Disney’s Busiest Waterway? Sassagoula Dreamin’!

Ahoy, folks!  This nautical tribute is dedicated to the biggest Sassagoula fan that I personally know – Skipper Doug Davis!

An unadulterated Sassagoula River Cruise captain “wanna-be”, the host of WDW Main Street’s podcast is definitely a fan.

Actually, when Mrs. All in WDW and I last visited “The World”, I sent Doug a video or two of his beloved river boats.  Oh.  Not to “rub it in”, mind you.  I just wanted to give him a glimpse of “home”!

Having said that, before we proceed to the “meat” of this salute, I’d like to make one small observation.  The Sassagoula River is one busy waterway!

It took a stay at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort for me to really see, and appreciate, it.  Those boats motor up and down the river nonstop!

So, in that spirit, please take a few minutes to check out the “traffic”, my friends.

From our room’s balcony as well as “live” on a private (there was no one else on the boat!) ride to Port Orleans, here are Doug’s beloved boats!  Enjoy!

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Ride a Disney Bus(?!) Down the Sassagoula River?

Huh?  What am I talking about, my friends?  A bus on the Sassagoula River?  Clearly, I’ve lost my mind!  Hey, I’m only taking a few seconds to point this tip out because, for us, it did come in handy during a thunderstorm.

Mrs. All in WDW and I can’t be the only Disney fans in the world who didn’t know this, but you can take a bus down the Sassagoula River!  Oh, yes, you can!

Actually, what I should say is that you can take a WDW bus to get to the Disney Springs resorts!  Want to hitch a many-wheeled ride to Saratoga Springs, Old Key West, and/or Port Orleans?  No problem!

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Frankly, we had no idea that Disney Transportation provided bus service to the aforementioned resorts, believing that the Sassagoula’s river cruise was the only “game” in town.

Lucky for us, while Downtown’s boats endured a safety shutdown due to thunder, we were still able to find our way “home”!  Don’t get caught in a Disney Springs storm, my friends.  Look for the queues marked 2A, 5A, or 5B!

The Suitcase Gurgles On …

Yes, my friends, Mrs. All in WDW and I stopped by for another quick visit to Old Key West’s Gurgling Suitcase.  If you missed it, here’s my earlier review!

My lovely wife and I have come to the conclusion that Disney’s Old Key West is a very under-appreciated resort.  Complete with lighthouse, it’s beautifully themed!

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Of course, the Gurgling Suitcase is usually our main target of interest.  Why?  Generally, it’s because we’re in search of an adult refreshment and a quick lunch!

Suitcase’s “outside while you’re inside” atmosphere doesn’t hurt either.  Especially when it’s a 98 degree Summer day!  You can enjoy the outdoors while you lounge in air-conditioned comfort!

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For lunch on this July day, Mrs. All in WDW enjoyed a serving of the Gurgling Suitcase’s Pulled Pork BBQ Nachos.

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A pile of house-made potato chips, smothered by pulled pork, fresh jalapenos, cheese, sour cream, and salsa was quite a filling lunch!  Pretty reasonable, too, at $8.29.

I was a bit more expensive, I’m afraid.  The first time we visited, our bartender raved about the menu’s Fish Sandwich.  It’s $13.99, but he claimed it was a phenomenal dish.  I had to give it a shot!

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Also very filling, it was accompanied by the aforementioned house-made chips.  The remoulade is fantastic!  It’s the same as they provide with their Conch Fritters, by the way.

Gurgling Suitcase's Conch Fritters.

Gurgling Suitcase’s Conch Fritters.  We had these on our first visit.

But, back to the fish sandwich.  I found the “star” of this “hoagie” – fresh grouper cheeks – to be a bit stronger taste than I prefer.  Honestly, I would have preferred a much milder fish.

For us, when it comes to Old Key West’s Gurgling Suitcase, the big “win” is the setting.

We love a good outside bar – hence our love for Laguna Bar at Disney’s Coronado Springs.  To be able to enjoy the “outside”, at a very nicely themed resort, while sitting in cool, conditioned air?  Well, that just rocks!

Dining Recon: Old Key West’s Gurgling Suitcase

From yesterday’s breakfast to today’s light lunch, Mrs. All in WDW and I travel across Disney property to a less-heralded Deluxe resort – Old Key West!

Can you believe that, in years of visiting Walt Disney World, we had never, ever stepped foot in “the Keys”?  What a pleasant surprise it was!  And, what a hidden gem the Gurgling Suitcase truly is!

Imagine an “outdoor” pool bar that is air conditioned.  Outside?  Air conditioned?  What?!

Hey!  We love an outdoor bar as much as anyone.  Have I told you lately just how much we love the Laguna Bar at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort?

Last week, with most of Orlando’s days in the mid to high 90’s, we needed a break from the heat.  I mean, it routinely felt like 100 degrees or higher!

The Suitcase presented a refreshing alternative for “chilling” (pun intended) in the Summer sunshine.

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And, Roberto, our bartender was very friendly – and a top notch mixologist.  He tells us that the Turtle Krawl is the Suitcase’s signature drink.

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Our “lunch” was merely a little snack – tasty Conch Fritters with dips of key-lime mustard and remoulade.  The fritters and remoulade were phenomenal!

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We enjoyed our visit so much that Mrs. All in WDW boldly declared that the Old Key’s “gurgling luggage” is now her 2nd favorite bar on property!

Yes, folks.  Laguna is still #1 in our books – by a long, long shot – but Gurgling Suitcase definitely takes up a spot in our personal Top 5 WDW “watering holes”!

We highly recommend that you visit, at least once.  Oh, and, by the way?  The decor is very interesting and well themed!  Cheers, for today, my friends!

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Dining Recon: Lava Lounge (at Downtown Disney’s Rainforest Cafe)

When it comes to Walt Disney World’s “hidden treasures”, Mrs. All in WDW and I think we’ve found a “new” one to add to the list.  The Rainforest Cafe’s Lava Lounge is a water-side delight!

Located in Downtown Disney, “hidden” is a perfect word to start describing this spot.  In fact, you have to go spelunking (caving) in order to find it!  See?

You'll find the entry to the left of Downtown Disney's Rainforest Cafe.

You’ll find the entry to the left of Downtown Disney’s Rainforest Cafe.

Deep into the cavern, you go!

Deep into the cavern, you go!

You've hit "lava"!

You’ve hit “lava”!

C'mon in!

C’mon in!

One of the things that Mrs. All in WDW and I dislike the most about any Rainforest Cafe location we’ve ever visited are the lines.  You know what I mean.  Have you ever walked in to be immediately seated?

Well, if you can be flexible about your seating choice, Lava Lounge might be your “ticket”.  Not only were there seats at the bar, but the restaurant had plenty of open tables as well!

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And, whether it be Downtown Disney, itself, or Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort, what could be better than enjoying Rainforest Cafe’s cuisine in the presence of these phenomenal views?

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Like I said, my friends, Rainforest Cafe’s Lava Lounge in Downtown Disney is a “hidden treasure”.  The next time you visit Walt Disney World, stop by and give it a try!