Friday, June 27, 2003
Text and photos by Sue
Holland, MousePlanet staff writer
Olivia's Café, a wonderful full-service restaurant tucked away
at Disney's Old Key West Resort, is so good that it's worth a trip, even
if you are not staying at Old Key West.
When Disney decided to enter the timeshare market, it did so by opening
a resort called Disney Vacation Club located between Port Orleans (now
Port Orleans French Quarter) and Downtown Disney.
Disney built the second Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resort, and renamed
its original timeshare resort Disney's Old Key West Resort. Modeled and
themed after the houses in a section of Key West, Florida known as Old
Key West, Disney has done a wonderful job simulating this beautiful
Although Old Key West is a DVC resort, people who are not members of
DVC can also book villas. When owners at DVC use their membership to stay
elsewhere, that frees up availability for non-members.
Entrance to Olivia's Café.
Olivia's Café is located in the area known as Conch Flats, which
is also home to the main pool, front desk, health club, and most other
amenities. The restaurant is convenient to the main parking lot, the boat
arriving from the Marketplace at Downtown Disney, and the final bus stop
before leaving the resort.
Disney describes Olivia's Café as Conch Flat's premiere gathering
place to enjoy simple American cuisine among the locals. In addition
to an excellent menu for three meals, each day brings a number of daily
specials and the entire menu is available for take-out.
Breakfast is served from 7:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. There used to be
a character meal featuring Pooh and friends, but that has been discontinued.
From my experience, the regular menu is superior to the food served during
the character breakfast, although the small dining room meant most people
received several visits from the characters during their meal.
In addition to the usual eggs, bacon, French toast, pancakes and omelets
there are a couple of less common items. Ocie's Poached Eggs and Hash
is two poached eggs over sweet potato hash, and although I do not care
for sweet potatoes, it's definitely interesting! There are also smoothies
(key lime, mango, and more common flavors) and some lighter foods such
as yogurt, oatmeal and fresh fruit.
The indoor dining area is bright and airy.
Lunch begins at 11:30 a.m. and Olivia's Café is one of the few Disney
restaurants to not have a period of being closed between lunch and dinner.
The lunch menu continues until 5:00 p.m. and then the dinner menu begins,
with dinner ending at 10:00 p.m.
My favorite meal here is lunch, for a number of reasons. With five and
a half hours dedicated to this meal, there's no pressure to finish some
other activity in order to get there during the more common three- or
four-hour lunch periods elsewhere. Prices on some items are lower at lunch
and in those cases, the portions are a bit smaller. Many people find it
attractive to book a very late lunch and have that serve as dinner as
The beginning of the lunch period is much busier than the end, and it's
not uncommon to see Disney cast members coming from their offices to eat
here. Priority seatings are accepted, but generally not necessary.
Some of the more interesting appetizers include the following, available
at both lunch and dinner.
- Blue Lump Crab Cake with slaw and citrus remoulade $7.59
- Shrimp and Artichoke Dip served with baked pita chips $7.29
- Shrimp Fritters with Cajun tartar sauce $5.99
- Buffalo Wings served with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing
- Olivia's Kettle Soup or Traditional Conch Chowder Cup $3.29;
- Fresh Mozzarella Salad with tomatoes, red onions, sweet pecans,
balsamic syrup and field greens $8.29
The addition of sweet pecans to the Fresh Mozzarella Salad makes this
item stand out as one of my favorites anywhere in Walt Disney World. Perfect
for a summer lunch, this salad is cool and refreshing, and full of flavor!
The Kettle Soups are worth checking out as well. One favorite of mine
is the Buffalo Chicken Soup, which is spicy like buffalo chicken wings
and quite filling. The Conch Chowder has always been popular, and at lunch
there are a number of salads available that are not listed above.
Among the more interesting entrees you will find the following, which
are available at lunch and dinner unless otherwise noted.
