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- Port Orleans Riverside, a Disney World Moderate Resort REVIEWED!
Hey! Morgan here, with Neverland Navigation Co., your personal guides to all things WDW and beyond! Trying to decide on a Disney World hotel? You’ve come to the right place. We are here to help you choose the best option from the more than 20 options within the “Disney Bubble.” The hotel we are talking about today is a “moderate” hotel. There are 3 hotel levels: value, moderate and deluxe. I personally think the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds and cabins need to be in their own special category, but we are not reviewing them today, so I will leave that for another discussion. Today we are reviewing Port Orleans, Riverside. Port Orleans is comprised of two different hotels, French Quarter and Riverside. They are usually similar in price and the rooms are similar. Both have a New Orleans theme but in drastically different ways. French Quarter has a Mardi Gras theme, Riverside is themed like the Louisiana countryside. It focuses on the bayou and country living. Without looking up what Disney would tell you is the difference between a value and a moderate hotel, let me tell you what we noticed to be different. There was a ceiling fan in our room in this “moderate” room. Hallelujah! I get that some people don’t care about ceiling fans, but I am a person that has to have the fan going (even if it’s cold in the room) to get good sleep. So for me, this was a big plus. With that being said, that was the ONLY major noticeable difference to us between a room at a ‘value’ resort (the renovated ones at least, like All Star Movies or Music or Pop Century) and a ‘moderate’ room. The room did not appear to be bigger and it did not have more appliances (both have a mini fridge and a small single-serve coffee maker) You could argue that the furnishings are nicer in the ‘moderate’ hotels, but that seems to have more to do with the theme. The Port Orleans Riverside rooms have 4 poster beds, but that fits the plantation manor theme. Whereas Pop Century (and All Star Music and Movies, see our review of them here --> https://bit.ly/3d3Eny1) have a Queen bed with a more modern headboard and a queen Murphy bed, which better fits the theme there. I might even give the win to the rooms with the Murphy bed because when it is not in use as a bed it opens the space up and gives you an extra table to sit at. The vanity in the bathroom looked nicer in Port Orleans but again, it tied in with the theme. They used faux marble for counter and table tops, whereas the value resorts used something more modern but less grand and expensive. The room tour you will find in the video above, and the statements I made about the comparisons of the room we stayed in as compared to a value resort room are referring to a “standard view room.” There are a few room options to choose from at Port Orleans Riverside. There is the standard view room, the woods view, the pool view, and the river view room and I wouldn’t pay extra for a woods, pool, or river “view”. Let me explain. Your room doesn’t come with a balcony with a view. That might make it worth the price hike, but you don’t get that. It hardly comes with a window with the view you are paying for. You have to walk out of your room and to the railing in the “hallway” to see the view that you are paying for. Not worth it, in my opinion. If I had a balcony that I could sit on and sip my coffee while enjoying a view, it would maybe be worth the money for me. But I wouldn’t pay extra for a view that wasn’t really a view from my room. The next step up is the “Royal Room.” These are intricately decorated in royal decor and have more Princess and the Frog themeing. Basically, it’s decor upgrades. I do love The Princess and the Frog, so this could be worth it, especially if you are coming at a time when the price difference between a standard and a royal room isn’t too much. A few more things about the rooms. Port Orleans, Riverside is one of the few Disney hotels that are pet friendly! As of this writing, you can bring your dog with you for $50 extra per night. When we entered our room we didn’t notice a dog smell or anything, which I was happy about. The room we stayed in had the loudest air conditioning unit ever. It was ridiculously loud. I thought maybe it was just our room, and maybe the unit was breaking down, but a google search revealed that others have had this same complaint. I don’t know that you would have the same experience but we can only report on our experiences and this was, unfortunately, a bad aspect of our stay. Each moderate resort (as well as 2 of the more expensive value options) has a secondary mode of transportation, in addition to the buses which every WDW has. For Port Orleans Riverside it is a boat that takes you from Riverside to French Quarter or Disney Springs. Why would you want to go from your hotel to another hotel? Because that’s where the beignets are! Duh! Port Orleans French Quarter is KNOWN for the made-to-order Mickey-shaped beignets. Seriously! They have a cult following! Also, I am an advocate for exploring all the different hotels to check out the intricate decor and to find the hidden Mickeys that the Imagineers have snuck in the decor around all the hotels and parks. Just as importantly, the boat ride to Disney Springs is quite magical. It is slow-moving and interesting and a really fun way to get to Disney Springs to shop or dine or both. The boat was just a really cool perk. The gentleman that captained (captained? Is that right?) our boat shared all sorts of fun information about things we were passing while we were gliding along. It was a peaceful and unique journey. The hotel grounds are where the differences between a value and a moderate really shine. Value resorts have a gift shop, a “main” big pool with fountains and fun