Dining Recon: Gasparilla Island Grill

Good morning, my friends!  How have you been the last few days?  I had to step away for a bit to “rest and recharge”, but I’m back, and I’m ready for breakfast!

“Standard Disney fare”.  You hear me say that a lot.  You hear other bloggers and podcasters say that a lot, as well.  When it comes to breakfast at most (or all?) WDW locales, however, that’s pretty much the norm.

That’s OK, though.  We all love our Mickey waffles, right?

Anyway, Gasparilla Island Grill at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is one of those, aforementioned, Disney restaurants.  But, it’s “different”.  In fact, it stands just a bit above the rest.

Why?  Well, it’s open 24/7, folks!  Yes, you heard me.  Gasparilla is a bona fide “open all day” Disney Counter Service!

It does, indeed, serve pretty standard fare, of course, but, hey!  Where else in WDW are you going to get a decent, hot, cooked midnight snack?!

Yes, my friends, whether it’s a visit to grab breakfast, lunch, dinner, or an “after hours” bite, this Quick Service is a fantastic stop!  Take a look and enjoy!

Like everything else at the Grand Floridian, Gasparilla's exterior appearance is clean and pristine.

Like everything else at the Grand Floridian, Gasparilla’s exterior appearance is clean and pristine.

Beautiful day? GREAT outdoor seating!

Beautiful day? GREAT outdoor seating!

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The interior is pretty simple. Nothing fancy, that is.

The interior is pretty simple. Nothing fancy, that is.

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The place CAN get quite busy, that's for sure!

The place CAN get quite busy, that’s for sure!

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There it is! "Standard Disney Fare".

There it is! “Standard Disney Fare”.

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I decided to enjoy the Croissant Sandwich. It was a bit dry, to be truthful. The hash brown was a side purchased separately.

I decided to enjoy the Croissant Sandwich. It was a bit dry, to be truthful. The hash brown was a side purchased separately.

A Poolside Lunch at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa!

Located alongside what is simply named the Courtyard Pool, this Grand Floridian pool bar, sports an incredibly obvious name – Courtyard Pool Bar.

Gotta love the creativity there, eh?  Just kidding, Disney!

Notwithstanding its nondescript name, however, it certainly boasts a beautiful view of Walt Disney World’s flagship resort …

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It’s also a very relaxing setting in which to take on a light lunch.

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The menu is pretty limited, I’m afraid.

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Having said that, Mrs. All in WDW and I were able to find something to share!

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Served by the Floridian’s Quick Service – Gasparilla Island Grill – this Margherita Flatbread was a tasty collaboration of mozzarella, tomato, and basil.

All in all, maybe this pool bar wouldn’t be the first place you’d think of for a meal, but it’s a pleasant place, nonetheless.  Hey!  If you’re visiting the Grand Floridian, stop on by!

Resort-Dedicated Fan Web Sites!

You know, I forget that there are so many resort-dedicated fan web sites out in the Disney-verse.  Do you know the ones I mean?

For example, I introduced you to the PortOrleans.org Unofficial Tribute Site a few days ago.  You, most certainly, know about Tikiman’s Unofficial Polynesian Resort Pages.  And, I always forget that there is a fan site completely dedicated to one of my favorite resorts – Buzz2001’s Unofficial Coronado Springs Resort Website!

But, there are tons of others!  The best “master list” I found actually was supplied by a site called DisneyCaribbeanBeach.com.  On their blog, at this link, you can find web sites touting the virtues of:

  • Wilderness Lodge
  • Contemporary Resort
  • Pop Century
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas
  • Grand Floridian

Do you know of any other resort-focused fan web sites?  If so, please leave me a comment with their “address”.  I would love to check them out!  In the meantime, I had to find this one myself.  And, how appropriate, too!  It is The Unofficial Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa Website!

They describe Saratoga Springs as ” … an equestrian-themed, Victorian-style Disney Deluxe Villa Resort.”  It is “… [i]nspired by the late-1800s New York retreat Saratoga Springs” which was “[f]amous for its horse-racing and amazing spas.”

Welcome to the "Springs"!

Welcome to the “Springs”!

Now, back to All in WDW “business”.  Did you think that I had forgotten about yesterday’s trivia question?  No, I haven’t.  When it comes to the five “sections” of the Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, they are named:

  • Congress Park
  • The Springs
  • The Paddock
  • The Carousel
  • The Grandstand

When I wrote the question, I was, naturally, thinking about horse-racing.  The Kentucky Derby came to mind.  So, I made up “The Derby” as one of the four responses.  If you guessed that one as the “fake” section, and most of you did, then congratulations!  You out-smarted me again!

Next time, we’ll move down (up?) the river to Disney’s Old Key West Resort for one last trivia challenge.  Until then, please enjoy these shots, courtesy of The Unofficial Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa Website.  Hey, pay them a visit!  Learn more about the “Springs”!

A lovely water view!

A lovely water view!

"Saratoga-on-the-Lake"!

“Saratoga-on-the-Lake”!

A View from The Paddock!

A View from The Paddock!

A shot from Downtown Disney.

A shot from Downtown Disney.

We hope you enjoyed your stay!

We hope you enjoyed your stay!

Skewered by ‘Ohana!

‘Ohana has done it again!

Five months ago, the Polynesian Resort’s “meat-fest” bested quite a cast of competitors to become the All in WDW Readers’ Favorite Buffet/Family Style Restaurant. Now, in our most controversial poll to date, it has been crowned “champion” one more time – our Favorite Monorail Loop Restaurant.

Is ‘Ohana the best restaurant in Walt Disney World?  I think most of us – the fans that participated in this week’s voting – would agree that …

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Tables on the Loop! – The Finale

One thing I admitted to when we started this “tourney” the day before yesterday is that this poll was a big “basket of fruit” – comparing apples to oranges to Georgia peaches. Or, more specifically, forcing us to choose between character meals, family-style “meat-fests”, and high-price signature restaurants.

However, from the outset, I felt that, from amongst that vast diversity of choices, there were several very strong contenders for the title. Outside of the four finalists, I thought that the fun and frivolity of Whispering Canyon Cafe … or the marquee appeal of Artist Point and Narcoossee’s had a chance.  But, I really thought that the popularity of Disney’s beloved characters would carry Chef Mickey’s into the finale.

For me, Kona Cafe is the shock. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love their pan-Asian noodles, but I wasn’t expecting such a strong showing. I mean, you can barely find a seat at Chef Mickey’s.  You can walk up to Kona – pretty much any time – and get a table.

Having said that, the other three members of the Final Four come as no surprise. I think we’re all anxious to see California Grill reborn from the ashes, ‘Ohana is an overwhelming fan favorite, and, well, I’m glad to see Victoria & Albert’s make the last round. If it hadn’t, V&A fans far-and-wide might have torn All in WDW down in revolt!  Ha-ha.

This is all for fun, folks.  VOTE!  Which of these four establishments will become our Favorite Monorail Loop Restaurant?

Yes, the All in WDW family devoured this Cali Grill sushi feast!

Yes, the All in WDW family did devour this Cali Grill sushi feast. We can’t wait for the restaurant to re-open!