VIP Disney Experiences - Dining Events (Part 1)

What a fun but crazy month! We here at Upon A Star Travel have been hard at work planning magical vacations and checking out new offerings for our clients!  I had the opportunity to check out some VIP Experiences down at the Walt Disney World Resort this past month, and let me tell you - I am super excited to share.  If you want even more detail, check out the Divas Dish Podcast where I shared live from my hotel at the Grand Floridian (Episode 68). Click this link, or grab it on iTunes, I Heart Radio, or Stitcher.

Of course, the magic of Disney is unsurpassed; but, if you are someone who likes just that extra special touch, never fear! Disney has it covered! So, let's start with one of my favorite topics ... FOOD. 

Of course, thinking of upscale, VIP cuisine in Disney, your mind may go immediately to Victoria & Albert's.  This is a 5-Diamond Restaurant located on the 2nd floor of the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. I've often heard about the amazing food, and this is a place that had always been on my bucket list.  Let me say - it lives up to the hype! WOW!

So first of all - GO HUNGRY.  This is a 7-course meal, and it can be done with or without wine-pairings. Everything was absolutely delightful. Even if you aren't sure about a particular dish, trust me - it will taste amazing. 

And they even had this really cool way of brewing coffee for dessert - and as a coffee snob - trust me when I say it was fabulous!

Looks like a science experiment, right? Very neat to watch.  

Now we ate in the dining room, but there is also the option to do the Chef's Table. 

Speaking of Chef's Tables... did you know that you can request a special Chef's Table? Whether you're heading down for business or just having a special family gathering, Disney can coordinate a beautiful experience. 

It was such a neat experience watching the chefs prepare your food at the On-stage Kitchen. The head chef then described each and every course - it really brought the food to life! Oh, and as you might imagine, it was absolutely fabulous!

I also experienced the dessert portion of the "Highway in the Sky Dine Around" on the roof of the Contemporary.  The desserts were perfection, and of course, so was the view of the fireworks!

Another fun dining experience was "Savor the Savanna" at Disney's Animal Kingdom... but that's a post for another week! Stay tuned for more of this series very soon!

Interested in booking one of these experiences? Contact your Upon A Star Agent today!

California Grill Brunch

If you were watching my page last week, you know that my hubby and I had the opportunity to dine at the California Grill's new brunch this past Sunday.  I was so excited, because it was literally opening day for this experience!  Being among the first to take part was amazing.  

California Grill is located atop the Contemporary Resort, and it offers stunning views of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot (in the distance), and the other Magic Kingdom resort areas.  It's also a very popular location for viewing Wishes Fireworks in the evenings.  

So here is an admission: prior to this weekend, I had never eaten here.  Hard to believe, right? It's always been on the list, but we never followed through for one reason or another.  We love a good brunch, though, so this was the perfect time to make a reservation.  

The hostess was so kind and escorted us right up to the lobby.

We were greeted immediately and ushered to our table.

As you can tell by the chopsticks, the California Grill does offer a lot of sushi.  Of course, there are many other delicious offerings as well. Here's a peek at the menu.

The first course is self-serve. There is a beautiful display of all of the above offerings.  I particularly enjoyed the mini lettuce wedge and the self-serve yogurt station, although all of it was amazing!  There is also bread service served with butter and jam delivered right to the table.

Next came the entree.  We both tried the steak, and it was out of this world!  The seasoning and preparation were perfect.  I also heard rave reviews about the sweet potato pancakes.  I guess this means I'll have to go back to try those!

For those so inclined, there is a complimentary cocktail included; there is also a Bloody Mary Bar available for those who would like to choose their own ingredients -- based on the amount of Bloody Marys I saw on tables, I'd say this station will be very popular!

After all of this amazingness, you may think the experience is almost over - au contraire! There is still a luscious dessert tray!  Of course, dessert is only complete with coffee, and the coffee here was amazing.  It was french-pressed, strong, and not bitter at all.  It was the perfect accompaniment to the beautiful cookies and candies.  Disclaimer: I totally forgot to take a picture before we dug in... so this is a midway through re-arrangement of the cookies/chocolates. :) There is also a yummy toffee bark!


Of course, you simply must check out the observation decks at some point throughout your stay.

 The entire experience lasted about an hour and a half, so it's definitely a leisurely experience.  Unlike some of the character breakfasts/brunches, this location was quiet and peaceful.  I should also mention that there was a wonderful piano/string bass duo playing throughout our meal, adding to the ambience.  There were some families there, but by and large the population consisted of adults.  This is a great location for honeymooners and couples.  it would also be a great option for a date day - drop the kiddos off at the Polynesian's Kids' Club (there is a charge for this) and then the adults can enjoy a date before heading out for the day.

I would absolutely go back here! Have you ever dined at the California Grill? Comment below!