decor, a pool bar, one or two smaller pools, an arcade, and a food court. The moderate resorts have all of that PLUS a hot tub, an indoor bar/lounge, and a sit-down restaurant. Plus the main pool has a waterslide. Port Orleans Riverside has 5 total pools, where All Star Movies (value) has 2 pools and Pop Century (value) has 3. Another thing Port Orleans Riverside has going for it is some “extras” like horse-drawn carriages and bike rentals. You could even go fishing here. For food options, there is a sit-down restaurant called Boatwrights. We ate there (review to come!) and it was good. But not great. With so many AMAZING dining options I have a hard time recommending this one unless it is just too convenient to pass up for you. It is probably better than the quick-serve, but it just didn’t blow us away. The “food court” here is called Riverside Mill Food Court. The theme is fun, with a big water mill attached to the outside of the back of the seating area. It has a fun country vibe and everything, down to the mismatched chairs, fits in with the theme. The food is decent, but not great. I would recommend getting a refillable souvenir soda cup for $19.99 that can be refilled for the entire length of your stay. I do find these to be a good value, especially if your stay is longer than a couple of days. They are not refillable in the parks though, only at the resort. But for $20 you get a cute souvenir cup and all the soda/coffee/tea/hot chocolate that you can drink during your stay. There was also a quaint bar with a fireplace called River Roost that turned into quite the hot spot at night when they added live music. We got a cloyingly sweet drink at the pool bar when we headed over there for cover from the typical Florida late afternoon storm. That bar also has a fun theme, but the frozen drink we got was REALLY sweet, so be prepared for a toothache. I would also say the buildings that house the food court, restaurant, check-in, gift shop, etc are just nicer than the buildings at the value resorts. It seems like more money was put Ito the architecture and the themeing. I love the larger-than-life statues at the value resorts that are the basis of their decor, but the main building seems a bit cookie-cutter at the value resorts. For reference, please feel free to go back to our full review of the All Star Hotels. The buildings at Port Orleans Riverside have a LOT more detail and visual interest than the main buildings at the value resorts. All in all, we WOULD recommend Port Orleans, Riverside. However, if you aren’t going to take advantage of the grounds and will mostly just be using the bedroom for sleeping/showering, you might be better off saving some money and staying at a value (NOT All Star Sports though! Don’t stay there until it has been renovated! See my blog about those resorts for more info here --> https://bit.ly/3d3Eny1. Or the YouTube video review here --> https://youtu.be/l95fDCmSgUY) If you want a little more than the value resorts offer then this is good option. The laid-back Louisiana country vibe is like no other resort that I have ever been to. Did this review help you? Pretty please subscribe to our YouTube channel or check us out in all the places we hang out! TTFN! Ta Ta For Now! YouTube https://youtube.com/channel/UCzZfikjNEocgehhVfdkccrw Instagram https://www.instagram.com/neverlandnavco/ TikTok https://www.tiktok.com/@neverlandnavco ETSY https://www.etsy.com/shop/NeverlandNavigation
- The Edison at Disney Springs REVIEW
Hey! This is Morgan, with Neverland Navigation Co., your personal guides to everything Walt Disney World and Beyond! Here today to talk to you about possibly the most IMMERSIVE restaurant in Disney Springs. I'm not going to lie, I have not tried every single restaurant in Disney Springs yet, but I’m close and so far this one is the winner for immersivness. There are many restaurants at Disney Springs, and it’s difficult to choose money on. No one wants to feel like they wasted their money. We are here to help! The Edison transports you to the roaring 1920s when you walk in. The hostesses are in flapper dresses, the decor is TOTALLY 'Jazz Age' and the ambiance fully surrounds you in every detail. The best part is the jazz trio crooning new pop songs with a 1920s jazz twist. Even the not-super-comfortable chairs you sit on look like they are right out of the 20s. We were truly impressed with the live entertainment. When we went it was a jazz trio but from what I understand, at different times you may see aerialists or burlesque-style dancers in flapper dresses too or instead. The show and ambiance were my favorite part of this experience, but the food and drinks were really good too! We started with a couple of mocktails. The Phonograph and a Strawberry Melon Old Timey Soda. The Phonograph is made with Lime juice, Lemon Orgeat, and Red Bull Tropical. It was too sour and lemony for me, but another in our party ordered a second one because they liked it so much. If you are in the mood for a sour drink, this one might be for you. I love the addition of the Red Bull Tropical for an added caffeine kick. Who doesn't need an extra boost after a Disney day?! The Strawberry Melon consisted of Strawberry Lemongrass, Fresh Lime Juice, Watermelon, and Sprite. We loved that the fruit flavors tasted natural, not artificial. I’m not saying they are 100% natural, I didn’t watch them make them, but they tasted as such. My favorite thing about these mocktails is they weren’t cloyingly sweet. That is often a problem with a mocktail and here it is not. The mocktails don’t seem to have been formulated for kids, which we appreciated. Not all adults can or want to drink alcohol, so it’s nice when there is a fun option for those looking to stay sober. If you DO want alcohol the cocktails are just as thoughtfully prepared. We were working and needed our palates to be on full alert for the taste reviews, but