slide show

June 29, 2011

Magical Blogorail Special Edition

Welcome to those of you joining me from Delightfully Disney or those of you who have just hopped aboard.  I am the 2nd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

This week's special edition loop will be highlighting the Disney-inspired Haikus by JB of Mouse of Zen.

  One of my family's favorite Disney pastimes is cruising the Boardwalk at night... I mean late night...when it's just us!  The Boardwalk takes on a totally different personality after the crowds head home...a personality that everyone should take the time to experience!  I could go on and on about the captivating beauty of the Boardwalk at night, but I'll just let the Haiku tell the story!




Thank you for joining me today.  Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Return to Disney

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Loop should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

3rd Stop ~ Return to Disney

June 27, 2011

Pop Icons ‘Bring It’ to America Gardens Theatre At Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

18 ‘Eat to the Beat!’ Musical Acts Perform Sept. 30-Nov. 13, 2011

Live retro sounds of pop, rock, jazz and funk fill the night when top musical acts unleash their greatest hits during the the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sept. 30-Nov. 13, 2011, at the Walt Disney World Resort.

 

 

Three new Eat to the Beat! acts – The Pointer Sisters, Gin Blossoms and The Orchestra starring former members of ELO – and 15 returning bands take their turn on the America Gardens Theatre stage. Shows are scheduled 5:15, 6:30 and 7:45 p.m. daily. 

DGTG Fashion Alert: Disney Debuts "Shake It Up" Merchandise Line For Tweens


A new tween clothing and accessories line inspired by the characters of the hit Disney comedy series "Shake it Up" is coming to a store near you! The new merchandise program for tweens plays up the characters' dancing lifestyle and energy of the show and features a unique collaboration with Mattel and fashion collections at Target, K-Mart, Sears, Payless, JCPenney, Kohl's, and Macy's. The new products will begin arriving in stores this August through the holiday season.


D-Signed for Target:
Just in time for back to school, CeCe and Rocky, the female duo from Shake It Up, are the latest character muses for the popular tween fashion line of apparel and accessories called "D-Signed".

D-Signed is a departure from more general entertainment-inspired tween based clothing as these items do not portray the characters' likenesses. Instead, the pieces are inspired by the characters' looks and personalities on the hit series—the items you would find in their closet.





In the D-Signed CeCe and Rocky collection, both girls' styles come shining through in uber-trendy pieces mixing pattern and fabric, creating a fun and fearless look. Ultra-cool, rebel blacks are punched up with electric green, fuchsia and deep purple. Sequins, grommets and studs accent animal prints and dark mottled tie-dye to bring together a perfect, dance-ready look!




The mix and match pieces also allow young girls to also express their fashion sense with quality, mom-approved clothing at budget friendly prices. The D-Signed CeCe and Rocky collection releases on August 1st at Target stores nationwide and Target.com only.

Laissez le Bon Temp Rouler: Disneyland's Cafe Orleans in Review

From the moment you approach the entry to Disneyland Park's Cafe Orleans, you know you are in for a real N'awlins-style treat! The unassuming iron-clad entry way is situated in a cozy alley amidst the hustle and bustle of New Orleans Square.



We happened into Orleans Cafe after a recommendation from AJ of Disney Food Blog, and were totally impressed with the experience! Cafe Orleans is a popular table-service restaurant offering visitors a true taste of the Bayou.  The menu is limited, but fear not, it covers all of the typical "Big Easy" favorites including Gumbo, Crepes, Ragout, and French Onion Soup.

Cafe Orleans offers indoor seating with a French Quarter Cafe vibe but we chose to be seated at the lively  outdoor patio since the weather was impeccable.  The covered patio features cute bistro tables and boasts incredible views the Rivers of America. From here, you can watch the Mark Twain Riverboat and Sailing Ship Columbia make their rounds while dining in the beautiful SoCal climate.  If you listen really closely, you can hear the hoots and howls from the nearby Haunted Mansion attraction!



As I mentioned earlier, we came here by recommendation of Disney Food Blog, and not only did she recommend the locale...she also suggested we try her favorites while here...and you bet we did..in fact we followed them precisely: Pommes Frites, Monte Cristo, and Beignets! Thanks AJ!



