This week, I’m doing a series of reviews of my dining experiences at Walt Disney World this summer. You can read my first review of Bongo’s Cuban Cafe here, my review of Le Cellier here, and my review of Chef Mickey’s here!
Tuesday was smack dab in the middle of our vacation, which meant it was our day off from the parks. Instead, we lounged around at the Beach Club pool all day and headed back to Downtown Disney for dinner. By the coolest stroke of luck, our cousins just happened to be staying next door at the Yacht Club while we were on vacation, so our lazy day was made even better because we got to spend it with family.
First of all, if you’ve never been to the Beach or Yacht Club Resorts, I definitely recommend them. They’re right next to Epcot, walking distance from Hollywood Studios (which I still refer to as MGM…old habits die hard), and a stone’s throw away from all the cool shops and restaurants on the BoardWalk. The location is fantastic, which is why we opted to stay there this year. For those of you who like swimming or just laying around in the sun, the pool is AWESOME. There’s a regular swimming pool (with sand at the bottom!), a giant pirate ship slide, several hot tubs, and a lazy river (which I took full advantage of). OH and did I mention the Beaches & Cream ice cream parlor right next door? I have a great pre-allergy memory of indulging in their signature “Kitchen Sink” gallon of ice cream and every imaginable topping with my family many years ago.
We had a great day at the pool, even though I got a bit sunburned (pasty girl problems). We headed over to Downtown Disney to look around the shops and get dinner with our cousins that evening. Since we had a bunch of kids in tow, we went to a family favorite: Rainforest Cafe. Stepping into the restaurant is just like stepping into the rainforest, or at least a pretty cool rendition of it. We were surrounded by lifelike, animatronic animals and larger than life plants, and every 30 minutes or so, the room darkened and lightning flashed to simulate a thunderstorm. Super cool.
The menu had changed since we’d been there a few years ago, and it didn’t seem like there were very many options that I could easily modify to fit my needs, so when the manager came out to talk to me, I asked if I could just get grilled chicken, vegetables, and rice. He was more than happy to accommodate my request, and even offered to give me the special lemon rice that was being served with their Brazilian special menu items.
I was impressed with their service. My food was delivered to me by a separate waiter who distinguished it as an allergy order, which was a nice thing to see. The food itself was also great, even for such a simple meal. The chicken was grilled perfectly – I especially loved the charred bits that covered the edges. Always the best part haha. The green beans were good, but the rice was awesome. I was a little wary of the lemon flavor before trying it, but it was just the right amount: strong enough that I could taste it, but subtle enough that it wasn’t overpowering. Rice can sometimes be kind of boring, so this was a really interesting variation that I’ll probably try making at home sometime.
The rest of the day was nice and relaxing. After stopping at Erin McKenna’s Bakery for a sweet treat (more on that in a future post), we headed back to the BoardWalk to watch the Epcot fireworks and spend some more time together before my cousins headed back home. It was such a great day!