still wanted to test out their mixology skills, so we opted for mocktails. You probably won’t be working, so whether you chose a cocktail or a mocktail, you really can’t go wrong here. They are known for their fun and interesting drinks at The Edison. Our favorite appetizer was The DB ‘Clothesline Candied Bacon'. It is candied bacon held on a clothesline with tiny, you guessed it, clothespins. Wild, right??! In addition to being a creative presentation that is totally Instagram-worthy, it was the yummiest thing that we ordered. The bacon was thick-cut and sweet and smoky, but not too sweet. It was served with a few yummy sweet and spicy pickle chips. The pickle slices were surprisingly good for a small accompaniment, I wish they would have given us more of the pickles. Make sure to snap a few pictures before diving into this insanely fun appetizer. The other appetizer we ordered was the Electri-Fries. WHAT a fun name! Unfortunately, the name was more exciting than the flavors. I am not saying it was bad, it certainly felt like a safe option. No exotic flavors or never-before-heard-of combinations. There were the Fries, Edison Special Sauce, Bacon, Grated Parmesan Cheese, and Green Onion. When we were perusing the menu we joked about whether the “special sauce” would be ketchup and mayo mixed or full-on Thousand Island dressing. We thought we were being funny, but sadly we seem to have hit the nail on the head with our 'joke' guesses. It really is Thousand Island or something similar. For what it was, we also found it to be a little overpriced. I mean everything is, because it’s Disney and because the ambiance is so amazing that they can charge more. BUT $16 for loaded fries was a bit much, Next came the soup of the day. I won’t talk about it too much because it could be different when you go. It was a creamy mushroom soup. The flavor was good! Nice and creamy and super garlicky. That is where the compliments for it end. The look of it was horrifying, and it was served to me lukewarm. Bummer. I was really looking forward to it. Creamy Mushroom is one of my top 5 favorite types of soup. That’s why I ordered it even though it being a "daily offering" means it wasn’t necessarily a good choice for a review. Jake said it looked like grey slop. Ouch. I cannot disagree though. Maybe soup isn’t their specialty for a reason. The first entree I will discuss, although it is listed in the appetizer portion of the menu, (so you could order it as an entree or an appetizer) is the Short Rib Flatbread. It had Short Rib, White Cheddar Cheese Sauce, Pickled Red Onion, Arugula, and Balsamic Glaze. Why so much Arugula people?? Actually, this one wasn’t as badly covered by arugula as others we have had at Disney recently. I know, I know, the mountain of arugula on every flatbread is a food trend. I just don’t get it. It’s like I have to dig to find the buried treasure flatbread. After you have moved some arugula and unearthed your flatbread (Or left it and eaten this as a salad?) it was pretty tasty! The short rib was tender and the flavors were a good combination. The Edison Burger was one of the two burgers we enjoyed here. We had heard that the Edison was known for their cocktails, Clothesline Candied Bacon, and Burgers. So we tried 2 burgers. This one had White Cheddar Cheese, Crispy Onions, Smoked Bacon, House-made Pickles, Lettuce, Tomato, and Special Sauce on it. Again, we suspect that the ‘Special Sauce’ is Thousand Island dressing or something similar. The burger patty was something to behold. They do a blend of Sirloin, Short Rb, and Brisket to make their patties. The quality of ingredients pays off in flavor. I would recommend this burger if those toppings appeal to you. It also came with a side of fries, so you could ask for a side of “Special Sauce” to dip them into, and then you’d have the main components of the $16 Electri-Fries appetizer as an included side. (Look at that! I made an Edison Hack!) The second burger we enjoyed was the Bacon Mushroom Swiss Burger. The toppings were; Alpine Swiss Cheese, Smoked Bacon, Roasted Mushrooms, Lettuce, Tomato, Pickle (The menu doesn’t call these ‘house made’, but it does call the pickles on the Edison burger ‘house-made.’ They have to be, right?! I would assume they are the same, we did not notice a difference.), Crispy Onion and Sriracha Aioli. If you are worried about the word Sriracha in this description, don’t be. I wouldn’t have identified it as sriracha if I had not been told. This burger has the same special blend of meats to make an epic burger patty, so that is a good start. Then the toppings were fresh, the sauce was tangy, and the flavor combinations were a good blend. If I were doing a build-your-own Mushroom Swiss Burger, I wouldn't think of "Sriracha aioli" as a topping that would work, but it does! It probably helps that the sriracha is used sparingly when they make the sauce. This burger was also really yummy! I would say the burgers, like the cocktails/mocktails are items that you can’t go wrong with. These things are their specialties, and they do them well. For dessert, we ordered the Triple Chocolate Voltage Cake. AUH-MAZING! Chocolate Hazelnut Cream, Chocolate Crunch, Chocolate Ganache, and Raspberry. Yum. Yum. Yum. This was an excellent sweet finish to an exciting and entertaining meal. We HIGHLY recommend The Edison for a meal while at Disney. The ambiance alone is enough for me to tell you to check it out, but the food and drinks also were really good. If you want to see other WDW restaurants, hotels, and activity reviews from us pretty please check out my other blogs, or head to our YouTube channel and subscribe to see ALL of our reviews that are coming. Our goal is to try and review EVERY experience at Disney World, but we need your help! Just subscribing to our YouTube channel helps us and costs you nothing! Thank you thank you! Check out all the other places we are hanging out! YouTube https://youtube.com/channel/UCzZfikjNEocgehhVfdkccrw Instagram https://www.instagram.com/neverlandnavco/ TikTok https://www.tiktok.com/@neverlandnavco ETSY https://www.etsy.com/shop/NeverlandNavigation
