Delicious Disney: A One-of-a-Kind Disney Experience
When I heard that you can buy a house at Disney World I immediately grabbed my phone and started Googling this fun new fact. Of course, searching the Internet was out of sheer curiosity because only in my Disney dreams could I afford a place like that! As fun as it was to read all about Golden Oaks (Disney residential area), I really wanted to see it for myself which is how I learned about Delicious Disney.
So it all started when a friend invited me to take a last-minute adventurous mom-cation to Walt Disney World to treat ourselves to a luxury dining experience like no other. She shared with me all that she had learned about Golden Oaks and how we could enjoy dinner on the property which is a rare privilege. I immediately said yes and started ripping the couches apart to look for spare change because this experience was going to be expensive. The question was, would it be worth it?
What is Delicious Disney?
Delicious Disney is a dining event held at Markham’s, a restaurant in the private clubhouse at Golden Oaks. As mentioned previously, Golden Oaks is a private residential area of Walt Disney World. So the only way to get into Markham’s is to make a reservation for one of the Delicious Disney dining events.
Delicious Disney is a themed dining experience that truly is one-of-a-kind. Each meal is prepared by award-winning culinarians and sommeliers from Walt Disney World Resort. The menu is created exclusively for the event. It’s an intimate dining experience with a limited number of seats.
How to Book
Booking this event can be done by visiting here where you will find a number to call to book the reservation. Your reservation will be linked to your My Disney Experience app.
This special dining event is opened up to the Golden Oaks residents first, next the Club 33 members are invited to attend. Any open seats are then made available to the public.
Wondering what Club 33 is? It’s a private Disney membership. The initial price to join is $33,000. The annual membership fee is $15,000. [GASP] And here I thought my gym membership was expensive.
What to Expect
Each dining event is a different experience since the dinners are based around a theme. The night of our visit the theme was a Tribute to Africa’s Big Five inspired by Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. We heard from other guests that some of the past themes were Alice in Wonderland, Aladdin and the Lion King. We’ve come very close to booking a reservation for next month’s Star Wars themed dinner! I’m sure the force will be strong with this one!
The price per person is $349 plus tax and gratuity. This includes several courses and alcoholic beverages. This is a formal dinner so business casual attire is appropriate. You will be dining with other guests, this is not a private dining experience. We were told that normally 30-40 people attend these events.
Your name will be on a list so that you can enter Golden Oaks. This is a rare opportunity to see the million-dollar homes that have been built there. You will arrive at Markham’s where you will enjoy welcome cocktails prior to being seated for dinner.
If you have food allergies let them know ahead of time so they can plan accordingly.
You’re about to see why we call this a once in a lifetime experience. I went into this event not really knowing what to expect. There were very little first-person experiences online to help me understand what I was walking into.
Once we arrived at Markham’s we were greeted with a welcome cocktail and shown into a room with other guests. There was an assortment of appetizers and a few tall tables where we were able to mingle and wait to be seated.
Prior to being seating in the restaurant we were shown a presentation by Dr. Scott the Director of Animal and Science Operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. He shared with us the incredible work being done by Walt Disney World to help protect our precious wildlife.
At this point, our appetite was growing, not only for the food that was about to be enjoyed but also for the thrilling and moving stories that would continue to be told throughout the night.
Let’s get to it. The most intriguing part of a dining experience is the food. So without further ado, let me present to you the Tribute to Africa’s Big Five inspired by Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park dinner:
THALI – A variety of dishes were served in nine small glass containers, the objective was to give us a feeling of “grazing” much like the rhino who graze when they eat.
- Ginger- Pear Chutney
- Bhel Puri
- Pickled Lime-Mango
- Lentil Dhal
- Pickled Heirloom Carrots
- Fig Tapenade
- Pickled Garlic
- Bharwan Aloo
- Pickled Raisins
Wine Pairing – Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs Brut, Robertson
PARSNIP POTAGE – This was one of the best soups I’ve ever had. I was very intrigued by the candied macadamia nuts and charcoal crackers which were delightful!
- Parsnip-Green Apple Soup
- Candied Macadamia Nuts
- Sweet Potato
- Compressed Apple Sorrel
- Charcoal Cracker
Wine Pairing – Painted Wolf Vine Chenin Blanc, Paarl
GLACIER 51 TOOTHFISH – This fish included the Patagonian toothfish which the chefs shared was the most expensive fish that they’ve ever prepared. It melted in my mouth!
- Patagonian Toothfish Filet
- Black Rice Risotto
- Finger Lime
- Coconut Reduction
Wine Pairing – Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley
KITFO – The presentation of this dish was stunning. Many of the guests were very excited when this course was presented.
- Wagyu Beef Carpaccio
- Mitmita Spice
- Crispy Capers
- Smoked Sea Salt
- Morgenster Olive Oil
RIBEYE – Our main course was wheeled around for all to gaze at before it was sliced and served.
- Roasted Eye of Ribeye
- Ribeye Cap
- Roasted Bone Marrow
- Marble Potatoes
- Creamed Kale
- Roasted Mushrooms
- Baines Whiskey-Peppercorn Sauce
- South African Monkey
- Gland Steak Sauce
- Duck Fat Béarnaise
Wine Pairing – Rustenberg Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon, Simonsberg-Stellenbosch
HONEY CAKE – I’ll share with you the story behind this dessert. The elephants inspired this honey cake and you may be asking what connection there is between honey and elephants. Well, a VERY important one. It was shared with us that in Africa many farmers were hunting elephants, not for sport or any monetary gain, but simply because the elephants were ruining their crops. You can imagine as a farmer in Africa, how devastating it would be to lose your entire crop when a herd of elephants destroys it.
These farmers were desperate to keep the elephants out of their farms. Disney took a special interest in protecting the elephants and helping the farmers. After much research, it was discovered that elephants can’t stand bees! Why? Because their ears are very sensitive and it’s very painful when bees sting their large floppy ears. Since discovering this fact, Disney has helped farmers build fences with beehives attached to them. When the elephant knocked the beehives the bees would sting them and the elephants would leave. Harvesting the honey has also become a great resource for the farmers.
A beautiful story with a happy ending that not only inspired an incredible dessert but also helped shine a light on all the good that Disney is doing to help protect our endangered wildlife. This was just one of many stories that we had the privilege of hearing during the course of this event.
- Honey Comb Cake
- Elderflower-Lime Whipped Cheesecake
- Honey Gelee
CAPE MOUNTAIN NIGHTCAP
Bain’s Cape Mountain Whiskey, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Bitters, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup
Is Disney Delicious Worth the Money?
So now the answer you’ve been waiting for. Was it worth it? The answer is YES! Without any hesitation, I would book this experience again. I’ve always said that the heart of any destination is in the food and I now feel more connected to Animal Kingdom and the work that Disney is doing behind the scenes.
If you’re looking for an extra special Disney experience or if you’re a foodie who enjoys one-of-a-kind dining experiences, Delicious Disney is for you.
To read more about Golden Oaks and what it’s like to live a Disney World click here.