Pommes Frites - Traditional French-fried potatoes tossed
with Parmesan cheese, garlic and parsley, served with a Cajun spice remoulade $5.49
 We started our meal with the Pommes Frites and all I can say...seriously... is OMG!!!  These are fresh-cut fries covered in Parmesan and Garlic, sprinkled with fresh Parsley and served with a delicious remoulade!  I am a HUGE fan of remoulade and this one tops my list of faves!  It has a nice Cajun spice, but it's not over the top spicy.  At just over $5.00, I felt like we were stealing this sinfully delicious morsels and there were plenty to share!  What a fabulous way to start the meal!

Monte Cristo Sandwich - Sliced turkey, ham and Swiss cheese fried in a light batter
and served with berry puree dusted with Powdered Sugar. $17.49
 Next, we moved onto our entrees and when our server dropped these off at our table I immediately knew we should've ordered one and shared... Yes, it was as big as it looks and just as tasty! I am a Monte Cristo fanatic and this one is perfect!  If you're not familiar with this deep-fried delicacy, you've been missing out! This is one jazzy creation: A Turkey and Ham Sandwich, battered and fried...dusted with powdered sugar... and served with an oh-so-yummy Melba  Dipping Sauce which is like a berry puree.  The sandwich is perfectly crispy and isn't oily or greasy like you'd expect! It was absolutely divine and my only complaint is that it's too big! As if the sandwich isn't enough, it's served with a cup of fresh fruit!  Be sure to share!

"Mickey" shaped Beignets - Topped with Powdered Sugar served with Raspberry Coulis
and vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise $7.99
 And honestly, we were way to full to even consider dessert, but we just HAD to opt for the Mickey-shaped Beignets...I mean how could we not, right!?  Beignets (Ben-Yays) are a classic Louisiana pastry consisting of a light fried, sweet dough topped with powdered sugar...kinda like a donut, but less doughy and not as heavy...they're actually crispy.  This things literally melt in your mouth!  Here at Cafe Orleans, they're served with a decadent Creme Anglaise as well as Chocolate Sauce or Raspberry Coulis!  I must admit we were unable to finish them!

In review, I am now a fan of Disneyland's Cafe Orleans and can highly recommend it to those looking for a casual but tasty sit-down option at the Disneyland Park!  The atmosphere is a little hectic but the service was fantastic.  The food is yummy and the pictures speak for themselves! The portions are large, so consider ordering to share! 

Thanks to Disney Food Blog for the recommendation!  I think AJ was right on with her suggestions and I appreciate her input! Be sure to check out Disney Food Blog for all the latest in Disney Dining!

I DID make and Advanced reservation, but we decided to eat earlier and had no problem being seated an hour before our reservation!

Thanks for reading another Disney Parks Dining Review here at Disney Go To Girl: A Luxury Travel Blog!

Kingdom Stollers of Orlando: Review and Rental Giveaway

Thanks for joining me for another fabulous review and giveaway here at Disney Go To Girl, your luxury "Go To" guide to Walt Disney World!


On my recent visit to Walt Disney World, I was asked to try out a new stroller rental company in Orlando, Kingdom Strollers!  I was super excited to work with Kingdom since I always rent a stroller for Disney Trips, rather than dragging mine along.  In my opinion, it's just easier... and as far as renting one from the park...uh...NO.



Although I always try to promote Disney in a positive way, I simply cannot justify reccommending "in-Park" stroller rentals to anyone.  The Park rentals are made of an uncomfortable, hard plastic that gets blistery hot in the the Florida heat.  The shade is not very large and really does not protect precious skin from the beaming sun.  Besides that, these strollers don't fold and they cannot be taken out of the parks... therefore when your little one has just peacefully dozed off for a nap, you have to wake her up to drop-off the stroller before boarding the monorail or boat...NO WAY!!!

My experience with Kingdom Strollers was positive from the very beginning!  The owner promptly responded to all of my emails, making securing my reservation a piece of cake.  My City Classic Stroller was waiting for me at my resort upon arrival.  This stroller was in MINT condition...I mean practically brand new.