- Disney World's Worst Hotel! (and two better options for the same price)
Hello! Morgan here from Neverland Navigation Co., your personal guides to Walt Disney World and beyond! Staying in a Walt Disney World hotel is a must do if you are coming for a full WDW vacation in my opinion. It is the BEST way to stay in the “Disney bubble” for your entire trip. We love Disney Hotels so much that we stay in one as often as possible even though we live relatively close. We used to be “Silver” passholders, which meant that we were blocked out during the entire summer. We would inevitably break down and get a night or two at a Disney hotel at some point during the summer just to get our Disney fix when we weren’t allowed in the parks. All of the Disney hotels are amazing in their own ways and you could really spend a whole day or two just soaking up all the hotel has to offer without even going into a park. All the hotels have Hidden Mickeys to find, restaurants, an arcade, shopping, pools to swim in, they even show Disney movies on projectors in fun locations. All of that without leaving the grounds of your hotel! What may surprise you is that Disney has some hotels that are as affordable as budget hotels that are off property. Which makes staying in the Disney bubble a no brainer to us.The least expensive option is The All Stars Hotels. Watch our video below to see our full video review including room tours and a hotel tour! So which is the WORST WDW hotel you ask? All Star SPORTS. Because of the room experiences alone, we strongly advise to NOT stay at All Star Sports. For now. All Star Sports was the worst hotel I have stayed at in a LONG TIME. At some point it will get a recommendation from us (after a refurbishment) but today is not that day. The rooms at All Star Music and Movies, on the the other hand, have been refurbished and are a nice, comfortable, and affordable place to stay on property. We unfortunately cannot say the same about All Star Sports. I have NUMEROUS complaints about this hotel and if it were the only Disney hotel option available to me I would start looking off property. Which is sad, because I am truly a Disney addict. However, it has been scheduled for refurbishment and once that happens it will be back in our good graces. Sadly it has been on the list for refurbishment for years, but it has yet to happen. We actually saw that some rooms in the football section were closed off for refurbishment, but we have no idea how long those signs have been up. See below for a 5 second video showing how TERRIBLE the beds at All Star Sports are. Volume up if you want to hear the cringe worthy sound the bed made when I sat on it. Yikes! The rooms at All Star Sports (Pictured above and below) are in desperate need of an update. I can’t say enough bad things about those beds. I don’t sleep well in hotels to begin with, but no one in my family got a good night of sleep on these beds, even the hard sleepers. They were old, uncomfortable, hard and ultra squeaky. They were also double/full sized which in our opinion is too small for two people, especially after a long, hot Disney day. (It doesn't mean you don't love and appreciate your spouse if you don't want to cuddle after sweating for 16 hours!) There was one side table in between the two double sized beds so the person on the outside of either bed doesn’t get a table to set their phone or a drink on. The toilets were ridiculously loud and didn’t flush properly. It was just a lot of bad. The GREAT NEWS is that the updated rooms (pictured below) at All Star Movies and All Star Music are WONDERFUL! They have a queen sized bed and a queen sized Murphy bed which is such an amazing update. Bravo to whoever thought to add Murphy beds to the rooms. It makes the room look much more spacious and open when you first walk in, and if you only need one bed then it gives you lots of extra room. We were MUCH more comfortable on queen sized beds than full/doubles. If you need the second bed it easily pulls down and the Murphy bed is quite comfortable. The floors are laminate and the bathrooms are much nicer than they were previously. Hard floors just seem cleaner to me. Who knows what nastiness gets into those old hotel carpet fibers and stays there forever. Yuck. My only complaint about these hotels is the noise level can be a little high. You might want to bring ear plugs, especially if you are a light sleeper like me. The walls are a little thin and whether it's families getting up at 5am to get breakfast before rope drop or party people coming back to their room at 2am, it seems like there is often someone walking by your door and in their excitement people just don’t think to be quiet because others could be sleeping. You also hear when a surrounding room flushes their toilet pretty loudly in your room. Like I have mentioned, I am a light sleeper, so this is really an issue I have with most hotels and you can take that advise without a grain of salt if you typically don’t need earplugs at other hotels. For me, ear plugs are a standard part of my packing list. The wonderful part about ALL of the All Stars hotels is the hotel grounds, especially the giant iconic statues that distinguish each building. Each hotel has 5 sections, and each section is themed. Sports has Baseball, Football (American Football), Tennis, Basketball, and Surfing sections. Music has Broadway, Jazz, Country Fair, Rock N Roll and Calypso sections. All Star Movies has 101 Dalmations, Fantasia, The Mighty Ducks, Herbie The Love Bug, and Toy Story. If you haven’t seen the larger-than-life statues that “decorate” these hotels, it is hard to explain the magnitude of their