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Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World Celebrates First Holiday Season by Joshua Snyder

Published November 26, 2014 by jpmdo

four seasons hotel

If you’re one of the thousands of people that want to escape the wintry doldrums to someplace nice and warm, the Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World has holiday excitement to spare as it celebrates its first Christmas season.

As you enter the lobby of the resort, you’re greeted by a beautifully decorated 12 foot Christmas tree, along with festive wreaths and columns wrapped in garland, seasonal floral arrangements, and a few surprises. You’ll also get a chance to view Executive Pastry Chef Rabii Saber’s gingerbread masterpiece while sipping on complimentary cider and hot chocolate from 2:00pm to 5:00pm daily.

If you’re looking to indulge your sweet tooth, you’re covered too. Throughout the resort there are chances to try sweet delicacies, such as peppermint bark, gingerbread cookies, ice cream (served each afternoon in The Hideout) and an awesome chance to decorate your own holiday cookies with Chef Saber on select dates. Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi has even created some gelato masterpieces for the season such as chocolate peppermint, gingerbread, and cranberry (yum).

The resort also offers a complimentary kids camp each day for kids 4-12 years old. Open from 10:00am to 6:00pm, the Kids For All Seasons has all sorts of offerings for children, ranging from lazy river races to face painting and candy cane scavenger hunts. Each week the KFAS camp will also offer classic holiday movies along with a chance to write a personalized letter to Santa.

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And of course you can’t forget the adults. The resort offers Mixology Classes each week, taking place in the Ravello demonstration kitchen from 3:00pm to 4:00pm. These classes are led by a highly qualified team of master mixologists and range from rum based cocktails to cocktails from exotic locales. These classes are sure to be a hit and may fill up quickly. And for those looking to catch a quick NFL football game, they can visit Ravello Bar, which will be transformed into Cigar City Brewery’s Fan Club. And don’t forget to check out the spa and golf course for special holiday offerings as well.

Of course, who can pass up an excellent dining adventure during the holidays? Not this writer. In addition to the character breakfasts offered daily from the resort, they will offer special holiday dinners at several of the resorts restaurants. In PB&G, you can find a Craft Beer & Holiday Cheer event, held on December 19th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. At a cost of $49.00 per person, this event includes small hors doeuvres and unlimited (yes, unlimited) beer tasting on more than 20 season beers across the country with a souvenir 5-ounce glass to take home with you. The resort’s Cuban American restaurant, Plancha, will be offering an amazing family style dinner Cuban-style. Chef Pedro Sanchez Negron will be presenting a few of his family’s favorite holiday recipes, offering a new and exciting take on the traditional Christmas dinner. Dinner at Plancha will be served December 22nd from 7:00pm to 10:00pm and will cost $55 per adult and $22 per child. On December 29th, Plancha will transform and offer a unique Turkish take on Christmas dinner. At a cost of $75 per adult and $26 per child and will feature fresh vegetables, herbs, and fish with a Turkish flair. On Christmas Eve, Ravello will offer a five-course prix-fixe dinner menu for $95.00 per person. Also, Capa will serve a prix-fixe dinner menu for the same price on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, look for a brunch buffet served at Ravello at a cost of $95.00 per adult and $35.00 per child. Capa will once again offer a prix-fixe dinner menu at a cost of $95.00 per person. On New Year’s Even the resort comes to life with several different dining options. At Ravello, enjoy an amazing holiday buffet for $115.00 per adult and $45.00 per child. At Capa, they will offer two seating options for dinner: between 5:00pm and 7:00pm they will offer a three-course prix-fixe seating at a cost of $145.00 per adult and $65.00 per child. They will also offer a second, five-course prix-fixe seating between 8:00pm and 11:00pm at a cost of $295.00 per adult and $95.00 per child. Both seatings at Capa will offer access to the amazing New Year’s Eve “After Party”, held in the grand Ballroom. Featuring a DJ, dance floor, balloon drop, cash bar, appetizers, deserts, and more, this event is not to be missed. Resort guests also have the option of attending the “after party” with dining reservations for a rate of $65.00 per adult and $35.00 per child. Kids For All Seasons will be open New Year’s Eve for Resort guests only at a cost of $95.00 per child.

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Space for most of these options is limited, so make sure to make your reservations early by calling the resort at 407-313-6161.

What holiday options will you and your family enjoy most at Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World? I’d love to hear your stories and see your pictures. You can send them to joshua@mousehunterstravel.com with the subject line “Four Seasons Holidays”.

Joshua Snyder is a Disney fanatic and Travel Agent, working with MouseHunters Travel. He is an annual passholder for Walt Disney World, Sea World, Aquatica, and Universal Studios. In his spare time, he enjoys reading everything he can about the parks and visiting as frequently as possible. He currently resides in the Orlando, FL area. He can be reached at joshua@mousehunterstravel.com.