This stroller is the Cadillac of strollers...It fully reclines and has an oversized shade.  There is also plenty of storage underneath...and speaking of Cadillacs, this thing "drives" like one too.  I was amazed and remember joking with my hubby about the fact that I could wheel it into a packed elevator using just my pinky to steer.

There are several reasons why I would, hands-down, reccommend Kingdom Strollers over the competition:
  • The owners are "Disney" people!  They are annual pass holders and they LOVE Disney as much as we  do!!! 
  • Friendly, personalized service
  • Free Rain Cover (When Available)
  • Free Parent Consoles (Drink Holders)
  • Like-New, Top of the Line Equipment
  • Lower Rates!!!
When vacation has sadly come to an end, simply leave your stroller at the Bell Desk of your resort, and Matt of Kingdom Strollers, or a member of his friendly staff will do the rest!

Click here for further information on available styles and pricing or to book a reservation with Kingdom Stollers!

And Now for the Giveaway:


Kingdom Strollers has teamed up with Disney Go To Girl, a luxury Walt Disney World Travel Blog,  to offer 1 Lucky reader a FREE Stroller rental for ONE WEEK on their next Orlando vacation.  Winner will choose stroller of choice.

Mandatory Entry:

You MUST follow this blog via Google Friend Connect and you Must visit Kingdom Strollers Website and tell me which stroller would suit your family's needs.  Leave a comment below telling me you have completed both tasks.
Extra Entries: (comment for each)



  • Follow Disney Go To Girl on Twitter

  • Tweet about this giveaway (unlimited- leave comment for each)

  • Subscribe to this blog via Email

  • Grab my blog button and leave me the link to its location (2 points-leave 2 comments)

Contest ends 7/10 at 11:59 pm. Winner will be chosen via Random.org and must respond to congratulatory notification within 48 hours.


Disclosure:  Disney Go To Girl received a free stroller rental from Kingdom Strollers to review.  Kingdom Strollers is also a sponsor of Disney Go To Girl, however all opinions mentioned in this post are purely my own and have not been influenced by these factors!

June 21, 2011

Victoria & Albert’s Once Again Receives Highly Coveted AAA Five-Diamond Award

Chef Hunnel: Photo courtesy of Disney Media
For the 12th consecutive year, Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’ Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has been awarded the coveted AAA Five-Diamond Award. Victoria & Albert’s is the only restaurant in Orlando and one of only three in Florida to be honored with the highest accolade a restaurant can achieve.

Victoria & Albert’s Chef Scott Hunnel has drawn national and international applause for his preparation and delivery of American regional cuisine with classical influences at the elegant, 50-seat restaurant.  

"Earning the AAA Five-Diamond Award is like winning an Oscar," said Victoria & Albert’s Chef Scott Hunnel. "To be one of 55 restaurants in all of North America to receive this prestigious award is such an honor. It confirms our philosophy that it takes passion and a synchronized team to deliver consistent, top-quality cuisine night after night!”  

A Disney cast member for more than 20 years, Chef Hunnel understands that the fundamentals of cooking don’t change, rather with time, palette’s change. He believes it’s the continuous evolution that goes into each dish that makes the cooking and the menu at Victoria & Albert’s different from other restaurants. To keep pace with the ever-changing food & beverage industry, Chef Hunnel takes gastronomic journeys to visit world-class restaurants, hotels, farms and markets for healthy and savory inspirations.  

“Working for Disney has been very gratifying because the company understands that to be the best, we must never stop exploring and growing in constant pursuit of excellence.”  

Take for example one of his signature dishes --  the prosciutto-wrapped lamb served with cipollini onions and sherry vinaigrette – which tastefully demonstrates classical European influences combined with the culinary expertise behind the Victoria & Albert’s team of award-winning chefs.

“What makes Victoria & Albert’s exceptional is not only the incredible cuisine, but the entire dining experience,” said Kevin Myers, vice president of Walt Disney World Resort Operations. “From reservations, the very personal table-side service, sommeliers, chefs and pastry chefs.....the whole team is dedicated to delivering a memorable evening for each of our guests. We couldn’t be prouder of the entire team.”

