Friday, July 19, 2013

Splitsville makes bowling a great rainy day activity at Downtown Disney

If you happen to come to Orlando, Florida during the summer, you may want to find some indoor activities during our normal afternoon shower.

One great way to avoid the rain is by stepping back into Memory Lane.  Splitsville opened in 2012, but someday we'll be stepping back into Memory Lane as we remember when this was called "Downtown Disney, West Side."  Disney has announced they plan to change the name to "Disney Springs" sometime in the future.

Once you get inside, you'll notice the extra-special FLORIDA feel with hand-painted murals and 30 luxury lanes, located on 2 floors.  Bowling prices don't go by the game here, but by the hour.  And it also gives you a bit of extra time if you have more people in your party.  For example 4 people get 1 hour & 15 minutes...and it counts extra time for each person up to 8.

Current pricing was $15 per person/per hour M-F 10:30a-4p.  $20 per person/hour M-F 4p-close & all day on weekends at the $20 price.

Billiard tables are $10 per table per hour.  

Some of the dining options include a Sushi Bar and a regular bar.  The Sushi Bar has been very popular and I have heard locals say to go bowl there "for the sushi."  
You can also check out the Freestyle soda machine that will allow you to have over 100 drink choices.  You can get a souvenir cup for $6.95 currently and have free refills during your visit.  One really great place to relax is upstairs, just outside the bar to get a great view of Downtown Disney (and it's covered during those afternoon storms).  During peak times, you may catch live musicians outside in the dining area.  

You can bring a special souvenir home by getting a bowling ball with Disney characters on it to make your game more magical no matter where you bowl.

As you head out of Splitsville, you should make a right and go down the side of the building toward the parking lot so you can look in the window to see the "Hardest working pinsetters in the world.  It's fun to watch through the glass from an angle that you may have never seen before.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Disney Dining on a budget at Grand Floridian Cafe

Nestled deep in the heart of the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is a very overlooked dining option that offers more bang for the average Grand Floridian buck.  

The Grand Floridian Cafe offers an environment with beautiful presentation of food that is cooked to perfection.  I will include pricing during the time of our visit:  July 6, 2013.  

Our meal started with a "Grand Colada" which is a tropical blend of Myer's Original Dark Rum, Coconut & Pineapple topped with Blue Curacao.  Price our visit:  $9.75

We decided to try an Appetizer and we decided on the Cheese Plate.  This included:  Truffle, Tremor, Reypenaer, Gouda and St. Pete's Select Blue Cheese with assorted accoutrements & sesame crackers.  We did enjoy our Cheese Plate, but you must have a taste for very sharp cheese flavors.  As much as I enjoyed it, I would say that it's not for everyone.  Price:  $11.99.
Our dinner choices included the Grand Floridian Burger for me.  I would not normally select a burger at such  a fancy dining estabishment, but the lobster intrigued me.  The Grand Floridian Burger includes:  Angus Chuck Burger, topped with Butter Poached Lobster with Red Onion Marmalade, Crispy Prosciutto & Arugula on a Brioche Bun + chips.  There was no "fishy" taste to this burger, it totally tasted like Angus Beef & I truly enjoyed this meal.  The chips even came in their own beautiful glass cone:  both food taste and presentation were nice for a burger at the Grand Floridian!  Price:  $17.99.

My husband chose the "Shrimp and Grits" --  being from New York originally, grits are not a common taste, so we were both treading on new things.  I even tasted them (as I was raised in North Carolina) and can tell you the grits here are "different" than the southern style that you may think of.  I am not usually a fan of grits, but LOVED his meal.  I would totally choose this:  Jumbo Shrimp with Chorizo & Fennel served on top of creamy Masearpone Cheese Grits.  What wonderful flavors!  Price $19.99.

We really thought about getting the

entire Dessert Tray to sample all of their spectacular desserts (right),but we did decide on only our top two.  Brian had the Lemon Cheesecake and I had the solid Dark Chocolate Mickey Mouse...he was absolutely TOO CUTE to pass up!  Honestly, if you have a family, the dessert tray is only $10.99 as of our visit.  Mickey was $4.99 & the Lemon Cheesecake was $3.49.  

Our total price was around $72 for an appetizer, alcoholic drink, 2 entrees & 2 desserts...which is really good for 2 adults at the Grand Floridian.  Prices here seem reasonable but the environment is just as special as the more expensive options.

This was a wonderful date, without spending the amount you would "expect" from the Grand Floridian.  I hope you ENJOY!  Please post if you have eaten here.  Did you enjoy the Grand Floridian Cafe?  Did you celebrate anything special or eat something yummy?  I welcome your comments.  We had a wonderful time & I hope you did too...or maybe you plan to soon.  I hope you enjoy!  

 Maybe you'll even enjoy a nice piano or band performance as you come into your meal.  The only thing to note is that if it's your first time driving to the Grand Floridian, it looks like you're exiting the resort as you park.  You must cross Floridian Way in order to enter the regular Grand Floridian Guest Parking.  Have no fear, you are in the right place.