presence. Below is a picture to give you an idea of what I am talking about. Each of The All Star hotels have 1 main pool that is themed and has some sort of fountain and lots and lots of seating, a smaller themed pool, an arcade, a laundry center, a gift shop, and a food court with overpriced, not-amazing food (more on the food in the next paragraph.) The pools have music and activities for kids and are often the location of choice for projected Disney movies to be shown. If you are staying at one of the All Star resorts you can walk around the others to explore. Which we think is a fun thing to do (especially with a Hidden Mickey book) if you have a resort day. The All Star food courts (one pictured above) have a fun theme but they don't get high marks from us for a flavor. Although I love a scoop of Edy’s ice cream or a Mickey cupcake at the end of a Disney day (and those are both available in the All Stars' food courts), I wouldn't otherwise recommend the food court. The food may be convenient but that’s about it, so I would suggest eating elsewhere unless it's a snack or dessert. (We do lots of restaurant reviews, so check out our YouTube videos or other blogs for inspiration!) On a brighter note, they offer a cute refillable souvenir soda cup for $19.99 that can be refilled the entire length of your stay. I do find these to be a good value, especially if your stay is longer than a couple of days. They are not refillable in the parks though, only at the hotel food court. I do recommend them. For $20 you get a fun souviner and all the soda/coffee/tea/hot chocolate that you can drink while at the hotel. At each hotel you have the option of a “Standard Room” or a more expensive “Preferred Room”. The difference is location. Preferred rooms are closer to the main pool, as well as the main building that houses the food court, arcade, gift shop, check in, and the area where the buses to the parks pick up and drop off. This is a definite perk if you didn’t drive and you are taking the bus everyday. The buses are another great perk of staying at a WDW hotel. Buses run before the parks open until after the parks close to take you to whichever park you wish to go to (or Disney Springs.) They can be crowded at times, but all in all they are a good and free way to get around Disney World. Back to the preferred rooms, the inside of the preferred rooms” and the “standard rooms” are identical. On the downside the “preferred rooms” can also be louder because they are right by the main pool and there is more foot traffic with people going to the main building. Since we drive in, we opt to save our money and stay in a standard room. Now you have all the info so you can make an informed decision. I think I covered pretty much everything there is to know about the All Star Hotels and I hope I have helped you make an informed decision when booking your next Disney hotel! If you have any questions leave me a comment on our YouTube page! (Just hit the video at the top of this blog to be transferred to our YouTube page) Jake and I LOVE helping people have the most magical Disney experience possible and we would be happy to answer questions or help you however we can. Did this review help you? Help us help you by checking out (and subscribing to) our YouTube channel or checking out our ETSY shop! YouTube https://youtube.com/channel/UCzZfikjNEocgehhVfdkccrw Instagram https://www.instagram.com/neverlandnavco/ TikTok https://www.tiktok.com/@neverlandnavco ETSY https://www.etsy.com/shop/NeverlandNavigation
- The BEST BBQ in all of Walt Disney World! (Review of Polite Pig)
Hi! Morgan here, with Neverland Navigation Co., your personal guides to everything Walt Disney World and beyond. There are SO MANY dining options at Disney Springs! It’s dizzying. You need help deciding. We get it! We did, too. You worked hard for your money (so hard for your money) and you don’t want to waste it on so-so food. Nothing is more irritating than spending $100 on a Disney meal and walking away feeling unsatisfied and like you wasted your money. I am the type of person who will feel physically nauseous after feeling like I have wasted money and the feeling sticks with me and taints the rest of my day. So we are here to help! Today’s review is about The Polite Pig, Disney Springs’ only BBQ option. I would also go as far as to call this the best BBQ on Disney property. The food was flavorful, filling and the flavor combinations were exciting. Polite Pig is a quick serve restaurant located next to the Lime Garage at Disney Springs. The decor is farmhouse meets industrial. Which is weird, but it totally works! You go in and wait in line to order, you get a number to set on your table and a server brings it to you. That server will then get you anything else you need; but drinks and BBQ sauce are self serve. So it's really a cross between a counter service and sit down in a way. It’s something to bear in mind when ordering because they put you on the spot and ask you how much you want to tip when you are ordering and they tell you it is split between the whole staff including the people that will "serve" you in the dining room when you sit down. Which is a bit confusing. The "servers" do less for your table than a sit down restaurant, but more than a typical counter service. I’m not going to tell you how much to tip, that is a personal (and dare I say, deeply controversial) decision, but I wanted to give you all of the Information that I wished that I had when we went. In retrospect, we had wished we brought cash to give an extra tip directly to the guy that took care of us at our table in addition to the amount we tipped when ordering. He was great and we felt he deserved a big tip. On the other hand, the girl that rang us up was a little rude and clearly not happy to be there. It’s definitely the disadvantage to group tipping. We loved basically EVERYTHING that we