American Q the Place to ‘B’ for BBQ!

Published October 9, 2014 by Disneyways.com

B Resort & Spa at Lake Buena Vista is home to American Q – THE new hot place in town for anyone who craves a modern take on classic barbecue.

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It all begins in this beautiful resort – formerly occupied by The Hotel Royal Plaza just outside Downtown Disney. Join me as we relive this wonderful culinary cowboy adventure, won’t you?

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Upon arrival to the the B Resort – the wonderful smell of smoked meat coming from American Q was already beckoning us inside – and we knew we were in for a treat.

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First, it was time for cocktails!

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Normally more of a gin and tonic kind of guy – my husband went with the Moscow Mule. Ingredients included Russian Standard vodka, pickled ginger juice & ginger beer – and he really enjoyed it. What they don’t mention on the menu is how it comes in this awesome little copper barrel shaped mug. It was really unique, and added a special touch.

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I went for the Strawberry Slush. Made with Fifty Pounds gin, Carpano Antica, fresh strawberries and lime with shaved ice. I was expecting a frozen drink, but this had a nice light, refreshing taste. Yummy!

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Do not adjust your computer – what you are about to see is pretty amazing – and very real. This Bar Snack is called Swine Candy – and this photo made a pretty big splash on my facebook page! Take some smoked bacon, roast it with molasses and spice until crunchy… and you have yourself a little piece of salty, sweet, (and at times spicy) heaven! The spice is subtle and it will sneak up on you. Wait for a glass of water before you take your first bite – just in case you may need it.

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Our next Bar Snack was the House Made Tater Tots. Creamy mashed potatoes fried to perfection in little bite-sized pieces with flavorful ketchup on the side. I think I am in love…

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How about some Deviled Crab Stuffed Eggs? Deviled eggs with blue crab and remoulade…what’s not to like?

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If this was all I got to eat for the rest of the night – I think I would have went home happy and satisfied! But we are still on the Bar Snacks, and there’s so much more!

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Next up were the Starters – maybe you thought we “started” already? Think again!

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The only thing I like as much as BBQ – is probably SIDES. I was very excited for the next portion of our evening, when we indulged in the all-you-can-eat FLATBED BUFFET served from the back of a cherry red ’51 Ford F1 pickup truck! Favorites included homemade soups and chili, a baked potato bar, peel and eat shrimp, a selection of hot and cold seasonal vegetables, pasta and potato salads, and a 20+ item salad bar all served from the flatbed! You can order the Flatbed Buffet for $34.95 $10 for kids age 7 and under – ala carte! This is an amazing value. Photo courtesy American Q!

 

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Not from the Flatbed Buffet – but just as lovely – this wonderful sampling of various meats…

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Next up was the star of the show: something American Q has creatively named Tableside Cowboy Carvings! Yep, they come to your table with 8 different meats and even vegetable brocette – all sliced to order! Turkey legs, bacon wrapped boneless chicken thighs, brisket of beef with Texas Bark, House made sausages…and more.

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Photo credit American Q

 

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I think there’s a lot of truth to the American Q saying that there’s smoke in their bones, vinegar their veins and the cowboys really do keep carving  until your tank is full! Endless options and great kids menu takes barbeque to at a whole new level here in Orlando.  Last but not least – self and valet parking are FREE if you are driving. If not, why not take a cab and break up your Disney vacation just a hop, skip and away at this amazing restaurant?! You won’t regret it! In the meantime you can follow them on facebook , Twitter, and check out their gorgeous website including full menus here.

Disclaimer: Recently my husband and I were treated to a complimentary dinner by the wonderful people at American Q – so that I could bring you photos and  an honest review. This did not influence my opinions. Our thanks to Jason at OrlandoFunandFood.com for the invitation!

The Disney Parks Podcast Interviews Stephen Wancha Director of Food and Beverage for Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

Published September 8, 2014 by Disneyways.com

Stephen
Recently, Tony and I were very honored to interview Stephen Wancha, Director of Food and Beverage at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort. Stephen has been one of my all-time favorite guests on the Disney Parks Podcast.  He has a passion for his work at the Four Seasons that truly shines. Click the photo above to be taken directly to the podcast, or check it out on the YouTube Video below. As you listen, get ready to learn more about all the wonderful dining experiences you can enjoy in the brand new (stunning!) resort. If you just can’t get enough of food at the Four Seasons (I know I can’t!) click HERE to check out video and more from our first visit to Ravello! In Stephen’s own words, “Our food and beverage program is a true dining destination for Orlando locals and guests alike, where great food and innovative concepts meet passionate, attentive service.” I couldn’t agree more!

