LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — As baby boomers, the first generation to grow up with Disney theme parks, return to Walt Disney World Resort, they are seeking a new level of sophistication, especially in the realm of dining.
And the sophistication includes beverages, where the art of mixology has taken cocktails to a whole new level.
Many of the new cocktails are made with “better for you” ingredients such as organic spirits, fresh fruits and herbs that have been procured locally when seasonally available, and lower calorie no-sugar-added fruit purees.
The Raspberry Ginger Mojito, for instance, is made with raspberry vodka, ginger, mint, raspberry puree, fresh lime juice and a splash of coconut water. The Agave Nectar Margarita is made with organic blanco tequila, freshly squeezed lime juice, and organic agave nectar.
Popular dessert cocktail include the Godiva Chocolate Martini, made with Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, vanilla vodka, crème de cacao and Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur; and the Banana Spiced Rum Martini with spiced rum, crème de banana and RumChata Crème Liqueur.
An extensive selection of craft beers rounds out the award winning in menu offerings. And plenty of the cocktails come sans alcohol.
Stellar Wine Program
A solid list of 250 wines that’s updated annually – 70 percent New World (from the United States, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) and 30 percent Old World (from Spain, France, Germany and Italy) – are available at Walt Disney World Resort.
Select fine-dining restaurants in Walt Disney World theme parks and resorts have the latitude to expand and refine the core list. For instance, Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge has a wine list that’s primarily from the Pacific Northwest, while Jiko-The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge offers only wines from South Africa, the largest South African wine program for any one site in the United States. AAA Five-Diamond winner Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has 700 selections on the menu and 4,200 bottles in its cellar. And The Wave . . . of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort features a large selection of screw-cap New World wines.
Walt Disney World cast members who have achieved past and present beverage accreditations since 1997:
The Court of Master Sommeliers
- Introductory Sommelier Diploma (Level One): 774
- Certified Sommelier Diploma (Level Two): 30
- Advanced Sommelier Diploma (Level Three): 4
- Master Sommelier Diploma (Level Four): 2
Cicerone Certification Programs
- Cicerone Program Certified Beer Server (Level One): 233
- Certified Cicerone (Level Two): 1
Expanding Coffee, Tea Offerings
In the world of coffee and teas, Walt Disney World restaurants are expanding the offerings of premium press pot loose leaf teas and custom blended coffees. For example, at Sanaa, Jiko – The Cooking Place and Boma — Flavors of Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, guests can enjoy Kenyan coffee in a press pot. Jiko also offers 10 varieties of loose tea.
At The Wave…of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, organic Columbian “certified bird friendly” coffee is on the menu. (This means that the coffee beans were used without the use of netting covering the plants, which can endanger birds.) Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort features coffee grown and roasted in Hawaii. Trattoria al Forno on Disney’s Boardwalk offers a signature Italian-style blend.
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Royal Anandapur Tea Company pours nine different teas, from Darjeeling to a Honey Vanilla Rooibos.