ordered! This is pretty rare. I and my dining companions are fairly picky! I will start off by telling you the thing we liked the least, but it still wasn’t bad. There were only two items that we had small gripes about and this was one of them. The pretzel appetizer. The other was the not-so-crispy Brussel Sprouts, but we will get to those later. The pretzel was supposed to be served with a beer cheese dip and an IPA mustard and I was SOOO excited for those sauces. It’s all about the sauces for me and I LOVE beer cheese sauce, dip or soup normally, and I get jump-up-and-down excited when I see it on a menu. But this one was... weird. I said to someone at the table “what did you think about the beer cheese sauce?” To which he replied “what beer cheese sauce?” Which really sums it up. It was not identifiable as beer cheese. I pointed to it, and he said “Oh, I thought that was another mustard sauce.” So that was a little disappointing. The pretzel itself was comically large and very good. Not dense like a packaged soft pretzel. This one tasted fresh and was soft. So while I was disappointed enough in the beer cheese sauce to not order this again, if you aren’t a beer cheese conosouier you may love it because the pretzel and the IPA mustard were quite good! For bonus points the giant pretzel made for a few great photos that I will cherish for years to come. For our main entrees we got the Slider Trio as a way to try three of their sandwich offerings without ordering that much food. It came with a Southern Pig Slider, a Slow and Low Brisket Slider, and a Southern Fried Chicken Slider. They were all FANTASTIC! They were all fresh and had lots of exciting flavors. I didn’t think the fried chicken slider would be anything special but it really was. It has a sweet and smoky BBQ sauce on it that really gave it something extra. Also it was SO crispy! I was really impressed. The other two sandwiches were just as impressive. We actually got a full version of each of those sandwiches too. The Low and Slow Brisket Sandwich was my personal favorite. Tender brisket, Porter BBQ sauce, Pimento cheese (I love pimento cheese), pickled jalapeños and onion straws. Perfection in a sandwich. My sandwich was pretty light on the pimento cheese so I asked our awesome server if he could bring me some extra and he did and it really helped my enjoyment of the sandwich. The Southern Pig was also excellent. Pulled pork, fennel-apple slaw, mustard bbq sauce, and mayo were the toppings on this one. It was really fantastic too. I loved the tanginess of the sauce and the sweetness of the slaw. When it comes to flavor combinations this restaurant has nailed it. The sides we tried were Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Whiskey Caramel, Southern Potato Salad, Mac and Cheese, Sweet Potato Tots, and Grilled Street Corn. The only one I can complain about is the Brussel Sprouts and that is only because they seemed like they were steamed and not cooked all the way through when I was expecting crispy Brussel Sprouts as the menu suggested. That being said, the whiskey caramel sauce was fantastic and made the dish. Every other side was fantastic. The sweet potato tots had parmesan cheese on top, which seemed odd to me but they were fantastic. The street corn had lots of fun flavor and the Mac and cheese was basic enough that kids will like it, but better than Kraft. We did not get dessert here but I did order a Pina Colada, which was definitely as sweet as a dessert. It was nice and refreshing and perfect for the hot and humid day. All in all this gets a STRONG recommendation from us. The prices were reasonable, especially for Disney. Sandwiches were between $12-$15 each and those are what we strongly recommend if you are looking for lots of flavor and fun flavor combinations. If this review helped you please check out our other platforms! A share or pin of the blog or hitting the subscribe button on our YouTube page is the only way we can keep doing these, so please help us continue living our dream and bringing you more reviews! Help us help you! Check out our other platforms! 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- Mini Golf at Disney World?! (Review of Winter Summerland at WDW)
Morgan here from Neverland Navigation Co. Your personal guides to Walt Disney World and Beyond! As a Florida resident and a WDW annual passholder with decades of Disney experience (lets not get into specific numbers) I often get asked about the “hidden gems” that I have discovered at Disney World. This article is about my absolute favorite “hidden gem.” I am using this phrase because even during peak Disney times this is an experience you can have a blast at with minimal to no wait. Check out our YouTube video review below! Winter Summerland is one of two miniature golf courses at the Walt Disney World Resort. It is BY FAR my favorite of the two, and if you are someone who loves Christmas like I do, you will love it too. I do feel like they missed an obvious opportunity to call it “Minnie Golf”, but that is really my only complaint. So to facilitate my dream, I will henceforth be referring to it as Winter Summerland Minnie Golf. (Don’t hate me!) Winter Summerland Minnie Golf is CHRISTMAS THEMED and there are two options for courses. The “Winter” course and the “Summer” course. The Winter side has traditional Christmas decor with snowy details and the “Summer” side has Florida/Beach Christmas vibes. Both sides have heart warming Christmas lights overhead and fun and nostalgic Christmas decor. Both have festive Christmas music playing over the speakers, however the “Summer” side has beachy Christmas songs (Think “Little Saint Nick” by The Beach Boys) and the Winter side has more classic Christmas songs (like “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt.) Both sides are absolutely amazing and wonderfully festive and both courses end with the