Disneyland is celebrating its golden anniversary
this year. In honor of that, the Disney Company is holding
a global celebration beginning on May 5 th, 2005. Disneyland’s actual
anniversary isn’t until July 17th. If you are wondering
why the party begins on May 5th, think about this…….if
you write it a different way, it’s 05/05/05…and
backwards…..it’s 50/50/50. This celebration
is named The Happiest Celebration on Earth.
You are probably wondering what this has to do with the
Italian restaurant, Palio located inside the Walt Disney
World Swan Resort. Be patient….it will make sense
Beginning on Tuesday, May 4th and lasting two days, Walt
Disney World is throwing a BIG party for the press in order
to show off all of the new attractions and changes that have
been made. This party is by invitation only and luckily,
you get to be there…..well sort of….
There are several of us who will do everything we can to
bring you information, pictures, video, reviews and such
as soon as we possibly can. In order to accomplish this,
we had to have a base of operation. The requirements for
this home base were that we must be conveniently located,
we had to have several rooms and we needed them during a
VERY busy time. The Walt Disney World Swan came through with
flying colors. It’s within walking distance to Epcot,
we can easily grab a Friendship boat to MGM Studios and there
is transportation to the Magic Kingdom. Perfect for covering
the entire press event.
After checking in on May 3 rd, we had a meeting to discuss
the logistics of covering all segments of this huge event.
We are all primed and ready to rock and roll. (Catch up on
all the festivities on the DIS) After our meeting, we were
all very hungry and looking for a place to have dinner. It
was decided that everyone liked Italian food and what could
be easier…..ta daaaaa…..eat in the hotel. It
was a unanimous decision, we were off to Palio.
Palio is a large, gracious
restaurant just off the lobby of the Walt Disney World Swan.
The restaurant derives its name from the cloth draped over
the winner of an enormous horse race held in medieval Italy.
The large dining rooms are decorated with cloth banners reminiscent
of horse racing silks. These patterns are carried out in
the table linens and china patterns.
Palio’s main menu is divided into six categories.
They are Antipasti, Insalate e Minestrone, Pizza, Pasta,
Pesce and Specialita Del Palio. Each of the category names
and the names of each dish are in Italian, but there is a
description of each dish in English as well.
There were seven of us for dinner and we were hungry. Several
of us had recently attended an event held in Orlando named
the Bacchus Bash. It’s an annual event where many of
the local restaurants, hotels and resorts set up booths and
for a very small amount of money offer tastes of their best
dishes. The dish that everyone remembered from the event
was offered by Palio, who also went on to win the prize for
The item in question is an appetizer with the cumbersome
name Fiocchi Al Gorgonzola In Salsa Di Spinaci. or pasta
stuffed with Gorgonzola in a garlic, spinach cream sauce.
Three out of seven ordered this as their appetizer and were
hesitant to share with the poor fools who didn’t. This
dish is sinfully rich and decadently delicious. It’s
really heaven in a bowl. There were also two orders of Bruschetta
MIsta or garlic toast with fresh tomatoes, Toggiasco Olives,
mushrooms, melted asiago cheese, fire roasted peppers and
Italian herbs. This was also wonderful, but because I wasn’t
sharing my Fiocchi, I had just a bite.
As for our dinner entrees, several of us had the chicken
stuffed with prosciutto and parmesan cheese in Pinot Grigio
sauce, there was an order of fettuccini with sundried tomatoes
and broccolini in a parmesan cream sauce, another one had
veal scaloppini with Marsala sauce and sage gnocchi and two
had the special of the day, which was a seafood risotto with
Each member of the party had nothing but wonderful things
to say about their respective entrees and those lucky enough
to get a taste of someone else’s….well, they
raved about them as well. Our dinners came with a wonderful
selection of breads and a olive oil/ herbs dipping sauce.
I must also mention the wait staff at Palio. Our group was
the epitome of professionalism. They anticipated our every
need and graciously filled every request.
In addition, there was a very nice gentleman wandering the
restaurant playing requests on his mandolin. As in every
group, there is one wise guy. Ours requested Inna Godda Davida,
a rock song from the 60’s. Without blinking an eye,
the gentleman played the obscure request and was greeted
by a huge round of applause from our table. He seemed very
pleased with himself, and as well he should be.
As this was a continuation of a business function, there
was no alcohol ordered, just a few soft drinks and some bottled
Palio is a wonderful place for a relaxing dinner. As in
any resort location, prices are on the steep side so go and
take your time. You can’t help but enjoy yourself in
this wonderful restaurant smack in the middle of the Happiest
Celebration on Earth.
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