The weather was not great on this particular visit (JULY), so I didn’t take a lot of ambient photos in gray skies. And Old Key West is not exactly a constantly changing resort. But we’ll pop into Olivia’s for lunch and check out any other changes worth noting. The link above is a better look at the various points of interest around the resort if you missed it or would like a refresher.
Like the Polynesian and Grand Floridian Resorts, Old Key West has picked up some new merchandise and a new logo.
On the left is the new logo – potentially a little more subtle than the old one that prominently featured Mickey.
Maybe we’ll see this same polo everywhere.
You may remember it from the Grand Floridian.
Old Key West does offer an alternate shade that I didn’t see at the Grand Flo.
Some more things:
Another set of old versus new here with the magnets.
It’s a pretty basic recipe Disney is following – create a logo and slap it on the same ten things. But it’s a lot better than than the days of no-resort-specific-merchandise and 99%+ of the people that visit will never step foot in the gift shop of any resort other than the one they’re staying at.
The resort otherwise had a similar selection of food and such.
Disney seems to be moving away from the deliciousness that is a $7.99 1.5L bottle of Sutter Home and in the direction of Copa di Vino. If for some bizarre reason you wanted to buy a Copa from the store, it would run you about $2.99. Or $6.95 from Disney. Considering Disney’s bottle prices really aren’t that unreasonable, I’m not sure why you’d buy a 187ml “copa.” You can drink straight from the 750ml bottle just as easily.
Eggo Waffles just in case you want to put together one of Universa’sl Cletus Chicken Shack sandwiches yourself.
Wine. A bottle of the Once Upon A Vine is “only” $13.95 for four times as much wine as one of those $6.95 Copas.
I don’t know what this is. It comes with two small wooden spoon things.
Just in case you’re not “down” with Simply Heinz, you can pick up a bottle of high fructose corn syrup. Disney really has you covered.
The Gurgling Suitcase is probably the best bar name on the planet. It’s sort of a hole in the wall, but it does have one of the better unique drink menus on property:
I’ve been known to splash together a Turtle Krawl at home. Actually I’m sipping one as I write this to give you the most authentic experience available on the Internet:
- 2oz light rum (Bacardi, Castillo, etc.)
- 2oz coconut rum (Malibu)
- 1oz dark rum (Myer’s)
- 6oz orange juice
- 6oz pineapple juice
- .75oz lime juice
- .75oz grenadine
This is the recipe doubled or tripled. But if you put up with this website you are probably a triple kind of person.
A full bar if you’d like something else.
Good’s Food to Go is the resort’s quick service outlet.
Larger should you have the inclination to read it: http://www.easywdw.com/reports9/goods.jpg. It’s probably the most uninspired menu on property, but it does offer a few quick sandwiches, pizzas, and a burger. And as we’ll see shortly, you can easily pop into Olivia’s for a decently priced meal without a reservation.
Risking my life to bring you a pool picture.
The sand castle theme is otherwise pretty adorable.
Olivia’s is the resort’s restaurant with indoor and outdoor patio seating.
You can pretty easily get out of Olivia’s for just a couple dollars more per person than your typical quick service meal.
Pictures of DVC “owners” welcome you to the restaurant that serves breakfast from 7:30am – 10:30am and then the all-day menu from 11:30am – 10pm.
It’s July 2nd at 2pm so it isn’t exactly lunch time, but this is around the time you’d be back at the resort if you elected to follow the website’s advice of taking a break around 1pm to get away from the heat and crowds. One minor quibble: I can understand seating tables together to make it easier on the staff, but you’d think with a 97.4% empty restaurant that they could space things out a bit. There are actually two families seated in booths directly to our right. It’s not as big of a deal here at Olivia’s where there’s at least some space in between tables. But if you eat lunch at San Angel Inn where the tables are “literally” on top of each other, they’ll still sit you right next to another table even if the restaurant is 10.7% full.
A smaller room off the main dining room. Olivia’s is a friendly, casual place. Or as Disney describes it, “A longtime resident of Conch Flats, Olivia welcomes diners with Island-inspired dishes. This nautical-themed eatery has the friendly, familiar feel of a neighborhood institution and is a perennial favorite of many a Guest.”