last 5 or so holes in the “Christmas House.” You just want to pick which side to play based on your mood. We chose the Winter side for our last trip because it’s July, it’s like 100 degrees but feels like 150, and seeing some snowy and frosty scenes just sounded like it would hit the spot. Either way, we recommend going at or after dusk if you can swing it. (I couldn’t resist a golf pun) In addition to the fact that it might be cooler in the evening (or not, it’s Florida so who knows) the main draw to going at night is getting to see the Christmas lights lit up. This is when Winter Summerland is at the height of it’s Christmas glory. In my experience with driving by, it also seems to be less busy at night. Which is nuts, because that is the best time to go. I’m guessing that is because annual pass holders with the "water parks and sports pass" get to go for free before 4. If you have read any of my other blog posts you may already know that I am Christmas obsessed and my favorite thing ever was “The Osbourne Spectacle of Dancing Lights.” - I would give a limb for them to bring the Osbourne lights back permanently. If you never got it to see it in person do yourself a favor and check out the videos people have posted on YouTube. It’s not the same as being there, but it gives you an idea of the Christmas magic. Then once you are on my side, maybe we can start a petition to have them brought back. Now that the Osbourne lights are gone, this might be my favorite Christmas area. In any case, the absolute best part about it is that it is open year around. So I can get my Christmas fix, even in July, and you can go whenever your WDW trip may be. When you first enter there is a GREAT photo op with a sleigh. (Pictured below!) One of the things we love most about Winter Summerland is all of the great photo ops. You could truly take a great Christmas themed photo at every hole and have a bunch to choose from for an awesome family Christmas card. Talk about multitasking! Family fun and Christmas card photos in one night?! Check! Winter Summerland is open from 10am-10pm daily and they offer discounts for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members. At the time of writing cost is $14 per adult and $12 for kids 3-9. (Don’t even get me started on how a kid is no longer a kid at the ripe old age of ten.) Winter Summerland is located in the parking lot area of Blizzard Beach Water Park and that just makes so much sense to me. Blizzard Beach has a snowy theme and so does Winter Summerland. Talk about a match made in heaven. This is right next to the McDonald’s on WDW property which is right next to the All Star hotels. So it is especially convenient if you are staying at an All Star hotel, but worth the drive even if you aren’t. If you are staying at a Disney property hotel you can take the bus from the resort to Blizzard Beach (if Blizzard Beach is open) to access Winter Summerland. If driving, parking is free in their designated "Winter Summerland" parking lot. I cannot recommend this experience enough. It is such a fun, nostalgic, and heartwarming experience. If our review helped you, please please check out our YouTube page and subscribe to our channel! It's how we are able to continue bringing you all the Disney reviews so that you can make educated decisions on where in WDW to spend your time and money! Merry Christmas!
- Hollywood Studios' 50's Prime Time Cafe REVIEW
Hi! Morgan here, with Neverland Navigation Co., your personal guides to everything Walt Disney World and Beyond. Today I want to talk to you about Hollywood Studios’ 50’s Prime Time Cafe! Jake and I also did a Vlog that you can check out on YouTube! This might sound a little bonkers, but before going on this adventure, I had to decide if I was brave enough to face a childhood fear. You see, the first time I went to 50’s Prime Time Cafe was when I was a child. As a child I was nervous about the “mean waitresses” at Prime Time Cafe. It was like a family friendly version of "Dick’s Last Resort", or one of those insult comedy type restaurants. I was not a fan. Even as an adult I don't frequent comedy clubs often.. I did not want some stranger waitress yelling at me, and the waitress said we would be in "BIG TROUBLE" if we did not clean our plates. Terrifying. I was not a big eater as a child, so I knew trouble was coming. I recently asked my little brother what he remembered about dining at Prime Time Cafe as a child and he said he just remembered that the waitress was scary. So there you go. The scary waitress overshadowed any possible food memory that we may have had. I don’t remember what I ordered, or if it was good, I remember being nervous. Of course that was a different time and things could be different now. That was back when Hollywood Studios was called MGM Studios. The good ole days, when that park was all about the making of movies. I appreciate what the park has become, but I definitely miss the way it was. For me just hearing the letters “MGM” evokes memories of the Backlot Tour and Catastrophe Canyon, The Great Movie Ride and the Earffel Tower. I was a sucker for the “Streets of America” area where they had sets that looked like New York City and San Francisco. Especially during Christmas. