes with Florida Blueberry Compote provide a fitting ending to a perfect meal.

See more at: http://www.theravenouspig.com/

Ravenous Pig Sister Restaurant: Cask & Larder

Cask & Larder

Cask & Larder

Cask & Larder is modeled after a Southern Public House with a distinctive sense of pride and place. Since the waning days of Prohibition, circa 1929, when Francis Harper took over a failed feed store near the railroad tracks in Winter Park and turned it into a tavern (yes, bribes to the local authorities might have been involved), generations of thirsty and hungry people have found their way here while seeking great food, drink, and good company.

Cask & Larder pays tribute to this legacy by creating a congenial neighborhood gathering spot where made-on-site beer flows freely (hence, the cask) and the pantry is always full. Long ago, the term “larder” applied to a storing area for meats and fish, typically the coolest room in a house. Modern refrigeration has since come along, but they continue to honor the whole cookery tradition by curing meat, canning their own preserved fruits and pickled vegetables, seeking out the best local fish and shellfish, and doing everything possible to keep their customers happy.

For more details go to: http://www.caskandlarder.com

Santiago Bodega-Wonderful Tapas!

Santiago Bodega

The original restaurant was located in Key West and its team recently expanded to a location on Virginia Drive in Orlando. Choose from more than thirty delectable tapas-style dishes, soups, and salads in a warm and comfortable atmosphere. Sunday Brunch is a local favorite; so be sure to book early. http://www.santiagosbodega.com/

Simple and fun can be found at Hawkers Asian Street Fair:

Hawkers Asian Street Fair

Hawkers Asian Street Fair

Prominent on the streets of Asia, hawkers are street vendors who depend on locally grown ingredients to create dishes sold from mobile carts and stands. The most successful recipes have been passed from one generation to the next, bringing flocks of eager patrons. At Hawkers, the chefs have selected the best of these “street food” recipes from across Asia and deliver them in a hip, sharing-encouraged environment.

http://eathawkers.com/

Great BBQ at 4 Rivers Smokehouse

4 Rivers Smokehouse

4 Rivers Smokehouse

Do you love BBQ? The Orlando locals love the BBQ at the 4 Rivers Smokehouse. The creation of this fabulous BBQ smokehouse began with the launch of the “Barbecue Ministry” in 2004, when John (the founder) hosted a cookout fundraiser to support a local family whose young daughter was battling cancer. That one event inspired a passion for supporting local schools, churches, and charitable organizations.

Years later, smoking thousands of pounds of meat out of a garage wouldn’t cut it anymore! On October of 2009, after trials, tribulations, and a whole lot of burnt ends, John flipped the switch on his smokehouse’s electric “Hot Brisket Now” sign to its “on” mode, and launched a business. Within the first hour, a line had formed outside the door and eventually started winding around the corner.

Today, there are several locations across the state of Florida including a Winter Park location. For more details: https://4rsmokehouse.com

My VIP Tour will assist with travel arrangements and reservations for these and other local Orlando restaurants.

To schedule a wonderful, stress-free family vacation at Disney, Orlando, call My VIP Tour: Telephone: (407) 913-8375