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Archive for the ‘Restaurants’ Category

Forum FAQ – Cake Hotline

Posted by Ashley Rae on March 31, 2012

The First “Forum FAQ”

After working at Walt Disney World in Food & Beverage for over three years, I’ve been able to tackle many different Guest questions.  I always said I liked to experience the parks from the Guest prospective so I could better direct a Guest during their trip.  Now, I hope to scour different forums and remove the assumptions from people’s questions.  Since I’m no longer a Cast Member, I can’t be as robust with my answers as I would like, but hopefully I will remove a little bit of the mystery.

On a popular site, I found a question that pertains to ordering a customized cake on property.  Fortunately, I manned this aspect of the business for a few days.  First of all, Walt Disney World manages not all restaurants.  For example, the Italy Pavilion, the France Pavilion, Portobello’s Yacht Club, and T-Rex are all Operating Participants.  Although they might be placed next door to a WDW managed location or even within a park, Disney does not have very much control over their policies and procedures.

The Cake Hotline can be reached at 407-827-2253.  This will get you to a directory for the entire WDW Resort.  I will speak here for Epcot’s cake options.

There are chocolate and vanilla varieties for each cake.

The 6” round cake is NOT customizable ($21).  The location might have a celebration disk, but since 2010, these have become rare.

There are 8” ($32) and 10” ($45) square cakes.  These are layered cakes that are made with a custard cream between layers.  These can be “customized”.  Disney’s version of customization is the use of an edible screen that can be laid on the top of the cake.  This can include an image of a character (most likely Googled) and a message (Happy 1st Birthday).

The next cake is about 10” big and shaped like Mickey Mouse’s head ($48).  This cannot be customized.  If you’re lucky, the location of your reservation might have chocolate icing so that they can write on the plate.

**Add Gratuity and Tax to Each Price.**

Now I know you have two more questions…

Is that enough cake for my party? AND What if I want to do something a little bit MORE special?

Very, very rarely have I ever seen a family even finish the 6” cakes.  They wind up handing their slices off to neighboring families, or even offer the Servers the remainder of their cakes. The standards say the 6″=4 People, 8″=8 People, 10″=16 People.  Remember if you are on the DDP, the cakes are an additional price and you will STILL have the option of getting your included dessert.

**But as a side note, I think the 8” cakes are tastier and the small image is always a nice touch.**

If you want to do something MORE special, it is always up to the discretion of the Park or Resorts Pastry Chef.  If the time and materials are available, they will do everything in their power to help you.  I’ve seen people get White Chocolate Castles ($110 not including the cake), Haunted Mansion scenes, and “Surprise, You’re a Big Sister!” cakes.  But I’ve also seen people get denied, so it’s a matter of good timing and original ideas.

I originally mentioned that there are Operating Participants.  This is because it is not the operator’s fault if you do not hear back from an Operating Participant.  After you call the Cake Hotline, the operator forwards your message and might not know if you were ever contacted.  Remember, at the end of the day, Disney is a Business and there are efficiency standards being adjusted all the time.

See Ya Real Soon, Ashley

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Forum FAQ – Allergy & Special Requests

Posted by Ashley Rae on March 27, 2012

After a long hiatus Ashley is back to answering your most-asked Forum questions.  A former leader in Food and Beverage at Epcot, Ashley is an expert on the standards and practice that SHOULD happen during your dining experience at Walt Disney World. 

*

It’s been almost two months that I’ve worked for the Mouse and I’m feeling much more relaxed as things seem to settle down around the house.  Honestly, I needed a tad more time to pass before I could objectively talk about my experiences within the company.  So without further ado…

Many Guests like to brag about the great experiences that they’ve had at Walt Disney World Restaurants when they have a Special Dietary Request.   Although I do not struggle with any allergies, I can relate with having a need for some accommodation.  As a Restaurant Guest Service Manager, I even looked forward to some special occasions if I knew in advance what to expect.  I’m going to now try to walk you though the Special Request process.

Hopefully you have planned for your vacation whether its four weeks or 24 hours. You’ve created your packing lists, picked your resort, and reserved your restaurants.  If you haven’t gotten the latter finished, Disney.com now offers the option of reserving your “Priority Seating” online, Guest Relations or a Concierge can assist you, you can call 407-WDW-Dine (or *88 on any pay phone in the Parks), and most recently Disney Mobile Magic makes reservations easy to access from a Smart Phone.

You can let any podium Cast Member know that you have an Allergy or Intolerance at the Podium of the restaurant of when you book your reservation.  Even if you did tell the reservation line, please confirm with the Podium Cast Member.

