Order simple nigiri and stay away from expensive hipster mayo maki (tongue in cheek description - if designer maki is your thing, then of course, go for it) Their nigiri quality and price might make you think the place is a bargain.
It’s all fine and dandy, and the food is decent, but it’s kinda no-frills. It’s a little gloomy, for lack of a better word. Think small cafeteria with a decent selection food, and a carpeted, decent sized seating area. I don’t think there are any windows. I mean, it’s fine, and it’s good, but if there’s one place in Swolpin that is “matter of fact” - Picabu is it. It might as well be in a Best Western in Kansas. It is what ii is, and it is not trying to be anything else. You’ll see. If you are looking for Happy, Fun, DISNEYWORLD breakfast, Picabu is not that. Well priced and good? Yes.
Cabana Bar and Garden Grove:
Check daily menus. Sometimes they have special menus, like BBQ night. GG does have a seafood buffet a few nights per week.
Il Mulino and Shula’s - I’ve never been to either, but they are both ALWAYS mentioned in the “Best Italian / Best Steak” in WDW threads. Always. And they are always, mentioned by some as “clear winner.”
I thought our 9 dollar hot sandwiches were going to be a “hotel priced letdown” but I will go back every time we visit for those. Kimonos and Fuel are our DEFINITES now. I’d try to get to Kimonos at least twice in a 5 night stay. Kimonos is NOT going to be the best sushi you’ve ever had, BUT, in the realm of WDW overpriced everything, I’d rather pay for sushi at Kimonos, than eat a 20.00 over priced, so-so meal. Kimonos nigiri is probably the same price as one of your neighborhood sushi joints, and the quality is there. Fuel has packaged snacks, cold drinks, and hot sandwiches (breakfast sandwiches, too!) They also have that froyo station with 4 or 5 flavors, plus a self serve toppings bar - like a small Red Mango if you are familiar. When we went last time, they had a “Dole Whip” flavor, and guess what? It was fantastic. I got a vague answer when I asked two different workers if it was in fact Dole Whip, or froyo.
The Fountain is a diner themed restaurant that is just out of place. It’s kinda near an entrance, and it has short walls. So it’s just a little bit weird to be seated at a table at a busy time with people walking along the hotel hallways. The Fountain is good, but I think it’s about 2 dollars overpriced per meal. Burgers, sandwiches, and ice cream. Some interesting sundaes. I’d rather go to fuel, and get one of their sandwiches, and some froyo, but that’s me. Did I mention that Fuel was surprisingly good?
Todd’s Bluezoo - never been, but it’s another Swolphin place that is ALWAYS in the convo of best seafood in WDW. They have a happy hour menu, that, rumor has it, should be on everyone’s radar if you are near at happy hour times.
Boardwalk is at your back door, of course. I’m fan of stopping Ample Hills on my way back from Epcot, or on my way TO Epcot, or, well, frankly, any time I leave my room.
The pool -
Check out the seating area RIGHT BEHIND the waterfall. That’s my jam, right there. Water fountains, and bathrooms, and you can slip into the pool behind the waterfall That waterfall is nice shoulder massage, btw.
Also, Dolphin’s hallways might be confusing. You’ll laugh about this post when you are walking - you’ll see. Pro Tip tho - There’s an escalator RIGHT NEXT to Picabu that goes straight to the bus queue. There’s also a walking path at the bus queue that leads RIGHT TO to pool complex. We are pool people, so we stay at those rooms down the hallway next to the fitness room (which is also VERY NICE - lots of towels and bottled water in fridges in the fitness room!) Those rooms have patios with tables and chairs, and you can walk out of your sliding doors right to the pool walkway. Highly recommend those rooms if you are pool ppl. Beats elevators and long hallways. They are also close to the bus, the fitness room, and picabu as well.
Next to the fitness center just inside the entrance from the pool complex is an electric board with Hotel activites for the day/week.
Enjoy your stay!
Also, on your MK fireworks day? Have you thought about doing the dessert party? There’s more than just desserts. We made it a dinner, and we ate VERY well. Well, it wasn’t healthy, so we ate a lot, maybe not “well.” They had cheeseburger egg rolls, and spinach dip, plus deli meat/cheese crackers - it’s not just desserts.