- Grilled Filet Mignon Paired with Lobster Stuffed Shrimp accompanied
by a scampi butter with mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables $21.99
- Slow Roasted Prime Rib With baked potato, mixed vegetables
and au jus 9 oz $16.99; 12 oz $19.99 (dinner only)
- Sauteed Florida Snapper with a mango butter over lobster risotto,
broccoli and carrots $19.99 (dinner only)
- Coconut Shrimp fried golden brown and accompanied by rice pilaf,
seasonal vegetable and pineapple-orange dipping sauce $18.99 (dinner
- Penne Pasta and Asiago Cheese With sun-dried tomatoes, baby
spinach, olive oil and garlic $15.99; add grilled chicken $3.00; add
shrimp $6.00 ($9.59 at lunch)
- Baked Dorado Filet (Mahi Mahi) On a bed of warm greens, sun-dried
tomato caper vinaigrette, balsamic onions, and roasted potatoes $17.99
($10.99 at lunch)
- Barbecued Ribs full slab of ribs served with cole slaw and
a baked potato $18.99 (dinner only)
- Olivia's Roast Beef Sandwich tomatoes and mozzarella cheese
on a ciabatta roll served with au jus and french fries $18.99 ($10.99
- Jumbo Shrimp Alfredo sauteed shrimp, fettuccine and vegetables
in a creamy alfredo sauce $18.99 (dinner only)
- Blue Lump Crab Cakes With slaw, cornbread wedge, field greens,
and citrus remoulade $16.99 (dinner only)
- Buttermilk Chicken Breast deep-fried and served with mashed
potatoes, white gravy and sautéed seasonal vegetables $9.99 (lunch
A signature item that has been very popular, the Buttermilk Chicken Breast
is now only on the lunch menu. The boneless chicken breast is quite large,
and although this is a pretty heavy meal for Key West, it's absolutely
delicious. There are also a number of different sandwiches available at
lunch, including a Rueben, burger, and club sandwich.
When the weather is not too hot, dining outside is very pleasant.
The desserts offered are all terrific, and the mid afternoon hours are
perfect for a visit to sample just a dessert and coffee. Among the offerings
are the following.
- Chocolate Lovin' Spoon Cake for the chocolate lover
rich chocolate drenched fudge cake served on a raspberry coulis.
- Olivia's Own Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie streusel topped deep-dish
apple pie drizzled with a warm caramel sauce.
- Keylime Meringue made-from-scratch graham cracker crust filled
with a tart, cool, rich and creamy key lime filling topped with a light
meringue, served on a vanilla sauce and a hint of raspberry.
- Chef's Choice Cheesecake Ask your server for the chef's cheesecake
selection of the day. We will serve it drizzled with a rich chocolate
or raspberry sauce (go for both!).
- Brownie Sundae a buttery, chocolate chewy brownie topped with
ice cream, chocolate sauce and whipped cream.
The desserts can be seen on a tray inside the restaurant, and your server
may bring it over to your table towards the end of the meal. Years ago
Olivia's was home to the best key lime pie, but they have since removed
it from the menu. These desserts are large enough to share, and except
for the sundae can be packaged to bring back to your room.
Children have their own menu, featuring the usual assortment of items
such as burgers, chicken fingers, hot dogs, spaghetti, grilled cheese,
and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. At breakfast there are also a
few meals for children, such as Mickey waffles, small pancakes, and even
simple breakfast cereal.
Photos of DVC members adorn the walls at Olivia's Café.
One tradition Disney Vacation Members used to follow was providing a
framed picture of themselves on vacation. These photos were hung on the
walls outside and inside Olivia's Café, and eventually overflowed
into Community Hall. At this point there is no wall space for additional
pictures, unless a member wants to simply update their existing photo.
It can be fun to look at the photos, whether you know anyone or not. In
many of the group shots it's easy to see that the subjects are having
a great time creating lasting memories!
Whether you're staying at Disney's Old Key West Resort or not, Olivia's
Café is a good bet for a delicious meal. The service during my visits
has always been excellent, and the cast members are very friendly and
efficient. It's a wonderful place to take a break from the heat before
heading out for more fun in the parks, and I'm confident once you give
it a try you will be back again and again.
Sue has been hooked on Walt Disney World since
her first visit in 1972 with her parents and younger brother. She kept returning
more frequently until she moved to Florida in 1986.
After joining the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) in
1997, she now visits almost monthly. She also spends time at
the DVC's non-WDW locations, and is experienced with the Disney cruise ships.
She takes many of these trips on her own, but
she's also toured WDW with large groups of people, including families, the elderly,
and people with disabilities.
She works as the Administrative Services Division Head
for a large residential facility administered by the Florida Department of Children
and Families. She currently resides in Southwest Florida with her teenage son.
Sue is one of our most prolific trip report writers.
Read her trip report archive here.
You can contact Sue here.
Get the latest info about the resort at Park
Update: Walt Disney World.