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights that was the Christmas Lights SPECTACULAR that was located in (and all over) the Streets of America during Christmas time is, bar none, what I miss most about old school MGM. But I digress. So, anyway, I wasn’t adverse, per se, to going back to Prime Time as an adult, but I wasn’t going to suggest it myself. As luck has it, Jake and I have a friend who wanted to go there for her birthday dinner. So we did. I am so glad that we did. I will be perfectly honest, I was not psyched when I checked out their menu online. It is comfort food, which perfectly fits the theme, but the menu is limited. I am something of a foodie, so when I think of meatloaf, pot roast, and fried chicken made at a restaurant that is 50s themed, I don’t get super excited. I assumed it would be more bland than the food that I usually really enjoy. But I was wrong! The food was exceptional! It was comfort food, but they did season it well. In my humble opinion, comfort food can be really good if it is done right, it just often isn’t done right. However, Prime Time Cafe did it right! They weren’t afraid of seasoning and salt! The theming was also SUPER FUN! Little retro TVs were at most tables playing clips from “I Love Lucy” and “The Mickey Mouse Club” and the decor was all very 50s. I would call this restaurant very immersive. Which is something Disney is known for, but sometimes the food seems like it was an afterthought. It seems like sometimes they think that the food doesn’t have to be great because the atmosphere is so immersive. An amazing atmosphere is wonderful, but the food needs to be amazing too in our opinion! After all, you are spending a pretty penny on a Disney Meal! Shouldn’t you be impressed on all fronts? This is why Jake and I started Neverland Navigation Co. We want to help fellow Disney enthusiasts to not waste their money on dining locations that need work, and to help direct you to the ones where we left feeling like the meal we just had was worth our hard earned money. So let’s get into the “meat and potatoes” of this review. The individual things we ordered and how we liked them. We started off with a Peanut Butter and Jelly Milkshake. YUM. It was somehow like a PB&J sandwich in milkshake form. Which is what you would expect, but somehow it also tasted like the bread was blended in there. I don't really know how to explain it but It was awesome. Took me right back to my childhood. It was served in a milkshake tin. No fancy glass here. I assume that is because the whole thing is set up to make it seem like you are eating at your Mom’s or your Aunt’s house and that it is the 1950s. I guess Mom isn’t going to bother with a fancy glass. I’m not sure milk shake spinner was an at home staple in common houses in the 1950s, but all in all the presentation made sense. Jake and I also splurged on another childhood drink favorite, the Shirley Temple. It wasn’t called that here of course, but it was sprite and grenadine. They called it a bee-bop and it was served in a souvenir plastic Prime Time Cafe branded cup with a lid and a super fun glow cube. It was a fun and worthwhile splurge, especially since you get to keep the cup and glow cube. There is a button on the bottom of the glow cube so you can change the color and turn it off so you can use it again at home. (Which we did! Adding a glow cube to your drink for game night or even a boring weekday meal really can put you in a festive mood.) For an appetizer we got the Fried Herb and Garlic Cheese, which was served with a raspberry sauce. This was my favorite thing that I tried. It was Jake’s favorite too. It was kind of like a mozzarella stick, except that it was more flavorful and that raspberry dipping sauce was so so so good! When I read the menu description I was not sure what to expect from those flavor combinations. I am pretty creative in the kitchen but I would not have previously put these flavor profiles together, but I definitely will now! My second favorite thing was yet another appetizer from the menu! The onion ring appetizer was really impressive. Thick cut onion rings, freshly fried with a creamy horseradish dipping sauce. Another win from an unexpected sauce! I usually dip onion rings in ketchup. Yes, it’s basic, but it works for me. A homemade ranch or a remoulade are other great options in my book. But I never considered a creamy horseradish sauce and I was blown away by how great of a combination it was! The horseradish wasn’t too strong or overpowering, but it gave it enough of a bold and unique flavor to really impress us. We also tried a bunch of entrees! We ordered “a Sampling of Mom’s Favorite Recipes” to give us a bunch of things to try and report back on. The sampling included: Golden fried chicken, Fork tender Pot Roast, and Traditional Meatloaf with all the Fixin’s. First off, great job to whoever wrote this menu. The descriptions in the titles alone have my mouth watering. The golden fried chicken had a crispy breading and was really delicious. For me, it’s all about the breading and they definitely succeeded with this crispy and delicious breading. I am from the south, so fried chicken (fried anything maybe?) is comfort food for me and this was the entree I was most excited for. The meatloaf was my least favorite entree, but I am not really a fan of meatloaf in the first place. Jake is a fan of meatloaf and still wasn’t blown away by this offering. Not to say some wouldn’t enjoy it, but neither of us would order the meatloaf when we come back. The pot roast was fantastic. Fork tender, as promised. I am all about the sauces (as you may have figured out) and the gravy that this pot roast was clearly slow cooked in was creamy and rich and wonderful. For desserts we tried the Traditional Warm Apple Crisp and Dad’s Favorite Chocolate - Peanut Butter Layer Cake. They were good! The cake was a creamy and very sweet finish to our meal. I like the touch of salt that the peanut butter adds to the treat. The apple crisp was not as rich, but in a good way. It was moderately sweet, lightly tart, crunchy and had a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top to finish it off perfectly. I will wrap this up by saying the Prime Time gets a strong recommendation from us! The ambiance is so fun and the food was delicious. Please make sure to check out our YouTube video review of Prime Time Cafe and pretty please with sugar on top subscribe to our YouTube channel so that we can keep making these videos to help you with your Walt Disney World planing!