It’s an exciting time at Disney World, especially for foodies. It seems as though Disney Springs is rolling out a new restaurant every week and Animal Kingdom is holding its own as it prepares for nighttime hours. As big foodies with even bigger appetites, my family is finding it hard to incorporate everything we want to try into our next trip. And so the theme of today’s post is born: pick ONE new spot in Disney…
STK: I was really excited to hear about STK opening at Walt Disney World. Having dined at the downtown Manhattan location, I can vouch for the food, which is delicious. The steak is among some of the best cuts I’ve ever had and are cooked to perfection. As I looked over the menu, however, I became more and more disinterested.
I’m a bit surprised to see Disney’s STK remain true to its other locations. If a nightclub and a steakhouse had a baby, it’d be STK. That can either be good or bad depending on the age of your family. STK is loud and ultra-chic, but can come off as a bit swanky. It fits the mold of a Miami, Las Vegas or New York City steakhouse, for sure. For young couples and older families, it can certainly be a great meal or date night location. However, I’m eliminating it for two reasons: 1) it doesn’t have a true Disney feel to it and 2) I can just as easily dine at STK in New York City. When I’m in Disney, I want to eat things and dine at places that are unique to Walt Disney World. For that reason, we’ll be forgoing STK in favor of Yachtsman.
Morimoto Asia: Here’s another new spot that popped up almost a year ago. Morimoto Asia is heralded as one of the more beautiful restaurants in Disney Springs, boasting a very modern flair. The two-story building boasts gorgeous views of Disney Springs from the outdoor patio seating area on the second floor.
A friend happened to dine here for lunch and raved about her meal, deeming the sushi fresh, the meal delicious and the service capable and friendly. However, I’m saving this one for a later date. We’ll be heading to Yak and Yeti for the first time this trip and usually try and diversify our restaurant selections a bit.
Ample Hills: I’m extremely excited for Ample Hills. If you read enough of my blogs, you know that I love sweets and seriously love ice cream. I was really happy about Ample Hills opening because of the ice cream and the pure fact that I think the Boardwalk area has so much untapped potential. Between Ample Hills popping up, Flying Fish reopening with a brand new lounge and the Boardwalk Bakery, the revamped area should start to come to life. I know I’ll be spending a night or two walking the boardwalk with an ice cream from Ample Hills or pastry from Boardwalk Bakery!
However, based purely on the hypothetical, I’m skipping Ample Hills. Ample Hills originated in Brooklyn and just opened up a new spot in New York City. Many of Ample Hill’s locations feature flavors unique to their location. Disney’s Boardwalk is no different. However, I can easily try the ice cream in New York and with Beaches and Cream within a stone’s throw away, I’d skip it—you know, if I can only pick ONE place.
Sprinkles Cupcakes: I can tell you to simply read my spiel on Ample Hills, but I’ll be brief as to why I’m immediately eliminating Sprinkles Cupcakes and not even giving it a second through. I’ve heard great things about Sprinkles cupcakes. It was the first of its kind and it cranks out delicious flavors. The Sprinkles “ATM” is a fun concept and will certainly be a big draw. However, it has some steep, towering (with mounds of icing) competition. When I think Disney and cupcakes, I think of the gigantic cupcakes at Starring Rolls in Hollywood Studios, or the unique flavors at Contempo Café. If I can only have one cupcake, I’m devouring the Oreo cupcake at Boardwalk Bakery or the Butterfinger cupcake from Starring Rolls. The seasonal gingerbread would also come to mind.
Tiffins/Nomad Lounge: Animal Kingdom is making its claim for the number 3—maybe even number 2 park at Disney World. Look, everyone has their favorites at Walt Disney World. Personally, I love each of the parks for different reasons. If the rest of my family were to rank their favorite parks, Animal Kingdom would come dead last. But, with Hollywood Studios almost entirely under construction and Animal Kingdom offering evening hours and events, Animal Kingdom has us intrigued.
Tiffins and Nomad Lounge are the two new food offerings at Animal Kingdom. Tiffins seems to have a real African flair with its spices and dishes. For that reason, it’s immediately eliminated. I’ll eat anything, but my family is not very spice-friendly. I have to twist arms just to go to Boma.
The Nomad Lounge, however, is enticing. The decor, featured in DisneyFoodBlog’s review, seems cozy, warming and welcoming. It seems like the perfect spot for a nice drink after a long, hot day at Animal Kingdom. The food and plating is the real detractor, however, as the portions are not substantial. They’re small—and not in the modern and artsy way, either. For that reason, I’m eliminating it. But, don’t be surprised if I grab a drink here during our next trip!
D-Luxe Burger: And finally we arrive at my pick. While all of the options sound extremely enticing, I’m heading to D-Luxe Burger for a delicious, artisan crafted burger. I was most excited when the news about D-Luxe Burger broke. Disney has a lot of fantastic food offerings, but very few great burger spots! Sure, there’s the battered burger at Cookes of Dublin, but few spots offer a true, non-theme park burger. The reviews have been nothing but positive. The menu features your typical cheeseburger and bacon cheeseburgers, as well as a Barbecue Classic Burger, a Southern Classic with fried green tomatoes and the burger I’m most excited for: the El Diablo, which features a chorizo blend with fried banana peppers, pepperjack cheese and a spicy mayo. I’ve heard that the servings of fries are hefty as well, with many claiming that a small order of fries can fill two people! It’s sounding more and more like a hybrid between Shake Shack and Five Guys!
D-Luxe Burgers features both a Chicken burger and a Veggie burger. It also offers serves up some interesting shakes, including a Smoked Bourbon Shake, Vanilla Porter Shake, a Root Beer Float with alcohol and a s’more and cake flavored shake! I can’t wait to try this spot!