New restaurants, new character experiences and more await you when it comes to your dining options at Walt Disney World.
Here are the Top 15 culinary experiences we can’t wait to try this year:
1. Now is the time to head on over to the new Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen in the Magic Kingdom. With offerings such as a rice noodle bowl, sustainable local farm-raised shrimp in chili-garlic sauce, or the Kungaloosh!, an African-inspired chocolate cake with caramelized bananas with cashew-caramel ice cream, this is an all-new menu for the Disney chefs and one you should make a point of trying.
2. We never like to talk about things closing for refurbishment but Flying Fish Cafe at Disney’s BoardWalk will temporarily close the end of January, then reopen in the fall with a whole new look – and new menu items. Don’t worry though, Chef Tim Keating promises that potato-wrapped snapper and the popular New York strip steak will be back. We can’t wait for more details.
3. I love a good Sunday brunch – the just seem so elegant. And the deluxe resorts sure at Disney World sure know how to do elegant! Narcoossee’s Waterfront Brunch at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a new one, and Brunch at the Top debuts February 7 at California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
4. Tiffins (an Indian English word for a midday meal or type of container used to carry food while traveling) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will celebrate the art of traveling, featuring foods from places that inspired the creation of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This new restaurant will be open for both lunch and dinner.
5. And while you’re in the are, next to Tiffins, Nomad Lounge will feature hand-crafted cocktails using the art of mixology with African, Asian and South American flavors. There will also be beers and wines from those regions and a selection of specialty non-alcoholic beverages in addition to small bites for you to enjoy.
6. The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival expands to 90 days, March 2 to May 30 (from 75 days last year). This is an annual favorite for me. From fresh garden produce, savory bites and sweet treats the festival’s Outdoor Kitchens, returning for a fourth year with guest favorites and new food and beverage offerings, are sure to provide delicious options for you to try.
7. Minnie’s Seasonal Dine at Hollywood & Vine at Disney’’s Hollywood Studios debuted in 2015, but will continue in 2016. Seasonal meals will include Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine, Minnie’s Springtime Dine, Minnie’s Summertime Dine and Minnie’s Halloween Dine.
8. A Cupcake ATM, sure to satisfy a sweet-tooth 24/7 sounds good to me! Sprinkles, the world’s first cupcake bakery, as named by Food Network and others, will serve up handcrafted cupcakes, slow churned ice cream and homemade cookies at Disney Springs in 2016.
9. Mmmmm chocolate! At The Ganachery at Disney Springs – the proprietary blend of chocolate and cream made right in the shop is not to be missed. The lovely little space elevates sweets to an experience akin to a wine tasting.
10. There are so many new things coming to Disney Springs in 2016, including STK, a modern steakhouse mixed with the ambiance of a sleek lounge and emphasizing a social and fun environment. It will occupy 14,000 square feet in a two-story building, including a main level and a rooftop-dining area with incredible views of Disney Springs.
11. Who doesn’t love pizza?! Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza also comes to Disney Springs in 2016, a modern-day “pizza joint” known for its custom-built artisanal pizzas, freshly made salads, blood orange lemonade and s’more pies. They will feature an interactive assembly-line allowing guests to customize their pizza, choosing from over 40 fresh toppings.
12. Opening in Summer 2016 at Disney Springs, Frontera Fresco by Chef Rick Bayless will showcase the gourmet Mexican cuisine Chef Bayless is known for. From hand-crafted tortillas, tacos, salads, fresh-made guacamole and classic Mexican braised meat entrees, these classic dishes are sure to be a big hit. Frontera Fresco also will serve an extensive selection of margaritas, cocktails and craft beers and wine.
13. Also opening in Summer 2016, Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine will showcase the cuisine of Chef Art Smith at Disney Springs. Smith, who was born and reared in the town of Jasper, Fla., on the Florida-Georgia border, will feature farm-to-fork cuisine that showcases the bounty of Florida, and design inspired by turn-of-the century Florida architecture of the late 1800s.
14. Also in 2016, look for a re-imagined Planet Hollywood at Disney Springs. The flagship venue is transforming itself into a star-themed Planet Hollywood Observatory to match the look and feel of Disney Springs. Included in this refurbishment will be the addition of a new outdoor terrace and bar space called Stargazers that will feature live entertainment.
15. Plus, a new Disney Quick-Service locations and kiosks will be opening this spring at Disney Springs. Perfect for a quick bite. Keep checking back for more information on these locations.
I love dining at Disney! And I love when these new experiences are released! Let’s make sure you don’t miss anything that’s coming. And if you’re thinking planning a trip and want to make sure you experience all the unique dining at Walt Disney World, let me help you! I am a Travel Magician with World of Magic Travel, the preferred agency of Chip and Co and the Disney Addicts! Email me today at email@example.com to start planning your “Magical” vacation! –Alissa
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