Those memorable experiences have led to other accolades including the Orlando Sentinel’s 2011 Culinary Hall of Fame, the Forbes Four Diamond Award, Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence and Florida Trend’s Golden Spoon Award. Chef Hunnel was also a 2011 semi-finalist in the annual list of top chefs in the country by the James Beard Foundation. He has also been recognized annually since 2007 by the Foundation for his refreshingly contemporary approach in the kitchen and straightforward cooking philosophy.

Fourth of July to Rock the Skies above Walt Disney World Resort With Special Fireworks Shows at Three Parks

Walt Disney World Resort will pixie dust the night skies July 4 with special pyrotechnic shows, including a patriotic display at Magic Kingdom, a rock’n’roll spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and a classic sky show at Epcot infused with an Independence Day finale. Here’s what’s in store:

    RED, WHITE & (BIBBIDI BOBBIDI) BLUE: Illuminated image projections create the illusion of red, white and blue bunting on the exterior of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom theme park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. during 4th of July celebrations.
  • Magic Kingdom will present “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.” This patriotic fireworks spectacular, paying homage to the hopes and dreams of America’s forefathers, will light the skies at 9 p.m. July 4 – and for guests who would like to begin the Independence Day celebration early, the show also will be presented July 3 at 9 p.m.

  • At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, traditional Fourth of July fireworks take on a different spin when Mulch, Sweat, and Shears perform for the all-new “Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration”! These resident landscapers – with serious rock and roll ambitions – take Disney guests on a musical road trip across America that will highlight each region’s contribution to rock and roll. Fireworks, lighting and special effects – backed by the driving live rock and roll of Mulch, Sweat, and Shears – combine to bring a new twist to celebrating Independence Day. Showtime July 4 is 9:45 p.m. Before or after the show, Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests can thrill to Disney’s Fantasmic!, performing July 4 at 9 and 10:30 p.m.

  • At Epcot, sky-watchers can check out  IllumiNations: Reflections of Earthbursting high above World Showcase Lagoon. IllumiNations is a 14-minute spectacular during which pyrotechnics, lasers, water and music are all used to tell a story about the past, present and future of our planet. On the Fourth of July, the show will be enhanced with "The Heartbeat of Freedom," an overture of traditional Americana themes displayed in a pyrotechnic and laser light event. The show is at 10 p.m.

LIGHT THE NIGHT -- Spectacular fireworks synchronized to a symphonic score burst above Epcot's World Showcase Lagoon during IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. Lasers, a revolving Earth globe and leaping flames co-star in the spectacle, which features a special finale on the Fourth of July – capping a day filled with patriotic entertainment at Epcot.
 In addition, Epcot guests may lend their ears to “Voices of Liberty 4th of July Concert” and participate in meet-and-greets with Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross and Disney characters adorned in patriotic dress at American Adventure.


 
Theme park hours on July 4 (subject to change without notice): Magic Kingdom, 9 a.m.-11 p.m.; Epcot, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; Disney’s Hollywood Studios, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.

Additional information about Walt Disney World Resort is available at
www.disneyworld.com.


Inspired by Disney-Pixar's "Cars 2"? Walt Disney “Wheels” - Resort Steers Guests to High-Octane, Gear-Spinning Good Times

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Gear-spinning good times get rolling at Walt Disney World Resort, where car-lovers can experience auto-themed attractions and shows, climb behind the wheel for a high-octane thrill ride and even settle back for a meal in a setting reminiscent of a time when families watched motion pictures from a cozy car seat.

Here's a spin around of "Walt Disney Wheels":

June 20, 2011

"On a Roll" at Epcot's Food and Wine Fest: Photo Fun Fact


ON A ROLL: A taste of sushi is part of the fun at the Japan international marketplace during the annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Thousands of pieces of sushi are served throughout the 45-day, outdoor festival. More than 25 international marketplaces, which serve up food, wine, cocktail and beer samplings, surround the World Showcase Lagoon. (Diana Zalucky, photographer)

16th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: A Passport to a World of Flavors Sept. 30-Nov. 13

Paradise Found: Tastes of Hawaii and Caribbean now on the Menu


Exotic cocktails will pair like a tropical daydream with fresh new tastes from more than one island paradise at the 16th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sept. 30-Nov. 13, 2011, at Walt Disney World Resort. The one-of-a-kind 45-day festival serves up international cuisine, culture and entertainment from six continents, with more than 25 international marketplaces featuring tapas-sized portions paired with beer, wine and inventive new cocktails.


