Four Seasons Disney is no Mickey Mouse Operation

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People often ask why my husband, affectionately known as “Disney Dan,” and I visit Walt Disney World in Orlando so often, especially since we have no children.

While the biggest group of visitors continues to be families with kids, I’ve noticed a trend of adults heading to Disney, many traveling from WNY. We escaped the frigid temperatures last week for two days and headed to a place that opened five years ago, the Four Seasons Resort at Disney World.

This Four Seasons Resort – the largest in North America - encompasses everything we love about WDW without the aggravation: award-winning restaurants, golf, spas, and an ambiance conducive to relaxation, meaning no screaming kids and serpentine lines for food, restrooms, and attractions.

Before we arrived, I researched the most important part of the vacation: the Resort restaurants. Being a first-generation Italian, the bar is set high when it comes to food inspired by the old country. I had the opportunity to chat with the executive sous chef, Ryan Schelling, at Ravello, named after a seaside town in Italy. Schelling, a New Hampshire native, is a well-traveled chef who certainly knows his way around a kitchen, including an open one like Ravello’s.  Helmed by executive chef Fabrizio Schenardi of Torino, Italy, the food is all house made, including fresh pastas, pizzas and breads.

If our stay had been longer, I would have made a point of trying the other eateries inside the resort.

“Our signature dishes include ravioli filled with veal, spinach, mushrooms, ricotta and truffle essence; also the Branzino (seabass), stuffed with citrus, herbs, beans, served with the head and tail intact,” Schelling noted. “Fabrizio uses a specific semolina for the scratch-made pasta here. Its simple ingredients done well; everything is flavor-focused here.”

We indulged in a couple of those dishes—the ravioli in particular was memorable. I also lapped up every bit of the calamari and the roasted asparagus topped with a fried egg. Although I was stuffed, it didn’t deter me from sharing the creamy polenta with Dan.

If you’re getting out of the cold or are a snowbird, I highly recommend not only the fine food, adult-only pool, spa amenities and extraordinary Disney service at the Four Seasons.