Those requests are printed on your seating ticket and passed onto the Server.  It is the Server’s responsibility to confirm the notes on the seating ticket with the party.

The Server than speaks to a Chef (or a Manager in Quick-Service locations) and NORMALLY a Chef should come to the table.  The Management and Chefs have to take an online module to help us better understand your special request.  But if the Allergy is as common as Peanuts or Tree nuts, the Chef might just limit the items you can choose from the menu.

It becomes a matter of how busy the restaurant is.  Of course the Chefs enjoy making something special – it’s why they became chefs – it’s just not always possible.

Most importantly… do NOT pretend you have an allergy!  We are trained to treat all intolerances and allergies with the same respect since you never know when a person might have an allergic reaction to something, but saying you have a tomato allergy when really you do not like tomatoes, takes away from everyone in the situation.  Please just ask your server to not include the tomatoes.

Allergies are big business at Walt Disney World.  I’ve seen Servers get disciplined for not following the guidelines properly.  This ranges from them carrying an allergy dish to a table at the same time as another dish.  (An allergy dish should be carried alone.)  The Server might have forgotten to add the “ALLERGY” detail to the item when they ordered it, but the Guest was never hurt.  Or maybe the Server and Chef did everything they were supposed to, but a Guest can still get hurt.

*Ashley

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Hot Air Balloons

Posted by Ashley Rae on July 26, 2009

The SeasonsEarthWinterSpringSummer

The Land Pavilion in Epcot’s Future World has undergone many changes during its existence.  The balloons in the center of the building went through multiple changes including both mobility and theming.  The final result is what you see here.  Each balloon represents a season.  This theming continues downstairs in the pavilion’s food court titled The Sunshine Seasons.

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Addendum: Friar’s Nook

Posted by Ashley Rae on July 26, 2009

Friar's Nook

And its established date of MLXXI is representative of 10-71 or October 1971, which is when the Magic Kingdom opened.  This just quickly became a Retro Reminder. Original Post

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Ala Cart

Posted by Ashley Rae on June 16, 2009

Disney released the new online dining reservation system today to the public. The switch over in the actual restaurants should have been around May 26.  Follow this link to make your future Walt Disney World dining reservations.

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One Man’s Trash…

Posted by Ashley Rae on June 9, 2009

Here is a small fact I heard last night. The new restaurant in Downtown Disney, Paradiso 37, has columns that stand toward the middle of the restaurant. Supposedly the bolts used to hold up the pillars are leftovers from Aerosmith’s Rockin’ Rollercoaster.

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New Hours at Beaches and Cream

Posted by Ashley Rae on June 5, 2009

Beaches and Cream at the Beach and Yacht Club will be testing new hours of 11AM-Midnight for the next four weeks.

In addition, on June 10, the Marketplace inside the Beach Club will be temporarily closing and Beaches and Cream will be open for breakfast.

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The Friar’s Nook

Posted by Ashley Rae on April 30, 2009

The Friar's NookThe Friar’s Nook is new to replace The Village Fry Shoppe in Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom.  The Friar’s Nook leaves little guess work to the quick services’ meal options.  In the revamped counter service, the “Fry”er has taken on a much different job description then this previous role in Disney’s Robin Hood.

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Sanaa

Posted by Ashley Rae on April 26, 2009

Kidani Village over at the Animal Kingdom Lodge opens May 1, 2009 with its Phase 1 rooms. Kidani Village includes a new shop, restaurant, feature pool, and savanna. Sanaa

The new restaurant Sanaa, with almost 200 seats, means artwork in Swahili. Inside pillars symbolize beads while you sit beneath a forest campy.Sanaa

Some of the items you might find on the menu include Dum Biryani, New York Strip, Spice-crusted Cornish Game Hen, and Banana Leaf-wrapped Sustainable Fish. The items on the menu are meant to reflect a combination of Indian and African flavors.

Posted in Coming Soon, Disney Vacation Club, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Restaurants | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

15244

Posted by Ashley Rae on April 15, 2009

RestaurantosaurusOutside of Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Restaurantosaurus you will find a parked trailer. The company Airstream Inc. is a large manufacturer of trailers and coaches. Although I am unsure of the actual model used in the park, it does look very similar to newer models available on Airstream’s website. Airstream 15244

What I find interesting are the numbers 15244. When I looked for images of trailers to compare their usual appearance, I did not find others with numbers. I was able to search for the numbers and they are actually the zip code of Pittsburgh, PA. Cannot remember if Chester and Hester were meant to be from this area or if this has no relevance at all. Please let me know if you have an idea.

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