Marketplace tasting menus offer variety and adventure for guests on a mission to tantalize their taste buds during a scenic stroll around the 40-acre World Showcase Lagoon. The adventure can take them to the festival's first Hawaii marketplace, which will cook up Kalua pork sliders and tuna poke with seaweed salad and lotus root chips to team with a refreshing Seven Tiki Mai Tai or a Kona Longboard or Pipeline beer. A new Caribbean Islands marketplace will serve ropa vieja with rice and jerk-spiced chicken with mango salsa. A beverage menu featuring a frozen Dragon Berry Colada and frozen Rock Coconut Mojito is sure to conjure steel-drum fantasies.

 With a swing across the Atlantic, guests will be transported to the new Portugal marketplace, where the Portugal Wine Bar will offer best sips to pair with calamari salad with olives and smoked paprika. The Scandinavia marketplace will return after a hiatus with a fresh new Xante Sunshine cocktail made from Xante pear and cognac liquer. And the Canada marketplace will introduce a sweet treat: apple ice wine.


Disney and celebrity chefs will team with winemakers and brew masters from around the world to get the party started Sept. 30. During the six-week festival, guests will discover:
  • Three new tasting marketplaces -- Hawaii, Caribbean Islands and Portugal -- plus new menu offerings at popular returning marketplaces
  • Celebrity chef appearances starring top culinarians like Jeff Henderson, Cat Cora, Alan Wong, Gale Gand, Suvir Saran, Jamie Deen, Rock Harper, Celina Tio, Robert Irvine, Andrew Zimmern, Buddy Valastro, Warren Brown, Art Smith, Keegan Gerhard and more.
  • First-ever HGTV home entertaining seminars each Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • The Cranberry Bog display by Craisins telling the story behind the venerable cranberry's rich agricultural heritage.
  • Daily wine seminars, bottle signings, author events and culinary demonstrations at the Festival Welcome Center.
  • Eat to the Beat! concerts three times nightly at America Gardens Theatre. 

June 17, 2011

Guest Post: A Journey to Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort with Molly B.

Today is Wilderness Lodge Day here at DGTG and I am pleased to introduce guest blogger, Molly B. a.k.a. @RealDisneyMom! I hope you enjoy your journey to WL with Molly as your guide, then please head over and read my tasty review of Artist Point!

What do you LOVE about Wilderness Lodge? Please leave a comment letting us know!


When I think of Disney's Wilderness Lodge a few key words come to mind: Majestic, grand, beautiful. Every time I walk into the lobby I find my eyes being drawn upward to the 8 story high ceiling. I walk in a little further and around me are comfortable chairs inviting me to sit down and relax in front of an 82 foot high fire place. I always can't help but marvel at the enormous authentic totem poles, and my children will immediately trot to a bridge over a bubbling spring...indoors! Before you leave the lobby don't forget to rub Humphrey the Bear's nose for good luck on the totem pole outside the gift shop before you hit the parks every morning. It will bring you good luck!

Walking around outside the Lodge you would never know you were in Florida if it weren't for the heat! Instead of palm trees, you will see pine trees, and truly feel like you are in the wilderness. Your children can make sandcastles on a white sand beach, and play on a nearby playground. You can rent watercraft and go for a spin or fishing tour on Bay Lake, and land lovers can rent bikes and go for a ride on woodland trails. For those that can't miss their daily workouts even on vacation, the Sturdy Branches Health Club beacons you!



