One of my favorite restaurants in Orlando is Shula’s Steakhouse at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel. I recently spent a night at the hotel and had another fabulous dining experience at Coach Shula’s restaurant. I’m thoroughly convinced if you want to visit theme parks, enjoy great dining with a prime location near Disney’s golf courses, the Walt Disney World Dolphin is your best choice. It’s located within walking distance of Epcot and the Boardwalk Disney entertainment, shopping and dining complex, a few minutes from Disney’s golf courses and about a 5 minute drive to Disney Springs, the dynamic entertainment complex formerly known as Downtown Disney.
GOLF OPTIONS Once you leave the hotel, you can be on a first tee in minutes. Walt Disney World has three championship layouts, the Magnolia, Palm and Lake Buena Vista, and a 9-hole walking course, Oak Trail, that’s ideal for beginners, juniors and super seniors. Disney offers a 4 round “Play Around the World” golf pass that can save golfers up to 30% on a four-round package at their courses. Packages also come with a souvenir “Disney Golf Passport” booklet. All four rounds must be played within 30 days. Call 407-939-4653 or visit www.golfwdw.com for questions or booking. Another great option is the Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Orlando that’s situated adjacent to Golden Oak at Walt Disney World, an uber-luxurious residential community. It’s the course formerly named Osprey Ridge. The Original designer Tom Fazio was invited back to re-create the course in a different form and he did an outstanding job.
ACCOMMODATIONS The hotel has 1,509 rooms. Soft, muted colors of silver, white and blue give the rooms a bright and positive feel. I absolutely love the great shower head and luxury bedding.
Main amenities include: –Mandara Spa –3-acre pool complex –Camp Dolphin –Complimentary Disney Bus Transportation –Self-parking 5 Little Things I Liked 1. The huge lobby with lots of chairs and couches so you can lounge, read or check social media. 2. Fantastic location that allows you to walk to the Swan Hotel, Epcot and Disney’s Boardwalk. 3. The phenomenal BBQ Shrimp we enjoyed as an appetizer at Shula’s Steakhouse. 4. The beautifully decorated, refurbished guest room. 5. The view from my 5th floor room of the Swan Hotel and pool complex. DINING/LOUNGES Shula’s Steakhouse–One of the highlights of my stay was dining at the oh-so-convenient Shula’s, which is located just off the main lobby. For football fans and steak lovers, it’s the ultimate dining experience. The entire restaurant celebrates the NFL’s only undefeated team, the 17-0, 1972 Miami Dolphins, coached by, of course, Don Shula. The decor of the restaurant is dominated by beautiful polished wood and vintage photographs and memorabilia with familiar Dolphin icons like Larry Csonka, Bob Griese and Earl Morrall. A nice touch, too, is the teal and white football placed on your table detailing the steaks available. Undoubtedly, the star of the restaurant is the beef, which is some of the best on the planet. Shula’s gets their Premium Black Angus Beef from the Graham Angus Farm in Albany, Georgia. This quality is absolutely amazing.
The highlights of our dinner included the BBQ Shrimp, a sumptuous appetizer with large shrimp stuffed with basil, wrapped in Applewood Bacon and coated in a tangy BBQ sauce, grilled asparagus, Potato Gratin with garlic cream reduction topped with Panko Parmesan Crust and our juicy, succulent steaks. I savored every bite of my 20 oz. Kansas City Strip and my wife waved about her Steak Mary Anne, two 5 oz. filets with Cognac-Peppercorn Sauce. We complemented this epic feast with a superb bottle of Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon by Arrowood. Here’s the MENU. Todd English’s Bluezoo–This sleekly designed restaurant has a hip ambiance with lots of glass accents and aquariums. Celebrity chef Todd English presents a menu featuring entrees like bbq-rubbed swordfish atop risotto and Maine Lobster tossed in a Cantonese-style soy glaze. For dessert, how about a Mai Tai Banana Cream Tart. There are also various casual and poolside restaurants and lounges. THINGS TO DO –Visit Epcot, which is just a 5-minute walk away –Dine at the various restaurants at the Boardwalk such as Flying Fish, ESPN Club, Trattoria Al Forno and Big River Grille & Brewing Works –Play Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course –Dine at restaurants at Swan Hotel such as il Mulino New York Trattoria and Kimonos. –Visit other Disney Theme Parks –Shop and dine at Disney Springs, which is located a 5-minute drive from the Dolphin Hotel LOCATION Situated adjacent to Disney’s Boardwalk entertainment, dining and hotels complex. 1500 Epcot Resorts Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32830. GET THE SCOOP Call 407-934-4000 or click HERE for more information.