A Peek Inside Todd English’s bluezoo!

Poor Todd English.  In our recently completed polls, he got very little love.  In fact, his Signature WDW restaurant – bluezoo – got blown away by its competition.

In two separate match-ups, I asked you, which of these menus do you find to be more enticing?  As I mentioned, in our first showdown, BoardWalk’s Flying Fish destroyed bluezoo with an utter lack of remorse.

Our second match-up was equally a landslide as Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ bested 50’s Prime Time Café, with ease.  Given Prime Time’s popularity, that’s a bit of a surprise, wouldn’t you say?

To add insult to Todd’s injury, however, when we engaged them in a “four-way free-for-all”, bluezoo gained just one puny vote when stacked up to the other three competitors.  Homecomin’ beat Flying Fish by one vote in that popularity competition, by the way.

But, back to bluezoo … like I said, poor Todd.  Actually, speaking on behalf of the All in WDW family, we have almost as many fond memories of bluezoo as we do of another of our favorites – California Grill.

Therefore, we feel that it is fitting to celebrate bluezoo in its crushing defeat.  A consolation prize, as it were.  My friends, from decor to menu, take a little peek outside and inside Todd English’s bluezoo!

Dining Recon: Cabana Bar and Beach Club at the Dolphin … Revisited!

Every once in a while, Mrs. All in WDW and I get the urge to stop by and enjoy one of our old favorites – in this case, the Dolphin’s Cabana Bar.

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Set way in the back, by the resort’s main pool area, Cabana is a great place to sit outside and relax … without being completely drenched by the rays of the sun.

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For us, Cabana Bar and Beach Club is one of Disney’s hidden gems.  We hadn’t been there in forever!

Like I said in my last “recon” – stop back for a full array of pics at this link – we really enjoy the bar’s “your outside, but it doesn’t quite feel like you’re outside” atmosphere!

One of the pleasant surprises we received on this particular visit was the fact that they’ve “tweaked” their menu.  They’ve added a lot of tasty options, as far as my eye can see.

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I was salivating over the prospect of having the Schnitzel, but, alas, we had lunch plans elsewhere that day.  I’ll admit … the dishes are a bit pricey, but we’ve always found Cabana’s food to be quite good.

On this day, we quenched our appetite with a quick bite – their Lettuce Wrap.

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We were wondering how they could possibly charge $12 for a single lettuce wrap, but the dish’s unique construction and presentation easily answered that question.

The flavor (er, spice) could have been a bit stronger.  The filling could have been a bit better.  But, using an iceberg lettuce wrap to construct a “sushi” roll is incredibly interesting, wouldn’t you agree?

I can’t even begin to scratch the surface on the reasons why you should give Cabana Bar at least one try, but if you crave a nice “high-class feeling” spot “outside”, this might be your destination.

Are you a fan of the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resorts?  Have you been to their Cabana Bar and Beach Club?  Leave a comment and tell us your Swan, Dolphin, and Cabana stories!

Dining Recon: Cabana Bar and Beach Club at the Dolphin

So, I have a word of advice for you … if you’re planning to attend the opening day and weekend of Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival this coming September, you had better get your room booked.

The festival starts Friday, September 19th, and Mrs. All in WDW and I decided to get our arrangements in place this past weekend.  Sadly, it didn’t matter whether we tried to use the Disney Fall discount or not, there wasn’t much available that didn’t cost a nightly fortune!

Lucky for us, we were able to get a very reasonable rate on an Epcot fireworks view room at the Dolphin.  Which, by the way, brings me to today’s story.

For us, one of Disney’s hidden gems is Cabana Bar and Beach Club at, you guessed it, the Dolphin!

We have been there several times.  Usually perched on a seat at the bar, we really enjoy Cabana’s “your outside, but it doesn’t quite feel like you’re outside” atmosphere.  The food is a little bit pricey, but it’s very good.

Maybe Cabana’s not a “stop in every time you visit WDW” type of place, but it’s certainly worth a try or two!

Here’s a tour of the decor, menu, and cuisine.  I hope you enjoy.  I can tell you one thing, when Mrs. All in WDW and I get there in September, we will!

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To the left of the bar.

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To the right of the bar.

From the left.

From the left.

From the right.

From the right.

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Appetizers and salads.

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Main dishes, flatbreads, and sides.

We started with an order of the Fish Tacos.

We started with an order of the Fish Tacos.

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Then, Mrs. All in WDW selected the Half-Pound Peel and Eat Shrimp.

Then, Mrs. All in WDW selected the Half-Pound Peel and Eat Shrimp.

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Trying to be a bit on the adventurous side, I tried the Korean BBQ Beef Sliders.

They were great!

They were great!

The waffle fries were so crispy and good, we had to order a side.  I just LOVE the presentation!

The waffle fries were so crispy and good, we had to order a side. I just LOVE the presentation!

 

“Swolphin”, you have an image problem!

“Hello? Is this the Swan & Dolphin publicity department? My readers are amongst the most knowledgeable Guests on property, and you’re not even a ‘blip’ on their radar. You, my friends, have a serious image problem!”

OK, so one reason I gave each poll on Monday’s post an “escape hatch” – er, an option reading “never visited” – is because I was afraid that this would happen. Let’s face it, I started this series the other day with an admission that we, also, knew very little about the WDW Swan & Dolphin Resorts the first time we stayed there.  In the end, over four polls, with over 54% of the responses, our favorite answer was …

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There are how many restaurants?!

There’s a specific reason why Mrs. All in WDW and I were excited to stay at the WDW Dolphin for the first time back in 2010. We really love the Crescent Lake area of The World. “Everything” we want, it seems, resides around that large lake and its interconnecting waterways and walking paths. Epcot. Restaurants. The Board Walk. Lounges. Pool bars. Hollywood Studios.

Our love of Epcot has to be legendary, by now, but we’ve always been huge fans of Cape May Cafe’, for example. Cape May was the site of several Christmas Eve dinners for the All in WDW clan, and I can’t tell you the number of times that we waited to be seated for dinner in the lobby of Disney’s Beach Club and wondered if we would ever take the leap to stay there.

Frankly, for a long time, the sheer cost to stay at a Crescent Lake resort just seemed to be beyond my sensibilities. When I tripped over Travelocity’s offer to spend Labor Day 2010 at the WDW Dolphin for only $99 per night, our decision became a no-brainer. We’d be staying in the area of WDW that we like the most for less than we would normally pay for a Disney Moderate. We were in!

We were pleasantly surprised by the Dolphin, since it is a non-Disney establishment, but I have to confess that I was astounded by the multitude and diversity of their selection of restaurants. Now, years later, places like Todd English’s bluezoo and Shula’s Steak House hold a special place in our family history, but back in 2010, we were clueless. “There are how many restaurants?!”

If you visit the special web site that they have dedicated to their restaurants, you’ll see that the “Swolphin” houses four Signature, five Casual, and three Quick Service options. In addition, they tout five lounges. 17 restaurants and lounges!

It put me to thinking … I have already given you two of our family favorites. What are yours? I would love to know your top choices. And, folks, please look it at this way … if you haven’t been to any, don’t be shy. Tell us where you would LIKE to go.

Talk to you later!

bluezoo!