Some people may think that a deluxe hotel isn't a good place to stay with little ones. I couldn't disagree more. My children love this resort! It's hugeness alone is enough to captivate a child. Since the lodge is one big building it is easy for your family to get from their hotel room to the restaurants, pool, gift shop, or anything else you may need. There is an area near the check-in counter where children can sit and watch classic Disney cartoons while their parents take care of getting welcomed home! My children have really enjoyed the arcade and love to get their caricatures drawn by talented cast members in the lobby! If Mom and Dad need a night out alone the can rest assured that their kids will be well taken care of and have a great time at the Lodge's own child care care facility, The Cub's Den. For some no-cost child friendly night life, families can take a short jaunt over to Fort Wilderness for Chip 'n Dales Campfire Singalong. Don't forget your marshmallows!

The Lodge hosts nightly movies on an outdoor screen near the pool, another kid friendly favorite, and every afternoon cast members will decorate cookies with your little ones. After your children see Fire Rock Geyser they won't stop asking to go back. Made to resemble Old Faithful, it will shoot a jet of water 120 feet into the air every hour during the day! Quite a site! Lots to do at the Wilderness Lodge for munchkins!!



The Native American decor of the Lodge expands into the 727 guest rooms. The way I would describe them is luxuriously rustic. The bed spreads boast beautiful patterns and the head boards have wonderful outdoor scenes. You will feel pampered as you get ready to hit the parks in front of a marble vanity.

My children are in love with the pool on the grounds of the Wilderness Lodge. It is a free form pool with a stream that empties into it! I have trouble tearing my little ones away from the awesome water slide! There is also a shallow pool for little ones just earning their ears. I'm sure when my daughter gets older she will want to get a hair wrap done by one of the talented cast members that stake out a place near the pool everyday! Cast members also play games with children and last year we witnesses a fabulous hula hooping contest! Adults can relax and have a cold drink at the Trout Pass pool bar.

Though the Wilderness Lodge is not serviced by the monorail I love being able to take a boat to The Magic Kingdom on Bay Lake! This is also a great treat for little ones! To get anywhere else you need to go, there is complimentary bus service.



Dining at the Lodge is absolutely stellar. The Whispering Canyon Cafe is a perfect fit for a family dinner, and I heartily suggest it even if you are not staying at the Wilderness Lodge. If you are in the mood for barbeque then get ready to get stuffed with all you can eat skillet! Cast members at this restaurant will make sure your party has a fun dinner, so get ready to have a hollering good time! On my honeymoon I had the pleasure of experiencing one of Disney's best signature restaurants, Artist Point. Be sure to read Amanda's Review here! I recommend trying the buffalo, it is outstanding! If you are in need of a quick breakfast lunch or dinner, head to Roaring Fork which also has some very yummy food!

I happened on Disney's Wilderness Lodge quite by accident when at the age of 13, my parents decided to plan an impromptu trip to Disney for our family, and there were no rooms left at The Caribbean Beach. They then decided on trying out The Wilderness Lodge and I am lucky that they did, because from that trip on it has been my favorite Disney Resort! I'm sure I will sample other resorts on Disney's property in the future but the Wilderness Lodge will always hold a special place in my Disney loving heart!


Molly is a married Stay at Home Mommy of three beautiful children. Though young in age, she is a veteran Walt Disney World vacation planner. She would classify her life in two parts; on a Disney vacation, or planning one. She first visited her utopia at age 3 and could not imagine her life without it. One of her proudest moments was when her son told her that he wanted to be an Imagineer and she can’t wait until her daughter is old enough to have a favorite Disney princess. She hopes to instill a life long love for Disney in her family and any one else who is willing to have a little faith and trust! She is the Kids writer for the Disney Driven Life, and you can visit her at www.therealdisneymom.wordpress.com.

A Culinary Journey to the Pacific Northwest: Artist Point, A Review in Pictures

(Repost from wdwfanzone 6/15)

On my recent visit to the Walt Disney World Resort, I had the opportunity to dine at Artist Point, a Signature Restaurant located at Wilderness Lodge Resort.  Artist Point is reminiscent of the restaurants found within the Great Northwestern Lodges, from its rustically luxurious decor to its unique, Pacific-inspired menu which features Beef, Seafood, and Game...did I mention the artwork?





The ambiance at Artist Point is spectacular and the service in unmatched.  The vibe is laid back and comfortable while maintaining an elegant feel.  We loved being able to walk out on to the covered verandah in between courses to take in the sights of the Wilderness Lodge.