The family next to us was arguing over whether these were real fish.
With the Gurgling Suitcase right next door, they should be able to bring you whatever you want.
$10.49 Conch Fritters. Looking over the menu a couple of days before visiting, I was not real sure what “conch” entailed. It turns out that they’re sea snails of some variety. About a dozen Fritters were served alongside the Remoulade and Key Lime Mustard. Despite being deep fried, they were not at all greasy – probably the least greasy fried item I’ve ever experienced with my mouth. The Fritters themselves did not have a lot of flavor necessarily, but they paired amazingly with the two sauces. They had a bit of a chew to them and were plentiful in number – one of my favorite appetizers in recent memory and highly recommended.
Bread is also served with lunch – something you don’t see a lot of at Disney World these days.
This iteration is a fresh baked loaf of pineapple sour-dough served alongside butter. It came out about 30 seconds before the entrees so we did not have much time to enjoy it, but it was certainly a little “different” with the more-than-just-a-little-subtle pineapple flavor.
Lisa started with the Sultry Seahorse – Disaronno Originale, Creme de Banana, Pineapple Juice, Orange Juice, and a Float of Cherry Brandy – $8.75. “Fruity and strong” is how she described it.
I ordered a Key West Bloody Mary – Skyy Vodka and Spicy Bloody Mary Mix – $6.75. It is about what one would expect with a little more spice than most. Recommended if you like that kind of thing – I really don’t.
Interested in how our at-home version compared to “the real thing,” Lisa next ordered a Turtle Krawl – Coconut Rum, Spiced Rum, and White Rum with Pineapple, Orange, and Key Lime Juices – $7.75. This was a little more coconut-y than the one made with the ingredients above. Very good, very refreshing, and one of the stronger drinks you’ll likely run into here at dazney.
Potentially not the world’s best picture of my $21.99 Shrimp and Grits – Sauteed Shrimp with Vegetables, Tasso Ham, and fresh herbs served over Olivia’s Famous Grits.
I was not real sure what to expect from the dish. It ended up being about a half dozen smallish shrimp bathed in a sauce creamier-than-I-was-expecting with a few bites of ham and what were most likely canned mushrooms. The shrimp were prepared well – not overly chewy like is often the case and they soaked up the creamy sauce well. The grits really stood out though – much richer and cheesier than I was expecting. Overall, it was a more filling meal than I was expecting. I’m not real enthusiastic about the number or size of the shrimp, but I’m not sure you can beat the grits.
Lisa ordered the Catch of the Day – Mahi Mahi with Roasted Potatoes, Succatash, and Lemon-Tarragon Butter – $21.99 if memory serves.
The fish here was prepared well and didn’t have an off-putting “fishy flavor.” Flaky, and decidedly lemon-y, this was another very good dish. The potatoes underneath were not particularly inspired – not much flavor and lukewarm.
In addition to the dessert menu, drinks are available. That Key Lime Pie Martini sounds good…
We opted for the classic Key Lime Tart with Mango and Raspberry Sauce – $5.49. It’s bigger and denser than it may look. Lisa and I both had our fill and half still sat on the plate. The Pie lives up to the hype with a thick graham cracker crust encasing the sweet-yet-tart filling. The airy meringue on top was a treat too. Try to save room for one of these suckers. My estimation is one can be shared among numerous people.
Service was friendly and efficient, but there were a total of 15 other people in the entire restaurant. I asked about needing a reservation for dinner and the server said that even when they’re busy, there’s rarely much of a wait for a table. That may be less true if the weather outside is awful and the patio is closed. Lisa liked that they played mostly Jimmy Buffett music. It was a nice, casual meal with good food and not-outrageous-for-Disney prices. I like an inexpensive lunch on property and you can get away with spending $15 or so per person on sandwiches. Several sandwiches are just a dollar or two more than you’d pay for a lousy Pecos Bill burger. I probably would not advocate going out of your way to eat at Olivia’s – it is not exactly a destination restaurant and not particularly convenient unless you’re driving or transferring from Downtown Disney. But it’s a gem if you’re staying at the resort. With good service, a casual atmosphere, and reasonable prices, it makes Old Key West’s lack of a solid quick service forgivable.