There is always a little piece of me that dies inside the day I am leaving Disney World. Usually my family, like many families, decides to make that last minute stop into Disney Springs to pick up souvenirs and have a bite to eat before the long car ride back home. My family has a Three-Stop Travel Day Tradition of our own.
First, we always find something to remember the trip at the World of Disney Store. It\’s impossible not to find that perfect souvenir to commemorate your trip. This place is loaded with Disney Magic including clothing, jewelry, home goods, keepsakes, and toys in a 51,000 square foot retail space.
The Holidays are a huge deal in our family, so we take this moment do our second tradition by visiting Disney\’s Days of Christmas. Our daughter picks her own ornament while my wife picks one for our infant son until he\’s old enough to choose on his own. Each of those ornaments fills our Christmas Tree with special meaning and memories. It\’s also amazing to see how their tastes change from year to year.
Our third and final tradition is food. Now, for years my wife and I have had a somewhat addictive relationship to the Earl of Sandwich\’s Holiday Sandwich. We would always grab four of these sandwiches to satiate our cravings. Two would be had immediately for lunch, and two would be used to help perpetuate the addiction on the six hour car ride home. This particular tradition has been going on for almost a decade. This year something new peaked our interest, and I can now truly say that our tradition might be changing.
The doors finally opened, and we got a chance to embark on our final ride of the vacation. Choosing from thin, thick, and even gluten-free pizza crusts and ingredients that looked incredibly fresh and abundant, we decided to do a create our own pizza, but, should you so choose, Blaze already has several signature pizzas to choose from. (My wife made note of the White Top which had a white cream sauce with mozzarella, garlic, arugula, oregano, and applewood smoked bacon.) The staff was friendly, clean, and enjoyed their artesian role making you the perfect pie. They were also very liberal with the ingredients and aimed to please. At the end of the line, I met Sara who was energetic, bright eyed, and engaging while she happily wrung me up. My family found comfortable seats in an open looking dining room with floor to ceiling windows. The long benches were great for our family. Light oak wood floors ran throughout the restaurant tying in the tables and seats with the columns, beams, and ceiling. The look and feel made the Earl of Sandwich feel like a dreary old library. It was truly the difference between night and day. Within five minutes, we had two freshly baked pizza pies to share with the kids.
Food is important in life. Most of us only remember two types of experiences: bad food and great food. This, my friends, is BEYOND GREAT FOOD. The taste was fantastic. The crust was made from fresh dough and the quality of the ingredients made a huge difference from our local pizza offerings. Another bonus was that the portions where huge, relatively speaking for Disney. Both my wife and I shared these 11 to 12 inch pies with our children and still had a slice of each to take one the road. They were light and free from being greasy; the opposite of things I have come to expect from pizza.
With a full belly, I took a minute to walk around and look at some of the other options and things I may have missed while my family polished off what they could of the remaining slices. I could go into another diatribe on the beverage, side, and dessert options, but I will sum it up: Beers on tap, grab-and-go sodas, and all natural juice options that included two fresh Agua Frescas were some of the liquid gold beverages that I had overlooked. They also had salad side options and desserts in the line that I overlooked because I was so focused on this pizza. Before leaving I went back to say thank you to Sara. Little did I know, Sara was the General Manager … working on the line … on Sunday Morning … with her staff. This speaks volumes to me as a businessman.
All of these are amazing food, drink, and dessert options that won\’t make the drive back miserable and something the kids enjoy eating, coupled with an open, light, happy atmosphere to drown the blues away from the vacation ending, and a customer service-oriented staff that embodies excellence led me to one conclusion: We have found a new tradition for our family, and I am happy to say it is Blaze Pizza. Jared and Ashley Carson are both Disney travel planners with Wishdrawals Travel. Contact them to plan your next Disney vacation!