The wine list adheres to those Great Northwestern roots, exclusively featuring wines from the American Northwest: Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Northern California.  I quickly spotted a Sparkling Wine from Oregon Argyle Brut, from Willamette ($11/gl)... My first taste of Oregon Sparkling! Delish!



Bread service consisted of crusty Sourdough bread alongside Black Nori Sea-Salted Butter...  I am now a HUGE fan of Nori Sea Salt and bought my first jar yesterday!



I quickly chose an appetizer: Mixed Field Greens Salad with Forellis Pears, Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese, and Orange-Honey Vinaigrette ($10).  This salad was simple, but boasted tremendous flavor.  The greens were fresh and the flavors just gelled perfectly.



After browsing the menu, which looked fabulous, I was disappointed that venison was not one of the offerings but was informed by our server that it is offered seasonally... This was fine because I ordered the recommended Cedar Plank Roasted Salmon with Confit Artichokes, Petite Zuchinni, Baby Carrots, and Bacon-Egg Vinaigrette ($37).  I was a little worried, because I ordered my Salmon a bit more on the "done" side and sometimes this backfires on me, resulting in a tough, dry piece of fish...To my delight, it was cooked perfectly and the garnishes were as equally delicious.  The portion size was right on the money.  I cleaned my plate without over-stuffing myself...oh, and did I mention the Bacon-Egg Vinaigrette-- NOM!





My husband was bold and ordered the Char-Grilled Buffalo Striploin Steak with 3-Cheese Mac, Buttered Baby Summer Squash, and Syrah Gastrique ($48).  His steak was cooked perfectly and the dish as a whole was aesthtically appealing.  The garnishes were perfectly paired and were seasonal and fresh.  The Mac & Cheese is quite possibly the best on property!



There were several delicious dessert options, but we chose to share the Berries and Cream: Strawberry Consomme with Gran Marnier, Vanilla Panna Cotta, and Buttered Pund Cake ($10),  A delightful twist on traditional Strawberry Shortcake and a clean, refreshing end to a fabulous meal!



Since it was Bella's Birthday, she was honored with an impressive dessert trio complete with edible paints and a brush with which to paint said desserts!





In review:  Artist Point is now my favorite Disney Restaurant... The whole experience from beginning to end was nothing short of magical.  I think Artist Point is sometimes overlooked by prospective Disney diners, and they're sadly missing out on a hidden gem. 




Reservations to Artist Point can be made up to 180 days in advance online or by calling (407) WDW-DINE

June 15, 2011

$25.00 Target Gift Card Giveaway from Pull Ups - Disney Character Calls

All Moms know the challenges that accompany Potty-Training.  Each child is different and we all face unique obstacles during the process!  We all know Potty Training takes lots of motivation and encouragement along the way.  Although my little Princess is now 4 and those days are behind us, I will never forget the look on her face when she finally "Did it!"

Pull Ups and Target have teamed up to offer our little "potty-trainers" a magical reward!  When your little one hits a potty-training milestone, they can receive a special congratulatory phone call thanks to Disney Character Calls.



Visit Disney Character Calls to sign up to have a Disney Princess or Disney Cars 2 Character congratulate your big kid with a magical call to your phone!

Parents can choose from different messages and can schedule a phone call or even play it live on the computer for your Big Kid to hear! 

For those who choose the Princess option, your Big Kid will be greeted with encouraging messages from Cinderella...and for those Cars Fans, Lightning McQueen will be rooting your Big Kid on to finish "the race."

Be sure to schedule your magical call today with Disney Character Calls and Pull Ups!



Now for the Giveaway:

Pull Ups and Target have teamed up to offer one lucky DGTG Reader a $25.00 Target Gift Card! You MUST leave a separate comment for EACH entry or they will not be counted. Leave Email address in comments as well!

Mandatory Entry:
  • You must be a Google Friend Connect Follower of this blog and you must leave a comment below telling me your favorite Disney Character. (example: I follow via GFC and my fav. character is ...!)
Extra Entries (unlimited):
  • Tweet about this giveaway
  • Update your facebook status mentioning this giveaway
Extra Entries (+1):
  • Like my Page on Facebook
  • Follow Me on Twitter
  • Subscribe to my blog via Email
  • Find this post on my facebook wall and LIKE it!