From the Four Seasons Website:

“In a relatively short period of time, Stephen Wancha has lived in 10 different major cities (returning to live in three of the cities twice), so it’s easy to see why he developed a propensity for travel, and in turn, for dining out. The affable Wancha, Director of Food and Beverage for Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort, brings 10 years of Four Seasons experience with him to lead the Food and Beverage operations at the Resort, which includes five on-site restaurants and a large-scale banquet operations team.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be at this amazing property,” says Wancha. “Orlando is not well-known for its culinary scene – it’s definitely emerging. With the team we’ve together and the concepts we’re bringing to the market, we are giving our guests and Orlando locals a special dining experience.”

Prior to joining Four Seasons Resort Orlando, Wancha’s first Director of Food and Beverage position was at Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis. At the time, Wancha was 28 years of age, making him the youngest Director of Food and Beverage among all Four Seasons properties worldwide. This coup alone is a testament to the wealth of food and beverage knowledge Wancha brings.

The Resort’s star restaurant is Capa, the 17th floor rooftop Spanish-influenced steakhouse that offers a romantic setting above the treetops and a stunning view of the nightly Magic Kingdom Park® fireworks. Ravello is the Resort’s Italian concept; PB&G is the Southern rotisserie; and Plancha is a Cuban American grill. One of Wancha’s favuorites is Lickety Split, a grab-and-go on the lobby level, offering a variety of cappuccinos and lattes, smoothies, Italian donuts and pastries, gelato and more. Wancha, a coffee connoisseur, has set up the ultimate coffee bar.

When not fueling up on java, Wancha’s other beverage of choice is wine. An avid wine collector, Wancha is proud of his large private collection of mostly New World/Napa wines and Old World/Italian wines. He’s excited about the wine program at the Resort, with 400 labels and many available by the glass. Wancha’s own famous Sangria is on the menu at Capa.

Wancha loves to travel the globe for inspiration, often jet-setting to New York or San Francisco for weekend culinary expeditions. He dined at 27 different restaurants over two days in New York, and enjoyed 16 eateries over two days in Chicago. A true “foodie” who is fun to dine with, and fun to “talk shop,” Wancha is always in line with, and often a step ahead of, the culinary scene.”

For more on the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, check out our interview with Thomas Steinhauer; Regional Vice President and General Manager.

Win a Trip for 4 to the Swan and Dolphin at Walt Disney World

Published April 13, 2014 by Disneyways.com

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I love the Swan and Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World. The atmosphere and “feel” of this resort is wonderful. Inside you can enjoy Karoke at Kimonos, delicious ice cream treats at The Fountian, and so much more. Probably the only thing I could imagine that would be better than visiting the Swan and Dolphin, is actually getting to enjoy a stay there. How great would it be to actually win a 4 night visit for FREE? This might be your chance to find out. The Express your Peepsonality Sweepstakes is here! You can pin and win your way to a 4 night stay, plus airfare, Disney park tickets and more! Check out the Peep “deets” at the link below!

In other Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin news, it’s about that time of the year to enjoy a sweet Easter week at the resort that’s filled with fun for the whole family. There is so much to do and see! During 2014 you can celebrate your “Peepsonality” with special Peeps welcome samples at check-in and get Peeps from the Easter Bunny as he greets you around the resort. There are special rates on rooms for a limited time when you ask for promo code PEEP189. There will be glow in the dark Easter egg hunts, Peep s’mores by the campfire, Easter crafts, and games. Chefs at the Swan and Dolphin are creating specialty items featuring Peeps – and there will even be a holiday dinner buffet with visits from Disney characters.

Get full details on the Express Your Peepsonality Sweepstakes HERE.  Also, be sure to get full details on all the Peeptastic fun at the Swan and Dolphin HERE.

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 Want to know where to find the power couple while visit the Disney Parks this Easter? Check out this facebook Post!
Have you celebrated Easter at the Swan and Dolphin? Leave me a note in the comments below!

Video! New Decor Color Test at The Polynesian Resort

Published August 12, 2013 by Disneyways.com
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Photo from our visit to the Spirit of Aloha show located at the Poly

Do you love the Polynesian Resort like I do? There is nothing like the sights and smells of this endearingly retro Disney Resort. We spoke a bit about the this resort on a recent episode of the Disney Parks Podcast. Perhaps you have heard about all the changes that are coming to the “Poly” as it is affectionately known by Disney fans. My friend John got an inside tip about a new color scheme that is currently being tested out in one of the hallways. Check out his video to compare the old and the new colors – I would love to hear what you think! 

Christmas at the Yacht Club

Published December 25, 2012 by Disneyways.com

The Yacht Club has one of my favorite Christmas displays of all, a meticulously crafted Christmas village featuring a working train. It reminds me of the train set in Germany at Epcot. Every time I look through these pictures I see something different. I have a real soft spot for this display! The tree and wreaths at Yacht Club are also very neat, as they are themed with boats and other nautical items. I hope you enjoy seeing these photos as much as I enjoyed taking them.

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