Contest ends 6/23 at 11:59 pm.  Open to US residents only.  Winner must respond to congratulatory email within 48 hours.

Disclosure: This giveaway opportunity was provided by Fanscape Media and is sponsored by Target and Pull Ups.  I received compensation in the form of a $20 Target Gift Card for writing about Character Calls, but the opinions expressed herein are all genuinely mine!

DGTG Wordless Wednesday: Hidin' Out at Hollywood Studios


This Wordless Wednesday Post is in honor of DHS Awareness Week!!!
Follow #DHSAwareness on Twitter

DGTG Recipe: A Fresh Summer Meal Greek Style, Courtesy of Kouzzina

On a recent trip to Walt Disney World, my family dined for the first time at Kouzzina, Cat Cora's restaurant located at the Boardwalk Resort. Many of you know I own a restaurant, and one of our signature dishes is the traditional Greek soup Avgolemono which is also featured on Kouzzina's menu... this pair fabulously with a fresh Greek salad, known as Spiro's Greek Salad at Kouzzina.



I made this for our dinner last night and thought I should share it with you!  Please keep in mind, that this recipe came directly out of my head, so conventionally, it is probably the most wacky recipe you've ever tried to follow.  I can already hear you giggling as you read the directions.



Since you will be making this at home, I have changed a few steps to make this process easier and faster while still resulting in a delicious soup.

What you'll need:
  • 1.5 lbs. Chicken Tenderloins (They cook fast)
  • 32 oz. Chicken Broth ( I use low sodium Organic)
  • 3 Chicken Bouillon Cubes (Since we didn't have time to make broth from whole chickens)
  • 1.5 c. Orzo Pasta
  • 1/2 c. shredded carrot (You can buy it pre-shredded)
  • 4 Lemons (No, bottled Lemon Juice doesn't cut it...Don't skimp on this one)
  • 5 Eggs (room temperature)
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper
  • Fresh Basil for garnish
Directions:
  • Find a stock pot and boil just enough water to cover your chicken.  Once the water is boiling, add the bouillon cubes and chicken and cook until chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken and set aside to cool.  Add Chicken Broth and bring back to a boil.
  • Add Pasta and shredded carrot and cook until tender (about 10 minutes)
  • In the meantime, juice the lemons and set aside
  • Crack the eggs in a Large Mixing bowl
  • Add Lemon juice to Eggs and whisk vigorously until slightly foamy
  • Ladle 2-3 spoonfuls of hot broth into the egg/lemon mixture while stirring to keep the eggs from "scrambling" in your soup
  • While stirring the pot, slowly pour the egg/lemon/broth mixture into the pot of soup
  • Shred the chicken by hand and fold into the pot of soup
  • Add Sea Salt and Freshly Ground black pepper to taste
  • Let simmer on low heat for about 3 minutes to thicken
  • Ladle into shallow bowls and garnish Lemon twists and fresh basil
While the soup is simmering, you should throw together this traditional Greek Salad, also from Kouzzina:



What You'll Need:
  • Fresh Arugula (enough for a bed on each plate) or European Spring  (Not too much)
  • Large Ripe Tomatoes (I like Heirlooms)
  • Sliced French Seedless Cucumber (I actually cut large chunks for presentation)
  • Thinly sliced Red Onion (I mean shoestring thin if ya can)
  • Kalamata Olives (sans pits if possible)
  • 1/2 lb. Chunk of Feta in Brine (The crumbles also work and are probably easier to come by)
  • Good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Good Red Wine Vinegar (Or your favorite bottled Greek Dressing)
  • Ciabatta Loaf (optional)
What to do:
  • Arrange a bed of greens on each plate
  • Add Sliced Tomatoes (or wedges) I think the chunkier the better with this salad
  • Arrange cucumber, onion, and olives on each plate
  • Top with slices or crumbles of the Feta
  • Drizzle with Olive Oil and Vinegar (or dressing)
  • And Be SURE to season with Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • Cut a slice (long ways looks cool) of Ciabatta and lay across each plate